MDC has recruited a talented and prestigious group of industry leaders from some of the top studios and production houses. These professionals have agreed to mentor students throughout the two-year program. In addition to receiving instruction from faculty, students will have the benefit of being guided in their studies by mentors who bring a wealth of real-world knowledge and practical information to the learning experience. Mentors will be available throughout the 2-year process to help sharpen skills, provide insight into the production process and help students connect with their own innate artistry.
Miriam Luciow, VP Production and Development at VIMN Americas
Ms. Luciow supervises the production and development of all original content produced in Miami from the Viacom International Studios. Oversee the Nick scripted series produced in Latin America, as well as the Nick US productions and other Viacom International series shot at the Miami production hub.
Working with Brand Managers to create and develop long-form and short-form content across all platforms.
Evaluate proposals, create budgets, production schedules, and supervise all the aspects of the production working very close to Programming, Creative, Ad Sales, Marketing, Communications, Consumer Products, and Legal among all departments.
• Supervising Producer of the Latin America productions Skimo (MX), Isa TKM (Vzla), Isa TK+ (Col), Suena Conmigo (Arg), Grachi (Miami), Miss XV (MX) and currently 11 11 en mi Cuadra nada Cuadra (Miami). Supervise all aspects of production from scripts, to taping and editing.
Gigi Gomez, Viacom International Media Networks
Sr. Director of Production Management
Leah Hoyer, CEO Level Headed
Leah Hoyer is a former attorney who left that field to pursue her passion for cartoons. After completing her MFA coursework at UCLA’s Animation Workshop, Leah began working at Disney Television Animation, where she was the Director of Development for Disney Channel Animated Series. During her tenure at Disney, Leah worked on numerous series, including Recess, Kim Possible and Phineas & Ferb. Ms. Hoyer then headed up the Narrative Design department at Microsoft Studios, where she worked on various projects, including the upcoming Sunset Overdrive and Quantum Break.
“I make entertainment experiences. Actually, I work with teams of talented people who make truly incredible, interactive, entertainment experiences—because nobody makes something that is loved by millions of people on their own. I build teams, mentor people, foster great ideas, and find the best way to the get those produced.”
Cesar Sakai, Univision Communications, Inc.
Senior Art Director Univision Agency at Univision Communications Inc.
Leonardo Menezes, The Museum of Tomorrow, Brazil
Leonardo Menezes is a screenwriter, exhibition curator, PhD in Communication and Media Studies at UFF and a founding member of Guaraná Content, a production house specialized in projects for audiovisual, museums and the Internet. His screenplays have already been broadcast on TV Globo, Canal Futura, Globo News, Globo Internacional, TV Brasil, TV Cultura and Universal Channel and created content for Museu do Amanhã and Roberto Marinho Foundation, Rio + 20, Rock in Rio, Rio Art Museum, among others. He is Content Manager at the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro. He was awarded for Best Documentary at the Mix Brasil 2017 Festival; Best Film at the Rio de Janeiro Gender and Sexuality Festival 2017, Leading Cultural Destinations Awards 2018 and 2016, Promax 2009 (USA) and Caracol de Plata 2009 (Mexico) for the creation of the We Can for the UN campaign, in addition to receiving two Prix Jeunesse Iberoamericano 2005. His scholarly research is centred on transmissive narratives, participatory media, edutainment, memory, and cultural heritage.
Christine Brownell, Christine Brownel Creative LLC
Christine’s video game industry journey started at Blizzard Entertainment in 2003 as a QA Software Analyst. After only a year, she transitioned to Quest Designer on the legendary, multi-award winning World of Warcraft. She then held lead design roles at NetDevil and Perpetual Entertainment, followed by nearly four years as Senior Designer on The Sims, at Electronic Arts. The remainder of her tenure at EA included roles as Design Director and Creative Director for Playfish in London, whose output included The Sims Social, a social game which peaked at 60 million monthly average users. In 2013, Christine started her own business providing game design consultancy and project management.
In addition to her consulting business, Christine is a mentor for YearOn, an organization that promotes supported, self-directed learning. In her free time she writes about lessons learned in the game industry on Medium, streams with fellow game devs on Mixer, and works on personal projects using the Unity game engine
Kimberly Dennison, Development Director at Goumont Animation
Kimberly’s career has come full circle, starting at Disney, leaving for a few years and then returning to Disney. Now, while you hum “Circle of Life” to yourself here is the details….
Kimberly began and established her career at The Walt Disney Company where she worked for 13 years in various capacities at the TV Animation division. Her positions included Manager of Production, helping to oversee the production process for both series and DVD films, as well as Associate Producer for the Disney Channel’s Shorty McShort Shorts show.
In 2008 Kimberly relocated to Vancouver Canada to establish the development department for Rainmaker Entertainment. There, she built a slate of animated feature film and television projects. Upon the impending sale of the company in 2012, Kimberly took the opportunity to return to the sunny hills of Los Angeles and continued her work in the family entertainment industry at the Hub Network. At the Hub she was the network executive on multiple projects including Transformers Prime, Littlest Pet Shop, Strawberry Shortcake’s Berry Bitty Adventures, Pound Puppies, Kaijudo, Stan Lee’s Mighty Seven. She participated in development of both live action and animated shows for the network. An opportunity to join the development group at Disney Television Animation brought her back into the house of mouse where she has happily been developing new animated shows for Disney Channel and Disney XD since the beginning of this year. Kimberly’s favorite aspects of the process include identifying visual development talent and collaboratively working with artists and writers.
Selymar Colon, Senior Director, News Digital at Univision Communications Inc.
Selymar Colón is managing editor and senior director of digital at Univision. She has been with Univision since 2006 working across various roles and going up the ranks as producer for Sunday show, Al Punto, hosted by Jorge Ramos. A digital pioneer, Colón championed the use of social media in the newsroom and created a team of multimedia producers to produce digital only videos in her role as director of digital integration.
Colón has produced the coverage of the Haiti earthquake and World Cup in 2010, President Obama’s second inauguration, one of the first interviews with the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, digital special “The Hispanics of the President” and Spanish-language network exclusive interview with Hillary Clinton in 2015. Univision News was the first to Periscope an interview with a presidential candidate. Her efforts contributed to Univision News winning awards for Children of the Border online coverage of the Humanitarian Crisis at the U.S.-Mexican border and TV news special “Meet the Candidates.”
Named a 40 under 40 : Latinos in American Politics by the Huffington Post, Colón holds an M.S. in Investigative Journalism from Florida International University and a B.A. in Communications and Business from Lynn University.
Drew Tolman, VP of Development & Production at Walt Disney Television Animation
Animation Producer Drew Tolman has over 15 years of experience making family blockbusters in both development and production for Fox, Disney, Universal and Warner Bros. She has helped build three animation studios and has managed nearly every department at one point or another. She was the Animation Associate Producer for 20th Century Fox’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks – Road Chip!” Currently, she is VP, Creative and Production for DreamEast Pictures USA.
Drew Tolman began her career as a Development Coordinator at 20th Century Fox Animation and worked there for three years, where many family movies were developed including Titan AE (2000) and Ice Age (2002). From there, she worked in production on Pooh’s Heffalump Movie (2005) for The Walt Disney Company, Curious George (2006) for Universal Studios and Imagine Entertainment, Everyone’s Hero (2006) for Fox and Starz Media and Alvin and the Chipmunks II, the Squeakquel (2009) for Fox 2000 and Hop (2011) for Universal Studios. She was also the Production Manager at Warner Bros. for a series of CG animated shorts distributed in Kenya as part of the U.S. Pepfar initiative (2008). She supervised Post Production on several Disney shows including Phineas and Ferb, Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Star Versus the Forces of Evil for Disney Television Animation.
Drew Tolman is on the Board of Directors for Miami International Animation Conference and Festival. She is an avid writer, a poet, awarded screenwriter and aspiring children’s book author. Her screenwriting has placed in several contests and has been endorsed by the prestigious KIDS FIRST! Coalition for Quality Children’s Media. She founded the family entertainment company, Beach Plum Media, to grow and produce her own ideas.
Drew Tolman received her Master’s degree in Film Studies with a concentration in children’s films from the University of Miami, Coral Gables and her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.