Dustin won his Oscar for best screenplay of Milk. He also worked as a writer for HBO’s Big Love, ABC’s When We Rise, J. Edgar and Pedro. He also has credits as a director and producer for What’s Wrong With Virginia, Prophet’s Prey, 8 The Mormon Proposition, and 8 : A play about the fight for marriage equality. He is also a strong activist for the LGBTQ community. Being vocal with his Academy Awards speech promising marriage equality on a national stage, then shortly forming the non-profit American Foundation For Equal Rights (AFER) with Rob Reiner and Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). With AFER and the assistance of Ted Olsen and David Boies they went to the supreme court of the United States to win the fight for marriage equality. Dustin recently wrote a book titled Mama’s Boy: A Story Of Two Americas, both an autobiography and biography for his mother. Within the pages he discusses his personal life with his family, friends & career, the shaping of his adult life and how his family history impacts his drive to help others.
Rachel Noll James
Rachel is an award winning screenwriter and filmmaker. She recently moved to the Seattle area after 12 years in LA where she worked as a screenwriter, producer and director, and founded the female focused production company Emergence Films. The company now has branches in both the US and London, UK and has a slate of feature films and TV series currently in development including an internationally themed documentary series focusing on female filmmakers around the world.
Rachel’s first feature was “Don’t Pass Me By”, a film she wrote, produced, and starred in. Rachel won Best Feature Writer at the LA Femme Festival for the script, and the film was released worldwide in February of 2014. Rachel also produced and co-wrote the feature film The Storyteller which won the SILVER PRIZE in the Family Film category in the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards and was released on Hallmark Movies Now after winning multiple awards in the festival circuit. Rachel made her directorial debut with the short film Half Light and recently completed production on her second directed short, a proof of concept for the feature film Follow the River – a gritty period drama slated to shoot in WA state.
Kathryn graduated from the University of Michigan with a major in Creative Writing, and minors in Russian and Russian Literature, History, and Culture. Her work has appeared in reviews, magazines, journals, and the book Confined Connections. A Memoir of Kindness won a Hopwood Award (2017) and her short script The Adventures of Star Girl and the Marble Roller won NFFTY’s Story Starts Here Best Screenplay competition (2018). She currently works as a screenwriter for It's Not a Phase Mom, LLC. You can learn more about Kathryn on her website: https://www.kathrynorwig.com/