CO-DIRECTORS / CO-PRODUCERS
SARAH SELLMAN is an American filmmaker born in the rural ranching town of Alamosa, Colorado. Sarah graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in 2011, where she focused on writing and directing both film and television. She was nominated for NYU’s Oliver Stone Screenwriting Award and received a much-coveted production allotment for her short film Hold Your Arms Out, which was selected for Hewlett-Packard’s inaugural post-production program at Sundance Film Festival in 2014. During her time at NYU, Sarah served as Program Coordinator for Fusion Film Festival, a festival geared towards supporting and showcasing women filmmakers.
From 2011 – 2014 Sarah lived and worked in Syracuse, New York, serving as the Communications Coordinator for Light Work, a nationally recognized nonprofit supporting photo and video artists, and as the Managing Director of the Syracuse International Film Festival. While there, she also facilitated and developed the program Arts Emerging with the Syracuse Stage – a grant-funded program geared towards bringing creative spaces to Syracuse public schools.
Sarah divides her time between working as a teaching artist and freelance producer, distributing American Bear, and screenwriting. Her original pilot Cottonwood was recently the winner of Project Screenplay, a screenplay competition at Mass MOCA, and shortlisted for the Sundance Episodic Story Lab.
In January 2016, Sarah left the U.S. via a one-way ticket to India, with the intention of exploring the world for 10 months.
FLASHBACK: Check out the behind-the-scenes video of Sarah's NYU thesis film in 2011, created by Bear editor Danny Ledonne.
GREG GRANO is a filmmaker and educator originally from Morristown, NJ. Greg studied Film and Television at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, with a minor in music. At NYU, Greg focused on writing and directing narrative films, exploring themes of missed connections, loss, and the intersection of fate and coincidence. In addition to his own short films and music videos, Greg worked as a DP, assistant director, producer, and sound mixer on a number of acclaimed short films, harvesting a range of skills in preparation for independent production work.
From 2011 - 2014 Greg worked in residence life at Syracuse University, directly serving students in leadership development, identity development, and civic engagement. As American Bear evolved into a finished film, Greg focused on these face-to-face connections and the value in listening deeply and consciously to stories in all forms. Greg received his Master's Degree in Cultural Foundations of Education from SU with an emphasis on art's potential to share stories that promote social justice. Greg also worked with community art organizations like 601 Tully and Arts Emerging to bring artistic storytelling opportunities directly to students.
Following the American Bear Screening Tour, Greg relocated to Denver, CO, producing freelance content with non-profits and working with young filmmakers in media programs across the state.
Greg and Sarah are traveling around the world in 2016 - exploring global themes and developing their next projects.
FLASHBACK: Check out the trailer for Greg's NYU thesis film from 2011.
Outreach Coordinator RENEE MACEK
Editor DANNY LEDONNE