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About Us


Sara Ross-Samko


Rose Fadem-Johnston

                    Sara Ross-Samko is a director and cinematographer drawn to the misty realms between dream and document. A background in music and theatre informs her approach to image-making and working with puppets, in-camera effects, celluloid, mud, ink, bugs, beasties and all things messy bring her great joy.


                  A graduate of the American Film Institute Conservatory with a degree in Cinematography, she is now a member of the AFI Cinematography Faculty where she co-directs its 35mm Visual Essay program. Her work has been screened at international festivals such as Telluride, SXSW, and the Venice Film Festival. Honors include participation in the Berlinale Talents Project Lab and IFP Week, a Women in Film Scholarship for Directing, a Panavision's New Filmmaker Grant, a Kodak Emerging Filmmaker Grant, and an American Documentary Film Fund Award.

                 Rose Fadem-Johnston thrives in the process of developing harmonious collaborations while taking on complicated productions. Fadem-Johnston’s cinematography spans narrative, commercial, music videos, and experimental formats. She shoots both film and digital and her cinematography work often includes tackling the challenges specific to SFX, VFX, stunts, children, animals, and stop-motion animation.  Originally from Berkeley CA, her first career was as a Trapeze artist, before she moved into the equally wild and wonderful world of production. 


                She earned her MFA at the world-renowned AFI Conservatory and her BA in Film Production at UCLA. Her cinematography has been featured at festivals around the world including Chicago IFF, Toronto, Riff, Montreal, Italian Contemporary, and Champs Elysse. She was included on the 2018 StudioDaily 50 list. Fadem-Johnston is a founding member of the International Collective of Female Cinematographers ( ICFC  ). She was recruited to the faculty at the AFI Conservatory cinematography dept in 2017 where she teaches the primary technical course to first-year Fellows. She moonlights as an amateur stained glass artist and inventor of useful do-dads.

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