Amy Bench is a filmmaker and visual artist who is drawn to the immediacy of film and photography to tell stories of community and resilience. Trained as a cinematographer, her observational style highlights small details of the human experience that transcend formal explanation. Her camera work has screened at festivals including Berlin, SXSW, Sundance, The New York Film Festival, and at MOMA/PS1 and in 2016 she was named a “DP on the Rise” by Paste Magazine. Amy is a member of the multidisciplinary artist collective ICOSA, an artist-run gallery space that showcases a diverse range of contemporary art and programming.

Carolyn Merriman is the Executive Producer at the Future of StoryTelling (FoST) and a curator interested in the intersection of art, technology and storytelling. As a producer she works across media, including documentary films, animations, apps and other interactive experiences. She was an Associate Producer on The Unforeseen, a documentary Executive Produced by Terrence Malick and Robert Redford and directed by Laura Dunn.

Jessica Goudeau is the author of AFTER THE LAST BORDER (forthcoming, Viking 2020), a narrative nonfiction book about refugee resettlement in the US. She has written for The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Teen Vogue, The Los Angeles Times, and other places. She has a PhD in Poetry and Translation Studies from the University of Texas. In most of her writing, she partners with displaced people to tell their stories with dignity while protecting their identities.

Constance Dykhuizen has a Master's in Public Affairs from the LBJ School at the University of Texas. Based in Thailand and Texas, she travels everywhere in between consulting with storytellers, artists and social impact organizations to increase attention and resources for migrant and marginalized people. She is also the executive director of JP's Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation.

Steve West is the director and founder of Lazy Chief, a creative design studio specializing in animation, based in Soho, London. Agile, adaptable and constantly evolving, Lazy Chief has delivered projects that inform and excite for Google, The Science Museum, Facebook, FoST, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, The BBC, Universal Music, and MacMillan Cancer Support.

Curtis is a composer from Fort Worth, Texas. He began playing music as a child when his great-grandfather taught him to play the musical saw. He has scored and composed original music for dozens of productions, including Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Hellion, Earthling, Slash, and 1985.

Monica Santis is an editor/director with a master’s degree in International Affairs from George Washington University, and is a graduate of the London Film School. In addition to writing and directing her own films, she has worked as the Director of Outreach for the Austin School of Film, where she helped develop the Cine Joven bilingual youth film program and worked as a producer for the NAMAC and SXSW Youth MAFIA Film Festivals. Her award-winning work has been screened at film festivals across North America and Europe. 

Eric Friend has worked as a sound designer, engineer, and composer for the past twenty five years. Eric learned filmmaking from his father as a child in Michigan. He moved to Austin, Texas to attend the University of Texas Radio/ Television/ Film program, and worked for Richard Linklater and Mike Judge for over a decade before opening his own sound studio.

Eloise DeJoria is a model, actress, producer and supporter of the arts. Through her entrepreneurial endeavors and platform, Eloise encourages people to live healthy, whole lives. With her family foundation JP's Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation based in Austin, Texas, she supports recovery, arts and film projects, particularly those that support the voices of young storytellers.


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