Read more about our panelists for our February 2023 Business Series event
Film, TV and Business
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
- Esther D. Kustanowitz, TV Columnist, J (Moderator)
- David Light, Co-Creator, Writer, Producer, ZOMBIES
- Dara Resnik, Screenwriter - New Panelist!
- Marnina Schon, Actor
Esther D. Kustanowitz is an award-winning writer and podcast host, and consultant. She is a TV columnist at J.: The Jewish Weekly of Northern California and co-hosts The Bagel Report, a podcast examining the intersection between Jewish life and pop culture. Esther was founding editor at GrokNation.com and is a contributing editor for eJewishPhilanthropy. She has written for The Jewish Journal, ModernLoss.com, Haaretz, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, The Jewish Week, The Forward and MyJewishLearning.com among other publications, and has worked with dozens of Jewish organizations. She is working on a book project about life after loss, and tracks #TVGoneJewy, a term she coined to describe the increase of Jewish characters, references and storylines on TV.
David Light is best known for his Disney franchise ZOMBIES (which he co-created, executive produced, and co-wrote with his creative partner Joseph Raso). Zombies' message of inclusion and tolerance was recognized as a Humanitas Prize Finalist. And the movie has spawned two additional sequels: ZOMBIES 2 and ZOMBIES 3 which all stream on Disney+.
David Light was born in Philadelphia, PA. He graduated Cheltenham High School and Columbia University. After college, he animated on the feature film Cats Don't Dance, before working at Nickelodeon & MTV Animation as a Development Exec. He earned his MFA from Columbia University's Graduate Film Division. Light worked as a staff writer on the animated series Yu-gi-oh!; created and sold dozens of comedy pilots for NBC, SONY, ABC Family, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and CBC; and sold a story idea to Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Bow Tie episode (Season 5) - about the etiquette of the handicapped stall in public bathrooms.
Light lives in Los Angeles, where he is married to Rabbi Sharon Brous founder of IKAR who was named by Newsweek/Daily Beast as the #1 most influential Rabbi in America. He is represented by A3 Artists Agency.
A native New Yorker, Dara Resnik holds a B.A. in Economics from Tufts University and an M.F.A. in Motion Picture Producing from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts’ Peter Stark Producing Program. After a half-decade in feature writing, Dara dipped her toes into the television world and was instantly submerged. Dara has been writing and producing TV for over a decade now, including stints on Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Pushing Daisies, Mistresses, Castle, Jane the Virgin, Joey Soloway’s I Love Dick, and Marvel’s Daredevil. Dara co-created Home Before Dark for Apple TV+, a drama inspired by real-life 13-year-old crime reporter Hilde Lysiak, and she just completed co-showrunning The Horror of Dolores Roach for Amazon Studios and Blumhouse TV.
Between projects, Dara teaches the next generation of writers including students from the Peter Stark Producing Program and the John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television, both at USC, the Sundance labs, Veterans in Media and Entertainment, and the Middle East Media Initiative. In her spare time, Dara is an active leader in her progressive Jewish community, Ikar, and runs the occasional marathon. Dara finds the motivation to push ever onward from the many young women she mentors, and her very greatest source of inspiration is her daughter, Orly.
Marnina Schon is a Los Angeles-based actor, writer, and musician. Marnina stars in the new hit dramedy Chanshi, an official Sundance Film Festival Selection. Also featuring Henry Winkler and Caroline Aaron, the show was named among TimeOut Israel’s best series of 2022. In Los Angeles, Marnina has performed in the award-winning productions of "Once" at South Coast Repertory, "More Guns!" at Second City, "Anne, A New Play" at the Museum of Tolerance, and in workshops at Center Theatre Group, A Noise Within, and the Geffen Playhouse. Her professional stage debut was in Tony Kushner's "Brundibar" at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2007. You may have also seen her online in Dollface (Hulu) with Kat Dennings, Play It By Ear (Dropout), or her own #NotARabbi videos and Couplet sketches with her partner, Michael O'Konis. The pair are currently developing a musical comedy Torah web series with the Jewish Writers Initiative as fellows in the Digital Storytellers Lab. marninaschon.com.