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Jessica Long, Program & Production Manager, USA (Cape Charles)

Jessica Long, Program/Production Manager, joins Experimental Film Virginia and GEAR as the Program and Production Manager. She grew up on the Eastern Shore and pursued a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre Arts at Virginia Tech. She has experience in theatre ranging from designing sets and costumes to managing a house full of audience members. She has worked for the prestigious Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge Massachusetts. Upon graduation from Virginia Tech, she was hired at Themed Entertainment in LA. In California, she started working for Thinkwell Group as a Technical Intern and worked her way up to Production Coordinator for a project in Abu Dhabi. The opportunity held many experiences where shaped how she communicates and works with others. She spent six months exploring the Middle East and traveling to various cities. After Thinkwell, Jessica moved to BRC Imagination Arts where she continued to hone her coordination and managerial skills on a project based in Dubai. She worked as an Artistic Advisor and Assistant Project Manager, tracking a project and travel between Los Angeles and Dubai. She also worked at Cockram Scenario and On Track Themes where she coordinated between the creative and technical departments for a clear understanding of the vision of the projects. Now, she is back on the East Coast continuing artistic endeavors with GEAR as well as a teaching degree in mathematics at Regents University. Her passion lies in the non-profit sector.

Artistic & Creative Team 2018 Coming Soon...

Artistic & Creative Team 2016

Renata Sheppard, Artistic Director, USA/ITALy


Renata Sheppard, Artistic Director/Founder of Experimental Film Virginia, is a transnational choreographer, collaborator and scholar who has lived and worked in the US, Europe, and Asia. A researcher who investigates interdisciplinary and innovative methods of art-making, engagement and digital technologies, her artistic work includes a diverse range of media: dance, film, photography, social media, crowd-sourcing and participation, installation, performance, video, sound and interactive design. She is a performer, choreographer and certified Laban Movement Analyst. She uses elements of body, architecture, materials, light, projection, and sound in her choreographic "living sculptures” which often happen in unexpected, site specific locations or on the screen. As a Fulbright Scholar, Henry Luce Scholar, Kate Neal Kinley Fellow, and US Embassy Artist Research grantee, she has been recognized for her innovative engagement of dance across discipline: building an evening-length interactive performance, designing hand-made, illuminated costumes from paper or directing an internationally known festival for dance and continues to pioneer the way that dance and body intelligence intersects with research, social media, human behavior and public interactive as well as choreographic stage, film and site specific work. She has presented her work and research internationally in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, Tunisia, India, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, Canada, and throughout the US. She has been invited for choreographic residencies and/or lectures at the New School of Media in New York, Culture Hub NYC, Bogliasco Foundation Italy, DanceBridge Chicago, Links Hall Chicago, Dance Omi, Summer Stages Dance, Planet Arts Exchange in Liverpool, Kolkata, and Tunisia, Chinese Culture University in Taiwan, Taiwan National University of the Arts, Seoul Institute of the Arts and European Video Dance Heritage project in Spain at the Reina Sofia Museum.


Clelia Sheppard, Creative Administration & Local Liaison, USA/ITALy

Clelia Sheppard, Creative Administration/Local Liaison, born and raised in Italy, Clelia Cardano Sheppard is a sculptor and oil painter whose work captures the fleeting light and shadows of both the internal and external world. Clelia obtained a degree in Visual Arts and Scenic Design from the Academia delle Belle Arti in Rome, where she studied with renowned artists including sculptor Pericle Fazzini. Her marriage to American Navy officer John Sheppard brought her to the U.S. in 1980, where they raised four children and eventually settled on the Eastern Shore of Virginia near the town of Cape Charles. She has served her local community for two decades, first as founder of the non-profit Arts Enter Cape Charles, and now as the owner and curator of Lemon Tree Gallery and Studio, a creative space that celebrates her Italian roots and love of the arts. Clelia practices Plein Air in its true form, painting on site as the mood and colors change before her eyes. She also creates work in her studio, a small room on a bluff overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. She has been commissioned to create murals, paintings, and installations for churches, museums, and public facilities, as well as scenic design for over 30 theatrical productions. Her work has been featured in galleries, exhibits, and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. Clelia’s awards include Best In Show for Plein Air competitions in Italy, Germany, and Malta (1981-2009), Eastern Shore Art League Best in Show (2003), Northampton County Distinction Award (2004), Cape Charles Citizen of the Year (2005), Hampton Roads Business Woman of the Year Award (2007), Out and About Norfolk Jerry Artarama Award (2009), and Northampton County Chamber of Commerce Volunteer Citizen of the Year (2012).


Mary Ann Roehm, Creative Administration & Local Liaison, USA (Cape Charles)

Mary Ann Roehm, Creative Administration/Local Liaison, has recently retired as the Co-Director of Arts Enter, the fine and performing art center in Cape Charles where she worked with Clelia Sheppard, the organization’s founder. She has helped manage the Harbor for the Arts Festival for the past three years and is a current Board member at Arts Enter. Previously, while living in Connecticut, Mary Ann was a community activist and held various organizational leadership and Board positions. She has lived in Cape Charles for 12 years.


Donnette Cannonnie, Event Manager/Guest Choreographer, USA (Chicago)

Donette Cannonnie, Event Manager/Artist Liaison/Guest Choreographer, is a professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher from Chicago, IL. She is a co-producer of Carnival-Choreographer’s Ball Chicago, a part of the World Famous Carnival Choreographers Ball started in LA. She is also the co-founder and director of theConvention. Trained in multiple styles, Donnette has worked as a versatile dancer nationally and internationally with many companies and artists. Working in both the concert and commercial world of dance, highlights include performing for the Oprah/Black Eyed Peas Flash Mob performance, Vanity Fair, Marshall Field’s, Taylor Dane, Kellogg’s, the DIFFA event at the Field Museum, Toby Keith and in the film Roll Bounce. She spent seven seasons dancing and traveling with The Dance COLEctive and 5 seasons as their Executive Director. She was also a company member with Corpo Dance Co. and has performed as a guest artist with various companies across the country. Her choreography has been presented by the Alabama Dance Summit, Ballet Tennessee, The Dance COLEctive, the IPOP! Conventions in LA and Las Vegas, several dance programs and competitive dance teams and she recently worked as one of the choreographers for Scotland’s National Dance Team. Donnette has been a guest judge for ScotCheer/ScotDance, WCA Dance Nationals, the Miss Chicago Pageant for the Miss America Organization, as well as local and state dance competitions across the United States. She holds a B.A. in dance and performance from Columbia College Chicago.

Paolo Armao, Production Manager/Art & Sound Supervisor for Films

Paolo Armao, Sound Designer (ITALY), was born in Turin, Italy in 1982.  He is a sound designer with experience in creating audio contents, with a particular eye on storytelling and creative solutions in sound effects production.  His work extends across a spectrum of visual media, from feature films to interactive performance to dance film and video games.Paolo studied in Italy at the University of Torino and Virtual Reality and Multi Media Park School and in the UK at the School of Sound with various additional courses and workshops in the US and Canada. He developed his career in the film industry, designing sound for film, animation movies and documentaries including “Rust”, “La zuppa del Demonio”, “Simple Being”, “The Age of Rust”, and “Il Naturalista” (Cannes Festival 2009 selection).He is involved in the European interactive arts scene through collaborations such as “FraMESHift”, directed by Renata Sheppard, “Cotrone” directed by Marcel.lì Antùnez Roca and “The VEP project” which premiered in 2010 at New York’s Judson Church as an Electronic Music Foundation production. His transdisciplinary approach to sound has also brought him to exhibition and installation work including a collaboration with the Italian National Museum of Cinema and with the Studio Azzurro exhibition of “Fare gli Italiani”. His multi-channel installation “Sarà l’Italia” premiered in Italy in 2011 on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Unification of Italy.Paolo lectures at the Animation Department at the Italian National Film School, sharing his approaches and creative solutions on sound design to support concept and story development. He is also Sound Design faculty at Experimental Film Virginia, where the focus is to support films that investigate the intersection between sound and movement.


Vito Martinelli, Production Manager/Art & Sound Supervisor for Films

Vito Martinelli, Sound Designer and Musician (ITALY), is a Sound Designer from Italy. Lives and works in Turin, where he graduated from the Polytechnic in Electrical Engineering. He continued training at the Poliedra S.p.A. Turin, Bologna Recording Studios "Fonoprint" and at Cinecitta (Rome) during the making of the film "The Legend of the Pianist”. He is also a musician and graduated in piano and electric bass at the Conservatory F. Cilea of Reggio Calabria, where he worked closely with prestigious directors like Davide Ferrario, Daniele Gaglianone, MariaSole Tognazzi, Maurizio Zaccaro, in many feature films and documentaries. He has decades of experience in the industry which have led to teaching positions throughout Turin and Italy. He currently works in Turin and Rome with audio post production and sound design. Please check out his IMDB listing:


Chris Roll/ShoreFire Productions, Production House/Equipment, USA (Virginia Beach)

Christopher Roll, Equipment Manager/Editor/Promotional Documentaries, is from Texas but has spent most of his life on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. He is a 2000 graduate of Nandua High School and a 2005 graduate from Old Dominion University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. While at ODU, he worked on several short films as part of a student group called the Student Filmmakers Alliance. He first worked with director Scott Hansen in 2006 on a short horror movie titled “Adrenaline.” Since then, Chris has grown as a cameraman and editor, shooting and editing numerous “behind-the-scenes” videos for many of Scott’s music videos.

Dee McDonaugh, Production Artist

Coming Soon

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