Leadership Team

The Chicago International Social Change Film Festival is directed with a passion for the creation of an effective change model through indie film. The CISCFF staff believe that the innovative and creative minds of independent filmmakers are exactly what society needs to gain momentum toward change.

Festival Directors



Emile Cambry, Jr., President

Emile Cambry, Jr. received his Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Chicago and his MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Emile is a Professor at North Park University and was recognized as one of the Top 50 Business School Professors. Emile has experience in Investment Banking for J.P. Morgan Chase. His films have been licensed by HBO and Cinemax, as well as Showtime. Emile is a Founding Board Member of the Chicago Comedy Film Festival and the American Chamber Opera Company as well as hosted several radio shows. Emile is the Founder and CEO of social entrepreneurship projects, the 21st Century Youth Project. Emile is an Ideas Award Fellow as well as a Gold Medal Edison Awards winner, recognizing “visionaries” and innovators who seek to “write a new chapter in American innovation history.” The 21st Century Youth Project was recognized as the most innovative educational program in America by the Edison Awards (2012). Emile is also a board member of DePaul University's Social Enterprise Collective. Emile Cambry Jr co-launched the technology and entrepreneurship incubator, Cibola as well as is president of the Chicago International Social Change Film Festival. Emile was recently appointed by City of Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel to Chicago's Technology Diversity Board and is a New Leaders Council fellow.
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Todd Belcore, Vice-President

Todd Belcore is a staff attorney at Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and Equal Justice Works Fellow (also sponsored by Greenberg Traurig) focusing on litigating, organizing, educating, and crafting legislation to ensure that individuals with criminal records are not unjustly denied employment or occupational licenses. Todd is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law, where he served as President of the public service organization (SERV) and, later, as the Student Bar Association (SBA) President. In these roles, he was able to significantly increase the amount of exposure law students had to public interest and public service. In recognition of Todd's commitment to service, he was the chosen recipient of the 2009 PSLawNet Pro Bono Publico Award, which honors one law student nationwide for their pro bono contributions to society. In 2010, Todd was also the chosen recipient of Northwestern University School of Law's Wigmore Key, which is given to the one graduating student who has done the most to preserve the traditions of the law school. Since law school, Todd was chosen to receive the Kimball and Karen Anderson Public Interest Fellowship award which honors one attorney for their commitment to public interest work, academic achievement in law school, and their outstanding character and integrity. He was also recently selected as a White House "Champion of Change", which is an honor awarded to attorneys who dedicate their professional lives to closing the justice gap in America.



Associate Directors


Mahrinah von Schlegel

Mahrinah von Schlegel is an Anthropologist and Sustainable Real Estate Developer with a diverse background in green development and policy, bio-fuels, alternative energies, business development and strategy, music journalism, fine arts dance, and non-profit direction. Born and raised in the South Pacific and Southern California, Mahrinah received her education at the University of Pennsylvania and Wharton School of Business. A Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholar who was named “America’s Promising Youth Leader” by Secretary of State Colin Powell, Mahrinah has had a longstanding commitment toward works with a humanist basis and extensive involvement serving on boards and committees for organizations such as the United States Greenbuild Council, Urban Land Institute, and American Planning Association - Latino. Mahrinah is also Founder and Executive Director of Crime Alert, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting open data and the evolution of public safety.



Dr. Max Balsam Margolis

Dr. Max Balsam Margolis is a professor of mathematics at Truman College in Chicago. He grew up in the Chicago area and went to college at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he received a B.A. in Pure Mathematics. After college Max studied at La Scuola Leonardo Da Vinci in Rome, Italy and interned in the finance office of Barack Obama's U.S. Senate campaign. He then went on to complete a Ph.D. in Theoretical Mathematics at Brandeis University, specializing in metric spaces of non-positive curvature. In addition to teaching, he is co-writing a screenplay and learning how to develop smartphone applications.


Brent Kado

Brent Kado is a Chicago based writer, filmmaker and academic. Kado's website Avant/Chicago (avantchicago.com) has been met with wide spread popularity and was recognized by the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times as one of the city’s top websites. He wrote, directed, and produced the comedy film Off the Cuff. His next movie, Welcome to Gentle Waters was released in April, 2010 and garnered favorable press and following. Kado has directed and produced web series and videos for the band Lotus as well as shot documentaries on North Coast Music Festival and the band Umphreys McGee. Kado is a founding board member and Vice-President of Chicago Comedy Film Festival. He is also currently a Ph.D. candidate in American Cinema and Video Studies.