Artists + Filmmakers 2013

Dani Bowman

Dani Bowman at Comic Con

Dani Bowman is an 18 year old senior in high school with autism and a love of animation, illustration, and creating fun entertainment for children of all ages. Dani founded Powerlight Studios at age 11, and has been working professionally since age 14, partnering with Joey Travolta, and teaching animation to others with autism at his summer camp program. Dani has a full slate of regular high school classes with a 3.85 GPA. Dani aspires to be the Temple Grandin of her generation, working to change the world’s perception of autism and demonstrate all of the special abilities that people with autism have while striving for acceptance and integration within society and employing others with ASD at Powerlight Studios.

Festival Shorts

“Mr. Raindrop”, the story of a water drop that wishes to be a rain drop and his wish comes true premiered at Wonder-­‐Con 2012 in Anaheim, and was also screened at Comic-­‐Con in San Diego. (New Orleans Children’s Film Festival as well as the Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival at the LA County Museum of Art and AniMazSpot, 2012)

“The Namazu” premiered at Comic-­‐Con 2012, and features the voice talents of Tom Kenny (the voice of Sponge Bob Square Pants) as both the Narrator and The Namazu, Stella Ritter as Dani, with music written and performed by Lauren Dair Owens (the young Zoe Deschanel on Fox’s “New Girl”) and Will Clay.

Commercial Credits

Dani has been working professionally as an animator and illustrator since age 14, starting with the music video “The Cave” for the band Arrest My Sister produced by Joey Travolta. Since then, she has illustrated two anti-­‐bullying books for Picalata Press with the second title “Richie and Goliath” being carried at Barnes and Noble, just completed illustrating “Rajalika Speak” about a talking horse, and is currently working on “Really, Really” an autism awareness picture book written by published autistic poet and writer Gretchen Leary.

Dani has also won several awards for the autism awareness short “Eeya’s Story” and completed several commercial projects including titles for “Power 1490, the Birth and Death of a Hip-­‐Hop Radio Station in Tuscon, AZ”, and “Vegan with Joy”, a vegan cooking show available on iTunes. Dani animated the opening titles for “Under the Dog House”, a web series produced by Bruce Nachsin that has over 80,000 hits on Youtube.

Employing others with ASD has been a dream of Dani’s since founding Powerlight Studios at age 11. With her expanding commercial work, Dani is able to hire others to help her with her projects, and is now training her first employee in Los Angeles, 18 year old Conner Walsh, and mentoring two others with autism, 16 year old Luke Virgin from Ann Arbor, MI, and Justin Canha, a 22 year old artist featured in the New York Times.

 In 2012, Dani was selected as one of 16 Frieberg Fellows scholars for Loyola Marymount University’s Summer Creative Workshop. During the two week resident program the group produced two, live-action and two, animated short films, from script to screening.


Eric Dyer

Eric Dyer is an artist, filmmaker, experimental animator, and educator. His award-winning films have screened internationally at numerous festivals, including the Chicago International Film Festival, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, South by Southwest, and the Ottawa, Annecy, Melbourne, and London International Animation Festivals. His work has also been exhibited at the Exploratorium, the Hirshhorn, the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art, Ars Electronica, and the Cairo and Venice Biennales. He received his MFA in 2004 from the Mount Royal School of Art at MICA, was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in filmmaking for travel to Denmark in 2005, and was a New Frontier Artist at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. As a member of the Visual Arts faculty at UMBC in Baltimore, he teaches animation and brings students and symphony orchestras together to create music visualizations and animation performances. In 2008 his students presented with the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He has taught workshops at institutions such as Connecticut College and CalArts. Dyer has received Animasivo, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Ammerman Center for Art and Technology commissions and is currently an Imaging Research Center Summer Research Fellow, Creative Capital Artist, and Guggenheim Fellow.

Chase Finn

Chase Finn
Film Director, Writer, Editor

Born in a small beach community outside of Jacksonville, Florida, Chase’s interests in directing and producing sparked when he was enrolled in Douglas Anderson School of the Arts with a focus in film production. While at DA, Chase had the opportunity to work and learn from a number of industry professionals as well as produce documentaries and public service projects for a non-profit, youth-based production company called Team Gaia. During his time at Team Gaia, Chase worked with a number of other teen activists to produce a documentary on climate change that would later go on to be nominated for an Emmy award in 2007. Now a rising senior at Boston’s Emerson College BFA Film Production program, and in an effort to marry his passions for social activism and documentary filmmaking, Chase has launched the What’s For Lunch Project as an effort to bring youth filmmakers, artists, journalists, and activists together to combat an epidemic present across the United States.



David Gonzalez

Storyteller, musician, poet, actor and educator 

David Gonzalez was nominated for a 2006 Drama Desk Award for The Frog Bride presented at Broadway’s New Victory Theater. Corporate leaders, college students and young people alike are enthralled with his passion, storytelling and life lessons. Gonzalez’ poetry was featured in Bill Moyers’ documentary Fooling with Words on PBS, and NPR’s All Things Considered. He hosted New York Kids on WNYC for eight seasons, and has made over 3000 appearances across the country and abroad. Gonzalez received his doctorate from New York University’s School of Education where he taught for ten years. He climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2006.


James Greene

James Greene, visual artist

Originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, James Greene drew cartoons for his high school and college newspapers and produced his own comic books, which he Xeroxed and distributed in ʻzine form. He received a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Northern Iowa in 2001 and his MFA in Studio Art with an emphasis in Printmaking at The University of Tennessee Knoxville in 2006.

Jamesʼ research interests include American social narratives and finding meaning in a culture that seems to have exchanged higher values for lower ones. In previous art exhibitions including “Valuistics: The Making Of” he used screenprinted installations to express the problem of meaning in a completely marketized world. Greeneʼs printed works have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the US, Poland and India and appear in several public and private collections.

For the last few years, James has had a renewed energy for his first artistic love- comic books. He currently has a number of comics projects in the works. In May of 2012, James and writer Ben Kubczak self-published their first graphic novel entitled Salvaged Horizon.James also provided lettering for an upcoming comic entitled Planetfall, written by Al Letson and drawn by Amancay Nahuelpan.

Since 2003 James has taught a variety of college art courses including Drawing, Basic Design, Printmaking, Visual Communication and Art Appreciation. He has also taught middle school art at the Lavilla School of the Arts in Jacksonville as well as community education courses for adults. Currently James teaches a Comics and Sequential Art course at the University of North Florida- the first of its kind to be offered at UNF. He lives in Jacksonville, FL with his wife and two sons.

Clark Johnson

Actor, Director 

Clark Johnson started in film doing special effects, including David Cronenberg’s The Dead Zone. This behind-the-scenes work often served as a “backup” for him during the early stages of his acting career. He began performing in feature films in 1981, landing roles in the movies Killing ’em Softly, Colors, Wild Thing, Adventures in Babysitting, and Nowhere to Hide.

Homicide: Life on the Street

In 1993, Johnson became part of the original cast of the television series Homicide: Life on the Street playing Detective Meldrick Lewis for all seven seasons and the reunion movie, as well as directing several episodes. Johnson made the transition to director with the season four episode “Map of the Heart” and also directed several other episodes. David Simon, the author of the non-fiction book Homicide was based upon, as well as a writer and producer for the series, commented that the transition from actor to director was made easy by Johnson’s familiarity with the show and that he was one of the better directors in terms of keeping the tone of the show consistent.

The Wire

Johnson worked on The Wire, reuniting with writer David Simon. Johnson directed the pilot episode “The Target”, second episode, fifth episode and series finale. He appeared as Gus Haynes, the fictional, principled city desk editor of the Baltimore Sun in the fifth and final season.


Johnson’s other directing credits include the big-screen releases The Sentinel (2006) and S.W.A.T. (2003), and episodes of Third Watch and The Shield as well as the HBO original production Boycott (2001), a project which he helmed and in which he also acted. He also directed the first episodes of Seasons 1 and 2 of the 2005 mini-series Sleeper Cell.

Johnson directed the pilot episode of the FX drama Lights Out, a series focused on a retired heavyweight boxing champion and starring The Wire cast members Pablo Schreiber and Reg E. Cathey. Johnson’s selected filmography and additional credits are available on IMDB.


Sean Mahan

Sean Mahan, Visual artist

Sean Mahan is a social realist figurative painter who works with graphite and acrylic washes on wood to depict a sense of wonder about the innate warmth of the human character and its conflict with structures of power and control.

Recently, Sean’s work has shown at Gallery 5, Richmond; the Cummer Museum, Jacksonville; Subtext Gallery, San Diego; Display Gallery, Gainesville; Art Basel, Miami; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville; and the Brooklyn Collective, New York. He currently is showing at Thinkspace Gallery, Los Angeles and Stranger Factory Gallery, New Mexico.

Sean has enjoyed creating cover artwork for the bands: Lowpines, Twelve Hour Turn, Floor, Daitro, Dauntless Elite, Jets vs. Sharks, Planes Mistaken For Stars, Beat Buttons, North Lincoln, Fires, Del Cielo, The Gifthorse, Mouthbreather, Senders, Little League, Back Pocket, Small Talk, Solid Pony, Laura Minor, Verde, Kids on Bikes, and more.

A Girl and Film.

Lois Siegel

Film Director, Writer, Still Photographer, Educator, Fiddler
Lois Siegel is a freelance film director, writer, and photographer. She also plays fiddle, bodhran and spoons with The Lyon Street Celtic Band, Celtic North, and Sens Unique. Naturally, she won’t quit her day job teaching
 Video Production at the University of Ottawa, 
Department of Communication. Siegel’s film STUNT PEOPLE (featuring the Fournier family) won a 1990 Genie Award: Best Short Documentary from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Her film Baseball Girls is featured at the National Film Board of Canada online.

Lois Siegel will conduct an experimental animation workshop at the World Arts Film Festival which may end up in the Guinness Book of World Records. She will also be a featured speaker with the screening of her film STUNT PEOPLE.

Erin Tobey

Erin Tobey is a multimedia artist and musician living in Bloomington, Indiana. Born in 1981 in Lansing, Michigan, she has been performing music since 1999 and making art for much longer than that. She most often draws and paints but is also a seamstress, printmaker, cartoonist, graphic designer, quilter, weaver, and web designer. Favorite materials include felt, pen-and-ink and the glue gun. She graduated with highest distinction from Indiana University with a BA in Studio Art in Spring of 2010.


PLAN-IT-X FEST Group Show, The Owlery, Bloomington, IN (Summer 2012)

MOVING MOMENTS Solo Show, Gallery5, Richmond, VA (Winter 2012) VOCALOCOMOTION Solo Show, The Owlery, Bloomington, IN (Summer 2011)

SELF-TITLED Group Show, Gallery5, Richmond, VA (Fall 2010)

HERE IT IS #4 Solo Show, Green Artery, Bloomington, IN (Spring 2010)

THE BLOOMINGTON ARCHIVE & MUSEUM Group Show, Sweet Hickory, Bloomington, IN (Spring 2009)

HELLO MERMAID Solo Show, Boxcar Books, Bloomington, IN (Fall 2004)


Houseplant Records

Fat Shadow

Hester Wagner

Actress, Educator

Hester Wagner of Inclusion Films and Futures Explored lives and teaches film and acting to adults with developmental disabilities in the San Francisco Bay area of California.

Ms. Wagner and co-director Sabra Shelly, a New York based actress, Autism specialist and teaching artist will lead the three day festival workshop on the 5th Floor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville.



Welcome Film Industry Visitors

Peter Allen, Screenwriter

Mark Boese, Director

Stuart Bicknell, Lighting Director

Sharon Cobb, Screenwriter

Joops Fragale, Director

Sheri Kebbel, Director

Michael Long, Producer

Blair Richardson, Director

Jennifer Stang, Director

Don Tynes, Cinematographer


and many more