Esther Pearl is the founder and Executive Director of Reel Stories. She received her Bachelor’s in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego and her M.B.A. in Sustainable Management from The Presidio Graduate School. She spent 15 years working in Production Management in the entertainment industry. The majority of Esther’s film career was spent at Pixar Animation Studios where her feature film credits include Academy Award winning films The Incredibles, Wall-e, and Monsters, Inc. Her other credits include Titanic, Starship Troopers, Armageddon, and What Dreams May Come. Esther has been honored for her contributions to Bay Area Women in Film, Television, and Media by the San Francisco Women’s Film Institute. She was a semi-finalist for the Echoing Green Fellowship awarded to a social entrepreneur addressing urgent issues in society today. In 2018, she received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Advanced Imaging Society.
Esther believes in the power of great storytelling to create social change.
Vera Tykulsker is an arts administrator originally from Brooklyn, New York. She is an avid reader, hiker, and movie-lover. In addition to working with Reel Stories, Vera currently works with KPFA Community Radio. In the past she has worked with Bay Area media organizations including Making Contact and The Freedom Archives. She is passionate about supporting artists and organizers create and challenge the world around them
Grace Patterson is an Art and Technology major at Mills College with dreams of making movies that will change the world. She has been a part of Reel Stories since 2014, and is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. The film she is most proud of creating at Reel Stories is “After The Storm”, which had its audio mixed at Dolby Laboratories in San Francisco. Some of her favorite TV shows with strong female characters are Crazy Ex Girlfriend, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Glow.
Andrea is a senior at Silver Oak High School in Hayward with hopes of pursuing film at San Francisco State University. With a passion for editing, Andrea spends her free time editing videos and perfecting her adobe suite skills. One of her favorite shows is Vampire Diaries and she loves spending time with her mom, who's also her favorite female role model!
Reel Stories – Los Angeles
Dunya Merell Djordjevic
Dunya Merell Djordjevic is a 20+ year veteran of film and theatre. Her work spans both the stage and film as an actor/director/producer.
Dunya attended the American International Schools in her hometown Belgrade, Serbia and then in Vienna, Austria before immigrating to California with her parents when she was 12. She studied Film/Theatre Arts at UCSC and at the American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) in San Francisco.
She has been a contributing artist for 2 school districts for the past three years for Art At Your Fingertips (AAYF) in Rancho Palos Verdes and Young At Art (YAA) in Manhattan Beach, CA.
She lives with her family in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.