Theodore R. Life Jr. is a Producer and Director for film, television and the theater. He is the Distinguished Director in Residence at Emerson College. He has been awarded a Fulbright Journalist Fellowship, 3 CINE Golden Eagles, named a Sony Innovator and nominated for 3 Emmys. Recently his film REASON TO HOPE was awarded Best Film at the 26th annual International Festival of Black Cinema in Berlin and he is currently developing the Akutagawa Prize winning novella, COCKTAIL PARTY as a feature film and completing LIVE YOUR DREAM: The Taylor Anderson Story that chronicles the impact of the American english teacher who lost her life during the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Shira-Lee Shalit was chosen by Steven Spielberg out of 12,000 filmmakers, as one of 18 Finalists for the Fox/DreamWorks TV show, "On The Lot”, where she wrote and directed the short films CHECK OUT, BEELINE and OPEN HOUSE to acclaim from the industry judges. Winner of the Presidential Scholar of the Arts Award and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Award, Shira-Lee was recently selected as one of the Up and Coming Directors for SHOOT’s Annual New Directors Showcase at the DGA Theater, NYC, and featured in SHOOT magazine. Her feature film directorial debut, A-LIST won the Audience Award at the 2007 Milan International Film Festival, and the Gold Remy Award for Best Comedy at Worldfest. Her short, OPEN AIR, won Best Short at The 2009 New Jersey International Film Festival and at Acefest, and has screened at over 40 film festivals, and her short film, FULL CYCLE was a Finalist in the Student Academy Awards. Shira-Lee directs the WGA East Screenplay Reading Series hosted by Michael Winship. She teaches acting at NYU’s Stonestreet Studios and at the LAByrinth Theatre Company.
Kryssa Schemmerling is a director and screenwriter. Her MFA thesis film, Gold Mountain, won a Student Academy Award, among other awards, and screened at festivals all over the world. She also wrote and directed an adaptation of Bernard Malamud's short story The First Seven Years, which screened nationally on PBS. In 2010 Ms. Schemmerling completed a feature-length documentary entitled Our Hawaii which was awarded a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and screened at many festivals. She is currently editing a third short film, The West Begins at Fifth Avenue. Ms. Schemmerling has also written several feature-length dramatic screenplays, three of which have been commissioned or optioned by independent producers.
Lauren Shaw is a well-known photographer and documentary filmmaker whose work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States. Her short documentary film "A Drop in the Bucket" won numerous awards and screened at film festivals and museums across the US. She is presently working on full length documentary, "Angkor's Children." She is the recipient of two National Endowment Regional Grants, LEF Foundation Grant, and 12 Faculty Advancement Fund Grants. She was the first recipient of the Irma Stearns Mann Award at Emerson in 1993. She won the Excellence in Photographic Teaching Award: Santa Fe Center for Photography, 2004.
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