Co-Founder / CEO RRKidz
Still in Hollywood 30 years after film school, Mark has been all over the world making movies and is now the co-owner and CEO of a great educational and entertainment brand, RRKIDZ, the Home of Reading Rainbow. Business partnered with LeVar Burton in RRKIDZ and Burton/Wolfe Entertainment; together they are making the next act of their careers one that really matters. They are educating and entertaining. Mark has written and directed over 200 video field trips for Reading Rainbow, which really surprises him since he never expected to have any talent doing that. Maybe he doesn’t and everyone is afraid to tell him. Producing has always been his forte. Go figure.
Prior to co-founding RRKidz in 2011, Mark served as a producer/executive in charge of production of several high-profile films, where he supervised all aspects of pre- production, production and post. Big budget projects included Intermedia’s Terminator 3 with Arnold Schwarzenegger and K-19: The Widowmaker with Harrison Ford. He consulted on the 2009 installment of the Terminator film franchise, Terminator Salvation, starring Christian Bale and directed by McG and Peter Weir’s The Way Back. Mark’s 100-plus projects included Four Weddings and a Funeral, Elizabeth, I ♥ Huckabees, Kinsey, Fargo, Reach for Me, Dead Man Walking, Notting Hill, Usual Suspects, When We Were Kings, and many more. He developed and produced Lifetime’s Taken in Broad Daylight, which was the third highest-rated film in the network’s history. In the 1990’s Mark served as Senior Vice-President of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment overseeing their global feature, TV and video productions as well as their library acquisitions and home video/DVD launches.
Mark has worked and filmed all over the world, in places such as Morocco, Israel, India, Toronto, Bulgaria, Halifax, Moscow, Paris, Winnipeg, St. Petersburg, London, Rome, New York, Munich, Vancouver and so many others he can’t remember them, but knows he has a drawer full of old Lira, Euros, Pounds, Shekels, Rubles, and a shelf full of Virgin Atlantic pajamas.
Throughout the years Mark has worked with various charity groups that are near and dear to him. He was a volunteer with Big Brother and has donated services as a producer for fundraisers such as Comic Relief, Doctors without Borders, the Big Brothers, and for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, where he served as Master of Ceremonies for the organization’s special events. He proudly has helped raise awareness and financial donations for these organizations. Mark guest lectures at various producer programs including ones at USC, and the international film producers program Inside Pictures and Breakthrough Brits, a UK diversity program, both sponsored by the British Film Commission.
Mark lives in Southern California with family .
Director/Producer of WALK
Mary-Pat began her career as an actress, appearing on Broadway in the original casts of Hal Prince's Candide and Sweeney Todd, as well as many Off-Broadway and Regional Theatre productions. She appeared in the critically acclaimed The Women at The Old Globe, directed by Tony-winner Darko Tresnjak, and won the BroadwayWorld award for Best Supporting Actress for Fallen Angels at the Pasadena Playhouse. Her Film work includes: Fantastic Four (2015), Yes Man (with Jim Carey), The Breakup (with Jennifer Aniston), In Her Shoes (with Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette), and xXx(with Vin Diesel). As a director, her film WALK won the FILM HEALS Award at the Manhattan Film Festival, the Audience Award at the California Women's Film Festival, and Best Short at the Marietta Film Festival. Other directing projects include Even Stephen, featured at more than a dozen film festivals around the world, as well as theatrical productions in L.A. of Alfred Stieglitz Loves O'Keeffe at the Fremont Center Theatre, Theresa Rebeck's Great to See You at the Tiffany Theatre, Once In a Lifetime at the Hudson Theatre, and Nuncrackers, which received the ADA Award for Best Musical. Recent TV appearances include Seal Team, Mom, American Horror Story: Asylum, Anger Management, and The Middle, and recurring guest roles on The West Wing, Six Feet Under, Any Day Now, Ally McBeal, The Drew Carey Show, Married With Children, Saving Grace, Eli Stone, My Name Is Earl, Desperate Housewives, ER, NYPD Blue, Friends, and Millenium. IMDB.
Joel has been a performing artist since 1995 in theater, film, television, runway and print. His most recent appearances include FOX News mini-series "Legends & Lies, The Patriots" as George Washington 2016-17, and a Korean based feature film shot in Richmond summer of 2017 "I Can Speak." He lived and worked in Hollywood from 1998 to 2005, and is currently residing in Virginia Beach, VA, a great acting state for period pieces.
Mike is an entertainment writer/director/performer who has over 40 years experience reviewing films, theater, recordings and concerts. His reviews have appeared in national and local media.
Caleb is judging the First City Student Shorts
Caleb has been working with film and video for over 15 years and has directed several short films, music videos, and four feature films. Caleb's largest feature to date, The Matchbreaker, starring Christina Grimmie (The Voice) is currently available on Netflix. In addition to his experience producing and directing, Caleb served in diverse roles on many national, regional, and locally-based productions.