David Desser, Ph.D.

David DesserDavid Desser, Ph.D.

Dean of the Akira Kurosawa School of Film

Dr. David Desser has taught at the University of Southern California (USC), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, Kansai University in Japan, Hong Kong Baptist University and the University of Illinois where he is Professor Emeritus of Cinema Studies. He received his Ph.D. from USC in the Cinema program with a minor in Japanese. As Dean of the Anaheim University Akira Kurosawa School of Film, Dr. Desser oversees the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Digital Filmmaking.

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Vikram Channa, Masters in Film & Television Production

Vikram ChannaVikram Channa, MA, Masters Film & Television, MBA

Associate Dean of the Akira Kurosawa School of Film
Film Professor

Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific Vice President of Production and Development, Vikram Channa serves as Associate Dean of the Anaheim University Akira Kurosawa School of Film. Vikram, who in addition to having a Masters in Film and Television Production and a Masters in History, earned his MBA from the University of Chicago and brings strategic thinking to the film set and innovation to the classroom. At Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, he is responsible for the production of all original Disco...

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Lily Alexander, Ph.D.

Lily AlexanderLily Alexander, Ph.D.

Dr. Lily Alexander is the author of the book on film and screenwriting, Fictional Worlds. She completed two doctoral programs at the University of Alberta, Canada in “Modern Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies: Emphasis on Film Narratology, Visual Semiotics, Theories of Culture” and “Anthropology: Emphasis on Communication, Storytelling and Performance.” A recipient of international academic fellowships and awards, she has been teaching screenwriting, film, literature, folklore, media, and communication for fifteen years, including the last ten years at New York University and City U...

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Ryan Daniel McKinney, MFA

Ryan McKinneyRyan Daniel McKinney, MFA

Ryan Daniel McKinney is an award-winning director and producer based out of Los Angeles, CA. His narrative films have screened at festivals in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Kansas City, Orlando and Melbourne. He has directed numerous music videos in multiple genres and languages, as well as fashion lifestyle and brand videos and product commercials. Ryan graduated with distinction from National University’s Master of Fine Arts in Digital Cinema program.

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Raphael Raphael, Ph.D.

Raphael RaphaelRaphael Raphael, Ph.D.

Carrie Hamilton Entertainment Institute Director
Film Professor

Raphael Raphael (Ph.D., University of Oregon; MFA, Plymouth University; Masters, Teachers College, Columbia University) is a film and media scholar who also lectures at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. His work frequently looks at making connections between genre, culture and disability. His most recent book, Transnational Horror Cinema: Bodies of Excess and the Global Grotesque (2017), with Sophia Siddique, looks at intersections of the horror genre, disability and trauma across borders. Other writing includes Transnational Stardom: International Celebrity in Film and Popular Culture (2...

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Billy Budd Vermillion, Ph.D.

Billy BuddVermillionBilly Budd Vermillion, Ph.D.

Billy Budd Vermillion earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011. His dissertation examines the influence of Marxist humanist thought and the legacy of Socialist Realism on art films produced in East-Central Europe between 1956 and 1981. He has also published articles on silent romantic comedy and on the nature documentary “Microcosmos.” He has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ripon College, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Northwestern University.

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