John is an award winning filmmaker who believes in gender equality and his films champion women both on and off the screen. Many of his films have received the ReFrame Stamp, which is awarded to narratives that hire women or individuals of other underrepresented gender identities/expressions in four out of eight key roles. John’s understanding of cinema in its entirety allows him to develop, coordinate and bring to finality any project he takes on. A deep love for travel has given him the opportunity to shoot across the United States and the world, creating documentaries and online content. He has directed and produced seven feature films which can be found across multiple platforms and have been released by Universal Home Entertainment, PureFlix and RLJ Entertainment. His directing and cinematography can be seen in five travel docs, a web series for CBS and episodes of true crime for Real ID Channel, as well as many instances of online content.
Lava Khonsuwon is an Isaan Thai American filmmaker based in New Mexico. Her filmmaking career started as a Production Office Intern on a German feature, then she was hooked on learning as much as she could about filmmaking. Lava worked in various departments, such as casting, acting, production and accounting. For the past few years, she has worked as a director for docu-style / branded content commercials and has won a Silver Telly for directing. Lava is in the 2023 Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) mentorship program, 2023 Commercial Director Diversity Program (CDDP) cohort, and she is a 2023 Stowe Story Lab New Voices New Voices New Mexico Fellow. Lava is driven to create films that amplify underrepresented voices, encourage positivity and overcoming challenges. She writes, produces, directs and edits her own projects from documentaries to narrative films. Currently, she is directing a documentary about Traditional Clothing and editing a documentary about having Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Lava is also the Festival Director for the New Mexico Asian Film Festival and Founder of Asians in NM Film.
Dewayne and Lawayne Bontrager Twiin Media LLC have been media designers and videographers for the past 20 years. You've seen their work in all your favorite retail spaces including Target, Walmart, Home Depot, and Best Buy. Their passion is developing and producing entertaining short films. Since 2008, they have written and produced over 30 short films which have been recognized for many awards including: "Best of Show", "Best Visual $ Special Effects", “Best Costumes” and "Best Actor” to name a few.
Dr. Sharmin Dharas is an Albuquerque and Nob Hill native. Her parents owned and operated the hotel as the University Lodge motel since 1996. This meant many long days and late nights as a child, with just the preoprty and her imagination as her playground. Dr. Dharas is bringing the Hotel Zazz story to life in more ways than one! She wrote a children’s book about her childhood adventures with an unexpected friend.
Mauricio believes cultural visibility leads to confidence and care within communities. Whether negotiating the identities of clients or corporations, or the intimacies of cultural characteristics, attention is facilitated with an acute awareness that art in the public space permeates the subconscious.
Usafii started in a small living room in New Mexico, with a vision to provide the best skin care products with Ayurvedic ingredients. Founder, Dr. Dharas, MD used her knowledge and international background to effectively deliver the Ayurvedic effects of tumeric info Usafii Beauty.