Meet Our Team 2021

Pearl Gluck, Founder / Artistic Director
Gluck’s work has been part of the Sundance Lab, Cannes, PBS, and won prizes such as Best Actor, Best Film, Best Debut Feature and Best LGBT Short at festivals worldwide. Her first documentary feature, Divan (2004) opened theatrically at the Film Forum in NYC and premiered on the Sundance Channel. Her award-winning fiction feature, “The Turn Out,” as well as her short films, “Summer” and “Write Me” are currently screening at festivals. She continues to make both doc and narrative films that explore themes of faith, class, and gender. She teaches Screenwriting and Directing at Penn State University.

Curt Chandler, Co-Founder / Utility Infielder
Curt Chandler lives in a century-old home in Philipsburg, which serves as his base of operations as a teacher and visual storyteller. His day job is at Penn State University, where he is an associate teaching professor in the Bellisario College of Communications. Work by his students has been featured in film festivals and journalism competitions across the country.

Cassie Ross Green, Managing Director
Cassie (KayCee) is an interdisciplinary filmmaker. Her career kicked off as a Coordinator in Worldwide Promotions for Miramax & Dimension Films (The Weinstein Company), then independently as a producer, writer, director, and editor with numerous productions and filmmakers. Returning to her roots in Pennsylvania, she lectures screenwriting and film production at PSU University Park. Her most recent directing adventure is a 1980’s short film 814.

Catharine Axley, Programming
Catharine Axley is an independent documentary filmmaker whose most recent film, ATTLA (2019), aired nationally on PBS’ Independent Lens series and is screening as part of the American Film Showcase through the U.S. Department of State. Her films have been awarded prizes at the American Indian Film Festival, Anchorage International, and BendFilm, among others, and have screened at festivals including the San Francisco International Film Festival, DOC NYC, Heartland International Film Festival, Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour, and the United Nations Association Film Festival. She is currently a 2021 Fall Logan Nonfiction Fellow and teaches at Penn State University.

Kevin Hagopian
Kevin’s been teaching film in college since he was 20 years old- and he’s loved the movies since he was a lot younger than that. He teaches film studies at Penn State, where his research specialties include the Hollywood cinema and the colonial & post-colonial cinemas of the world.  He’s very proud to work with the Centre Film Festival team to bring the art, the ideas, and the community of film to Central Pennsylvania.

Gabby Sumney, Programming
Gabby Sumney (Any Pronouns) is an experimental media artist who makes films, videos, prints, and expanded cinema works that explore issues of race, migration, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ability status. Gabby is also an Assistant Professor of Film Production at the Pennsylvania State University and the creator of This Week in Experimental, a weekly newsletter focused on providing resources to experimental artists seeking creative, intellectual, and exhibition opportunities.

Yermiyahu Ahron Taub, Programming
Yermiyahu Ahron Taub is a poet and writer in English and Yiddish and a Yiddish translator. He is the author of two books of fiction, Beloved Comrades: a Novel in Stories (2020) and Prodigal Children in the House of G-d: Stories (2018), and six volumes of poetry, including A Mouse Among Tottering Skyscrapers: Selected Yiddish Poems (2017). Yermiyahu’s most recent translation from the Yiddish is May God Avenge Their Blood: a Holocaust Memoir Triptych by Rachmil Bryks (2020). Please visit his website at https://yataubdotnet.wordpress.com

Tannaz Amin, Art and Design
Tannaz is an Iranian visual artist and graphic designer, based in State college. She is a first year MFA student in Photography at Penn State University. Creative graphic designer with strong record of creating impactful visual communications that build identity and engage customers and audiences.

Morgan Seiff, Art and Design
Morgan is a Pittsburgh-based writer, filmmaker, and recent graduate of Penn State’s Film Production program. She spent her summer teaching film at a camp in the Poconos, and she’s excited to return to the CFF team this fall.

Adrienne Waterston, Ad Hoc Web Guru
Adrienne Waterston is an artist, graphic and web designer, entrepreneur, and film buff living and working in State College, PA. Adrienne teaches a Photoshop & InDesign class at Penn State, is building an app, does freelance work and is starting a community art space/print shop/ceramic studio/coffeeshop with her partners Lynn Anne Verbeck & Melissa Heartsong in Philipsburg PA.

Will Yurman, Photographer
Will is a photojournalist and documentary filmmaker and an associate teaching professor in the journalism department at Penn State. His photo project, A Day a Photo, at WillYurman.com, is in its 18th year, with nearly 6500 consecutive days of photos.

Heather Baumgarten, Hospitality
Heather is the President of State College Hadassah and serves on the Advisory Board of Chabad of Penn State. She is also a member of The Centre County Hope Initiative.

CommAgency

Michelle Bixby, CommAgency Faculty Supervisor
As Penn State University Marketing’s photographer, Michelle captures the essence of Penn State through visually compelling images. She also oversees the Photo Division of the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communication’s student-run media agency, CommAgency, where she educates and guides photography students. Michelle is a proud Penn State alumna with a bachelor’s degree in communications with a photojournalism emphasis. Prior to coming to Penn State, she worked as a photographer at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa., and The Citizen in Auburn, N.Y.

Lily LaRegina, CommAgency Faculty Supervisor
Lily is the student executive, as well as a staff photographer, in the Photo Division of CommAgency, the student-run media production agency in Penn State’s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, where she leads the division in their photography work for Penn State University clients. She also serves as photo editor at The Daily Collegian, the independently published student paper and news outlet at Penn State. Academically, she is a senior majoring in Photojournalism with minors in Spanish, Sociology, and Global and International Studies. Her visual storytelling experience has grown through her summer 2020 internship with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s photo department and in her seasonal work as a member of Friends of Acadia’s Acadia Digital Media Team in 2021.

Bill Zimmerman, CommAgency Faculty Supervisor
Bill is a lecturer in the Advertising/PR program in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. He’s also the faculty supervisor of the social media division in CommAgency, Penn State’s student-run creative agency.

Lia O’Leary, CommAgency, Social Media (Student)
Lia is a fourth-year at Penn State University majoring in Public Relations. She is also a public speaking tutor with Penn State Learning and a member of CommAgency’s social media division within the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications.

Johanna Pitner, CommAgency, Social Media (Student)
Johanna is a second-year Public Relations major at Penn State University. She is a member of CommAgency’s social media division and also a part time artist and photographer for her own business, RoseyArt. She has a passion for event planning, social media, and anything involving the arts/fashion industry.

Brian Urvater, CommAgency, Social Media (Student)
Brian is a fourth-year at Penn State University majoring in Public Relations. He is a member of CommAgency’s social media division and a social media ambassador for LFG Penn State. He is also a member of PRSSA, and is enthusiastic about social media, communications, and sports related content.

Meet Our Student Team

Liliana Bauman
Lily is a first year student with an intented major of Digital Arts and Media Design as well as a concurrent major in Film Production at Penn State University. She is a part of animation club and spends a lot of her free time creating art whether it be creating digital content, acting, or painting. She is super thrilled to be getting involved in the industry and cannot wait for the projects ahead.

Anabel Chui
Anabel Chui is a first-year at Penn State University studying Advertising. Anabel is thrilled to get hands-on experience, with the opportunity in developing her production and management skills.

Lucas Meyer

Lucas Meyer is a first year at Penn State University majoring in Film Production. Lucas is ready to get experience in screenwriting and directing for a career in filmmaking.

Shreya Narsinghani
Shreya Narsinghani is a first-year Film Production major at Penn State University. She is eager to explore every aspect of her major, especially screenwriting, and is thrilled to be a part of the Design and Planning committees for the Centre Film Festival. Shreya hopes to study-abroad in Spain next year and always loves a good dad joke.

Jessica Snyder
Jessica Snyder is a Senior at Penn State University, double majoring in Digital Art & Media Design, and Film Production. She plans to use the experience and skills gained within her majors to one day obtain a career in Motion Graphics and Animation. As early as her freshman year, Jessica has involved herself in many extra-curriculars across campus. Jessica works as tour guide for Lion Scouts and the Arts Ambassadors, sharing her love for Penn State with prospective students and their families. She is also the Vice President Alpha Rho Chi, the professional fraternity for Architecture and the Allied Arts, in addition to being the Primary THON chair for her Tap Dance organization. Most recently, Jessica co-founded and became the President of The Animation Club at Penn State and directed the inaugural Happy Valley Animation Festival.

Abby Tarpey
Abby is a sophmore studying Film and Photography, from Altoona, PA. After discovering art at a young age, she became passionate about visual storytelling, focusing on narrative and documentary production.

Hayley Weber
Hayley is a first year at Penn State University where she studies Film Production. She hopes to screenwrite and direct in her future with film.

Hyeongjae Jang
Hyeongjae Jang is a first year at Penn State University majoring in Telecommunications and Media Industries. Hyeongjae is eager to be a part of the film/media industry in the future. Also, he is working with the social media and press release department for Centre Film Festival.

Natalie Leslie

Natalie Leslie is a first-year at Penn State University. Natalie is majoring in Journalism with a minor in Political Science and is thrilled to begin gaining experience in this field.

Caitlyn Marconi
Caitlyn Marconi is a first-year attending Penn State University. She’s majoring in Advertising and Public Relations and cannot wait to gain experience and learn more about the field.

Brady Noone
Brady Noone is a first year at Penn State University studying film production. Brady is excited and honored to be apart of such an expansive and wonderful industry.

Cearra O’Hern
Cearra O’Hern is a first year student at Penn State University studying Journalism. O’Hern is excited to dive head first into the energetic world of Journalism working behind the scenes at Centre Film Festival.

Maggie Scanlon
I am a Penn State first year student majoring in Film Production in the Bellisario College of Communications. I am from Easton, Pennsylvania.

Kylee Waller
Kylee is a first year student double majoring in Broadcast Journalism and Theatre Studies. She is involved in SInging Lions, No refund theatre, Thespian Society, Ohana benefitting thon, as well as PSNTV. She is excited to gain more experience in the world of communication, specifcially in the world of Broadcast Journalism and would love to thank Pearl and Cassie for this incredible opportunity.

Davis Yoshitani
Davis Yoshitani is a first-year Advertising and Public Relations major at Penn State University. WIth a passion for advertising, Davis loves to work with people and find out what makes them click.. pun intended!.