Meet Lil' Filmmakers Leadership here.
JANINE SPRUILL / Founder & Executive Director
Janine’s love for movies began at 10 years old. Programs that taught young people about filmmaking did not exist during her childhood. She found herself at the library reading books about how movies are made and spent a lot of time watching movies with her family. Her love and passion for filmmaking led her to receive a degree in Film and Media Arts from Temple University in 1999. Due to her drive and ambition, while in her senior year, Janine led a grassroots initiative to bring digital, media & film education to young people living in disenfranchised communities across Philadelphia. Through her natural entrepreneurial spirit and her ability to build relationships with communities, businesses, educational institutions, youth agencies and media companies throughout the city, Janine elevated her ambitious enterprise into a thriving non-profit media company that has served thousands of young people across the Greater Philadelphia region.
Janine is the recipient of the Entrepreneur Works Hall of Fame for her achievements in business. She is also the recipient of the Joan Shepp’s Women of Substance and Style Award for her impact in Philadelphia communities. Janine serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Independent Public Media Foundation.
ANISSA S. COOPER / Managing Director
Anissa Cooper is a Temple University graduate with a BA in Media Studies and Production. She has been writing and directing films since she was 13 with Lil Filmmakers. Her PSA about young women and positive body image, I Love Being Me was an official Black Star Film Festival selection in 2013. As a Nate Parker Summer Film Institute resident, she co-wrote the 2018 Pan African Film Festival selected drama short, Baggage. Anissa continues her fierce ambition for complex, meaningful stories about Black Americans on screen in Philadelphia.
BRUCE WANG / Director of Education
Bruce has graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a master’s degree in Learning Sciences and Technologies. As an education entrepreneur, he has a simple idea: innovation occurs whenever a group of passionate people interact with each other freely. Therefore, he is dedicated to empowering creative students to understand their emotions, to find their passions, and to collaborate with various types of people. To achieve this goal, Bruce works closely with outstanding educators and talented professional filmmakers to design innovative storytelling programs from the social emotional learning (SEL) perspective. As for his artistic passions, Bruce is also a guitarist, singer, songwriter, filmmaker, and photographer. His artistic experience makes him believe that digital storytelling has a unique power to help people be aware of their own voice and make their voice heard.
ALEX YU / Program Director
Alex graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a master’s degree in Learning Sciences and Technologies. With the knowledge foundation in education theories and her understanding of human cognition and behaviors, she is doing the user/learning experience design at Lil’ Filmmakers, helping to improve the learning experience for various programs through quantitative and qualitative research. She has a strong passion for filmmaking and art, and she is particularly interested in international art-house cinema. She also has been writing poetries, scripts, and short stories since she was an undergraduate student. Now Alex continues her exploration in filmmaking with Lil’ Filmmakers while helping the youth of color to make films.