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2016 Filmmakers

Alissa & Joshua Baird

 Alissa Schirtzinger Baird is a professional dancer, choreographer, video artist, and instructor. She is deeply influenced by her travels and study of cross-cultural perspective of movement. Her work investigates first principles of movement and the exploration on non-theatrical performance venues. Alissa began her professional dance training from BalletMet Columbus and obtained her BFA in Dance from The Ohio State University. She has danced professional with Columbus Dance Theatre, Lancaster Ballet, Repertory Dance Theatre, Naganuma Dance, Desert Dance Theatre, The DanceWright Project, and  and has guest performed for choreographers including Steven Brown, Cornelius Carter, Robert Battle, and Jeff Slayton. She has taught across the country, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Alissa is a certified Pilates instructor, and was recently certified in American Ballet Theatre’s prestigious National Training Curriculum program, in Pre Primary-Level 3.  In addition to her artistic background, Alissa has also built a career in arts administration and marketing. She has served as the Community School Director for the Repertory Dance Theatre Community School, Manager for the Alonzo King LINES Dance Center, Marketing Director for Naganuma Dance, Dance Director and Marketing PR Director for The School of Performing Arts, and is currently the Contemporary Director at Creative Arts Academy in Utah.



Joshua Baird is an American artist, musician, educator and art director living in Kanab, Utah; the heart of the Colorado Plateau. Josh studied painting and drawing at Utah State University and received a Bachelor's and Master's degree from Southern Oregon University. Josh's primary occupation is that of a painter. He exhibits and sells his Colorado Plateau inspired paintings in galleries and other venues throughout the intermountain west. He teaches art at a school for troubled girls once a week and occasionally dabbles in music and film. Josh is a lifelong student and keen observer of the natural world.  He is especially interested in how the behavior of light and perception of space and time influences us aesthetically. He believes his role as an artist is to edit the complexities of nature down to simple, visual poetry. You can find his artwork and recent projects at his website:

Monica Campbell

Monica Campbell danced nationally and internationally with Diavolo Dance Theater (now called Diavolo –Architecture in Motion) from 1999-2006.  Additionally, she acted as the rehearsal director from 2002-2004 and Associate Artistic Director from 2004-2006 with Director Jacques Heim.  Education: University of Utah, Dance, M.F.A, where she received a Graduate Teaching Assistantship award and a Graduate Research Fellowship for her choreographic work Tabula Rasa. She is currently an Assistant Professor in Utah Valley University’s (UVU) department of dance, as well as the Modern Dance Program Coordinator. Campbell has shown her choreography both nationally and internationally. Her company, Monica Campbell & Dancers was the winner of the Rocky Mountain Choreography Festival and premiered an evening of her work in 2012.  She was an Associate Choreographer for Diavolo’s Fluid Infinities that premiered in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Bowl in September, 2013.  Most recently, she completed a sold out run in Salt Lake City of her evening length piece The Final Hours, which investigates ideas of occupation, revolution, community, and the individual intensity and commitment necessary to forge cultural change, set amidst the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.  Additionally, her Screendance, Aleppo Agonistes, which is inspired by the Arab Spring, won 2nd place in the pre-professional film-maker division, and an audience choice award at the 2016 Utah Dance Film Festival and was an Official Selection for the 2016 DanceBARN Screendance Festival.  She is currently the Artistic Director of Utah Valley University’s Contemporary Dance Ensemble, where she continues to choreograph extensively. Her current adventure has been to expand her research from the stage to the classroom by co-creating and teaching a new class at UVU entitled Peacebuilding Through the Arts, with Dr. Michael Minch, Chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Program.

Nikita Maheshwary

Nikita Maheshwary is an independent choreographer and performer based in New Delhi. Starting her training in Kathak & Classical Ballet, she went to US to further pursue studies in Post Modern Techniques, Improvisation & Composition. Her inquisitiveness in history of arts, philosophy and sociopolitical issues; led her in recent years to collaborate with varied artists to create movement based work, performance art, short dance films & engage in work that’s contemporary and portrays today’s India. Nikita’s recent choreographic work, SitaaurGita is an ongoing movement based video series on sociopolitical factors of India. The series attempts to illustrate and critically reflect on the social, cultural & political fabric and investigate how deeply they are intertwined. Apart from being a dance practitioner, she passionately works for various art organizations advocating and promoting the arts. Over the years she has been part of many festivals and grants, enabling her to travel and work in India & abroad.

Kailee McMurran 
& Dylan Wilber

Kailee McMurran is a very small and bright person (literally and figuratively, respectively). Her degree in Graphic Design saw her design with bold strokes and not take prisoners – unless it is regarding text in which she is very careful. She thrives on contrast and trying new things. She hails from Alaska, “The Great Land,” but always keeps a heater by her desk. Besides design, Kailee gets her creative fix as a dancer in SubRosa Dance Collective and has a background in both ballet and gymnastics. In fact, she teaches dance and gymnastics locally. She also loves to fish, play poker, and pan for gold. And she loves goats.​

Dylan Wilbur is a filmmaker and animator recently transplanted from the Midwest. He makes films of all shapes and sizes, bringing a playfulness and expressive style to each and every project. His work as an cinematographer and editor on the web series, "The Digits" (shot in St. Johns) has twice been nominated for an IAWTV award, and he has produced numerous music videos and animations for local bands. He doesn't find much time to spare, but if he did he'd probably spend it hiking in the gorge, camping, or otherwise getting as far away from a computer as possible. 

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Mitchell Rose
& Bebe Miller

Mitchell Rose is an American director of short films known for comedic work and Dance film. He began his career as a choreographer and performance artist and became known at "the dance world's Woody Allen"[1] after being so dubbed by The New York Times . He then migrated to film and his works have won numerous awards, notably Elevator World,Modern Daydreams, and Learn to Speak Body. He tours a program called The Mitch Show which features his films and audience participation pieces. More on Mitchell at

Bebe Miller, a native New Yorker, first performed her choreography at NYC’s Dance Theater Workshop in 1978, after receiving her MA in Dance from OSU in 1975; she formed Bebe Miller Company in 1985. Known for its mix of virtuosic dancing and fundamental humanity, her choreography has been produced at major dance centers across the country and internationally in Europe and the African continent.

Her work has been commissioned by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Oregon Ballet Theater, Boston Ballet, Philadanco, Ailey II, and the UK’s Phoenix Dance Company, among others. She has been honored with four New York Dance and Performance “Bessie’s,” fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council and the Guggenheim Foundation, and was named a United States Artists Ford Fellow in 2010.

A Professor in Dance at The Ohio State University since 2000, Bebe is a Distinguished Professor in OSU’s College of Arts and Humanities and received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Ursinus College in 2009. In 2012 she was designated as one of the inaugural class of Doris Duke Artists, a program of the Doris Duke Foundation’s Performing Artist Awards. Most recently, she was honored by Movement Research as an honoree for their 2015 Gala along with Tere O’Connor and Moira Brennan. Bebe currently lives in Columbus, OH. More on Bebe at

Tanin Torabi

Tanin Torabi was born in Tehran, Iran in 1992. She works as a freelance dancer, choreographer and teacher. Tanin felt a passion for dance from the very early age of four with the help of her mother, but since Iran's revolution in 1979, dance had been illegal and forbidden in country, so she could not continue her education in this major; however, she was very keen to follow her love and passion in dance and believed that she can convey spiritual concepts by body motion. By studying BA in Sociology, she decided to know more about humanities and conceive moral and spiritual concepts with dance. She was interested in ballet and folklore dances at first and performed in over 150 underground performances in different cities of Iran. Later on, she started training in contemporary dance techniques. She made several dance films that all have been screened in more than 40 film festivals worldwide and won awards. She is currently studying MA in contemporary dance performance in The University of Limerick, Ireland and hopes to continue her artistic career in Iran. 

Jessi Jamz Colon & Bat-Sheva Guez

Jessi Jamz Colon is a native New Yorker; she began dancing with Jacques D'Amboise's National Dance Institute (NDI), and later graduated from The School at Steps on Broadway's pre-professional program. Jessi has enjoyed working with many wonderful productions, including Black Grace (New Zealand), UB2, and Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad. Jessi is 1/3 of the satirical pop sensation, Adira Amram & the Experience, which has been presented throughout the U.S., U.K., Canada and Europe; collaborating artists include Ophira Eisenberg, Arden Myrin, DJ Kid Koala, DJ P Love, Kristin Schaal and Kurt Braunholer. Jessi discovered pole dancing in August of 2013 and has since been enamored by the strength, artistry, and community. A graduate of Body & Pole's Work-Study program, she is now a dancer with aerial dance company AERA, and has also performed as a pole dancer with Black Girls Pole, Kelly McLaughlin Dance, and Schtick It. She is a two-time 1st place PSO competitor, and a finalist in the 2016 Pole Theatre USA comedy division. She is currently on faculty at Body & Pole, Pole Position Dance & Fitness, and NDI. Lone Signal is Jessi's first foray into film, and she is so thrilled to have partnered with the extraordinary Bat-Sheva Guez on this project. She is honored to be a part of the Outlet Dance Project Film Festival.


Bat-Sheva Guez weaves dance, magic, and experimental techniques into visually compelling, character-driven stories. She has directed over a dozen short films and screened them in festivals worldwide including the Hamptons International Film Festival, the Rhode Island International Film Festival, the HollyShorts Film Festival and more. Guez is the recipient of the JT3 Artist Award for Screenwriting & Directing. She won Best Director at the Art of Brooklyn Film Fest for her latest film, Behind the Wall. The film also won the Panavision Grant for Best Cinematography at the Rhode Island Int'l Film Festival. Guez was also awarded the "Write By the Sea" Screenwriting Retreat from the Lighthouse Int'l Film Festival. With her production company, Adventure Pants, Guez directs films for clients like Lincoln Center featuring artists and performers such as New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and American Ballet Theatre to name a few. She's also directed videos for Conde Nast and branded content for think tanks, non-profits, dance companies, and brands. She is a member of Film Fatales Shorts, the filmmakeHERS, and the Directors Collective. More about her at

Justina Grayman

Justina Grayman is a movement creator, dancer, and athlete with a background in contemporary/modern dance, gymnastics, and track and field. Most recently she has performed as a dancer in Corean Du's music video "It's Not Okay," danced in STAND: Stories within Stories created by Kristin Sudeikis Dance, and toured Canada with the STREB Extreme Action Company as a company member. Justina aims to create raw, dynamic movement that allows us to explore/express our inner struggles, our contention with obstacles that seem to control us, and what is possible for us individually and collectively.

Cara Hagan

A professional artist of many genres, Cara Hagan has had the pleasure of presenting her work on stage, on screen and in educational settings across the United States and abroad. Cara’s creative work has been seen recently on stage at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, in installation at the South Eastern Center for Contemporary Art, on screen the Thurrock International Film Festival and the San Francisco Doc Fest and in several forms at Appalachian State University, where she serves as Assistant Professor of Dance Studies in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Ms. Hagan is a 2014/2015 recipient of the NCAC Choreographic Fellowship Award. She is also the recipient of a 2015 Sustainability in the Arts Grant and a University Research Council Award, both from Appalachian State University. Ms. Hagan's most recent scholarly contribution includes a chapter in the forthcoming anthology, Dance's Duet with the Camera: Motion Pictures. Cara is director and curator of ADF’s Movies By Movers, an international film festival dedicated to the celebration of the conversation between the moving body and the camera at the American Dance Festival.

Katherine Maxwell 
& Jordan Taylor Fuller

Katherine Maxwell, co-creator and choreographer; is a Brooklyn-based artist who approaches movement with a sense of honesty and vulnerability. Moving from the inside out, Katherine listens to the body through internal triggers, sensation and texture which instigate happenings throughout the system, informing her creative process. Katherine continues to investigate her curiosity of installing contemporary movement in alternative spaces stretching the idea of spatial limitations and perception. More about her at

Jordan Taylor Fuller, co-creator and director; is a filmmaker. Mildly narcoleptic at the age of 26, Jordan has totaled seven vehicles before relocating from Texas to New York City- the only city in the United States he can imagine living in without a car. Hates being bored, Fuller has worked in almost every department in the film industry. Currently interested in writing and directing commercials, music videos and shorts.

Mayumu Minakawa
& Tom Weksler

Mayumu  Minakawa has been trained in various dance styles since young age. She has graduated from "Saitama School of Arts" in 2004 (Japan). Alongside her dance education Mayumu was also trained in Mime and physical theatre. in 2010 she received the "Hamburg Encouragement of Cultural Exchange Award". Mayumu has danced in various projects in collaboration with many Choreographers including: Ján Ďurovčík, Ryohei Kondou, Shounosuke Ookura, Matthew Bourne, Kim Sung Yong, Ishibashi Yoshimasa, Cirque Du Soleil and more. Since 2013 Mayumu has been dancing with Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak Dance Company and has been working as their Assistant and Rehearsal Director in the production "The Cat That Lived 1000000 Times". More on her work at

Tom Weksler has been practicing Capoeira, Martial Arts and different forms of acrobatic disciplines from a young age. Tom graduated in 2009 from “The Workshop For Dancers and Choreographers in Haifa”. Since 2010, Tom has been dancing with “Inbal Pinto and Avshallom Pollak Dance Company” and performed with the comapny’s productions in many theatres and festivals around the world. Tom is currently performing around the world the performance “Collective Loss Of Memory” - choreographed by “Rootlessroot” (Jozef Fruček and Lind Kapetnea) and produced by “Dot504”. 
Tom's movement workshops have taken place in Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, London, Tokyo, San Francisco, Berlin, Guadelajara, Bratislava, Copenhagen  and more.


Duston Spear

Duston Spear has been an exhibiting artist since 1982 with her first New York show at the Soho Center (an affiliate of the Aldrich Museum). That initial series, named ‘Who’s Afraid of Art History?’, sampled an Edgar Degas portrait of 'The Bellelli Family’ with a combination of humor and homage. Spear cites being in the drum core of the Woman's Action Coalition (WAC) in the early 90’s as the best time for girl painters; band practice was held in Phyllis Kind’s gallery, while her two daughters waited while doing their homework. The 3 Women in Black project grew out of that political re-awakening, in response to the war against women which was so integral to the brutality in the Balkan war during the early 1990s. In this project, Spear created three iconic black dresses, redolent with the imagery of war, mourning and widowhood. These were donned by many people during their lifespans, in many contexts including weekly vigils outside the United Nations, outside the NY Public Library, and in Belgrade at the height of the conflict. Spear's loft served as a gathering point for a collective of artist-activists that joined their creative forces against the war. The project was extensively covered: MS Magazine wrote about them, MTV interviewed them, and they created a site-specific installation at NYU's Grey Art Gallery. Spear’s paintings of grunged-out 19th century silhouetted women were the basis for her mid career exhibit, ‘Battledress’, at the Weatherspoon Art Museum. Her artists books, articles and the original costumes are now housed in that Unversity’s Special Collections.  Another series of paintings that involved physically braiding her older daughter’s hair turned into 'That Big Yellow Braid', a public art commission for Creative Time, that addressed both private and universal teenage issues at Manhattan’s Family Court. Her younger daughter’s battle with a life threatening illness caused her to move with her family out of the city. Spear began showing again in 2003  in Tribeca, with ’Topographies’, making a calligraphic battlefield out of Stephen Crane’s Civil War poems. For her next solo show, READ, at Sara Tecchia Roma New York in Chelsea, Spear graffitied over her own paintings to amplify the political statement.  That same year she began teaching art in the College Program at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, a maximum security women's prison. Spear incorporated the poetry of one of her students, former Weather Underground radical Judy Clark in a short film, 'Red Thread: The Prisoner and the Painter'. Now with her most recent series of paintings, HIVES, and before that with HERD, we experience a fully realized painter, a woman who speaks to a complicated life encoded in paintings built on experiences, mistakes, good calls and actions. More at

Jana G. Younes

Jana Georges Younes is a young filmmaker, strongly driven by her passion towards dance and movement. Her thrive to break the boundary between the screen and the spectator makes her work focused on how to transmit -through cinema- the feeling one gets watching a live performance. She also believes that music should be composed to the given movement instead of durably choreographing to pre-arranged tunes. “And So do I”, Jana’s freshly orchestrated film is a journey to the world of movement storytelling.

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