Producers & Professionals
Jay Craven, Director
Founding Director, Kingdom County Productions (1991-present) and Semester Cinema (2006-present). Emeritus Professor of Film Studies at Marlboro College (1998-2018) and Guest Professor of Directing and Screenwriting at Sarah Lawrence College (2017-2020).
Film credits include: Writer, director, producer: High Water (w/ Greg Germann, Jane MacFie); Where the Rivers Flow North (w/ Rip Torn, Tantoo Cardinal, Michael J. Fox); A Stranger in the Kingdom (w/ Ernie Hudson, Martin Sheen, David Lansbury); Windy Acres (w/ Seana Kofoed, Rusty DeWees), Disappearances (w/ Kris Kristofferson); Northern Borders (w/ Bruce Dern, Genevieve Bujold); Peter and John (w/ Jacqueline Bisset, Christian Coulson, Diane Guerrero, Gordon Clapp); Wetware (w/ Jerry O’Connell, Cameron Scoggins, Morgan Wolk) and Jack London’s Martin Eden (w/ Andrew Richardson, Hayley Griffith).
ALSO Writer, director: The Year That Trembled (w/ Jonathan Brandis, Marin Hinkle, Fred Willard). Documentaries include After the Fog, Dawn of the People, Gayleen, and Approaching the Elephant (producer).
Festivals and special screenings include: Sundance, SXSW, AFI Fest, Vienna, Vancouver, Avignon, Havana, Lincoln Center, Smithsonian, Harvard Film Archives, Cinematheque Francaise, Constitutional Court of Johannesburg, and Cinemateca Nacional de Venezuela.
Awards and recognition: Producers Guild of America NOVA Award; Gotham Award nomination; two National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) film production grants; finalist, Critics Week, Cannes Film Festival; selection to the Sundance Collection at UCLA; NEA’s American Masterpieces Program; selection to American Film Institute’s initial “AFI: Project 20/20” international cultural exchange.
Elena Greenlee, Co-writer / Producer
Elena is an award winning writer, director and producer born and raised in Brooklyn who is dedicated to telling socially relevant stories from under-explored angles that bridge cultures across borders.
Her first film, High Season, a short documentary exploring sexual tourism in Havana from the perspective of a young Cuban man, screened at international festivals and on broadcast TV in the Dominican Republic. While living in Rio de Janeiro, Elena worked with actors from the Academy Award-nominated film, City of God, developing a free film school to serve youth from Rio's favelas.
While completing an MFA in Film & TV at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Elena wrote, directed and produced numerous short films that screened at festivals across the country and received the Spike Lee Fellowship & Clive Davis Music in Film Awards. In 2013 Elena became a Film Independent Producing Fellow for her first feature film production, Manos Sucias, executive produced by Spike Lee. The picture won two San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Foundation (SFFS/KRF) Filmmaking Awards along with Best New Narrative Director and 2nd Place Audience Award at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. The film was also nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards in 2016.
Between 2014 and 2017 Elena’s feature length screenplay, Dark Forest, won two Alfred P. Sloan grants, two San Francisco Film Society grants, a SFFILM FilmHouse Residency for Screenwriting and a place in Film Independent’s Fast Track & Directing Fellowship.
In 2017 Elena moved to Vermont where she is focused on integrating her passion for independent film and writing with tending the land and building community through sharing creative practice. She can sometimes be found on stage, performing in local theater productions, teaching youth theater and filmmaking classes.
The faculty roster for 2022 is upcoming.
Semester Cinema is committed to gathering a diverse group of film professionals to serve as mentors. Here are some of the professionals who have joined past iterations of our program:
Brad Heck (cinematographer and camera/lighting mentor)
BA, Marlboro College. MFA, Vermont College of Fine Arts. Credits include Northern Borders, Peter and John, Wetware, Shout it Out, After the Fog and, as director (with Willow O’Feral) of Sisters Rising.
Michael Toscano (line producer, assistant director, and production management mentor)
MFA, Columbia University. Undergraduate study: Ithaca College. Film credits include Peter and John, Wetware, Martin Eden, First Match (Netflix), Tramps, (Animal Kingdom) and Cargo (BEF Productions).
Maryam Khosravi (production designer and art department mentor)
MFA NYU/Tisch – Design for Stage and Film; BSC, Art University of Tehran, School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Credits include Martin Eden, Ask for Jane, Glengarry Glen Ross (NYU).
Avery Reed (costume designer and mentor)
BFA, Rhode Island School of Design. MFA, NYU/Tisch - Design for Stage and Film. Credits include Martin Eden, Boardwalk Empire, Hamlet (Public Theater), Only Human, Measure for Measure.
During the semester, visiting artists will join the program for master classes, special events, screenings, and field trips. Check back soon for a list of visiting artists!
If you had asked me fifteen weeks ago if I would have a credit for editing on a feature length film, a job lined up working in New York City making music videos for the summer, or dozens of new people met and ready to network - I would have blown you off. The fact of the matter is, I didn’t even know I was coming fifteen weeks ago. My financials weren’t set, I had doubts in myself, and I was afraid to leave my family and friends behind. Now, I feel as if I have grown exponentially. This program has given me the tools to be successful in the film industry and I am eternally grateful.
– Austin Pellegrino, Northern Vermont University