Film Advisory Group

John Jolliffe is an author, philanthropist, psychotherapist, syndicated radio broadcaster, and an international consultant.  He is the Senior Advisor in Global Health and Development to actor Jim Carrey and his Private Philanthropy (  Prior to this, John was for fifteen years a syndicated radio broadcaster for which he received the Angel Award from the Motion Picture Council. A Licensed and Board Certified Marriage and Family Therapist for over three decades, he has authored 70 Educational Titles on Preventative Mental Health and maintains a busy international psychotherapy and consultancy practice. With graduate education in Theology and Psychology, John embodies a refreshing integration of entertainment and education, and has worked on dozens of films over the years—screenplays, casting, etc.

Brice Tebbs has worked in Technology and Entertainment for over 20 years. While working for Cyan Worlds, Inc. (the creators of the Myst and Riven series), he was the producer for the groundbreaking online game Uru: Ages Beyond Myst. A founder in multiple companies, he has worked with many industry leaders to build and enhance tools for content creation and management.  Brice serves as a technical adviser to Nisibis Arts.

Ron Senkowski is President and CEO of Symply Entertainment.  Senkowski is based in Los Angeles, with much time spent in the Middle East and Europe developing and producing film and tv. Most recently he produced Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet with Salma Hayek and Liam Neeson, directed by Roger Allers. He is an active member of the Producers Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America. He has written for Michael Mann, Adam Sandler, Quentin Tarantino and for most of the LA based studios.

Khalid Abdalla is a British-Egyptian actor.  Abdalla came to international prominence after starring in the 2006 Academy Award-nominated and BAFTA–winning United 93 that was written and directed by Paul Greengrass. Born in Glasgow, Scotland of Egyptian heritage, and raised in London, England, he studied at Queen’s College, Cambridge and was later trained at Ecole Philippe Gaulier.  He has starred in numerous films, including playing the lead role of the The Kite Runner directed by Marc Forster and in Green Zone with Matt Damon, with director Paul Greengrass. He also stars in (and is co-producer of) the upcoming independent Arab-led film titled In the Last Days of the City, about the stories of young artists in Cairo, Beirut and Baghdad trying to find their voice under the weight of authoritarian governments and the rise of religious fundamentalism.  Abdalla is on the board of the National Student Drama Festival and has also directed awarding-winning theater productions.

The Honorable James Rawley is an international development professional with over thirty years of experience with the United Nations on four continents in politically complex settings, Mr. Rawley was most recently the UN Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and UN Humanitarian and Development Coordinator for Palestine (Headquartered in Jerusalem).  Prior his current role in Jerusalem James was based in Cairo for six years, he headed up the UN’s work in Egypt, serving as Resident Representative for the UN Development Programme. He also served in a similar capacity in Yemen for close to five years. Other extended assignments with the UN include: Myanmar (Burma); Nicaragua; Honduras; and El Salvador. He also served for shorter periods with UNDP in Geneva and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in New York. A native of New York, James completed his undergraduate studies at SUNY Buffalo and graduate work at Columbia University where he earned degrees in International Affairs and Urban Planning.

Maria Arruda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film from Emerson College and a Master of Science in Education from Long Island University. Since 1998, Maria has worked in casting and production on films such asThe Love Letter (DreamWorks SKG), Me, Myself & Irene, (20th Century Fox), The Perfect Storm (Warner Bros.), 61* (HBO Pictures) and The Perfect Gooseys (Tutoh River Films). With film director Andrew Mudge, Maria produced the short film, The Perfect Gooseys, which was considered for an Academy Award nomination in 2002, and was the recipient of numerous film festival awards. In addition to her production experience, Maria also served as an assistant director at the Academy of Screen Arts, in East Legon, Ghana. She currently lives in Cairo, Egypt and serves as an English Language Fellow at Al-Azhar University.

Galila Nawar is an Egyptian filmmaker and visual artist.  Born into an unorthodox family of filmmakers, she was raised in studios, film labs & editing suites; her world was filled with stories told in images.  She studied psychology, and then worked in film, theater, and advertising before finally establishing her own film production company.  In addition to being influential in Egyptian cinema, she also is a professional artist, having studied drawing at Siginis’ studio & painting in CSM London, focusing on oil, portraiture and figurative work.

Samira Kawas is Vice President of Symply Entertainment, Kawas is based in Beirut and Paris, and has a background in TV and film. She has directed and produced for Al Jazeera, MBC and MTV Lebanon, and was part of the producing team on Stray Bullet (2009). Samira starred in the Digital Emmy Award winning web series Shankaboot (2011). She was the cultural consultant on Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet.

Legal Advisor:   Eric R. Coulson, Esq. is an attorney, writer, and has served with the US military. He earned his law degree from Southern Illinois University School of Law where he graduated cum laude in 2002 and served as an Articles Editor on the Law Review.  While serving in Iraq he published the critically acclaimed “milblog” Badgers Forward (still available at ).  His writing was selected by Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury fame for inclusion in The Sandbox anthology.  He served in military and diplomatic posts for the US Government in the Middle East and is available to consult on creative projects with Middle Eastern, legal, or military themes.  Currently he and his wife divide their time between southern California and Europe.  He can be reached at: