Our Leadership Team 


Hammad Zaidi 

Hammad Zaidi founded The Hammad Zaidi Company, which oversees multiple entities, including, but not limited to 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 Limping On Cloud 9, (a podcast now being developed as a motion picture and other media formats). Hammad also has an ownership stake in Industry Corporation, a multinational technology corporation that created Designware.io.

Zaidi is a member of the Producers Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America and a Certified Buyer at film sales markets worldwide. He has 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 Zaidi received his Masters of Fine Arts from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television Producers Program. LinkedIn IMDb

Erin Smith-Carlson

Erin’s mission is to connect humor with heart to unlock purpose and elevate organizations and communities. Specializing in a clear and conscious communication approach to change initiatives, she is widely recognized for infusing core values with solution-focused strategies that create a culture of accountability and inclusivity and ultimately increase an organization’s financial and talent currency. Most recently, she led a global biopharma company’s North American internal communications and DEI function, including designing meaningful experiences to support senior and mid-level leaders through strategic transformation and large-scale change. She has a proven track record of leading nationwide cross-functional teams while developing and executing uniquely curated programs that become pillars of company culture. As a certified professional coach, she elicits authenticity and provides an emotionally intelligent space enabling clients to align to purpose as a critical path to transformation. This internal focus is externally balanced by 10+ years of sales and commercial planning expertise and a decade in journalism, production, and storytelling with Walt Disney, ABC, and NBC affiliates.

Alexsiya Flora 

Alexsiya Flora has 20+ years of experience in the film industry. Producing nine and directing five independent feature films. Her divine purpose is to inspire others to live an artistic life. Her most notable documentary is about Oscar-nominated animator Bill Plympton, Adventures in Plymptoons!


James Hourigan

James Hourigan is the social media manager of the Lonely Seal Festival, a proud University of South Florida alumni, and the creator and owner of the Destauch YouTube brand. James has also worked in graphic design and is a seasoned video editor.


Redondo Beach, CA


(877) 577-2424