Stephanie Walter Williams, Co-Founder, Artistic Director, Executive Producer, is an award-winning writer, producer and director whose credits include television, radio and theater. Stephanie’s television credits include documentaries for Lifetime, MSNBC, CBS, and Viacom, as well as her own independent work. Stephanie has created original programming for a variety of broadcasters, and spent a chunk of her career documenting roots music around the U.S. After studying writing in New York and the U.K., Stephanie moved to Manhattan and opened her own theatre company, The Black Market. There she developed new voices from around the country and presented readings, and staged productions out of an old garage in the LES. She is proud to say she played at CBGB’s, and spent a decade bumming around Europe as a marginal writer. Stephanie holds an MFA in Dramaturgy from Stony Brook University, where she created a series of lectures that examined Race and Justice, working with students using Socratic methodologies. She also staged and produced, Race Riot, a series of pop up protests revolving around racial inequality in the United States. She is currently the Executive Producer and Director of Reel Works Productions, training students to enter the film and television Work Force. The production company recently produced their first feature film, 72 Hours a Brooklyn Love Story, a jury selection at The New York Film Festival, and their first feature documentary, National Park Diaries, which is making the 2017 documentary festival circuit. Email Stephanie.
John C. Williams, Co-Founder & Executive Director, is an award-winning film and television writer, producer and director whose credits include independent shorts, features, documentaries, television programming and corporate communications. Prior to founding Reel Works, John created original television for WNET/Thirteen, Oxygen, WE: Women’s Television and Metro Channels. John has produced numerous major market television commercials and independent films. John holds an MFA in Film & Television from New York University and a BA in English from Boston University. Email John.
Keisha Katz, Director of Workforce and External Partnerships, is a Queens native and a graduate of the Spring 2007 lab class at Reel Works. After college, Keisha’s relentless networking helped her land a position at Peacock Productions, a division of NBC News, where she would remain for four years producing breaking-news specials, crime series, biographies and clip shows. She later decided to expand her network and began freelancing, during which she worked on projects for ABC, Optomen Productions and Radical Media. During the course of her career, her work has aired on several networks including NBC, Lifetime Network, The Weather Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, History Channel, National Geographic Channel, and Spike TV. In 2014, Keisha co-founded RealGoodSports.com, a website that highlighted professional athletes and their charities and ran for nearly two years comprised of volunteers and interns. She has also written for NBCNews.com and Sharpheels.com. On Sundays, she serves as the director of the Technical Arts team at Epiphany Church in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Keisha holds B.A. from Temple University and is a member of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc.
Ryan Rivard, Producer, Reel Works Productions, is a filmmaker originally from the “Live Free or Die” state. His recent short film OkStupid was an official selection at 2015 Coney Island Film Festival. His credits include Fuse TV, The View, and MLB. He’s produced and directed award-winning short films, including the Audience Choice Award at the Sleepless in Lake Placid filmmaking competition. He holds a BA in Radio/TV/Film from Marist College where he also minored in Creative Writing. Email Ryan.
Abby Verbosky, Program Director, roots are in social documentary and street photography/videography. She specializes in media education while maintaining a professional practice. Based in Brooklyn, New York, Abby is fully immersed in the local photographic community. She recently / currently has teaching residencies in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. These include ICP, FIT, Reel Works Middle School and High School programs. Verbosky graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Photojournalism and Anthropology from Ohio University and is passionate about visual storytelling.
Liam Mejia Moran, Production Coordinator and Office Manager, Reel Works Productions, is a graduate of the 2005 Spring Lab. His short documentary, Journey to the Unknown screened at Tribeca Film Festival’s 2006 My City My Story. Liam has been featured in Latina Magazine as a young filmmaker to watch, and creates work about the latino community in Brooklyn and for the LGBTQ Community. He is currently working on a Documentary called “Not So different“ He is part of the first LGBTQ group ever created in Staten Island “Los Lunicorns”. He works with Stephanie and Ryan at Reel Works in their student run production department.
Joey Cheng, Development and Communications Associate, recently joined the Reel Works team in June 2017. Joey is eager to share the latest smashing news about our students and programs with the Reel Works’ community. Outside of communications, Joey works closely with the Executive Director to cultivate individual and institutional support for Reel Works’ programs. Prior to Reel Works, Joey supported the Development Department at two other nonprofits, Community-Word Project and The Resolution Project. She received a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University, where she also minored in Business and Psychology.
Lauren Annunziata, Internship Coordinator, is a teaching artist and educator from New York. Her experience consists primarily of working with New York City high school students in a diverse range of institutions including public schools, charter schools, non-profit foundations and cultural organizations. She received her BFA from New York University has since worked as an actor and educator simultaneously. She spends her free time mentoring and encouraging young people in the arts.
Charles Reynoso, Manager of Education and Curriculum, has been an educator, musician, and multimedia artist for over two decades. As a teacher with the Department of Education, he and his history students created short films with historical narratives in order to connect modern day injustices and inequalities to American history. As a media producer, he collaborated with several non-profit organizations to bring awareness to issues surrounding the AfroLatino community. He has a B.S. in Multimedia Journalism from CUNY Lehman College, and a Masters of Science in Education with a concentration in Special Education within Urban Settings from Long Island University. He tries to be a vegetarian, but is often caught eating salmon.
Alvis Rojas, Student Teacher, The Lab and Machinima, is a filmmaker and graduate of the 2005 Spring Lab. His short documentary 99 Hammers won awards for editing and best personal documentary from the Listenup awards. He’s worked as a freelance editor and videographer, however his passion is in writing and directing. Alvis has a background in fine arts and hopes to bring this experience into his filmmaking and the classroom. After rejoining the Reel Works community, He Helped develop the Machinima program that he currently teaches. He is also teaching in The Lab, and is the screenwriting instructor for the Narrative Lab.
Express, Office Assistant In-Training, Willful and energetic, this pup has a background in chewing and jumping up on visitors. His napping skills are legend, as are his abilities to chase balls, and chew treats. He has worked at giving cute face, and asking for an receiving lunchtime scraps. He is currently being trained to give paw, and sit on command.