Maria Arida is a Brazilian writer-director currently pursuing her M.F.A. in Directing at the American Film Institute. Before coming to AFI, Maria studied filmmaking at FAAP in Brazil, where she worked as a cinematographer on five short films. Upon graduating, Maria went on to direct five short films in a variety of genres, such as thriller, horror, drama, and coming of age, including SOLO, which is currently starting its festival run. Furthermore, Maria’s experience as an assistant director allowed her to work closely under renowned director Hector Babenco (Academy award nominee for Kiss of the Spider Woman), among others. Currently, Maria is working on her latest film Drown in Mirrors, which will start production in March 2017.
Jonathan Bloch is a Producing Fellow at the American Film Institute. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Drew University inTheatre Arts and Political Science. Upon graduation, Jonathan moved out to Los Angeles to pursue acting. Jonathan began as a creative consultant for Allied Artists, providing script coverage and rewrites on acquired properties. While assisting at Allied Artists, he rose to Casting Associate for esteemed casting director Fern Champion, working with her full-time for four years, on projects such as the Emmy®-nominated miniseries HATFIELDS & MCCOYS, the TEXAS RISING miniseries, and the m.o.w. BIG DRIVER. Jonathan is currently pursuing his M.F.A. in Producing, and produced 5 short films in the past year.
Hannah graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a BA in Photography and the Psychology of Art. Her years studying photography led to an opportunity to work as a cinematographer on her first feature film, BENDER. Soon after completing the film she began to work as a camera assistant on television shows and indie features to further her knowledge of the craft. Hannah is currently pursuing her MFA in Cinematography at the American Film Institute.
As a kid, Nick Lane grew up making stop-motion Lego movies in his small home in Northwest Arkansas. He is a graduate of Hampshire College, with a BA in Film and Theatre. Nick’s play, Church Street, won the 2009 5-College Denis Johnston Playwriting Award. He has traveled as an arts educator to thousands of students across the country, and has taught basic filmmaking courses to high schoolers. Currently, Nick is earning his MFA in Film Editing at the American Film Institute.
Jubilate graduated from the UNC School of the Arts, with a BFA in Production Design for Filmmaking. She has a Fine Arts background, studying painting and sculpture at both the Rhode Island School of Design and the College for Creative Studies. She has worked on over 30 short films ranging in positions from Set Decorator to Production Designer.Jubilate has designed various music videos as well as designed and art directed multiple feature films which have been apart of international film festivals in Amsterdam and London. Jubilate has worked with Yahoo, Ford,Fox, to develop creative content. Jubilate is currently pursuing her MFA in Production Design at the American Film Institute.