Director Biography – Tom Ryan (POGONOPHOBIA)

Tom Ryan is an Irish filmmaker currently based in the UK. Having learned his trade working on indie movie shoots in New York, Tom returned to Ireland and made his first feature film as a writer/ director ‘Trampoline’ at the age of 25 for EUR1000 and which was later sold to Amazon Prime Video.

After the success of ‘Trampoline’ Tom began work on his next project ‘Twice Shy’ – a road trip movie following a young couple travelling from Ireland to the UK as a result of an unplanned pregnancy. ‘Twice Shy’ had great success on the festival circuit which included a screening at the Cannes Film Festival along with earning Tom a Rising Star award in LA and a Best Young Director award in Australia. ‘Twice Shy’ as a critical and commercial success upon its theatrical release in the summer of 2017. Dublin Film Critics Circle hailed Tom as a ‘Breakthrough Artist of the Year’ in 2017.

Director Statement


I fell in love with Pognophobia and the characters within as soon as I read the first draft of the script. As a director I am always looking out for characters with heart, who are doing their best to get through their day whilst facing personal issues known only to them. When considering a project to direct it is always important that I try to imagine the project from the point of view of the audience. When reading Pogonophobia I did so with that mindset and connected with the material immediately. The main character of Cyril is so wonderful and complex while at the same time strangely relatable as I feel that everyone has personal insecurities that they feel embarrassed by. It is almost a rarity to see such a decent character with a heart of gold on screen these days. Also, to have the antagonist of the tale be the mindset of the protagonist is such an interesting approach to a short film like this. Cyril is ultimately his own enemy as he is lacking the confidence to be himself and follow his heart. It is my job as director to successfully translate him to the screen and tell this story in such a short time frame which I feel will be a fantastic challenge that I am very excited about.

Director Biography – Ilan Zerrouki (IF YOU LOVE HER, LET HER GO)

5c9c9dc8c8 headshot

Ilan Zerrouki is a French director and post production supervisor. He comes from 3D animation and has done visual effects supervision on many clips, commercials and short films. In 2012 he managed the post production of the animation short film “Goutte d’Or”, which won several prizes among the world.
Je l’aime alors je la quitte is his second fiction short film written, directed and produced.

Director Biography – Sam Cadman (MANN OVERBOARD)

061e56a58d headshot

Sam Cadman is the co-creator of cult comedy series Trigger Happy TV (Rose-D’Or winner, CH4, Comedy Central) and an award-winning commercial director in both the US and UK (Cannes, Clio, LIA, AICP, British Arrows). Known for capturing natural, spontaneous and improvised performances, his work is also held in the permanent collection of MOMA.

Director Statement

Mann Overboard is a comedic pressure-cooker from a passionate and super-talented NY cast. Filmed over two days, in and around the city, it’s a fresh observation on a fast-changing world – threesomes, edibles, the active sex lives of retirees – Doug needs to wake up fast if he doesn’t want to be left behind.

Director Biography – Katrina Cebreiro (FEDERAL APPROVED PARENT)

6ca26731b4 headshot

Hey! I’m Katrina. I graduated with my B.A. in Cinema and Television Arts and went on to receive my MFA in Screenwriting. Though, I am not immune to typos. Just the opposite actually. I have been working in the industry for 8 years. I started with internships at a NBC news station and CBS radio station (at the same time). And then I went on to work at Conan, TMZ, Daniel Hoff Agency and Warner Bros. I pursued my dream of filmmaking on the side for so long but now I’m pursing it full-time! I literally won’t stop until I get there so watch out for me!

Director Statement

I’m so passionate about telling stories. It’s the one way we can connect with each other and take turns telling each other’s stories so that we can to create a better, more compassionate society.

Director Biography – Steve Becker (BRAZZY JAZZY)

7848dbbd7d headshot

Steve Becker is a writer, director, and producer who has worked on projects in NYC, LA, Brazil, & Europe. He started out at CBS Sports where he worked in finance during the day and production nights & weekends, both in studio and at game sites. Steve has a MBA and has worked in the financial services and real estate development industries for most of his life. In addition, he is a stand-up comedian and sketch writer having studied at NYU, UCB & PIT. His first feature film, Manhattan Minutiae, is a rock & roll romantic comedy with an original, pulsating soundtrack available on Amazon. Steve just shot a one-hour TV pilot based on the movie. In addition, he is distributing a Brazilian web series as well as co-producing several TV shows with creators around the world. He lived in Los Angeles for 3 years and Brazil for 6 years. Steve and his Brazilian wife currently live in New York City but try to escape to Rio de Janeiro during the worst of winter’s fury.

Director Statement

I like to think I have a unique understanding and connection with Brazil – My mother is a professor of Brazilian Studies at Brown, I lived in Brazil off & on the last 20 years, my wife is Brazilian, etc. I created this show to demonstrate to the American Audience the energy and passion Brazilians bring to life in NYC as well as the challenges faced by all, especially immigrants, trying to attain the American dream. Obviously in a humorous way.

I have been lucky enough to travel the world after running my own business successfully for years. As much as I have tried to instantly acclimate to foreign cultures, I have often felt like the classic fish out of water. Given my comedy background (Stand-up & sketch), I feel I have a unique ability based on my life experiences to depict the cultural outsider in comic situations with hopefully witty insight.

Director Biography – Meredith Koch (UBER THOUGHTS)

F9b42e7199 headshot

Meredith Koch is an Academy Accredited director based out of Los Angeles. She holds an MFA in directing from the American Film Institute, AFI and a BA in directing from UCLA. She is represented commercially by Atvertise in the German territories.

Articles and interviews with Meredith and her films have been featured in the following publications: Indie Shorts Mag, LA Weekly, The Aerogram, Cinemark, Seattle International Examiner, We Are Moving Stories, VC Online, Chris Martin Studios, Popcorn Talk, Kajal Mag, and USA Today.

Director Biography – Ilana Gordon (DESIGNATED RIDER)

5ad54414cd headshot

Ilana Gordon is a Los Angeles-based comedy writer, producer and filmmaker. By day, she works covering entertainment news as a producer for E!’s Daily Pop. At night, she does other stuff.

Ilana is a regular contributor to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and has served as a guest writer for NPR’s Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! quiz show. You can read her writing on The A.V. Club, The Daily Dot, Reductress, The Weekly Humorist, The American Bystander and toilet stall doors across America.

Director Statement

Last year, I was parsing through some uncomfortable childhood memories when my brain stopped on the feeling of being the last kid picked up from school.

My Mom was a chronically late parent, and I would estimate that 46% of my personality was shaped by the awkward, anxious conversations between me and whichever overburdened adult was forced to stick around to ensure I wasn’t kidnapped. Whether we waited for one minute or one hour, I felt compelled to prove to them that I wasn’t an inconvenience, that the situation was beyond my control, and that I was just as annoyed by it as they were.

This film is our attempt at approximating the adult version of that feeling.

To create the story and build the character of Jenny, we pulled directly from the life of my lead actress and Co-Executive Producer, Jaime Lyn Beatty. A former New York City kid who moved to Los Angeles without a drivers license, Jaime Lyn has survived out West thanks to rideshare apps, public transportation and probably, magic. She has no desire to learn to drive, but like most of us, she gets tired of having to justify her choices.

Jaime Lyn and I met while we were both improvisers performing on a Harold team at iO Chicago. And while the team was short-lived, this creative partnership was a long time coming. “Designated Rider” was born of our shared desire to create a film with a simple story, a universally-relatable theme, and a happy ending.

We are both anxious people, but over the years we’ve learned there is one thing you can count on with anxiety: it always feels like it’s going to last forever, but if you wait it out, a better feeling is right around the corner.

Director Biography – Jeffrey John Eyamie (SO, WHAT DO YOU THINK?)

0bed59ab65 headshot

Director, Writer and Story Editor for television, feature and short films. National Screen Institute Totally Television Alum. Published novelist. Credits include Story Co-ordinator for Less Than Kind Season 4 and Story Assistant for Season 3, Farpont Films Cruise Ship Killers, as well as various screenwriting credits for short films, tv pilots, and a novel or two.

Director Biography – Jonathan Levy (UNLEASHED)

0e326f5ca9 headshot

Jonathan Levy is an award-winning director/screenwriter from North Carolina who came up in New York City studying sketch-writing at the Upright Citizens Brigade and acting at HB Studio and the Neighborhood Playhouse.

His first short play, ‘Camping Out’ was produced by the Collective NY to critical acclaim and ‘Unleashed’ is his first short film.

He graduated from Brandeis University with at B.A. in Philosophy of Near Eastern & Judaic Studies and then at Hunter College where he received a Master’s in Geography.

In addition to his career in film, Jonathan is an accomplished drummer and played the streets, clubs and toured the country with NYC’s legendary Stumblebum Brass Band, appearing on America’s Got Talent and sharing the stage with The Black Lips and The Roots. He loves Duke Basketball and all Caribbean food.

Director Statement

The story of Unleashed came out of my own struggles as an actor in NYC over the past 10 years, where I was on and off straddling demanding day jobs and trying to break into the industry. I wanted to create a film in which to see these tensions play out and I had to look no further to my friend and collaborator, Nick Feitel who plays the lead.

Nick is, in real life, a dog walker based in Brooklyn. Watching him abandon his friends mid-hangout to go do a whirlwind of dog related duties from sitting, walking to boarding, I realized I could capture an interesting lifestyle, that of the dogwalker, which has yet to be documented in its comical glory.

Finally, while I was developing the concept of the pilot, the wonderful actor, Geoffrey Owens got “job shamed” when his photo was taken while working at Trader Joes. The story went viral during the writing of Unleashed.

The “if you are successful, you will be happy” is all faulty logic. I hope to explore through Unleashed that the relentless pursuit of fame is not necessarily an end goal and if nothing else, should not come at the cost of one’s own self-worth and well being.

Director Biography – Anders Teig (RUBBISH ROBBERS)

9a685c578a headshot

Anders has done a lot of live TV-directing and debuted with his first fiction-film Haikeren starring Kristofer Hivju in 2013. Since then he has been working on both short and feature film scripts. He has also written a supernatural mystery novel which was released at the end of 2018, called “Den bemerkelsesverdige bysten”. He is currently in pre-production of a new short film which is set to start shooting in December 2019.

Director Statement

We live in a time where no one seems to accept the blame for their own wrongdoings. I wanted to show an extreme version of this and thought it might be fun to see what happens if a premium idiot screws up a robbery and completely denies his own wrongdoing. I must admit that I also have not always been able to take responsibility for my own actions and I do believe this is a universal truth about us as human beings. I hope the audience will laugh and enjoy themselves and maybe recognize something from their own history, albeit not as bloody and crazy as in this story. At least I hope not.