Michael Modak-Truran, President and CEO
Raised in Mississippi, Michael started filmmaking at a young age. For his first film “The Bird Watcher”, Michael won a nationally-recognized CINE Golden Eagle award for directing. He followed “The Bird Watcher” with “The Haunted Hopson Plantation”, filmed in Clarksdale, MS. Michael’s films have screened at regional festivals in the South, including Crossroads and Memphis Indie. During high school, Michael interned at Mississippi Public Television and worked on the Emmy-nominated children’s show, “Ed Said”. Before attending University of Chicago, Michael attended the Yale School of Drama’s theater program and performed Italian comedy near Milan, Italy.
Michael obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Chicago in 2016, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa his junior year. For his senior thesis, Michael analyzed British documentary film used as propaganda during World War II, looking at how constructions of working-class reality influenced perceptions of the home front during the war. In college, Michael continued to pursue film. He started a film festival for Booth House and co-directed a short documentary on improve comedy. Michael currently works in public consulting in Chicago and sings for the Chicago Chorale, described by the Chicago Classical Review as one of the top ten classical groups in the city.
Michael is honored to tell William Faulkner’s story. "'The Past is Never Dead’ aspires to engage all levels of Faulkner fans and focuses on William Faulkner’s life as a way into his literary works. The Mississippi and Virginia-rooted creative team brings various backgrounds in music, history, narrative film, academic research, and documentary technique to tell Faulkner’s untold story."
Anita modak-Truran, Board chair
Anita is a partner at Butler Snow LLP where she heads the Entertainment and Media Industry Group. Her practice includes business and litigation matters in the entertainment and media industry. Among others, she has represented numerous motion picture and television companies, television stations, newspapers, record labels, publishing companies, music companies and talent. Anita is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and she has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Entertainment and Media. She has also been recognized as one the top 50 female lawyers in the Mid-South. She serves as an adjunct law professor at Ole Miss Law School, where she teaches Deal-Making Fundamentals in the Entertainment Industry.
Anita is president of Questidore Entertainment, LLC, and managing member of Yoknapatawpha Productions, LLC, which is producing the first official documentary on William Faulkner. She has received grants, including the Mississippi Arts Commission Artist Fellowship Grant for film and media, as well as awards for her filmmaking. Anita has been invited and participated multiple times in the Sundance Film Institute’s Producer Conference. She has been published more than 400 times and was the entertainment correspondent for WAPT-Channel 16 (Jackson’s ABC-affiliate), as well movie reviewer for Mississippi Public Broadcast, The Clarion-Ledger and The Jackson Free Press.
Anita obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College and her Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law. She also attended Columbia College’s film program in Chicago.
Mark Modak-Truran, board member
Dr. Mark C. Modak-Truran is the J. Will Young Professor of Law at Mississippi College School of Law and was a recent Research Fellow (2014-2015) at the Center of Theological Inquiry (Princeton, NJ) for their Inquiry on Law and Religious Freedom. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. (Religious Ethics) from The University of Chicago and his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business. He has twice served as the Co-Chair of the Association of American Law School’s Section on Law and Religion (2009, 2002), and his research and writing focus on law and religion and the philosophy of law. Dr. Modak-Truran teaches courses and seminars in Constitutional Law, First Amendment, Law and Religion, Legal Theory, Religious Freedom, and Torts I & II. He was selected as the Mississippi College Faculty Distinguished Professor of the Year in 2008 and as the Mississippi College School of Law Outstanding Law Professor of the Year for 2003-2004.
Avery laflamme, creative consultant
HOLD for bio/ agreement