MAX BARBAKOW, DIRECTOR/STORY
Max is a director/writer/mammal from Santa Barbara, CA. He graduated from Yale University in 2011 with Distinction in American Studies and was nominated for the Sudler Prize for Excellence in the Arts. He also studied in Bolivia. Post-grad, freelance projects for companies like ABC, Participant Media, and Fusion took Max around the world, from Laos to Wounded Knee to Rajasthan to Yonkers. He then worked on David O. Russell’s AMERICAN HUSTLE. Max’s recent work includes his feature directorial debut, MOMMY, I’M A BASTARD!, a reflection on his adoption, as well as BYRON’S THEME, an existential comedy he produced for his big brother Bennett. Both enjoyed fest jaunts under the brothers' Test Pattern Media banner. Max is a recent graduate of the AFI Conservatory with an MFA in Directing. www.maxbarbakow.com
DAN LEONARD, PRODUCER
Dan Leonard is a recent graduate of the AFI Conservatory with an MFA in Producing. He also earned a BA in Theatre from Hamilton College. Dan is the Founder and President of Literacy Through Cinema, a 501(c)(3) organization that teaches film-making to under-privileged children in the South Bronx. Dan also worked as an Associate Producer on the Broadway play PUMP BOYS & DINETTES, and has worked on projects including: THE ART OF GETTING BY, SPIDER-MAN 3, THE GOOD SHEPHERD, LAW & ORDER: SVU, LAW & ORDER, 30 ROCK, and many others.
ANDY SIARA, CO-WRITER/STORY
After graduating from UC Irvine in 2008, Andy really put his Sociology degree to good use by spending five years in a beat-up 15-passenger white Ford Econoline, touring the United States and Canada with his little indie rock band, performing everywhere from the shitty dives in forgotten towns in front of five fans, to Coachella and Lollapalooza, in front of five fans. After feeling that the band, and van, ran its course, Andy hung up the guitar, choosing to pursue one of the few lines of work that is even more obscenely competitive than the music industry: Screenwriting. The joke’s on him.
DEREK J. PASTUSZEK, CO-WRITER/STORY
Born in Philadelphia and educated in Boston, Derek J. Pastuszek holds both a BS in Film & Television and a BA in English Literature (from Boston University, 2012). A lifelong hockey player, Pastuszek played in all four collegiate years – serving as his club team’s Captain as a junior and senior. In his post-graduate year, he worked for the Philadelphia Flyers’ Snider Hockey Foundation – bringing his love for the game of hockey, along with off-ice tutorship and mentorship, to Philadelphia’s at-risk youth. In this time, he continued his filmmaking career by writing & directing book trailers and music videos for various authors and musicians. In 2013, Pastuszek began his studies at the American Film Institute (AFI) Conservatory, where he recently earned his MFA. Most recently, Pastuszek wrote & directed SOLITARY, his latest short film (set to be released in 2015).
NICK BUPP, CINEMATOGRAPHER
Nick has been working professionally in the film industry for the past five years. Upon receiving his undergraduate degree in film from Syracuse University, he worked in Philadelphia as a set electrician for a year on various independent feature films. Moving to Los Angeles over four years ago, he began to establish himself as a chief lighting technician on various commercials, music videos, and feature films. Holding a strong passion for the visual and narrative storytelling form, he recently completed his MFA in Cinematography at the American Film Institute Conservatory. http://www.nicholasbupp.com.
SALVADOR PÉREZ GARCÍA, EDITOR
Salvador Pérez García graduated from the University of Guadalajara with a BA in Audiovisual Arts. He has mainly worked as an editor in a variety of short films, including ALPHA Y OMEGA and CHABELA QUERIDA, both of which played at international film festivals. He directed and edited a documentary about the making of ESCUADRÓN 2011, an animated miniseries for the 2011 Pan American Games, followed by A CONVERSATION WITH ARAM, a short doc shot in Paris. Most recently, Salvador earned his MFA degree as a fellow at the American Film Institute Conservatory, where he is one of the recipients of the prestigious Tom Yoda Scholarship for talent and academic achievement. Apart from THE DUKE, he is also working on GRILL DOG with Corey Aumiller and SOLITARY with Derek J. Pastuszek. http://www.spgediting.com.
KELLY FALLON, PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Originally from the Indiana, Kelly attended the University of Notre Dame where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History. Having studied abroad in several European countries including England, France and Italy, Kelly moved to the West Coast (the best coast) where she transitioned her focus from gallery and museum work to film. Initially working in post-production creative advertising -- including trailers, posters and TV spots -- Kelly gradually began to direct her attention towards film design, culminating in her decision to attend AFI’s Production Design program. Kelly is grateful to be surrounded by talented and intelligent filmmakers, especially ones with such good senses of humor (see "ANDY SIARA, WRITER"). www.kellyfallondesign.com/.