WOCF FILM LAB
We are excited to introduce you to the amazing filmmakers who are sharing their knowledge and expertise with us.
Meet The Mentors
America has stunt coordinated on projects for Warner Bros, Netflix, Lifetime and Cannal Plus. And worked on 65 video games. Having stunt coordinated for years, America transitioned to directing seven years ago. While having a solid foundation in action, she is also known for her ability to bring out the best performances in actors, both drama and comedy, while translating subtle and rich story points visually on screen. The projects she has helmed have a wide range from a drag queen comedy to sci-fi action to fantasy action to coming of age drama to exploring domestic violence in a superhero universe.
America Young is currently working in Film, TV, Animation and Video Games, as a Director, stunt coordinator and stunt woman. To date, she has directed for Network TV, two features, a season of an animated show, a video game and four digital series to name a few.
Her first feature, “The Concessionaires Must Die!!” executive produced by Stan Lee, (www.cmdthemovie.com) is now available on Itunes, Amazon and other VOD platforms. Her most recent digital series, “Whatta Lark”, that pairs a quiet, introverted woman with the fiercest and loveliest of Drag Queens can be watched on Amazon. “Protectress”, a Xena-inspired fantasy, winner of several awards including Best Action, Best Director and Best Fantasy on the festival circuit, is being developed into a feature. And she is attached to, a heartfelt, brilliantly subtle drama, “It’s Not Me” written by John Keating. She was also directed the vertical slice for Resident Evil Village, the most successful game for the franchise yet.
She is a proud founder of The Chimaera Project, a nonprofit that gives opportunities to women in the film & media arts (www.chimaeraproject.org).
Demetrius went to the FSU Film School concentrating in screenwriting and directing. With more than 15 directing, producing, writing, editing, cinematography and composing credits to his name, Demetrius understands the importance of taking your time with the pre-production process. He directed his first film at age 8 and started studying filmmaking while in high school. He also studied music and theater while growing up in Augusta, GA. He graduated from Florida State University’s film school as the recipient of the Pathfinder’s Scholarship and started working immediately as a director.
Hailing from Waterbury, CT by way of Philadelphia, PA, Shaun Mathis began his filmmaking career in 2014 but it was in 2015 when he received his first break by being the co-writer & coo- producer on the film Take Over Your Trap, starring 2 Chainz & Bankroll Fresh, the film went on to premiere at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival. The same year, Shaun wrote, directed and produced his first feature film, The Plug and secured distribution via Amazon Prime. The following year in 2017, Shaun wrote, directed & produced the award winning documentary, narrated by legendary actor Clifton Powell, Miles in the Life” Story of a BMF Drug Trafficker, has over 10 million views via, Amazon, Tubi, Roku & Youtube. Most currently, Shaun penned the horror film, La Patasola, which will be released theatrically Jan. 14, 2022. As a writer & director, Shaun has worked with the likes of Cam Newton, Killer Mike, Future, Jermaine Dupri, Clifton Powell, and many others, and also currently have films distributed by AspireTV, BET+, Amazon Prime, Tubi and Roku. When not writing for filming with his company, Anti-Hero Productions, Shaun can be found in his role as president of the non-profit organization, Film
Family, conducting Atlanta’s only writers room, Shaun Mathis’ Writers Room Collective or being a father to his 2 children, Jordyn & Egypt.
Foster Wilson is an award-winning director, filmmaker, and Emergence Award Recipient. She earned her BFA at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied for 3 years with the Atlantic Theater Company. In 2015, Foster co-founded Detroit Street Films, an independent film production company intent on building a robust community of filmmakers to collaborate on micro-budget films. In DSF’s inaugural year, the company produced over a dozen films including Foster’s directorial debut: a gritty short about possessions and priorities titled Brick & Mopsie.
Her award-winning comedy short film Made Public, starring Jeanine Mason and Josh Zuckerman, received the Audience Award at Bentonville Film Festival and has screened at over 40 additional festivals around the globe, winning more than a dozen awards. Other credits include: Platypus, a dark tragicomedy about honesty and intimacy; the pilot presentation Love Scenes LLC, a fictional, feminist take on the adult film industry; and the short film DAME, about an untold moment in Elizabeth Taylor's life (Best Actress, Chelsea Film Festival; Audience Award, Twin Cities Film Festival).
Foster is an alumna of the Ryan Murphy HALF Initiative and the Alliance of Women Directors Short Film Initiative, co-founder of Something Wilde Productions, and member of the Los Angeles Women's Film Collective. She is a recipient of the 2020 SHIFT Creative Fund for her film 5 Stages of Grief. Foster is represented by Verve Talent & Literary and Fourth Wall Management.
A native Clevelander raised in Central America, Johnny K. Wu is, a veteran award-winning producer with an MBA (from Cleveland State University) specialization in branding. Fluent in Chinese, Spanish and English, Johnny is well known and respected within the Asian Pacific American community in Ohio, he is one of the co-founder of the Cleveland Asian Festival, as well as recognized by ethnic cultural groups as the Producer for Cleveland Cultural Gardens’ One World Day since 2015.
Wu is one of the few pioneers in engaging talents/skills in Cleveland’s independent filmmakers’ industry. In October 2003, he founded the monthly Cleveland IndieClub to provide a voice for local visual artists to showcase their work and visions, IndieClub was a national movement with meet up at numerous cities, Cleveland is now the oldest running group. Owner of Media Design Imaging (mdifilm.com), Johnny has been working providing video and event producing to corporates and independent filmmaking community since 1998. He also has numerous feature films successful distributed worldwide since 2005. He has given workshops and talk about filmmaking, marketing, producing and distribution at several conventions including Wizard World Cleveland for 5 years, Horror Hotel Film Festival and Convention (since its inception), IndieGathering Film Festival and Convention for over 10 years, and at CES and NAB in Las Vegas. Recently due to the Covid-19 restrictions, he has started a weekly live chat interview with filmmakers on his YouTube channel (youtube.com/mdifilm)
A visionary storyteller from Detroit, multiple award-winning director Christine Swanson earned her MFA in Film from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, one of the nation’s top-ranked graduate film programs.
Recognized early as a talented filmmaker, Christine was selected by NYU faculty as the Willard T.C. Johnson Fellow, the most prestigious fellowship given to the student who has achieved high standards in his or her work. CNN identified Christine as one of the most promising filmmakers to emerge from NYU’s graduate film program since Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee (Christine’s NYU directing teacher).
Christine earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame, double majoring in Film Theory and Japanese. She was chosen by the Notre Dame Alumni Association as The Rev. Arthur S. Harvey Award recipient, acknowledging her achievements in the arts.
Christine has developed, written and/or directed entertainment projects for HBO Films, Lionsgate, Universal Television, Warner Bros. Television, CBS Television Studios, TV One, A&E Networks, BET Films, Starz and Faith Filmworks.
Christine’s movie directing credits include the network and cable television records breaking The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel, starring Academy Award nominee Aunjanue Ellis. The film won “Best TV Movie” from the African American Film Critics Association and the Satellite TV Award for “Best Television Movie.” The film was nominated for five NAACP Image Awards including “Outstanding Directing in a Television Motion Picture” for Christine and a Critics’ Choice Awards Nomination for “Best Television Movie.”
Christine also directed Aunjanue Ellis in their powerful short film, Fannie, about the ground-breaking testimony of human, voting and civil rights icon, Fannie Lou Hamer, in front of the Democratic National Convention’s Credentials Committee in 1964. Fannie earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for “Outstanding Short Form Film.”
Christine has also directed All About You, All About Us, To Hell and Back, Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story (which broke network ratings as the most watched original movie in the network’s history) and For the Love of Ruth, for which Christine earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for “Outstanding Directing in a Television Motion Picture.” In addition to writing the above movies, Christine was a screenwriter for Woman Thou Art Loosed.
Some of Christine’s television directing credits include episodes of Chicago P.D., P-Valley, FBI, All American, All American: Homecoming, Found, MacGyver and Roswell, New Mexico. Her memorable episode of Chicago P.D., entitled “Black and Blue,” was rated “Best Episode” of Season 6 by Fansided.
Christine has served as a professor at the University of Georgia’s MFA Screenwriting Program and is an advisor to the Film and Television department at the University of Notre Dame. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband of 28 years, studio executive and producer Michael Swanson, and their four children.