Having had one walk-on part in her parents’ television series I Love Lucy and on Lucille Ball’s second TV series The Lucy Show, Arnaz made her first acting appearance in a continuing role in the series Here’s Lucy from 1968 to 1974. She played Kim Carter, the daughter of the eponymous Lucy – who was played by Arnaz’s real-life mother, Lucille Ball. She also briefly had a series of her own, The Lucie Arnaz Show, in 1985. She has also had a lengthy career in musical theater. In the summer of 1978, she played the title role in “Annie Get Your Gun” at the Jones Beach Theatre on Long Island, NY. This was the first production at Jones Beach Theatre after the death of longtime producer Guy Lombardo. She made her Broadway debut in 1979 in the musical They’re Playing Our Song. Arnaz won the Theatre World Award and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Sonia Walsk in the show. In 1986, the won the Sarah Siddons Award for her tour with Tommy Tune in the international company of the musical My One and Only. She has numerous other theater and musical credits both in the United States and abroad, including roles in Seesaw, Annie Get Your Gun, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, The Guardsman, The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True, Sonia Flew, The Witches of Eastwick, Vanities, Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Terence McNally’s Master Class. Arnaz has also made some feature film appearances, the most prominent of which was 1980’s The Jazz Singer, in which she co-starred with singer Neil Diamond and renowned actor Laurence Olivier. She earned a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe nomination for her work in the film. She won an Emmy Award in 1993 for her documentary Lucy and Desi: A Home Movie.
President and Vice President of MPS Studios Dallas
With over 30 years providing exceptional service to clients worldwide MPS is a full-service facility offering 65,000 square feet of sound stages, equipment, and support staff. MPS provides standard packages or custom orders for the production of motion pictures, documentaries, industrial films and television commercials. MPS prides itself on not only focusing on providing the friendliest, most comfortable atmosphere and the most functional facility imaginable, they aim to give their clients the best rental experience possible. With over 20 specialists and trained technicians on staff to service each job from pre-production to deliverables, MPS has the knowledge and expertise to support their client’s projects like no one else.
Director, Dallas Film Commission
Janis Burklund has been active in the local film and television production market since 1982. She has been promoting and marketing the area since 1997 when she first started as project manager with the former D/FW Regional Film Commission. With the inception of the Dallas Film Commission in October 2002, she was again hired as the project manager, and then named director in October 2003. In her positions with the film commissions, she has acted as a liaison with area cities on filming policies and procedures, advocated for better understanding of the impact of the industry and benefits of local participation, handled location requests and referrals, worked with production crews and vendors, and actively marketed the area’s strengths to studios, producers, and location scouts.
A native of Dallas, Michael Cain graduated from the American Film Institute with a Master in Fine Arts – Producing. He has produced and executive produced over 20 feature length films for cable television, working with directors such as David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) and Christopher Taylor (The District) and cinematographer Wally Pfister (Academy Award Nominee for Batman Begins and The Prestige). As President of Deep Ellum Pictures, Cain produced and directed TV Junkie winning the Special Jury Prize, 2006 Sundance Film Festival, and the Governor’s Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Science (The Emmy® Awards). Following that success, he launched the educational program TV Junkie: Faces of Addiction which won an AVA Award and has been nominated for a Prism Award. He is both the Co-founder ad former President, CEO, and Artistic Director of DALLAS Film Society and the DALLAS International Film Festival, one of the nation’s 20 largest international film festivals. He is a principal in the Trinity Diversified Film Fund Advisors. He is also currently in production on The Starck Project.
Blake is an award-winning filmmaker who has successfully directed both feature films and web originals including the Streamy and Webby winning hit series Pink, also Continuum, 88 Hits, and TheWB.com’s Exposed. Pink has been viewed nearly 10 million times since it premiered in late 2007. Calhoun is also an extremely versatile director, rarely working within the same genre. He has directed dark comedy, action, mystery, sci-fi, drama and even physical comedy. As well as directing, Calhoun often writes, produces and edits his projects through his production company Loud Pictures. It was formed in 1997 to produce high quality film and television content at a fraction of the cost of the typical Hollywood productions. Loud Pictures has multiple projects in development including a Warner Bros. TV pilot and several feature film scripts.
KD Studio Alum
Julio holds an Associates in Applied Arts Degree in Acting Performance. Julio co-starred opposite Tommy Lee Jones in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, an award winning movie at the Cannes Film Festival. He co-starred opposite Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Banderas in Gregory Nava’s film Bordertown. Starred as Oscar Perez in Killing Down. His other feature film credits include On The Borderline opposite R. Lee Ermey, Billy Bob Thornton’s All The Pretty Horses, Alan Parker’s The Life of David Gale, Reginald Hudlin’s Serving Sara with Vincent Pastore, and Luke & Owen Wilson’s cult classic Bottle Rocket. On the small screen, Cedillo’s credits include a regular as Travis Del Rio on the Emmy Award winning PBS series Wishbone, about a literature-loving canine. He has co-starred opposite George C. Scott on ABC’s movie of the week Finding The Way Home, as Lt. Herrera on TNT’s Two for Texas with Kris Kristofferson, and CBS’s The Legend of Cadillac Jack opposite Clint Black.
Rondi Hillstrom Davis
As an independent costume designer with 25 years of experience, Rondi Hillstrom Davis is renowned for her work in film, television, and theatre. Her credits include projects for Disney, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Miramax, NBC, ABC, CBS, and PBS. Her creative talents include designs for celebrities Gene Hackman, Jean Claude Van Damme, Shelly Winters, Robert Mitchum, Geraldine Page, Jimmy Smits, Patti LaBelle, Harry Connick Jr., Tyne Daly, Doris Roberts, and Stephen Dorff. In addition to film and television, Rondi is recognized for her costume designs throughout regional theatres and Shakespeare Festivals around the country. Rondi graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from SMU and later served on the faculty for five years as an assistant professor of theatre. She has also taught at The University of Dallas Theatre Department and KD Conservatory Conservatory of Film & Dramatic Art. Rondi is a member of the Costume Designers Guild local 892, TAFTP, TXMPA and WIF.Dallas, where she served as program director. She also serves on the grant review committee for the Dallas Women’s Foundation. In addition, Rondi is an accomplished publisher and co-author of the award winning book, Together: Creating Family Traditions.
Film & Television Producer and Unit Production Manager
Joe has worked in the film industry for over 30 years. His feature film line producer and unit production manager credits include: The Mothman Prophecies, A Simple Plan, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Evening Star, Houseguest, and The Big Green. He produced the independent feature film Ninth Life, which his long time friend, Ken Harrison, wrote and directed. His television credits include: Starkweather, Murder in the Heartland, Two for Texas, When the Time Comes, The Ghost Whisperer, The Good Guys, and the 2012 pilot and TV series, Dallas. He was a founding member of the weekly newspaper The Austin Chronicle. Dishner serves on the advisory board of the Dallas Film Society and the Lone Star Film Society in Fort Worth. He is a member of the Texas Motion Picture Alliance and the Directors Guild of America.
Terry Dobson – “In Memory of”
Terry had been a member of the Theatre Three’s Artistic Staff since May 1980. He served as T3’s Musical Director and Company Manager. Terry directed and accompanied the longest running stage production in Dallas theater history – Theatre Three’s production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change! He also directed and/or accompanied many of the critically acclaimed Theatre Too! Productions. Myths & Hymns, First Lady Suite, Elegies: A Song Cycle, The Big Bang, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, Flaming Guns The Purple Sage and Songs From an Unmade Bed are among his favorites. Terry has performed with The Dallas Theater Center, Casa Manana, Lyric Stage, FMPAT, Theatre Arlington, The Philadelphia Theater Company and The Red Barn Theater in Key West, Florida. Terry won a Leon Rabin Award and is the recipient of numerous “Column Awards”. As an actor, Terry has appeared in T3 productions of Sylvia, Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music, Beyond Therapy, Death Defying Acts, God’s Man in Texas, Dirty Blonde, Glorious! and Duets. Mr. Dobson wrote and performed an autobiographical cabaret piece titled My Own Private Diva, which won the DFW Theatre Critics Forum Award for “Best New Play of 2006” and a Column Award for “Outstanding New Work by a Local Playwright”. Terry was also the Director of the Turtle Creek Chorale’s small group ensemble, ENCORE!
Russell K. Dyer
Russell is the Managing Director and Resident Lighting Designer for The Contemporary Theatre of Dallas. Russell comes to CTD with the completion of hundreds of performing arts productions from the live event management and technology side of the performing arts industry. He attended the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico where he received a BFA in Theater Technology with specialization in Light Design. Russell have worked professionally Off-Broadway as a lighting designer, production electrician and assistant technical director. Upon his return to Dallas in 2000, Russell continued his award-winning theatrical freelance design work in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana and New York City. Russell worked as the Performing Arts Coordinator/Technical Director at The Bath House Cultural Center and assumed the role of Managing Director of the Festival of Independent Theatres for seasons 8-10. Mr. Dyer has worked as a theatrical facilities equipment and design consultant, and is celebrated as “one of Dallas’ best theatrical lighting designers” (D Magazine).
Barak earned a degree in Radio, Television, and Film from the University of North Texas and afterwards moved into independent film production, distribution and Film/TV technology sales and consulting. As film producer, Barak has completed five feature films, which have played at film festivals throughout the world and have international distribution. Recent films include Blood on the Highway, which was released internationally in 2009, Earthling, which premiered at SXSW and Wuss; SXSW 2011, AFI Fest 2011. Barak also works as a senior production consultant at Videotex Systems and has several start-up ventures in various stages of incubation including Film Out Releasing, an alternative independent film distribution company, and Texas MicroCine, a co-op and resource for small format filmmaking in North Texas. Barak started Aviation Cinemas in 2010 as a cinema exhibition firm that has revitalized the historic Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff as an operating movie theatre and event space.
Dallas Film Society Artistic Director
James Faust began as the Senior Programmer at the Society’s inaugural 2006 AFI DALLAS Film Festival. A graduate of Cinema Studies at SMU following Telecommunication/Theatre degrees at Texas Tech University, Faust began his film career as a grip on Armageddon and the locally produced television series, Walker Texas Ranger. After working his way up to being a commercial producer, Faust started a local production company for which he won a local Emmy. One of the founding members of the Deep Ellum Film Festival, Faust held the positions of Associate Programmer, Managing Director, and Programming Director during that festival’s seven-year run. Instrumental in the formation of AFI DALLAS and the Dallas Film Society, Faust has also served as a programmer with the Asian Film Festival of Dallas, The Austin Film Festival of Austin and the Texas Black Film Festival of Dallas. He was honored by that festival as Filmmaker of the Year in 2009. Faust has served on juries and panels all over the world speaking about film festival management, programming and marketing. He resides on the Board of Directors for Arts Fighting Cancer. Faust loves his family. Loves film. Loves Dallas. Wants you to stay in school.
Ernest Z. Frausto
Film & Television Executive
Ernest began his career with Arthur Anderson & Company, where he served as Senior Manager of North Texas Media and Entertainment Practice. Since leaving Arthur Anderson, he has served as Executive President and CEO of Film Dallas Pictures (responsible for financing, producing, and/or distributing thirteen feature films including Academy Award winning films, The Trip to Bountiful and Kiss of the Spider Woman; COO of Los Angeles-based Apogee Productions, which combined creativity and technology to produce special visual effects for scores of major television and motion picture projects, including Star Wars; as Corporate CFO of Lyric Corporation, and most recently, as President of The Lyons Groups, producers of the children’s television show Barney.
Sylvia Gill is director of the Kim Dawson Agency’s Talent Division, which is the premier talent agency in the Southwest. She is regarded by her peers and associates as an influential leader, who has played a vital role in the growth of the film and broadcast industry in Dallas for the past 30 years. On the national level, Sylvia has pioneered the concept of the agency’s master videotape and audio compact disc, which are essential promotional tools for the agency. During the early years of her association with the Kim Dawson Agency, she served as an agent for the fashion and print division. She also assisted in the production of fashion shows at the International Apparel Mart in Dallas for companies, such as Monsanto and Dupont. She has been elected president of the Dallas Communications Council, and she has served on boards of the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, Association for the Preservation of Talking Pictures, and the Irving Arts Board.
Scott Hadden has been a force in the Texas film/video industry for many years. After graduating from UT Austin in 1975, Hadden worked at KERA-TV on Austin City Limits, then at 36 NBC-TV, before helping to build Third Coast Video in Austin. Moving to Dallas in 1981, he directed the Roger Staubach Cowboy Football Show for Channel 21 Productions. In 1983, along with partner Joe Manganello, he formed HaddenManganello& Associates and brought “Entertrainment” to corporate communications. In 1990 as VP of Development & Production for Lessonware, Hadden led the team producing the Study Game, a series of educational programs blending the motivation of big name athletes (Magic Johnson to Chris Evert), the experience of celebrity academics (Dr. Bob Ballard to George Plimpton), and good common-sense study skills. Hadden’s current company Film & Video Direction, formed in 1993, specializes in corporate communications and TV commercials. FVD has produced training and/or marketing videos for companies such as Mary Kay, Texas Instruments and Nortel. Hadden is twice past-President of the Dallas Producers Association and was on the Board of Directors from 1987-2008. He has also served on the board of the DFW Regional Film Commission and the Dallas Communication Council.
TRACY JORDAN has gained a wealth of experience working in the
entertainment industry for thirty years in national and regional tours, circus,
cruise ships, dinner theater, cabaret, night clubs, commercials, voice overs and
industrial shows from coast to coast. He was featured in 42ND STREET with
Tammy Grimes, SUGAR BABIES with Mickey Rooney and Juliet Prowse, in
touring companies including JESUS CHRIST SUPER STAR and FIDDLER ON
THE ROOF with Herschel Bernardi, and with Donald O’Connor at the Las Vegas
Hilton. Mr. Jordan has appeared in a number of Las Vegas shows including the
lead role in the world famous FOLIES BERGERE, and emcee for numerous
events at major hotels in Las Vegas.
As Executive Director of the DSM High School Musical Theatre Awards, Mr.
Jordan is excited to put the spotlight on promising new talent in Dallas. Under his
leadership, the program has become the second largest in the U.S. As Director or
Production and Operations for Dallas Summer Musicals, Mr. Jordan participated
in development of touring shows for the largest non-profit arts group in the
southwest and supervised management of the Music Hall at Fair Park and the
Majestic Theater in Dallas and the Dallas Summer Musicals School of Musical
Theater. For over two years, he served as Facility Manager and acting General
Manager for the historic Majestic Theater while it has played host to widely varied corporate and entertainment events
from Jay Leno to Condoleeza Rice. Mr. Jordan also serves on the Board of Directors of the Dance Council of North Texas.
Creative and choreography credits include Lyric Stage in Irving, TX , Lyric Opera of Dallas, tap choreography for Mr. Donald O’Connor at the Las Vegas Hilton, Super Summer Season at Spring Mountain Ranch in Las Vegasr the Ft. Worth Opera and numerous industrial shows; contributing choreographer for Sitmar Cruises and Bill Moore Productions, Las Vegas. Mr. Jordan was a member of the producer’s development core group for CAESARS MAGICAL EMPIRE at Caesars Palace, a member of the “inaugural crew” of STAR TREK, THE EXPERIENCE at the Las Vegas Hilton and as a founding member and lead trainer, he was intimately involved with the implementation and operation of the SINGING GONDOLIER attraction at the Venetian Resort/Hotel in Las Vegas. He has also been involved in the opening of the Venetian Hotel, the Bellagio Hotel, and MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park in Las Vegas. Mr. Jordan has worked as a consultant for MGM/MIRAGE RESORTS, the Dance Council of North Texas and Leisure and Recreation Concepts, Inc., an international design and development firm for theme parks and themed attractions. Since 2013 Mr. Jordan has served as head of tap faculty for Ballet Conservatory of Lewisville, TX.
Tracy Jordan served as the Area Liaison for Actors Equity Association in Las Vegas and was intimately involved in the development of the Casino Contract; an important factor in the resurgence of book musicals in Las Vegas. He has been active in production and development aspects of live theatrical entertainment and themed attractions.
As Vice President of Marketing & Development for Gondola Adventures, Inc., of Newport Beach, CA, Mr. Jordan has been instrumental in creating the largest gondola operating company outside Venice, Italy, working with developers and government entities to develop gondola operations in locations across the country.
Mr. Jordan holds a B.A. in Human Relations and Business from Amberton University, an Associates degree from Mountain View College in Dallas and attended Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Arlington as an undergraduate in public relations. He has given master classes in dance and theater movement at the University of Texas at Austin, Southern Missouri State University, Southern Methodist University, and has served on the dance faculty of Mountain View College and Richland College in Dallas, Dance Educators of America, and Dance Interim in Michigan. Mr. Jordan is a recipient of the prestigious Dance Council of North Texas Mary Bywaters Cochran Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to dance. Mr. Jordan’s students have also appeared in a number of major Broadway and Las Vegas shows and international tours.
Ken Harrison has received numerous awards from the USA Film Festival, the San Francisco Film Festival and the American Film Institute for his work on documentaries and short films. Mr. Harrison studied at Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute and received critical acclaim for his direction of Horton Foote’s 1918 and On Valentine’s Day. He wrote and directed the independent feature film, Ninth Life and is a director of the PBS children’s series, Wishbone.
President of Ken Heckmann Productions
Ken’s career spans the fields of television, advertising, as well as industrial, dramatic, and documentary films. As an independent producer and director, he has been the recipient of numerous awards, including an Addy and Clio award, as well as an Award for Outstanding Creativity from the U.S. International Film Festival, Cine Golden Eagle from the Washington Council on International Non-Theatrical Events, Gold Camera Award from the U.S. Industrial Film Festival, Bronze Award from the International Film & TV Festival, and the Backstage Award for producing and directing the Nation’s Best Public Relations Film.
Rick Jaffa began his entertainment career with the William Morris Agency in the literary department where he was involved in the packaging of Mask, The River, Robo Cop and Mrs. Soffel. Currently an independent writer/ producer, Mr. Jaffa produced the feature film The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, which was written by his wife Amanda Silver. Together Rick and Amanda co-wrote the Paramount film, Eye For An Eye, starring Sally Field, Keifer Sutherland and Ed Harris. Rick recently wrote and produced the box office smash hit Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, starring James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto.
James M. Johnston
James is a filmmaker from Fort Worth, Texas. He was recently awarded a Creative Producing Fellowship by the Sundance Institute. His work as a producer includes the award winning films St. Nick and Pioneer, which won Best Narrative Short at SXSW. He also produced Tom Huckabee’s 2010 feature Carried Away and co-produced Yen Tan’s award-winning 2008 film Ciao, which was distributed theatrically by Regent Entertainment. In addition to filmmaking, Johnston is a vegan chef and operates two successful restaurants with his wife, Amy McNutt. He and Amy are also in the process of opening Fort Worth’s first art house cinema, The Citizen Theater.
Janis has lived and worked as a writer throughout the USA and in Europe. She has served as Director of Publicity and Publications for Caldwell College as well as created a successful freelance writing and design business, working on a wide array or projects from script consulting to jazz interviews for industry publications, film festival program guides to scripts. She graduated with honors from SMU with a BFA in playwriting. Currently she is a writing consultant to an independent film producer, freelance writes print and web materials as well as video scripts, and sits on the Advisory Boards of Lone Star Film Society and KD Conservatory. She is a published poet and short story writer and two of her plays have been produced.
Russ Jolly is owner of 214 Media and a fifth generation Texan. He’s a graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts and has enjoyed a 25-year career in creative storytelling. In the past dozen years, Russ has produced, directed, written, shot & edited over 300 corporate marketing and industrial films for companies across the nation such as Cisco, Humana, Charles Schwab, Hotels. com, HSBC, Tenet Healthcare, Infinera and Mission Foods. From ’84-’98, his NYC-based theatre career included work on Broadway, off-B’way and in regional theatres around the country as a Director, Writer and performer.
Larry Luckinbill was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas, the son of Agnes (née Nulph) and Laurence Benedict Luckinbill. He graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1956 and The Catholic University of America in 1958. He starred in the 1976 Broadway play Poor Murderer. He portrayed Spock’s half-brother Sybok in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989). He also appeared in The Boys in the Band, reprising the part of Hank, which he originated on stage. Other film appearances include Such Good Friends, Cocktail, and The Promise, and he has been seen in numerous television shows, including Law & Order, Barnaby Jones and Murder, She Wrote. His acting career has also included writing and directing. He has written and performed in several one-man shows including, “Hemingway”, “Teddy”, “An Evening with Clarence Darrow”, as well as, “Lyndon”, which he didn’t write, but has performed numerous times, including a schedule at the LBJ Museum in Austin, Texas, where Lady Bird Johnson was one of those in attendance. He narrated the documentary Moonwalk One which has recently been restored and re-released.
Melina McKinnon holds a MBA in Finance from SMU and focuses her efforts in film on production and finance. She developed the FilmanthropyConcept which utilizes traditional and philanthropic business practices to produce and exhibit Movies with a Mission through M3 Films, the production company she co-founded in 2003. In 2011 McKinnon founded the Trinity Diversified Film Fund Advisors which will provide capital to the film industry via a diversified film fund format. Since 1999 McKinnon has been instrumental in the creation and production of 15 film festivals in North Texas and California, including Deep Ellum, Santa Monica and the DALLAS International Film Festival. She has served as consultant to the Lone Star Film Society and as Director of Development for the Dallas Film Society. As Executive Director of Arts Fighting Cancer, she and Michael Cain co-founded the Cancer Relief Fund which provides direct financial relief to cancer patients. She is also currently in production on the Starck Project.
Danny Ohman, with a degree in Communications from the University of New Mexico, landed the position of Production Manager for Bob Bain and Greg Sills Productions. Ohman worked on multiple TV specials including Billboard Awards and Teen Choice Awards. He was fortunate to work with Aerosmith, Justin Timberlake, Clint Black, Tony Bennett and Jennifer Lopez. Ohman went on to work with all the top networks including Discovery, NBC, ABC Family, CBS and ABC. As Co- Executive Producer, he developed and produced the pilot Discover America for Fremantle, (American Idol). SiTV, the first English speaking Latino cable network, hired Ohman to line produce seven original television shows. Quickly promoted to Executive in Charge of Production, he produced over 400 hours of original content, including The Drop, nominated for a prestigious Imagen award alongside HBO and Comedy Central, a major milestone for an independent startup network. Ohman is currently VP of Production for YouToo Media, where he oversees all original content and network re-branding for the YouToo Cable Network. Ohman also recently produced the satirical web series, Suck and Moan which looks at a zombie apocalypse through the eyes of vampires. Before YouToo, he served as the Senior Director of Business Development at iBallz.com, an online studio for content collaborators.
Don Powers is the Musical director in residence at Theatre Arlington. Mr. Powers holds a BS in Theatre and MA in Music from Stephen F. Austin University. In addition to his duties at Theatre Arlington, Mr. Powers has worked in other Regional theatres including Stage West and Fort Worth’s legendary Casa Manana. Through the 1970’s Mr. Powers was the principal keyboardist for Don Ho, both live and on TV. He has also written and produced 14 children’s musicals.
Chita Rivera, an accomplished and versatile actress/ singer/dancer, has won two Tony Awards (Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Rink) and received six additional Tony nominations. She recently starred on Broadway in the revival of the musical Nine with Antonio Banderas. In December, 2002, she received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in Washington, DC. Ms. Rivera created the role of Velma Kelly in the original Broadway production of Chicago opposite Gwen Verdon (1975) and appears in the film version. Chita starred in the London, Las Vegas and Toronto productions of Chicago The Musical. Her recent starring roles include the new Kander/Ebb/McNally musical The Visit (Goodman Theatre) and The House of Bernarda Alba (Mark Taper Forum). Chita trained as a ballerina (age 11) before receiving a scholarship to the American School of Ballet from the legendary George Balanchine. Her first appearance (age 17) was in the chorus of Call Me Madam. Her electric performance as Anita in the Broadway premiere of West Side Story (1957) brought her stardom, which was repeated in London. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie and Jerry’s Girls (original Broadway casts), Chita Rivera: A Dancer’s Life, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven and Mr. Wonderful. On tour: Born Yesterday, The Rose Tattoo, Call Me Madam, Threepenny Opera, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me, Kate, Zorba, and Can-Can with the Rockettes. Chita played Nicky in the film version of Sweet Charity.
John Schrimpf, a native Texan, attended Highland Park High School and college in Fort Worth at both TCC and TCU. Heavily involved in the Forth Worth music scene, he discovered a passion for photography and began his media career in 1974 with local Dallas TV stations. After eight years of directing, editing, sports photography and news gathering, Schrimpf left to start a freelance career in 1982. Wanting to launch an off-line editing business, he felt the technology was about to change, so to develop a better business base, he took a “temporary” job in 1984 with Victor Duncan Inc., a local production equipment rental company and a Panavision agency. Over 25 years later he is basically still there as the General Manager of Panavision Dallas and the VP of U.S. regional operations with offices in Houston, New Orleans and Orlando. Schrimpf works tirelessly to incentivize Texas filmmakers to keep business in Texas and lobbies the Texas Legislature to keep Texas competitive; he is a valued Board Member of TXMPA. He has served on the Texas Comptrollers Advisory Board and he serves the same function with the Dallas Film Commission. He is involved in the creative process of filmmaking by getting the proper tools in the hands of the filmmakers and by realizing that this is a continual learning exercise, as the process of filmmaking is ever evolving.
Bill Schwarz, in his 30-year career in the industry, has worked in various capacities behind the camera. His work has screened at film festivals including the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, and he has participated in festival panels as well as taught film seminars. His work as a Director of Photography includes numerous commercials, music videos, and feature films. A working professional based in Dallas, he embraces the traditions of filmmaking honed over 100 years of history while fully embracing the evolving methods of high-end digital acquisition. He is a Board Member of TXMPA.
Buff Shurr is currently the Director in Residence at Garland Summer Musicals for the past 30 years. Mr. Shurr comes to Texas from New York where, as a performer, he originated roles on Broadway in Carnival, Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd and Off Broadway, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Finian’s Rainbow. On television, his performing credits include, The Jackie Gleason Show, The Perry Como Show, The Steve Allen Show and Firestone Theatre. As a Director in New York, Mr. Shurr has countless TV shows, Industrials, Dinner Theatre productions and Operas to his credit.
Marilyn Burton Seeberger
Marilyn Burton Seeberger, having served as president of the Southwest Chapter of the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, the Dallas Communications Council, and Women In Film/Dallas, has been an influence on the evolution of the film, video, and advertising industries in the Southwest and nationally. She has served as Vice President of Broadcast Production with the Bloom Advertising Agency prior to beginning her career as an independent producer and director. Her work includes national campaigns, music videos, and award winning films for corporate and non-profit groups.
Don Stokes is president of Post Asylum, a founder & president of TXMPA, past president of DPA, board member of Dallas Film Society and a very active member of the Texas production community for over 35 years. Don has produced award-winning films and videos in the documentary, commercial, and corporate sectors, running the gamut from script and project development, supervision and selection of production teams to budgeting and cost control. As Producer, Writer, and Director, his work has taken him to numerous international locations and rewarded both he and his clients with awards and recognition. He’s a graduate of SMU’s Radio, Television and Film program and credits include Executive Producer of the Sundance/HBO-Films documentary TV Junkie, the Starck Project and the feature film The Playroom.
Amanda Stone holds a B.F.A. in Theatre and Dance from University of Texas Austin. She was the first person worldwide to receive a grant from Federal Republic of Germany for study and performance in Berlin. After dancing in Los Angeles with Dramatic Dance Ensemble, she became artistic director for Dance Wyoming! with the mission to bring live dance and music to rural areas. Amanda’s choreography credits include Amity Singers in Hollywood, Oregon Shakespearean Festival and Longview Community Theater. With Zoe Artz Projects, she produced tributes to American composers William Grant Still and Leo Sowerby on the 100th anniversary of their births.
Fred has a BA from Fairfield University, an MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts and postgraduate study at the American Film Institute and New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. Strype is an award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker whose work has been screened and honored internationally. Head of Raindance Pictures, he heads up the Filmmaking/New Media Arts Program at Sarah Lawrence College, in Bronxville, NY where he is also a Professor of Screenwriting. As a faculty member in the Graduate Film Division of Columbia University, his alma mater, he taught screenwriting, film history and theory. Strype is a former Executive Director of the Irving Texas Film Commission in Dallas/Ft. Worth. He recently won the Grand Prize at the Nantucket Film Festival, The Showtime Tony Cox Award in Screenwriting and was also a 2008 member of the Nantucket Screenwriters Colony. He lectures nationally and is a screenwriting juror and panelist at the Austin Film Festival where he won an award in 2002. Strype has developed projects for companies such as: Columbia/Tristar/Sony, Lifetime, MTM Productions, Family Channel, FX, Alliance/ Atlantis, Turman-Foster Productions, James Manos Productions and FX.
A former professional model and actress, Ms. Townsend formed the Jackie Townsend Agency in 1981, which during her ten years in business, was recognized as one of the most successful talent and modeling agencies in the Southwest. Ms. Townsend was noted for her ability to help talent she represented to identify their personal qualities, find a niche in the business, and realize their potential by setting their goals accordingly. She now utilizes those same abilities as an executive recruiter in the corporate arena, and she continues to provide career guidance to those in the entertainment industry.