Team Bios

Grettel Batoon - Co-Director
Grettel Batoon is a senior in the Film and Television Department concentrating in Animation. This is her fourth year with Fusion, her third as the Design Director, and her second year as Festival Co-Director. She is very thankful to be given the opportunity to work with incredibly talented students and faculty in bringing a professional student-run film festival to NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. In addition to working with Fusion, she is currently creating a four-minute animated short about a love story between two leaves.

Talia Mazzarella - Co-Director
Talia Mazzarella is a senior in the Film and Television Department concentrating in writing/directing and double-majoring in English. While she enjoyed serving Marketing Director for the 2008 Festival, she is very excited to take on her new position as Co-Director and Public Relations Director this year. She is enthralled to work with the amazing team of students, falculty, and industry professionals that make Fusion possible. Outside of Fusion, Talia is currently in post-production for her narrative thesis film, "La Curandera" and working on her senior thesis paper for her English major.

Gina Petra Abatemarco - Co-Founder
Gina Abatemarco, the Co-Founder of The Fusion Film Festival, is a Writer and Director who graduated from Tisch's Film & Television Program in 2004. Upon the completion of her studies at Tisch, Gina missed her graduation to interview in Los Angeles with Director Brian De Palma. For the next year she worked as his Personal Assistant on The Black Dahlia where she had the opportunity to live in Sofia Bulgaria during the filming. Since then, her work with Mr. De Palma Gina has been "on the road". In 2006, she packed her bags and moved to Paris where she directed a short film entitled Belle Abandonnee, studied acting as a Director undercover, and wrote her first feature screenplay, Summer Alibi. While living in Europe, Gina had the opportunity to attend the Berlinale Talent Campus. In 2007 Gina traveled to India and Nepal, and later vagabonded across America while doing script research for her feature screenplay. Back in NY, Gina is finishing her feature and is proud to be working as a Fusion Mentor. To celebrate Fusion's 5th Year Anniversary, Gina has developed "The Fusion to Fusion Alumni Network" so that Fusion Team Members past and present can connect, share projects, work, and events from coast to coat and around the globe.

Emma Heald - Co-Founder
Since graduating NYU, Emma Mason Heald has divided her time between freelance filmmaking and pursuing her goals as a feature film writer/director. Her freelancing career has been exciting and varied from working as the Director of Photography for a feature length documentary, Spinster, and editing celebrity spots for Home Shopping Network, to shooting Miami hotspots for Fine Living and author/agent profiles for Simon and Schuster publishers and She was recently short-listed to host and produce her own international travel episodes for the Travel Channel's 'Not Your Average Travel Guide' and has been invited by executives at Current TV to create original video content for broadcast. When she's not freelancing, Emma is working on feature film projects with her writing partner or producing and directing indie music videos. She is currently meeting with production companies and agents regarding two action/adventure spec scripts for sale. Emma is also looking for collaborators and investors for her latest film project, a low budget, romance/drama about a war photographer, which she aims to direct as her debut feature film.
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Susan Sandler - Faculty Advisor
Susan Sandler's screenplays and teleplays include: "Crossing Delancey" (based on her original play),"Friends At Last" (starring Kathleen Turner) for CBS ; "Love Invents Us" for Sarah Green Productions ("The New World") based on the novel by Amy Bloom; "The Florence Greenberg Story" for Bette Midler at TNT; "A Lesson In Love" for Grossbart-Barnett; "Flying In Place" for Columbia Pictures Television; "Cost of Living" for Hallmark; "Lonelyville" for Columbia Pictures; "I Slept for Science" for Scott Rudin Productions; "Glitter Girls" for Jersey Films, and "Too Many Cooks" for Interscope. Her plays include Crossing Delancey with the Israeli premiere currently touring Israel after a sold out run at Israel's Beit Lessin Theatre. Under the Bed, a new work, had its World Premiere last season at The Caldwell Theatre following a workshop production in NewYork at HB Playwrights Foundation and a premiere reading at the 92nd Street Y, starring Olympia Dukakis, Marilyn Sokol, and Scotty Bloch. Other plays include The Renovation (Actors Theatre of Louisville); off Broadway The Moaner, directed by Dennie Gordon, Kinfolks And Mountain Music (based on the stories of Gurney Norman); Tots at Ensemble Studio Theatre (where she also directed). At the HB Playwrights' Theatre : If I Were A Train, Hokey-Pokey, The Find , The Burial Society, and The Lovely Just So. Her work is published by Smith and Kraus, Vintage Press's Take Ten Best Short Plays and Samuel French. She is a Playwright member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, HB Playwrights Foundation, and the Actors Studio's Playwrights' Roundtable. She is on the faculty of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Kanbar Institute of Film and Television and has proudly served as faculty advisor to the FUSION Film Festival through its six thrilling years of growth.
Telephone: 212.998.1792

Andrew Katz - Programming Director
Andrew Katz is a sophomore in the Film and Television Department and is excited to join Fusion for a second year as assistant director of programming. In past years Andrew has helped run several student-oriented screenings in the Boston area including the Institute of Contemporary Art's "Fast Forward" teen filmmaking program. At NYU, Andrew continues to write and direct his own projects, while simultaneously working to produce several advanced level productions. He is very excited once again to put together some great events for Fusion's sixth year.

Catherine Aeppel - Marketing Director
Catherine Aeppel is currently a freshman majoring in Film and Television at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She was on the board of the 2008 Westport Youth Film Festival and is excited to be a part of the sixth annual Fusion Film Festival. Her experience in film includes internships with Cablevision Local Programming and Persona Films and as a crew member on two student films. She looks forward to serving as an the Marketing Director this year and hopes to help put together an amazing festival.

Gloria Dios - Sponsorship Director
Gloria Dios is currently a freshman at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, majoring in Film and Television. This is Gloria's First Year with Fusion Film Festival. Gloria is currently interning with Lee Daniels Entertainment and hopes to concentrate on producing Film in the future. Gloria is very excited to be a part of this exciting event!

Kate Zabinsky - Programming Committee
Kate Zabinsky is currently a freshman at NYU's Tisch, majoring in Film and Television with a minor in Spanish. She recently associate produced a short film starring Olympia Dukakis and is working on pre-production for a documentary. She loves to travel and plans to work at the American Pavilion at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Kate worked two years for the Boston International Film Festival and is very excited to get involved with the student-run Fusion Film Festival.