Originally from San Francisco, Russ Emanuel grew up in both Japan and the United States, garnering an international viewpoint of the world throughout his childhood. After graduating from the University of Southern California to study Cinema-Television, International Relations and Japanese (and gaining more production experience at the UCLA Extension Program), he founded Russem Productions in 2002, in order to promote his short films including Her Knight (2003), the award-winning Girl with Gun (2005), and the documentary Restoration of Paradise (2014). He also produced several shorts including Mavet (2004), the zombie-flick The Diary (2004), the vampire film Perfect Red (2006), and Cult 11 (2010) and The Meeting (2013) television series for which he directed several episodes). Occupants (2015), marks Emanuel’s fourth foray into feature filmmaking, having previously directed P.J. (2007), Chasing the Green (2009), and The Legends of Nethiah (2012).
At StarFest Russ will be showing his film Occupants, a film about Annie, an award-winning documentarian and her husband Neil. Annie and Neil embark on a “30 Days of Clean Living” documentary, setting up cameras all over their house to document their new eating habits. By doing so, half of their cameras capture a parallel version of themselves – a version that isn’t what they expected, with horrific results.