We're honored to invite these five directors to the 2019 StudioFest. They have demonstrated incredible skill and knowledge of visual storytelling, and we would be thrilled to partner with any one of them on their debut feature film. The public is invited to join us in a celebration screening of their works September 21st at the Sane Center in Ojai between 2:30pm and 4:30pm.


Chiara Fleischhacker

Chiara Fleischhacker (1993) was born in Kassel (Germany) and raised in Erfurt, where she went to a sport boarding school as an 800m runner. After her high school degree, she went for half a year to Cuba. In 2012 she started studying psychology in Freiburg and cancelled studies finally in 2014 to become a filmmaker. 2015, Chiara started the studies of documentary directing at the Filmakademie Baden- Württemberg. There she realized two short documentaries about the German prison system and an experimental short about a triathlete. Recently she has dedicated herself to fiction storytelling. Two of her short films have gone to several film festivals and won awards. Her last short film was screened on ARTE.



Rachel Annette Helson Headshot Compressed.jpg

Rachel Annette Helson

RACHEL ANNETTE HELSON was recently honored by SHOOT Online as a 2019 New Director to Watch for her work on "Hatched," a dramatic short film starring Melissa Ponzio (Series Regular: "Teen Wolf.") As an honoree of SHOOT, a selection of "Hatched" premiered at the Directors Guild of America. The film was released online in June 2019 as a Film Shortage Daily Short Pick where it has over 6.5K views. HATCHED is also an official selection of Hollyshorts and the Louisville International Festival of Film. In April 2019, she was selected as a director for the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge sponsored by RED Cameras and Zeiss. Her team's mockumentary short debuted at the Museum of the Moving Image in NYC. For the past six years, Rachel has produced, edited and directed over 150 online advertisements and branded content videos for clients like Macys, Pepsi, Dun + Bradstreet, The Broadway League and more. In June 2019, she had the honor of creating a billboard in Times Square as part of a collaboration between Wells Fargo and the National High School Musical Theatre Awards. She is the co-creator, executive producer, writer and original character designer for "Cape Kids," a new educational children's television show starring David Faustino, Keith Powell+ Suzy Nakamura. As an actress, she has guest starred on TV shows like "The Knick," "Law & Order: SVU," "Power" as well as in the Netflix film "The Polka King." As a producer, she was nominated for a 2009 Tony Award for her work on Neil LaBute's "reasons to be pretty" making her the youngest producer in Broadway history to be nominated for a Tony Award at age 20. She is a proud graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.


Jessica Liu

From writing and directing, "Memory Blocks" a film about the transition of three young adults in Singapore to exploring tongue-in-cheek middle school moments in her early 2000s short film, "oRaNgEdReAmS", Jessica Liu takes her lens to the heart of slice of life, character-driven stories far and wide. Since graduating from UCSC with double degrees in Feminist Studies and Film & Digital Media, Jessica Liu has strived to create a unique narrative vision and continues to expand on new projects. Her work has screened at festivals such as National Geographic All Roads, Cinequest, Dances with Films, Newfilmmakers LA, San Diego Asian Film Festival, etc. Her latest project which screened in 2019, “Prom Time!”, is a magical realism film revolving around cross-generational desire. It was selected at various festivals and won the “Best Women’s Empowerment” award at Anaheim Film Fest. She is a member of the Alliance of Women Directors.


Ryan Oksenberg

Since he was a kid, Ryan Oksenberg has been creating stories on his family camcorder or with his toys. He's a Los Angeles-based writer, director from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He graduated with a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008.

Oksenberg got started in documentaries with the online "cult favorite" documentary, "Cease To Exist" (2007), which explores the music motive to the Manson murders. His docuseries, "Life Line Booth" aired on Participant Media's TV network, Pivot. You can find these works and his short films on Alter, Amazon Prime and Vimeo. Notably, "Damage Control," which premiered at the 2018 Fantasia Film Festival and was awarded Best Thriller, Best Director and Best Actor by Top Shorts Film Festival in 2019.

In development is “The Whip,” a screenplay Ryan co-wrote with author Karen Kondazian based on her award-winning historical fiction novel. He also worked with the team behind “The Hunger Games” trilogy on “Bermuda Triangle,” a feature he also co-wrote.

“Together” is Ryan’s latest, a dark-comedy horror short that premiered at the 2019 Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in the ‘Bucheon Choice’ international award competition. It made its North America premiere at the 2019 Fantasia Film Festival.

Going on adventures, playing drums and helping out others where he can keeps Ryan inspired and grounds an overactive imagination he's had since he can remember.


Katherine Oostman

Katherine Oostman was homeschooled, studied at Oxford and worked the Sochi Olympics. She concerns herself with the dramatic, philosophical, and futuristic, so a debate about morality in space is her ideal. Her short film, The Stranger, has screened at Comic Con: San Diego, TCL Chinese Theater, the Atlanta Film Festival, and the Florida Film Festival. It won a bronze Telly for directing and received the Grand Jury Prize for Best College Short at Gasparilla Film Festival. Her experimental film July 6 Marquette MI was selected for the 2018 Visible Poetry Project Anthology, and The Sense of Feeling, her short doc, screened at a 2015 TEDx event. Her feature script, The Stranger, was a 2018 American Zoetrope Screenwriting Competition Quarterfinalist. She interned at production companies such as Protozoa Pictures and The Kennedy/Marshall Company with their development departments. Since then, she has worked as a story consultant for PlayStation's Emerging Filmmakers program and Asbury University's feature film "Damaged Goods." She taught an undergrad and graduate level Directing Narrative Film class at Asbury. She holds an MFA in Film Production at Florida State University, but has always had a masters in fort building. She currently works as a development associate for 1stAveMachine.