Director – Stephanie Spray

Stephanie Spray is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, where she also directs the Center for Ethnographic Media Arts. She is a filmmaker, anthropologist and educator whose work lies at the intersection of ethnography and art, with research interests in social aesthetics; visual, sonic, and media anthropology; conservation, climate change and the anthropology of science; and everyday religious practices. For many years in Nepal, she worked with itinerant musicians, known as the Gandharva or the Gāine, with whom she made five films and sound works, culminating in her feature-length film Manakamana (2013, co-directed with Pacho Velez), which won numerous awards, including two Golden Leopards at the Locarno International Film Festival and first prize at BAFICI, and was followed by a sustained theatrical release in the US, U.K., Canada, Germany, and Japan. She is currently working on a film with conservationists in the south of Chile. Dr. Spray earned her PhD in Social Anthropology with Media at Harvard University, a Master of Theological Studies in the study of religion from Harvard Divinity School, and a Bachelor of Arts in the Study of Religion from Smith College.

Associate Director – Joie Estrella Horwitz

Joie Estrella Horwitz is a filmmaker based in New York City. Her work blends research based fieldwork with imaginative exploration to delve into the space between fact and fiction at the intersection of physical and spiritual borders. Filmmaker Magazine named her one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film”. Her work has screened at DOK Leipzig, Brooklyn Film Festival, UnionDocs, Le Cinéma Club, REDCAT, Images Festival, Visions du Reel, ICDOCS, Flaherty Seminar, Tacoma Film Festival, among others. She was awarded fellowships to the Sundance Institute’s Creative Producing Lab, Women at Sundance Adobe Fellowship, the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar and the Logan Nonfiction program. Her projects have been awarded grants from the SFFILM Rainin Screenwriting Grant, Allan Sekula Social Documentary Fund, Princess Grace Foundation Award, Alison Doerner Fund for Women Pioneers in Filmmaking, and the Tim Disney Prize for Excellence in the Storytelling Arts. She is currently in development on her first feature project, When the Sun Warms and working as the Associate Director at the Center for Ethnographic Media Arts.

Audio Visual Technician – Travis Levasseur

Travis Levasseur is an artist and screenwriter b. 1991 in Richmond, VA who produces awkward moments through sight, sound, smell and touch. His multimedia practice spawned from his work producing special effects for theater and film where he became obsessed with exploring the gears and levers humans use to trick themselves for entertainment. This endless curiosity of technique and process has continued to drive him to pursue work that pushes the boundaries of reality and illusion both in concept and form. Since then, Travis has produced hybrid documentary films, shorts, music videos, multimedia installations, and television pilots that tell haunting, queer, dystopian stories, frequently leveraging comedy, and camp. Many of these projects enter their worlds by investigating the actions of humans and animals who are no longer present to amplify the people and places left behind by slavery’s capitalism. His single-channel video work has been screened at Vox Populi in Philadelphia, PA, Macao Milano in Milan, IT, and the Borscht Film Festival in Miami, FL. His multimedia installations have been exhibited at Big Law Country Club in Brooklyn, NY, and Terrault Contemporary in Baltimore, MD. He has received fellowships for his work at the Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC, and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.  Travis currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA with his husband, two small dogs, and senile cat. In his free time, he likes to talk to electronics about their feelings.