Henryk Cymerman


Henryk Cymerman was born in Poland and immigrated to New York in his mid-teens. He moved to Jerusalem to study sculpture at Bezalel Academy of Fine Arts and Design. Henryk discovered his interest in film through his exploration of mixed media art which prompted him to pursue his Masters in film at Tisch School of the Arts. After graduation, he made the transition into feature films as a Director of Photography and earned a spot in the International Cinematography Guild. In 1993, he moved with his family to Los Angeles to continue his work in feature productions. His films include, but are not limited to the following titles: “April Rain,” “Brothers Three an American Gothic,” “Scared,” “Soap Girl,” “Placebo Effect,”(for which he won an award) “Home Fries” [Second Unit,] “To the Limit,” “Dream Boat,” “Star Trek First Contact”[Second Unit.] Kodak, In Camera, and Fujifilm profiled him over the years. He traveled all over the world to visually record testimonials of over 300 Holocaust survivors for Steven Spielberg’s “Survivors of the Shoah, Visual History Foundation.” Henryk’s professional teaching career started after graduate school when he was recruited by Dr. Annette Insdorf (Director of the Columbia University Graduate School of Film). This initial teaching experience prompted his future endeavors in university settings. The creativity and independence he fosters in his students fuels his love of teaching. Today Henryk lives in Los Angeles with his wife and children.

Dallas King


Holding an MFA in Directing / Production from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Dallas King is an award-winning director, producer and experienced film instructor. Dallas has directed, written, and produced, and completed two feature films, KISS KISS, a hyper-stylized action thriller that premiered in Los Angeles and is available on every major platform including Amazon and iTunes. Following this, INK & RAIN, a sci-fi fantasy feature premiered in Beijing, China and is exclusively available on China's largest web network, iQiYi. Dallas produced the award-winning feature film documentary, THE BILL MURRAY EXPERIENCE, available on iTunes and Amazon and he completed the EDM TV Pilot, PLUR, which was funded and will be distributed by Fusion TV. His two award-winning short action films, LITTLE SOLDIER & MOST WANTED, made during his early years in film school still gross sales today and are available on Amazon and Walmart under the title, DEMON. Along the way, he directed a 10-episode docu-series, BWFC, for Banpresto Japan, owners of the Dragon Ball-Z franchise. His third narrative feature, U.Z.L.A. a horror film he directed and wrote, starts its film festival run in Winter 2022. His recent projects include a feature film thriller, SWAP, and an Indonesia-based horror film, NOT FOR SALE.

David Desser

Dean of the Akira Kurosawa School of Film

Dr. David Desser has taught at the University of Southern California (USC), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, Kansai University in Japan, Hong Kong Baptist University and the University of Illinois where he is Professor Emeritus of Cinema Studies. He received his Ph.D. from USC in the Cinema program with a minor in Japanese. As Dean of the Anaheim University Akira Kurosawa School of Film, Dr. Desser oversees the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Digital Filmmaking.

Raphael Raphael

Carrie Hamilton Entertainment Institute Director
Film Professor

Raphael Raphael (Ph.D., University of Oregon; MFA, Plymouth University; Master's, Teachers College, Columbia University) is a film and media scholar who also lectures at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. His work frequently looks at making connections between genre, culture and disability. His most recent book, Transnational Horror Cinema: Bodies of Excess and the Global Grotesque (2017), with Sophia Siddique, looks at intersections of the horror genre, disability and trauma across borders. Other writing includes Transnational Stardom: International Celebrity in Film and Popular Culture (2013) with Russell Meeuf and contributions to the Encyclopedia of American Disability History. He currently serves as Associate Editor of Creative Works and Multimedia for the Review of Disability Studies. Raphael's work on pedagogy also includes writing on teaching film and disability studies in Modern Language Association's Teaching Film (2012) and social media learning in Let's Get Social: The Educator's Guide to Edmodo, with Ginger Carlson (2015). He has coordinated and directed educational technology programs with institutions in Asia, Europe and the United States. His scholarship in film, technology and media is also informed by his own practice as transmedia artist, and he has exhibited his work, including augmented reality and found footage installations as well as short films, in the United States and Europe. He is currently working on a book making connections between disability studies and film studies. Dr. Raphael tweets on issues in film and technology @raphaelspeak.

Alison Marek 



ALISON MAREK (MFA, New York University) is an award-winning writer and director who's combined words and images professionally since she was in her late teens. Her short films have played in festivals around the world and aired on cable TV. Her writing and directing have won grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Showtime Networks, Inc., been nominated for a Los Angeles Emmy Award, and received a Gold Aurora, Bronze Telly, and other awards and nominations. She's produced shorts, features, and TV. She also built and ran the video department at an online magazine, where she shot and edited thousands of videos. Her graphic novels "Desert Streams" and "Sparrow" were published by Piranha Press, an offshoot of DC Comics.