Film Faculty

Full-Time Faculty

Richard Gershman (2013) Chair and Associate Professor BS, University of Pennsylvania MFA, New York University Tisch School of the Arts MFA, the American Film Institute IMDB Page

Richard Gershman recently arrived from Los Angeles to assume the position of Chair of the Film School at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. Mr. Gershman has a long list of credits that include theatre, television and film. Selected projects include: directing episodes of Chicago Hope and Judging Amy, working as an assistant director on Lost, Ugly Betty and Gossip Girl, serving as production manager on Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, and working in several production capacities on feature films such as The Hunt for Red October and Queen’s Logic. Extensive theatrical experience includes directing at Seattle Rep and the Mark Taper Forum (Los Angeles) and assisting on the Broadway and/or London productions of Children of a Lesser God and Neil Simon’s Fools. Mr. Gershman holds advanced degrees from NYU and AFI, has won awards and grants including one from the NEA, and is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Television Arts &nSciences.

Steven Womack (1995) Professor BA English Honors, Tulane University MFA English and Writing, Long Island University Website

Co-wrote the television films Volcano: Fire on the Mountain and Proudheart, which was nominated for the CableAce Award. He is a member of the Writers Guild of America and an award-winning author of ten novels including Dirty Money. His novel Dead Folks’ Blues was honored with the Edgar Allan Poe Award by the Mystery Writers of America. He also co-edited and wrote the introduction for The True Crime Files of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Berkley Books). His latest novel is By Blood Written.

Valorie Stover Quarles (1995) Professor BA English Education, University of Central Florida MFA Motion Picture, Television, and Recording Arts, Florida State University IMDB Page

Founding Chair of the Film School and more than 20 years as a filmmaker and educator. For her creative work she has received numerous festival awards as well as several production and cultural arts grants for projects and programs from the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs and the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences.  Quarles has served as the President of the Nashville Film Festival (, and as a member of the Nashville Screenwriting Conference Advisory Board and the Film Nashville Board.

Robert Gordon (2009) Associate Professor BA Film, UCLA IMDB Page

Editor of more than 30 Hollywood films (Toy Story, Return of the Living Dead, The Blue Lagoon) and many documentaries (World War II), as well as director of Revenge of the Red Baron, starring Tobey Maguire and Mickey Rooney.  Virtual inventor of the process by which today’s CG Animated Features are edited.

Adjunct Faculty

Amy Bertram PhD Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Tennessee-Knoxville MA French, University of Tennessee-Knoxville BA French, Davidson College 

A film critic and teacher, Amy Bertram currently teaches special topics courses in French film and Elements of Film Art. A member of the Modern Language Association and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, she earned a PhD in French, Cinema Studies, Women’s Studies and Spanish, writing her dissertation on contemporary French filmmakers Claire Denis and François Ozon. In 2004, she received an MA in French from UT with concentrations in French Film and Theater.  She has taught beginning to intermediate French at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, beginning Spanish at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, and French and Spanish at the Cedar Springs Waldorf School in Placerville, CA, prior to starting graduate studies.


Dolly Gordon (2010) MA Cinema, University of Southern California AB English (cum laude), Harvard College

Dolly Gordon works as a script consultant/script editor with A-list and Academy-Award-winning and nominated screenwriters as well as emerging talent.  She has served as associate producer, director’s assistant and assistant editor on various Hollywood productions, including The Stuntman, The Blue LagoonThief of Hearts, and Listen to Me. A member of the Writers Guild West, she also consults with film producers and studios and writes articles on film for the Writers Guild Journal and the Los Angeles Times.

Nancy McGuire Roche PhD in English: Concentrations in Film Studies and American Literature, Middle Tennessee State University MFA in Creative Writing, Brown University.

Dr. Roche specializes in American Independent Film, Adaptations, Women and Film, and Cinemas of the 1960s with an emphasis on culture studies, narrative, and gender and identity performance.  She was the recipient of various academic awards including the Harris Award and the Feldman Prize in Fiction while at Brown University and a Provost Writing Fellowship at MTSU.  She is currently a Senior Adjunct Instructor in the Film School at Watkins and a Lecturer in English and Women’s Studies at Vanderbilt University.  Publications include contributions to Jacket Magazine, The LGBTQ America Today Encyclopedia, Greenwood Press, The Essential Sopranos Reader, University Press of Kentucky, and most recently, Modern American Drama on Screen, Cambridge University Press. Academic affiliations include the Modern Language Association, the Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association, and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

George Yanok IMDB Page

George Yanok teaches screenwriting and a variety of special topics classes on the history of television.  He began his career as a comic in campus coffee houses in the San Francisco Bay area and has worked as an actor, stand-up comedian, jazz musician, and radio-TV announcer.  He eventually settled into television writing and producing with CBS’s Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, in company of such fellow writer/performers as Steve Martin, Lorenzo Music and Jack Burns. One of the originators of Hee Haw, he was a staff writer on the first hundred episodes of the long-running series. Nominated for numerous awards for writing, he has won two EMMY Awards (for Lily Tomlin specials) and a Writer’s Guild of America Award (The Burns & Schreiber Special). His TV writing and producing credits include Bob NewhartSanford & SonWelcome Back, Kotter and The Ted Knight Show. He has produced series for Lynn Redgrave and Stockard Channing, and has several movies for television to his credit, among them Time To Triumph starring Patty Duke, and Go West, Young Girl.

Scott Hallgren BA Music, University of Miami Certificate, Pacific Northwest Film Scoring IMDB Page

Scott Hallgren is a composer and audio producer with almost 2 decades spent creating award-winning sound tracks for movies, TV, video games, commercials, and the internet, for clients as diverse as: Exxon/Mobil, Enzyte, IcyHot, Scholastic, The History Channel, Reynolds American, NBC, and Ridiculous Software. Of note, “Sith’D”, a short Star Wars spoof, won Best Comedy at Comic-Con (2006); “Gracie: diary of a coma patient” (2007) won a Silver Medal for Music Excellence at the Park City Film Music Festival; and the mid-South Emmy-nominated “We Shall Not Be Moved: the Nashville Sit-Ins” (2011), which also won both a Silver Telly & a Golden CINE Award. Scott’s music has also been featured on the movie soundtracks of Smart People and London Tango. Scott’s previous life includes live performances, world tours and/or studio recordings with: Donna Summer, Sir Elton John, Aaron Neville, Gloria Estefan, Ricky Skaggs, Eddy Arnold, Andrae Crouch, David Foster, Larry Gatlin, Margaret Becker, The Wilkinsons, Steve Wariner, and Fernando Ortega.