The GARF is dedicated to honoring the life work and cultural influence of George A. Romero, and supporting a new generation of filmmakers and artists inspired by his legacy.
Message from the Founder and President
A theater graduate and a history buff, I met George A. Romero in 2005 when he was doing post-production for Land of the Dead. I had no idea who he was nor had I seen any of his films, not even Night of the Living Dead! (I am more of a Shakespeare and a Daphne Du Maurier fan; as it turns out, so was he.) My relationship with George blossomed into a rare simpatico. It seemed like we had spent our whole lives looking for each other. George taught me how to see films, not just look at them; all films, including westerns (which at the time I was reluctant to watch; now I am a huge John Ford fan). I have seen thousands of films with George and benefited hugely from it. George’s death has been devastating to me. However, he has left me with his passion for film and preserving film, and his desire to help others pursue the craft of film. I founded the George A. Romero Foundation to perpetuate these passions and protect George’s vast legacy. George is my compass, and his quiet strength and profound vision has inspired me to move forward. My hope is that I am not alone in this journey and, with your support, we will together advance George’s legacy into the future, both as a filmmaker and a man. I love him and miss him.
Suzanne Desrocher-Romero, Founder and President
The GARF Board Members
Tina Romero, Vice-President
Tina Romero, daughter of George A. Romero, is a filmmaker, professor, and DJ based in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated as a Cinema Studies major from Wellesley College in 2006 before attending the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts graduate film program. While at NYU, Tina received the Warner Bros. Film Award and the Steven J. Ross Scholarship for her accomplishments in filmmaking.
Tina has directed several short films including, Little Girl Blue (2007), Toast (2008), and Rainbowarrior (2010), and four music videos, all of which have played internationally at film festivals such as The Melbourne International Film Festival and the Winnipeg Magical Feminism Exhibition. Most recently, the music video Tina directed for “Globes” by Shirley House was an official selection of the International Music Video Underground and was awarded Best Music Video by the Accolade Global Film Competition.
Tina is drawn to revolutionary themes in her work; stories in which humans find the strength to carry on or rise up. She’s fond of the whimsical, the androgynous, and the magical power of production design.
Tina has taught as an adjunct professor of film and photography at The University of New Haven in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and The School of Visual Arts in New York City. At the end of 2017, she stepped into a project that George started before his passing and guest-directed a final project at the Douglas Education Center for filmmaking.
Tina is also a queer DJ based in Brooklyn. As DJ TRx, she spins regularly at Hot Rabbit, a weekly LGBTQ dance party in the city. She’s played at private events for Delta Airlines, L’Oreal, The US Open, and the Tony Awards.
One day, Tina hopes to free all the lobsters from a seafood restaurant.
“My dad would weep when he watched films—not at the sad endings, but at the opening notes of a film score he found perfect, or as the camera swept through the choreography of West Side Story. He showed me that movies can move people, that fictional people can stir real-life empathy, that made-up worlds tell us about the essence of being human. He made me want to become a filmmaker.“
Ramona Streiner, Secretary and Treasurer
Ramona is honored to be part of the George A. Romero Foundation team. She brings creative energy in her work to help preserve George’s work and legacy. Ramona moved to Pittsburgh from Germany and is quickly becoming at home in the local creative community. In addition to working as an officer of the GARF, Ramona is writing a series of children’s books and is collaborating on a screenplay. High on Ramona’s list of interests are travel (especially Paris and Scotland), video game design, charitable work, assisting her husband in his film work, and her four cats.
Jeff Whitehead, Chief of Operations
By day, Jeff works in higher education. By night, he is an avid horror screenwriter. Some of Jeff's fondest childhood memories are of sleepovers that included classic horror movies, role playing games (RPGs), comic books, and junk food. George's work always featured prominently, and Jeff cannot remember when such an occasion did not screen Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, or Day of the Dead. Jeff is honored for the opportunity to give back to the legacy by assisting with the website and operations for the GARF. By doing so, Jeff hopes to help George and his work have an impact for a very long time to come.
Peter Grunwald graduated from Princeton University in 1977. He began his career at 15 as a production assistant on Otto Preminger's Such Good Friends. Two years later, teamed with producer Steve Tisch, he wrote and directed The Vendor, a short subject that led to an association with Robert Evans at Paramount, where Grunwald worked on developing such films as Chinatown, Marathon Man, and Black Sunday. Grunwald became a story editor at Paramount before forming an editorial consulting firm that included Ken McCormick, publisher of Roots, among its clients. He returned to the film business as Vice President of Charles Evans Productions, which developed and produced Tootsie. It was there that Grunwald began his collaboration with George Romero, on whose film, Monkey Shines, he served as executive producer. Their partnership, Romero-Grunwald Productions, released Bruiser, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, Survival of the Dead, and Empire of the Dead, and continues to produce projects George developed and loved.
After graduating Law School in 1970, Barry went “on the road” for a year, driving from Europe to Nepal and back again with a six months stay in India. Returning to New York City, he worked as a bartender in an off-Broadway “actor’s” bar, and tried his hand at acting In 1973, he opened his own law practice. Meeting George in 1977, he became his close friend, ”brother”, confident and legal adviser for the ensuing forty-years. Over the years they shared their mutual love of the cinema and food, watching countless movies and cooking numerous feasts together. Barry was George’s legal adviser and a sounding board for most of his projects thereafter, including being the production attorney for The Dark Half, the re-make of Night Of The Living Dead, and having had the honor of a cameo appearance in Knightriders.
John Harrison began his career directing rock videos and collaborating with famed horror director, George A. Romero, for whom he composed the scores to Creepshow and Day of the Dead. Harrison wrote and directed multiple episodes of George A. Romero's classic television series, Tales from the Darkside, before helming Tales from the Darkside: The Movie for producer Richard Rubinstein and Paramount Pictures, which won John the Grand Prix du Festival at Avoriaz, France. He has written and directed multiple TV episodes for a variety of networks, as well as world premier TV movies and miniseries, including the two Emmy winning miniseries adaptations of Frank Herbert’s Dune and Children of Dune, which he wrote, directed, and co-produced. John co-wrote the Disney animated feature, Dinosaur, and wrote and directed the theatrical adaptation of Clive Barker’s Books of Blood. John’s three-episode mini series, Residue, which he created and wrote, is currently on Netflix.
Adam Lowenstein is a professor of English and Film/Media Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Dreaming of Cinema: Spectatorship, Surrealism, and the Age of Digital Media (Columbia University Press, 2015) and Shocking Representation: Historical Trauma, National Cinema, and the Modern Horror Film (Columbia University Press, 2005). Adam’s essays on topics as diverse as Alfred Hitchcock, Japanese cinema, the art film, David Cronenberg, Ben Wheatley, and George A. Romero have appeared in numerous academic journals and anthologies. He has been interviewed on issues of cinema and culture in The New York Times and in Adam Simon’s documentary, The American Nightmare.
Manager, writer, producer, director Chris Roe entered the entertainment business in 1996 after starting his own talent management agency, Chris Roe Management. His company has since become well respected in the entertainment industry, managing such clients as directors as George A. Romero and Clive Barker, and actors Bruce Davison, Meg Foster, Mariette Hartley, and Malcolm McDowell, to name a few.
In 2007, Chris wrote, produced and directed the award-winning documentary feature, One for the Fire, released in May, 2008. He also produced and co-directed a pilot for television called Soul of the City and acted as producer or executive producer on major films.
Chris continues to manage and produce. In 2018, he launched his production company, Tea Time Productions, Inc. and Cemetery Tales: A Tale of Two Sisters, was the company’s first production. The company has other projects in development and on option.
Chris resides with his family in Los Angeles, California.
The GARF Volunteers
Lara is honored to be part of the George A. Romero Foundation team. She brings her knowledge of working with conventions for over 30 years. In addition to her work with the GARF, she actively supports films and actors in the horror industry. She is also an experienced fused glass artist.
Among the Pittsburgh film community, Russ Streiner is best known as a film producer/director who is also at the center of film community leadership. Russ is the founder and chair of the PITTSBURGH FILM OFFICE (PFO). That leadership has enabled Pittsburgh to have one of the most effective film office operations in the United States.
Among horror movie fans, Russ is best known for his role as “Johnny” in the 1968 George A. Romero classic, Night of the Living Dead. Russ was also the producer of that film.
In educational circles, Russ is a frequent mentor of young entrepreneurs and filmmakers in both classroom and online environments.
Nicole is a gifted graphic designer and developer who has devoted her career to creating and conducting training programs for many of Pittsburgh's major corporations. She is honored to be volunteering her talents to the GARF and contributing to the commitment of George's memory and legacy. She is primarily interested in helping the GARF transcend genre and generate wider appeal for the projects and initiatives that the GARF aims to achieve. She is particularly interested in helping the GARF support scholarships for underrepresented individuals so they can attend the George A. Romero Filmmaking Program and Director camps.