Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Meet the 2018-2019 Mentors!

Meet the 2018-2019 Mentors!

Meet the new Mentors for 2018-2019 Cycle of the NYU in LA Program!

Acting Mentors

Emebeit Beyene is "The Ethiopian queen from Philly who took classes abroad and studied film and photo flash focus record" as The Roots put it... except she studied Acting and Africana Studies at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She appreciates the shoutout nonetheless. Emebeit is an actress, producer and co-creator of the webseries Downtown Girls, which came from four actresses who didn't see the stories that they wanted to see on TV so they created it themselves. With the success of Downtown Girls she's been featured in the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival Montreal, the American Black Film Festival,the LA Film Festival and on popular sites like Huffington Post, Glamour, Hello Giggles, Complex and Man Repeller. Currently based in LA, Emebeit is a working actress and can be seen in several short films in theaters nowhere near you. She enjoys watching tons of television (it's research!), the oh-so-great outdoors, eating froyo from Pinkberry, and, surprisingly, making people laugh.

Chandra Russell is a Chicagoan til Chicago ends. A graduate of Tisch's Acting program she now works in LA as an actress/writer. Her webseries, Downtown Girls, has been featured in Just For Laughs Comedy Festival Montreal, the American Black Film Festival, the LA Film Festival, Huffington Post, Glamour, Hello Giggles, Complex and Man Repeller. (if this looks familiar - her writing partner, Emebeit, is above and she literally copied and pasted - lazy). Most recently Chandra was cast as a series regular in the Comedy Central pilot Southside. In her spare time she likes extended naps, junk reality TV and cuddling with her puppy. 

Film & TV Mentors

Mina Baban is a Television Executive for Amazon Studios where she buys, develops and oversees shows for both the US and International markets. She graduated from Tisch in December of 2011 and began work in reality TV production before moving to LA to pursue scripted television. After some direction from her NYU-in-LA mentors, Mina started in the WME mailroom and then supported several different TV literary agents. She eventually jumped to Amazon Studios to work in drama development. During her time at Amazon, Mina has worked with Amazon’s drama team in helping greenlight shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Masiel and additionally helped form Amazon’s International Originals Department, which creates local-language content for numerous countries all over the globe as well as finds co-production opportunities. As a development executive, Mina helps track, source, buy, develop, and produce shows from inception to launch. In her spare time, she enjoys playing volleyball and watching The New England Patriots.

Erica Schreiber is a film/television writer. She graduated from Tisch’s Dramatic Writing Program and has worked as a writer's assistant, showrunner's assistant and executive assistant as well as a freelance reader/coverage writer. Since moving to LA she has had a feature and a pilot optioned, developed a digital series with Warner Bros and Alloy Entertainment, and written episodes for two series: Crackle's "In The Cloud" and Hasbro's "Micronauts." Her feature spec "And Hell Followed" landed on the 2017 Hit List and she is currently writing original features for Blumhouse and Hidden Empire. Erica is repped at Untitled Entertainment and WME.

John Logan Pierson oversees scripted features for Film 44. He is an Executive Producer on the forthcoming action franchise, MILE 22 and was an Executive Producer on Patriot’s Day and American Jihad, a collaboration with Alex Gibney and 60 Minutes. Prior to joining Film 44, Pierson worked as Director, Film and Television Production at TWC where he oversaw numerous feature and television properties including the Chinese co-production Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny. Prior to his time at TWC, Pierson had worked as an assistant to producer Scott Rudin and manager Joan Scott. His start in the industry was as a producer of new media and commercial content for brands ranging from Adidas to the Emmy Awards. Independently Pierson produced the forthcoming Hard Rock Havana - a feature documentary about a legendary Cuban rock band - and The Last of the Great Romantics - an indie comedy starring Kumail Nanjiani and Ben Rameaka.

Keith Powell was a series regular on NBC’s Emmy Award-winning sitcom 30 Rock, where he received a 2008 Screen Actors Guild Award as part of the ensemble. Prior to 30 Rock, Powell was the Producing Artistic Director of Contemporary Stage Company in Wilmington, DE for four seasons, where he produced, directed, and/or performed in plays starring Lynn Redgrave, Keith David, Jasmine Guy, Richard Easton and Sean Patrick Thomas. As a writer/director, his web series Keith Broke His Leg (Indie Series Award for Best Comedy), and his short films People We Meet (starring Scott Adsit and Frederick Weller), Nate & Abe (with voice talents Alyssa Milano, Robert Ben Garant, Aubrey Plaza, David Wain, and Rachel Dratch), and Pillow Talk have played in festivals like Raindance Film Festival, San Luis Obispo Film Festival, RiverRun Film Festival (where he won the SPARK Award), LA Shorts Fest, New York Television Festival, and SeriesFest. He has developed projects with MTV, Warner Brothers, and Sony Television, in addition to projects with various production companies like Broadway Video, YouTube, and Crackle. As an actor, Powell has appeared on over 100 episodes of television; and this past season, he made his episodic directing debut with an episode of the NBC sitcom Superstore.

Joe Brukner is a Development Coordinator at Fabrik Entertainment. Since leaving his homeland of Australia to work in the US entertainment industry, Joe has worked in both New York and now Los Angeles, where he has focused on premium scripted TV development. In his current position at Fabrik Entertainment, Joe is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the development team behind shows with devout global audiences such as Bosch, The Killing and Burn Notice.

Chris Hazzard is a screenwriter who, with his writing partner Michael Fontana, has written feature projects for Amazon Studios, Fox International, Alcon, Lionsgate, Sony, and others. On the TV side, Chris & Mike have developed two original half hours with FX Networks and currently have an adult animated comedy in development at Hulu. In the fall, they will make their directorial debut with Drunk Bus, a feature comedy which they also wrote. Previously, Chris was an executive at Sneak Preview Entertainment where he was a producer on the indie feature, The Secret Lives of Dorks, and the Fox Searchlight Pictures film, Baggage Claim.

NYU Tisch Staff

Lily Hung oversees the NYU in LA Mentor Program, in collaboration with the Mentors and Volunteer Coordinator. As Tisch’s Director of Career Development, Lily connects artists with the tools and knowledge they need to effectively pursue their professional goals. Through individual career counseling appointments and group workshops, she advises students on job searches, resumes and cover letters, interviewing and networking skills, internships, grantwriting, and entrepreneurial strategies. Lily previously spent more than a decade in commercial and nonprofit theatre, where she worked with emerging theatre artists as a line producer and programming director. She holds an MFA in Dramaturgy from Columbia University and is now clumsily learning aerial arts.

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