Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Laura Cahill wrote the play Hysterical Blindness and adapted it into the film of the same name (HBO), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and for which she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay, a Writers Guild Award, and a Primetime Emmy in Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries/Movie/Dramatic Special. She wrote the pilot and six episodes of the TV series Pornopolis for IFC, and has written pilots for HBO, Touchstone, Paramount, and WB. She adapted the screenplays for What Matters Most, The Down Low, and B Mother (all for Lifetime), and wrote the original screenplays Witness Protection (CBS) and Boston Strangler (USA). Her plays include Sondra (Apothecary Theater Company), Mercy (Vineyard Theatre), Jersey Girls Go to the Park (Urban Empire), and The Way and Stalker (both Naked Angels).

Miriam Datskovsky was a writer for the series Speechless (ABC Television) and a writers' assistant for The Carrie Diaries (The CW). She developed the original pilot Hacked for Bluegrass FanFare at ABC Studios, and worked as a development associate for Silver and Gold Productions. Her pilot Missed Connections made Amazon's Consider List, and other original pilots have been finalists for the Creative World Awards and the Screencraft Pilot Launch awards. Her journalism and essays have appeared in Los Angeles magazine, New York magazine, Condé Nast Portfolio, Brides, and Ravishly. She has taught at the Posse Foundation and volunteered with WriteGirl. She holds a BA from Columbia University. 

Pamela Harris created Married by the Hour, a half-hour comedy (Howard Stern Productions) and served as a staff writer for Life on the Line, a one-hour drama (Oxygen Network). She wrote the feature screenplay Joyville, which was selected for the Writers Lab, a program sponsored by Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey. She has also written and optioned feature screenplays. She co-wrote and directed the short film “En Route,” a selection of the New York Short Film Festival, the Big Apple Film Festival, and the Blackbird Film Festival. She is an award-winning visual artist whose work can be viewed in private, corporate, and embassy collections across the world. She holds a BFA from the Hartford Art School.

Jim Mendrinos wrote, directed, and starred in the web series Living in Exile (New Media Comedy), which airs on Amazon Video on Demand. He is the chief creative director for New Media Comedy Worldwide, a full-service television/film production company and studio. His network writing credits include Amazon, NBC, USA, FOX, HBO, and the WB. He wrote and directed the short film "Gail's New Boyfriend," which debuted at the Hoboken Film Festival, and his comedy special Not Dead Yet premiered on Amazon Prime. He is also the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Comedy Writing (Alpha). He holds a BA from Baruch College.

Lisa Namdar Kaufman wrote the animated feature film Baldy Heights (Bleiberg Entertainment/Pitchipoy Productions), and the TV drama In the Prime of Her Life, which aired on Israel’s public broadcasting station. She has written short films that have been shown at festivals around the world, from the Cannes International Film Festival to the Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival. She has served as story editor on the documentary film 8000 Paper Clips and TV shows in development with Sony, ABC, and Happy Madison. She has taught at Columbia University and the New York Independent Film Workshop. She holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA in Film from Columbia University.