Visiting Faculty

Hal Ackerman

Hal AckermanAckerman has been on the faculty of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television since 1985 and is currently co-area head of the screenwriting program. His book, Write Screenplays That Sell…The Ackerman Way, is in its third printing, and is the text of choice in a growing number of screenwriting programs around the country. He has had numerous short stories published in literary journals including North Dakota Review, New Millennium Writings, Southeast Review, The Pinch, The Yalobusha Review. “Roof Garden” won the Warren Adler 2008 award for fiction and “Alfalfa,” was included in the anthology, I Wanna Be Sedated…30 Writers on Parenting Teenagers. “Walk Through” is among Southeast Review’s World’s Best Short Shorts of 2010. His short story “The Dancer Horse” received a Pushcart Nomination in 2011. Testosterone: How Prostate Cancer Made a Man of Me was the recipient of the William Saroyan Centennial Prize for drama. Under its new title, Prick, it won Best Script at the 2011 United Solo Festival. His first novel, Stein, Stoned (Tyrus Books) came out in 2010. Stein, Stung followed in March 2012.


Reza Allamehzadeh

Reza AllamehzadehAllamehzadeh, Iranian filmmaker released from political imprisonment after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and living in exile in the Netherlands since 1982, has been writing and publishing novels and short stories in his native Farsi and making a number of films, including 10 documentaries for Dutch television, a feature-length film, and several shorts for children.


Marc Arneson

Marc ArnesonArneson is a produced writer of shorts and feature films. He has been a visiting professor in the U.C.L.A. M.F.A. Screenwriting program and currently teaches in the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting. As a graduate of the U.C.L.A. M.F.A. screenwriting program, Marc was awarded the Jack Nicholson Prize, The Harmony Gold Screenwriting Award and the Zaki Gordon Award for Excellence in writing. As a winner of the Showtime/Tony Cox Screenwriting Award at the Nantucket Film Festival, he was selected as writer-in-residence at their prestigious Screenwriters Colony. Marc has developed, optioned and sold scripts across diverse media including internet shorts for the Game Show Network; a half-hour pilot at Fox Television Animation and the feature film Just Peck.


Kelly Fullerton

kelly-fullertonFullerton was most recently executive story editor for season two of ABC Family’s critically-acclaimed show, The Fosters.  Additionally she was story editor for The Fosters season one. Previously she was a staff writer on the NBC comedy Next Caller  and a story editor for MTV’s hit comedy Awkward.  Kelly received her M.F.A. in screenwriting from UCLA as part of the television showrunner track.  At UCLA, Kelly was the recipient of the Sidney Sheldon award for her feature script Always a Bridesmaid, and she won the Zaki Gordon Award for her feature Clarity.


Geoff Geib

Geoff GeibGeib received his M.F.A. in screenwriting from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. After graduating, he worked as a staff writer during the final two seasons of the television show Medium, and later sold an original pilot entitled Happy Accidents to CBS Paramount. The script was developed at TNT with Glenn Gordon Caron, the creator of Moonlighting. Geoff’s IMDb page also proudly lists the PA work he did on Gilda Radner’s Greatest Moments from 2002 and his dramatic turn as the ‘Lightswitch Guy’ in the hopefully never seen independent film Ante Up.


Joe Gilford

Joe GilfordGilford has been a writer, producer, and director in theater, film, and television. His 2013 off-Broadway play Finks was nominated for the Drama Desk Outstanding Play and the Off-Broadway Alliance Best New Play. He is the screenwriter of the upcoming fact-based feature, Kalimantan and will be co-writing Bert & I: Tales of Maine with director Michael Pressman. Joe is a 2011 recipient of the Alfred P. Sloane Foundation playwriting grant for Danny’s Brain, his new play on football concussions. Joe’s plays have been produced in New York and regionally. His book, You Call THAT a Screenplay?!, will be published in 2015 by Michael Wiese Books. He is the winner of a New York Emmy Award for his documentary work on public TV. He has taught screenwriting since 1999 at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Undergraduate Film and TV program. He has taught at Hollins since 2009 and has been a guest lecturer and teacher of screenwriting at many other institutions including Columbia University and Montclair State University.


Niam Itani

Niam ItaniItani is an award winning filmmaker, screenwriter, and documentary producer. Her films have screened at film festivals all over the word including the 2012 Venice Film Festival. She served as a programs producer for five years at Aljazeera Satellite Network in Doha, Qatar and has taught screenwriting at the American University in Beirut, Lebanon.


Dave Johnson

Dave JohnsonJohnson is both a graduate of the Professional Program in Screenwriting and the M.F.A. Screenwriting Program at UCLA. He was the recipient of both the Jack Nicholson Award in Screenwriting and the Harmony Gold Award of Excellence. Along with being a produced television writer, Dave has sold and developed feature films for Walt Disney Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, and New Regency.


Jon Klein

Jon KleinKlein, M.F.A. in Film and Television, U.C.L.A., is a professional writer whose work has been seen on both stage and television. The author of twenty produced plays, he adapted his play, T Bone N Weasel, for a film on the TNT network, starring Gregory Hines and Christopher Lloyd. His stage adaptation of the children’s classic, Bunnicula, is scheduled for a national tour, including the Kennedy Center. He teaches screenwriting and playwriting at Catholic University.


Mari Kornhauser

Mari KornhauserKornhauser, a U.C.L.A. Film School graduate. She has written and co-produced Zandalee, starring Nicholas Cage, and The Last Ride, starring Mickey Rourke. Kornhauser has also written on assignment for 20th Century Fox, Tri-Star, and others. Her debut feature, Housebound (2000), which she wrote and directed, has won awards at film festivals around the world. She divides her time between Los Angeles and New Orleans.


Weiko Lin

Weiko LinLin has written a dramatic feature for The Mark Gordon Company (2012) and Good Worldwide, Inc (The Messenger). He also has a comedy with Madhouse Entertainment (The Bounty Hunter, Safehouse) attached to produce. Currently, Weiko is developing a German crime thriller remake with Atlas Entertainment (The Dark Night). A Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award recipient and a Nicholl Fellow Finalist, Weiko was most recently on full-time faculty at Northwestern University’s M.F.A. Writing for the Stage and Screen Program. As a Fulbright Senior Specialist, he has also taught M.F.A. screenwriting at Taipei National University of the Arts. As a producer, Weiko wrapped production in October on a Chinese romantic comedy directed by Emmy winning Henry Chan (“The B. in Apt. 23,” “Scrubs,” “King of Queens”). It is slated for an August 2013 release in Asia.


Jenna McGrath

Jenna McGrathMcGrath has spent the last several years writing for Disney, Nickelodeon, Marvel, Disney XD, and Strike Entertainment. Past shows include Best Friends WheneverBella and the BulldogsKickin It!, Packages from Planet X, and Avengers Assemble. She and her writing partner recently sold an original half-hour pilot to Nickelodeon. McGrath earned her M.F.A. at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, where she was awarded a Streisand/Sony Fellowship. She is also two-time national record holder in the extreme sport of freediving.


Stephanie Moore

Stephanie MooreMoore received her M.F.A. in Screenwriting from UCLA. She won the Harve Bennett “Written By” Prize in Screenwriting, and the Harmony Gold Screenwriting Award. She has taught in the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting since 2001 to the present and was a guest lecturer at Pixar University in 2002. Stephanie co-wrote Life-Size starring Tyra Banks and Lindsay Lohan, an original movie for ABC’s “Wonderful World of Disney,” and also received “story by” credit. She was hired by Disney to co-write Life-Size 2.


Lawrence C. Ross, Jr.

Lawrence C. Ross, Jr.

Lawrence Ross is a published author, screenwriter, and comic book creator. His latest book is Blackballed: The Black and White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and an M.F.A. in screenwriting, both from UCLA. He has lectured at over 400 universities, as he is universally recognized as the leading expert in the field of African-American fraternities and sororities. His current project, The Casuals, is a comic book series that follows six bad ass, genetically enhanced multi-ethnic women as they fight evil around the world.


Kit Steinkellner

Kit SteinkellnerAs a playwright, Kit Steinkellner’s work has received significant national attention, with productions Off-Broadway at Playwright’s Horizons, at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the San Diego Old Globe, and both the New York and Los Angeles Fringe Festivals. Her work has been praised by The New York Times, LA Times, LA Weekly, and Backstage, and her work has been published by Samuel French. Steinkellner is the recipient of several awards, including the number one slot on the The Bitch List 2015, the Tim Robbins Playwriting Award, the Jack Nicholson Prize in Screenwriting, and a granteeship to the Sundance Theatre Lab. She is a staff writer and the weekend editor for the website, HelloGiggles. She earned both her B.A. (theater, emphasis playwriting and directing) and her M.F.A. (screenwriting and television show running) from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.


John Sweet

John SweetSweet has been teaching screenwriting at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television since 2007. His script, The Affair of the Necklace, which he completed while a graduate student in the M.F.A. screenwriting program at UCLA, was made into a 2001 feature film starring Hilary Swank, Christopher Walken, and Adrien Brody. He has also sold and written other feature scripts for Warner Brothers, Sony and Disney Studios. Prior to entering the M.F.A. program, John was a working TV writer. Apart from writing network assignments, he was under contract for two years as a staff writer for RHI Entertainment’s development division. His television credits include the original pilot Braxton for RHI Entertainment, episodes of RHI’s Learning the Ropes and Fox’s Mr. President, as well as the Hallmark Hall of Fame movies of the week Face to Face (for CBS) and The Great Elephant Escape (for ABC). In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students at UCLA, John also teaches working professionals enrolled in the film school’s growing Professional Program.


Linda Voorhees

Linda VoorheesVoorhees is the associate director of screenwriting for film at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. An award-winning writer who has worked for ABC, CBS, NBC, TNT, Lifetime, USA, and Disney Channel, Voorhees has been or is currently in development with Columbia, Universal, Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures. As a student at UCLA TFT, she was the recipient of the Jack Nicholson Screenwriting Award and a four-time finalist for the Diane Thomas Award. Her 1997 movie of the week, Two Mothers For Zachary, received the GLAAD Award for positive portrayals of gay and lesbians in the media. Her 1991 made-for-cable movie, Crazy From The Heart, was the winner of the Imagen Award for positive portrayals of Latinos and hispanics in the media and was the winner of the Columbus Award. The screenplay was nominated for an ACE Award.