OUR MENTORS

The Make A Film Foundation Mentors are successful film industry people, who want to give back to the 
community through their time spent helping fledgling artists to fulfill their dreams. Please click on their bios to learn more.

DIRECTING MENTORS

Bennett Miller
Patricia Cardoso
Jonathan Dayton & Victoria Faris
Rodrigo Garcia
Laura Innes
Gil Kenan

WRITING MENTORS

Don D. Scott
Dianne Houston
David L. Paterson

OTHER MENTORS

Tamika Lamison
Lee Davis
Ed Broaddus
Kaypri Marcus

ACTING MENTORS

Mobirise

ISIAH WASHINGTON

Born August 2, 1963 in Houston, TX.

After leaving Howard University (Theater Arts major), he became an original member of the City Kids Repertory, a theater company that performed in schools in effort to bring relevant productions to high-risk kids.

Real Life Quotes
• "You don't have the time to "make the time" to do anything. You have to do it now!"
• "Even if I'm playing a bad guy, I work hard to make him multi-leveled and interesting."
• "I'm no longer going to play thugs or debauched cops that I can't possibly make complex characters. I'm bigger than that. I owe too much to too many good people at the Goodman, Arena and Playwrights Horizons."

Trivia
• Graduated from Willowridge High School (1981, Houston, Texas)
• Took a DNA test to determine his heritage. The results concluded that his father's side is Angolan and his mother's side is from Sierra Leone.
• At one time in his life he wanted to be a professional football player.
• His mother was the first African American woman to be licensed as a barber in the state of Texas.
• Was in the Air Force prior to acting. His dream was to be the second "General Washington"

Films include: Hollwood Homicide, Welcome to Collinwood, Ghostship, Exit Wounds, Romeo Must Die, Dancing in September, True Crime, Out of Sight, Bulworth, Love Jones, Get on the Bus and Clockers among many others.

TV include: ER, NYPD Blue, Living Single, Law and Order, amongst many others.

He most recently starred on the highly acclaimed ABC Drama "Grey's Anatomy" as Dr. Preston Burke.

Mobirise

ELIJAH WOOD

Elijah Jordan Wood was born on January 28, 1981, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Warren and Debbie Wood. He has an older brother Zack and a younger sister Hannah Wood. At an early age Elijah showed a knack for entertaining and wowing audiences, and his mother decided to take him to Los Angeles for an Annual International Modeling and Talent Association convention. He quickly landed himself an acting job.

Elijah Jordan WoodSoon he began popping up in commercials and then in small parts on television, but he got his first major part appearing in Avalon (1990) in 1990. His acting career took off from there, and he began appearing in films such as Paradise (1991), Radio Flyer (1992) and Forever Young (1992), with Mel Gibson. After The Good Son (1993) with Macaulay Culkin, Elijah appeared inNorth (1994). Although the film was deemed a flop at the box office, Elijah was praised as the only good thing to come out of it. In 1996 Elijah starred in a movie remake of an old TV show, Flipper (1996), and immediately regained his old strength. 

DIRECTING MENTORS

Mobirise

Bennett Miller

Bennett Miller was born in New York City in December 1966. He attended film school at NYU before dropping out to work in various roles in the film industry. His first film was well-received, but his next, the powerful biopic Capote (2005), would change his life. The film racked up awards and honors for Miller and the entire cast and made Miller an overnight sensation in Hollywood. His next two films, Moneyball (2011) and Foxcatcher (2014) would continue the momentum, and the latter earned Miller an Oscar nomination for Achievement in Direction.

Mobirise

PATRICIA CARDOSO

Patricia Cordoso attempted to make her first film when she was eight. Due to the lack of technology in her household the film was made with a small cardboard box, two toothpicks, and a long rolled paper with drawings. It was a humorous documentary about fat cows and skinny cows. Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Patricia came to the USA as a Fulbright scholar. Her UCLA student film, THE WATER CARRIER, screened over fifty international film festivals and won over twenty awards including a Student Academy Award and two Directors Guild of America Awards.

Patricia worked for the Sundance Institute for five years first as an intern, eventually becoming director of Sundance's Latin American program. Ms. Cardoso has developed feature projects with Universal, Disney, Ciby 2000 and Open City Films. She is an active member of the Directors Guild of America and its Independent Director's Committee. She has taught film directing at UCLA Extension and at the School of Cinematic Arts at USC.

Ms. Cardoso directed the HBO feature REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES, which won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and gave America Ferrera her first role. The film earned America and Lupe Ontiveros a Special Jury Award for acting at Sundance, and became the first HBO film to be released theatrically. Her films have shown at festivals including Toronto, London, Sundance, Telluride and New Films/New Directors at MOMA. She has received more than fifty awards, including a National Board of Review, Excellence in Filmmaking, an Smithsonian Institute Recognition Award, a UCLA Filmmaker Of The Year Honor, the Youth Prize from the San Sebastian Film Festival, a California Governor's Commendation and the Hubert Bals Fund from the Rotterdam Film Festival among others.

Mobirise

JONATHAN DAYTON and VALERIE FARIS

Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris have built an impressive body of work by perpetually seeking innovative projects in a variety of mediums.

They are most known for the universally entertaining independent film, "Little Miss Sunshine" which garnered them an Academy Award Nomination.

After introducing bands such as REM and The Red Hot Chili Peppers on their ground breaking MTV show The Cutting Edge, Jonathan and Valerie continued to work in music television directing music videos and documentaries for bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins, Jane's Addiction, Macy Gray, Janet Jackson, Oasis, Weezer, and The Ramones. Their music productions have earned them two Grammy Awards, nine MTV Music Video Awards, and a Billboard Music "Director of the Year" Award.

In 1998, Jonathan and Valerie co-founded Bob Industries, one of the country's leading commercial production companies. Directing commercials for VW, Sony Playstation, Gap, Target, Ikea, Apple, ESPN amongst others, Dayton and Faris continue to push the medium into new vistas. In 2002, Creativity Magazine labeled them as one of their top ten best commercial directors.

Aside from their work in music videos and commercials, Jonathan and Valerie have done extensive work in television and film, including directing episodes of "Mr. Show with Bob and David" for HBO and producing two feature films, "The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years" for New Line Cinema, and "Gift" for Warner Bros. Music. Currently, they are in in development with the film, "The Abstinence Teacher."

Mobirise

RODRIGO GARCIA

Rodrigo García was born in 1959 in Bogotá, Colombia, and was raised in Mexico. García, whom the Washington Post referred to affectionately as "the man who loves women" in a 2010 profile, is a director and writer for both TV and film, celebrated for his intimate, emotional and invested portrayals of his characters. He directed several independent movies which attracted critical acclaim, such as Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her (2000), Nine Lives (2005), and Albert Nobbs (2011). His greatest work to date has been the HBO series In Treatment, which ran from 2008 through the end of 2010, and which he created, wrote, and directed. García made fascinating use of the genre of the television series, where each season featured week-long stretches with one episode per night for five nights in a row, and then four in the third season, simulating the psychotherapist's work week, each episode focusing on a session with a different patient.

While García's father, writer Gabriel García Márquez, is best known for his works of magical realism, García has spent the better half of his career emphasizing the un-magical, and his style is an everyday realism. But such a style does not mean that touches of the mystical and the uncertain are absent from his work. There is a beautiful spirituality within both his directing and writing work. Contemporaneous with a TV era of American viewers who were obsessively watching, in real time, to find out whether or not 24's Jack Bauer was going to explode into millions of pieces, García has used the concept of "real time" in TV to gain emotional depth and to connect with his audience, convincing them to care as much for the people he created as he genuinely did. As he quotes to the Washington Post, "Anybody can blow up cars. A director who can really get into the mysteries and complexity of women is very special."

Mobirise

GIL KENAN

Gil Kenan was born October 16, 1976. He is a British-American film director and screenwriter, best known for his work on the films Monster House and City of Ember.

Kenan was born in London. When he was three, his family moved to Tel Aviv. At age eight, they moved to Reseda, Los Angeles.

He studied at the film division of the University of California, Los Angeles where he received a MFA degree in animation in 2002. For his graduate thesis, he created a 10-minute stop-motion/live-action film, The Lark.

The first public screening of The Lark caught the attention of Jordan Bealmear, who was an assistant at Creative Artists Agency. The agency sent hundreds of copies of Kenan's short to interested parties in the film industry, and after a few months of interviews, Robert Zemeckis offered Kenan the director's chair for his first feature, 2006's Monster House. Executive produced by Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg, it was nominated for a 2006 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Kenan followed Monster House with City of Ember, a post-apocalyptic adventure based on Jeanne Duprau's 2003 novel. Produced by Tom Hanks, it was released in October 2008 to mixed reviews. Kenan's next film, Poltergeist, a remake of the 1982 Tobe Hooper film of the same name, was released in May 2015.

WRITING MENTORS

Mobirise

DON D. SCOTT

Screenwriter Don D. Scott is the writer behind "Barbershop" and "Barbershop 2: Back In Business." He is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and received his college degree in English from Williams College. Scott has written on several other produced films, including Bernie Mac film "Mr. 3000," "Charlie's Angels 2," and the soon to be released film "Transformers."

Don D. ScottCurrently Scott is writing a remake of 70's classic "Uptown Saturday Night" at Warner Bros. Pictures for Will Smith to star. He is also writing and executive producing the animated feature "Big Nasty" for Sony Pictures Animation.

Mobirise

DIANNE HOUSTON

Dianne Houston was born on July 22nd in Washington, DC. She is the first (and so far only) African American woman nominated for an academy award in Directing for. the short film TUESDAY MORNING RIDE, starring Bill Cobb and Ruby Dee which she wrote and directed.

Dianne became interested in theater while attending Howard University with her first plays being produced around 1977. She later worked in New York City, Amsterdam, and Berlin which she says helped give her "a world view." In 1990 she was again based in the United States, but lived in a bicoastal manner. Around this time she wrote for Brewster Place a show produced by Harpo Productions. After this Oprah Winfrey remained a supporter and, on occasion, financial backer.

Dianne has worked as a Director on various television shows including, Crossing Jordan, Strong Medicine, NYPD Blue and City of Angles.

She has worked has written various feature films including, Take The Lead, Little Monsters, Move, Jumpin', Dancing Still, The Mercy Factors etc.

Writing television credits include, The Eductation of Max Bickford, City of Angels, The Children, Brewster Place, etc.

Dianne is currently slated to write a film based on the life of rapper Missy Elliott. Oscar-winning actor Robert DeNiro's New York City-based Tribeca Films has snapped up the rights to the film, along with Elliott's manager, Mona Scott.

Houston also stars as her self in "Sisters in Cinema", a Documentary about African-American female directors.

Mobirise

DAVID L. PATERSON

David Lord Paterson (born 1966) is an American screenwriter, actor and producer. When Paterson was a boy, his best friend, an eight-year-old girl named Lisa Hill, was struck by lightning and killed. His mother, author Katherine Paterson, used this real-life experience as the basis for her children's novel Bridge to Terabithia.

David Paterson produced and co-wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of the novel released in 2007.

He graduated from The Catholic University of America in 1989 with a BA.

Paterson held a special advance screening of Bridge to Terabithia on February 1, 2007, for members of the CUA community at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Md.

OTHER MENTORS

Mobirise

G. MAC BROWN

G. Mac Brown was born in 1957. He is a producer and production manager, known for Australia (2008), The Dark Tower (2017) and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013).

Mobirise

TAMIKA LAMISON

Tamika is a Virginia native who graduated from The American University with a BA in Performing Arts after switching her major from Journalism. She then went on tour and moved to NY where she made her living as an actor. While living in New York she wrote her first screenplay, "The Jar By the Door" which was a Sundance Finalist and won several awards including the Gordon Parks Indie Film Award and 10k. She then attended the New York Film Academy to learn filmmaking.

After expanding her filmmaking knowledge she moved to Los Angeles and won several Fellowships and Awards in Writing and Directing including the ABC/Walt Disney Fellowship in Screenwriting, The Guy Hanks and Marvin Miller (Cosby) Fellowship, the CBS Director's Initiative and AFI's Directing Workshop for Women Fellowship in which she wrote, directed and produced the multi-award-winning short film, "HOPE" which currently airs on cable network BETJ. BET had such faith in her skills as a filmmaker that they employed her as camera operator and Director on the reality TV show COLLEGE HILL. Tamika also co-produced the award-winning short film, "THE MALE GROUPIE" which currently airs on HBO and is in post production for the short film SPIN which she was hired to direct and co-produce.

Tamika's interest in serving the youth community through filmmaking was initially sparked when she was asked to be a Mentor and documentarian for 'at risk' youth who were rewarded for meeting their goals in improving their community with a weekend excursion to Mammoth where they saw snow for the first time. Shortly thereafter she agreed to mentor students at Inner City Filmmakers in Writing and Production where she helped high school graduates learn every aspect of film as they created their own 5 minutes film shorts. Tamika's commitment to service is evidenced in the many organizations to which she devotes her time, talents and skills including: The Aids Marathon, Sacred Service Sunday at Agape, Little Legs/Big Hearts-kids for Sickle Cell, Animal Shelters and Inner City Filmmakers.

The Make A Film Foundation is a vision inspired by, Inner City Filmmakers and The Make A Wish Foundation.two organizations that continue to uplift, motivate and create. Tamika's passion for this project continues to blossom every step of the way.

Mobirise

LEE DAVIS

Born and raised in the Northeast Bronx, Lee Davis credits his love of filmmaking to his father taking him to the movies at a young age.

Davis apprenticed with Spike Lee at 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks on such films as Malcolm X, Crooklyn, Jungle Fever and Mo Better Blues.

Following Davis' short film A Gut Feeling in 1999 starring Saul Williams and Ruben Santiago-Hudson, executive produced by Spike Lee and produced by Shan Browning and John Murchison. The film premiered at the Noosa Film Festival in Australia, Urban-world Film Festival in New York, and was seen nationwide on The Sci-Fi Channel.

In 2000 Lee Davis was named as one of Variety Magazine's Top Ten Screenwriters To Watch. That year he wrote and directed 3AM , developed by The Sundance Institute. The Showtime Original film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and starred Danny Glover, Pam Grier, Michelle Rodriguez, executive-produced by Spike Lee. The film garnered Davis two cable nominations including Best Director.

In 2001 Lee Davis wrote & directed Flicker a Hi-Def long form short film for the Sci-Fi Channel. That year Miramax purchased his original screenplay, Dance On Two.

In 2003 Davis served as a screenwriter advisor at the prestigious Oaxaca (formerly Sundance) Screenwriting Lab in Mexico, to Latin American screenwriters.

In 2004 Davis directed Christmas At Waters Edge, starring Keisha Knight Pulliam, Pooch Hall, and Tom Bosley.

In 2013 Davis directed West Side Girl an 11 minute short film for the artist Bilal.

In 2009 Lee Davis directed Romance Is Served, a documentary that is an "intimate entertainment experience" about romance in Los Angeles. The film premiered at the 2009 Belize Film Festival and received the award for Best Documentary.

2009 marked the theatrical release of Davis' documentary hoop reality which chronicles the lives of schoolyard legend Arthur Agee, and Patrick Beverley, a prolific high school scorer. In 2007 Davis directed The King & I, a film component of the Los Angles presentation of Susan Lori Parks prestigious "365 plays in 365 Days."

Mobirise

ED BROADDUS

(Filmmaker/Media and/or computer Guru/Actor)

Ed Broaddus is the President of Jack of All Trades, Inc., and that is what he is. He provides services from computer repair and website building to camera work, editing and more. Building on a degree in theatre from George Mason University, Broaddus has shot numerous short films, including 7 Words, New York's Dirty Laundry, Silent Scream, etc. Presently he does camera work and training at West Angeles Church of God In Christ. He is, also, developing the website for the Make A Film Foundation and looking forward to working with inspiring children again. Previously, he was a high school teacher for five years in the Richmond Public School system.

Mobirise

KAYPRI MARCUS

A graduate of Howard University, Kaypri is a trained actor and writer. Since 2001, Kaypri has worked closely with the adolescent population as a substitute and after-school teacher, chaperone, and teaching artist in NJ, NY, and NC. Her speciality has been getting reluctant young writers to put their thoughts down and, in turn, change the course of their lives.

Most recently, Kaypri taught young women for the Girl Blue Project in Los Angeles and is currently mentoring for Peace 4 Kids in Watts. Peace 4 Kids embraces foster children and gives them a sense of family and community.

Kaypri is the author and performer of the one woman coming of age play, BABYGIRL the sitcom/drama of a MCLA (media-codependa-lova-holic) which will be produced in the fall of 2007. She also has several screenplays in development.

She is honored to be part of the Make A Film Foundation Family and the vision of Tamika Lamison.