Gabriela Watson Aurazo
Trevor D. Byrne
Madeleine Hunt Erlich
Joseph A. Kraemer
Doris ChiaChing Lin
Lisa Marie Patzer
Current Graduate Students
Gabriela Watson Aurazo
Gabriela is Brazilian with Afro-Peruvian descent, she holds a BA in Communications by Faculdade Casper Líbero in São Paulo, where she had a background experience in Production of Broadcast TV Journalism, documentaries, film festivals and TV programs. Gabriela also develops projects related to culture and audiovisual media through independent artistic collectives as organization of events and documentaries focused on Afro-Latino issues as racism, African Diaspora, black identity and education. Her documentary “Nosotros, Afroperuanos” (We, Afro-Peruvians) was screened in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, NY and Washington DC. She is a current MFA candidate in Film at Temple University. Visit her blog.
Charles Eugene Blevins was born to a loving mother and father on a rainy morning on the 4th of July in 1984, in Louisville, Kentucky. The parents decided to call him Chad, which, as anyone would know, is not short for Charles, but close enough. Chad grew up playing with plastic farm animals and pretending he was interested in dinosaurs. He watched Zoobilee Zoo and Fraggle Rock, and, later, any period piece starring Bruce Willis, all of which inspire his work today. Chad believes in Magic, and maintaining an adolescent sensibility. Before coming to Temple, he studied creative writing at Indiana University. For further inquiry, Chad can be reached at the Offices of the United Nations in Grant City, Missouri.
In sixth grade, Trevor Byrne made what still may be his proudest work, a short claymation entitled A TRAGIC DAY IN THE PARK. Since then, he’s spent most of his time thinking—current topics of thought include, but are not limited to, nature, narrative, gender, technology, authenticity, alienation and how to be immersed without drowning. Bicoastal by nurture, Trevor was born in Santa Rosa, California, raised in Northampton, Massachusetts and, until recently, lived in Los Angeles where he worked at a film production company, a contemporary art museum and a convenience store for time travelers. He currently lives in Philadelphia, around the corner from the world’s first pizza museum.
Qiuchen Cao is a photographer and filmmaker living in Philadelphia. With a BS in broadcasting and communication, she made documentary films in China and is now working on fictional narrative films. During her first year at Temple, she made two short fiction films. The Cell Phone is a documentary-fiction hybrid focusing on the psychological pressure of a Chinese immigrant in the United States. To Save is a subtle depiction of the mental state of someone who is about to fall in love. She is now working on an experimental fiction film, I Don’t Speak English, about feelings of cultural difference. To see her work, visit her web site.
Born in Laguna Beach, CA, Stephen Crout received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California in Film and Television: Critical Studies, minoring in Fine Arts. During the three decades as a California resident, Stephen spent time working in the Hollywood Film Industry, the Aerospace Industry, and the Technical Ceramic Industry. Outside of corporate employment, Stephen’s artistic passions have involved: creating and directing a Co-Op Art Gallery for student and emerging artists in Costa Mesa, CA, working as a freelance event photographer and videographer, and acting as the Operations Manager for an online video company based out of Los Angeles. In 2010, Stephen left California to take a position as the Visiting Digital Media Arts Professor at Cochise College in Southeastern Arizona. And in the Fall of 2012, Stephen began pursuing his Masters of Fine Arts in Film & Media Arts at Temple University’s Center for the Arts. Categorizing himself a Visual Artist who works in a wide range of artistic mediums, Stephen’s most recent work reflects the eclectic mix of his life experiences: focusing on the visual aesthetic of mixed media, experimental narrative and documentary filmmaking.
Madeleine Hunt Ehrlich
Madeleine Hunt Ehrlich is a documentary artist who has completed projects in Kingston, Jamaica, Miami, Florida and extensively in the five boroughs of New York City. Her work has been featured in Studio Museum’s Studio Magazine, ARC Magazine, BOMBLOG, and Guernica Magazine, among others. She has received grants from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council as well as National Black Programming Consortium. Her work has been exhibited in New York, Miami and London. Madeleine has a degree in Film and Photography from Hampshire College and is a current MFA candidate in Film at Temple University. Her work explores themes of physicality, violence, masculinity and identity within Caribbean American and urban space.
Haitao Guo grew up in China. He graduated from Huazhong Normal University in Wuhan with a BS in biochemistry. After he got an MS in microbiology at Texas A&M University in 2007, he realized that what he really wanted to do is make films. He joined the MFA program at Temple University in 2009 and began his transition from scientist to artist. He is pretty happy with his new life in Philadelphia.
When Kay Hannahan is not enjoying a water ice under the Liberty Bell, she is appreciating the process of documentary filmmaking. For three years Kay chronicled the lives of the Muslim minority in Bulgaria, where she was a Peace Corps Volunteer, and documented the 2013 anti-government protests. She codirected the series “Lost in Bulgaria,” which was nationally broadcast on Nova Televizia. She is interested in making ethnographic films that examine post-communist societies and immigrant assimilation. Kay enjoys almond croissants, news programs, and fine Bulgarian moonshine – in no particular order. Visit her web site.
Sarah Greenleaf is a poet and media maker from Seattle, Washington. She studied journalism and English literature at the University of Washington before relocating to Philadelphia. Her films have screened in a variety of venues, from Brooklyn galleries to the Citizen Jane Film Festival. She has poetry published in the DMQ Review and HOARSE and featured on InkNode.com. Sarah’s recent work explores the negative space of familiar storytelling narratives and non-traditional ways to tell overlooked histories.
Kandis Hutcherson landed in Philadelphia by way of Far Rockaway, New York, and Atlanta, Georgia. After she graduated from Georgia State University, she wanted to put her writing skills to use through film. In addition to writing and directing, Kandis immerses herself in the art and film communities. Recently, she served as head organizer and documentarian of the Philadelphia-based film and media arts festival Gender Reel. Kandis also completed a community mural project at a local recreation center. She is currently working on Growing Old Gracefully, a feature-length documentary about aging transgendered seniors. Kandis views film as a tool to explore and transform the world in and outside us. Her work examines the margins of our complex and evolving society, reminding us that we’re all in this universe together.
Nina Isaacson is an expatriate New Yorker who has made videos, films, and comics since 1996. Her film and video works have screened at venues in New York and Portland, including the Portland Art Museum, and her comics are in the permanent collections of the Independent Publishing Resource Center and the Multnomah County Library. Nina holds a Bachelor’s degree from St. John’s College, where she did her thesis work on Don Quixote. She has also studied at the School of Visual Arts, CUNY Brooklyn College, Portland State University, and the Northwest Film Center, where she was awarded the David King Scholarship in 2011. Nina’s films have been called “excessive” and “relentless,” and her comics have been said to “lack technical proficiency.” Her primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary interests in the filmmaking process are direction, production design, editing, and cinematography; her stories tend to feature manipulators, liars, hypocrites, and dismemberment. She loves low-fidelity media including, but not limited to, pay phones.
Ginger Jolly is a documentary filmmaker originally from Alabama but who has lived in areas as culturally diverse as Miami, Florida and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her varied life experiences have inspired an interest in social justice issues, specifically race, class, and gender and how these figure in regions from the rural South to urban environments. Her work incorporates a variety of storytelling devices ranging from direct cinema to performance. Ginger’s films have screened at the DocMiami Film Festival in Miami, the Urban Suburban Film Festival in Philadelphia, the International Black Film Festival in Nashville, the Sidewalk Moving Picture Film Festival in Birmingham, the Jubilee Film Festival in Selma, and the Mid-Atlantic Black Film Festival in Norfolk. Her work has also been featured on Alabama Public Television. Currently she is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in Film and Media Arts at Temple University.
Naomi Levine grew up in Takoma Park, Maryland. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in urban studies and finds herself unable (or maybe unwilling) to leave Philadelphia so far. She is primarily interested in documentary film, especially portraits. This may change.
Julie Long received her BFA in Photography and BA in Art History from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. After undergraduate, she worked for 2 years as the assistant photo editor at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana. When Julie is not working on her next film project, she is scouting junk shops to find her next DIY project. To see example of her work, please visit her website.
Mickey Newman is an aspiring narrative screenwriter/director and professional musician from Pittsburgh, PA. After interning and teaching at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and graduating with a BA in film studies from the University of Pittsburgh, Mickey spent a few years sailing the world as a drummer in show bands and jazz trios on cruise ships before applying to Temple. He is deeply inspired by films such as The Machinist, Lost Highway, and The Usual Suspects, and is particularly interested in making cerebral thrillers as well as slice of life narratives. Night People, his 44-minute semi-autobiographical film about an unlucky man seeking shelter in a dangerous night world, was accepted in four film festivals in 2009. To view samples of his work in film and music, visit here.
A native of Philadelphia, Jamel Northern received his undergraduate degree in computer and information science at Temple. Somehow he managed to work in television instead. Jamel worked for 12 years at WTXF-TV FOX 29 as a video editor, earning two National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Mid-Atlantic Emmy nominations. Even then, it was not enough for Jamel. Taking a gamble, he left FOX 29 to return to school to study his true love—film. Jamel plans to concentrate on narrative film directing, though he isn’t averse to directing a play or two.
Alyssa Pearson was once asked to define her talent during a powwow meet-and-greet as an undergraduate student. After about a half hour of thought, when finally pressed for an answer, the only thing she could say was, “I like to tell stories.” Maybe that just means she talks a lot, but mostly she spends time trying to engage different forms and roles within storytelling—a life-giving enterprise personally cultivated through her family, community, academic development and personal paradigm. Alyssa graduated with a degree in communication arts from Malone University in Canton, Ohio, where she fostered the value of humans as storytelling creatures. Filmmaking is where she hopes to develop her loquaciousness . . . er, storytelling.
Tracy Pereira’s academic route to the MFA program has been almost completely serendipitous. With an undergraduate degree in commerce in her home country, India, she almost pursued an MBA, but thanks to some wise words, she jumped ship, country, degree—and her senses, according to some—to complete her MA in broadcasting at Temple. With this second wind, she dabbled in some video production, rubbed shoulders with the film school and once again decided to switch over to the “dark side.” Her time at Temple as a student and a teacher has spawned and fuelled her interest in media education. She believes strongly and passionately in the empowerment of children and youth and in teaching them to find their voice, particularly those with learning disabilities and emotional disorders and the socially disenfranchised. She was awarded the Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship in 2007 to work on a series of recordings of children’s personal video diaries that illustrate the ways they navigate their lives, with a vision to translate these into new media forms. She hopes to hone her current fledgling abilities as a filmmaker to speak out on education, faith and family, creating work that questions and demonstrates.
Vedran Residbegovic was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. In 1996, he moved to Chicago, where he studied graphic design and film at the University of Illinois. Beginning in 2001, Vedran worked as a videographer, video editor, youth media educator and film festival organizer in Chicago. He also taught in the post-production department at Columbia College Chicago as an adjunct instructor. Vedran’s work and research focuses on documentary and experimental film, but also collaborative/open-source video and interactive new media.
Mark is a Brooklyn based multimedia composer specializing in sound and video. His film Chris and the Blackout was a finalist at the CUNY film festival in March of 2012. In June of 2011 he worked with composer and Harvard professor Hans Tutschku at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he composed a 24-channel sound piece entitled Fin del Mundo. Earlier that year his piece i-mi-jer was featured at the Hunter College iArt show. From 2005 to 2010 he co-founded the Spring Street Sessions and co-wrote, produced and performed in the electro-punk band Last Year’s Model. He studied music theory, composition and history at Hunter College in New York City from 2010 to 2013 and graduated from Penn State University in 2000 with degrees in Film and English. Visit his web site.
David Romberg studied sculpture at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and became passionate about filmmaking soon thereafter. He began his film career exploring film and video technologies as a visual artist, while at a film residency program at the Neue Galerie in Graz, Austria. This residency led him to pursue his M.F.A. degree, in Film and Media Arts at Temple University. While at Temple, he received several honors, including the Motion Picture Award, the Grickis Memorial Scholarship Award, The Diamond Screen Best Doc Award, as well as a nomination for the Kodak Eastman Scholars Award. David is currently being supported for “Man of the Monkey” by the Tribeca Film Institute’s Latin American Filmmaker Fund as a recipient of the 2013 Heineken VOCES Grant for Documentary Film and a recipient of the 2013 Princess Grace Award. Visit his website.
My name is Christian Strevy. I was born in Birmingham, Alabama, Heart of Dixie, USA. Roll Tide. Although there are many legends as to the origin of the surname “Strevy,” it is most likely from the land of Prussia. That’s Prussia with a “P.” Growing up, my mom thought it was funny to let me dress myself everyday, which meant most days, I dressed as a pirate. When I turned 12, I stopped dressing like a pirate and started a small American business as a door-to-door shoe shiner (job creator), whether my neighbors liked it or not. I saved up. My mom drove me to Sam’s Club, where I bought my first video camera. Finally, my cinematic dreams could come true, until my camera was stolen by the 17 year old skateboarder at the beach. Teenagers! Since then, I’ve saved up for a bunch of different cameras, over many whole Summers. I studied art at Birmingham-Southern College, which is a small liberals arts school in Alabama. Now I live and work in West Philadelphia and I am a Graduate Film student at Temple University. I love woodworking. I love deep fried anything. I love Alabama football. Again, Roll Tide. I love making people laugh. I love making images. I love telling stories.
Jonathan Stutzman grew up on the coast of Virginia, inheriting during his childhood a hunger for stories from old films, novels, bedtime stories, music and Peanuts. Jonathan has written and directed a number of diverse films that have shown at festivals and venues across the country. His films include Amelioration, The Day Dad Died, Blaue Blume, and the award-winning Paper Turtle. Along with a collection of screenplays, Jonathan has penned a handful of short stories and children’s books and has had his work published in two books of poetry. Jonathan graduated from Messiah College with a degree in communication and an emphasis in film. He wants to continue to develop as a filmmaker and storyteller so that he can create works that move, inspire, challenge and entertain.
Israel Vasquez is currently interested in writing and directing and video installation. He is interested in the transformative spirit of cinema—how learning occurs, visual acts of contemplation and the importance of collaboration amidst an increasingly individualist society. He has studied at Michigan State University and learned the ropes of photography at Pittsburgh Filmmakers (mad respect!). To see Israel’s work, visit www.vimeo.com/ipv.
Michael Thomas Vassallo
Michael Thomas Vassallo is a filmmaker working in both narrative and experimental forms. A native Philadelphian, he entered the MFA program at Temple in 2009, and is currently living and working in Philadelphia and New York City. He is interested in and influenced by horror cinema, teen films, the French New Wave, the occult, and punk/metal/DIY subcultures. His work has been shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia and the Athens Institute of Contemporary Art. After shooting his short film, Lucy, 4:57 PM, in 2011, his next project will be his thesis film, a class-based satire set amid the New York art and poetry scenes. Michael Tom frequently collaborates with his sister, Nadine Vassallo, as a writing partner.
Born in Malaysia, raised partly in Singapore, Gary Yong has also lived and worked in Canada, the United States, and Thailand. Since his earliest daily crossings of the Malaysia–Singapore border the age of 7, he has been drawn to stories and lives taking form outside of the rigid designs of nationhood, race, class, gender and sexuality. Grounded in the physical and emotional experience of border crossing, his work seeks to describe the liberating but volatile spaces inhabited by people in transition. In 2010, he was sponsored by the Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand to shoot a short film portraying a slice of Thai culture, its people, and their relationship to their spiritual and political leader, H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The film, Canopy Crossings, has also received support from the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and has screened worldwide at more than 18 international film festivals. The Timishort Festival (Romania) honored the film with a Special Mention for its original hybrid of documentary and fiction. His first feature in progress, How Far is Your Colony, is a bold adventure in narrative form, pulling elements of documentary, costume melodrama, and science fiction to assemble a restless portrait of foreigners in search of a home. He holds a BA from the University of Windsor in Canada and is an alumnus of the Berlinale Talent Campus 2012. Currently, he is based in Singapore and Malaysia. For more information on his work, visit www.fluidrace.com.
Ambarien Alqadar grew up in a conservative Muslim family in 1990s India and spent part of her childhood in Libya. With degrees in English literature, modern European languages and communications, she is fascinated with an exploration of the documentary image in fictional, experimental and interactive contexts. She is an alumnus of the AJK Mass Communication Research Center in New Delhi—one of India’s premier institutes in film and video training—where she also worked as an assistant professor. Re-enactment, performance and visual and aural found-footage, first used in her film Who Can Speak of Men, have emerged as recurring threads in her work. She has explored these ideas in subsequent films, such as Four Women and a Room, The Ghetto Girl and Between Leaving and Arriving. As a freelance practitioner in India, she has directed, edited and produced several public television projects and features. Her work has won national and international awards and has been screened in festivals as well as in academic and interdisciplinary research settings. Currently a Fulbright Scholar at Temple, she is developing her thesis, A Day in the Life of Ayesha, as a way of synthesizing her interest in documentary and experimental methods with dramatic approaches to storytelling. The project was awarded a Temple University Completion Grant. Ambarien has been a recipient of many prestigious fellowships and awards, including an Independent Research Fellowship through Sarai Programme at the Center of Study of Developing Societies in India, the European Union–India Documentary Exchange Programme on Peace and Conflict Resolution and the Public Service Broadcasting Trust Film Fellowship, India. The first retrospective of her work was held at the Indo-Korea International Women’s Film Festival in Chennai, India, in 2009.
Malia Bruker is a screenwriter and documentary filmmaker. Before coming to Temple, Malia worked at the national news and documentary channel Free Speech TV. She was production manager, writer and producer for the news magazine SourceCode and national program coordinator for the flagship daily news and discussion show GRITtv. Malia graduated summa cum laude from Florida State University, where she worked on a number of award-winning documentary and narrative films. Her work has screened internationally and throughout the United States, and her recent documentary, Chase, won the Knight Arts Short Film Competition at the Philadelphia Film Festival. Her honors include a Temple University Fellowship, the Ben Lazaroff Screenwriting Scholarship, the Diamond Screen Film Festival Screenplay Award, Best Documentary at the Florida State Media Production Film Festival, and Best Student Cinematography at the American Dance Festival.
Christopher Fernando is working on a feature narrative for his thesis film, I Want It, Bad. His critical interests include Jean Baudrillard, the Frankfurt School and post-Jungian studies—specifically, furthering the analysis of cinematic narratives as archetypal mandalas. Additionally, he has a long-term goal of analyzing Hollywood economic and distribution practices through a theoretical lens. He has had film and photographic work exhibited at film festivals and alternative venues and has won screenwriting awards. Christopher has a working background in education, art and photography and a BS in television, film and new media from San Diego State University. He founded a media company, GreyUnicorn, with friends affiliated with Temple University. The company is currently developing a documentary about consumer culture, a tablet app graphic novel and a new feature film.
Joseph A. Kraemer
Joseph Kraemer hails from Wisconsin and now calls Philadelphia his home. Before coming to Temple, he earned his a BFA in film from the University of Wisconsin– Milwaukee. He has worked as the festival director for the NextFrame International Student Film and Video Festival, one of the world’s preeminent student film festivals, and also interned for the Milwaukee International Film Festival in 2007. Several of his animations have screened at the Wisconsin Film Festival and the Milwaukee International Film Festival and have also been featured online on PBS.org and PoetryFoundation.org. He has begun to explore new-media genres with his web-based interactive documentary, Between Leaving and Arriving. His interest in the hybrid blending of documentary and fictional story structures and aesthetics has driven his work toward his thesis film, which focuses on the complicated relationship between modern society and the natural world. To see Joseph’s work, visit www.josephkraemer.com.
Doris ChiaChing Lin
Doris Chia-ching Lin is a filmmaker, multimedia artist and stage designer from Taiwan. Her work explores multimedia arts. Currently she is working on her thesis film, Maquette 1:1000, a short narrative film shot in Taipei and Philadelphia. Her screen adaptation of a short story by Charlie Fish, Drop Dead Gorgeous, screened at the International Student Film Festival Hollywood in Los Angeles. Troupe de Fetishe, a large-scale video installation on which she collaborated as co-director and model builder, was exhibited at the Ice Box Project Space in Philadelphia. She has made several other shorts, including Missing Peaces, a 16mm experimental narrative that was selected into the 2010 University Film and Video Association screening section, the 2010 Philadelphia Independent Film Festival and the Sexy International Film Festival in Australia; Silou Vege and Fruit Market, a documentary about a full day at a market in Taiwan; and Transdialection, an experimental sound and video piece. Her previous work as a set designer won several awards for theatrical productions. She was chosen to represent Taiwan at Scenofest at the Prague Quadrennial in 2007 after her stage design project won first place in the Taiwan competition.
Lisa Marie Patzer
Lisa Marie Patzer is a multimedia artist with a background in performance art, video installation and experimental filmmaking. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, at venues such as the Buntport Theater (Denver, Colorado), the American Airlines Center (Dallas, Texas), the Lab Gallery (San Francisco, California), the University of Northampton (Northampton, UK), the Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia) and the Ice Box Project Space (Philadelphia). Lisa Marie is currently directing a collaborative experimental narrative project, aka Profile Glitch, which investigates the performance of identity in online and off-line social communities. This is illustrated through a narrative about three women who become unlikely friends at an intentional community in Philadelphia and then, after leaving the commune, continue their friendship online through a social network. For more information about aka Profile Glitch, visit the project website at www.akaprofileglitch.org or follow on Twitter (@akaprofilglitch). Lisa Marie’s other work can be viewed online at www.lisamariepatzer.com and www.troupedefetishe.com.