PANO and AbelCine are pleased to announce The Cinematographer’s Lab, a multi-week program designed to help working and emerging cinematographers take their careers to the next level. Combining online and in-person sessions on technical and production skills, the workshop will be powered by Canon gear. 

Classes will be led by working professionals and cover a variety of skills, including the Canon Cinema EOS ecosystem, advanced cinema builds, camera movement for storytelling, narrative lighting and framing, single and multi-camera interviews, Resolve for DPs, and LUTs design and implementation, as well as production knowledge, crew management, and budgeting.

Beyond these practical and classroom exercises, the program will include discussion with industry creatives and networking opportunities. The lab will end with a commencement celebration for students to have a chance to connect with their peers and instructors.

Introducing the Selected Filmmakers of the 2023 Cohort!

Click to View More about Each Filmmaker:

2023 Cohort | The Cinematographer's Lab

Maggie Brill (@bymaggiebrill) is a NYC-based director and cinematographer, who recently graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Radio/Television/Film. She is particularly passionate about character-driven stories, queer representation, and coming-of-age narratives.

Her recent cinematography work includes BACK IN A STORM, SKY, and YOU’RE DRIFTING. In 2022, Maggie was awarded the Northwestern University Women Filmmakers Alliance’s annual grant for her short film HOW TO GLOW IN THE DARK, which she wrote and directed. Maggie also graduated with honors from Prague Film School’s 2021 Autumn Filmmaking program, where her short film WALTER won the Audience Award for Best Film. When she’s not filming, Maggie loves visiting museums, rock climbing, and discovering new music.

After teaching herself to produce, shoot and edit a number of amateur documentary films as a journalism student at Northeastern University (2021), Kate Coiro moved to Brooklyn a little over a year ago for a staff production assistant position at Loki Films. Now a production coordinator, Kate has lent a hand to a number of productions, most prominently Endangered (HBO, 2022), and maintains a growing list of responsibilities, including researching stories for development and reaching out to potential subjects; sourcing crew; coordinating shoot and travel logistics; maintaining the company’s gear inventory and supporting DP’s on shoots; ingesting and transcoding footage; editing sizzle reels and story decks for pitches; proposing and cataloguing relevant archive; collecting and logging releases and other production documents, etc. Kate looks forward to expanding her knowledge of cinematography through the PANO/ABELCINE Cinematographer’s lab and meeting other professionals in the industry. She is most interested in character-driven stories that shed light on lesser-known social and environmental issues.

Jessica Choi (@thejesschoi) is an emerging filmmaker based in Princeton, New Jersey. She started out as a teenager, filming herself playing the drums and filming the bands she used to play in. She was that person who recorded 20 takes on the drums from one camera, just so she could have a YouTube video that looked like it was filmed from 4 different angles. Now, many years later, she runs a wedding videography company with her fiancee Kelly. Her main interest lies in documentary filmmaking. Her music background also allows her to tap into sound design, and strategize song choices to create compelling stories.

Luna Cristales (@lunvamor) is a director, cinematographer, and writer from Northern California currently based in Brooklyn, NY. She is a first generation Salvadoran/Mexican American with a passion for cinema and photography, particularly stories and films reflecting outsider perspectives and narratives.

Adriana Cuevas is a Mexican photographer and filmmaker from San Francisco. “My portraits are stories that mix emotions, confusion, declarations, inspiration, and sometimes even hallucinations. Every single one of them is a testimony of that shared glimpse between the human in front of the lens, and the one behind the camera.” In 2019, her work was exhibited in the show “RAW AND TENDER” at the International Art Museum of America in San Francisco. Being a photographer for over eight years, she started collaborating on videos and short films with her friends, finding a passion for the art of moving images. In 2020, she moved to NYC. Since then, she has collaborated on a dozen award winning short films, and is currently working on a short documentary.

Jenny Desrosiers (@jenny_desrosiers) is a Haitian-American cinematographer and fine art photographer. Having been raised and watered in Boston, MA, and given a chance to blossom in Los Angeles, CA, they are currently rooted in Brooklyn, NY.

With their visual artistry being directly influenced by their Afro-Caribbean background growing up in the vibrant Haitian community within the city of Boston and surrounding areas, Jenny draws from their lived experiences to create with the intention of bringing timeless Black narratives to life.

Capturing daily life in a raw and captivating manner by using both color theory and carefully curated lighting via video motion, and still 120/35mm film imagery, Jenny explores topics such as storytelling, everyday life, love, the Haitian Diaspora, intergenerational trauma, religion, the immigrant experience, and the importance of community in their work.

Christina Dobre (@christinadobre) is a New York based cinematographer who’s spent the last 4 years building her experience in NYC’s independent film scene. Drawn to cinematography through her combined interests in storytelling, photography and psychology, she strives to create emotionally-driven imagery that helps us to feel, to connect and to heal. 

She recently wrapped on two narrative short films, Form & Pressure Film’s “988” and OverProductive Co’s “JACK”, both of which will be released later this year. Her most notable work can be seen in the music video for singer Sarah Kingsley’s single “The King”, which received over 15 million streams globally. In her personal time, Christina shares her experiences as a woman in camera with her filmmaker community of over 90K on TikTok and hopes to inspire younger generations of women to tell their stories.

Hannah Engelson (@h.engelson) is a cinematographer and documentary filmmaker who brings sensitivity and curiosity to her work. She uses an observational approach and improvisation while out in the field or on set. Her work has appeared on sites and streamers including American Masters | PBS, Business Insider, HBO, NBC Universal, Netflix, Showtime and for clients including Capitol Records, Facebook, The Empire State Building, UberEats and in short and feature length films.

Born and raised in Northern California, Dominica Eriksen developed a love for photography at an early age and became determined to pursue a career in the arts. After completing undergraduate degrees in Photography and Multimedia, she worked in design and photography before expanding into filmmaking. While completing her MFA at New York University’s Graduate Film program, she was the recipient of the NYFA Made in New York Film Women’s Grant, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Production Grant, and the Nestor Almendros Award for Excellence in Cinematography. Her work has gone on to screen internationally, including at festivals such as TIFF, BFI, Clermont Ferrand, Aspen Shortsfest, Austin Film Festival, AFI Film Fest, and Palm Springs Short Film Festival. She is currently based in New York City.

K. Gilroy is a filmmaker-educator with a focus on empowering girls & women, and protecting the natural environment. Having earned an MFA from NYU’s Grad Film and TV program, Gilroy has produced work that has been broadcast on national TV; premiered at major art venues; and screened at numerous film festivals (including Cannes, Slamdance, Tribeca). She is currently based in Montauk, Long Island, where she is writing her first feature and editing a climate change documentary on coastal erosion. In Gilroy’s spare time, she and her team can often be found on location, testing various types of recording equipment in order to spatially document vast, natural soundscapes in 3D immersive audio.

Princess A. Hairston (@princessahairston) is a director, cinematographer, producer, and Emmy-nominated editor based in New York City. Princess is co-directing and lensing a feature-length documentary. Over the past few years, Princess has contributed camera work for several short and long-form films. She also has an extensive background as a film editor on documentary films and doc series. Princess was selected as one of 25 filmmaker nominees for the 2020 Lynn Shelton Of A Certain Age grant. She was the 2018 Winner of the NYTVF + WEtv Producer Pitch which led to a development deal. Her work has been recognized with nominations and awards from the Emmys, The Webbys, and many film festivals.

Stephanie Houten (@stephaniehouten) specializes in filmmaking for social change, working with artists, nonprofits, and community organizations to tell cinematic stories that engage audiences. She is a longtime “one-woman band” video creator for promotional style videos, and a seasoned festival and events camera operator, having filmed artists such as Kimbra, Paul Simon, Green Day, and Digable Planets.

In 2023, as Stephanie emerges as director and cinematographer, her leadership, creative direction, and collaboration skills have become hallmarks of her productions that bring her innovative visual concepts to life.

Samantha Isom‘s mother was gifted a brownie camera as a young adult and began documenting every waking moment of life, Samantha was soon to follow. Samantha spent years as a photo assistant and digital tech to some of the top image-makers in the business, all while shooting on her own. Since then, she’s incorporated more motion/video to her image-making, going out not only as a photographer but also as a Camera Operator/DP. She has shot all over the world and has created the online journal and travel show In 2015 she began training to shoot underwater and received her PADI divemaster certificate in 2018. She’s based out of New York City, though she has lived and worked in Chicago, New Orleans, Miami, Philadelphia, and spent a few months living and shooting in Hawai’i, and Indonesia. Current personal work may be viewed via and IG: @samiampictures

Awards/accolades include (not limited to): Communication Arts 2019, 2021 Photo Annual, IPA Awards, APA/NY, APA, PDN’s Photobook NYC, PDN’s The Great Outdoors, Photographer’s Forum, Creativity International, Ripfest – 48 short film festival.

Angelica Jacinto (@gel_jac) is a Filipino-American Cinematographer based in New York. She has experience as a Director of Photography, 1st Assistant Camera, and Camera Operator on a number of feature films, short films and series. Angelica earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Media and Communications with a concentration in Film Studies from Fordham University. 

Angelica is passionate about Cinematography as an art form. As a filmmaker, her mission is to use her skills and unique visual style to bring the stories of women, people of color, and other marginalized communities to life. She has a particular interest in shooting genre films that include horror, sci-fi and fantasy elements. She also has experience as a Director of live broadcast content.

Eliza Kamerling-Brown is a freelance Assistant Camera currently based in New York City. Her interests and background span multiple disciplines — including performing arts, investigative journalism, and direct care/advocacy for survivors of sexual assault & domestic violence — though she has always envisioned a path in filmmaking.

Born and raised in a small mountain town in North Central Washington State, she moved to NYC in 2016 and completed her undergraduate degree in Global Studies with a concentration in Creative Technologies. In 2020, a short film on which she was the DP screened at multiple queer film festivals across the country including Reel Out Charlotte, Louisiana LGBT Film Festival, 1CLT Film Festival, Reeling Chicago, and others. Eliza has traveled nationally and internationally as an AC, and her creative aspirations lie in cinematography and directing.

Brea Kerzee (she/her) (@breakerzee) is a Camera Assistant and aspiring DP working in NYC. Her experience includes videography, editing, and motion graphics, which eventually led her to the camera department. As an AC she has gravitated towards narrative work and always seeks out areas to improve and learn new skills. She is inspired by textured light, clean design, and the far west Texas plains.

Geetika Kumar (@gteeks) is a cinematographer who graduated from NYU Tisch in ’20 with a BFA in film/tv production. With her background and start in film being documentary work, she enjoys using  natural light while capturing both choreographed and non-choreographed movement. Her favorite projects to work on are dance and narrative films. In her free time she is probably journaling or rewatching New Girl.

Gabrielle Lenhard is a Brooklyn based experimental filmmaker and mixed media artist, producing work as Rude Ink. Her original films have screened at festivals and exhibitions internationally, including VAEFF and NYC Independent Film Festival. She freelances as a Videographer, Gaffer & Editor. Contact @rudeinkart.

After graduating from Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Savannah Leslie moved to New York and began working as a set production assistant on a variety of shows, most notably Orange is the New Black and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Her years spent on sets ultimately led her to pursue a career in the camera department. As an aspiring filmmaker on the cusp of a new career path, she is thrilled to be participating in the Cinematographer’s Lab.

Emily Lin ( is a cinematographer and multidisciplinary designer based in New York. Her B.A. in Architecture from Barnard College and formal background in theater influences her cinematic work, helping her in art directing and transforming spaces through lighting for photo and film sets.

Emily has been a Director of Photography on several music videos and shorts such as Acceptance and Asian Depression Commercial. Her short promo, Free Flow, was awarded Best Picture and Best Cinematography, and placed Top 16 in the Campus MovieFest Northeast Regional Competition. It was also awarded Most Original Video by JW Player. She was recently selected for the 2023 Unlock Her Potential Mentorship, where she will be mentored and learn under film editor Byron Wong, The Wedding Ringer

When Emily’s not behind the camera, she can often be found behind the drum set.

Fernanda Mantoan (@syntonos) is a Brazilian director, cinematographer, producer and colorist. Since coming to the US she has worked in documentaries, narratives, web series and culinary shows. Currently, Fernanda is in development on several documentaries including “Inspiring Women of New York”, written and directed by Rebecca Kirwan and “Arte na Mente” on which she is the cinematographer and producer. 

Fernanda is a believer that filmmaking is the best collaborative medium where artists have the opportunity to work together on meaningful projects and touch other people’s lives.

Alicia Rodriguez (@Alicia_Rodriguez) is a second-generation Boricua to Nuyorican parents, and their experience with diaspora informs much of their work and approach to storytelling as a cinematographer and documentarian. Outside of filmmaking, much of their storytelling is also influenced by their work with plant cultivation and herbal medicine which they view, like film, as another medium of survival and resistance that is rooted in the reclamation of storytelling.

Rodriguez graduated summa cum laude in 2020 from George Mason University, double majoring in Film and Video Studies and Social Justice and Human Rights. They are a 2019 recipient of the Princess Grace Award, John H. Johnson Film Honor, for their experimental documentary A Diasporic Boricua, and a recipient of the 2018 Capital Emmy Student Production Award for Short Form Fiction, for the role as Director of Photography. Since graduation, Rodriguez has focused on their work as a documentarian and has currently been working as a cinematographer on their first documentary feature The Young Won’t Forget, which has since been awarded the Bend Film Festival BIPOC Women Film Production Grant and is still in production.

Alyse Shorland (@ashorland) is an independent documentary director and producer, whose work has been featured on HBO, FX, HULU, VICE, CBS, CNN and in the New York Times. Her films interrogate the quest for the American Dream through the intersections of identity, power, collective memories, and capitalism. She has been honored with two Emmys, a Gracie, and a Peabody.

Alyse is currently in production on a documentary about the founding of Ebony and Jet magazines, and in development on a slate of new films. She has a background in journalism and investigative reporting: she helped launch The Weekly, a documentary series from the New York Times, and VICE News Tonight, HBO’s first nightly newscast, where she covered racial justice, prison reform, guns, and immigration. She started her career at the groundbreaking Black in America documentary series with Soledad O’Brien at CNN. Alyse teaches at New York University and is an avid runner.

Olga Wagner (@olgakwagner) got her Motion Picture Production degree from Tom Hanks MP Center at Wright State University. She works in TV/ video production as an Assistant Camera/Cam Operator and Drone Operator. Olga is an ICG600 member and she was selected to participate in the 2022 AFI Cinematography weekend for women. Olga is originally from Moldova.

Lynn Weissman is an Award winning freelance Director of Photography (DP) / Cinematographer based in Boston, MA and sometimes Queens, NY, where she grew up.  Lynn films documentaries, independent narrative films, web series, and occasional commercial projects  She also likes to work as a camera operator, gaffer, grip, and AC.  

Lynn began in the doc world, and in the last few years her cinematography has branched out to narrative films.  Lynn lensed her first narrative feature in late 2022.  Growing Pains (edit in progress) follows teen best friends drifting apart amidst issues of body dysmorphia and coming out.  In 2021, Lynn filmed the psychological thriller short, Penny, selected by 9 film festivals and nominated for 5 awards. A StarryMag review from the 2022 Chain NYC Film Festival concludes: “Penny is beautifully shot and has great attention to detail.”  Lynn’s DP credits also include Season 3 of web series Unconditional Love, a drama following a gay black ex-couple still sharing a home (winner of 4 awards and 9 nominations).  She has produced, filmed and edited many documentary shorts, garnering 16 festival and competition awards, including the Telly, Muse, and Creative Spirit Foundation Awards.

Lynn curates inspiration by watching a gazillion film and TV trailers.  Her passion for her craft was born as she earned a Master’s degree in Philanthropy & Media at Suffolk University, where she was awarded a full merit scholarship funded by actor/philanthropist Sam Waterston. This (former) degree program focused on documentary and social change. Lynn had never touched a video camera before, initially intimidated by the gadgetry.  Since graduating in 2002, Lynn has revelled in the gadgetry of filmmaking, including so many cameras, recording formats, lenses, lights, and camera support including sliders, dollies, EasyRigs, and MoVis and other gimbals.  

Lynn looks to Rachel Morrison as a role model for being both a cinematographer and a mother.  Lynn is proud to have grown her career while raising her identical twin sons (now 18), as she continues to build her body of work, relationships, and ever-evolving kit as a freelance DP.

Thank you to our partner AbelCine and to everyone for applying!

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