Our Team

Liz MacNeill
Interim Executive Director
A former student of film and a member of a family of veterans extending back to the revolutionary war, for the past ten years, Liz has been advising nonprofits in strategic planning, general development planning, capital campaigns, and serving in nonprofit interim roles. The first decade of her career was spent in leadership roles in Development at not for profit organizations and Universities. Liz is a Graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences at New York University, with a BA in fine arts.


Kyle Kelley
Kyle is a cinematographer & colorist with extensive experience in both documentary and fiction production. He shoots regularly for Axios on HBO and has shot multiple fiction and documentary features, including Good Ol Girl (official selection, SXSW); While I Breathe, I Hope (Southeast Emmy winner, New Orleans Film Festival, Hot Springs, DocNYC, ); Maggie Black; Uncle Peckerhead; American Experience: Sealab; and forthcoming films It Cuts Deep and Train Keeps A Rolling. https://www.kylekelley.nyc/work

Benjamin Patton
Ben founded Patton Veterans Project: I WAS THERE Films in 2011 after discovering the impact of the film workshop model on teenagers.  He went on to oversee hundreds of workshops over the past eight years.  Ben also spearheaded a groundbreaking, three-year study to demonstrate the efficacy of the workshop on veterans with post traumatic stress.In 2020, Ben shifted from executive director to Vice Chairman of PVP and recently co-founded Cannonball, Inc., a canna-friendly entertainment media startup. The youngest grandson of WWII’s General George S. Patton Jr., Ben is also co-author of Growing Up Patton: Reflections on Heroes, History and Family Wisdom (Berkley-Caliber, 2012). Ben has a MA in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University-Teachers College and a BA from Georgetown University.

Chris Ungco
Chris Ungco is an IATSE Union Cinematographer and Producer. After getting his Master’s in Directing at the School of Visual Arts, Chris spent most of his early career filming progressive documentaries for Google and the BBC around the world. His diverse work also includes narrative series for Comedy Central, HBO, and Sesame Street, as well Music Videos and Interviews for Billboard Magazine, MTV, and Spotify. Chris began working with PVP in 2014 and was hooked immediately, having had a colorful time creating a film where 2 soldiers made their film building a set and using their kid’s dolls to perform. He has felt very grateful to participate in the development of PVP over the years, and is still awed by the sense of community, empowerment, and resolve that each workshop brings. Each workshop is a fresh start for each participant and even for the instructors. He values patience, persistence, and the pursuit of excellence, but is known for his amiable demeanor and collaborative approach to sensitive work.


Patrick Downey
Patrick Downey is a freelance film director, producer and editor with an affinity for storytelling. Developed through the BFA film program of Regis University, his award winning short films have been featured across the state of Colorado. Over the past year he’s worked on both amateur and professional film sets working with the likes of Von Miller of the Denver Broncos and the band Train. His skills include proficiency in Final Cut Pro, Photoshop and a working knowledge of After Effects and Soundtrack. When Patrick isn’t freelancing as a filmmaker he passes his time working at REI in Denver. There he works with their Outreach program to get kids and adults outside to explore new activities and inspire a love for the outdoors he has long since enjoyed. He’s also pursuing his Colorado teacher’s license in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a high school creative arts teacher with an emphasis in film studies, photography and ceramics.

Thom Hunt
Thom is a Producer & Writer based in Brooklyn, NY. He has created work for Adult Swim, Comedy Central, IFC, among others. Most of his work is focused on Comedy and Animation Production. He is currently producing a few animated projects plus a series of his own.

Jon Olson
Jon Olson is a versatile filmmaker who has been in the field since 2009. In 2015 he co-founded a production company that has primarily made videos for non-profit companies like Kids Against Cancer and the Actuary of New York. He began a second career as a film educator in 2016 when he began teaching for the New York Film Academy. Later that same year he began instructing for the Patton Veterans Project. Hailing from a military family, Jon is sympathetic to veteran issues, and has been continually awed by the cathartic power of filmmaking when expressing traumas of all varieties. Jon can also currently be found discussing his favorite topic, film, on his weekly podcast Views in Paradox.

Andi Obarski
Andi Obarski is a New York based cinematographer whose work includes short and long form narrative fiction, music videos, web series and commercials. She has shot in South Korea, France, Canada and and is a member of IATSE Local 600, ICFC, Film Powered and CXX Nuwave. I would also probably say that my favorite IWT project was my first one (I forget the title of it but it was my first instructor session in Bedford). Reel: https://vimeo.com/306592391

Minos Papas
Minos Papas is a British born Greek Cypriot filmmaker. He is the son of internationally acclaimed film director Michael Papas. Minos has been working professionally in New York’s independent film industry for the past ten years. He earned a BFA in Film at the School of Visual Arts and was awarded the school’s top award for Cinematography. Minos’ first independent feature film, Shutterbug (2009), was released theatrically in 2010 in New York and L.A. Minos made A Short Film About Guns (2102) to spread awareness on the illegal arms trade. The film won BEST ONLINE SHORT at the Tribeca Film Festival, 2013. He is currently in post-production on his second feature film, Behind The Mirror.

Jason de Parrie-Turner
Jason has been making films & art most of his life. Before opening a boutique video production company Heliorana Filmworks, with his wife Jeanne, he worked in television doing a variety of Telly Award winning outdoor adventure, reality & documentary shows for The Outdoor Channel, FOX Sports, The Speed Channel & the Smithsonian Channel. He holds degrees in Art & Psychology with post graduate work in Media Studies. He is currently at work on his 3rd feature documentary. His previous documentaries have played around the world including the Lincoln Center & won awards at festivals in the US & Canada as well as being featured on CNN. “Connecting with people through art & film & sharing my love of the craft is what brought me to I Was There Films.”More info at helioranafilm.com

Chelsey Rogers
Chelsey is a commercial freelance video editor based out of the Carolinas. An Army Brat, she grew up moving around different bases in the south and overseas, but considers Ft. Bragg, NC home. She graduated with a double degree in Photography and Digital Media Arts – Cinema from John Brown University, and enjoys shooting documentary style short films. Editing is one of her true passions, using Adobe Premiere and Final Cut.

Traven Rice
Traven (www.travenrice.com) is a New York City-based filmmaker devoted to telling stories about the magical moments in our everyday lives. She recently completed the pilot for DIVISION STREET, a digital series focused on a shy, mixed-race young girl who is sent to live with her cranky grandmother in a magical neighborhood in NYC. The pilot has screened in festivals around the world. Rice was nominated for Best Director at Stareable Fest in New York City and Division Street was nominated for best pilot at NY WebFest. She studied at the FAMU Film Institute in Prague, Czech Republic, and at the Vancouver Film School. Her first short film, THE NIGHT TRAM, was nominated for a Student Academy Award. Rice has a foundation in theater, having directed many live productions, including a recent production of Paula Vogel’s INDECENT at Alley Repertory Theater in Boise, Idaho. She is a longtime practitioner of meditation in the Soto Zen tradition.

Dani Tenenbaum
Dani began making movies in Israel and refined his craft at Minshar film school. His short film “Guides” was accepted into a variety of international film festivals including the Jerusalem Film Festival and the San Francisco shorts festival as well as winning the grand prize at the New York Indie Works short festival. After moving to New York City, Dani continued to make compelling cinema, winning a cinematography award for the short ‘Zoe’ in the 48 Hours International Film Festival. He continues to create a buzz for himself both in New York and Israel.

Zach Timm
Zach is a NYC based filmmaker/digital media creator dedicated to using different mediums for telling stories. As well as doing work for NYPL, SXSW and a number of other companies he is a founding member of the film collective, Filmshop and manages the social media for Patton Veterans Project. https://www.zachtimm.com/

Alyssa Traitz

Yonaton Weinstein