Keith Howell

Keith Howell has been an editor/publisher in United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan and United States. He has been involved with magazines in science (Physics Teacher, Technical Education, Oceans), travel (Hong Kong Guide, Sawasdee), fashion (SF Moda), environment and culture (Whale, Pacific Discovery, California Wild, Napa Valley)and has contributed articles to many more. His publications have won many awards, including Best West Coast Magazine (Oceans). He is the author of East Asia Guide and Brush of the Cat. Howell has been a consultant and lead judge with the selection committee for the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival. He is also a world traveler, often learning the culture by working as an English teacher in many of the countries he visits. He has a Master’s degree from Edinburgh University.

Nicolás P. Villarreal

Nicolás P. Villarreal was born and raised in La Plata, Argentina. He studied at the Escuela of Animacion y Cinematografía de Avellaneda where he earned a degree in 2D Animation. While studying animation he was taken under the wing of Miguel Alzugaray, a well-known fine artist from Argentina. He continued studying animation and fine art painting until he entered the Master’s Program at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Villarreal graduated with honors in the Spring of 2002, and since then he has been working as a traditional animator, character designer, sculptor and Visual Development artist for films and video games including Walt Disney Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment, Jim Henson Studios, Sega, Digital Domain and Amazon Studios among others. He has given presentations at Pixar Animation Studios, Stanford University and several universities in South America and Europe as well as a TEDx talk. Nicolás is the co-founder of Red Clover Studios as well as the Director of the Visual Development Department at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he shares his experience with his students. Nicolás P. Villarreal – IMDb”

Birnbaum, Jeremiah

Founder/CEO of San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking

Film Director, Producer, Screenwriter

A native New Yorker, Jeremiah has worked as a director, producer, screenwriter, editor and educator in filmmaking for over twenty-four years. In addition to his work with FilmSchoolSF, Jeremiah is the President of Fog City Pictures, one of the most prolific feature film production companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. In the last seven years, Fog City Pictures has developed and produce a variety of feature films and documentaries which have screened at dozens of festivals around the world and gone on to be released in theaters, on DVD, VOD, and iTunes. Fog City Pictures has a reputation for working with San Francisco’s most talented filmmakers, cast and crew, as well as for bringing in talent from Los Angeles and New York City.

Most recently, Jeremiah directed and produced the award-winning feature film, TORN. Released in theaters across the country in October 2013, TORN has received much critical praise including rave reviews from The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter and the San Francisco Chronicle.

As a producer, Jeremiah has worked with many accomplished filmmakers, including Academy Award winners Barbara Kopple and Leon Gast, as well as Cannes & Sundance-winning filmmaker, Rob Nilsson.

As an educator, Jeremiah co-developed FilmSchoolSF’s unique production-based curriculum and teaches many of the classes in directing, producing and screenwriting. He first became involved in education while teaching editing and media literacy to teenagers as part of the Urban League of Newark, New Jersey’s summer program.

Jeremiah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Philosophy from Wesleyan University and attended the filmmaking program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Jan Yanehiro

Jan Yanehiro co-hosted Evening Magazine, a pioneering television program in San Francisco that ran for 15 years on CBS5. In search of a good story, she bungee jumped, sky dived and climbed a frozen waterfall in Colorado. Currently, she is the Founding Director of the School of Communications and Media Technologies at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She has hosted 6 documentaries on the internment of Japanese Americans and has won several awards including an Emmy, the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award and the Girl Scout’s Woman of Distinction. She serves on Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation and the SF-Osaka Sister City Association.

Jonathan Fung

Dr. Jonathan Fung teaches film production and film theory classes at Santa Clara University in the San Francisco Bay Area. He also serves on the Cinequest Film Festival Jury and the Windrider Bay Area Film Forum steering committee. Fung is an accomplished filmmaker and video artist. His video installation work encompasses a wide range of U.S. and international exhibitions, including: a collaboration with Nam June Paik (the father of video art) for Electronic Super Highway at the Holly Solomon in New York City; the Doek exhibition where his film Een Nauwe Poort (A Narrow Gate) was screened outside the canals of Amsterdam on 17th century ship sails; the Snow Show exhibition at the Venice Biennale; I Eat, Therefore I Am exhibited at the San Jose Museum of Art; Down the Rabbit Hole in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, which exposed the darkness of sex trafficking. His most recent narrative short film, Hark, is spreading awareness and raising social consciousness about human trafficking. Hark screened at many film festivals this past year, including the Cannes Film Festival Court Metrage, and received 3 Best Narrative Short Film awards and a Best Director award. Fung is currently working on an art installation focusing on human trafficking for the 5×5 exhibition in Washington DC this fall. Jonathan Fung is committed to bringing hope and positive change through faith, arts and justice.

Hongtong Lin

Former Professor of Academy of Beijing Film

Hongtong Lin is the former youth film studio director, vice president of the China Film Performing Art Institute, Beijing television celebrity art school principal and etc. In 1992 he was awarded the outstanding contribution of experts honor from the China National Council. He has been teaching for more than 50 years; has taught 20,000 classes with nearly 1,000 students. He has teaching the performing arts, film directing and film master, techniques and contemporary editing curriculum. He was professor of master degree of film students. He was also former Golden Rooster Award judges (11th, 14th, 20th), Golden Bridge Award judge (3rd and 4th), Huabiao Award judge, the top ten movie star judge and movie hundred year “Century Cup” Award judge.

  • His nine films won the National Film Award. The China National Council awarded him the honor of outstanding contributions of experts.

  • He wrote 16 original film scripts, directed 10 films and TV series and 22 dramas.

  • He wrote a hundred of books, scripts and reviews, etc. which is more than 12,000,000 words.

Sean Au

Sean Au is a veteran reporter at KTSF Channel 26. Prior to joining KTSF, Sean has worked as an international television news reporter and producer for about 10 years. Most recently, he was part of a core group of reporters who helped MediaCorp News launched Channel NewsAsia, an English news channel based in Singapore. Sean was the crime and courts beat reporter and had covered Southeast Asia’s efforts in the international war against terror. He later co-produced and co-directed documentaries in China’s Beijing, Shandong, Guangdong, Xinjiang and Hong Kong for National Geographic Channel and Discovery Networks Asia. Sean graduated from Singapore’s Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s film program and obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications with Australia’s RMIT University.

Sean’s “Screening Room” segment in the news program has been critiquing movies for Bay Area viewers since 2007. He is also the first Asian film critic from the Bay Area to be inducted into the prestigious Broadcast Film Critics’ Association, Home of the Critics’ Choice Awards.

Yiman Wang

Associate Professor of Film & Digital Media, University of California, Santa Cruz

Yiman Wang is Associate Professor of Film & Digital Media at University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of Remaking Chinese Cinema: Through the Prism of Shanghai, Hong Kong and Hollywood (Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press, 2013) and editor of the Asian Media special issue of Feminist Media Histories (forthcoming 2019).

She has published numerous articles on border-crossing stardom, transnational Chinese cinema, Chinese documentaries, comedy and animation.