Ann Brinkmann, Executive Director/Founder

Ann Brinkmann is an experienced educator in higher and secondary education, developing and teaching curriculum in Film Studies, Electronic Media, Digital Media, Technical Communications, Digital Literacy, Reading/Study Skills, and Journalism. Ann founded the Golden Lion Awards High School Film Festival in 2007. Today, Ann is the Executive Director of The Underground Academy of Cinematic Arts and is committed to providing educational programming, competition, award recognition, teen experiences, and community for teens in the cinematic arts.

In Ann’s Words

Growing up, I believed that nothing was impossible. Like The Field of Dreams, I believed that if “you built it, they would come.” I have approached each step on my journey as another lesson learned, another obstacle conquered, and another challenge waiting to confront. My students would tell you that I am passionate about the cinematic arts and that I push them to find their stories, develop characters, and produce films that inspire. I would tell you that I am passionate about life—the ups, the downs, the twists, the turns, and the faith that has led me on incredible journeys and taught me the true gift of each individual’s story.

In my early years, I worked in industry and discovered the importance of defining an audience, identifying needs, and creating media that helped clients gain knowledge and achieve goals. After a career change, I discovered a love for teaching. Feeling compelled to make an impact in students’ lives, I found energy and passion in listening to their stories, watching them discover a vision, and helping to guide them through the production process.

As part of the Golden Lion Awards, I have the distinct pleasure of working with students and teachers from throughout the Midwest. As part of this larger film community, I gain inspiration from the frames and compositions that students capture to visually tell their stories. I embrace their visions, celebrate their successes, and believe that their best work is yet to come!