Drew Mayer-Oakes


worked both in Austin/San Antonio and the Dallas-Fort Worth area as a production manager, post production facility manager, commercial coordinator and business theater specialist.  With an interest in promoting independent film, Drew has promoted filmmakers in Texas by creating events such as the Texas FIlmmaker’s Showcase, the Austin Digital Storytellers Alliance, and the San Antonio 48 HR Film Experience, and has organized events and participated on panels at Slamdance Film Festival, South by Southwest Film Conference, Austin Film Festival, Monterrey International Film Festival, Filmmakers Across Borders, AFCI Location Expo/Cineposium and Cinefestival in San Antonio.

Under his leadership, the City of San Antonio established one of the country’s first local incentive programs, and he was a founding executive board member of the Texas Motion Picture Alliance.

Drew currently serves as film commission coordinator at the El Paso, Texas film commission, after eleven years at the San Antonio Film Commission. While his travel to film industry events in the U.S. and abroad has given him a global perspective on the changing landscape of film incentives, film production and film distribution, he still finds time to make a short film or two every year.

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Lawrence Gise

Lawrence Gise received his undergraduate degree in RTF and Philosophy at The University of Texas at Austin. He then got certified in film production at New York University. After working both commercial and educational film and video production for ten  years, he got his Masters of Fine Arts at UT Arlington and continued there as adjunct faculty until coming to UT Pan American.


Linda BElau

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Linda Belau is Professor in the Department of Literature and Cultural Studies and Director of the Film Studies Program at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley where she also teaches courses in film analysis and film theory.  Dr. Belau earned her PhD in Comparative Literature, MA in Philosophy, and MA in English from Binghamton University.  She has been active in film criticism and film education for a number of years and has been the recipient of the University of Texas Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award for her work with cultural and film studies

Her publications include Horror Television in the Age of Consumption: Binging on Fear (Routledge, 2018), Topologies of Trauma (Other Press, 2002), special issue editor for Women Writers (Psychoanalysis and La Femme, 2010), and special issue editor for Postmodern Culture (Trauma: Essays on the Limit of Knowledge and Memory, 2001).  She is also the author of several articles on literary, cultural, and cinema studies. She has published and presented on the cinematic work of Steve McQueen, Todd Haynes, John Sayles, Werner Herzog, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Vittorio De Sica, Dario Argento, and Andrei Tarkovsky, and is currently completing two books: one entitled The Cinema of Melancholy and the other on the films of Jane Campion.


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German Michael Torres (GMT) is a Producer and Development Executive for Film and Television . He is currently the VP of Development for CineTel Films and new direction. He originally developed & produced SyFy Channel's award nominated series The Chronicle with Ugly Betty creator, Silvio Horta. He created and produced the first paranormal show geared towards Latinos, for NBC Universal, mun2 and SyFy Networks. He went on to created and developed an hour supernatural drama with Julia Roberts (Executive Producer), for ABC Studios and Lifetime TV.

Past projects include TV and Films projects for Dwayne Johnson (Crime drama), Warner Bros. TV, NBC Universal, CBS, Kevin Bright, Dic, Henry Winkler Prods., MGM, and many more. His half hour comedy entitled Life with Girls was in development at CBS-Paramount with Marc Rosen Executive Producing. The project, based on his life growing up with five sisters will also be German's debut non-fiction novel. His blog captures some of these stories. Switching to a different genre, GMT produced the reality pilot, Damas for mun2. The show follows Latina bridesmaids through their journey, and a comedy pilot for 3rts Entertainment based on social media talent he found. When he heard about a horrific domestic violence case in New York centered around a Latina, he moved to tell this story. It is currently set up at Lifetime Television with Andrea Simon Ent.,Howard Braunstein, and Nantucket Productions producing.

Previously German was in charge of development and a manager for a management/production company where he helped represent TV/Film literary talent such as the creators of HBO's Big Love and directors-producers of such programs as Fringe, True Blood, Entourage, Caprica, Lost, and other high-profile TV and Film talent.

Roy Escobedo

Rio Grande Valley native and two-time Grammy Nominee Roy Escobedo, also known as recording artist elio, is an accomplished musician, educator, composer, film sound designer, music producer and music engineer. His passion for music became evident when Mr. Escobedo was just 14 years old while a member of the local Donna High Mighty Redskin Band in Donna, Tx. He then decided to pursue music composition at the University of Incarnate Word for his post-secondary education. Upon graduation from Incarnate Word in 2003, Roy began touring with the world renowned Mariachi Campanas de America for three years. While a part of Campanas de America he performed nationwide and had the honor and opportunity to play at the White House for President Bush’s administration. Mr. Escobedo also performed at the Hollywood Bowl, a showcase in which they feature the greatest mariachis in the world, and accompanied many platinum Latin artists such as Pedro Fernandez, Pablo Montero, Yolanda Del Rio, and many more.


In 2013 Mr. Escobedo received the honor of being nominated by The Recording Academy for a Grammy Award for his composition "Somos Uno" and as a producer in studio and again in 2015 as a producer in studio. Roy Escobedo (elio) has also been a member of the Grammy Association and is an accomplished song writer. He has written songs for Latin bands such as Grammy Award Winning El Guero Y Su Banda Centenario, Bobby Pulido, and composed musical arrangements for Mariachi Campanas de America, Mariachi Los Gavilanes and Latino artists such as Roberto Pulido, MANA and Gloria Trevi to mention a few.

Currently, Mr. Escobedo is an educator for La Joya ISD fine arts department where he teaches young children the music of mariachi and has led the mariachi to several state titles. Escobedo, also provides vocal, instrumental and film sound design instruction at his personal studio, EStudio, located in McAllen, TX. In addition to his many accomplishments within the music industry, Roy Escobedo has also crossed over into the film industry through collaborations with local and Hollywood film producers for several upcoming independent films.

On any given day, you can either find Mr. Escobedo teaching, performing on stage, at his personal studio composing, writing, working behind the scenes as a recording engineer or managing local musical talent. Roy Escobedo a.k.a. elio plans to continue performing on stage for his wonderful fans, and hopes to become a distinguished composer in the near future. As of now, his strongest desire is to continue educating young children and providing the gift of music as his form of expression to his fans.

Javier chapa

Javier Chapa got the film bug in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M where he was asked to train "military extras" on Ed Zwick's Gulf War action-drama, Courage Under Fire. After graduating from A&M, Chapa attended St. Mary's Law School in San Antonio, TX where he spent all of his free time studying film and directing short films as a hobby.  However, what began as an avocation quickly turned into a vocation when Chapa's first attempt at writing and directing earned him a showcase entry position in the 2002 Austin Film Festival with his witty comedy, Happy Hour 


This initial success inspired Chapa to move to Los Angeles after graduating from law school where he quickly realized the importance of embracing one's roots and finding a voice that would distinguish him from other filmmakers in Hollywood. Coming from a small, predominantly Latino community on the South Texas border, Chapa persisted in search of a project which would both draw on his personal experience and showcase the rich Latino culture. Made for $25k, Chapa’s debut feature film, Harvest of Redemption a true story and bilingual depiction of the struggle of Migrant Farm Workers won Best Foreign Drama at the 2007 International Family Film Festival sponsored by Warner Bros. and Dreamworks. Shortly thereafter, he spent a summer in New Mexico assisting Oscar-nominated actor/director/writer Ed Harris on Appaloosa, based on the novel by Robert Parker starring Viggo Mortensen and Renee Zellweger. 

In August of 2010, Chapa was chosen to be a part of the prestigious DGA/DISNEY-ABC Directing Fellowship where for two years he worked on shows such as Grey’s Anatomy & Castle. Since then he has produced a handful of independent films, and his company recently secured the life rights to Cesar Millan’s incredible true story The Dog Whisperer which is currently being penned by Oscar-nominated writer Jose Rivera for the big screen.

Chapa is very proud of his heritage and was selected to be part of Latino Leaders Magazine and in 2017 was asked by Academy Award Winning Director Alejandro González Iñárritu to participate in his virtual reality project Flesh and Sand (Carne y Arena) which plunges "viewers into the harsh life of an immigrant.” It was awarded the first Special Achievement Academy Award in over 20 years by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Aside from his accomplishments, he is very involved with local charities such as the Children’s Defense Fund where he was asked by J.J. Abrams and his wife, Katie McGrath, to participate for the last five years. He resides in Los Feliz, CA with his wife and their seven rescue dogs.

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Lizette Barrera


Lizette Barrera is a Chicana filmmaker based in Dallas/Ft.Worth and Austin, Texas.  She won The Texas Archive of the Moving Image Award for her narrative short film, ANA CON ELISIO at Cine Las Americas and was awarded The Filmmaker to Watch Award at the Women Texas Film Festival. Her film MOSCA (FLY) is in distribution with HBO. She has recently been awarded the EBW by Sandra Adair cash grant from the Austin Film Society for her latest film CHICLE (GUM).  She has received her MFA in Film Production at The University of Texas at Austin and is currently a Senior Lecture at The University of Texas at Arlington. She is represented by Inclusion Management.