Women Behind the Scenes
Alexxiss Jackson is a Director of Photography originally from Detroit, MI. From a very early age, she aspired to be a visual storyteller; she made her first film at 8 years old using the family camcorder (starring her collection of toys).
Ten years later, she enrolled in film school at the University of Michigan, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film/Video Studies and English. For further formal training, she also completed the intensive Summer Film Program at the University of Southern California.
Since then, Alexxiss has served as Director of Photography on numerous pieces, ranging from narrative films, commercials, promo spots, TV show segments, and music videos. Her work has been recognized at least 20 times by a number of international bodies, including film festivals across the United States, Canada, Australia, Kenya, Uganda, the Netherlands, and the UK. She was spotlighted on Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls in March 2018. Also in 2018, she was invited to speak publicly at TERMINUS Conference + Festival, where she presented a seminar entitled “Cinematography: Crafting a Look with Lenses and Filters” that was very well received. She has spoken on several other panels, podcasts, radio interviews, etc; not only about cinematography, but also what it’s like to be a woman of color in the film industry.
With a background in production, acting and legal, Susan currently serves as the Regional Set Relations Representative for SAG-AFTRA and was the first Executive Director of Women in Film & Television Atlanta.
Marisa Ginger Tontaveetong is a multidisciplinary Oscar-longlisted animated short director, festival producer, and filmmaker-in-residence with the Atlanta Film Society with experience working on animation for feature film, tv mini-series, syndicated broadcasting, corporate, web and commercial projects. Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, she holds an O1B visa for individuals with extraordinary achievements in motion pictures.
She currently resides and works in Atlanta as a producer/animation pipeline consultant at School of Humans, the content creating studio for Netflix, Hulu, and DreamworksTV and is the executive director of ASIFA-SOUTH International Animation Society-South US. She also works with SIGGRAPH premiere conference with special focus on computer graphics advancement in many capacities including as a strategic advisor to the board of directors, nurturing and student services committee member, and producer for the SIGGRAPH ASIA 2017. She also coordinates hundreds of portfolio reviews a year for SIGGRAPH conference and has juried, been a panelist, and screener for various conferences and festivals such as for the Atlanta Film Festival's Oscar Eligible animated shorts category, SIGGRAPH ASIA, NW Animation Festival, SIEGE. She has an MFA in Animation from SCAD and a B.Tech in Computer Graphics and Multimedia from Bangkok University.
Cinematographer Hilda Mercado has the power to create beautiful images but more importantly, she’s able to capture those -- hers and her director’s -- compelling images and tell a story.
She honed this talent with a BA in Communications, several camera & lighting workshops from the International Film and Video Workshops in Rockport, Maine, and an MFA in Cinematography from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. She has a never-ending curiosity and desire for new knowledge. You will see her often at training workshops and new equipment demos.
Her credits include feature films, commercials, documentaries, and television series shot in countries like China, Kuwait, Bahamas, South Africa, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico and of course United States. Additionally, she’s a member of the Mexican Society of Cinematographers (AMC), something achieved through invitation only. She also belongs to the Camera Guild Local 600 union in the US, the Society of Camera Operators - SOC - and the film union STPyC in Mexico.
During her career she has received the Student Emmy by the Academy of Television Art and Sciences (ATAS) for the short film "A Piece of Earth." The film competed and won first place in several international film festivals and was an official selection in competition at the coveted International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography “Camerimage” in Poland. Hilda´s worked had been recognized at the International Cinematographer’s Guild where she has been awarded an Artistic Achievement in Cinematography for the film entitled "La Primavera" and for the piece "A Piece of Earth." Her work has been nominated for best cinematography for the music video "Bienvenido al Anochecer" at the Cristal Film Festival in Mexico for the Grammy award winner group La Ley.
Hilda is currently based in Atlanta, where she travels between Mexico, Los Angeles, New York and the world, working on a wide range of projects. Recently she completed principal photography of S2 of the Fox TV show The Resident where she was DOP on 2 episodes and worked 20 episodes as a end Unit DP. She also shares her knowledge and experience by teaching seminars in film schools in North America.
Lisa Ferrell has worked in series and tele-film development for such companies as CBS, Lifetime Television/Hearst Entertainment, NBC and TBS. While at motion capture studio Giant Studios/Profile, she was involved in the post production of films that include New Line Cinema’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and Sony Imageworks animated holiday feature “Polar Express” directed by Robert Zemekis and starring Tom Hanks. She was also instrumental in creating the pilot episode for the long-running “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” series for TBS among many other projects. Currently, Lisa works as a Producer / PM in emerging technology, i.e., Motion Capture, Volumetric Capture, AR / VR.
Lisa has served as Executive Producer for several of Atlanta’s foremost post production, motion capture and VFX facilities, including the Toronto-based SPIN VFX, and has helped create creative for some of the foremost advertising agencies and brands in the world. After starting Lisa Ferrell Productions in 2016, Lisa worked on numerous projects that for such clients as J Walter Thompson Inside New York, Hartsfield Jackson Airport, CARE USA, Toys R Us, music videos, a number of short indie films and concept pitch projects.
Currently, Lisa is the Producer / Project Manager for Georgia Statue University’s Creative Media Industries Institute. She is also involved with many industry organizations including the Georgia Production Partnership (Co-President), ASIFA South (Advisory Board), Film Impact Georgia (Advisory Board) and the Milledgeville-Eatonton Film Festival (Director of Education).
LaRonda Sutton is an entertainment industry veteran with more than two decades of experience in film, television, music, and new media. Sutton is the Owner/Principal of Entertainment.gov, a consulting firm dedicated to advising policy makers on the long term economic benefits of being a film and entertainment friendly municipality. She established the company in April 2016. Clients are DeKalb County, Fulton County, City of Dahlonega, City of Stonecrest, Cumming Forsyth County, City of Jackson, Georgia.
Prior to establishing Entertainment.gov, LaRonda also owned and founded Film City LLC. Georgia's first film permitting facilitation company. Clients included 20th Century Fox, Universal, Sony, Warner Bros and movies permitted for Fast 8, Spiderman Homecoming, Logan Lucky, Den of Thieves, Halt & Catch Fire, Lodge 49, The Hate You Give, I, Tonya, Uncle Drew, to name a few.
Sutton was the founding Director of the Mayor's Office of Film & Entertainment for the City of Atlanta. She launched the new executive office during Mayor Kasim Reed's administration in July 2013. During her term LaRonda was responsible for streamlining the film permitting process, generating over two million dollars towards the general fund, implementing the first Entertainment job training program through a collaboration between the Mayor's Office, Iaste Local Union 479, and the motion picture industry.
As Vice President, Music, Development & Production for Foxx/King Entertainment from 2006 - 2011 LaRonda managed the music careers for Academy Award winning actor and Grammy winning musician Jamie Foxx, musical icon Ron Isley, and Grammy winner Lalah Hathaway.
Sutton lends her time and talents to several community and charitable organizations She is currently President of Women In Film & Television Atlanta, a non-profit. Sutton was born in Wichita, Kansas raised in Northern California and resides in greater Atlanta area with her daughter Naomi.