Michael taught film production in the Kenyan refugee camps with the nonprofit FilmAid and directed “Projecting Hope,” a commercial for the organization voiced by Linus Roache. He graduated from Brown University in 2008 and pursued a semester of film study at the FAMU conservatory in the Czech Republic. Michael is currently writing three feature films and a web series, and has several other projects in development. His experience on film sets large and small has prepared him well for his next task: directing a first feature film.
In our summer workshops, Sam facilitates the conversations between survivors and teens. Once the public service announcements have been produced, she connects with non-profit, social change organizations which use the PSAs to advance their causes.
Sam’s role in The Righteous Conversations Project grows from her belief in the meaningful connection of art, memory and social change. It is the nexus of past, present and future that allows us to relentlessly envision a better world. Sam invites all who feel connected to the work of Holocaust remembrance and wish to help support teens in speaking up about injustice to join us in this work.
Masha Vasilkovsky was born in Moscow and immigrated to the USA when she turned eighteen.
She learned Animation first at the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA, 1995) and later received her MFA in Experimental Animation from California Institute of the Arts (1998). Masha considers herself very lucky with her teachers, among whom were Cornelius Cole, Jules Engel, Bill Moritz, Suzan Pitt, Maureen Selwood, Christin Panushka, Raymond Krumme and Amy Kravitz.
After graduating CalArts Masha was very happy to work as an animator for independent films (please see her ‘Resume’ page on http://www.sparksociety.com/). Among the pieces that she animated for are ‘Tell Me Cuba’ by Megan Williams (2006), ‘Il Doctor’ by Suzan Pitt (2005) and ‘As You Desire Me’ by Maureen Selwood (2008). In the past three years, she felt quite fortunate to make commissioned work for such productions as: ‘Lo Azul Del Cielo’, by Juan Uribe (2012), ‘The Puzzle’, by Dance Into Unity (2011) and ‘ Curve of Earth’ by Lee Madsen, (2010).
For the past fifteen years Masha has also been teaching animation for students of all ages and levels of expertise. Presently, besides being an instructor at College of the Canyons, she teaches animation at the Experimental and Character Animation departments of CalArts. (Please see examples of current student work on Masha’s Vimeo page, titled ‘Animations by My Students’, http://vimeo.com/user5527248/videos).