Meet Our Guests

Geoff O’Gara | HOME FROM SCHOOL — 11/2, 7pm
For over 20 years, Geoff worked for Wyoming PBS as on-camera talent, writer, and documentary producer. Currently, he is the President of Caldera Productions, an independent documentary film company, that tells stories rooted in the American West. His productions have won a variety of prizes, including a Heartland Emmy and National Educational Television Association (NETA) nomination for The State of Equality (2019), Ferret Town (2019), Heartland Emmy award for best documentary Will Rogers & American Politics (2011), and NETA’s top prize for documentary Alan K. Simpson: Nothing Else Matters (2012). Geoff is also the author of several books, one of which, “What You See in Clear Water” (Knopf), is about the Wind River Reservation, and won the Spur award for best nonfiction from the Western Writers of America. He is a former editor of High Country News and is published in many national publications. Home From School is Geoff’s third feature documentary that he has directed with Caldera Productions. 

Lyle Kash | DEATH AND BOWLING — 11/3, 7pm
Lyle is a queer white American transgender filmmaker. In 2018 he formed T4T Productions, a collection of artists committed to putting trans people in front of and behind the camera lens. Kash wrote and directed his debut film, DEATH AND BOWLING, with an almost entirely transgender cast. 

CJ Russo | LADY BUDS — 11/4, 7pm
CJ’s award-winning films have screened all over the world, including the Sundance Film Festival, and have been broadcast on Showtime, PBS, and Netflix. She is a 2018 fellow of the Sundance Institute/Women In Film Financing Intensive and a fellow of Film Independent’s Director and Screenwriters Labs.

Sabrina Doyle | LORELEI — 11/5, 6pm
Sabrina is a writer and director based between Los Angeles and London. The late Sir Alan Parker called Sabrina’s work “refreshingly intelligent, serious and lyrical.” Her directing work has been supported by Women in Film LA, the Chimaera Project, Google, Panavision, and BAFTA Los Angeles.

Stephen Paar | LORELEI — 11/5, 6pm
Stephen is a Los Angeles-based DP and member of the International Cinematographers Guild. He received his Master’s in Cinematography from the American Film Institute in 2012. Stephen has lensed over 200 shorts, music videos, commercials, dance videos and web series.

Joshua Leonard | FULLY REALIZED HUMANS — 11/5, 8pm
Meet Joshua Leonard, co-director of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (1999), screening his latest feature, FULLY REALIZED HUMANS. Raised in State College, PA, Joshua Leonard is an actor, writer, and director. He will share his film knowledge and get up close at the festival about his work.

Lili Bordan | ONE NIGHT ONLY — 11/6, 1pm
Lili was born in NYC to a Hungarian parents and is a citizen of both the US and EU. She has acted in over 50 independent and studio projects including roles in FBI: International, Westworld, and Book Club. “One Night Only” is Lili’s directing debut. She wrote, produced, and directed it while pregnant with her first child, daughter Clio, after whom she named her production company: Clio Pictures.

Patrick Fabian | DRIVER X — 11/6, 1pm
While most know Patrick Fabian from BETTER CALL SAUL, we know him as a Penn State alum—and his mother was an usher at the Rowland Theatre. Meet Patrick after the screening of DRIVER X, as he gets up close about his acting career.

Daneeta Loretta Jackson | HOMELAND/WETLAND — 11/6, 3:30pm
After graduating with distinction from the London Film School, Daneeta & Patrick Jackson worked in film in London making short form content. In New Orleans, they formalized their partnership by founding ElekTrik Zoo Films, Inc., the umbrella under which they make films, work and sundry. 

Erica Eng | AMERICANIZED — 11/6, 5:30pm
Erica Eng is a fifth-generation Chinese American director based out of Los Angeles. Inspired by her Oakland roots, Erica creates work that reflects the diverse community in which she grew up. Her combined background in film and dance influences the rhythm and energy behind her emotional storytelling. Through her character-driven films, she creates stories that explore themes of cross-cultural relationships, acceptance and self-discovery.

Sami Khan | THE LAST OUT — 11/6, 5:30pm
Sami is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker whose work has been supported by the Sundance and Tribeca Film Institutes, Impact Partners, Rooftop Films, IFP, the Berlinale, and NBC/Universal’s Directors Fellowship.

Michael Gassert | THE LAST OUT — 11/6, 5:30pm
Michael is an immersive producer, director, sound artist, and musician who revels in the diversity of our global treasures while working at the intersections of film and music. 

Marco Baldonado | TOTO — 11/6, 8pm
Marco Baldonado is a Directorbased in Toronto, Canada. He graduated from the Image Arts program at Ryerson University in 2013 and since then has worked on a number of productions. Marco is the Writer and Director of TOTO. Today, Marco continues to create heartfelt films that are fun to watch.

Lisa Hurwitz | THE AUTOMAT — 11/6, 8pm
Lisa is currently a communications consultant working primarily with food brands and restaurants. She lives in New York City. THE AUTOMAT is her debut film.

Ida Jogler | KILI BIG — 11/7, 12pm
Ida is a filmmaker, editor and video installation artist from San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 2009 she relocated to New York City, where she completed her Master’s in Photography, Video and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts. 

Alana Waksman | WE BURN LIKE THIS — 11/7, 2pm
Alana is an Ashkenazi writer, director, producer, and first generation descendant of Holocaust survivors from Poland. She is an alum of the USC School of Cinematic Arts MFA in Film & Television Production, and Connecticut College BA in Theater and English.

Ted Passon | PHILLY DA — 11/7, 4pm
Ted is an award-winning director and video artist. He has directed episodic series for Netflix and Disney. He is a 2016 Sundance Lab Fellow, a recipient of the Pew Foundation Individual Artist Fellowship Grant, and a 2016 Headlands Artist in Residency. 

Michael Craven | THE CHAIR
Join Penn State alum and cinematographer Michael Craven with DJ Harder, as they get up close about their camera work on Netflix’s THE CHAIR and various other projects in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Michael Craven is a State College local.