Julia Butler was born in Moscow. As the daughter of a renowned concert pianist and a university professor, she was raised in a household filled with music and literature. Julia learned English at an early age and attended one of the best schools in Moscow. Her true passion, however, was figure skating. Julia displayed such talent, that she was discovered by Mosfilm Studios and chosen for the lead role of a skater in the feature film Vitka. Her acclaimed performance led to other roles, and she continued skating for years, until completing her Masters degree at the University of Moscow. She followed in her father’s footsteps translating children’s books from Norwegian into Russian, and teaching languages at the Institute for Diplomats (MGIMO).
Upon immigrating to Italy at the age of 22, Julia founded an impresario company, organizing tours of Italian artists to the former Soviet Union. She indulged in her love of music through writing and recording her own songs and soon gained popularity as a singer and songwriter. She traveled to Los Angeles in pursuit of her music career, and was signed by SBK Records (EMI Group). An unexpected merger put Julia’s project on hold, and her dreams were dashed. Never being one to accept defeat, she turned her attention to other endeavors and enjoyed considerable success in the business world, though she always had the soul of an artist who deeply desires to make a difference and to touch the lives of others. Slipaway is her directorial debut.
Daniel Mentz was born and raised in Roedermark, a small town near Frankfurt, Germany. He began dancing Rock 'n Roll competitively when he was six years old, which in turn developed his love for performance and the fine arts. Consequently, he often "borrowed" his mom's mini VHS camera, gathered his friends and directed short films and documentaries. After graduating high school, Daniel went on to college and majored in English, Politics and Economics. He continued to write, direct and star in films throughout his formal education. Following college, he worked for his father's import/export company until Daniel was drafted for Germany's then-mandatory military duty. He opted for the substitute community service closer to home instead, and thus was able to help his struggling mom through the financial crisis of 2008. Daniel moved to Los Angeles in 2009 to study the fine arts. He has continued to expand his craft in acting, directing, writing and public speaking ever since. Slipaway is his directorial debut.
Over the last 20 years, Mr. Mutafyan has carved himself into a promising career characterized by hard work, passion, and honesty. He is a specialist of visual storytelling, which is deeply rooted in him due to his intensive filmmaking training in Stanislavsky's method of narration. He brings a sense of life to his images, which is a skill that is at the pinnacle of craftsmanship. Embracing the core values of creative art form, Mr. Mutafyan consistently incorporates entertainment and enlightenment in all his films.
Originally from Moscow, Yulia moved to the United States to study film producing at UCLA. Since then, Yulia has produced a number of narratives, commercials and music videos for both US and international clients. She is the co-owner and CFO of Glasscore Entertainment where she manages productions for Will.I.Am, Shutterstock, Kawasaki, Shriners Hospital for Children, ESL, and many more. Additionally, Yulia helped structure and execute numerous endorsement deals with Milla Jovovich, Blake Leeper, Natalia Maltseva and others. Her background in journalism and international business provides a great foundation and network for her main passion: making movies.
Director of Photography
Yash Khanna is an award-winning Director of Photography based in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Khanna's narrative work has won awards and received nominations at prestigious film festivals all around the world, including Cannes Film Festival. Mr. Khanna has a highly diverse educational background, which includes studying Cinematography at the University of California and New York Film Academy, as well as Vikshi Institute for Cinematic Techniques in Mumbai, India.
Charlie Sporns is an award-winning writer, director and editor based in Los Angeles, California. Born in Montreal, Canada, Charlie received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in filmmaking in 2014. His short film, Dead Bird Don’t Fly, a moving tale about a Chinese teenager struggling to find her place within American society, has been highly acclaimed by critics and film festivals alike. His next film, Dad’s Letters, which explores the clash between tradition and modernism within Chinese culture, is set for production in China toward the end of 2017.
Tao Liu is a composer for film, TV and video game projects. Originally from China, he's graduated from the Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program at University of Southern California. After an internship at Hans Zimmer's Remote Control Productions, Tao assisted composer Christopher Young scoring Sony Pictures' Deliver Us From Evil produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Scott Derrickson. His score was featured in the 41st Student Academy Awards for the silver-medal-winning animation Higher Sky directed by Teng Cheng.