Admissions & Aid
The individuals listed here, as well as the filmmakers from the Advisory Council, will be designated as mentors for third-year students, providing them with guidance and counsel as they prepare, shoot, and edit their thesis films.
Our mentor program is among the distinct components of the Feirstein experience—bringing professional experience and expertise from gifted filmmakers directly to our students.
Giselle Bailey is a Jamaican-American director whose work blends documentary, narrative, and contemporary art to create content that is explosively visual and metaphorical. Bailey is a 2022 Concordia Fellow currently directing the HBO docuseries Seen & Heard. Her directorial portfolio includes interstitials for the Hulu/Onyx Collective docuseries Hair Tales (2022) and the HBO documentary feature The Legend of the Underground (2021).
Anne Carey is president of production and a partner at Archer Gray, based in New York.
Carey’s current work includes The Persian Version, by Maryam Keshavarz (SPC, 2023); Dead Ringers (Amazon, 2022), a limited series written by Alice Birch and starring Rachel Weisz; and Marielle Heller’s upcoming film Nightbitch (Searchlight), starring Amy Adams.
Her previous films include Lost Girls, directed by Liz Garbus; Can You Ever Forgive Me? directed by Marielle Heller; 20th Century Women, written and directed by Mike Mills; Marielle Heller’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl; and Mr. Holmes, directed by Bill Condon.
In addition to producing, Carey has served as an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate Film School and as an adviser/consultant to the Canadian Film Centre and the Sundance Institute, among others.
Bobby Cohen is a film producer and entertainment industry executive.
He began his career as an assistant, first at the Writers & Artists Agency and then at Miramax films where he became senior VP of production. During that time, he contributed to films such as Clerks, Scream, and Beautiful Girls. He was also executive producer for 54, Rounders and The Cider House Rules before leaving in 2003 to form his own company, Cohen Pictures.
Cohen then became president of Red Wagon Entertainment, the production company of Academy Award–winning producers Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher, and then partnered with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzmanat at their Production Company K/O Paper Products. He also served as a producer and an executive at Imagine Entertainment and LionsGate.
In addition, Cohen was a producer or executive producer of notable films such as Jarhead, Memoirs of a Geisha, Definitely, Maybe, Revolutionary Road, The Now You See Me trilogy, Cowboys and Aliens, and Don’t Let Go, among others.
Currently he is forming a new production and financing entity in partnership with Thomas Tull, founder of Legendary Pictures.
Screenwriter and director Tony Drazan has worked in film, television, and live theater since the early 1990s.
Drazan directed three feature films—Zebrahead (1992), Imaginary Crimes (1994), and Hurlyburly (1998)—before turning to television, where he directed episodes for The West Wing and Trinity. He has since performed in Off-Broadway one-man shows and is currently an executive producer at Elsewat in New York.
Stuart Dryburgh is a British-born, Brooklyn-based cinematographer.
His credits include The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, directed by Ben Stiller; The Great Wall, directed by Zhang Yimou; Jane Campion’s An Angel at My Table, Portrait of a Lady, and The Piano (for which he was nominated for an Academy Award); The Perez Family; Boardwalk Empire (pilot directed by Martin Scorsese); Aeon Flux; The Painted Veil; Analyze This, directed by Harold Ramis; Once Were Warriors; and Bridget Jones’s Diary, among many others.
In spring 2022, he served as the Filmmaker-in-Residence for the Feirstein School, where he conducted several workshops, seminars, and mentored the students.
Coco Francini is an American television and film producer. Most recently, she was executive producer of the limited series Mrs. America for FX Networks, written by Mad Men alum Dahvi Waller and starring Cate Blanchett.
Francini is a frequent collaborator with Quentin Tarantino. She was an associate producer of The Hateful Eight and oversaw the global 70mm roadshow tour and the soundtrack/score that won an Academy Award for Ennio Morricone. She also spearheaded the groundbreaking Kickstarter campaign for Zach Braff’s film Wish I Was Here, for which she was co-producer, garnering more than $3 million toward the production budget and 50,000 loyal and engaged fans.
In addition to her independent producing, Francini recently led the creative development and production of film and television content for the world’s largest video game and interactive media company, Activision Blizzard, shepherding projects including films based on the iconic $15 billion Call of Duty game franchise. A graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Francini earned her master’s from the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC.
Adam Glass is a television producer, screenwriter, American comic book writer, and Brooklyn College graduate.
Glass is best known for his work as an executive producer and screenwriter on numerous TV series, including Supernatural, Cold Case, and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. As a screenwriter, his most recent credits include episodes for the series The Chi and 9-1-1.
As a comic writer, he wrote such titles as “Deadpool” and “Luke Cage” for Marvel Comics and “The New 52” phase of Suicide Squad in DC Comics. His work Rough Riders was published in 2016 by AfterShock.
Andrew Heckler is an actor and director.
As an actor, he has appeared in Timecode, Law and Order, Armageddon, and Ally McBeal.
His debut film as a filmmaker was Burden, which he wrote and directed, starring Forest Whitaker, Garret Hedlund, and Andrea Riseborough. Burden was the winner of the audience award at both the Sundance Film Festival and Nantucket Film Festival.
Kelley Robins Hicks is a producer and actress.
Her producing credits include HBO’s Peabody Award–winning show Random Acts of Flyness, How to Tell You’re a Douchebag, and Queen of Glory.
Richard Hoover is a scenic designer, production designer, and art director for theater, television, and film.
He won a Tony Award for scenic design for the Broadway production of Not About Nightingales (1999) and is best known for his production design on the first two seasons of Twin Peaks.
In 1982, Hoover began working on films, first as an art director and then as a production director. His film credits include It Takes Two (1988); Prime Target (1989); Ed Wood (1994); Apt Pupil (1998); Girl, Interrupted (1999); Payback (1999); and The Mothman Prophesies (2002). Hoover developed a long-standing working relationship with actor and director Tim Robbins and was the production director for films Robbins directed, including Bob Roberts (1992), Dead Man Walking (1995), and Cradle Will Rock (1999). Recent television work includes The Newsroom (2012–13) and The Plot Against America (2020).
Hoover was affiliated with the Lester Polakov Design Studio, later known as the Studio and Forum of Stage Design, and also taught workshops at the Filmschule in Cologne, Germany. He is a member of the Art Directors Guild, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE), and Moving Picture Technicians. In addition to his Tony Award, he has won a London Critics Circle Theatre Award and Evening Standard Award for Best Designer and a Drama Desk Award for outstanding set design of a play. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for Live From Baghdad (2003).
Charlotte Hornsby is a New York–based cinematographer whose work has garnered attention at festivals such as SXSW, BAM Cinemafest, BFI London Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival, where the short Lucia, Before and After, which she shot for director Anu Valia, and the short Hair Wolf, which she shot for director Mariama Diallo, won the Short Film Jury Award for U.S. Fiction in 2017 and 2018.
Hornsby filmed additional photography for DP Ashley Connor on Josephine Decker’s Madeline’s Madeline, which was nominated for a 2019 Independent Spirit Award for Cinematography. American Cinematographer featured Master, the film she shot for Amazon Studios, in its “Sundance Standouts” for the 2022 Sundance Film Festival; the film also earned her recognition by BAFTA, which named her a 2023 BAFTA Breakthrough.
Most recently, she was the director of photography for The Good Mother, starring Hilary Swank.
In 2016, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte became one of the youngest winners at the Sundance Film Festival when As You Are won the Dramatic Special Jury Award. Shortly after, Joris-Peyrafitte directed Dreamland, starring Margot Robbie, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival to rave reviews and was bought and released by Paramount Pictures. He also directed the award-winning docu-short Brujas as well as the podcast Gaslight, starring Chloe Grace-Moretz. His latest film is The Good Mother, starring Hilary Swank, Olivia Cooke, and Jack Reynor.
Ross Katz is a producer, content creator, and filmmaker.
As a producer, he has twice been nominated for the Academy Award, for producing In the Bedroom and Lost in Translation, winning a Golden Globe for the latter. He has also produced Marie Antionette, and he was executive producer of Strange But True and The Laramie Project.
In 2009, Katz expanded into writing and directing with HBO Films’ Taking Chance, starring Kevin Bacon. He was the recipient of the DGA and WGA Awards, and Bacon won the Golden Globe for that film.
After producing 2019’s My Dinner With Hervé for HBO, Katz spent a year as head of production and development for SK Global.
Ross’s first job in the movie business was as a grip on Reservoir Dogs. In addition to Quentin Tarantino, he was lucky enough to have worked with Ang Lee, Oliver Stone, and Sydney Pollack, before starting his own filmmaking journey. He is a proud member of the Motion Picture Academy, the DGA, PGA, and WGA.
Rob Kim is a talent agent, producer, and head of literary acquisitions for Buchwald and Associates.
In the past, Kim started as a talent and packaging agent for literary and television at United Talent Agency. In addition, Kim served as the president of Bernero Productions for ABC television studios and for Foundation Artist Management as well. As a producer, his television credits include Trevor and the Virgin, Partners, and Life of the Party.
Sam Kitt is a writer, film producer, and development executive.
He has produced features for both film and television. Kitt is best-known for such features as Love & Basketball, The Best Man, 3 A.M., and Cherry, which was an official selection of the South by Southwest Film Festival. Kitt’s television producing credits include Good Fences, Sucker Free City, and Evil Has A Face.
As an executive, he was the president of Spike Lee’s production company Forty Acres and a Mule.
Anastas Michos, ACS works with bold confidence in every genre.
From lush period pieces, to sparkling romantic comedies, from electrifying thrillers to pulsating musicals, Michos brings to each of his films a strong style and dynamic look. His versatility is front and center in the kaleidoscopic musical drama Sparkle (2012); the breezy romantic comedy Jumping the Broom (2011); the ominous horror film Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D (2013); the relentless in-your-face camerawork of the FBI thriller Untraceable (2008); the gritty reality of the New York police drama Freedomland (2006); the lush period drama Mona Lisa Smile (2003), and the polished suspense thriller Perfect Stranger (2007).
Experience and artistry combine in his work with Hollywood’s leading ladies. Angela Bassett, Annette Benning, Halle Berry, Kirsten Dunst, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, Julianne Moore, Paula Patton, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, and Julia Stiles are a few of the women captured by his lighting artistry and appreciation of beauty in storytelling. Throughout his lengthy career, Michos has also collaborated with the industry’s top directors, among them, Danny DeVito, Stephen Frears, Milos Forman, Ron Howard, Neil Jordan, Kasi Lemmons, Mike Newell, Edward Norton, and Oliver Stone.
Before moving up to director of photography, Michos worked for more than a decade as one of the industry’s most respected and sought-after camera and Steadicam operators. He remains an active member of the American Society of Cinematographers, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Michos lecturers frequently at universities and workshops throughout the United States and Europe.
A village child with her nose always buried in a fantasy novel, Sonte’nish carries her love for genre and the heroic journey into her filmmaking. With roots in both the United States and Jamaica, her voice began to crystallize once she understood that she needn’t look any further than her places of origin and the people who loved her to find what was significant and lasting in filmmaking. From drama to sci-fi and fantasy, Myers centers worlds and characters familiar to her in hopes of continuing the legacy of the folktales she grew up with.
Since the success of her award-winning short Cross My Heart, a Vimeo Staff Pick and streaming on Showtime Anytime, Myers has garnered support for her feature scripts inclusive of fellowships with Sundance, Tribeca, and Film Independent. She is in late development of her Black List screenplay Stampede, a sci-fi/period film scheduled for production summer 2024.
A graduate of NYU’s graduate film program where she is now an adjunct professor, Myers is an omnivorous artist working across mediums. In the music video space, she has directed for Grammy-nominated artists such as Tank and the Bangas and Grammy Award–winning artists like Samara Joy.
With the support from Nikon and Black Women Photographers for her photography, Myers is also developing her debut audiovisual exhibition, Auntie.
Head of development and production at Storm City films, Gabrielle Nadig’s produced films include Little Woods; Standing Up Falling Down; King Jack; Lucia, Before and After; If You Were the Last; The Sunlit Night; and Outside the Wire, among others.
Prior to joining Storm City, Nadig was the executive producer at Buffalo Picture House, a Brooklyn-based commercial production company, where she produced and directed award-winning work for brands such as Gucci, Stewart Weitzman, HGTV, and IFC.
In 2019, she was a Film Independent Spirit Award Nominee for the coveted Producers Award. She was a 2013 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow, a 2016 Women at Sundance Fellow, and an alumna of the 2015 Rotterdam Producing Labs and the 2015 Cannes Film Festival Producers Network.
She received a B.F.A. in film and television, with a minor in producing, from NYU.
Galt Niederhoffer is an author, screenwriter, novelist, and film producer.
Niederhoffer has produced more than 30 indie films, 12 of which were selections and award-winners at the Sundance Film Festival, including the Audience Award, as well as awards for screenwriting, directing, and cinematography. Her films include Robot and Frank, The Kids Are Alright, The Romantics, and Grace Is Gone, among others.
She has written four novels, including The Romantics and Poison, published by St. Martin’s Press. She has also been published in Vogue, New York Magazine, Jezebel, Harper’s Bazaar, and The New York Times.
She has served as an adjunct film professor at New York University and Columbia. She attended The Chapin School, Milton Academy and Harvard University, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her three children.
Siena Oberman founded Artemis Pictures, a filmmaker-driven production company that focuses on stylistically bold films and female-driven stories. She was named in Variety’s Top 10 Producers to Watch, Forbes’ 30 Under 30, and Diversity in Cannes’ Top 10 Female Filmmakers to Watch. She has had feature films in Sundance, TIFF, Telluride, Venice, Berlinale, and Tribeca, and had films acquired by companies such as A24, Vertical, IFC, Screen Media, Universal, Lionsgate, Hulu, and eOne. She has worked with filmmakers such as Gia Coppola, and Oscar winners Sofia Coppola and Guy Nattiv. She has worked with talent such as Hilary Swank, Geena Davis, Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton, Kurt Russell, Ewan McGregor, Val Kilmer, and more. Before Artemis, Oberman was a development executive at Yale Productions and went to USC for business and cinema.
Her produced films include The Good Mother, Skin, Mainstream, Fairyland, The Birthday Cake, On Our Own, Alone at Night, and Crypto, among others.
Liz Orr is a TV literary agent for Buchwald and Associates.
She represents television and film writers and directors. In the past, Orr worked for UGA Talent, where she founded the TV Literary Department.
Richard Potter is a writer, film producer, and development executive.
He was a senior VP at Miramax as head of the story department at Dimension Films. While in that role, Potter oversaw such films as Scream, Teaching Ms. Tingle, The Faculty, and Nightwatch.
At Relativity Media, Potter was the executive VP of production and development. His executive producing credits include Mimic, Scream 2, The Prophecy, and Phantoms. Recently, Potter has produced Diciembres and Night of the Animated Dead.
Rodo Sayagues is a screenwriter, producer, and director.
His screenwriting credits include Evil Dead, Don’t Breathe, and Don’t Breathe 2, which he also directed. As a producer, Sayagues’ credits include Calls, Don’t Breathe 2, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Shintaro Shimosawa is a producer, writer, and director for film and television.
Shimosawa’s television credits include Fear the Walking Dead and Zoo, where he has also contributed as a writer. His producing credits include Calls, The Following, and The Ringer.
In addition, Shimosawa produced The Grudge, The Grudge 2, and The Echo, and he most recently completed production on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. As a writer, he has written for The 4400, The Dead Zone, Smallville, and The Hustle. He has also directed the feature-film Misconduct for Lionsgate.
Sofia Sondervan is a New York–based, Oscar-nominated film and television producer.
Sondervan is currently in prep on Richard by Darnell Martin (Cadillac Records), starring Jermaine Fowler. She most recently produced the Academy Award–nominated The Letter Room, by Elvira Lind andstarring Oscar Isaac, which has played at more than 100 festivals and is currently playing on Topic. She is an executive producer on the series Daylight, in development at Fox. Previously, she produced The Man Who Knew Infinity, starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons; London Town, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers; and Urge, starring Pierce Brosnan. Stella, the film she wrote and directed, is currently playing at festivals. Other productions include Bringing Up Bobby, directed by Famke Janssen (X-Men) and starring Milla Jovovich, and the History Channel series The Men Who Built America.
Prior to that, Sondervan headed up Sony Music Film, where she produced Cadillac Records (Sony Pictures), directed by Darnell Martin and starring Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright, and Beyonce Knowles, which was nominated for a Golden Globe and eight NAACP Image Awards, and won Best Picture at the Black Reel Awards. She also produced TriStar’s Feel the Noise, with Jennifer Lopez, and produced the award-winning feature films Party Monster, The King, The Hebrew Hammer, and Rick.
Sondervan teaches producing at the undergraduate and graduate film departments of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She is a member of NYWIF and the Producers Guild, and a member at large for the Producers Union.
Ari Tan is an entertainment industry veteran, with more than 12 years of experience.
Most recently, Tan served as head of strategy, International Studios at Paramount, where he oversaw the strategic direction and expansion of the international production unit with a footprint spanning more than 20 countries and 15 languages. He also served in senior strategy roles throughout Paramount’s major revenue-generating divisions, including Content Distribution, Ad Sales, Themed Entertainment, and MTV Entertainment.
Before his switch to entertainment, Tan worked in investment banking and private equity at various Wall Street institutions, such as Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and IFM Investors.
An alumnus of Cornell and The Wharton School, Tan is focused on building and expanding content-creation businesses at studios and production companies.
Kevin Tent, ACE has been a somewhat professional film editor in Hollywood for nearly 30 years. In fall 2020, Tent was proud to have been elected president of American Cinema Editors.
He is best known for his long-time collaboration with director Alexander Payne. Their first film together was on Payne’s Sundance hit Citizen Ruth, starring Laura Dern, followed by the critical hit Election, staring Reese Witherspoon (for which Tent earned his first American Cinema Editor’s nomination). Tent received his second ACE nomination for About Schmidt, starring Jack Nicholson, and his third for Sideways, starring Thomas Haden Church and Paul Giamati. In 2011 Tent was nominated for both an ACE and an Academy Award for his editing on The Descendants, starring George Clooney. He won the Eddie for best dramatic film of 2011. He was also nominated for an ACE award for his work on Nebraska in 2014 and worked with Payne on his most recent film, Downsizing, staring Matt Damon.
After attending Los Angeles City College’s film school, Tent got his first break working for legendary B-movie producer Roger Corman, cutting classic films like Emmanuelle 5 and Not of This Earth. While continuing to hone his skills in the throes of B-movies, Tent also tapped into the emerging U.S. independent film movement, cutting the underground hit Guncrazy, directed by Tamra Davis, and the above-mentioned Citizen Ruth, by Payne.
Some of Tent’s other credits include Ted Demme’s Blow, staring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz; James Mangold’s Girl Interrupted, starring Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie (Jolie winning an Academy Award for her performance); Disconnect, directed by Henry Alex Rubin; Welcome to Me, starring Kristin Wigg; and Parched, a foreign language film (in Hindi) by Indian director Leena Yadav. More recently Tent’s credits include Otherhood, from director Cindy Chupack, and The Peanut Butter Falcon, staring Shia LaBeouf and Zack Gottsagen. Tent has worked with director Barry Sonnenfeld on numerous projects, Nancy Meyers on The Intern, staring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, and Martin Scorsese on his short film The Audition.
In 2017 Tent made his directorial debut with the comedy Crash Pad, staring Domhnall Gleeson, Christina Applegate, Thomas Haden Church, and Nina Dobrev.
Chisom Ude is a creative executive.
She has worked in franchise management at DreamWorks Animation and at a boutique management company. Two years ago, she became an assistant to the president of production at Lionsgate, before getting promoted to her current role as creative executive, where she helps manage more than 20 film projects in development, including American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story.
Prior to working at Lionsgate, Ude worked on the trading floor of UBS Bank in London, and as an associate producer in unscripted development at BET Networks. She is an alumna of Princeton University.
Gary Ventimiglia is a talent manager and film producer.
Currently, he is a manager at Heroes and Villains Entertainment, a management and production company representing writers and directors that specialize in content creation for film, television, video games, comic books, and the internet. Ventimiglia was also a senior production executive for Madonna’s Maverick Films. His producing credits include Turn It Up, Choke, and Punisher War Zone. He also has produced The Wronged Man, which aired on the Lifetime Network.
Donal Lardner Ward is a producer, director, writer, and actor.
His acting career began with a role in Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan, followed by the film My Life’s in Turnaround (1993), which he co-wrote, co-directed, and co-starred in with Eric Schaeffer. Ward and Schaeffer, along with Efrem Seeger, created the sitcom New York Daze for the Fox Network. He directed and wrote the film The Suburbans (produced by J. J. Abrams), which he also acted in. In 2011, Ward and Schaeffer reunited for the sequel to My Life’s in Turnaround: They’re Out of the Business.
In addition, Ward was a staff writer for the HBO series How to Make it in America, produced by Mark Wahlberg. In 2018, he also directed the drama We Only Know So Much, co-written with Elizabeth Crane (based on her novel). In 2019, Ward was a writer/producer on the final season of The Affair (TV series) on Showtime.
Tod Culpan “Kip” Williams is a director, producer, and screenwriter.
He wrote and directed The Adventures of Sebastian Cole, which was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival. In 2004, Williams wrote and directed The Door In the Floor, which was adapted from John Irving’s A Widow for One Year. In addition, he directed the horror film Paranormal Activity 2.
As a producer, his films include American Loser and The Big Bend.