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.
Justin Razmus is the owner of 616 Media, a video production company that has filmed for many large businesses and events in the Midwest. He has a background in business and marketing which has been channeled into building 616 Media into the production company it is today. He's also very passionate about helping others and makes it a point to work with nonprofits and charitable organizations helping them gain visibility as they make changes in their communities.
Justin also enjoys traveling, and has spent a lot of time in Central and South America, with plans to visit other countries in the near future for exploration and documentary filmmaking.
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.
Roy Wallace, Producer and Sound Engineer, purchased River City Studios in 2012, after working there for over 10 years. He moved the business to a new location, reconditioning some of the studios coveted vintage audio equipment (most of which was part of the studio’s original equipment purchase in 1977), and procuring new and updated equipment to better suit the needs of clients.
Music has been a huge part of Roy’s life. Beginning at the age of four when he started playing violin using the Suzuki method and continuing to the present, playing drums and percussion in The Sweet J Band and in the studio on various projects. Through grade school, Roy played music in numerous youth symphonies including the prestigious Blue Lake International Youth Symphony, and sang in the Grand Rapids Choir of Men And Boys. He continued with his musical studies throughout college where he majored in violin and percussion performance for two years, before change majors to Recording Technology.
Roy received his Associate of Arts in Recording Technology from Grand Rapids Community College in 2002, and a Bachelors of Science in Music Industry Management with a certificate in Direct Marketing from Ferris State University in 2004. Upon completion of his Associates degree, Roy promptly began work at professional recording, live sound and A/V companies where he has been involved in sound design for many independent films, television commercial production, as well as live sound design for corporate events, product unveilings and Fund Raisers.
In 2010, Roy did the final mixing and mastering for the film “The Genesis Code” filmed in Grand Rapids, and release nationwide in theaters with international distribution on DVD. Roy has co-written, produced and recorded many award winning albums for many artist, such as Mission Orange, Sweet Japonic, Dan Walker, The Southpaw Players and Ultraviolet Hippopotamus to name a few. In 2011, Roy’s work on Ultraviolet Hippopotamus’ third album, “Square Pegs, Round Holes,” which reached No. 3 and spent much of the year in the top 25 of the Relix Magazine/Jambands.com National Radio Chart and was voted “2011 Studio Album of the Year” by the Home Grown Music Network. It also received similar nominations from several radio programs, including “Best Jam/Funk album” at the 2012 WYCE Jammie Awards.
Roy is a very passionate advocate for the recording and mixing arts, and the preservation of the “Studio Environment” and the creativity it produces. He believes the best recordings, mixes and film audio post, comes from the collaboration you only get when creative people all work together in the same environment, and have the tools necessary to facilitate their creative ambitions.