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.

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.

Bio of Min Zhou

An active journalist and award-winning filmmaker based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Min has focused on researching Chinese American immigrant history and has produced five short documentary films. She made a series of documentary films, “A Trilogy: The Builders of the Iron Road,” which includes three short documentary films featuring the Chinese railroad workers building the west portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad 1860s. Her production, Going Home, was the official Selection of the 5th Silicon Valley Asian Pacific Film Festival, San Jose, California, and won Silver Remi Award for Short Documentary of 2020 Houston International Film Festival. She is also the director of the short documentary film, The Black Spikes and the co-director of a feature documentary film, Our Story of War and Remembrance: Chinese American WWII Veterans of the China-Burma-India Theatre. She has been invited to deliver speeches in colleges, museums, libraries, and community events.

Tina Kong_Film Director and producer

In 1980, she participated in the production of the film “Anxious to Return” of Bayi Film Studio, and “Tonight Stars”. In 1981, she participated in the production of the film “Contemporaries”. In 1982, she directed as well as edited “Dragon and the Tigers”. In 1983, she was the Production Supervisor of the film “Heaven’s Enmity”. She is also in the production of the movie “Lost Childhood Memories” in 1984, “Fake Face” in 1985, “Savage” in 1986,  “2008 Passenger Plane” in 1987.  She directed and produced the music film “Moon Light”. She participated in the TV series production of “The Corrupt Official He Shen”,  “A Tao”, “Eight Monsters of Yangzhou”, etc

Larry Lei Zhang

Larry Lei Zhang hails from the Shanghai Theater Academy with a degree in Performing Arts, and has worked in a number of prestigious companies and theaters such as the ZhuJiang Film Production Studio, Canton Broadcasting Station, the Goodman Theater in Chicago, the Berkeley Repertory Theater, and the Longacre Theater on Broadway to name a few. He is currently an active member of both the Actors’ Equity Association as well as the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), performing on stage as well as on screen in both films and television in main cast roles for over 30 projects. As an actor, director, and playwright, Mr. Zhang has served numerous times as a guest judge and panelist speaker at events and art festivals in the States as well as China. His performance in the popular TV series “Ku Le Cun Guan” won him Best Actor at an international film festival, a role that ended up sparking a cultural reset in the northwestern regions in China where this series took place.

Kiran Kondamadugula

an award-winning director whose career spans over a decade including 2 independent films, 12 short films, 1 web series, and 2 commercials. He started his film-making journey by directing/producing short films on camcorders and cell phones. Motivated by the satisfaction of creating cinema, Kiran slowly expanded his wings by learning all the major crafts in film-making. He made his feature debut with an organic indie thriller hit titled Gatham(PAST), which was acquired by Amazon Prime and later went on premiere across the Globe in 160 countries and clocked millions of watch hours upon its debut. Gatham has acquired cult status for its convoluted storytelling and technical values. His second indie feature is receiving accolades in the festival circuit and gearing up for a release in 2023. His films have garnered a cumulative of 17 awards and 8 nominations including 9 best director awards. Kiran enjoys telling stories in a non-linear fashion with characters that are rooted.


Liu, Jiawei

Bachelor Degree of Drama Acting from Shanghai Theater Academy in China; Master Degree of Drama Directing from Moscow State University of the Arts; MADegree of Multimedia Communication from Academy of Art University in San Francisco; Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology from Sophia University. Member of the International Dramatists Association. Director of the Center for Psychodrama Research at Sofia University. Director of the Northern California Chinese Art and Drama Association. Judge of San Francisco International New Concept Film Festival.

Main works: Drama “The Sage Confucius”(original playwright: Zhang Guangtian); “Fly”(original playwright: Sartre. The Adapted Playwright and Director of dramas “Moving”, “At The playground” and “Love in Silicon Valley”

Yojing Wu

Yojing Wu is an independent film producer based in Europe, currently residing in Paris, and boasting 10 years of professional experience in the field of film production and distribution.

With her unique aesthetic and taste, Yojing has successfully produced numerous short films, web series, and one independent feature film, delving into a diverse array of genres, including drama, comedy, thriller, and fantasy.

Additionally, Yojing holds the role of a distribution coordinator, assisting various production companies in distributing their works, including feature films and documentaries, to various countries.

Yojing has been invited as a jury member for an international film festival in Africa and has also participated in various international film festivals in the past.

Lin Peng

Fifteen years of marketing planning experience.

Over ten years of experience in screenwriting and planning.

More than five years of production preparation experience.

MFSA Studio distribution partner.

Director of Film Television Department of Canadian Federation of Performing Arts.

Co-partner with companies in Asia/Europe film industry.

2022 Out of Africa Film Festival Jury


Beijing Film Associate Film Festival

  Best Scriptwriter2014/03

Top Talent Script writer Contest

Best Scriptwriter2016/12

South China Electrical Film Festival

Sliver Award2016

Chinese DreamYUNNAN Short Film Festival

Golden Award

Shenzhen Air Short Film Festival

Bronze Award2017/12

Vancouver Chinese Film Festival

Best Film Award 2017

Best Script Award2018

Hongkong Youth Film Festival

Best film Sliver Award2019/12