R to L: FAVS Advisory Board members Melissa Houghton, Clara Kelly, Kathryn Van Wyk, Jon Gann and Film and Media Studies Professor Cynthia Fuchs deliberate as the Mason Film Festival Jury during our spring festival. Photo: Giovanna Chesler
R to L: FAVS Advisory Board members Melissa Houghton, Clara Kelly, Kathryn Van Wyk, Jon Gann and Film and Media Studies Professor Cynthia Fuchs deliberate as the Mason Film Festival Jury during our spring festival. Photo: Giovanna Chesler

Members of the DC, Virginia and Maryland filmmaking community comprise the FAVS Advisory Board. Through their professional connections, experience, and general enthusiasm for film and passion for student learning, members of our Advisory Board support student filmmaking through:

 

Jurying Pitch Awards
Conducting training seminars with students
Supporting student scholarships
Supporting FAVS fundraising efforts and events
Mentoring film graduates
Advising faculty on program development
Spreading the word about FAVS and GMU!

 

Board members agree to contribute to the program by attending three board meetings a year,  jurying FAVS Senior Films and Pitch Awards (twice a year), and attending / supporting FAVS fundraising efforts (through contributions, in-kind contributions, and attendance at events). If you are interested in joining the FAVS Advisory Board or learning more about the program and ways to contribute or donate, please contact FAVS Program Director Professor Giovanna Chesler.

Active Members

Erik Muendel and University President Dr. Cabrera at Off the Wall 2017 Photo: Jim Folliard, Gearshift Studios
Erik Muendel and University President Dr. Cabrera at Off the Wall 2017 Photo: Jim Folliard, Gearshift Studios
Eric Espejo
ericespejo-crop-u10887-122x150Eric Espejo has been with 19th & Wilson (19w.com) since 2002. He wrote and directed its first full length feature “Ghosts Don’t Exist”, and produced a second feature "Admins" in the summer of 2014.  He continues to oversee a number of creative projects at 19W.  He serves on George Mason University's advisory board for its Film and Video Studies.  Eric remains active in the local filmmaking community; such as judging screenwriting competitions for American University and critiquing pitches for Women in Film and Video (WIFV).  Aside from filmmaking, Eric is a Technology Strategist for Microsoft specializing in Health and Life sciences. Company 19th & Wilson
Jim Folliard

Jim Folliard is the founder and head cinematographer of Gearshift TV. Jim has been honing his photography and videography skills for over twenty years. Jim is a Virginia native who has spent his entire life living and working in the area. Jim is very well known in the DC metropolitan area for his work with local restaurants, athletes, car dealerships, night clubs, and other business owners. It is not uncommon to catch one of Jim's commercials on TV as well as large venues such as the Jumbotron at Fed Ex Field. Jim is married to Shuggie Folliard and they live in Herndon, Virginia with their three kids Gigi, Jimmy and Fiona.


Company

Gearshift TV

Jon Gann

Jon Gann is the Executive Director of CINE, a 57-year old organization that honors the best in film, TV and digital media with the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award. He is also the founder of DC Shorts, a non-profit organization championing short filmmaking, and the creator of the DC Shorts Film Festival; now planning its 12th year, the event has become one of the country’s premier short film showcases.

 

Published in 2012, his book, “Behind the Screens: Programmers Reveal How Film Festivals Really Work’ examines how 16 programmers and organizers curate, collect, watch and select films for their festivals. The frank insights reveal the inner-workings of an industry that is often misunderstood.

Jon has presented at over 100 universities, film organizations and film festivals worldwide, and has spoken at the International Film Festival Summit and TEDxWDC.


Company

CINE

DC Shorts

Carma Hinton

Carma Hinton was born in Beijing and lived there until she was twenty-one. Chinese is her first language and culture. Together with Richard Gordon, Hinton has directed thirteen documentary films about China, including The Gate of Heavenly Peace, Small Happiness, First Moon, All Under Heaven, Abode of Illusion, and Morning Sun.

Hinton is a scholar as well as a filmmaker. She has a Ph.D. in Art History from Harvard University and has held teaching positions at Swarthmore, Wellesley, Northeastern, and MIT. In addition, she has lectured widely on Chinese culture, history, and film at educational institutions both in the United States and around the world.

Her films have been shown in numerous film festivals worldwide, including New York, Berlin, Hong Kong, Vancouver, and San Francisco. They have also been screened at the Film Forum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, among others, and broadcast on television stations around the world, including PBS, the BBC, and ARTE. Awards received include two George Foster Peabody Awards, the American Historical Association's John E. O'Connor Film Award, the International Critics Prize and the Best Social and Political Documentary at the Banff Television Festival, and nominations for Best Documentary Feature by the National Film Board of Canada, the ABCNEWS VideoSource and Pare Lorentz Awards by the International Documentary Association, and a National News & Documentary Emmy Award.

  Company

George Mason University

Documentary Filmmaker, Robinson Professor of Visual Culture and Chinese Studies

Melissa Houghton
Melissa J. Houghton joined Women in Film & Video (WIFV) as Executive Director in August 2005.  Since that time, membership has grown to more than 1,000 media professionals; program provision now averages 70 professional development offerings per year along with the Image Makers program for high school students and the Kids World Film Festival for 5th graders.  WIFV has added fiscal sponsorship of independent media projects, a web pilot mentoring initiative, management of Women in Film & Television International, and the Carolyn’s First Decade Fund to its portfolio of programs that benefit members.  In 2015, WIFV launched a fundraising campaign to establish a Seed Fund for Documentary Filmmakers.  She excels at putting WIFV resources, connections and advocates at the service of WIFV members. Houghton joined WIFV after a short stint as a non-profit administration consultant with clients in the mid-Atlantic and a 14 year association with the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) where she started as an unpaid intern and left after an 18-month position as interim President.  At the AAF, Houghton also managed the national Accent on Architecture initiative, including producing four one-hour PBS format television programs, a chapter grants program promoting public outreach, and coordinating the national awards program.  She served in several curatorial and administrative capacities at The Octagon Museum during her time at the AAF.  Houghton graduated from Beloit College with a BA in History and from the University of Virginia with a MA in Urban Planning and Certificate in Historic Preservation.  Prior to graduate school, Houghton taught high school and served several years as the executive assistant for a prominent tax/estate attorney in Boston.  She has served on the boards of the DC Architectural Foundation, DC Film Alliance, and Wide Angle Youth Media.  She is currently a member of the WETA Community Council.   Company Women in Film and Video, DC Read the FAVS Board Spotlight of Melissa Houghton .
Joy Hughes

Company

 

Film and Education supporter

 

Clara Kelly

Clara KellyClara Kelly has been our Advisory Board’s GMU alumni representative since December 2012. She graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Film Studies and Video Production, Minor in Business in May 2012. Prior to pursuing her dream of returning to college, Clara worked as chief staff liaison to a board director and regional manager of U.S. operations for a multinational insurance brokerage firm and department manager of its Washington, D.C. branch. She is a member of our recently established equipment committee and a frequent juror for student film pitches, senior capstone films and our annual university film festival.


Company

Film and Education supporter

Erik Muendel

Erik Muendel

Erik has been a national leader in the digital marketing industry for over 18 years. Since founding Brightline Interactive, he has established Brightline at the forefront of the interactive and experiential marketing space by reimagining technology to create never-before-seen consumer experiences. His leadership has positioned Brightline to create award-winning digital experiences and place-based interactives for the biggest brands on the biggest stages. Erik has spoken at several high-profile conferences including EVENTtech, ad:tech and the CSE Sports Marketing Symposium and has earned recognition as DC Inno’s 50 on Fire and Biz Bash’s 2014 Event Innovators. Prior to starting Brightline Interactive, Erik was owner of MouseUp Media, LLC, a B2B multimedia design company.


Company

Brightline Interactive

Chuck Peña
Chuck Peña has over 30 years ex­peri­ence in the broad­cast and cable televi­sion indus­tries. He is currently the Executive Director of Fairfax Public Access (FPA), a nonprofit media center with a $3 miillion budget that provides training in television and radio production and operates a network of four cable television channels. This FPA cable network is carried over Verizon FiOS TV throughout northern Virginia; over Cox Communications in Fairfax County and the ciyies of Fairfax and Falls Church, Virginia; and over Comcast Cable in Reston, Virginia. The FPA production studios include three television studios, two radio studios and advanced post-production editing facilities. Mr. Peña’s past experience includes television industry work for Intrnational Media Service News, C-SPAN, Montgomery Community Television, the American Red Cross National Television Center and the Verizon (formerly Bell Atlantic) Corporate Video Center. He served as Executive Consultant for the WHITEHOUSE CHRONICLE public television series, produced in cooperation with WHUT, Howard University Television. Additionally, Mr. Peña has served as consultant for the National Division of Time Warner Cable. Further, he has considerable teaching experience, having taught numerous classes in studio television production and producers’ workshops. Mr. Peña has been a session speaker at conferences of television media professional associations, such as the National Academy of Cable Programming and the Alliance for Community Media Mid-Atalantic Region. He has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fairfax County, Virginia; the Board of Directors of Montgomery Community Media; and the Alliance for Community Media’s Mid-Atlantic Region Board of Directors. He has served in a political leadership role in supporting public access media on both the federal and State levels. Mr. Peña’s activities in this area include giving testimony before the Virginia General Assembly and meeting with the staffs of U.S. Senators and Representatives from across the nation to lobby in the best interests of community television. Further, he has written a number of FCC filings, in order to protect and advance the best needs and interests of FPA and public access media in general, and has both written a number of articles, reagrding communitymedia, and has been quoted in various print media, including the national cable industry magazine, Mulichannel News. Company Fairfax Public Access
Dave Ruby

Company

 

Film and Education supporter

Ed Wright
Ed Wright is a multi-media advisor and consultant for financial structuring/investment, production, marketing, and development of project creation from inception to distribution of media content worldwide. He has a broad background, from buying his first 16mm camera at the age of 15, to working as a producer, to acting as the COO of a global telecommunications provider. Throughout his long career, Mr. Wright has been driving media activities from China to the United Arab Emirates and in emerging markets across the globe. He is currently a partner in several digital, film, satellite, and television companies.
Kathryn Van Wyk

Company

Film and Education supporter

Ex-Officio Members

Ryan Lawrence Braaten – Associate Director of Development, College of Visual and Performing Arts
Tommy Britt – Associate Professor, Film and Video Studies
Hans Charles – Assistant Professor, Film and Video Studies
Giovanna Chesler – Director / Associate Professor, Film and Video Studies
Cynthia Fuchs - Associate Professor, Department of English & Director, Film and Media Studies
Susan Graziano – Director of Development, College of Visual and Performing Arts
Amanda Kraus – Assistant Professor, Film and Video Studies
Ben Steger – Assistant Professor, Film and Video Studies
Lisa Thrasher - Assistant Professor, Film and Video Studies

Members

Don Conwell
Hal Morse
Peggy Pridemore