Our Leadership Team
HAMMAD ZAIDI – FOUNDER
Hammad Zaidi founded The Lonely Seal Company Group, which includes Lonely Seal Releasing, The Lonely Seal International Film, Screenplay & Music Festival (a multiple-time entrant on the FilmFreeway Top 100 Best Reviewed Festivals list) and Lonely Seal Streaming, launching in 2021. Hammad is also a co-owner of Industry Corporation, a multinational technology corporation that developed and launched Designware.io
Zaidi is a member of the Producers Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America, and a Certified Buyer at film sales markets worldwide. He as been a Jury Member, Filmmaker Advisor, Showcase Curator, Panelist, Advisory Board Member, and World Cinema Screener at several festivals, including, but not limited to, Sundance, SXSW, and Slamdance. Hammad has been an Adjunct Professor, Guest Lecturer and or Panelist at UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Chapman, The Watkins Film School, (acquired by Belmont University in 2020), The University of Kansas, and San Diego State, amongst numerous others.
Hammad’s most personal effort was to create Script Accessible, a screenwriting contest for writers with disabilities and non-disabled writers who wrote about disabled characters. Script Accessible was presented in conjunction with Slamdance and the Writers Guild of America-West. Our 2010 winner, All the Wrong Reasons went on to be produced and win the Discovery Award at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Hammad Zaidi received his Masters of Fine Arts from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television Producers Program. LinkedIn IMDb
EVA KIRIE – BRAND STRATEGIST
Eva Kirie is the brand strategist for Lonely Seal Company Group. She is currently finishing a degree in Television-Radio and Business Administration at Ithaca College in New York. She will be working to conduct market research and analysis in order to increase brand awareness, drive customer growth and improve the brand’s overall positioning.
JAMES HOURIGAN, SOCIAL MEDIA
James Hourigan is the social media manager of the Lonely Seal Festival, proud University of South Florida alumni and the creator and owner of the Destauch YouTube brand. He was born in New York before moving to Florida where he spent most of his early life. He later attended Valdosta State University in Georgia in pursuit of a Mass Communications degree before returning to Florida and attended the University of South Florida where he continued his studies. James has also worked in graphic design and is a seasoned video editor.