Hanson Film Institute Fellows Mentor Students

Victoria Westover
Dec. 4, 2012

One focus of the UA Hanson Film Institute is professional development for students pursuing a career in the media industry.

The Institute provides diverse learning opportunities to further student understanding of the art and business of film and television. Hanson Fellows, distinguished industry professionals who reside in Tucson, make themselves available for Institute programs and to mentor students. As Hanson Fellow, Soroko explained: “Fellows can do a lot to help prepare students for the challenges and opportunities in the real world of the entertainment business.”

Marcus de Leon

A Los Angeles and Tucson-based feature film writer, director, producer, de Leon works with HBO Films, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and other Hollywood studios. He also works as an independent film and commercial writer-director. He explained, “During UCLA graduate film school and early in my directing and writing career, a number of caring people went above-and-beyond to help me, and I take great pleasure in returning the favor to a new generation.”

Craig Huston

Huston is a member of the Directors Guild of America with more than 60 screen credits as first assistant director on feature films, TV/cable movies and episodic TV series.  He has worked on Hollywood-based films in 21 states and 12 foreign countries. Huston, a UA alumnus, said: “Advising students on their projects, giving them a head start on their future careers and receiving their gratitude before and after graduation provides immense personal satisfaction.”

Sande Zeig

Zeig is a writer, producer, director and film distributor. Zeig's films have screened at major international film festivals. Zeig is president of Artistic License Films and has distributed more than 100 films. Her recent documentary, “Apache 8” aired across the United States on public television. Zeig explained: “As a Fellow, I can share insider knowledge and resources with students. It’s a great pleasure to serve the next generation of filmmakers, distributors and producers.”

Lorna Soroko

Soroko was a creative vice president at a production company based at Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox, and she has writing and/or producing credits at HBO, Showtime and Fox. Lorna started in the business as an entertainment lawyer and worked on international co-productions. She currently consults on screenplay and pilot development. Lorna says, “I enjoy helping talented young filmmakers find their voice and learn how to best tell their stories.”

Victoria Lucas

Lucas began her career at Imagine Films. She has 20 years of experience as an executive at major studios and independent film companies. As a director of development, production executive and associate producer in L.A., Lucas helped develop diverse and acclaimed projects. Lucas says, “Working with young filmmakers through the Institute has been more rewarding than I thought possible. The students’ imagination, enthusiasm, and eagerness to learn are refreshing.”

Will Conroy

The newest fellow is screenplay writer Conroy. Conroy wrote the feature film "Transsiberian," starring Woody Harrelson and Sir Ben Kingsley, with director Brad Anderson. Other credits include "Five Minutes, Mr. Welles," directed by and starring Vincent D’Onofrio; "The Blind Man of Seville" for Filmax International in Spain; and "Stop-Time," an adaptation of his late father Frank Conroy's classic memoir. Conroy’s newest script, "Black Box," is represented by agencies in Los Angeles and London. Conroy is also president of the family-owned Arizona Inn.

Photo of Marcus de Leon courtesy of the UA College of Fine Arts

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