Our Staff


Cinema Ed staff members, volunteers and mentors work year round on various projects that seek to empower young filmmakers across many platforms.

Richard Stephen Bell

Richard works directly with schools to help mentor students by providing expertise in the classroom to assist in film production and coordination with various Cinema Ed projects. In addition to his work at Cinema Ed, Richard is also a screenwriter, actor and filmmaker. His feature length scripts have placed in such prestigious competitions as the Austin Film Festival, Nicholl Fellowships for Screenwriting (run by the Academy Awards), Final Draft Big Break, BlueCat Screenplay Contest, Creative World Awards and Coppola’s Zoetrope.  He has also written and starred in an award-winning short film, "Bartleby 2013", based on Herman Melville's short story, and was on the production team of “Shy Guys” a hilarious new short film that has appeared in over 40 film festivals.  Written and directed by veteran actor Fredric Lehne (Tallulah, Zero Dark Thirty, Men in Black, among many others) it stars Tony Winner Reed Birney (The Humans, House of Cards and many more).  Richard’s acting exploits can be seen on television, in film, on stage and on the internet. Richard is most passionate about his work with student filmmakers, who are our future creative leaders.

Ashley Santana.jpg
Ashley Santana
Communications Coordinator

As Cinema Ed’s Communications Coordinator Ashley works to create and implement marketing and communications initiatives intended to engage and activate educational and filmmaking communities, and to coordinate with potential donors. Her work in the field of communications has brought her to many places, and she has played an integral part in Cinema Ed’s HBO-sponsored panel “The Path to Inclusivity: Empowering Young Filmmakers” at the Austin Film Festival, as well as providing logistical support for our FilmBoot24 and Young Filmmakers Track programming.  Ashley also helps create and post content on the Cinema Ed’s website and across our social media platforms, works on all our projects providing support and coordination, helps produces our newsletters and actively develops pitch ideas for reaching reaching stakeholders in new ways and explanding our programs. As a Media Studies/Journalism major at Rutgers University her main goals with Cinema Ed are to focus on creating a space for young filmmakers to flourish. She is excited to be an integral part of our team!