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Big Picture Alliance’s mission is to engage, educate and empower Philadelphia youth through filmmaking & digital media arts. We provide transformative learning experiences and a supportive pathway for youth to have their voices heard, develop as young professionals and reach their full potential.

Big Picture Alliance’s mission is to engage, educate and empower Philadelphia youth through filmmaking & digital media arts. We provide transformative learning experiences and a supportive pathway for youth to have their voices heard, develop as young professionals and reach their full potential.

Big Picture Alliance’s mission is to engage, educate and empower Philadelphia youth through filmmaking & digital media arts. We provide transformative learning experiences and a supportive pathway for youth to have their voices heard, develop as young professionals and reach their full potential.

Big Picture Alliance was founded in 1994 by Jeffrey Seder & Jared Martin (TV Actor/Director) as an apprenticeship program where youth produced films about issues impacting their lives under the mentorship of professional filmmakers. In 2013, BPA partnered with the School District of Philadelphia to develop and implement a digital storytelling curriculum in alignment with Common Core educational standards - resulting in improved grades, test scores, attendance, and exemplary skill development (Rand Corp Report - Aug 2014). BPA then brought this programming to hundreds of youth across Philadelphia through dozens of school and organizational partnerships.

Big Picture Alliance was founded in 1994 by Jeffrey Seder & Jared Martin (TV Actor/Director) as an apprenticeship program where youth produced films about issues impacting their lives under the mentorship of professional filmmakers. In 2013, BPA partnered with the School District of Philadelphia to develop and implement a digital storytelling curriculum in alignment with Common Core educational standards - resulting in improved grades, test scores, attendance, and exemplary skill development (Rand Corp Report - Aug 2014). BPA then brought this programming to hundreds of youth across Philadelphia through dozens of school and organizational partnerships.

Big Picture Alliance was founded in 1994 by Jeffrey Seder & Jared Martin (TV Actor/Director) as an apprenticeship program where youth produced films about issues impacting their lives under the mentorship of professional filmmakers. In 2013, BPA partnered with the School District of Philadelphia to develop and implement a digital storytelling curriculum in alignment with Common Core educational standards - resulting in improved grades, test scores, attendance, and exemplary skill development (Rand Corp Report - Aug 2014). BPA then brought this programming to hundreds of youth across Philadelphia through dozens of school and organizational partnerships.

In 2015, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Philadelphia, BPA youth explored the theme of gentrification through “Stories from the Promise Zone” which screened at City Hall. In 2017, BPA youth documented their journey using DNA to trace their African Ancestry in “We Are Sankofa”, winning Best Youth Film at Black Star Film Festival. In 2018, BPA launched a Digital Media Workforce Program and the Teen Media Collective, providing youth ages 15-21 new pathways into the field of film & media.

Since 1996, BPA has served over 7000 youth through 100 partnerships resulting in academic achievement, scholarships, internships, employment, and 800 films, 60 of which are award-winning. We’ve helped cultivated a generation of young artists and professionals, many of whom have gone on to pursue careers in the film & media.

In 2015, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Philadelphia, BPA youth explored the theme of gentrification through “Stories from the Promise Zone” which screened at City Hall. In 2017, BPA youth documented their journey using DNA to trace their African Ancestry in “We Are Sankofa”, winning Best Youth Film at Black Star Film Festival. In 2018, BPA launched a Digital Media Workforce Program and the Teen Media Collective, providing youth ages 15-21 new pathways into the field of film & media.

Since 1996, BPA has served over 7000 youth through 100 partnerships resulting in academic achievement, scholarships, internships, employment, and 800 films, 60 of which are award-winning. We’ve helped cultivated a generation of young artists and professionals, many of whom have gone on to pursue careers in the film & media.

In 2015, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Philadelphia, BPA youth explored the theme of gentrification through “Stories from the Promise Zone” which screened at City Hall. In 2017, BPA youth documented their journey using DNA to trace their African Ancestry in “We Are Sankofa”, winning Best Youth Film at Black Star Film Festival. In 2018, BPA launched a Digital Media Workforce Program and the Teen Media Collective, providing youth ages 15-21 new pathways into the field of film & media.

Since 1996, BPA has served over 7000 youth through 100 partnerships resulting in academic achievement, scholarships, internships, employment, and 800 films, 60 of which are award-winning. We’ve helped cultivated a generation of young artists and professionals, many of whom have gone on to pursue careers in the film & media.

Aleks
Martray

Executive Director

Shahana
Jan

Program Manager

Nikki
Harmon

Production Manager

Joshua
Mallory

Teaching Artist

Bettina
Escauriza

Teaching Artist

Vernon
Jordan III

Teaching Artist

Teri
Yago-Ryan

Film & Media Executive / Arts Education Administrator

More About Teri

Pascal
Marcelin

Educator / Filmmaker / Technology Specialist

More About Pascal

Kharisma
McIlwaine

TV Personality, Philly 360 / BPA Alumni

More About Kharisma

Melissa A.
Rowe

Educator/College & Career Specialist / BPA Alumni

More About Melissa

Lois
Moses

Filmmaker, TV Producer, Entrepreneur

More About Lois

Ben
Barnett

Director, Philadelphia Independent Film Festival

More About Ben

Jordany Uceta

Cinematographer, Editor

Jose Quintana

Editor, Sound, Cinematographert

Aaliyah Fisher

Director, Writer

Theo Wyss-Flamm

Cinematographer, Editor

Jordany Uceta

Cinematographer, Editor

Jose Quintana

Editor, Sound, Cinematographert

Aaliyah Fisher

Director, Writer

Theo Wyss-Flamm

Cinematographer, Editor

Jordany Uceta

Cinematographer, Editor

Jose Quintana

Editor, Sound, Cinematographert

Aaliyah Fisher

Director, Writer

Theo Wyss-Flamm

Cinematographer, Editor

Amanda Smith

Director, Writer

Jasmin Carter

 Actress, Production Designer, Writer, Cinematographer

Michelle Wu

Cinematographer, Director, Editor

Cindy Pham

Actress, Writer, Editor

Amanda Smith

Director, Writer

Jasmin Carter

 Actress, Production Designer, Writer, Cinematographer

Michelle Wu

Cinematographer, Director, Editor

Cindy Pham

Actress, Writer, Editor

Amanda Smith

Director, Writer

Jasmin Carter

 Actress, Production Designer, Writer, Cinematographer

Michelle Wu

Cinematographer, Director, Editor

Cindy Pham

Actress, Writer, Editor

Our relationships with local media studios, film festivals, theaters, museums, and industry professionals provide an invaluable opportunity for our youth to explore career paths and showcase their work to the broader public through screenings, broadcasts, and field trips. Students get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of television & film production and pitch their films to industry professionals who offer feedback, encouragement, and inspiration. These industry partners include: PhillyCam, Scribe Video Center, MyNewPhilly, Comcast, NBC 10, RecPhilly, Philadelphia Film Society, Greater Philadelphia Film Office, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rough Cut Film Fest, BlackStar Film Fest, and more.

Our relationships with local media studios, film festivals, theaters, museums, and industry professionals provide an invaluable opportunity for our youth to explore career paths and showcase their work to the broader public through screenings, broadcasts, and field trips. Students get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of television & film production and pitch their films to industry professionals who offer feedback, encouragement, and inspiration. These industry partners include: PhillyCam, Scribe Video Center, MyNewPhilly, Comcast, NBC 10, RecPhilly, Philadelphia Film Society, Greater Philadelphia Film Office, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rough Cut Film Fest, BlackStar Film Fest, and more.

Our relationships with local media studios, film festivals, theaters, museums, and industry professionals provide an invaluable opportunity for our youth to explore career paths and showcase their work to the broader public through screenings, broadcasts, and field trips. Students get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of television & film production and pitch their films to industry professionals who offer feedback, encouragement, and inspiration. These industry partners include: PhillyCam, Scribe Video Center, MyNewPhilly, Comcast, NBC 10, RecPhilly, Philadelphia Film Society, Greater Philadelphia Film Office, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rough Cut Film Fest, BlackStar Film Fest, and more.

924 Cherry St. 5th Floor
Philadelphia PA 19107

Aleks brings over 10 years of experience as a filmmaker and arts educator working with youth and communities in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Central America. He is the co-founder of Art of Solidarity (AoS), a media-based cultural exchange program that has produced over a dozen film collaborations between hundreds of Nicaraguan & North American artists.

He has worked with Scribe Video Center & PhillyCam as facilitator and producer of community-based documentaries and workshops in Philadelphia. He holds an MA in Community Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art and his work had screened at film festivals, museums and on television.

In 2016, Martray became the Executive Director of Big Picture Alliance (BPA) where he previously served as Teaching Artist and Program Manager for 4 years - developing curriculum, working with hundreds of youth and leading 5 award-winning projects.

Shahana is a director, editor, producer, and teaching artist in Philadelphia. She studied Film & Television Production in South Africa and has produced several music videos and short films.

She served as International Production Manager & Editorial Supervisor for the television show Coke Studio where she organized productions in 7 different countries. She handled Production and Development for the emmy-nominated PBS show Live from the Artists Den, including episodes featuring John Legend, OneRepublic, and Lady Antebellum.

She was the founder & director of a community arts center in Islamabad Pakistan and brings over 6 years of program development, management and teaching experience to Big Picture Alliance.

Nikki Harmon is a filmmaker, author, and educator. She has written, produced, directed, and crewed in various technical positions on several documentaries, short narratives, educational and industrial films,music videos and feature-length films.

Through Banyan Productions, she worked on three seasons of TLC’s Wedding Story” as a researcher, associate producer, and producer. Recently, she spent two years as the Program Manager for Scribe Video Center, a nationally recognized community media center in West Philadelphia.

She has published two novels, When I Was Your Girlfriend and Neither Here Nor There. Throughout her career, however, Nikki has maintained her commitment to teaching and has taught video production for various community organizations and as an adjunct at two local universities.

Joshua has been a film producer, animator, photographer, and teaching artist for over 6 years, working with Taller Puertorriqueno, Congresso, Play Arts Philadelphia. He has been a Teaching Artist with Big Picture Alliance for 5 years, and leads our YouthBuild & OIC Workforce Academy workforce readiness classes.

Bettina Escauriza is a Paraguayan-American
filmmaker, writer, artist, and musician living in Philadelphia. Her work deals with a range of topics including Indigenous issues, immigrant experience, environmental justice, philosophy, and feminism.
Bettina is currently working on a documentary film, Medicine from the Earth, about the medicinal plant culture in Paraguay that is rooted in Indigenous ancestral knowledge.

She is currently a 2018 Sundance Institute Knight Fellow. She has worked with YesPhilly, The Penn Museum,and Big Picture Alliance coordinating and teaching educational programs. She teaches the Delphi Summer Teen Media Program and islead mentor for Via Lux Teen Media.

Vernon Jordan, III is a Philly-born ‘n raised writer, filmmaker, and poet. He is interested in stories about the interior and intimate lives of Black people, and carries a lifelong fascination with supernatural/speculative/magical/ and funky worlds. His priority is the merging of the visual and the musical: a Visual Lyricist.

He graduated from Muhlenberg College (’16) with a BA in a self-designed major called Black Voice & Cultural Studies, and his thesis film See My Dreams Come True has played at over 5 US-national and international festivals.

In 2019, Vernon graduated with a Screenwriting MFA from Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, advanced to a final consideration round at Sundance New Voices Youtube Episodic Lab, served as a panel moderator on Black film curation and preservation at Upside Film Festival (based in Harlem)and signed with the inclusive model agency, WeSpeak NY. His short film DEEP CUTS is forthcoming.

Vernon is happy to be back home to teach with Big Picture Alliance, at OIC & Youthbuild Academies.