program showcase

2016 Alumni BLOOM Session Guests

Sid Akbar  

Sid Akbar
JF Kennedy HS/ Sac State University

After joining TOY in the Summer of 1997, I became seriously involved in the TV and Film programming. Within two years I was offered a job in the Bay Area and became an international journalist airing on all major networks, including CNN Headline News and CNN International. As a foreign correspondent I was committed to ethical news reporting instead of sensationalism. My values covering the refugee camps required me to quit the field and pursue a career as a public educator. I completed college and, for the past 10 years, have been the Multimedia Teacher at Grant Union High School. My goal is to influence deep and important media artists toward civic and social activism - from local to global.

Jonathan Boone  

Jonathan Boone
Bear River HS/UC Irvine Department of Film & Media Studies

My digital media love in high school led me to enter the TOY Teen Digital Reel Showcase & Awards and be a jury member. At UCI, I joined and led their TV broadcast club, Anteater Television, to secure a role within the Associated Students UC Irvine student government as the primary producer of digital media on campus graduating in 2014. I decided to develop my photographic portfolio on a long-term backpacking trip through New Zealand and Europe where I could calibrate my artistic eye. I just moved to Portland, Oregon, earning a daily living as a real estate photographer/videographer and have a Resident Artist status at Northwest Documentary. My current project is producing a coffee industry feature about Costa Rica's farmers and their amazing lives and commerce.

Gabe Figueroa  

Gabe Figueroa
Franklin HS/Dodge Film School, Chapman University

Gabe Figueroa is an LA based director and producer working in the creative mediums of theatre, film and television. His short film, Cold Winter's Night, is the recent recipient of a 2016 Best Children's Programming College Television Award from the Television Academy. In the past year, he has worked alongside indelible artists at Cirque du Soleil (The Beatles LOVE), the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and most recently on the ABC Primetime Series Fresh Off The Boat.

Maxwell Fong  

Max Fong
Franklin HS/California Polytechnical University

Maxwell Fong believes that the world is defined by each person's beliefs; therefore, by changing one's person's beliefs you change the entire world. He is a storyteller, marketeer and entrepreneur. He is the Founder of Current Solutions, which has been featured in Buzzfeed, the New York Times, Huffington Post, Buzzle, USA Today, Cosmopolitan, and many more. Current Solutions is an online platform where survivors of sexual assault can safely voice their stories and inspire others to share. Maxwell is a proud YBAMA and Tower of Youth alum who enjoys playing Frisbee, consuming unsafe amounts caffeine, and galavanting around his favorite city- San Francisco. Follow him on Quora.

Keegan Mullin  

Keegan Mullin
Paso Robles HS/Dodge Film School, Chapman University

Keegan is a Gates Scholarship holder and a graduate of Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University. His work has been showcased at numerous major film festivals and was chosen as a semifinalist for the Student Academy Awards. In 2015 Keegan won the DGA Student Film Award for his outstanding achievement in directing his film The Last Words. He is currently in production on his next film titled, The Eleventh, and has begun his graduate career in School Psychology and Clinical Counseling at Chapman University.

Cheyanne Quintanar  

Cheyenne Quintanar
Cordova HS/CSU Northridge Cinema and TV Arts

Cheyenne Camille Quintanar is an actress, writer and director based in LA. whose projects lean towards social issues, from her political and social documentary "Are We Still The Ugly American?" bringing a global perspective about the USA's foreign policy during George W. Bush's presidency, to the interactive e-music series, "Harper's Video Diary". HVD faces domestic violence head-on in an interactive and musically heightened way. As an actress, her most recent short "Trophy", deals with a family's dramatic struggles. As a writer, she is currently working on a sci-fi, dark dramedy feature with six more projects in development. Our challenge is building a network of creatives to collaborate with that will kick that career door open once and for all!

Justin Rypma  

Justin Rypma
Bear River HS/ Dodge Film School, Chapman University

I am a passionate digital media artist with an explosive love for helping others tell their story through visual mediums and collaborating with fellow artists. I have gained professional experience as a cinematographer, editor, director, still photographer, and advertising campaign developer while creating lifelong friendships, having the time of my life doing so. Starting out capturing the art of high paced sports, I have collaborated on a documentary highlighting amputee recovery, shot short narrative films with content ranging from cannibalism to loss of virtual love, sold a company's new tech products through online video advertisements, helped a start up fashion company raise money to create a USA made clothing line, and promote rising artists through music videos. I plan to continue my work as cinematographer and entrepreneur globally while promoting and advocating for mandatory digital media arts literacy.