Our mission is to empower campers...
...with the ability to tell stories on film by providing hands-on access to state-of-the-art equipment and the guidance of experienced filmmakers in the beautiful setting of Camp Mark Seven, while providing a fun-filled summer experience that can transport them beyond their everyday lives.
DEAF FILM CAMP TEAM
+ Michael Kaufer
Since 2015, Michael has also worked closely with Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0, a non profit organization that provides training and resources for people with disabilities to gain employment in media. Michael believes every deaf and hard-of-hearing child who aspires to be in media absolutely can achieve their dreams, and envisions DFC as a catalyst for helping them reach their full potential!
+ Clare Cassidy
+ Storm Smith
+ Jeremy Lee Stone
His interest in language continued to guide his learning experience, leading him to the platform of social media. Jeremy established an Instagram account that included ASL storytelling. The positive impact of the stories posted was evident after receiving growing attention on the page. The success was favorable and, perhaps he should have been satisfied with just that, yet, in turn, it fueled his desire to share his passion through that of business.
This is when ASL NYC and ASL Elements were born. Both businesses now operate in D.U.M.B.O, Brooklyn. Space welcomes deaf, hearing, and hard of hearing students who are interested in expression through ASL and learning the language as a purely visual form of communication.
+ Jason Roberts
He graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a bachelor of Applied Science in Multi-Disciplinary Studies with not just one major, but four majors! (Illustration, film, marketing and engineering.) He has been involved in several film productions such as Meet Bill, editing international award-winning Lake Windfall, The Deaf Club, Finding June, and his first directorial-debut, Hedy and Heidi: The Lost Sister. He continues to be involved in film productions, while doing freelance video editing.
Jason lives in St. Louis with his wife, Katie and his baby son, Logan, along with their two dogs, Plutonium and Lily (she’s deaf). Fun fact: Their baby announcement was done at Camp Mark Seven, courtesy of Clare Cassidy
+ Melissa Jane Kielbus
She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2013 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts for Film and a Bachelor of Science for Psychology with a minor in Deaf Cultural Studies. She has also obtained a Performing Arts certificate from the NTID department. An avid cinematographer, she is licensed to film underwater with the PADI underwater videography certification.
She is currently working as the Digital Media Director for Copper & Water, LLC. She also does freelance work, doing projects with several different companies and start-up businesses on the side.
+ Moises Tobias
+ Bradley Gantt
Bradley Gantt is a filmmaker with well over fifteen years of professional experience in the industry. He brings his extensive knowledge of cinematic techniques, lighting setups, editing, and visual effects give each video project a life of its own.
When Bradley was a kid in Indiana, he started by shooting experimental videos on VHS tapes in the woods behind his family home. Today, he still brings that never-ending passion to his work today as he enjoys pushing cinema to new heights. Starting a video production business (Bus Door Films) with his longtime friend Ruan du Plessis has been a lifelong goal for Bradley.
With Bus Door Films, Bradley shares his one-of-a-kind talent with the world through his captivating style of storytelling and ability to foresee a client’s needs, especially when it comes to creating motion pictures with a new perspective.
Follow him on IG @mrbradley7
+ Jay Kowalczyk
Jay Kowalczyk was born in Florida, raised in New York, educated in Maryland and Washington, DC, and now lives in California. He graduated from Gallaudet University with a degree in Psychology, and now serves as a media manager for Convo Communications. His training in psychology has served him well in this seemingly different role, where his creativity has been allowed to flourish under the tutelage of Wayne Betts, Jr. and with Jarrod Musano's support. Recent works such as The Wedding and Mara & Jeremy - BeYOUtiful that Jay helped create at Convo are proof of his talent and the supportive environment in which he works.
Jay considers Deaf Film Camp at Camp Mark Seven to be his second home because he loves both hiking and filming! Camp Mark Seven is surrounded by the stunning Adirondack Mountains and Fourth Lake, and Deaf Film Camp teems with talented filmmakers.... what a perfect place for Jay to spend his summer!
+ Ruan du Plessis
+ Stephanie Garrison
Stephanie Garrison is originally from Austin, Texas. She has two separate degrees in Graphic Design, AAS from Austin Community College, and a BFA in Graphic Design from RIT.
Her professional experience are varied related to Graphic Web Design and Multimedia field. In 2017, Stephanie and her partner created a Web Design & Development business, "LavaAcai Creative LLC." She also is proficient with creating designs through softwares and even animation.
She is excited and honored to be a part of the DFC where she can share her knowledge, skills, and experiences with young kids.
Please take the time to click here to see her portfolio and work samples.
+ Brigitte Gros
+ Toj Mora
As an intern, and later as a colleaque, Toj earned his stripes working with two talented deaf filmmakers Bradley Gantt and Ruan du Plessis (who are also DFC staff!) Toj currently enjoys working as a freelance filmmaker and editor for various clients such as The Daily Moth, DeafTec, Convo, and Communication Service for the Deaf.
As someone who was inspired by the previous generation of deaf filmmakers back in the late 00's, Toj can think of no greater honor than empowering the next generation of deaf filmmakers at Deaf Film Camp!
+ André Almeida
+ Vincent Venutolo
My name is Vincent Venutolo, I am proud to be Italian and grew up as a surfer from Jersey Shore. I graduated NTID with an associate degree in Networking System Administrations and continues pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Web & App Development in RIT. I am proud to be the alumnus of Tiger Media 2016-17 team that broke a trend by producing over 30 videos. I love being involved in supporting the locals to the world for Deaf communities. I am proud to be a co-founder of LavaAcai Creative LLC with Stephanie Garrison. And now, I will be your technician, and I'm stoked to give you the superpower to change the world as I did!
+ Omar Guzman
Originally from Mexico City, Omar Guzman moved to California at the age of 9. His passion for art began early on and is evident in every design he creates. Not only does he work for Convo as their Visual Designer, he also continues working with several Deaf individuals and businesses to produce superior works of art. He enjoys being a role model for the Deaf youth, helping them find their own potential through art and building their confidence to follow their dreams. In his spare time, you can find him going camping! He is truly honored to be a part of Deaf Film Camp and looks forward to joining their stellar team.
+ Mara Ladines
After her graduation, she decided to establish a business. When By Mara launched in 2008, it had only two products. Today, By Mara has expanded into a countrywide business with another flagship in Brooklyn, New York, selling more than 100 products! Mara can be your wardrobe stylist, sharing her passion of fashion, history and trends.
+ Amelia Hamilton
DFC is a wonderful camp for deaf children to make strong connections with other deaf children, build up their confidence and self esteem in a safe and trustworthy environment while learning basic concepts of film making and having fun at the same time!
As parents of a first-time camper with some special needs, we had some trepidation about how he would fit in, and whether he'd be successful. Getting the updates and pictures throughout the 12 days showed us that he was having the time of his life, actively participating, fully engaged. We appreciated the attentiveness with which Michael responded to our every question, and how the staff encouraged and engaged him during DFC.
It was a great experience for both my daughter's, they can't wait to go back!
It was wonderful being able to view all the films at the local theater - made the kids feel special, and the parents enjoyed being included. My son established friendships that he has maintained since camp. He is saving up for some film equipment now!
Deaf Film Camp, quite literally changed our daughter's life. She was excited to go, but came home almost a new person. She is confident in who she is, and is dedicated to doing well at school in order to pursue a career in film. Thank you for helping to direct her life.
My daughter's favorite camp. She learned more in two weeks than in her entire semester photography class in school. She made so many new friends and continues to stay in touch with them. For a mainstreamed deaf child, this camp is a treasured time that she gets to be in a deaf environment with full accessibility. She loves her DFC/CM7 friends!
Serena enjoyed the camp tremendously! She met so many new friends from all over the country (really the world.) She learned more at Deaf Film Camp in two weeks than she learned in an entire semester in her photography class at school! Counselors and staff were fabulous! She wishes it was three weeks.
We would like to thank you for offering this amazing opportunity to teenagers with hearing loss. Our daughter had a wonderful time at camp and made a lot of new friends. Since our daughter attended this summer, we have told everyone about DFC. She is interested in studying film in college.This was a chance of a lifetime to work with so many talented professionals, each of whom opened our children's eyes to dream of their future. These students now realize that anything is possible. We wish we had know about it sooner, because she definitely would have made this her annual summer trip. Attending DFC allowed her to meet wonderful roles models in the Deaf Community. On the last day of camp, it was clear that each of all these children would have stayed longer if they could. No one wanted to leave. You and your staff have touched the lives of these students forever, and for that we are truly grateful.
Donate to Deaf Film Camp
You can help a deaf teenager pursue a career in filmmaking by directly supporting a camper. All donations to Deaf Film Camp will benefit operation and activity fees of the two-week session.
Please make all checks payable to 'Mark Seven Deaf Foundation', note DFC on the memo line and mail to:
PO Box 840313
St. Augustine, FL 32080
Camp Mark Seven is a nonprofit organization. All proceeds go to the avenue in which donated. All proceeds will go directly to the campers of Deaf Film Camp.