Director Biography – Hayley Thom (TONY MCCLEAN NEPAL TRUST)

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True woman of the world, multi-disciplined director Hayley Thom has seen her fair share of the globe. She’s traversed the humanitarian and corporate sectors, from spanning New Zealand’s length to shooting in Buenos Aires, Shanghai, India, Nepal, South Africa and Bangladesh.
Hayley is passionate about being able to tell stories on behalf of those who can’t speak for themselves. She has found herself in a prison yard in South Africa, deep in the slums in Mumbai and sat in woman’s empowerment groups in the Philippines. Hayley has also spent a lot of time on the road filming chefs, for a series of cookbooks throughout NZ and Australia.
Hayley is always up for a challenge and gets excited about new projects that can have a lasting impact.


Director Statement

I love meeting new people and to be able to have the chance to tell their stories. It was an honour to be involved in the ‘Tony McClean Nepal Trust’ film, to be part of such an incredible story. I wanted the viewer to feel connected to the story, for them to see that they can also be part of it and be able to make a real difference.

Director Biography – Almudena Toral, Andrea Patiño Contreras (America First: The legacy of an immigration raid)

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Almudena Toral is a Spanish visual journalist and filmmaker currently based in Miami. She heads the feature video team at Univision News Digital. Her work has also been published by The New York Times, TIME, The Guardian, AlJazeera, VICE, Huffington Post, Marie Claire, Canal+ and other outlets. Prior to joining Univision, she taught video storytelling graduate courses in New York City, pursued her own projects worldwide and worked full time at The New York Times and TIME.

Andrea Patiño Contreras is a journalist from Bogotá, Colombia currently based in Miami, where she works with the Video Features team of Univision News Digital. Most of her work deals with questions around migration. She graduated from Duke University with a BA in cultural anthropology and got a master’s in Media and Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Director Biography – Yimin Gu (ENGLISH LESSONS)

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Yimin Gu is an aspiring filmmaker pursuing an MFA degree at Loyola Marymount University. Born in Shanghai, studied in Hong Kong, and now based in LA, Yimin Gu is a young female director passionate about cultural communication and women’s narratives. She has a firm belief that we share common humanity, even though it comes in different forms. Whether through documentary or fiction, she aims to realize the potential of communication and understanding. She co-organized the Hong Kong International Film Festival for Immigrants. Currently, she’s facilitating the first Chinese-American Producers Summit.

Director Biography – Julie Lipson (THE RIVER)

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Julie Lipson is a screenwriter who grew up in Nevada City and now lives in LA, who has never directed her own work until… THE RIVER.

In 2017, Julie sold a television series called Excess to Universal Cable Productions and E! Network. She also recently sold a series to Super Deluxe, based on the New York Times Bestselling Y/A novel, Obedience, and wrote the one-hour pilot for the studio. Julie’s one-hour pilot, Children of the Sun, was set up at Echo Lake, where she developed the script with director Keith Gordon (Homeland, Fargo).

On the feature side, Julie’s environmental survivor thriller Rust Creek is on the festival circuit and recently sold to IFC Midnight. She has written two other features for Lunacy, most notably, The Man Who Knew Belle Starr, about a 13-year-old girl with homicidal tendencies, and the ex-con who comes into her life and changes it forever.

Julie holds an MFA in Writing for Screen and Television from the University of Southern California with a thesis in television writing. She was the winner of the graduate student script competition both years she attended USC. Before her writing career Julie graduated summa cum laude from Middlebury College in Vermont with a joint major in film and English, and was awarded a Bread Loaf Writer’s Scholarship for poetry.

She grew up in Nevada City, California, was a California Junior Miss (talent) and an American Scholarship Winner for Piano Performance at the Chopin Institute in Warsaw.

Director Biography – Marina Ziolkowski (BUT YOU LOOK SO GOOD)

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Fille et petite-fille de scénaristes américains, Marina Ziolkowski apprend très tôt à raconter des histoires puis étudie pendant cinq ans dans les meilleures écoles d’art dramatique de Paris.
Elle réalise des vidéos expérimentales et fait partie de la sélection EROIN 2014 dédiée aux réalisatrices françaises émergentes.
Partie vivre à Los Angeles pendant deux ans, Marina y tourne son court métrage But you look so good.

Director Biography – Michelle Morgan (MI MADRE, MY FATHER)

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Michelle Morgan has grown up on film sets. As a teenager she worked with her older sister, television and commercial director Wendy Morgan, as an assistant, wardrobe stylist and performer. Over the 11 seasons she has starred on Heartland (CBC), Michelle has shadowed numerous directors such as Bruce McDondald, Dean Bennet and Rachel Leiterman. In 2009 Michelle wrote and produced a pilot, The Goods. Mi Madre, My Father is Michelle’s directorial debut.