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Luminist Films produces independent films and media
with an interest in personal stories, issues of social justice, art and education.

Laurie Little Filmmaker/founder of Luminist Films

Originally from Canada, Laurie Little is a Chicago based filmmaker, digital artist, colorist, photographer and educator. Her award-winning films have screened in festivals and exhibitions worldwide and her observational documentaries and short fiction films work to inspire dialogue, advocacy, and action. Laurie's recent film, Sisters March, a short documentary reflecting on the journey between Chicago and DC, connects voices of hope, empowerment, and intersectionality during the Women's March. Her film Totalité about Photographer/Umbraphile Richard Bellia, created with Justin T. Jones, looks at Bellia's passion for the creative process and its parallels to nature. Laurie is currently in production on a new feature documentary, Waiting for Winter with partners Anuradha Rana and B. Rich, following the stories of five female dog sled racers ranging from ages 13 to 63 on the Lake Superior South Shore racing circuit. 

Little holds a BFA from York University and an MFA in Film and Video from Columbia College Chicago where she teaches documentary and media classes as an adjunct instructor.


Mary Novak

Mary Novak began her creative career as a poet. She has an MFA in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, with a focus on screenwriting and directing. Her short films "Highlights", "Taco Mary" and "Cut Out" have been selected for numerous festivals nationally and internationally, and have won awards, including Best Family Short, Best Art Direction, 2nd Place Short for "Highlights" and Best Screenplay, Audience Award, Festival Director's Choice for "Taco Mary".

Anu Rana Isthmus Films 

Producer, Director, Writer and Editor with Luminist Films and Isthmus Films.

Born in New Delhi, India, Anuradha Rana is an independent filmmaker based in Chicago. Her work focuses on themes of identity, its provenance, and portrayal against a global backdrop. Her award-winning films have screened internationally and she has produced, directed, and wielded camera on documentaries filmed in India, Ecuador, Japan, South Africa and the USA. 

She is currently in production on Language of Opportunity, a feature documentary exploring the role that English plays in the lives, hopes and dreams of a new generation of Indians; and Waiting for Winter, a documentary that follows three teams of mushers and their sled dogs as they train for the annual Copperdog Race held in March in the upper peninsula of Michigan.

Anuradha is chair of the documentary program at DePaul University's School of Cinematic Arts and is the program coordinator for Diverse Voices in Documentary (#DVID), a professional development and mentorship program for documentary media makers of color, organized by the legendary Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago. She was recently named one of Chicago Film’s 50 Screen Gems of 2017 by Newcity Magazine.

Co-Producer/Director of VariationsDisability Pride Parade and Waiting for Winter with Laurie Little of Luminist Films.

B. Rich, Isthmus Films

DP, Producer and Director with Luminist Films and Isthmus Films.

B. Rich is a writer, filmmaker, designer, teacher, and scientist. He holds an MFA in Film/Video and a BA in Biology. He writes and directs both fiction and nonfiction films, shoots his own and others’ documentaries, and develops stories about complex concepts and issues across multiple media formats. This weaving of stories called transmedia has propelled him into game design, interactive design and virtual reality. His creative focus is on the environment, sustainable development, gender, aging, and inequity. B is an Assistant Professor at DePaul University's School of Design.B. Rich is a writer, filmmaker, designer, teacher, and scientist. He holds an MFA in Film/Video and a BA in Biology. He writes and directs both fiction and nonfiction films, shoots his own and others’ documentaries, and develops stories about complex concepts and issues across multiple media formats. This weaving of stories called transmedia has propelled him into game design, interactive design and virtual reality. His creative focus is on the environment, sustainable development, gender, aging, and inequity. B is an Assistant Professor at DePaul University's School of Design.

Justin T. Jones

Producer, Director, DP and Editor with Luminist Films on Totalité, DP/Camera operator on Waiting for Winter and editor of the new Sisters March Trailer.

Justin is an award-winning documentarian and cinematographer based in Chicago. His films have screened at festivals across the country and internationally, including the BEA Festival of Media Arts, Ethnografilm Paris, and the Fresh Coast Film Festival. As a cinematographer, Justin often works across genres and styles, from experimental to traditional narrative and documentary. Originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, his work is currently focused on personal stories of people and place and family dynamics in the rural Midwest. Justin is finishing his MFA in Documentary at DePaul University. When not making movies, he enjoys cross-country skiing and film photography.

Vikas Deo

Composer, musician, sound designer, and video editor.  Vikas worked as an associate editor and sound designer on Sisters March and Totalité and as editor and sound designer on Dream Safari.  I enjoy music, sound, film, & games - and always look forward to working on projects that include one or more of these. http://ClinkWhamPoof.com

Clara Allcott

Clara Alcott is a filmmaker based in Chicago. Clara has worked professionally in the film industry in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Her personal projects reflect an interest in both the experimental and narrative style. She has screened her work at various festivals and galleries in the US and Europe. Clara's work has been recognized and received honors from the City of Chicago (CAAP Grant), The Illinois Arts Council, Nokia, The Independent Spirit Awards and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She is currently working on The Distant Architect with Producer, Laurie Little and Editor, Melissa Lawrenz.

Enero Ray of Pillbox79 Productions

Editor on Sisters March.

Dynamic Producer. Fast-paced Editor. Highly Stylized Shooter. Visual Auteur. ”I am most dynamic and invigorated when combining all of the above ingredients to make a decadent, visually delicious, power-driven story. https://www.pillbox79.com and https://vimeo.com/user7793901

Jess Mattison, Filmmaker/Editor/DP

Co-Director/Editor/camera on Sister March.

Camera operator on Waiting for Winter

For as long as I can remember, I have been a storyteller. I love to tell stories, but not as much as I love listening to them. When I started out at Columbia College in the narrative film department I was writing multiple stories a day. With endless class exercises and script writing, I was up to my ears in stories. There was something missing though and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. After taking a step back, and reevaluating my passion I realized I was stuck in a fantasy world. I was coming up with endless stories from my imagination that really had no meaning or made any sense to anyone but me. As I was having this epiphany, almost simultaneously I discovered documentaries. I had seen documentaries in school, but they were never very exciting. I came to the realization that my passion was for the truth. I could combine my two passions, storytelling and the truth, and from this, the birth of my documentary filmmaking career began. If people would let me, I would tell their stories. I soon came to realize that we are all a lot more alike, then we are different. This is my goal in filmmaking to bring people together through their similarities, despite their apparent difference. The truth is not one defined thing and as a filmmaker, I craft the truth through my medium.

Theresa Campagna is an independent journalist, photographer and producer. She has a passion for reporting and photo reportage that aims to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Topics range from education, global warming, racism, immigration, and state violence. Her work has appeared in WYCC PBS Chicago channel 20, Xojane, Alternet, Getty Images, The Gate Newspaper, South Side Weekly, Free Speech Radio News, and WLUW 88.7 fm Chicago. Her written reporting can be found here: tcampagna.tumblr.com


CoProducer/Director on Sisters March and location sound on Waiting for Winter.

Katie Campos

Filmmaker and location sound engineer on Totalité.

With an MFA from DePaul in Cinema, Katie is a freelance sound engineer and filmmaker based in Chicago.

Bill Sacco

Filmmaker/Educator at Community Television Network.

Camera/Assistant Director/Assosciate Producer on Sisters March.

Sharon Zurek

Editor/Associate Producer on Waiting for Winter.

Sharon Zurek is the owner of Black Cat Productions in Chicago and enjoys working on independent features and social issue documentaries, especially those focusing on strong women and queer content. She edited and produced A Mind in Quicksand – Life with Huntington’s which aired on PBS stations from 2015-2019. She also edited and co- produced The G Force, a documentary about grandparents raising their grandchildren, which premiered in 2018 at the Black Harvest Film Festival. She was one of the producers of The Curators of Dixon School, now titled Hallways of Hope, which is available on streaming services.

She edited the LGBTQ+ Hannah Free and many other features and short films. With solid technical skills in postproduction and years in production, Sharon understands the importance of nurturing successful creative collaborations. Sharon is a Professor of Instruction in the Cinema and Television Arts department at Columbia College Chicago. She is also the Board President of Chicago Filmmakers, a not-for-profit media arts organization.


Melissa Lawrenze

Editor on HighlightsTaco MaryCut Out and The Distant Architect.

I was born in Stockholm, Sweden and grew up mostly in the Midwest with a short jaunt to Alberta, Canada in the late 70s. Attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, lived and worked in Sweden for a year, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in 1994. I studied Theatre Arts with an emphasis in acting. This is where I got my first taste of filmmaking, which really forced me to re-evaluate the whole acting thing, because through film I felt like I was able to use my voice to speak to an audience directly.

After obtaining my BA, I worked in London, England for a bit so that I could spend time in my favorite city following my favorite band, Suede. Now broke, I returned to Green Bay, WI where I had attended high school to work at WFRV-TV. I worked at the CBS owned station for five years starting as a PA and ended up working as a Director, Technical Director, and Editor.

I wanted to continue my desire to make films and went to film school and received my MFA in Film & Video Production at Columbia College Chicago in 2007. Two of my grad films, "I Hope, Grandmother" & "Heather" went on to score some film festival success and viewings on PBS in Wisconsin and Illinois.

I continue to pursue my passion for filmmaking in whatever way I can. Currently, I freelance edit and work on shows like Gangland for the History Channel and on independent films in Chicago. I love to edit and it's the one aspect of filmmaking that I thoroughly enjoy. I love the challenge of putting the picture puzzle together. I wouldn't want to do anything else.

Alexander Perez

Televison Station Director/at Aurora TV Station.

Filmmaker and Drone Camera Operator on Dream Safari and Waiting For Winter.

Erika Valenciana

Filmmaker and location sound engineer on Waiting For Winter.

Serena Hodges

Assistant editor and editor on Teaser/Trailer, Waiting for Winter.

Duane Buford


Music scores for A Day On The ForceVariationsTaco Mary and Highlights.

Katie Shreuber

Associate editor/subtitles

Sisters March and assistant editing on Waiting for Winter.

Bridgette Wilson

Filmmaker/Web developer/Content Creator at LuministFilms.


Jack Hewings is a producer and sound designer. He has worked with Luminist films productions since 1999.

Caroline Brandes, is a producer and director of photography. She shot the Luminist Films productions, Lonewolf and God's Eye.

Sree Nallamothu holds an MFA in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago. She has collaborated with Sakshi, Human Rights Watch India, taught at Columbia College Chicago and worked extensively with inner-city youth from Chicago through the Community TV Network.

Ronit Bezalel has been directing social documentaries for the past ten years. She has shown her work on national television in Canada and England, and exhibited on the festival circuit. Bezalel also works as a Chicago producer, Web Programmer, and freelance sound recordist. Bezalel worked at the National Film Board of Canada, where she directed When Shirley Met Florence. This video is a candid look at a 55 year friendship between two Jewish Women in their Mid-Sixties. Voices of Cabrini is Ronit Bezalel's fifth documentary.

Genevieve Wolff moved to Chicago in the Spring of 2002 after graduating from Vassar College with a degree in film production. She has worked as an editor on numerous projects, including two feature documentaries in 2003: A Day on the Force and Patriot Acts. She has also designed and taught two successful video production programs for students in Chicago Public Schools.

Tanja Deshida works professionally in the film industry in Chicago as a production designer. She has worked on numerous documentaries and independent film projects as well as national ads and Hollywood feature films. Deshida graduated with honors from the Columbia College film program in 2001.