Former Filmmakers in Residence

David Santamaria

David is a filmmaker and founder of the media collaborative, Early Man Productions. He grew up in New York and currently lives in Oakland, CA. His latest film, Slide Rail Superman, premiered at the SF Indy festival and played at film festivals nationwide. Beginning in September, David began a one year film residency at the Ninth Street IFC Media Arts Incubator program to work on a feature documentary.

David Santamaria works as an editor, colorist and technical consultant on media projects. His recent work as finishing editor on the film, Return Flight will air on PBS in November. He is an Apple Certified Trainer and teaches editing and motion graphics classes throughout the Bay Area.

Meika Rouda

Meika Rouda is a writer/producer based in the Bay Area. Her articles have appeared in the Huffington Post, Underwire Magazine and The Next Family where she is a contributing writer. Meika is a consultant for the Telluride Film Festival and produced the award winning feature film Quality of Life which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and was distributed in theaters nationwide. She has worked with directors including Robert DeNiro, Spike Lee and Robert Redford. Currently she is a resident filmmaker for the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, directing a short film based on her personal essay on adoption called My Peeps.

My Peeps are Whiteys is an exploration of identity and how we become who we are. Meika Rouda was adopted as a newborn and never knew her biological background until she was in her thirties and trying to make a family of her own. Because she has exotic looks, she often had people tell her what ethnicity they thought she might be, and in turn sometimes took on those identities to see if they fit. After learning of her ethnic background she came to realize that who she identified with was her Jewish adoptive parents more than her biological family’s ethnic make up. Her search engages audiences to consider how they view their own identity and what makes you, you.

Yael Luttwak

Filmmaker Bio: 

Yael LuttwakYael Luttwak is a filmmaker. She is the founder of Slim Peace Groups 501 (C)(3), a non-profit organization that emerged from her documentary film, A Slim Peace, portraying the drama of Israeli and Palestinian women in the first ever weight-loss group involving Jews and Arabs. Yael directed and co-produced A Slim Peace, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2007.

She graduated from the London Film School, where she specialized in directing. Her short films have been widely distributed, among them Hans Rausing and Yitzhak Rabin: 1922-1995.As the recent resident filmmaker of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Yael completed My Favorite Neoconservative, which showed at the 34th edition of the Festival, and is currently in post-production onVolunteer Alex. She lives in Washington, DC with her son.

Exhibition History:

My Favorite Neoconservative is a documentary that portrays the surreal
power circles of Washington, DC. The main character is the filmmaker’s eccentric father, Edward Luttwak, a conservative strategist who makes a living as a political consultant and military strategist for various US administrations…

The film offers a rare glimpse of intimate Washington politics through a unique father-daughter relationship. Raised in a house overrun by her father’s associates, many of whom still reside in a one-square mile of the Chevy Chase suburb, Yael Luttwak watched Paul Wolfowitz, Michael Ledeen and Richard Perle walk the halls of her childhood home. With unique access, the film reveals the personalities behind the headlines and tells a father-daughter story with a sardonic political twist.