Tickets for this year's Chicago Southland International Film Festival


on September 6-8, 2019 are now on sale!

Festival Committee:


Joshua E. Young

Joshua is a prolific Producer/Director holding an Associate of Arts with a Media Specialist Certificate from Rock Valley College, as well as, B.A. in Communications and M.F.A. in Independent Filmmaking and Digital Imaging from Governors State University. His film credits include Producer/Editor of sci-fi/thriller THROUGH DARKNESS (currently in postproduction), Producer/Editor of independent, short documentary SEARCHING FOR LADY DAY: A PORTRAIT IN STEEL (2017), Unit Production Manager of independent, horror feature RAYMOND DID IT (2011), and Producer/Writer/Director of short, action/comedy RUN (2010). During his education at GSU, Joshua climbed the production ranks of the full-service studio facility on campus from production assistant to Director/Executive Producer of the Department of Digital Learning. His television credits are extensive and include: National Endowment for the Humanities grant-funded production "Veterans Speak: War, Trauma, and the Humanities" (Producer/Director), "Respond to Violence: The Impact of Mental Health” (Production Manager/Director), “Reflections on Fatherhood with John W. Fountain” (Associate Producer/Editor), “Respond to Violence: Communities in Crisis” (Editor). He has also helped to develop courses in GSU’s Media Studies Program and taught studio-based television production.
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Suzanne Patterson

Suzanne's passion for film began at age 6 when she joined a film club for children in her hometown of Dumfries, Scotland. As a young Columbia College student, Suzanne attended film classes led by Sun-Times Film Critic Roger Ebert which cemented her close affinity with the art of motion pictures. She manages The Knowledge Exchange, a lifelong learning program at Governors State University’s School of Extended Learning where she leads a Cinema Studies course presenting on various film topics including Understanding Culture through Foreign Film, The Brontes in Film and The Power of Short Film. Suzanne also leads post film Q&As for various venues and organizations within the metropolitan Chicago area.
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Nikki Daily

Nikki is an experienced Associate Producer/Editor and Digital Media Specialist with a Masters of Fine Arts in Independent Film and Digital Imaging from Governors State University. Her film credits include Associate Producer of independent, short documentary SEARCHING FOR LADY DAY: A PORTRAIT IN STEEL (2017), Producer/Director/Editor MUA Life (currently in postproduction). Nikki is a 15 year veteran Makeup Artist whose diversity of skills allows her to perform many roles on the production set. Television and Production credits include: “Respond To Violence: The Impact of Mental Health” (Robotics/Makeup Artist), “Veterans Speak: War, Trauma, and the Humanities” (Teleprompter/Makeup Artist), “Respond to Violence: Social Activism” (Robotics/Editor), “Respond to Violence: Reaching Our Youth” (Camera Operator). She has also taught Film Seminar: Gender and Sexuality in Film as a course featured in the IFDI Program at Governors State University.
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Alexis Sarkisian

Alexis is an Emmy award-winning documentarian and marketing communications management professional who specializes in working with nonprofit organizations. With experience as a radio television broadcast manager and global marketing executive, Alexis currently is an independent management and marketing consultant for corporate and nonprofit organizations. She also teaches leadership and communication at three local universities at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She also manages marketing and special events for Governors State University’s library.
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Sanghoon Lee


A native of South Korea, Sanghoon Lee moved to the U.S. to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he pursued his MFA in Filmmaking. He has been working as a director, producer, and cinematographer in Chicago’s independent film community ever since. 

Sanghoon has completed several award-winning dramatic features including SECOND MOON (producer), CHICAGO HEIGHTS (producer/cinematographer) and HOGTOWN (producer/cinematographer). His credits also include feature documentaries EDIT (producer), TODAY WE SAW THE FACE OF GOD (producer), and BREAKFAST AT INA'S (producer/cinematographer). Most recently, Sanghoon acted as cinematographer for two short films, FUGUE and THE BIRDER, both in post-production. His feature length directorial debut, BANANA SEASON is in its festival circuit.

Sanghoon is an associate professor in Independent Film and Digital Imaging program at Governors State University where he has been teaching film since 2006.

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Lydia Morrow Ruetten

Lydia is the Dean of the GSU Library. She has over 30 years’ experience working in libraries. At GSU, she provides leadership and oversight of the University Library, guiding faculty and staff in the implementation of a shared vision to meet and support the GSU initiatives. As chair of the GSU Intellectual Life committee, she has successfully executed the One Book, One Campus program for a number of years. She believes the key to their success is partnering with others. She received her MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, an MBA from GSU, and a BS in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
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Amanda Martinez

Amanda is a Motion Graphic Designer who earned her B.F.A in Photography & Digital Imaging from Governors State University. Since graduating from GSU in 2013, she has been working for Governors State University as a Digital Design Specialist on an array of productions, as well as, various freelance gigs. Some of her film credits include SEARCHING FOR LADY DAY: A PORTRAIT IN STEEL (2017), Graphic Designer, and LONELY SOULS (2017), Graphic Designer. Her television credits include National Endowment for the Humanities grant-funded production "Veterans Speak: War, Trauma, and the Humanities" (Graphic Designer/Graphics Operator/Set Designer), "Respond to Violence: The Impact of Mental Health” (Graphic Designer/Graphics Operator/Set Designer), “Respond to Violence: Communities in Crisis” (Graphic Designer) just to name a few. Additionally, Amanda’s experience includes music videos, promotional videos, title sequences, live sports graphics, online learning programs, applications, websites, invitations, flyer/ posters, and event planning. Her skills span the entire gamut of television production. From Photoshop and photography, to 3D modeling and animation, Amanda can make any project come to life.
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Advisor to the Festival Committee:


Daniel Nearing

Daniel is a Professor of Independent Film and Digital Imaging at Governors State University, where he is a three-time winner of faculty excellence awards. His work as a writer-director includes CHICAGO HEIGHTS and HOGTOWN. Nearing is a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, served as the inaugural Filmmaker in Residence for the City of Chicago, and was named Chicagoan of the Year for Film by the Chicago Tribune in 2016-17. He continues to enjoy teaching at GSU while undertaking his current production of SISTER CARRIE, a black and white period love story set in Chicago, Montreal and Paris.
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