French-Algerian born in Paris, after a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a MSc in International Business Negotiation, Marie worked for Canal+ within the cinema/film festival department. In 2012, she was selected by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to develop French businesses abroad and moved to New York. Shortly after, she joined US in Progress to handle filmmaker outreach and submissions. She is now Senior Programmer of the biannual event.
MATTHEW WILDER is most recently the director, producer and co-writer of REGARDING THE CASE OF JOAN OF ARC, in which Joan (Nicole LaLiberte) is an alt-right Christian-militia terrorist put on trial in Guantanamo Bay. JOAN will appear in festivals worldwide this year. Tim Hunter's LOOKING GLASS with Nicolas Cage, executive produced by Wilder, was released this February. In 2016 Wilder wrote the Paul Schrader-directed DOG EAT DOG with Cage and Willem Dafoe, which was the Closing Night selection of Directors' Fortnight at Cannes that year. He also wrote and directed YOUR NAME HERE, which won Bill Pullman his only acting honors to date for his role as a thinly veiled Philip K. Dick, a Special Jury Prize at Cinevegas. Previously, Wilder wrote for such great film artists as Oliver Stone, Brad Pitt, Bryan Singer and Clive Barker. He also directed theatre for many years, including prize-winning productions of Naomi Iizuka's SKIN, a riff on Georg Buchner's WOYZECK (Dallas Theatre Center) and Eugene O'Neill's THE HAIRY APE (La Jolla Playhouse). Wilder has a B.F.A. in directing from UC-San Diego and a B.A. cum laude in literature from Yale University.
Sean Burns is a Staff Writer at WBUR’s The ARTery and a Contributing Writer at North Shore Movies and Boston Reel. He was Philadelphia Weekly‘s Lead Film Critic from 1999 through 2013, and worked as the Movies Section Contributing Editor at The Improper Bostonian from 2006 until 2014. His reviews, interviews and essays have also appeared in Metro, The Village Voice, The Boston Herald, Nashville Scene, Time Out New York, Philadelphia City Paper and RogerEbert.com.
His writing has been called “jocular but serious, more like a 1940′s daily reporter pounding out columns on a manual typewriter than a typical 21st century navel-gazing film critic.” Meanwhile, his sisters still tell him that he “swears too much and drives like an old lady.”
Li Lu is an award-winning filmmaker residing in Los Angeles, CA. She was born in Suzhou, China
and moved to the United States when she was five. Daughter of two physicists, Li discovered
filmmaking via her passion for photography and classical ballet. After an adventurous upbringing
on all three coasts and graduating high school in Sugar Land, TX, Li received her BA from the
University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, graduating cum laude.
Her debut feature “There Is a New World Somewhere” won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature
Film at the Boonies International Film Festival and Special Jury Award for Best First Feature at
both the Las Vegas Film Festival and LA Asian Pacific Film Festival. It was distributed theatrically
in 20 US cities by Emerging Pictures and on demand by Gravitas Ventures.
Her teleplay "Razorhurst," about street gangs in 1920s Sydney, Australia, won HBO’s Skyway
Film Festival's Grand Jury Award for Best Teleplay and Pitch. Her documentary projects have
garnered support and grants from the Islamic Scholarship Fund, Arri Cameras, and others.
Li has been profiled in the New York Times, IndieWIRE, NPR, Bitch Magazine, IMDb, and
Flavorwire. A maker of both fiction and documentary films, she is focused on work that creates
a positive social impact and defies stereotypes by expanding the representation of minorities.
Holt Boggs is an award-winning actor and screenwriter currently based in Austin, TX. With over 50 credits to his name including, Sons of Anarchy and The Leftovers, he can also be seen in Anthony Pedone's critically acclaimed, An American In Texas. Starting his career almost 20 years ago as a budding stand-up comic in the Houston area, his goal was to one day be on a renowned sketch comedy series like Saturday Night Live, but things took a definitive turn after he starred in his first film, a heavy crime drama, The Prodigy. Holt's recent work includes the quirky comedy, The Elephone Man and he can be seen in the upcoming TV series, Three Knee Deep which was filmed in Romania. Holt is represented by The Atherton Group and managed by RVP Management. For more info, check out his website at: www.HoltBoggs.com
Betsy is a sometime lawyer, sometime writer, sometime documentary filmmaker who is dedicated to supporting others and their art. She is a board member and executive director of The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists (The Davey Foundation), a nonprofit that provides grants, mentoring, and opportunity for emerging artists in memory of actor, filmmaker, and musician, David Fetzer. The Davey Foundation is a proud partner of Film Exchange.
DAVID JOSH JORDON
Josh David Jordan is a Texas filmmaker, director, actor and artist.
Starting off as an actor and being in several feature films and the sitcom SCRUBS, Josh slowly began to transition himself behind the lens. Working on MTV featured music videos for the Polyphonic Spree, Rhett Miller of the Old 97's and many more. After premiering his short film SAM AND GUS and winning several film festival awards along with audience awards, he decided to write and direct his first full length feature film which is now in production, THIS WORLD WON'T BREAK.
Patrick is an actor, director, lighting designer and proud native Victorian. He is also an award winning playwright. His play Knock, Knock was the 2008 winner of the McLaren Memorial Comedy Playwriting Competition. It received its world premiere at Midland Community Theatre in 2009. His drama The David Chronicles was the winner of the Texas Playwriting Award from Second Thought Theatre in Dallas, TX. His other works include Bobby Joe Gilroy’s Comin’ Home, The Mutual Acquaintance, Under a Powder Blue Moon, Settling His Affairs and Otherwise Engaged. His most recent work, Until He Wasn’t received its world premiere at MadLab in Columbus Ohio in 2016.
WILLIAM SCOTT HARKEY
William Scott Harkey has been an educator for over twelve years, beginning as a high school English teacher in 2005, an adjunct English instructor in 2009, and now as a lecturer of English at the University of Houston-Victoria. William received both his BA and MA from UHV and began working for the university in 2004 as a writing consultant. Between 2004 and 2014, he worked for UHV as an associate editor for symploka, a research assistant, and a writing coordinator for the Student Success Center. William teaches Freshman Composition I, Professional Writing, The Bible as History and Literature, and Medieval and Renaissance Civilizations. He has also taught classes in The History of Rock and Roll and Introduction to Cinema.
William serves as the president of the UHV Rosebud Film Society and as a faculty advisor for the History and Humanities Association. William has published works in cultural and literary criticism, short fiction, and poetry. His primary interests lie in the fields of philosophy, psychoanalysis, sociology, and theology, with emphasis on how these disciplines contribute to our understanding of culture, identity, and our attitudes toward mortality.
Joe Friar is a member of the (BFCA) Broadcast Film Critics Association - Los Angeles, CA (HFCS) Houston Film Critics Society - Houston, Tx, and the Program Director - Morning Show Host at Hit Radio 104.7 in Victoria, Tx. He reviews films for The Victoria Advocate newspaper where his "Flix" column appears every Thursday. Currently there are more than 600 reviews archived on the web site www.victoriaadvocate.com You can also catch his movie reviews and interviews with filmmakers every Friday morning on his local radio show
NINA DI LEO
Nina Di Leo is the Executive Director of the Victoria Bach Festival, which brings artists from across the nation to Victoria for an extraordinary week of music. Prior to her work with VBF, Di Leo taught at the University of Houston-Victoria in the English and Communications departments and taught film at Indiana University. She designed multimedia education programs and exhibits for the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago. Di Leo’s stage play Shelter in Place had its workshop premiere at the Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art in August 2016, directed by Randy Wachtel.
Before I pen a single word about myself I want to first congratulate the filmmakers and their teams for hurdling whatever obstacles came their way to produce the films they felt compelled to create. Bravo to each of you for the dreaming, the hurdling, the scheming, the believing and most importantly the finishing.
You are tenacious. A force. A finisher. And for that I applaud each of you. Bravo bravo bravo.
Ingra Sparkman is a writer and the cofounder of Victoria In Motion magazine. It’s Victoria’s feel good lifestyle magazine that highlights positive people doing positive things in the Victoria community. She also writes, directs and co-produces South Bridge Street Live, Victoria’s first on line talk and variety show.
Her other job titles include Wife, Mom Grandma, Sister, Volunteer, Mentor, and Friend, of which she is all equally proud to be.
Louise Allister is a writer and free lance artist from England. After studying three dimensional design at Middlesex University she went on to design and build sets for local theatre productions including Shakespeare's The Tempest and Bertolt Brecht's The Good Person of Sichuan with Director Mark Babych. Louise now spends her time script writing and editing films with her husband Stuart.
Stuart Allister started out in commercial photography after leaving school where he developed a passion for the visual arts. He went on to work behind the scenes in local theatre where he worked on various concerts and comedy gigs including Steve Coogan's sell out live tour. Stuart decided soon after to move into film as well as photography and now divides his time between working with 8mm cine film and digital formats.
Gary Branfman studied radio, television, and film at New York City’s Queens College. While playing keyboards in a band, free-lancing as a photographer, and performing a magic act, he accepted a position producing educational films for Audiovisual Instructional Devices Inc. of Massachusetts, and as an audio technician for its subsidiary, Jazzways. Branfman subsequently served as Base photographer for Kelly Air Force Base and audio-visual technician for Incarnate Word College.
Somewhere along the way he completed medical school, two residencies and two fellowships to became a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Victoria's "Best of the Best" plastic surgeon year after year, and one of the Golden Crescent Magazine's "Top 5 Doctors".
"Although medicine became my profession, film has remained my passion", says Branfman. In 2004 he completed the Hollywood Film Institute's Feature Film Production and Screenwriting course. Dr. Branfman's first screenplay, INTOLERANCE was a finalist in the Beverly Hills Film Festival Screenplay Competition, as well as Creative Screenwriter’s Magazine International Screenwriter’s Competition.
Cassie C. Cameron is a student at University of Houston-Victoria where she is currently working to gain her Bachelors of Art in History as well as her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She works as a writing consultant for the university and has tutored other Humanities such as Gender Studies, Ethics, and US History with a focus on the Civil Rights Era.
Cassie serves as president of the History and Humanities Association at UHV who pride themselves in connecting students to local art and history, as well as providing a fun environment to further their knowledge of the humanities.
To add to her time at UHV, Cassie has committed to documenting oral histories of community members in order to shed light on the ways in which rhetoric contributes to the unification of the working class. She will use some of her work to present with a panel in Minneapolis at this year’s Rhetoric Conference in May.
After graduation Cassie plans to continue her education and research by gaining her Masters and Doctorate in Psychology to work as a Forensic Psychologist and Behavioral Analyst. Her interest in History dictates her love of Sociology and the ways in which trends and the media alter behavior in America. These catalysts provoke changes vastly evident in American culture and the people of the working class, which Cassie feels her research will help to elucidate.