GRFF Board of directors
Michael McCallum is an award-winning director/writer/actor/producer/editor who was born in Lansing, MI where he currently resides. He started acting in 1997 and started his film company, Rebel Pictures, in 1999. His first three feature films, Fairview St., Handlebar, Lucky, all screened at Celebration Cinema in Lansing, MI for week long runs to sellout crowds. All three films have played nationally and internationally garnering many awards.
Since 2008 he has released a string of 11 award-winning short films. McCallum was honored to receive the "Michigan Independent Filmmaker Of the Year Award 2012" by the Uptown Film Festival in Detroit. In 2015, McCallum and his Rebel Pictures team finished their fourth feature film, Buffalo! He was excited to work, again, with his talented Father, William C. McCallum, who plays the lead role in Buffalo. It has won 21 awards and received 32 nominations in its first 33 film festivals. It has screened in Italy, Amsterdam, Switzerland, Singapore, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Grand Rapids, The Caribbean, Lithuania, Greece, Amsterdam, Russia, Hong Kong, Portugal, Indonesia, Italy and Australia!
With the 16 films that Rebel Pictures has made they have won 92 major awards, been nominated for 156 other major awards and been accepted into 159 film festivals internationally! In 2013 and 2014, he was invited to direct a short film for the Production Workshop for the Grand Rapids Film Festival (GRFF). Both films were finished by McCallum and one of his editors and have won awards nationally. In addition to film, Michael is also an accomplished theater performer. He took on the iconic role of "Stanley Kowalski" in Lansing Community College's production of A Streetcar Named Desire! His films, trailers and writing can be seen and purchased at: RebelPictures.net
Kristin Mellian is an Acting faculty member at Compass College of Cinematic Arts in Grand Rapids, MI. Since age 13, Kristin has studied classical voice and acting. After earning her BFA in Musical Theatre (Central Michigan University) and Shakespeare Study (London, UK), Kristin performed professionally in New York, sang as headliner for various cruise lines throughout the world, sang for professional LA Operetta Foundation recordings, and began acting in films. She was last featured in the films “Amanda and the Fox,” and “Horse Dancer” (both starring Richard Karn and Jason London). Kristin received her MFA in Acting for TV, Film and Theatre from Cal State LA, writing a now-published thesis titled “Breath, Impulse and the Authentic Voice on Fitzmaurice Voicework.” Kristin taught acting and performance at Cal State LA and in various workshop settings before returning to Michigan to teach at Compass, where she is developing the BFA acting concentration.
Stephanie Norton graduated from Compass College of Cinematic Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree where she was awarded the Diamond Heart Award and the Leadership Award. She has an extensive background in theatre, film and business marketing. Currently, she is the Student Academic Specialist at Compass College of Cinematic Art and CEO of Entertainment For All Network. She recently worked as the Production Coordinator on Harold Cronk and Micah Tyler’s “Never Been a Moment” music video. She has been an extra on a variety of feature films including 30 Minutes or Less and End of the Tour. Prior to getting into the film industry, Stephanie has been heavily involved in the West Michigan Theatre Community where she has done everything from Assistant Directing, Acting, and working Behind the Scenes on over forty productions. She has been awarded numerous awards for her dedication and hard work including the Norma Brink Combined Theatre Scholarship. In the past, she has served on the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre's Play Selection, Gala Committees and currently serving on the Grand Awards Committee which celebrates West Michigan Theatre Community. She is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Stephanie spends her spare time writing on her blog (https://stephsceliacdisease.blogspot.com) and helping create an awareness for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and Celiac Disease.
John Otterbacher, graduated from Grand Valley State University in Michigan with a Master of Science in Communications, then moved to Chicago where he splits his time between teaching and filmmaking. He has mainly worked as a producer and cinematographer specializing in independent film/tv/new media and work for non-profit organizations. As a college instructor, Otterbacher has taught at several institutions and is currently coordinator for the Cinematography program at Tribeca Flashpoint College in Chicago. He is a board member and serves as Vice President for IFP Chicago and is a member of the Education Advisory Committee for Cinema/Chicago. More recently, John received his MFA in film from VCFA as part of the inaugural class. “Officially Limited” and “Father Burke’s Boss Battle” are John’s current film projects.
Jen Shaneberger, GRFF President and CEO, began working with film festivals in 2006 serving as a production manager for the opening day street party of the Waterfront Film Festival, which continued annually through 2010. While pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in International Planning and Social Justice at Grand Valley State University in 2009, Shaneberger received independent study credit for co-founding the Michigan Film Festival. This festival blended with GRFF in 2011 when Shaneberger was appointed GRFF’s Executive Director. She was appointed President and CEO in April 2015.
In April of 2016, she received a Master’s degree from Western Michigan University in International Development Administration. The course work for this program included project design, grant writing, organizational structure, community engagement, and leadership.
In addition to educational background, Shaneberger has served Grand Rapids through employment with the Deltaplex as box office manager, Frederik Meijer Gardens as an event coordinator, Revue Magazine as the editor, and in the religious sector at Kentwood Community Church teaching leadership development. Shaneberger currently co-owns Industry Standard Entertainment, LLC in Grand Rapids, MI with husband Jim Shaneberger, a talented musician and vocalist. She believes in the great power of influence held by mixing images and words through film and digital media. Using GRFF as a vehicle to reach regional filmmakers, she hopes to inspire in them a sense of responsibility and pride as they develop these influential narratives.