About Us


We aim to connect students to their voice in both the written and the visual form.  We believe that our voice is our power. We seek to equip students with the skills necessary to speak out about their experiences and to speak into a future they envision.


SUSANNA DESIMONE: Program Director

Susanna DeSimone has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from University of California, Berkeley, and a Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from Loyola Marymount University. She works as a co-executive producer / writer for Tenacity Entertainment and teaches film courses at the university level.  It was while studying in the creative writing program of prestigious author, June Jordan, at Berkeley, that Ms. DeSimone saw how empowering it is for writers to find their voice and express their truth. She utilizes this philosophy in her writing classes for both teens and adults. As the founder of South Bay Film Academy, she believes that connecting students to their voice and their vision through the art of the film, not only fosters their own self-realization, but also equips and empowers them to have a far-reaching impact on the world around them.

CONTACT: Susanna@southbayfilmacademy.com


LLOYD BRYAN ADAMS: Producing Instructor 

As an award winning producer, Lloyd’s films have earned the acclaim of notable film festivals, including The Hollywood Film Festival. Moreover, all of his films have received broad distribution. Lloyd’s documentary films span an array of important storytelling. Some of these films include: Do You Dream in Color, Dearly Departed, Six Degrees of Helter Skelter, Pipe, Semper Cool and The Privileged Few. His feature films also include the award winning drama, The Outside and comedy, Left and Loose in the Lot. Currently, Lloyd has a slate of films in pre-production and development, including 500, a film about the first Indy 500 and its founder, Shape Changers Wife, based on the William L. Crawford award winning book written by Sharron Shinn, The Fall of Eve a script by Susanna DeSimone, and Unleashed are among a few.

Lloyd has over 20 years of experience as a Television Executive, Adventure/ Lifestyle Producer and Head of Business and Legal Affairs. Lloyd has won multiple Telly Awards over his tenure. He is credited as a Co-Founder of the Extreme Sports Channel; the channel is now in over 55 Countries. His efforts also led to the creation of Fox’s Fuel Channel, and, after personally bringing in over 200 hours of programming to the channel, Lloyd was hired as a Sr. Consultant Executive Producer. Lloyd’s Senior Executive Experience also includes leading Outdoor Channel (ticker OUTD) as their Head of Programming and Production and Executive Producer, his efforts lead to a dramatic increase in ratings and quality of the network. In addition, he has produced for ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox Sports, and ESPN, Showtime, Versus (NBC Sports), Discovery Ch., HDTV, Fuse, MTV, Rush, USA Networks and more.

Lloyd is a member of the Producers Guild of America, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the National Academy of Television Arts, and Sciences, and American Film Institute. Lloyd holds a Juris Doctor from University of The Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law and a Master’s Degree in Business Management from National University of San Diego. Lloyd teaches film at the university level.


CONTACT: info@southbayfilmacademy.com 


CRYSTAL ELLIS: Directing Instructor

Crystal Ellis resides in Long Beach, CA and is a mother of two.  She has always wanted to combine her two passions in life — education and entertainment. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an emphasis in Electronic Media Production.  She has more than five years of experience as a Program Manager for a top educational institution where she helped students change their lives and reach new heights. She has worked as a freelance writer/producer for more than eight years; her production credits span documentaries to feature films, including the acclaimed New Image Emergency Shelter documentary. Her motivation for pursuing a career in the entertainment industry was to clear a path for new ideas, new concepts, new vision, and new faces. This led her to co-found South Bay Film Academy as a way for young people to bring dreams to life, a way for visions to flourish, and a way for voices to be heard.

CONTACT: INFO@southbayfilmacademy.com