David Desser, Ph.D.

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.

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Vikram Channa, Master's in Film & Television Production

Vikram Channa

Associate Dean of the Akira Kurosawa School of Film
Industry Expert

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, ...

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Alison Marek, MFA

Alison Marek 

 

Carrie Hamilton Entertainment Institute Co-Director / Professor

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 e...

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Dallas King, MFA

Dallas King

Carrie Hamilton Entertainment Institute Co-Director / Professor

Holding an MFA in Directing / Production from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Dallas King is an award-winning director, producer and experienced film instructor. Dallas has directed, written, and produced, and completed two feature films, KISS KISS, a hyper-stylized action thriller that premiered in Los Angeles and is available on every major platform including Amazon and iTunes. Following this, INK & RAIN, a sci-fi fantasy feature premiered in Beijing, China and is exclu...

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Henryk Cymerman, MFA

Henryk Cymerman

Professor

Henryk Cymerman was born in Poland and immigrated to New York in his mid-teens. He moved to Jerusalem to study sculpture at Bezalel Academy of Fine Arts and Design. Henryk discovered his interest in film through his exploration of mixed media art which prompted him to pursue his Masters in film at Tisch School of the Arts. After graduation, he made the transition into feature films as a Director of Photography and earned a spot in the International Cinematography Guild. In 1993, he moved with...

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Robert Jones, MFA

Robert Jones

Professor

Robert Jones has been teaching and making award-winning films for over 50 years. He has an MFA in Film Producing from UCLA, as well as an MS in Film Production and a BA from Boston University. He has taught film at Loyola Marymount University and California State University Northridge, in Los Angeles, and at the University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL. His films can be seen at vimeo.com/manage/videos/410748357

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Raphael Raphael, Ph.D.

Raphael Raphael

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 ( ...

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Ryan Daniel McKinney, MFA

Ryan McKinney

Professor 

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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Firdosi Wharton-Ali, MFA

Firdosi Wharton-Ali

Professor 

Graduating from UCLA with a BA (Political Science with a specialization in American Politics), Firdosi Wharton-Ali followed that up by becoming a member of the inaugural class of the Certification in Screenwriting Program, UCLA. Later, she obtained her MFA (specialization in Screenwriting) from the prestigious UCLA School of Theater, Film, Television, and Digital Media where she was awarded The APA Marty Klein Comedy Writing Award for outstanding comedic writing. Upon graduation, she optioned her first script to Mark Morgan (Executive Producer of The Twilight Series). Later, she secured a p...

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Douglas Montgomery, MBA

Doug Montgomery

Undergraduate Instructor / Industry Expert

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...

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Eric Van Hamersveld

Eric Van Hamersveld

Undergraduate Instructor / Industry Expert

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-Pri...

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