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Film & Video – Faculty Bios

“The production teachers are so knowledgeable and passionate about what they taught.” – 2022 Cherub

All the faculty are amazing” – 2022 Cherub

“[The instructors] took me to a whole new level of knowledge – 2022 Cherub

Samina Akbari – Film & Video Division Director

Samina Akbari is a filmmaker and film educator based in NYC who joined NHSI as the Director of the Film Institute in 2023. She has spent the last decade writing, directing and producing short and feature films, and her short film The Visitors premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was screened at film festivals around the world. She has received numerous honors for her producing work, including from the Dubai Film Connection, the Spike Lee Production Fund and the National Board of Review, and she was an IFP Narrative Lab Fellow as producer of the film Karaoke Girl which premiered in competition at the Rotterdam Film Festival. Samina is currently in development on her feature film Anees, winner of the SFFILM Rainin Grant for Screenwriting. She received a BHA in Fine Arts and Social History from Carnegie Mellon University, and an MFA in Film from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Nathan Manning – Director of Production

Matt Black – Screenwriting

Matt Black was born and raised in Oklahoma. His first real job was working in his hometown’s graveyard (following a swift termination from the local Arby’s). He has worked as a writer, producer, director, editor, script reader/consultant, archivist, and film professor. As a screenwriter, he has sold, optioned, or been hired to write nearly a dozen feature films and has developed three TV shows with veteran showrunners and respected studios, selling one in a competitive bid in 2017. He has produced two feature films. The first premiered in Dramatic Competition at SXSW in 2019 and was released in 2020. The second, which was produced by Sam Raimi for Sony Pictures and starred Sandra Oh, was released theatrically in 2022. In his spare time, he makes hand-painted movie posters and listens to podcasts at 1.5x speed.

Shannon Dobson – Screenwriting

SHANNON DOBSON is a filmmaker, a television writer, and a screenwriting instructor. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America, a graduate of Northwestern University’s Radio-TV-Film department, the Disney/ABC Writing Program, and the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting — where her thesis project was to research and compare the efficacy of various methodologies in the teaching of screenwriting. Shannon’s writing credits include ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE (Hallmark), CRASH & BERNSTEIN (Disney), EARLY EDITION (CBS) and BABY DADDY (Freeform), and as well as hundreds of episodes of reality TV, including fan-fave HOUSE HUNTERS. She also wrote and directed the short film, I LIVE ON YOUR VISITS, adapted with permission from the Dorothy Parker short story. She is an adjunct professor of Screenwriting at Stephens College.

Philip Alvy – Production

Philip is an award-winning media artist and educator with numerous short films screened at festivals worldwide. In 2017, he had the opportunity to live in Kenya and work with a local nonprofit to provide opportunities for vulnerable youth to tell their stories through media arts. In 2020, he completed an MFA in Film + Media Arts, focusing on art education. His time at school concluded with his thesis project, a multi-media, online art installation that explores the nurturing relationship he had with his grandmother. Currently, Philip serves as the Executive Director of Arts Integrated, a nonprofit he founded to enhance education by creating tools for K-12 teachers to inspire art-based learning.

Chloe Lenihan – Acting on Camera

Chloe Lenihan is a fifth-generation Californian with a penchant for telling female-centric stories thematically rooted in Americana.  As a writer/ director/ producer, her films have screened at festivals like SXSW, Atlanta, and Palm Springs. 

Chloe holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University where she received the New York Women in Film & Television scholarship.  She was awarded the Katharina Otto-Bernstein grant to write and produce her thesis film How Far She Went, which was awarded “Jury Honors” and “Audience Award” at the University’s Film Festival and “Best Female Filmmaker” by DGA East.  She co-wrote, directed, and starred in All-American Sex Offender, which won “Best Web Series” at HollyShorts Film Festival.  Recently, Chloe was selected to develop her feature script, Metanoia, at Stowe Story Lab and Cine Qua Non Narrative Lab.

A graduate of the William Esper Studio in New York, Chloe has been a member of SAG since 1989.

Juli del Prete – Directing

Juli Del Prete is a writer, filmmaker, and photographer. She is the co-creator, -writer, and -star of The Right Swipe, an intersectional feminist romantic comedy web series (OTV | Open Television). Most recently, she co-produced the short films Whole + Six Feet Apart by Isaac Gómez and Monty Cole and wrapped post-production for her directorial debut short film, Caroline. She was the assistant director for the world premiere of Tracy Letts’s Linda Vista (Broadway, Steppenwolf, Mark Taper Forum). Juli’s writing has been recognized by the Luminarts Cultural Foundation, Austin Film Festival, and O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. In her free time, you can find her sipping a giant Dunkin’ iced coffee while walking her lab/pit mix, Buffy.


Film & Video Division  –  Application Information and Deadlines  –  Tuition and Fees  –  Scholarships and Financial Aid

FAQ’s – Typical Day  –  Sample Film Work  –  Photo Gallery