Alison Marek 



ALISON MAREK (MFA, New York University) is an award-winning writer and director who's combined words and images professionally since she was in her late teens. Her short films have played in festivals around the world and aired on cable TV. Her writing and directing have won grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Showtime Networks, Inc., been nominated for a Los Angeles Emmy Award, and received a Gold Aurora, Bronze Telly, and other awards and nominations. She's produced shorts, features, and TV. She also built and ran the video department at an online magazine, where she shot and edited thousands of videos. Her graphic novels "Desert Streams" and "Sparrow" were published by Piranha Press, an offshoot of DC Comics.

David Desser

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.

Billy BuddVermillion

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.

Ryan McKinney


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.

Vikram Channa

Associate Dean of the Akira Kurosawa School of Film
Film Professor

Vikram Channa serves as Associate Dean of the Anaheim University Akira Kurosawa School of Film. In the professional industry, as Warner Bros. Discovery Networks Vice President and Head of Content & Products for East and South East Asia, Vikram Channa leads all Discovery content, productions, broadcasts, and curation for the region. Since joining Discovery in 1995, he has taken on various roles within the company from on-air promotions to programming and production. Together with his team, he executive produced over 1,200 documentaries, several of which garnered accolades at events such as the Asia Television Awards, New York Festival, Omni Intermedia, and the Academy Awards. In addition to having a Master’s in Film and Television Production and a Master’s in History, he earned his MBA from the University of Chicago.

Raphael Raphael

Carrie Hamilton Entertainment Institute Director
Film Professor

Raphael Raphael (Ph.D., University of Oregon; MFA, Plymouth University; Master's, 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 (2013) with Russell Meeuf and contributions to the Encyclopedia of American Disability History. He currently serves as Associate Editor of Creative Works and Multimedia for the Review of Disability Studies. Raphael's work on pedagogy also includes writing on teaching film and disability studies in Modern Language Association's Teaching Film (2012) and social media learning in Let's Get Social: The Educator's Guide to Edmodo, with Ginger Carlson (2015). He has coordinated and directed educational technology programs with institutions in Asia, Europe and the United States. His scholarship in film, technology and media is also informed by his own practice as transmedia artist, and he has exhibited his work, including augmented reality and found footage installations as well as short films, in the United States and Europe. He is currently working on a book making connections between disability studies and film studies. Dr. Raphael tweets on issues in film and technology @raphaelspeak.

Doug Montgomery

Undergraduate Instructor

Douglas Montgomery has over 20 years of experience as a leading entertainment business developer. He served for 13 years as the Vice President for Category Management at Warner Bros. in Burbank, where he worked with key Warner Bros. retailer partners around the world as a strategic advisor. Clients included Amazon, Walmart, Microsoft, Sony and others. Mr. currently works as CEO for the media consultancy firm, Global Connects. He has an International MBA from the University of Southern California. He also lived in Japan for 12 years and remains active in the Japanese community in Los Angeles as a Board of Director for the Japan-America Society of Southern California.

Eric Van Hamersveld

Undergraduate Professor

For over 30 years, Eric Van Hamersveld has been involved in all creative, technical and business phases of the entertainment industry. He has been an animator for Warner Bros. Studios, J. Ward Productions, and Hanna Barbara Studios. His credits include: “The Pink Panther,” “Road Runner,” “Speedy Gonzalez,” “George of the Jungle,” and numerous TV series and commercials. As an Imagineer for the Walt Disney Company, he produced visual special effects for EPCOT, Disneyland, and Tokyo Disneyland theme park projects. He has created children’s games and direct-to-videos for Mattel Toys, Fisher-Price Toys, and McGraw/Hill Publishers, and he has both written and illustrated several children’s books. Mr. Van Hamersveld has a BFA Degree in Television & Film Production from Texas Christian University, and he is a member of the ASIFA Educators Forum (the International Animation Film Society). For 10 years, he taught animation for the Art Institute of California, and he is now a Senior Animation Instructor for the University of California San Diego and the John Paul the Great University. He also conducts intensive Video Production Workshops for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.