At the Nashville Film Institute, we are surrounded by wonderful, supportive team of faculty and staff. Together, we seek to fulfill our mission: “To train students for careers in the film industry.”


Micha Ellars

Micah Ellars, Lead Instructor

Micah Ellars has many years of experience in nearly every department and position there is in the film and commercial industry. He has produced commercials and corporate documentaries as well as the occasional music video. He also serves as an acting coach and has clients starring in Hollywood features. He is in pre-production on various feature projects.

In the classroom he has a unique approach. While Micah believes that a practical, hands-on education is the best way to pursue the technical skills of filmmaking, he thinks personal development is the most important ingredient for a successful life. He challenges the students to articulate their goals in writing and this approach has helped to launch several careers, even before some students have graduated.

Micah Ellars is a graduate of West Virginia State University with a degree in mass communications with an emphasis on film.

Matthew Perkins

Matthew Perkins, Program Director

Matthew Perkins (C. Phil) is a film educator, historian, researcher, and scholar. He will obtain his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in Cinema and Media Studies in the spring of 2019, with his dissertation titled The Acquisition and Integration of Sound Labor During the Transition from Silent to Talking Films, 1925-1931. Matthew holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in Communication Arts and French, as well as an M.A. in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. His research on film labor, sound studies, and sports media has been presented at conferences across North America. Matthew has previously served as adjunct professor of Communications at California State University, Dominguez Hills, as well as graduate teaching fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Joey Hinkebein, Program Coordinator / Instructor

Joey is a graduate of Belmont University with a degree in Audio Engineering Technology and a minor degree in Music Business. He has four years of experience teaching audio and an extensive amount of experience working with audio, record labels, publishing companies, and production companies in a professional and commercial setting. Within the past seven years, Joey has worked in a professional setting with names like Ariana Grande, Charles Kelley, Kristen Stewart, Montgomery Gentry, Devin Dawson, Wings of Apollo, Bentley Caldwell, and many other UMG, Warner, Sony, BMI, and ASCAP artists.

Chris Foley

Chris has been working in video production for two decades. He started in Television News in his hometown of Rochester, New York while earning his Masters in Film/Video. Then, he spent a decade in Los Angeles, first wearing a number of hats on the set, before zeroing-in on editing and screenwriting. After three years as an Editor at Country Music Television, Chris started his own production company, Bolder Pictures, where he continues to produce video content for local and national clients.

Steve Grider

Steve Grider is a location sound mixer based out of Nashville, Tennessee. He has been rolling sound since 1991; his client list includes ABC, BBC, CBS, FOX, HGTV, MTV, NBC, TLC and the NFL. Steve has taught classes on location sound at Vanderbilt University, and his alma mater Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).

He is a graduate of MTSU’s Mass Communications program.

Bobby Rindhage

Bobby Rindhage has worked as a graphic designer, director, and writer. He is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA). Bobby, along with a partner, wrote, directed, edited, and starred in The Guys Comedy webseries; a project based in Chicago featuring students and alumni from the Second City comedy school. Bobby served as the Digital Media Director for Stuker Training and a Graphic Designer and Creative Consultant for Dow Corning.

Bobby holds a Masters Degree in Communication and Digital Media and a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design/Communication, both from Saginaw Valley State University

Andrew Rozario

Since borrowing his grandmother’s video camera when he was ten, Andrew Rozario has been making films to entertain audiences. The summer after graduating from high school he worked on his first feature film, O Brother, Where Are Thou? In 2010 he was Gwyneth Paltrow’s cast assistant on Country Strong, and in 2012 he was Ashley Judd’s cast assistant on The Identical. He has worked on music videos, commercials, documentaries, short films and feature films. Creating magic and wonder is his sole focus in practicing the craft of filmmaking.


Kelley Baker

Kelley Baker has extensive experience in the film industry, having credits on films such as Finding Forrester, Good Will Hunting, Psycho, and Far From Heaven. At NFI, Kelley teaches all about submitting films to film festivals and selling and distributing independent films. His books include The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide Part 1 and Part 2.

Kelley attended the University of Southern California. He received a B.A. and an M.F.A. in Film Production, and did post graduate work at the American Film Institute.

Matt Coale

Matt Coale is an Emmy Award winning director of photography based out of Nashville, Tennessee. Having been shooting films since he was twelve, Matt has over 1,400 commercials, 650 corporate films, 750 television projects, and 160 music videos to his credit. He has international experience in 35mm, 16mm, and HD production.

Raul Torres, guest instructor at Nashville Film Institute

Raul Torres

Raul Torres is a guest instructor for NFI’s Acting For The Camera program. Raul is a Mexican-American actor/producer, know for “Wonderstruck” with Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams, directed by Todd Haynes by Amazon pictures, Showtime’s “Billions”, NBC’s “New Amsterdam”,”The Blacklist”,”Gone” and “Blindspot”, Marvel’s “The Punisher”, CBS’ “Madam Secretary” , Starz’ “Power” etc. His uncanny ability to perform in English and Spanish, has won him and special place among directors and producers looking to use diverse talent.