Past Recipients Student Testimonials  

Writer/Director/Producer Diane Lisa Johnson discovered her passion for filmmaking when she took a summer off from working in Silicon Valley to study film production at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Inspired by the experience, Diane returned to NYU the following summer and while still working full time took classes at Stanford University in screenwriting, photography, acting and creativity. Diane said goodbye to Silicon Valley for good in 2002 when she entered the University of Southern California's Graduate program where she is currently earning her Master of Fine Arts degree in Cinema-Television Production.

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Diane received a Bachelor of Science from Carnegie-Mellon University's Tepper School of Business in Industrial Management. She went on to become a Senior Financial Analyst in Silicon Valley where she held back-to-back overseas assignments in Japan and the Netherlands installing financial systems for Applied Materials--the world's leading supplier of semiconductor manufacturing equipment. As an expert in Hyperion Pillar database software, Diane had the opportunity to travel to Taiwan, Singapore, Europe, and various parts of the United States installing finance systems and training system users. As a Staff Analyst, she developed corporate budgets in excess of $50 Million dollars annually.

In 2004 Diane interned for Mel Gibson's Icon Productions in their feature film development department. During the same year she worked as a segment director on a documentary-style television pilot for the Noggin Network--a division of Nickelodeon--which was produced by Christopher Coppola’s PlasterCity Productions. In addition to completing her thesis film, Swimming, Diane is currently writing and developing several feature length screenplays and has recently accepted an internship with DreamWorks for the spring 2005 semester.

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