Maryse Alberti is a multi–award-winning cinematographer and photographic artist from France who has worked on a variety of high-profile projects.
Her most recent film, Creed, the Rocky re-boot starring Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan and directed by Ryan Coogler, opened in the fall of 2015 to critical acclaim.
Recent projects include Freeheld, starring Steve Carell, Julianne Moore and Ellen Page with director Peter Sollett; The Visit, the M. Night Shyamalan's thriller set to be released Sept. 11, 2015; and Bending the Light, a Michael Apted documentary thatscreened at last year's Camerimage International Film Festival.
With an eye for thought-provoking and challenging subject matter, Alberti has lensed a number of lauded political films, including director Amy Berg's exploration of the infamous West Memphis Three, West of Memphis, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, and the 2010 feature Stone, starring Robert De Niro and Edward Norton.
Alberti's wide-ranging body of work includes the Oscar-nominated Darren Aronofsky directed film The Wrestler, for which she received the 2008 Best Cinematography Independent Spirit Award. She received praise for her standout cinematography on director Todd Haynes' Poison and Velvet Goldmine and the hard-hitting drama Happiness for indie provocateur Todd Solondz. For Velvet Goldmine, Alberti earned her first Indie Spirit Best Cinematography Award.
Additionally, she has lensed several acclaimed documentaries with her long-time collaborator Alex Gibney: We Steal Secrets, about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange; The Armstrong Lie, an official selection for the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival; and Casino Jack and the United States of Money. Her documentary work with Gibney also includes the films History of the Eagles Part One; Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer; Gonzo:The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson and Taxi to the Dark Side, which won the 2008 Academy Award for Best Documentary.
The director and cinematographer's early collaboration, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, received a Best Documentary Academy Award nomination in 2006. Later that year, Alberti received the prestigious Kodak Vision Award and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Cinematography on HBO's ALL ABOARD! Rosie's Family Cruise. In 2004, she earned an Independent Spirit Awards nomination for Best Cinematography for her work on the feature We Don't Live Here Anymore, directed by John Curran.
Her other awards include Sundance Film Festival Best Cinematography honors for documentaries CRUMB in 1995 and H-2 Worker in 1990.
Alberti came to New York in the mid 1970s and for the next few years hitchhiked through the United States. She began taking photographs when she arrived back in New York City. Before long she was working for the New York Rocker magazine, photographing artists including Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Frank Zappa. In the mid 1980s Alberti began working on movie sets, first as a stills photographer, then as a cinematographer on both features and documentaries.
As well as her film work, Alberti continues to make highly personal art in the form of photographs and video. She has exhibited in New York and Los Angeles galleries. In the last couple of years Alberti has worked with artists such as Laurie Anderson and Pierre Huyghe. She is represented by Dattner Dispoto and Associates of Los Angeles.
Academy Award–nominated director Darren Aronofsky was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y.
His most recent film, Noah (2014), starred Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and Anthony Hopkins. It was hailed by Richard Roeper as "one of the most dazzling and unforgettable Biblical epics ever put on film."
In 2011, Aronofsky directed Black Swan, which earned Natalie Portman an Academy Award for Best Actress and Aronofsky a nomination for Best Director. In 2008, he directed The Wrestler, recipient of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei received Academy Award nominations for their performances; Rourke won a Golden Globe for Best Actor — Drama, and Bruce Springsteen won for Best Original Song. Aronofsky also directed The Fountain (2006), starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz, and Requiem for a Dream (2000), starring Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn and Jennifer Connolly. His first feature, π (1998), won the Director's Award at Sundance Film Festival.
Aronofsky is a graduate of Harvard University and the American Film Institute.
Effie T. Brown is an award winning film and television Producer, known for championing inclusion and diversity in Hollywood, both behind and in front of the camera.
Through her company, Duly Noted Inc., Brown has produced several critically acclaimed and award winning projects including Stranger Inside, Jane Campion’s In the Cut, Real Women Have Curves, Everyday People, Rocket Science and the Sundance hit Dear White People.
With a love of multiple platforms Brown focused on digital episodic content and produced over 130 episodes of WIGS, an award winning, original content channel funded by Google/YouTube.
In 2015, Brown joined Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as Producer and Mentor in the controversial reboot of Project Greenlight.
In 2016 Brown Executive Produced the hit series Star on FOX. In keeping with her commitment to inclusive and diverse content in 2018 Effie Executive Produced Disney Channel’s Zombies.
Brown is also a member of the Academy Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) and serves as a Film Independent Board member.
Don Buchwald is the founder of Don Buchwald & Associates, a full-service talent and literary agency with offices in New York and Los Angeles, whose roster of clientele includes actors, directors, producers, writers and broadcasters, most notably Howard Stern.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Buchwald now lives in Manhattan with his wife, Maggie; two daughters, Julia and Laura; and two grandchildren, Sebastian and Scarlett. A member of the board of governors of the Friars Club, he has been a member of the board of trustees of Brooklyn College for 15 years and is the first recipient of the college’s Theater Alumnus Award (1998). He is a major contributor to the Leonard & Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts, the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, and the Don Buchwald Internship Program in Theater, Television and Radio.
Celia Costas won her first Emmy Award as producer of one of the most acclaimed miniseries of all time, Angels in America, directed by Mike Nichols and written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Tony Kushner. In addition to the Outstanding Miniseries Emmy, the HBO project earned 11 other Emmys, five Golden Globe Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. Costas won her second Emmy Award, again for HBO, as executive producer of Joseph Sargent's Warm Springs, written by Margaret Nagle.
She worked again with Mike Nichols as executive producer of the features Closer and Charlie Wilson's War. She was executive producer of John Patrick Shanley's Doubt, which was nominated for five Academy Awards. Other feature credits include Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Oliver Stone), Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close (Stephen Daldry), August: Osage County (John Wells), Annie (Will Gluck), The Intern (Nancy Meyers) and most recently, The Girl on the Train, based on the novel by Paula Hawkins and directed by Tate Taylor.
Other feature credits as co-producer include Betty Thomas' Private Parts, 28 Days and Ben Stiller's Zoolander.
Anne del Castillo
Anne del Castillo is the Commissioner of the New York City Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME). She joined the agency in 2014 as director of legal affairs and was appointed to chief operating officer and general counsel in 2015. As a senior member of the executive team, she structured and advanced several groundbreaking initiatives. A series of workforce initiatives provides New York City residents with free mentorship and training opportunities in order to increase diverse representation in writers' rooms, post production, and stagecraft. The Freelancers Hub at the Made in NY Media Center is the first concerted effort by an American city to create a central resource hub for freelance workers in the gig economy. The Made in NY Women's Film, TV and Theatre Fund is the first municipal program in the country designed to promote equality behind and in front of the camera in film and television, as well as onstage, with $5 million in grants for women filmmakers and playwrights. One Book, One New York is the largest community read in the country.
Anne has over 25 years of experience in film production, public media, and arts and nonprofit administration. As vice president of development and business affairs at American Documentary, producer of the award-winning PBS documentary series POV, she secured $3 million annually in grants and contracts, and negotiated what were then innovative partnerships with Netflix and theatrical distributors to maximize distribution opportunities for independent documentaries. Prior to her tenure at American Documentary, she served as associate director of the Austin Film Society, where she oversaw administration of the Texas Filmmakers Production Fund, successfully advocated for formulation of media arts panel at City of Austin’s Arts Commission, and was part of the initial task force that led the development of Austin Studios.
Previously, Anne worked with American artist Richard Kostelanetz on a series of anthology reprints on pioneers of the avant-garde, John Cage, Merce Cunningham and László Moholy-Nagy. She has consulted on numerous film projects, and was associate producer on the Sundance Award-winning documentary Imelda, about the former First Lady of the Philippines. Anne also served as a panelist for the National Endowment of the Arts, Center for Asian American Media, and New York State Council on the Arts, among others, and presented at industry events, including South by Southwest and the Sithengi Film and TV Market in South Africa.
A native of New York City, Anne received her BA in English literature and BS in mass communications with honors from Boston University. She earned her JD at Brooklyn Law School and was honored with a Rising Star Award in 2017.
Ezra Edelman is an award-winning filmmaker. In 2016, he directed O.J.: Made In America, which won this year’s Academy Award for Best Documentary. It is the third film he has directed for ESPN’s acclaimed 30-for-30 documentary series. In 2013, Edelman co-produced the Oscar-nominated documentary Cutie and The Boxer. He also has produced and directed three films for HBO, including the Peabody Award-winning Magic and Bird: A Courtship of Rivals and Emmy Award-winning The Ghosts of Flatbush.
Currently, he is at work on his first scripted feature, The Ballad Of Richard Jewell, for 20th Century Fox.
A native of Washington D.C., Ezra graduated from Yale University and currently lives in Brooklyn.
Learn more about Ezra Edelman:
Barry R. Feirstein
Barry R. Feirstein graduated from Brooklyn College summa cum laude with a B.S. in economics and membership in Phi Beta Kappa. He earned an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business in 1978 and became a technology analyst for Equitable Capital Management Corporation of New York. He managed the firm’s aggressive growth portfolio from 1984 to 1992 so successfully that the financial press noted his capacity to foretell trends and discover promising areas his fellow professionals had overlooked, such as biotechnology, the Internet and personal computers.
Feirstein is also the founder of Feirstein LLC, a unique investment partnership. Feirstein believes that a film school, located on a film studio in New York City and run by Brooklyn College, will be distinctive, excellent and highly competitive in today’s entertainment industry. The ability to help create a graduate school reminded Feirstein of his other great investment opportunities.
Feirstein is a producer of Broadway and off-Broadway musicals and plays, including Catch Me if You Can; Black Tie; Morini Strad; Harrison, TX; The Model Apartment and Poor Behavior. He serves on the board of the Brooklyn College Foundation, is ex-chairman of the Friars Foundation, and president of The New York Film Society and the Anderson Center for Autism. He is a regular contributor to a number of New York City nonprofit organizations, including the Center for Jewish History and the American Ballet Theater.
Roy Furman is vice chairman of Jefferies Group LLC and chairman of Jefferies Capital Partners, a group of private equity funds. In 1973, Furman co-founded Furman Selz, an international investment banking, institutional brokerage and money-management firm. He served as president and CEO until 1997, when the firm was sold to ING. For decades, he has been a Wall Street analyst and investment banker involved with the entertainment industry.
Furman is vice chairman of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and chairman emeritus of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. He served as national finance chairman for the Democratic National Committee in 1992–93, was national fund chair for Harvard Law School for two years, and was chairman of the Brooklyn College Foundation for four years.
Furman has produced dozens of Broadway musicals and plays, including numerous Tony winners. Currently on Broadway: The Book of Mormon, Cinderella, Rocky, Mothers and Sons, A Raisin in the Sun, and Bullets Over Broadway. Upcoming productions include Houdini, The Last Ship and An American in Paris.
Ethan Hawke is an accomplished actor, screenwriter, film director, theater director and novelist. He has appeared in more than 40 films, including Dead Poets Society, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight, Reality Bites, Gattaca, Training Day and Boyhood. His numerous stage credits include, as an actor: The Coast of Utopia, Henry IV, The Winter's Tale, The Cherry Orchard, Hurlyburly, Macbeth and Blood From a Stone (2011 Obie Award winner); and as a director: Things We Want, A Lie of the Mind and Clive.
Hawke has written two novels, The Hottest State and Ash Wednesday, the former of which he adapted and directed for film. He has also been nominated for a Tony Award, Academy Awards for both acting and writing, and a Drama Desk Award for both acting and directing.
Lesli Klainberg is the executive director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. She is also an award-winning producer and director whose documentaries have screened at such film festivals as Berlin, Sundance, Outfest, and Frameline, and have been broadcast on networks including Cinemax, AMC, A&E, the Independent Film Channel (IFC), WE, and PBS.
As the executive director of the Film Society, Klainberg all strategic and operational matters, including programs, film festivals, theater operations, publications, websites, educational outreach, and community involvement.
Prior to her current role, she served as FSLC’s managing director and the producer of the New York Film Festival. From 2008 through 2011, she served as executive director of NewFest, the NYC LGBT Film Festival.
In 2012, Klainberg served as line producer of the Participant Media feature documentary, Finding North (now entitled A Place at the Table), which made its debut at Sundance in 2012 and was released by Magnolia in March 2013. She also line produced Insurgent Media’s Beware of Mr. Baker, which won the Audience Award for documentary at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival.
From 2009 through 2011, she was one of two lab leaders of the prestigious IFP Documentary Film Lab, held in New York. In 2009, she served as a consulting producer for the Sundance Documentary Film Program and produced the IFP Filmmaker Forum during Independent Film Week.
Klainberg also produced the acclaimed independent film, Paul Monette: The Brink of Summer’s End, which won the audience award for documentary at Sundance, Frameline, and Outfest, and was released theatrically by First Run Features and broadcast on HBO/Cinemax Reel Life. Monette was also on the “short list” for the Academy Award in 1997 and was nominated for the IDA Award for Best Documentary.
Other productions include the documentary miniseries Indie Sex; Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema (IFC, 2006); In the Company of Women (IFC, 2004); Beauty in a Jar (A&E, 2003); Directed by Alan Smithee (AMC, 2002); and Miss America (PBS/American Experience, 2001).
Klainberg is a past board member of GLAAD, Outfest, and NewFest, and has appeared on many juries and panels at film festivals around the United States. She has a B.F.A. degree in film from Purchase College (SUNY).
Julie Menin was appointed commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) in 2016 by Mayor Bill de Blasio after previously serving as commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) for two years.
Under Menin's leadership, the DCA launched initiatives to protect consumers from fraud, scams, and predatory conduct, and expanded the Agency's role in areas such as financial empowerment and investigative legal enforcement. DCA increased its support of employees and small businesses and implemented key initiatives including the city’s new Paid Sick Leave Law, a small-business relief package that reduced fines by one-third and increased restitution for New Yorkers harmed by predatory practices.
Menin has extensive experience in the public-private partnerships, including her post-9/11 role as founder and president in 2002 of the nonprofit Wall Street Rising, and her tenure as chair of Community Board 1 in 2005. She was a leading catalyst in the recovery of Lower Manhattan through unique initiatives such as helping small businesses access monetary aid and launching a music and art series. Menin has also served on the boards of the Municipal Art Society, Governor’s Island, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center, and is currently on the board of Public Service at Harvard College, NYC & Company, and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition.
An accomplished lawyer and community leader, Commissioner Menin began her career in 1992 as a regulatory attorney at Wiley Rein & Fielding in Washington, D.C., and worked as senior regulatory attorney at Colgate-Palmolive in New York beginning in 1995. In 1999, she opened and operated Vine, a restaurant, market, and catering operation in Lower Manhattan.
Menin has received several awards recognizing her leadership, such as the National Association of Women Business Owners Community Service Award, the New York League of Conservation Voters public service award, and the New York State Senate’s Women of Distinction award.
Menin earned her B.A. magna cum laude at Columbia University and her J.D. at Northwestern University School of Law. She resides in Manhattan with her husband and three children.
Keri Putnam is the Executive Director of Sundance Institute, where she oversees the annual Sundance Film Festival as well as the Institute Labs, grants, mentorships, smaller festivals, public events, and workshops offered year-round and globally. Before joining the Institute, Putnam served as President of Production for Miramax Films, where she was responsible for production, acquisitions, co-production and development. During her tenure, Miramax Films won and was nominated for multiple Academy Awards, including the Best Picture Academy Award for the Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men, and acting awards for Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will be Blood, Stephen Frears’ The Queen, and Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone. Prior to joining Miramax in 2006, Putnam was Executive Vice President of HBO Films, responsible for the development and production of films for both the cable network and theatrical release. Putnam supervised more than 50 HBO films and was responsible for some of the division's most successful projects. A graduate of Harvard University, Putnam began her career working in region theater. She serves on the board of Women in Film Los Angeles, the advisory council of the Office of the Arts at Harvard University, and as a mentor at the Stark Producing Program at USC.
Robert Richardson, ASC
Robert Richardson is a three-time Academy Award winner for Best Cinematography for his work on both Martin Scorsese's Hugo and The Aviator and Oliver Stone's epic tapestry, JFK.
Richardson has enjoyed a successful long-standing relationship with Stone. By cultivating the ability to adopt a wide variety of visual styles as a survival guide, their artistic partnership flourished on a number of films, including Natural Born Killers, Nixon, Born on the Fourth of July and Platoon, the latter two of which garnered Richardson Academy Award nominations.
He has done additional beautiful work for Scorsese (Casino, Bringing Out the Dead) as well as for other prominent directors, such as Robert Redford (The Horse Whisperer) and Barry Levinson (Wag the Dog).
Richardson was cinematographer on The Hateful 8, which marks his fifth collaboration with director Quentin Tarantino, having previously teamed with the influential filmmaker on Django Unchained, Inglorious Basterds and both volumes of Kill Bill. He recently completed Live by Night with director Ben Affleck.
He has also photographed several documentaries with Errol Morris, including Fast, Cheap and Out of Control; Mr. Death; and the unflinching Abu Ghraib documentary Standard Operating Procedure.
A native of Cape Cod, Mass., Richardson attended the Rhode Island School of Design and the American Film Institute.
Steven Soderbergh is a writer, director, producer, cinematographer and editor. His television series, The Knick, is currently airing on Cinemax. He earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay for his directorial debut, sex, lies, and videotape, and the Academy Award in 2000 for directing Traffic, the same year he was nominated for Erin Brockovich.
Among his other credits are the films Side Effects, Magic Mike, Haywire, Contagion, And Everything Is Going Fine, The Girlfriend Experience, The Informant, Che, the Ocean’s trilogy, The Good German, Bubble, Solaris, Full Frontal, The Limey, Out of Sight, Grey’s Anatomy, Schizopolis, The Underneath, King of the Hill and Kafka.
Soderbergh’s television film Behind the Candelabra, for which he won a 2013 Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing, debuted on HBO in May 2013. In 2009, he created and directed the play Tot Mom for the Sydney Theatre Company. While in Sydney he also directed the film The Last Time I Saw Michael Gregg. In April 2014, he directed the world premiere of Scott Burns’ new play, The Library, at New York’s Public Theater.
Douglas C. Steiner
Douglas C. Steiner, chairman of Steiner Studios, has led the fight to re-establish New York's position as a world-class entertainment production center. Not only did he build Steiner Studios, New York's first Hollywood-style film and television production facility, but he also spearheaded the creation of the New York State Film Production Credit and each of its four renewals and expansions.
Steiner has served on panels for Crain's New York Business and the New York City Office of the Mayor, and he is the recipient of awards from the Brooklyn International Film Festival as well as numerous New York political organizations. In his other job as a real estate developer, he has built and continues to lease and manage millions of square feet of commercial property. He is currently developing more than $600 million of residential and studio properties.
Steiner serves on the boards of BRIC Arts Media Brooklyn, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn. He has an A.B. in English from Stanford University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Stanford Chaparral, and was awarded an honorary Ph.D. from Brooklyn College.
Fisher Stevens has been in the entertainment business for more than 30 years. His versatility in the industry is evident from his wide range of credits, from acting to producing to directing, and from film to television to theater and working with the United Nations.
Stevens began his acting career in New York, appearing in more than 40 Broadway and off-Broadway shows. His first big break came when appearing in the Tony Award-winning production of Torch Song Trilogy, playing David, the adopted son, opposite Harvey Fierstein. He parlayed his stage success into acting in such films as The Flamingo Kid, Short Circuit and its sequel, Hackers, Super Mario Brothers, Awake, Factotum, The Experiment and Henry's Crime. Most recently he starred in the acclaimed Wes Anderson film The Grand Budapest Hotel. On television, Stevens was a series regular on Fox’s Key West and CBS’s Early Edition. He had recurring roles on Lost and Damages as well as guest-starring roles on numerous episodes of Law & Order, Californication, Ugly Betty and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, among others.
In 1986 Stevens co-founded the theater company Naked Angels, which just celebrated its 25th year, where he has produced, directed and acted in many productions. In 1996 he co-founded GreeneStreet Films, where he had his film directorial debut with Just a Kiss, starring Marisa Tomei, Kyra Sedgwick and Taye Diggs. Stevens has produced more than 15 films while involved with GreeneStreet, including the Academy Award–nominated In the Bedroom, A Prairie Home Companion, Piñero, Swimfan, Uptown Girls and the acclaimed documentary Once in a Lifetime.
After Once in a Lifetime, Stevens became interested in documentary filmmaking, producing and co-directing the 2008 Independent Spirit Award–winning documentary Crazy Love. He then went on to produce the 2010 Academy Award–winning documentary The Cove, about the dolphin slaughters taking place in Taiji, Japan.
In March 2010, Stevens co-founded Insurgent Media with Andrew Karsch and Erik Gordon. At present, they have completed the 2012 SXSW Grand Jury Prize–winning documentary Beware of Mr. Baker, Before the Spring, After the Fall, the critically acclaimed Blank City (about the 1970s New York underground film scene) and Woody Allen: A Documentary, which premiered on PBS American Masters and was directed by Robert Weide. Stevens made his Broadway directorial debut with John Leguizamo's Ghetto Klown at the Lyceum Theatre, which was also adapted for HBO. He recently directed the feature film Stand Up Guys for Lionsgate, starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin, as well as music videos for Jon Bon Jovi’s latest album.
Joana Vicente has been the executive director of the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the oldest and largest nonprofit organization for independent filmmakers in the United States, since 2009. Under Vicente's leadership, the IFP was most recently bestowed the honor of developing and operating the Made in NY Media Center after a Request for Proposal was issued by the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The state-of-the-art Media Center brings together professionals from the film, television, advertising, new media, gaming, marketing and branding industries for collaboration and new opportunities. It opened in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2013.
Prior to the IFP, Vicente and her partner Jason Kliot produced and executive produced more than 40 films by such acclaimed directors as Jim Jarmusch, Miguel Arteta, Brian De Palma, Hal Hartley, Steven Soderbergh, Nicole Holofcener and Todd Solondz. She has co-founded three separate, unique film production entities over the course of her career — Open City Films; Blow Up Pictures, the first digital production company in the United States; and HDNet Films, an award-winning digital production company founded with Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner. Among the many films that Vicente and Kliot have produced are Tony Bui's Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award winner, Three Season; Jim Jarmusch's cult classic Coffee and Cigarettes; Niels Mueller's The Assassination of Richard Nixon; Todd Solondz's Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning Welcome to the Dollhouse; Brian De Palma's controversial Redacted and Alex Gibney's Academy Award–nominated Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. Vicente has served on the jury at Sundance and many other festivals.
Vicente's films have garnered numerous accolades and awards, including 23 Independent Spirit Award nominations and four wins. In 2007, Vicente was the recipient of the Made in NY Award for individuals who have made outstanding contributions to New York City's entertainment industry. Vicente graduated from the master’s program at The Catholic University of Portugal with a degree in philosophy and began her career as the press attaché for the Portuguese delegate and former prime minister of Portugal at the European Parliament. She later became a radio news producer for the United Nations before turning her attention to film.
Jonathan Wacks, Founding Director
Jonathan Wacks is the founding director of the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema and professor of film at Brooklyn College. He has directed a number of films, including Powwow Highway (Warner Bros.), produced by Beatle George Harrison. The film was the recipient of the Sundance Film Festival Filmmaker’s Trophy, nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards, and winner of awards for best picture, director and actor at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.
Wacks’ first film, Crossroads/South Africa (PBS), won a Student Academy Award in the documentary category. He then produced the acclaimed cult-hit Repo Man (Universal), starring Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton, and directed Mystery Date (Orion), starring Ethan Hawke and Teri Polo, and Ed and His Dead Mother, starring Steve Buscemi and Ned Beatty. He also directed an array of TV productions, including 21 Jump Street, with Johnny Depp, Sirens and Going to Extremes.
Prior to his career as a director, Wacks served as vice president of production at the Samuel Goldwyn Company. He is a former chairman of the board of the Independent Feature Project/West (now Film Independent), the largest organization of independent filmmakers in America, and has served on the selection committee of the Writers’ Program at the Sundance Institute. His work has been seen at numerous international film festivals, including Sundance, Montreal, Tokyo, Florence, London, Leipzig, Leeds, Cape Town, Deauville, New York, Munich and Berlin.
Wacks has written several screenplays, including Recoil, based on the Jim Thompson novel, No Cure for Love, My African Heart, Coldsleep Lullaby and Stuck. He served as chair of the Visual and Media Arts Department at Emerson College, head of the Film Department at the Vancouver Film School in British Columbia and chair of the Moving Image Arts Department at the College of Santa Fe. He was also director of Garson Studios in Santa Fe, N.M. Wacks holds a B.A. (Hons.) from the University of Essex (United Kingdom) and an M.F.A. from UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America.