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Special Guests

We’re excited to welcome several special guests from the film industry to Mesa to participate in the this year’s festival.  Each guest will take part in the Industry Seminars and will be on hand to meet the filmmakers and check out the films.

Hitesh Patel

Voyager Elevate

Hitesh R. Patel is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and entrepreneur championing greater Art, Commerce & Justice in entertainment. He is the Founder & CEO of VOYAGER Entertainment Group, an independent studio that facilitates the finance, production, distribution, and promotion of remarkable motion picture content sourcing from across the globe. Visit voyagerentertainment.group to learn more and contact the company.

Roy Thomasson

LifeLine Entertainment

With almost 20 years of independent film production under his belt, Roy Thomasson started making film in 1999 in Huntington Beach, California. He has produced a hand full of shorts, features and Documentaries, Like Godsend: The Evil Decimation (1999), Return to Innocence (2001), Hallowed (2005), Almost Beautiful (2007) and Amhurst (2008). He has also performed is several film under the name stage name Corey Foxx He moved his family and production company LifeLine Entertainment to Texas in 2009 and continue to make quality independent short and feature films.

Ita Uda-Ema

View From Above Entertainment

Born in Bridgeport, CT, Ita Udo-Ema is the last of three sons. After moving nine times in almost as many year, Ita’s family settled in the Valley of the Sun. His initial career path lead him to follow in the footsteps of his father, to Purdue University in West Lafeyette IN, studying mechanical engineering. After 3 year, Ita realized that his future was not to be in engineering. While in Indiana, fate conspired to introduce him to a future influence that would kick start his filmmaker career. Ita has been creating digital media in one form or another for 15 years. With a degree in computer animation from the Art Institute of Phoenix, Ita has produced six DVD releases, worked on three independent feature length films and published over 70 online videos. In 2005, Ita founded the media studio, View from Above Entertainment and he is currently heading the Gangplank Video Studio initiative. Ita’s fascination with movie magic led him back to Arizona and a degree in computer animation. Reuniting with fellow Boilermaker, Purdue Alumnus David M. Quiroz, he was given the opportunity to work on his first two feature projects: Night of the Chihuahuas and The Lonely Ones.

David Zickl

Location Scout & Producer

Over 22 years experience location scouting and managing national print advertising campaigns, television commercials and motion pictures. Clients include Lexus, Nissan, Coca Cola, Nike, Panama Tourism, Wells Fargo, Buick, Cable One, Arizona Lottery, Cadillac, PetSmart, Tag Heuer, Hermes, Wagner Painters, ESPN Super Bowl, Ford, 5 Hour Energy, IBM, Subaru, Adidas.

Bob Nelson

Brick Cave Media

Bob Nelson is a long time organizer, recording artist, filmmaker and writer. In 1994, he co-founded the Essenzaslam Poetry Slam in Mesa, AZ. Also in 1994, he co-founded Anthology literary magazine with J.A. Giunta, a publication that would run for 10 years. In 1999, he founded the Spokenworld Show, one of the first internet radio shows produced. 2001 Bob created the literary nonprofit Anthology, Inc. and in 2002 he opened The Anthology Cafe.  In 2006, Bob founded Brick Cave Media, producing Bill Campana’s epic spoken word box set, The Hit List In 2010, Bob directed a full length feature film, Sacrifice. Following that with the short film Yellowestone Sunset in 2011. In 2012, he added Brick Cave Films, Brick Cave Books and Brick Cave Audio to Brick Cave Media. In 2014, Bob founded The Uninformed Tech Guy podcast. In 2016, he founded the Cirque du Livre Writer’s Conference In 2017, he founded the Mesa Book Festival. In 2019 he created the Brick Cave Film Festival.