People of FTP / Our Staff
Father David Guffey, C.S.C. – National Director, Family Theater Productions
Laura Billeci – Pastoral Assistant
Don Burt – Post Production and Multimedia Specialist
Luz Fernandez – Assistant to the Producers
Philip La Salle – Administrator
Amalia Meadows – Production Manager
Anthony “Tony” Sands – Senior Producer
James Zambrana – Editor and Production Assistant
Elena Reyes - IT/Internet/Database Assistant
Sarah Kalb - Office Assistant
Father David Guffey, C.S.C.
Family Theater Productions
Father David Guffey, C.S.C., is the newly appointed national director at Family Theater Productions producing television, film, video and radio content. His credits for award-winning work in television and film include, “Carrying On,” “You Will See,” “Finding Mary,” and “Assumptions” – all with Family Theater Productions. He also wrote and directed a short film, “Last Deal at the Mt. Carroll Gun Club.”
As national director, Father David is responsible for all activities of Family Theater Productions, including both media production activities and spiritual outreach activities. “Hollywood Prays,” the outreach efforts to young Catholics and others in Hollywood includes monthly Prayer and Pasta gatherings, RCIA classes, Going Deeper (a new evangelization initiative), Faith & Film Bible Study, and Theology of the Body workshops as well as daily Rosary and Mass and the weekly Eucharistic Holy Hour.
He is a member of Film Independent, Catholic Academy of Communication Arts Professionals and CIMA (Catholics in Media Associates). He serves on the Board of Directors of Ave Maria Press.
Father David frequently presents lectures and retreats on film and spirituality, including the Garaventa Lecture at the University of Portland and the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. Some of his insights are shared in the Family and Faith Blog of Family Theater Productions.
Father David was ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1991. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with Masters of Divinity and a Bachelors in American Studies. He also received a Masters in Film and Television Production from Loyola Marymount University. As a student, he received the Dean’s Award for Creativity and Service at Loyola Marymount and was nominated and inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, The Jesuit Honor Society.
Father David is the Priest in Residence at St. Monica Catholic Community in Santa Monica, California. In addition he assists with the pastoral outreach to Hollywood by offering spiritual direction, celebrating the sacraments and participating in programs and events.
Before joining Family Theater Productions in 2008, Father David served the Congregation of Holy Cross including Program Director at Moreau Seminary at the University of Notre Dame, and directing Andre House, a soup kitchen in Phoenix, Ariz., which developed into a major center of service to the poor and homeless in the city.
As Pastoral Assistant, Laura works closely with the National Director of Family Theater Productions, and is responsible for organizing, planning and developing events programs for Hollywood Catholics such as Bible Study, Endow, Prayer & Pasta and RCIA programs. She is working to connect young Catholic professionals in the entertainment industry.
Prior to joining Family Theater Productions, Laura attended the University of Notre Dame, where she received her Masters in Divinity. She got her Bachelors from Thomas Aquinas College, a highly rated Catholic school in Santa Paula, Calif.
Laura served as a National Evangelization Team (NET) Missionary in Ireland and has participated in an Endow group for women, a program dedicated to the promotion of a new feminism based on the teachings of Pope John Paul II. She was an Assistant Rector for a residence hall at the University of Notre Dame and Head Prefect at Thomas Aquinas College, as well as a retreat leader and speaker at St. Margaret’s House for Women and Children in Poverty in South Bend, Ind.
Laura was born in Albany, N.Y., and raised in Orange County, Calif. She loves the great outdoors. When not working at Family Theater Productions, you can find her hiking, sailing or paddle boarding in this beautiful world God created.
Post Production and Multimedia Specialist
Don is the Post Production and Multimedia Specialist at Family Theater Productions. He is responsible for coordinating post-production and management of the Family Theater media collection and digital archive.
Prior to joining Family Theater Productions in 2013, Don worked in post-production at CCI Digital for 19 years. He was a senior editor, primarily involved with reality-based programs, making sure that broadcast specifications were met, and handling post-production details.
Don's credits include: films A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies and Obsessed with Vertigo, and TV series Modern Dads on A&E, Model Employee on VH1, The Car Chasers on CNBC, My Ride Rules on Speed, and Sons & Daughters on ABC.
Don earned an Associate’s in Liberal Arts with a Communications major from Western Connecticut State College (now Western Connecticut University). He earned a certification in Video Production/Post Production at the Center for Media Arts in New York City.
Don was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate in June, 2015. It was a five-year process that he went through with his wife, Marcia. Together, they serve the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and in their home parish in various ministries. Of course, he likes to spend time with his family too, and manages to play softball and basketball when he can fit it in to his busy schedule.
Assistant to the Producers
As Assistant to the Producers at Family Theater Productions, Luz is responsible for coordinating a variety of office and production tasks.
Luz has worked on several projects for Family Theater Productions, including “Assumptions,” “Finding Mary,” “You Will See” and God, Country & Notre Dame: The Story of Father Ted Hesburgh, CSC. She also was part of the award-winning Family Theater radio team for Rosalba.
Luz joined Family Theater Productions in 1999, starting as a Personal Assistant in Radio and later serving as an Event Coordinator and Bookkeeper. She is a former singer and actress.
Luz has studied entertainment, production and event planning in the UCLA Extension, attended East Los Angeles College majoring in Accounting and Theater, She has an Associates in Accounting.
Luz is big on the Boy Scouts. Because of her son Andrew, she has taken an active role in the organization, serving as Treasurer of Troop 476. Luz is a member of the New Life Community, a women’s prayer group at her parish. In her spare time, she likes reading mysteries and going to movies and the theater.
Philip La Salle
As Administrator at Family Theater Productions, Philip is responsible for running the office, coordinating maintenance and upkeep of the facility and managing support staff.
Philip started with Family Theater Productions in 2007. He was formerly in charge of the shipping department. Previously, he worked for an entertainment management company.
Philip holds a joint Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from Carnegie Mellon University and The Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia, and a Bachelor from Fordham University in Theater.
Philip is a New York City native but quickly adapted to life in Hollywood. He was born in Greenwich Village and grew up in Yonkers, N.Y.
Amalia is the Production Manager at Family Theater Productions. She works with the production team to create short films for the award-winning Manifest Mysteries Anthology and other projects.
Before joining Family Theater Productions in 2013, Amalia worked at EWTN, Mpower Pictures and Motive Entertainment as a producer, consultant and translator. While with EWTN, she was a producer for “Life on the Rock” and production coordinator for “The Bible,” as well as working on other programs.
Amalia is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree Cum Laude in Communications with a concentration in Radio and Television.
Amalia’s goal is to produce the highest quality films for the largest audience possible. She wants her projects to be competitive with those of secular film production companies.
Amalia has a very diverse background. She was born in Colombia but grew up in Belgium. She is fluent in English, French and Spanish. She is married and has three young children. She enjoys singing in choirs, ballroom dancing and watching TV programs and movies with a critical eye.
Anthony “Tony” Sands
Tony Sands is a Senior Producer, responsible for film and television projects. In addition, with the National Director of Family Theater, he administers its nationwide public-service billboard campaign. Tony is an award winning writer and director also of the Manifest Mysteries teen dramas: “Assumptions”and “Finding Mary.” He also produced “Carrying On.”
Prior to joining Family Theater Productions, Tony worked in the film industry, including development, production, post-production and digital special effects. He received credits for several feature films Dr. Doolittle,” Space Jam and Sphere. He is a published co-author, Cacique, A Novel of Florida’s Heroic Mission History. He also placed in the top 10 for comedies in the Creative World Awards for screenwriting.
Tony graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Film Writing from the School of Cinema Television at the University of Southern California, where he received the Stephen Gentry Fellowship for Writing. He was a Dean’s Scholar for all four years and was involved in USC’s Thematic Options honors program.
Tony is active in many organizations including, the Catholic Academy; President of the Board of the Right to Life League of Southern California; Member of BIH (Breaking Into Hollywood) Networking and Professional Group; and is a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, to name but a few.
Editor and Production Assistant
As Editor and Production Assistant, James helps with a variety of tasks related to Family Theater Productions media projects.
Previously, James wrote, edited and recorded a weekly radio program that was syndicated to thousands of stations across the country. At the Family Research Council, a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., he also set up and broadcast a weekly webcast.
James has also served as an editor on various independent film projects, including “Fair Game,” “The Very Smallest Shell” and “Taka Boom Bites.”
James graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. He grew up in northern Virginia in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. He is a member of Catholic Underground and Pro-Life Ministries. He joined Family Theater Productions in February 2013.
James enjoys giving back to his community. That’s why he volunteers at the VA Hospital, so he can help those who served our country. He also likes reading, cycling, running, surfing, playing music, writing and making movies.