Broadcasting was a valuable experience, but it was not the place where I could truly explore my philosophy for filmmaking and expand my visual language. A few years of this career path went by, and I was ready for my next challenge. In 1998, my passion for communicating a personal message through the film image finally brought me to the United States to pursue a graduate degree in film at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. As a student, I have used my studies in film theory to expand on my experience as a writer, director, cinematographer and editor, as well as a film production instructor. I began serious consideration for my film style and techniques. Much thought and many southern teas later, I developed and completed my first feature-length narrative in U.S, Creation (2003, 16mm & DV, 110 min., B/W & Color). Creation went on to Telluride Film Festival, CINESTUD in Amsterdam, Holland, the St. Louis International Film Festival, Blue Sky International Film Festival, the Film Fan Awards in Richmond, VA, the Rochester International Film Festival and so on. It was also featured on the season premiere of “North Carolina Visions” at the PBS in North Carolina.
During my last year of graduate school, I was simultaneously hired as a professor of cinema production. From there, I began my next challenge to inspire and motivate younger filmmakers. My academic and creative excellence was also recognized by the Department of Broadcasting and Cinema at UNCG when I was awarded the Graduate Student of the Year Award.
After graduation, I started my own production company, Last Lantern Productions (LA, CA) where I produced and directed numerous client-based productions. I was also hired at Ithaca College (Ithaca, NY) to teach various film productions and aesthetics. Since my arrival at Ithaca College in 2003, I have had the great fortune of completing many creative and professional films, both independently and collaboratively with my students.
During my time at Ithaca College, I have actively built up my career through around twenty different professional visual projects. Many of these films were also awarded funding for development, production or completion. In addition to these creative projects, I was invited to present various films and related topics at over fifteen different international and national conferences.
Then I was ready for my next challenge and took the honorable opportunity to teach at the University of Texas at Arlington in 2018. Currently I am teaching film productions for MFA students as a Morgan Woodward Distinguished Professor in Film.
An important achievement since receiving tenure at Ithaca College has been the honor of a Fulbright Scholarship. As a Fulbright Senior Scholar, I went to Korea during the 2015-2016 academic year to film my recent documentary, On the Road. After the extensive experiences I have gained in the media industry, my interest in creating visually-stimulating films that directly incorporate current and prevailing social issues is at a peak; this is my hope for my most current Fulbright project, On the Road. This film went to many film festivals and won Best Documentary Award at Woodengate International Film Festival in Romania.
A film allowing unique contribution to mankind as well as art itself often only comes after a film artist has tried to overcome the new challenge. The privilege to produce excellent and valuable films is granted only to those whom can be successful with such a challenge. Therefore, I am willing to accept this challenge with creative enthusiasm.
My personal production and work experience in the film industry is what gives me the unique perspective and skill base I have to offer to students in the academic world, beyond theories and textbook definitions of technique and film art. Without constantly challenging myself through independent productions, I would not gain knowledge of new technology, and I don’t think that I would be able to answer the question I ask my students at the beginning and end of each course: Why do you want to be a filmmaker?