DOREEN BARTONI, Professor, Film & Video Department, has written, directed and produced award winning independent films that have been screened at numerous national and international festivals. In 2011 she was a visiting professor at Tongji University in Shanghai, China. Presently, she serves on the advisory committee of the International Digital Media Arts Association. She is currently developing Speranza, a feature film set in Italy and the American West, and researching contemplative approaches to education. She has taught and developed courses in film production, documentary and history/theory. She has an interest in interdisciplinary approaches to education and co-authored the innovative course in Space, Time & Arts. As the founding Dean of the School of the Media Arts (2001-2011), she was instrumental in the realization of the Media Production Center and oversaw multi-disciplinary initiatives in transmedia screenwriting, documentary, and the major in Game Design. She holds a graduate degree in film and an undergraduate degree in communications from Northwestern University.
CARI CALLIS Associate Chair, Associate Professor. M.A., University of Illinois at Chicago. Screenwriter, poet, novelist and editor for Another Chicago Magazine (ACM), an NEA funded literary magazine. Has worked on various film productions as a crew member and as a creative consultant. Published in Columbia Poetry Review, Chicago Arts and Communication, Wire and 58. She is currently Development Program Director.
MICHAEL CAPLAN Associate Chair, Associate Professor. Michael Caplan is an independent film director and teacher. He is an Associate Professor and an Associate Chair of the Film & Video Department. He oversees the Cinematography, Post Production and Production Design areas. His most recent film, A Magical Vision, is a documentary that spotlights Eugene Burger, a magician, philosopher, and guru of the magical arts. The film premiered at the Gene Siskel Theatre in Chicago in 2008 and recently won the Peoples Choice Award at the Spirit Enlightened Film Festival in June 2010 and had its international debut at the Global Cinema Festival in Indore, India. Caplan also directed Stones from the Soil, a personal documentary that showed on national PBS in 2005 through 2007. He is currently in production on Algren, a documentary that explores the life and legacy of Nelson Algren, the National Book Award-winning author of The Man with the Golden Arm and A Walk on the Wild Side. Caplan teaches documentary and narrative film production as well as creative producing classes.
KEVIN COOPER Assistant Professor. Kevin, a native of Toledo, Ohio, received his MFA in Producing from UCLA’s Film and Television Department. He coordinates the Producing Concentration. Mr. Cooper graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is an award winning filmmaker with years of studio and independent experiences. He was an Executive Producer on New Line Cinema’s Secondhand Lions (2003) starring Michael Caine and Robert Duvall and Lora starring Lucia Brawley (World Trade Center) directed by the award-winning Hungarian filmmaker Gabor Herendi (2007). In the Fall of 2009, Mr. Cooper served as a producer on the U.S-Chinese Co-Production entitled Once Upon a Time in Tibet, with Chinese filmmaker Dai Wei, which is scheduled to be released in late 2010.
RON FALZONE Associate Professor. Ron is an award-winning screenwriter and tenured member of the full-time faculty of the Film and Video Department of Columbia College Chicago. In addition, he is the host of two screening series: Talk Cinema in Chicago and Glenview and Cinema Slapdown at Columbia College. Falzone is a year 2000 recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship in Screenwriting, a 2006 and 2008 winner of the IAC Finalist Award and an eleven-time Artist in Residence at Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois. This summer, he co-produced and wrote Typing, a short comedy directed by Jack C. Newell and starring actor/writer and former Saturday Night Live regular Tim Kazurinsky and Steppenwolf Theater ensemble member Francis Guinan. Falzone holds a BA in Film from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University.
TOM FRATERRIGO Senior Lecturer. M.F.A. '97, Columbia College. Writer, script consultant, and director who has worked on both narrative film and dramatic stage productions. Documentary director for City at Peace, New York. Comedy feature screenplay 18th Hole co-written with faculty member Chris Swider, and historical feature screenplay, Huffman Prairie won Bronze and Gold Awards respectively at the Houston Worldfest International Film Festival.
CHAP FREEMAN Professor. M.F.A., University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. Has directed films in dramatic, documentary, educational and industrial formats. Documentaries on social ecology and children's prisons. Dramatic screenplays on transcendental science fiction and the midlife crisis in gay men. Research on Westerns, film noir, and the French New Wave. Taught the Visions Project, 1994-2000, a documentary training program for European students sponsored by Groupement European des Ecoles de Cinema et de Television. Chap is the North American Representative to the Executive Council of CILECT, the world organization of film and television schools.
KARLA RAE FULLER Associate Professsor. Ph.D. Karla is currently an Associate Professor of the School of Media Arts in the department of Film & Video at Columbia College Chicago. She teaches film history, aesthetics, script analysis and screenwriting in the undergraduate and M.F.A. graduate programs. She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University, M.F.A. from Columbia University in New York City and B.A. from Amherst College. Prior to teaching at Columbia College, Ms. Fuller held the position of Director of Feature Film Evaluation at Vestron Inc. which produced the hit movie Dirty Dancing among others. She was a freelance script reader for New Line Cinema, Miramax and various other production companies. She has been a jurist and judge for a number of film festivals and script competitions including the Student Film Competition of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the National Black Film Consortium, Evanston Arts Council, the Illinois/Chicago Screenwriting Competition and the Cinestory Student Scholarship Screenwriting Awards. Her research interests include racial and ethnic representation in Hollywood films, postwar Japanese cinema and authorship studies. She has presented her work at film conferences both nationally and internationally. She is also published in numerous film journals and has published an essay in the anthology, Classic Hollywood, Classic Whiteness, on the representation of the Japanese in Hollywood films during World War II. She is currently under contract by Wayne State University Press for her manuscript, Hollywood goes Oriental: CaucAsian Performance in American Film and by University Press of Mississippi for editing a book based on the interviews of award winning director Ang Lee.
JULIAN GRANT Assistant Professor. Julian is an award-winning filmmaker with twenty- nine feature films to his credit. A published author, fine-art photographer and acclaimed digital artist, Julian Grant's work can be seen worldwide on both cinema screens, television, independent forums and on the internet. As an independent writer, producer and director he has created numerous short films and music videos and continues to develop new media showcases, transmedia events and pedagogical strategies. An advocate of visual effects and emerging technologies, Julian Grant is a digital cinema evangelist.
TED HARDIN Associate Professor. After receiving his M.A. from Florida State University in German Film Studies and an M.F.A. from the Ohio State University in Film and Video, Ted Hardin worked with a variety of artists at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Ohio and the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada as director of photography, director, editor, lighting director, and assistant director. He has collaborated with the alternative media collective Paper Tiger Television in New York, researched and shot the documentary, Dark Near-Death Experiences for German Television. Ted's own experimental narratives and movement-based films have shown at festivals and galleries throughoutthe U.S. and Europe. For the last decade, he has been collaborating with his partner Elizabeth Coffman on experimental shorts and documentaries. Their past efforts include the feature documentary about Bosnia One More Mile: a Dialogue on Nation-Building and the short video and installation Long Distance. Recently they have been working on another short, Digital Afrika, and a feature documentary about wetland loss in Louisiana, Veins in the Gulf.
KAREN LOOP Assistant Professor. Ms. Loop has nearly 20 years experience as a Los Angeles based feature film producer. Her feature credits include: Outlander (Weinstein Co.) starring Jim Caviezel and John Hurt; Five Days Til Midnight (SyFy Channel) a five day mini-series with Timothy Hutton; Secondhand Lions (New Line) starring Michael Caine and Robert Duvall; and Frailty (LionsGate) starring Matthew McConaughey in which actor Bill Paxton made his directorial debut. Before striking out as an independent producer, she worked in development for Academy-award winning producers at Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios, often reading up to 700 screenplays per year. Before arriving in Los Angeles, she worked in physical production in New York City, directed several music videos, and worked on Emmy-award winning documentaries and public affairs shows for Boston television. She has a B.A. in Communication Studies from UCLA and a MFA in Film Production from NYU.
SUE MROZ, Senior Lecturer, Film& Video Department, is an award-winning filmmaker and Senior Lecturer in the Film & Video Department. Prior to Columbia, she was Program Director of the Chicago International Film Festival and worked as an actor and filmmaker in Chicago with Wild Life Theater and Rococo Rodeo. She has an MFA in Film and Video from Columbia College Chicago, and studied extensively at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. Her areas of specialization are mythology, dreams, and the psychology of creativity. Classes taught and/or created include Project Development, PreProduction and Preparation; Myth, Dream, and Movie; Directing 1; Adaptation; and Creativity: Vision and Process. She was instrumental in the creation of the department’s new Foundations program. Her current areas of exploration are painting, photography, and puppetry. Sue is the 2011 recipient of Columbia's Excellence in Teaching Award for Full-Time Faculty, see profile. She is currently the Screenwriting Coordinator.
CAROLINA POSSE EMILIANI, Lecturer, Film & Video Department, A Colombian native, Carolina has exhibited films in Manchester, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Gaberone, Botswana. Some of her credits include Hot Chili (2004), The Quiet (2006), Path of Least Resistance (2006), and Little Green Men (2010). She's served on the juries of the Sundance Institute, Independent Television Service, and Latino Public Broadcasting. April 2007 marked her 7th year with the Chicago Latino Film Festival, culminating as Interim Film Festival Director of the 23rd edition. She is co-director and founder of Mostra: Brazilian Film Series in collaboration with Partners of the Americas, a diplomatic volunteer international organization. Carolina is currently developing a graphic novel called The Francis Ellis Mysteries and she is Lecturer in the Film & Video Department at Columbia College Chicago.
DAN RYBICKY Assistant Professor. (B.A., Vassar College; M.F.A., New York University) photographs and videos will be on display through 2010 at Chicago's Intuit Center for Outsider and Intuitive Art as part of an exhibit he co-curated titled Almost There: A Portrait of Peter Anton. Dan is currently filming a documentary about the project and recently received an Art and Technology Residency from the Wexner Center for the Arts to assist in the editing and post-production. Dan has worked in various capacities for Martin Scorsese and John Sayles and his interview with director Karyn Kusama was recently published in an anthology titled Filming Difference. On campus, Dan is a regular contributor to Columbia's “Cinema Slapdown” series. He most recently debated Former Governor Rod Blagojevich over the merits of Viva Las Vegas.
MEHRNAZ SAEED-VAFA Professor. M.F.A., University of Illinois at Chicago. She is an award winning filmmaker, screened at major international film festivals. Her films include, "Ruins Within", "The Silent Majority", "A Tajik Woman", "Saless, Far from Home". Her most recent project is "A Different Moon". She has published numerous of articles on Iranian cinema and the book, "Kiarostami", co-written with Jonathan Rosenbaum (2003). She has been the Artistic Consultant of the Festival of Films from Iran, at the Gene Siskel Film Center Chicago since 1989.
ZORAN SAMARDZIJA Assistant Professor. Zoran received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His primary research explores post-communist East European and Balkan Cinemas in order to address the socio-political ramifications of European unification. He has published several articles and reviews, which include an analysis of Andrei Tarkovksy’s Nostalghia, the use of historical and national myths in the films of Theo Angelopoulos, representations of exile and migration in cinema about the Balkans, and David Lynch’s embrace of the Internet and digital video. In addition, he has articles forthcoming on pedagogical strategies for introducing students to communist and post-communist East European and Balkan Cinemas. Before arriving at Columbia he taught courses at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Facets Multimedia. He teaches a wide variety of courses on cinema, such as surveys of national cinemas, authorships courses, representations of sadism and violence, film theory, and introductions to film aesthetics.
BRUCE SHERIDAN Chair, Professor. Mr. Sheridan has been Chair of the Film & Video Department since 2001 and is a leader in the move to redesign film and media education for the 21st century. He has 30 years experience directing, producing, and writing drama and documentary for the screen and teaches all of those disciplines. He won the 1999 New Zealand Best Drama Award for the tele-feature Lawless. In 2006 Kubuku Rides, a short film he produced with Tim Evans and Steppenwolf Films, was recognized as Best Narrative Short at Memphis IndieFest. He is currently developing a feature film set in New Zealand and Peru called Hunting Daniel and researching imagination and creativity as they relate to artistic development and expression. He holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in philosophy from the University of Auckland (New Zealand).
DON SMITH Associate Professor. M.F.A., Columbia College. Co-founder and coordinator of Semester in LA. Independent filmmaker, producer and editor. He is the producer of the international co-production, feature film Threads (Khait Errouh) which was written and directed by Hakim Belabbes and was an official selection of the Venice Biennale. He also is the postproduction supervisor for Peter Hunt Thompson's epic documentary, Moviemento. He was the Director of Photography for Birgit Rathsmann's documentary Grit and Polish which examines the Hong Kong film industry. His current projects include development for Finding Farris, a palestinian-american comedy and he is in production on a year in the life of an Indiana high school girls' basketball team. He is the photographer for Soups of France, Chronicle Books, 2002.
JOSEF (JOE) STEIFF Associate Chair, Professor. Joe has an M.F.A. from Ohio University. A former licensed social worker creating films, installations, performance and written work that reflect his interest in the ways that people struggle to make personal sense out of random, impersonal events; his work has been exhibited in the United States, Europe and Asia; films include the award-winning short experimental narratives Catching Fire and Borders; educational documentary How Will I Tell? Surviving Sexual Assault; line producer for Korean MBC Television’s More Beautiful Than A Flower; general crew on Michael Moore’s Roger & Me and Wendy Weinberg’s Academy Award nominated documentary Beyond Imagining; sound installation artist for the first major exhibition regarding HIV in the United States, AIDS: The Artists' Response, and writer/performer of the critically acclaimed one-man show Golden Corral; books include The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Independent Filmmaking, Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy: Mission Accomplished or Mission Frakked Up?, Anime and Philosophy: Wide Eyed Wonder and Manga and Philosophy.
DAVID TARLETON Assistant Professor. M.F.A., Cinema-Television, University of Southern California. An award-winning producer, director and editor, David has created programs for Sony Pictures, The Muppets, SyFy Channel, Walt Disney Pictures, Fox, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, Tokyopop, Mattel, Universal, Warner Brothers, Baby Einstein, Showtime and more. He is executive producer, director and editor of the new media comedy series Dorkumentary, starring Adria Dawn, and was editor of the Webby Award-winning Muppets series Statler and Waldorf From The Balcony, for Disney. His breakthrough film as producer/director/editor, the gothic fairy-tale Dinner, premiered at Slamdance, played on the SyFy Channel, and was released on DVD. David produced and edited the award-winning feature documentary What Babies Want, narrated by Noah Wyle, and its follow-up Reducing Infant Mortality. He produced and edited a series of documentaries for Sony Pictures, as well as serving as senior editor of The Pat Kilbane Show for Comedy Central. Besides making numerous films, series, commercials and trailers, David also produces and directs theatre, as well as being an accomplished musician, graphic artist and writer. Before joining the faculty at Columbia College, David worked in Hollywood for 14 years and taught documentary production at UCLA.
WENHWA TS’AO Graduate Program Director, Associate Professor. Born and raised in Taiwan, Republic of China, Wenhwa Ts’ao is an award-winning filmmaker whose work has received numerous grants and scholarships such as Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, Kodak Faculty Award and Chicago Community Arts Assistance Program. Her short films have been showcased in US, France, China, Romania, Mexico, Ecuador, Africa and the Netherlands international film festivals. Wenhwa is in pre-production on a dramatic feature about human trafficking titled Snakehead. The project has been selected for the Emerging Narrative program during New York’s IFP’s Independent Film Week and won 1st Place in the Feature Screenplay Competition in Las Vegas International Film Festival, 2nd place in Woods Hole International Film Festival, Finalist in the Canada International Film Festival Write Brother Feature Length Screenplay competition, Cinema City International Film Festival and New Hampshire International Film Festival. Wenhwa is in development on a feature script inspired by the historical looting of the Silk Road Buddhist Treasure from 1885 to 1925, and a sci-fi film about a coming-of-age thirteen-year-old cyborg girl.