20th Anniversary Advisory Board

Georg Caspary has been working in the sustainability and development fields for 18 years, including in academia, international organizations, and startups. While with the World Bank for 12 years, he founded the World Bank Film Association, which regularly partners with DCIFF. Georg is particularly interested in movies that address the global challenges he works in in his professional life, and has been occasionally spotted acting on DC stages and small film productions.


Jane Clark has brought numerous shorts and 3 feature films to life, winning 18 awards and another 8 nominations by envisioning strong characters in visceral environments. Through her company, FilmMcQueen, she has worked with actors such as Lukas Haas, David Arquette, Candis Cayne, Wilson Cruz, Theo Rossi and Necar Zadigan, as well as Emmy-winning sound wizard, Andy D’Addario (Mozart in the Jungle), Emmy award-winning DP Per Larsson (The Amazing Race) and musician Curt Smith (co-founder of Tears for Fears). In 2017 she ventured into VR with a narrative horror short based on her feature Don’t Come Over, co-written with Guinevere Turner (American Psycho and the upcoming Manson Girls) and onto the small screen with a web-series incarnation of her Crazy Bitches franchise. Her feature film METH HEAD premiered at DCIFF in 2013.

Channing Godfrey Peoples is a filmmaker and MFA graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. As an African-American woman, her films are character driven stories focusing on the resilience of the human spirit, often featuring women at a turning point in their lives. She is a Sundance Fellow, Austin Film Society Fellow, King Family Foundation Recipient and has served as a Time Warner Artist-in-Residence. Her feature screenplay, Miss Juneteenth, set in her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, has also been recognized by the Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship and American Zoetrope. Her short film, RED, starring Irma P. Hall (Collateral, Soul Food), screened in festivals domestically and internationally and was a DGA Student Jury Award Winner, among other honors. Currently, she is a writer on Season 3 of Queen Sugar (OWN Network).

Andreas Gutzeit is the President of Story House Media Group and General Manager of Story House Pictures Inc. He is responsible for coordinating international project development sales and new medias activities while spearheading development, production, and sales of the group’s Fiction department. Andreas Gutzeit began his career with ABC News, where he worked on Prime Time Live, Nightline, and World News with Peter Jennings. Co-founder of Story House Productions, award-winning writer, producer, and director, Andreas Gutzeit has executive produced and directed numerous series and specials for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, PBS, CourtTV/TruTV, Channel 4 (UK), ZDF, ProSieben and others.

Hal “Corky” Kessler has extensive entertainment law, corporate and worldwide entertainment industry experience and has authored a reference book covering federal and state tax incentives. In 2016, Corky was named the top entertainment lawyer in the United States. Corky is active in establishing and advising various film funds and film funding sources in North America, and is expanding internationally. Corky has represented several authors to  negotiate publishing deals and has developed, packaged and executive produced numerous feature films, theater and television projects, including The Sum of Us starring Russell Crowe; Certifiably Jonathan, starring Jonathan Winters, Robin Williams, Howie Mandel, Rob Reiner, Jim Carrey, Sara Silverman and others; Finding North with Wendy McKenna, John Benjamin Hickey and Wild Things with Kevin Bacon, Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell.

Elissa Leonard is a filmmaker. She is currently an executive producer on Bruce Beresford’s film Ladies In Black, a comedy based on the popular Australian novel The Women in Black by Madeleine St. John. Elissa produced and directed the feature film Sally Pacholok which she co-wrote, based on the true story of an ER nurse who takes on the medical establishment when she uncovers an epidemic of misdiagnosis. The film stars actress Annet Mahendru (from The Americans on FX) and it premiered at the 2015 DCIFF where it was voted Best Feature. Elissa was previously a producer/writer at WNET-TV Channel Thirteen’s Innovation series, the Senior Story Editor at National Geographic Television’s Explorer series, and a producer at The Educational Film Center’s Powerhouse and Give and Take series. Elissa is the Chair of the Board of Managers of the Chevy Chase Village municipal government, a member of the Board of Trustees of Levine Music, and the Board of Directors of the Chevy Chase Historical Society. She is married with three adult children.

Chris Metzler is a founder, director and producer at the documentary production house Tilapia Film. Since graduating from USC with a degree in business and cinema, Chris has produced documentary work for TV and made three feature length documentaries: the offbeat environmental documentary, PLAGUES & PLEASURES ON THE SALTON SEA, narrated by legendary counterculture filmmaker John Waters broadcast nationally on the Sundance Channel; EVERYDAY SUNSHINE: THE STORY OF FISHBONE, an Emmy nominated documentary that aired nationally on PBS. Both films screened at DCIFF. His latest film, RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE, opened at DOC NYC and will open theatrically in the Fall 2018.

Max Porter is an Oscar-nominated director based in Providence, USA. Since 2007, Max has collaborated with Ru Kuwahata as the director duo, “Tiny Inventions.” Known for their unique mixed-media animation, which combines hand-crafted art and digital techniques, they have directed and produced TV commercials, music videos, PSAs, comics, interactive games and short films. Since 2010, Max and Ru’s award-winning short films, Negative Space (2017), Perfect Houseguest (2015), Between Times (2014) and Something Left, Something Taken (2010) have been screened at over 800 film festivals around the world and have received 150 international awards. Their most recent short animation, Negative Space (2017), was nominated for the 90th Academy Awards, shortlisted for a Cesar, and won grand prizes from ZINEBI in Spain and Tampere Film Festival in Finland. They’ve also received fellowships from Netherlands Institute for Animation Film (Netherlands) and Torino Script Lab (Italy), and funding grants from CNC (France), CICLIC (France), City of Paris (France), Puffin Foundation (USA), and the Marcella Brenner Grant (USA). Max and Ru are currently working on their first feature film with the support of the 2018 Torino Script Lab.

Colleen Scott is a native Washingtonian and the founding principal and owner of CCS Project Management. After spending 5 years in New York at Pratt Institute studying for her degree in architecture, Ms. Scott returned to Washington and began her career. She has been involved in the development and construction of more than two and a half million square feet of commercial, residential and mixed-use properties. Projects managed by Ms. Scott have received awards from CREBA (formerly GWCAR), IIDA, NAIOP and the Washington Building Congress.


Sowande Tichawonna is an independent filmmaker and actor from Washington, D.C. as well as a producer at WHUT (Daily Drum Special Edition – Housing and Education: Equality for All?/ New View with Ed Gordon, special edition: Baltimore/ Not One More) and NBC News. Tichawonna co-founded the AIVF-DC salon which hosted monthly industry workshops and screenings where he served as chair from 1994 to 2000. As an actor, Tichawonna’s credits include a starring role in the stage play, For The Love of Oscar. He has also appeared in the Netflix TV series, House of Cards, the HBO series, Veep and the ID series, Who The Bleep Did I Marry? Sowande was one of the founders of DCIFF in 1999 and he also won an award in 2001 for his short film “The N Word.”