WED. 7.28.21





Jerri Sher, Lisa Crosato, Capt. Michelle Cherland, Janine Avanti, Cherie Kerr, and Sophia Louisa Lee join TMIF, LVAFA, NewsFest, CDWFIFF. 


This group of seasoned producers, directors, miltitary veterans, teachers and advocates have a treasure chest of lessons learned on their path to becoming who they are today. We will discuss where challenges can become prime opportunities if seen and honored as such. As we will present these seasoned and supportive industry professionals in more personal conversations, we also want to create a bridge to our filmmaker audience to ask questions as well as deliver more hands-on industry insight to them.


JERRI SHER is an EMMY Award-winning filmmaker. A member of the Director's Guild since 1998, she has completed 22 film and television projects. She wrote, directed and produced QUIET EXPLOSIONS, a documentary feature about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) in veterans, athletes and civilians. The film just won the Lilac Award at the SpIFF Int. Film Festival and will be released November 10, 2020 on Amazon.  LIVE LIFE (healing through alternative medicine), her 12-part docu-drama television series, was co-produced by Discovery Communications. Her short film STEP UP is part of a presentation by SANTA MONICA CARES, which she created for City/TV Santa Monica, and garnered her 2 EMMYS. 


Lisa K. Crosato is an award winning actress , director and producer and the owner and director of the City of Agnels Women's Film Festival, based in Los Angeles. 

Lisa grew up in Vancouver, Canada. Like most kids who started performing at a young age, she put shows on for family members. She acted in local Vancouver theatre and also began to produce some of the theatre pieces she performed in, including the critically acclaimed A LIE OF THE MIND and BEIRUT. 


Capt. Michelle Cherland

In 1991, when I was in college, the President of the United States came on television to announce that Operation Desert Shield had become Operation Desert Storm. “We are at war.” Without hesitation, I knew, just as my calling had been for teaching that I needed to help my country.

I went active duty for three years, and stayed for 21 years with the Army Reserves. After three deployments equaling to 42 months in Iraq and Afghanistan, I recently retired as a Captain with 24 years of honorable duty.

      In 2003, I deployed for 14 months, with the 378th Combat Support Battalion (CSB) to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait running supplies back and forth to Najaf, Iraq.  During this time, I was recognized for my superior leadership and was offered a Direct Commission as a United States Army Officer which I accepted on November 20th, 2004.  

In 2009, I deployed with the 348th Transportation Company out of Phoenix, Arizona in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, in the Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Camp Leatherneck.  During this deployment, I conducted over 60 missions while traveling over 13,000 miles in the dangerous and rugged terrain in Afghanistan.  My performance under fire propelled me to take over the Command of over 180 Soldiers and I earned the Bronze Star Medal.


Cherie Kerr is a founding member of the world-famous L.A. Groundlings, and founder of the Orange County Crazies sketch and improvisational troupe in Santa Ana, California, released her first film in May of 2013, "We've Got Balls," a family-friendly comedy. Kerr just wrapped her second indie film, a 90-minute improvised mockumentary titled "The Show Can't Go On". Given the honor of the Top Ten Most Sensational People in Orange County" by Orange Coast magazine, Kerr has also been highly lauded for her work as a comedy writer/director, having garnered "Best Sketch of the Year" from the Los Angeles Times for her quirky sketch, "Too Much Shoulder Pad." She is also being honored in October 2019 by Arts OC for the Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Founder of three businesses, Kerr brings tremendous acumen and savvy to the table along with an abundance of her unique, enviable, and highly original sense of creativity.


Janine Avanti is an Accredited Lifetime Athlete, health and fitness advocate, world Champion Water Ski Racer, nationally ranked Body Building Fitness Competitor, Actress, Motivational Speaker, Model, Painting Contractor, Accountant, Missionary, Volunteer, Survivor and so much more.


Avanti holds the fastest water-skiing speed behind a race boat during a water ski race- 102 mph Records; USA F2 World Champion Water Ski Racer and Team Champions 2003-2004, USAF2 World Silver Champion and Team Silver Champions 2005-2006, USA F2 Team World Champions 2007-2008. Avanti has won over 20 National USA waterski racing Titles Champion. Over 100 ski races won in her speed skiing career from 1996 through 2012. USA Hall of Fame, Water Skier of The Year 2003, 3 Time Regional Water Ski Athlete of The Year. Current Catalina ski race class record holder, for over a decade now, 2005-2006 to current year 2021. Current Woman’s Over All water ski record holder, The SF Bay Ski Race. NPC Bikini Body Building Competitor 2017 Masters Nationals 4th place 40+!! 2016 Nor Cal 2nd 40+, 3rd 35+, 2016 Masters Nationals 5th, North Americas 8th. 2015 Masters Nationals 4th 40+D class, 2015 Nor Cal Championships 1st 35+C, 1st Novice B, 8th 40+, (2015 Gov Cup 6th in three classes, 16th in open, trying to recover from a brain/ and head injury) 2014 Governors Cup SacTown. 1st Overall 35+, 1st 35+B, 2nd Novice D, 3rd 40+!


Sophia Louisa Lee is from a small town in Southern Arizona. She was in the contemporary art world for many years, having had her own art galleries and participated on museum boards. She was part of the White Fire Theater group as an actor when she discovered her talent and passion for writing comedy, which lead to writing thrillers. She has studied shamanism, and wrote her pilot Crazy, which is an official selection of the Beverly Hills Film Festival. Her short script, The Broken Path, is a finalist for the Civil Disobedience Script Content. She has directed and produced, and starred in "The Broken Path" and is also the TMIF Impact Award Exhibit curator as well as the TMIF featured artist of the year. 



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