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Diana de Aguniaga – Currently I am teaching bi-lingual film production to high school students at Monte del Sol charter school. This includes teaching my students all aspects of film making from developing a concept, screen writing, filming and post-production. I hope to bring a similarly challenging and engaging learning environment to New Mexico Filmmakers Academy that I’ve employed at Monte del Sol; one that effectively teaches art appreciation, promotes creativity, and encourages independence. I am confident that my experience integrating diverse working methods, coupled with my multicultural background and history of exhibitions abroad as well as my experiences in film-making and my expertise with many different types of equipment, have prepared me well for this teaching position. I will bring a different voice and perspective from the international, high school and study abroad community.

Monique Anair – My leadership experience in education will dictate my role as main facilitator for this group. I have learned in my journey as a leader that collective voice is the most important part of the leadership process. My job within the New Mexico Filmmakers Academy is to help each member seek their best-self. My experience as a camera women and now a teacher gives me the vocabulary to speak for filmmakers in the educational environment. I will also act as researcher, administrator and liaison between formal and non-formal educational institutions, maintain ethical and legal guidelines, raise funds and best of all participate in helping student achieve their goals.

Doug Crawford – In the 1990’s I began teaching broadcast journalism and documentary film production with the University of New Mexico specifically to help students navigate the world of public television by producing work for KNME-TV. I have working in the classroom ever since. For 20 years I have owned and operated Delighted Eye Video in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Through my work in the professional world I feel I offer a real-world viewpoint for students. My technical skills, experience within and outside of New Mexico and small business acumen are what I will bring to New Mexico Filmmakers Academy.

James Lujan – I have worked in Hollywood as a Native American. I know the challenges that our students face in a fast-paced and self-motivated industry. I have been a leader for Native Americans in mainstream media and that experience and skill base is what I bring to the academy. I also am a professor who has the responsibility of cultivating my students. I feel the academy is a perfect outlet for my recent grads to be able to find their voice and support to take it to the next level. I bring the director skills in the Hollywood market to this group and the ability to navigate the low budget and entry level markets.

Gene Mederos – Currently I serve as the chairman for the non-profit New Mexico Film Resource. This organization connects students with internships on professional films. Experience in the workforce is invaluable for the neophyte. I work primarily in post-production and special effects, animation. What I bring to the academy environment is my experience in navigating the local business community, leveraging parton-ship for students and my skills in connecting the right people for the job. I am a Cuban- American and my experience as an emigrant in the United States has been invaluable in leading me to believe wholeheartedly in the opportunity of underrepresented voices getting a chance to be heard. I have the ability to do what it takes to help reach the objectives we have proposed as a team. I bring the producer skills needed for this group.

Jilann Spitzmiller – I have been making films since 1985. My experience and passion translates into films that stretch the mind, entertain the spirit and reach straight for the heart. I have had the pleasure to mentor students who have gone on to and win multiple film festivals. What I bring to the academy is my professionalism, passion and amazing track record of successful film-making. I will be a mentor and guide and share my own experience navigating the industry and festival markets.

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