Full-Time Instructors

Milena Grozeva,
Instructor, Film/TV Production

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Milena Grozeva Levy has written, produced, directed and edited numerous films garnering awards at festivals around the world. Emily, her 56-minute narrative film, played at the Angelika Film Center in New York as part of the Independent Film Market. She worked at the Cinematics Department at Microsoft. Subsequently, she collaborated with renowned film director Rob Nilsson, editing and creating the visual effects for Presque Isle. Milena also produced the independent feature, Moonlight Sonata. She studied under filmmakers Robb Moss, Ross McElwee and Dusan Makavejev, receiving a B.A. from the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University. Mentored by Emmy-nominated cinematographer Nancy Schiesari and seasoned editor Nick Cominos, she earned an M.F.A. in Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin.

Joshua Losben,
Instructor, Screenwriting

Joshua Losben is an award-winning screenwriter and musician. He was recently selected as a 2019 SFFILM FilmHouse resident, a quarterfinalist for the Academy Nicholl Fellowship, and a semi-finalist in the Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition. He is the writer and director of numerous webisodes and short films and was a staff writer on the original half-hour comedy Entitled. Prior to earning his graduate degree, Losben toured the country as a singer/songwriter, independently releasing four albums. In 2008, Losben won the prestigious ASCAP Robert Allen Songwriting Award for his original song “Chop Chop.” He is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Writing for Screen and Television M.F.A program where he was named the Jack Oakie Comedy Fellow.

Susan Tavernetti,
Department Chair, Instructor, Film History

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Susan Tavernetti, chair of the Film/TV Department, has written award-winning film reviews and entertainment articles for the Palo Alto Weekly and its sister publications serving the Mid-Peninsula, Marin County and the East Bay. She co-authored The Critical Eye: An Introduction to Looking at Movies and has contributed to American Indians and American Popular Culture, Hollywood’s Indian: The Portrayal of the Native American in Film, International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers and the journal Film & History. Tavernetti covered international festivals for Filmfestivals.com and has served on numerous film and screenwriting juries. She appeared in Ken Swartz’s documentary for KRON Channel 4, San Francisco in the Movies: The Silent Era. Tavernetti holds an M.A. in Cinema from the University of Southern California.

Adjunct Instructors

Joel Abramson,
Part-Time Faculty Instructor, Film/TV

Joel Abramson’s broadcasting career has taken him to radio and television stations in Texas, California’s Central Coast, and KBLX San Francisco, where he served as the Production Director for 27 years. His interest in media began as a high school student when he was a DJ at the campus radio station and appeared as talent, crew, and producer in television classes broadcast over the local cable channel. Abramson worked his way through college as a radio DJ, graduating from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Radio and Television and earning an M.A. in Theatre Arts from San José State University. He is a certified instructor of Avid Pro Tools and a producer at Ntropic Studio C, producing marketing pieces for some of Silicon Valley's premier companies.

Genevieve Freckelton,
Part-Time Faculty Instructor, Animation

Genevieve Freckelton is an animator with 17 years of experience working in film, television, and games. She began her career as an animator at KPIX, San Francisco. She then pursued her interest in 3D at Mova Studios, working on TRON Legacy and several R&D projects for EA and id Software. She worked as a 3D animator for Animatic Media on the TV series Sesame Street - The Adventures of Kami and Big Bird. Genevieve animated on Arconyx Studios features and continues to consult on projects. Currently, she is sharing her passion for animation and storytelling by teaching. She earned her B.A. in Computer Animation from Academy of Art, and certificates in Character Animation and Creature Animation from Animation Mentor

Warren Haack,
Part-Time Faculty Instructor, Film/TV Production

Warren Haack is a filmmaker who specializes in sound design and post-production services at his studio. He also co-owns Catenary Video Productions, which has produced 15 documentaries on early American railroads. Haack spent eight years working as an editor and sound designer for Harcourt Brace Films in San Francisco before accepting his current staff position in the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University. His most recent film, Santiago Is Santiago, explores the music and dance of Santiago de Cuba, and was shot on location in Cuban streets, homes, and clubs. His documentaries focusing on culture and history have screened worldwide and have won many film festival awards. Haack received his B.A. and M.A. in Cinema from San Francisco State University.

Mark Hamer,
Part-Time Faculty Instructor, Animation

Mark Hamer has 25 years of experience working as an animator, artist, and art director in the video game industry. He has worked at companies such as Lucas Arts, Atari, Double Fine, and Telltale Games and has shipped nearly 20 titles. His work can be seen in classic games such as Psychonauts, Grim Fandango, and Brutal Legend, which was featured in the Smithsonian’s Art of Video Games exhibit in 2012. Most recently Mark was the Art Director on an interactive, animated television series for Netflix titled Minecraft: Story Mode. He has a B.A. in Film (Animation) from San Francisco State University and an M.S. in Education with a concentration in Online Teaching & Learning from California State University, East Bay.

Dennis Irwin,
Part-Time Faculty Instructor, Film/TV Production

Dennis Irwin is a filmmaker, illustrator, and instructor at De Anza. He received an M.A. in Communication from Stanford University, and his films have won awards in many festivals and competitions. His illustrations have appeared in numerous publications including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, and Fortune Magazine. Former students of his have gone on to successful careers as directors, editors, cinematographers, and writers in the film industry.

Glenn Lovell,
Part-Time Faculty Instructor, Film/TV

Film critic-instructor Glenn Lovell has been published in Variety, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and Columbia Journalism Review. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Escape Artist: The Life and Films of John Sturges. Among the books to which he has contributed: Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist; The Pop Culture Zone: Writing Critically about Popular Culture; International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. While on a National Arts Journalism Fellowship at USC's School of Cinema, he wrote: "Caught in the Machinery: How Hollywood Subverts the Media.” Lovell has an M.A. in Mass Communications from Pennsylvania State University.

Eduardo Rufeisen,
Part-Time Faculty Instructor, Film/TV Production

Eduardo Rufeisen is an award-winning filmmaker and educator. His films and documentaries have screened and won multiple awards in the United States, Canada, Germany, England, France, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Romania, Israel, India, Russia and Brazil. His commercials have been seen nationally on ABC, MTV, Lifetime, WB, and Fox. He was the Director of the School of Motion Pictures and Television at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Rufeisen has a B.S. in Economics from South American University, UNICAMP, a graduate degree in Marketing from the Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing in Brazil, and an M.F.A. in Motion Pictures and Television from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Christina Wright,
Part-Time Faculty Instructor, Film/TV

Christina Wright is a Film Studies & Drama Instructor and Screenwriter. Through her program, Lights, Character, Action!, she works with K-12 students, using film and theater to teach social and emotional learning, leadership development, and global citizenship. Wright also works as a Theater Teaching Artist with the Arts Council Santa Cruz County. She has been published in Edutopia and is currently serving on the Advisory Committee for the Character Education Resource Center at the University of San Diego, the Advisory Board for the Salinas Valley Arts and Innovation Hub and the UNA-USA Monterey Bay Board of Directors, International Film Festival Committee and Youth Education Committee. Wright has a M.Phil in Film Theory & History from Trinity College Dublin and a B.A. in Drama from San Francisco State University.

Emeritus Instructor

Zaki Lisha,
Early Retiree/Instructional

Zaki Lisha is the founder and former coordinator of the Film/TV Department. Industry experience includes working as a producer and director of documentary and corporate film/video productions and serving as a founding member of the Mid-Peninsula Access Corporation, which provides community cable access to Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, and East Palo Alto. Lisha has judged the short film category of the Cinequest Film Festival and was honored as a Fellow for the Faculty Seminar at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and as a De Anza College Distinguished Educator. He received a B.A. in Cinema from the University of Southern California and an M.A. in Cinema at San Francisco State University.


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