Maya Albanese is a writer, director, and documentary filmmaker known for underdog empowerment storytelling that jumpstarts social dialogue. In 2018, Shoot Magazine gave her the Badge of Honor for Rising Female Filmmaker. Her original screenplays have been semifinalists in Screencraft and Los Angeles Screenplay competitions. In 2018, she was one of five directors selected by the Directors Guild of America for the Commercial Directors Fellowship that supports emerging women directors. Her commercial "History" for Georgia Pacific was named Best New Work of 2018. Her commercial directing work has been featured in Adweek, Adland, Shoot Magazine, The Drum, and Little Black Book. Maya has directed and shot documentaries and commercials on five continents, in Spanish, French, and English. She shot and directed two documentary films, "Cuba's Violin" and "Blind Date," which premiered at DOCNYC and were distributed by five publications across the U.S. and Cuba. Her multimedia stories have been published across NBC News, The Today Show, Food Network, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Miami Herald, VOX, Racked, EATER, Popsugar, Narrative.ly, and more. Maya received a Masters in Documentary Filmmaking from Columbia University in New York in 2015, and B.A.s Summa Cum Laude in International Studies and French from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2007.
Melissa St. Vil is a champion boxer who should be known for her skills in the boxing ring and power as a female athlete role model. But instead the media has focused on her as a victim.
In 2009, she was assaulted and almost killed by her then-trainer, Roger Mayweather. She was rushed to Mountain View Hospital and treated for injuries from strangulation. The legal system debated his case for two years in a very public trial, and he ended up accepting a generous plea deal that didn't include a single hour of jail time.