Sabrina Baracetti is the President of Udine Far East Film Festival and resides in Italy. In its 17th edition in 2015, Udine Far East Film Festival (FEFF) is the largest Festival in Europe completely dedicated to popular Asian Cinema, with the principle aim of encouraging and developing the understanding and appreciation of East Asian filmmaking amongst the European and Italian public.  The presenting organization of Udine FEFF is CEC Centro Espressioni Cinematografiche, a cultural association based in Udine, Italy.  FEFF is rated by Variety among the “50 Festivals not to miss in the world”.  More info:


Maria Barbieri is originally from Rome but spent many years in China working in the film industry. In 2000 she established a company specialized in line-production and distribution consultancy services for foreign film and TV production companies in the greater China region. She is currently living in Australia where she owns and manages an art-house cinema on the north coast of New South Wales. She is also a consultant for the Chinese programming of the Udine Far East Film Festival (Italy).  More info:


Dr. Ashish C. Bhatia, MD, FAAD was immersed in cinema from his early years.  As a child, he spent his summers in India, growing up around his family’s independent movie theatres.  His interest in film grew as he had opportunities to visit sets in Bollywood and an occasional movie premier with family friends that were in film production.  His father and uncle continued the family tradition in the US, running independent movie theatres in the Chicago suburbs, where he stocked candy, cleaned theatres, and assisted the projectionists on evenings and weekends.  These experiences sparked his passion for film, music and the arts.

Dr. Bhatia has successfully integrated artistry with science as a dermatologic surgeon specializing in aesthetic facial reconstruction as well as laser and cosmetic surgery.  Ashish Bhatia, MD, FAAD, is the Director of Dermatologic & Cosmetic Surgery at The Dermatology Institute. He is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Dermatology at Northwestern University - Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Bhatia has expertise in the fields of cosmetic and surgical dermatology. His specialty training and research interests include lasers for dermatologic surgery and in the treatment of skin conditions ranging from acne to cosmetic surgery. He serves as founder and advisor of a non-profit educational organization dedicated to improving the field of dermatology through innovative technologies. Dr. Bhatia lectures nationally and internationally on topics ranging from skin cancer therapy/prevention/surgery/reconstruction to lasers, cosmetic procedures and cosmetic surgery. He has published extensively in the realm of dermatologic & cosmetic surgery, technology, and digital imaging. Dr. Bhatia has consulted and/or performed research trials for both private and public pharmaceutical, aesthetic and device companies. He is the medical director for clinical research at DuPage Medical Group. He serves as a reviewer and on the editorial board of some of the leading journals in Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery. He also heads up the DMG Charitable Fund, which gives back to the community through grants and volunteer efforts in food, health care, and shelter. He also serves as the organizing dermatologist for skin cancer screenings for the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox organizations as well as for nearby university sports teams.


Conductor, composer and trumpet virtuoso Stephen Burns is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Fulcrum Point New Music Project in Chicago and Co-curator of the 2016 Ear Taxi Festival. He has been acclaimed on five continents for his brilliant performances encompassing recitals, orchestral appearances, chamber music, and innovative multi-media presentations. He has performed at the White House and has appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” and NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Recently he has been guest artist at the Aspen Music Festival and the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNOW. 

In 1998 Stephen Burns founded Fulcrum Point New Music Project whose mission is to be a Chicago leader of diverse new music; presenting multi-media performances, generating educational programs, and commissioning innovative works. He has premiered works by Schuller, Stockhausen, Sallinen, Satoh, Stock, Rorem, and Wachner. His recordings are found on Delos, MHS, Dorian, Gramavision, Kleos, Essay, ASV and Naxos labels. More info:


After graduating from Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei, Taiwan, Lijun Chadima pursued her love for art by joining New Aspect Art Promotion Company which later built the first privately-owned multifunction art center in Taiwan.  She actively promoted her Asian heritage while attending University of Iowa graduate school in Iowa City, IA, from 1986 to 1989.  In 1999, after spending 10 years with her husband in Asia, Lijun returned to Cedar Rapids, IA, where her husband grew up and called home.  Lijun is now the president of Thorland Company, a commercial real estate development company that specializes in preserving historic buildings and repurposing them for creative entrepreneurs.   She continues to be very active in the community, serving on numerous non-profit boards of directors, and plays a leading role in the revitalization of the New Bohemia Arts District.  More info:


Bede Cheng first worked at the HKIFF (Hong Kong International Film Festival) in 1998 as Festival Assistant. Before that he was working in film and television production as Assistant Director, Line-Producer, Script Supervisor, and camera crew.  He was at the Hong Kong Film Archive from 2000 – 2006 as Program Assistant, directly involved in the organization of archival film programs.  He rejoined the HKIFF Society at the end of 2006 as Program and Editorial Coordinator, and became Program Manager in October 2007. He moved on to be the Senior Program Manager at The Metroplex cinema at the end of 2013.  He is currently the Managing Director of L'Immagine Ritrovata Asia, a laboratory that specializes in film restoration. More info:


Born in Hong Kong, Suzy, Kai Sun Cheung received her training in visual design in the USA and Canada.  She began her design career and established her own design studio in Canada in 1980.  In 1984, she returned to Hong Kong and joined The Shaw Brothers (HK) Ltd. as the Creative Art Director in the promotion department.  She began to work in movie production in 1985 and joined the Asia Television Network as Image Workshop Manager in 1987.  Since 1988 she has worked freelance as an art director and costume designer for feature films, stage productions and TV commercials. She began working with ceramics in 1990, and in 2001, she continued her studies in ceramics and has received a Bachelor of Art (Fine Art) degree from The University Of Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, majoring in ceramics in 2003 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2006.

NOTE:  Suzy Cheung is the creator for the logo of ‘Asian Pop-Up Cinema”, SOPHIA’S CHOICE signature series.


Randy Crumpton (April 16, 1985 to January 14, 2019) Recently passed, Randy was one of the founding advisory board members that supported Sophia’s Choice’s cause. He was a solo practitioner with a concentration in the areas of entertainment, real estate and election law.  He was also a member of the Attorneys Conflict Panel of the Child Protection Division of the Juvenile Court of Cook County, Illinois.   He was a founding member of the Guide Group, L.L.C., which published The Guide to Black Chicago, and The Guide to Chicago’s Black Lawyers.  He was responsible for all legal matters, assisted with marketing and promotions, and was a contributing writer.  A published poet, he loves to write in his spare time.

In 1998 and 1999, Randy served as the Chicago marketing coordinator of the American Black Film Festival, formerly the Acapulco Black Film Festival, which was produced by HBO, Uniworld, and the Black Filmmakers Foundation.  Currently he is the Chicago delegate for the American Black Film Festival.  He is a member and former secretary of the Board of Directors of the Chicago International Film Festival, where serves as the chair of the Black Perspectives Committee, which has honored such Hollywood luminaries as, Spike Lee, Morgan Freeman, Halle Berry, Sidney Poitier, Viola Davis and Forest Whitaker.  

In 2003, he was appointed by the governor to the Illinois Visual Media Task Force.  He was selected to attend the 2005 Sundance Institute’s Independent Producers’ Conference in Utah.  In 2006, he was the director of MOVE! - The Chicago International House Music Festival.  He co-executive produced, co-produced and co-wrote the award-winning short film, The Truth, directed by actor, Hill Harper.  Randy was a co-executive producer of another award-winning short film, 12 Minutes, written and directed by artist, Raymond Thomas.  He was also the Chicago marketing director for the film, Follow Me Home, which starred Alfre Woodard and Benjamin Brett.  Currently, he is working on several film projects, including a short film entitled, Happy Hour, and The Warehouse, a feature film about the club where “house” music was pioneered by the late DJ Frankie Knuckles. 

Randy will be missed dearly.


Ron Falzone is an award-winning screenwriter and associate professor in the Cinema Art + Science Department of Columbia College Chicago.  Films he has co-produced and written have been screened internationally at numerous film festivals including Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner, Chicago International Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, LA Short Film Festival, Midwest Film Festival and the Friars Club Comedy Film Festival.  Falzone is a recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship in Screenwriting, a 2006 and 2007 winner of the IAC Finalist Award and is a twelve-time Artist in Residence at the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois. In addition, he is the producer and referee of the popular Cinema Slapdown screening series at Columbia College.  He holds a BA in Film from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University.


Steven Friedlander is Executive Vice President of Theatrical Distribution for CBS Films and is responsible for domestic theatrical distribution.  CBS Films has released the critically acclaimed films SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN, THE KINGS OF SUMMER, SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, PRIDE and INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS among others and the commercial box office hits THE WOMAN IN BLACK and LAST VEGAS.

Friedlander joined CBS Films from Warner Independent Pictures (WIP), where he served as Executive Vice President of Distribution and shepherded distribution plans for award-winning titles such as MARCH OF THE PENGUINS and GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK.

Prior to joining WIP, Friedlander was Executive Vice President at Fine Line Features where he spearheaded theatrical distribution. Previously, he rose through the distribution ranks at New Line Cinema becoming Senior Vice President. Friedlander’s career in theatrical film began at 20th Century Fox. More info:


Kristine Harris is Associate Professor of History at the State University of New York at New Paltz, where she also served as Director of the Asian Studies Program from 1999 to 2012.  Additionally, she has had multiple affiliations with the University of Chicago, serving twice as Visiting Associate Professor in Cinema and Media Studies in 2007 and 2009, and returning in 2014 as Visiting Scholar in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.  Harris’s scholarship and teaching focus on film culture in China and its intersections with literature, visual culture, theater, and other media.  She regularly conducts research at film archives in Asia and serves as guest curator, presenter, and panelist for screenings and professional meetings in the US and Asia.  Her recent writing on Chinese cinema and cultural history has appeared in The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas, edited by Carlos Rojas and Eileen Chow (Oxford University Press, 2013); History in Images: Pictures and Public Space in Modern China, edited by Christian Henriot and Wen-hsin Yeh (University of California Berkeley Institute for East Asian Studies, 2012); The New Woman International: Representations in Photography and Film from the 1870s through the 1960s, edited by Elizabeth Otto and Vanessa Rocco (University of Michigan Press, 2011); Opera Quarterly (Spring–Summer 2010), edited by Judith Zeitlin and Paola Iovene; among others.  Harris is fluent in Mandarin and French, and has a working knowledge of Japanese and classical Chinese.  She holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia University. More info:


Dr. Jeffrey Hsu graduated with distinction from Stanford University where he earned the coveted President’s Award for academic achievement.  He received his medical degree from University of California at Los Angeles, earning top honors along the way.  He then completed an internship in Internal Medicine and residency in Dermatology at the Mayo Clinic.  He pursued further training by completing a Laser and Cosmetic Surgery fellowship in Boston, under the direction of faculty from Harvard University and Yale University School of Medicine. 

Dr. Hsu is also passionately involved in teaching and academic pursuits.  He has already co-authored three widely used textbooks; the latest publication is the Manual of Dermatologic Therapeutics 8th Edition, published in 2014.  He is the author of numerous scientific articles in leading dermatology journals and is regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences to teach other physicians the newest techniques and his latest scientific discoveries.  Dr. Hsu is an Assistant Professor of Medicine (Dermatology) at Dartmouth Medical School and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Illinois in Chicago.  More info:


Margreth Trümpi Martin was the Head of Cultural Affairs for the Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago until the Consulate closed in 2014. Margreth is a member of the Lucerne Committee of the Chicago Sister Cities International Program and a board member of the Swiss American Business Council (SABC) in Chicago. She also serves on the Board of the German IInternational School Chicago. During her tenure at Consulate General of Switzerland she organized a multitude of cultural and educational programs in Chicago and throughout the Midwest. She brought many Swiss films and film makers to Chicago and  maintains active relationships between Switzerland and Chicagoland. Margreth is a founding member of Asian Pop-Up Cinema and served on the Board until early 2017.


Film critic and journalist, Darcy Paquet grew up in Massachusetts but has been living in Seoul since 1997.  He is the founder and editor of the website and the author of New Korean Cinema: Breaking the Waves.  A former correspondent for Variety and Screen International, he works as a Program Consultant for the Udine Far East Film Festival and a Delegate for the San Sebastian International Film Festival.  He has also appeared as a supporting actor in several films. In 2013 he founded the Wildflower Film Awards Korea, which recognizes the achievements of Korean independent filmmakers.  More info:


A reporter, critic and author specializing in Japanese films and popular culture, Mark Schilling has been a regular film critic for The Japan Times since 1989, while covering the Japanese film industry for Screen International from 1990 to 2005 and for Variety from 2005 to the present.  He has written and contributed to many books, including The Encyclopedia of Japanese Pop Culture (Weatherhill, 1997), Contemporary Japanese Film (Weatherhill, 1999), The Yakuza Movie Book (Stone Bridge Press, 2003), No Borders, No Limits: Nikkatsu Action Cinema (FEFF 2005) and Nudes! Guns! Ghosts! The Sensational Films of Shintoho (FEFF 2010).  He has also served on many film juries, including the Japanese Eyes section of the Tokyo International Film Festival for three years running, and worked as a script advisor on Edward Zwick’s The Last Samurai (2003). 


Anita Tang is Managing Director of Royal Roots Global Inc., a U.S.-China business strategy advisory headquartered in Chicago with a liaison office in Washington, D.C. and associates in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Focusing on the U.S.-China business space, Royal Roots specializes in formulating and implementing strategies, building and managing networks, and conducting business negotiations.

Anita graduated Summa cum Laude from Loyola University Chicago with a BBA in Economics.  She also earned an MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. She is a Fellow of the World Academy of Productivity Science. Anita is a member of The Council of 100, advising the CEO and leadership team of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana on job creation, career development, life enrichment and leadership opportunities for girls. She is publisher of China Call Report, and also Chairperson of the Advisory Board of Champagne and Beyond, an online magazine that profiles women worldwide. Anita is a member of the Expert Committee of the Beijing-based Chinese Business Productivity Research Center. More info:

Recently retired, Aldous Wong, was the Senior Continuous Improvement Specialist, for Corporate Planning of Imperial Oil Ltd/ExxonMobil Worldwide, based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  

During his career Aldous brought passion and enthusiasm to numerous business teams in Imperial’s upstream, downstream and corporate departments, as well as Syncrude and ExxonMobil. Always with a keen eye for improvement, Aldous also found time during his career to acquire master’s degrees in mathematics, industrial engineering and business administration.  Much revered for his energy in teaching, coaching and mentoring others, Aldous’ unique and additive role directly contributed to cost savings and margin improvements across Imperial’s operations, in addition to the multiplicative effects of his enablement and development of others.  Aldous instructed more than 200 continuous improvement specialists over the last 15 years, playing an important role in equipping Imperial’s present and future leaders in the achievement of excellence.

Aldous is currently active outside of Imperial, teaching regularly at the University of Calgary and supporting the community through his organization of Imperials participation in the Big Bike for Stroke.


Tim Youngs is a writer and editor living in Hong Kong.  He has written about Hong Kong movies for publications including Time, Film Comment, the International Film Guide and Cahiers du Cinema, as well as for the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Hong Kong Film Archive.  Since joining Udine Far East Film as Hong Kong consultant in its 2002 edition, he has contributed to Udine retrospectives including those on directors Chor Yuen, Patrick Lung Kong and Ann Hui.  He has also served as a consultant for the Venice Film Festival.