Inspiring Generations

Meet the Visionaries and Talents of Our Film.

Cameron S. Mitchell


Cameron S. Mitchell is an award-winning Director, Producer, DP, Writer, and moving camera specialist of narrative, documentary films, and television. His work has been featured on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon, PBS, and includes Emmy award winning shows such as Cat People and Mare of Easttown. He is the Director/Writer/DP of Elsa (PBS American Masters, Winner: Filmocracy), The Co-Op (Slamdance Channel, Winner: Bergen International Film Festival), Branded (Temple News Documentary of the Year), the Addy nominated series Haul Away Hunger (Toyota, Philabundance), and Heartbeat (Winner: LA Music Video Awards, Awareness Film Festival). “Elsa” highlights Deafblind fencer and author Elsa Sjunneson and has been named an official selection of five OSCAR qualifying festivals. He is an alumni of the 2022 Respectability Lab, a jury member for Doc NYC’s #MyJustice award, a juror and programmer of Slamdance Film Festival since 2021, and was named Slamdance Filmmaker of the Week in September 2022. In their review of Cameron’s debut narrative short the Co-op, Go Indie Now described Cameron Mitchell as a filmmaker “born to tell stories”. Cameron is the owner and founder of CSM Productions (est. 2013) and his work focuses on how outlier individuals break the mold, particularly when it pertains to disabled individuals. Cameron is an openly queer and disabled member of the Local 600 International Cinematographers Guild and has spoken on numerous panels on disability, identity, and film around the world.


Imani / Co-Producer

Shanice made her national debut scatting with the legendary Ella Fitzgerald in a Kentucky Fried Chicken Commercial. She appeared in “Kids Incorporated, was a Junior Star Search Grand Champion at 11 years old, and shortly thereafter signed her first recording contract with A&M Records, releasing her debut album "Discovery" at age 14. Shanice exploded onto the scene with her first two R & B hit singles, "(Baby Tell Me) Can You Dance" and "No 1/2 Steppin'", but it was her smash hit single "I Love Your Smile" from her 1991 "Inner Child" album (released on Motown Records) that brought her international fame. "I Love Your Smile" topped the Billboard R&B charts at #1 while it also peaked at #2 on the Billboard Pop charts. This brought a Grammy nomination and Germany’s Golden Award. Shortly thereafter, came her pop hit “Saving Forever For You”, from the Beverly Hills 90210 soundtrack which peaked at #5 on the Billboard hot 100 chart. Shanice has contributed to various other soundtracks, including “Pocahontas” performing “If I Never Knew you” as a duet with John Secada, as well as “Panther” (in which she also made a cameo appearance), “Boomerang” and “Meteor Man”. She performs the “One on One” theme song with B Slade, and most recently the theme song for “Mecha Builders”, the recent spinoff of Sesame street with Eric Bellinger. In 1995, Shanice made history when cast as the first African American to play Eponine in the musical “Les Miserables” on Broadway. Shanice made history again when her lead single, “When I Close My Eyes”, from her self entitled LP on LaFace records broke the 30 year Billboard Hot 100 record jumping from 91 to 16 in one week. She also made guest appearances on “One on One,” “Family Matters,” Hallmark’s “To Her with Love,” and Jill Scott’s, “The First Wives Club” with Chantay Moore, Deborah Cox and Kelly Price. In February of 2000, Shanice married actor/comedian Flex Alexander. She co-starred along with her husband and family in their own reality show “Flex and Shanice” which aired for three seasons on the Oprah Winfrey Network. She is currently starring as Michelle Obama in Eli Baumer’s musical, “44” and is still touring. Shanice has also launched her vegan lipstick line, “Smile by Shanice”, (

Ryan Lane


Actor Ryan Lane is a third generation Native Californian who was diagnosed with congenital nerve deafness at only two weeks old. While finishing up his last year in High School, Ryan was approached by a Hollywood director/producer who was interested in having Ryan play the lead in a documentary about a deaf baseball player from the 1800's, William Ellsworth Hoy, known as “Dummy Hoy.” Ryan was selected from a football picture on the wall at CSDR, because he closely resembled “Dummy Hoy.” This documentary led to other guest starring roles on the popular TV shows “Cold Case,” “House, ” “Miami Medical,” and “Veronica Mars.” Ryan went on to star in a recurring role as “Travis” on ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth,” in 62 episodes throughout 4 seasons. Ryan has gone on to do some theater and other films including “iZombie.” He was the recipient of the 2013 Media Access R.J. Mitte Diversity Award. In September of 2006, Ryan was involved in a dirt bike accident at Pismo Beach, where he suffered a fractured spine and left femur. He underwent surgery on both areas, requiring rod and screw fixation. He spent four months in a body brace, walking with a walker and using a wheelchair to get around when he returned to school. Thankfully, Ryan is well and continues to grace us with his incredible acting skills.

Penni Wilson

Executive Producer

Penni Wilson is one of the Executive Producers, Producer, co-writer and co-Casting Director of Kryptonite. She began her entertainment career as a young teen in a female trio with her sister Crystal in their hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Throughout her musical career, she has performed with or recorded with the likes of Diana Ross, The Emotions, and the late greats, Rick James, Curtis Mayfield and Della Reese. Penni can be heard singing backgrounds in many songs on Barry White’s Icon LP, most notably, “Practice What You Preach. Penni served as adjunct faculty for the Television, Film and Media Studies Department at CSULA for over approximately 20 years during which she received many honors, including, “Lecturer of the Year”, by the California Faculty Association, alumni of the year by the department of Television, Film and Media Studies and the Black Community Honors Award, sponsored by the Pan African Studies Department. In that same year she graduated from the Los Angeles African American Public Policy Institute, hosted by USC. For 20 years, Penni also served as a co-producer and co-host of Pacifica radio’s “Beautiful Struggle” which airs on Tuesdays at 7:00 pm on 90.7 FM, Los Angeles and 98.7 FM in Santa Barbara. She has provided entertainment commentary on episodes of TV One’s “Unsung”, been interviewed on various YouTube shows, and made appearances on her family’s reality show, “Flex and Shanice” which aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network for several seasons. In 2016 Penni and her sister made their theatrical directorial debut as co-producers and co-directors of the award-winning play, Magic 8 Ball; My Life with Asperger’s, written and performed by George Steeves, which has been honored with 3 Hollywood Fringe Awards, one North Hollywood Fringe Award and was selected “Pick of the Fringe” in Edinburg, Scotland. The play is the inspiration for the documentary "My Life with Asperger’s," which they executive produced.

David Zimmerman

Executive Producer

David is an Executive Producer, Producer, Acting Coach and Casting Director on Kryptonite. David has been coaching actors and putting together workshops for over a decade. He is the Creator and Producer of the "Meet The Biz" workshops, which looks to make diversity a common place and bridges the gap between ability and disability. As an acting coach, he has worked on Ryan Murphy's ground breaking series “Nip/Tuck” as well as Michael Patrick King's, "Love You More." As a Casting Director his credits include the Showtime pilots and Star Price Productions "Project X" and "Shadow Point", as well as the popular series "Penn & Teller’s Bullshit." He has also cast feature films including "Fighting Words" and "Carol of the Bells", produced by Joey Travolta and Inclusion Films Starring RJ Mitte, Lee Purcell, Donna Mills, Andrea Friedman, Donna Pescow and Jeri Jewell. In 2007, David was honored at the 25th Annual Media Access Awards at Universal Studios Globe Theatre with the Media Access Award of Merit along with Norman Lear, Stevie Wonder, and others. In 2013, his "Meet The Biz" program was incredibly honored to receive a grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation through the Actors For Autism and a grant from the Friends of Californians with Disabilities, Inc. for the "40 Series". For his consistent work in bringing people together, David was honored with the prestigious 2022 SAG AFTRA Disability Awareness Award by the SAG AFTRA National People with Disabilities (PWD) Committee at the 2022 Media Access Awards. He produced “Hunny Bunny” for the Easterseals Disabilty Film Challenge which has gone on to win awards at many festivals.

Matt Allan Smith


Matt Allan Smith is a cinematographer hailing from small town Maryland and based in Los Angeles. He has shot a variety of short films and commercial & branded content for Nike, Indeed, Tinder, BuzzFeed, Netflix and others. A natural tinkerer, Matt’s passion as cinematographer stems from an equilibrium between technician and artist, with a keen interest in creating images that strengthen the emotions of the stories they support. He enjoys storytelling that encourages audiences to build empathy through imagination, diversity - and preferably - some weirdness. He’s earned an MFA in Cinematography at the American Film Institute.

Brian M. Cole

Director of American Sign Language

Brian M. Cole graduated with a B. A. in Film & Media Arts from Temple University in 2005. He has worked on several films and web-series as an actor, producer, AD, DP and in pretty much every crew position. Brian has performed at Deaf West Theatre in "Children of Lesser God." "Aesop Who?", "Casa 101" in (Tamales de Puerco), and "The Road Theatre" in (Melissa Arctic). In addition to acting, his main focus is on writing and producing for TV and film. Brian is producing the upcoming Summer Playwrights Festival at The Road Theatre Company. He is also writing and directing an upcoming independent film.

Crystal Wilson


Story consultant and co-producer of “Kryptonite”, Crystal started her entertainment career, singing at a very early age in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA with her sister and now business partner, Penni. Throughout her career, she has performed or recorded with the likes of Diana Ross and the late greats, Rick James, Curtis Mayfield, and Della Reese among many others. Crystal can be heard singing backgrounds in many songs on Barry White’s double platinum Icon LP, most notably, “Practice what You Preach.” She also had the honor of working with the late great, Maurice White of “Earth Wind and Fire” in collaboration with the Grammy Award winning group, “The Emotions”, of which she is now a member. Her entertainment travels have spanned the globe. Not only did she coach her daughter Shanice as a young singer, and co-manage her early career, since relocating to California, she has also worked as a vocal performing coach for celebrity children, such as the daughters of Niecy Nash and LL Cool J. Crystal starred in the reality series “Flex and Shanice” with her daughter and family. In 2016 Crystal and her sister Penni made their theatrical directorial debut as co-producers and co-directors of the award-winning play, “Magic 8 Ball; My Life with Aspergers,” written and performed by George Steeves, which has been honored with 3 Hollywood Fringe Awards, one North Hollywood Fringe Award and “Pick of the Fringe” in Edinburg, Scotland. The play is the inspiration for the documentary "My Life with Asperger’s," which they executive produced. In addition to now performing with "The legendary Emotions", she continues to record and perform with her sister, in their group, “Crystal Penny”, whose latest single, “Standards” debuted in the United Kingdom during the production of Kryptonite.

Jo-Ann Dean


Jo-Ann is a 2023 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Challenge America Award recipient with Deaf Austin Theatre’s The Laramie Project. Serving as a Grant-writer and Producer to stage, film and livestream the production in American Sign Language (ASL) with a Deaf and Hearing Cast. Fiscal sponsorship and donors included The Matthew Shepard Foundation and Greater Austin Foundation for the Deaf. Dean’s company SIGNmation promotes accessible, culturally inclusive film, theater and live events led by Deaf Artists with American Sign Language (ASL) center stage in productions. She is a Creative Producer for fiscal sponsorship, grant writing, panels and marketing for productions. Creating Deaf led platforms in performing arts to provide cultural visibility of ASL in media and the entertainment industry. Post Production contracts include piloting the 2023 ASL accessibility feature release with Grupo Steno (MAV) on Marvel’s Ant Man (2015) now streaming on Disney Plus. Dean hired Deaf Artist JAC Cook, Director of Artistic Sign Language and ASL Interpreter, also working on the project as ASL Script Supervisor to create the first livestream ASL option on a major streaming platform. Feature film Producer credit’s include Linda Palmer’s “Turnover” and Director Judy Lieff’s doc “Deaf Jam” screening nationally on PBS and internationally. SIGNmation produced panels at New York Film Festival (Wonderstruck, Blind Bots of Alabama), ReelAbilities Film Festival, Women in Film (CAA Russell Boast), Women in Film International Deaf Film Festival (Curated 12 films) and with New York Women In Film & Television Loren Arbus Grant Winner (Don’t Shoot the Messenger). Dean champions diversity, equity and inclusion as a DEIA advocate with Harriet Tubman Effect as a community member. Grants and Awards include two National Endowment for the Arts Awards(2023 & 2015), Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Awards Caption This!, Media Access Awards Nominee Caption This! Music to My Eyes. Federal Grants ASL Media Project & Digital Studio Marlton School Los Angeles. Hollywood Broadcasting Award: Deaf Jam. Dean continually creates inclusive, diverse and equitable productions across platforms within the entertainment industry. She is also a Commercial Producer Off Broadway and Producer of Broadway SIGNs! (NYC) and ASL Cabaret (LA). Proud Producer on Imani Short Film Productions of "Kryptonite" directed by Cameron S. Mitchell.

Joshua Friedman


Born with Cerebral Palsy, Joshua is a graduate from Cal State LA with a Bachelor's in Film, Television, and Media Studies, and aspires to be a sitcom writer. He appeared as an extra on an episode of “How I Met Your Mother.” His goal is to work in all aspects of television to help create authentic representations of the world on screen and off.