Julia Alekseyeva received her PhD in Comparative Literature at Harvard University in 2017, with a secondary field in Film and Visual Studies. Her dissertation research investigated avant-garde documentaries in Japan, France, and the USSR, from the 1920s to the 1960s. She has been published in The Paper Brigade, The Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, and The Cine-Files, and contributed articles to The Brooklyn Rail. She contributed a chapter to an edited volume on the Atomic Bomb in Japanese Cinema (2015), and another chapter to a forthcoming volume commemorating the 20th anniversary of Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke. She also curated film retrospectives at Spectacle Theater and the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. Her current research focuses on experimental and avant-garde animation practices, non-fiction graphic narratives, animated documentaries, and gender and sexuality within political avant-garde cinema. Alongside her academic research, Julia is a published author-illustrator whose debut graphic novel, Soviet Daughter: A Graphic Revolution, was published by Microcosm in January 2017. It has been featured on The Rumpus, Tablet, Lilith Magazine, and Cleaver Magazine.
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John David Allen, A.C.E., has edited over 20 feature films in a wide variety of genres, as well as TV dramas and award-winning Short Films. For Merchant Ivory Productions he edited The Golden Bowl, Le Divorce, The White Countess, City of Your Final Destination, and Cotton Mary. For director Bruce Beresford he edited Peace Love and Misunderstanding and the A&E/Lifetime/History miniseries Bonnie & Clyde. Recent credits include William Monahan’s Mojave, Bette Gordon’s The Drowning, Ondi Timoner’s Mapplethorpe, and currently Bill Guttentag’s documentary Sublime due out in 2019. John is the director of numerous short films, including Love and Roadkill, which screened at more than 15 international film festivals in 2009. He lives in Brooklyn.
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Kara Lynn Andersen
Kara Lynn Andersen is a film studies professor with research interest in the intersection of animation, video games and live-action film. Her current book project analyzes the representation of collectors and collecting across media, and she has articles appearing in CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture and Post Script and a chapter in Transnational Horror Across Visual Media: Fragmented Bodies, and has guest edited a special edition of Animation Journal on video game animation, “Animation on the Fly.”
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Jane Applegate is an experienced producer of award-winning independent films and TV shows. She is a former syndicated financial columnist for the Los Angeles Times and the author of four books on entrepreneurial management. Her most recent book, 201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business, sold more than 130,000 copies worldwide and has been translated into Russian, Chinese and Korean.
In 2017, she served as production supervisor on Beauty Mark, a narrative film which won the Woodstock Film Festival’s Ultra Indie award for the best feature made for under $200,000.
An active member of the Producers Guild of America and New York Women in Film and Television, she teaches seminars on creative financing strategies for both organizations.Born in Brooklyn New York, Applegate now lives in Brooklyn Heights with her husband, Joe.
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Jen Begeal is a Digital Storyteller who has developed cross-media marketing campaigns for media clients such as Current TV, Verizon Fios1 and A&E. She produced strategies and managed large scale digital campaigns for entertainment clients including Universal Studios, Disney and Netflix. Jen currently heads StoryForward NYC, a volunteer storytelling organization that produces monthly events promoting New York’s film, theater, gaming and technology communities. She also teaches in the New Media departments at The New School, International Center for Photography, and Concordia College.
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Jacquelyn Blain spent a decade as a writer-producer in network one-hour television with close to 100 hours of produced scripts. She worked on the staffs of such shows as Diagnosis Murder, Martial Law, and VR.5, and also wrote freelance scripts for several domestic and foreign series. She has written numerous short film scripts for student directors, and her feature script Queen of Hearts was picked up for development by a Santa Fe-based production company. Currently, she is partnered with actor-director Sam Hull on a TV pilot project.
Blain has taught at places such as the UCLA Extension Writers Program, The Art Institute of Portland, The Northwest Film Center, and CUNY-CityTech, everything from composition to film studies, and from screenwriting to narrative strategies for game design. Her students’ films have been accepted to and won awards at numerous film festivals, and she was script consultant-producer on Susan Hess Logeais’ Baltimore Women’s Film Festival award-winning independent feature, Not Dead Yet.
Her education includes an MFA in Screenwriting and doctoral work in film and broadcast history and criticism at The University of Texas at Austin. She has been on the judging panels of The Student Academy Awards, The Television Academy Summer Internship Program, and POWFest (Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival). In addition, her personal essays and film criticism have appeared in such places as The Wall Street Journal and The Austin Chronicle.
George Brunner is a composer and performer, researcher/writer, recording engineer/producer and teacher. His music has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and South America. Brunner has been composer-in-residence in 1996, 1998, and 2001 at both EMS (Electroacoustic Music Studios) and Kungliga Musikhögskolan (Royal College of Music) in Stockholm. A recent recipient of research grants from the American Scandinavian Foundation and the Svenska Institutet of Sweden, he is at present writing a book on text sound composition and is considered an authority on the subject.
In February 2005, Brunner was invited to participate in the SPARK Festival at the University of Minnesota, where he presented a paper, "Text Sound: Interlingua, Intermedia and Electronica," and had a concert of Pianelan, a quasi-electroacoustic music work for piano, voice and flute.
In spring 2004 Brunner was commissioned to write a percussion piece for Morris Lang (plus ensemble). The Elixir of the Central Fire for timpani soloist and three percussionists plus CD playback had its first performance at The Helix in Dublin in June 2004 as part of the first International Percussion Music Festival in Dublin.
In April 2004, Brunner presented Constellation 2: Fragile Light for soprano, flute, percussion and live electronics at the International Electroacoustic Music Festival at Brooklyn College and at the New Music Days Festival, sponsored by Istanbul Bilgi University, in Istanbul.
In January/February 2003, he was composer-in-residence at the Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges (France) and composed Within/Without, an electroacoustic work commissioned by the IMEB and designed for LE CYBERNEPHONE, a 20-60 speaker, multidimensional sound diffusion system. The work was premiered at Festival Synthese 2003 Bourges, France, at the Palais Jacques-Coeur.
In June 2003, he completed Union for percussion trio. The work was commissioned by the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, and was first presented at the University of Dublin June 2003 and again in San Sebastian, Spain.
In May 2002, he was co-director of the first Electroacoustic Music Festival in Istanbul, sponsored by Istanbul Bilgi University. Istanbul Bilgi University commissioned Brunner to write an interactive work for the festival based upon spoken text (in Turkish and English) and field recordings of the sounds of the city of Istanbul.
In 2002 Brunner received a commission to create an all-electronic score for 16 45-minute radio programs on sound poetry for the Radio/Radio program, London; Martin Spinelli was the producer.
Alan Canant has been editing feature films for 15 years. His work has screened at film festivals nationally and internationally, including Cannes, Sundance, and Toronto. Recently, he edited Songs My Brothers Taught Me, directed by Chloe Zhao and nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards. His other narrative credits include Hellion (directed by Kat Candler), starring Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis, and The Catechism Cataclysm (directed by Todd Rohal), executive produced by David Gordon Greene. His documentary work includes Girl Model, winner of Best Documentary at the Rome International Film Festival, and most recently, Requiem for the American Dream, Noam Chomsky’s deconstruction of American economic inequality. When he’s not working on feature films he is editing trailers, for which he has won multiple awards.
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Loren-Paul Caplin has written scripts for many of the major studios (Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal, Warner Bros.), Hollywood producers and Independent producers, including Laura Ziskin, Joe Roth, Robert Harris, Ben Barenholtz, and Ira Deutchman. His feature film, The Lucky Ones, that he wrote/directed, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2003 (and distributed on DVD 2005) and his short film, The History of the World in 8 Minutes, premiered at the New Directors/New Films Festival. On TV, his Battle in the Erogenous Zone, which he co-wrote with John Drimmer, was on Showtime, as was his short film. His plays Sunday’s Child and Men in the Kitchen were produced at the Long Wharf Theater; A Subject of Childhood was produced at the WPA; The Presidents (co-written with Ron Nessen, Press Secretary to President Gerald Ford) played on PBS for a year and toured nationally. His musical Gangs (book, lyrics & music) was developed by David Merrick and Joe Roth for Paramount. His musical City Music (book, lyrics & music) was produced at the Huntington Theater, Boston and subsequently developed as Steel Town by the Public Theater, NYC. His poems have appeared in various publications including The Paris Review and Rolling Stone Magazine. He was a Dramatic Writing and Religious Studies Major and was fortunate to study under the preeminent religious studies scholar, Mircea Eliade (“The Sacred and The Profane”, “Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy”). He’s given seminars on the Hero’s Journey as it pertains to writers and artists. He writes a column for Made Man (http://www.mademan.com/author/loren-paul-caplin/) and blogs about religion and popular culture for the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lorenpaul-caplin/). He teaches screenwriting at Columbia University, The New School and Hofstra University.
Sarah Cawley is a New York based cinematographer who has photographed 10 feature films and 5 network pilots in a career spanning more than a decade. Her films have screened at the Sundance, GenArt, Telluride, Toronto International and Berlinale Film Festivals. Notable credits include Fay Grim (winner of Audience Choice for Director Hal Hartley at the RiverRun Film Festival,) and Ryu Murakami’s Kyoko (winner of Best Actress for Saki Takaoka at the Mainichi Film Concours,) Oxygen, Mexico City, The Girl From Monday (winner of New Visions Award at Catalonian International Film Festival,) and Myth America.
In 2006 Variety placed her on the prestigious annual list of 10 Cinematographers to Watch, citing both her feature films and work as tandem unit DP on ABC's Ugly Betty. She quickly moved to main unit DP on network pilots for series such as Ringer starring Sarah Michelle Gellar for The CW and Golden Boy starring Theo James and Kevin Alejandro for CBS.
In 2014 Cawley photographed the historic period pilot for Salem, which won multiple awards and launched original programming for WGN/Tribune network with a record-breaking 1.5 million viewers for the show’s debut.
Music video highlights include REM’s Crush with Eyeliner with director Jim McKay, Tree’s Lounge with Steve Buscemi, and various projects with Jem Cohen.
In addition to Variety, her work has received favorable press and reviews in American Cinematographer magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the Hollywood Reporter.
Her cinematography projects have taken her to international destinations including Russia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Thailand, Malaysia, Venezuela, Cuba, Germany, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Turkey.
She is a member of IATSE 600 Cinematographers Guild and ICFC: The International Collective of Female Cinematographers. Cawley is represented by United Talent Agency. She is the Program Head of Cinematography at Feirstein.
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Sarah J. Christman’s award-winning films have screened widely, including at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival and Los Angeles Filmforum. She received the New Visions Award from the San Francisco International Film Festival for her debut film Dear Bill Gates. As Above, So Below, her first feature-length documentary, had its New York City premiere at the MoMA Documentary Fortnight. Her current project is the feature film Swarm Season, which has received support from the Research Foundation of CUNY and Rooftop Films.
Sarah began her career in public television at Thirteen/WNET on the series Nature. As an editor, her credits include independent film, documentary and television, including the media arts channel Moov Lab. Previously, she taught post-production at the Edit Center and at Temple University, where she received her MFA in Film & Media Arts.
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David Claessen started his career as Director of Photography 35 years ago with the French Film Haute Mer by Edgardo Cozarinsky after serving his mentors the legendary French Cinematographers Henri Alekan and Sasha Vierny as Camera Operator.
Since settling in the USA David has photographed a plethora of commercials, hip hop music-videos and feature TV films with established and up and coming directors including Doug Liman, Julie Dash, Tim Story, and Darren Grant winning the Kodak Achievement Award for Best Cinematography, Best Cinematography at Advertising Federation of Chicago, and nominations for a CLIO Award and MTV Music Award in the process. His films were awarded at the Cannes Film Festival, Milan Film Festival, Florida Film Festival, Houston Film Festival, NY Underground Film Festival, Emmy's, Image Awards and DGA.
Whilst working on domestic and international films David has recently ventured into VR and Museum Installation Projects with producing partner Julie Dash under Lukasa Studios.
David studied at Nederlandse Film & TV Academy in Amsterdam, The Netherlands graduating in 1983. He makes his primary home in New York City, but considers himself local in Los Angeles + Rome.
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Douglas Cohen is an intermedia composer and often collaborator with film, performance and folk artists. He was an early advocate for digital media on the Internet. He organized the NewMusNet Conference of Arts Wire with Pauline Oliveros and later was arts wire systems coordinator. Cohen is a specialist in American experimental music and pays particular attention to the work of John Cage, Morton Feldman and Pauline Oliveros. He co-created and produced the evening=length intermedia work imusicircus at Experimental Intermedia in New York and LACE Gallery in Los Angeles (later with the California EAR Unit at the L.A. County Museum of Art) as City Circus events for the John Cage exhibition Rolywholyover a Circus.
He received a bachelor of fine arts and a master of fine arts from the California Institute of the Arts, and a doctorate from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Visit Douglas Cohen's website for more information.
Though usually an editor, Kieran works in almost every stage of production while sometimes forgetting to eat and sleep. Some of the films he's worked as a director, editor or writer have appeared at the Cannes, Tribeca, Clermont-Ferrand, Slamdance, and SXSW film festivals, while others have never been shown to anyone. While still currently working on documentary and narrative films, Kieran has switched most of his attention to teaching post-production at Brooklyn College, NYU, MiNY and BRIC. Throughout the year, he helps program a few film festivals, including Slamdance and the Cine Golden Eagle Awards. He also sometimes gets confused writing about myself in the third person.
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John Peter Didato is an award winning director, producer and editor currently working for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street. He has edited the 39th season as well as various segments for the 40th season of Sesame Street including Mrs. Obama Plants a Garden featuring First Lady Michelle Obama. John has also edited numerous children’s television shows including Best Friends; Count TV; 3,2,1 Let’s Go!; as well as, the very first Sesame Street podcasts and the internet video Cookie Monster Auditions for Saturday Night Live which has over 3 million views on YouTube.
John also produces, directs and edits other projects for Sesame Workshop including on-air promos for the broadcast specials: When Families Grieve hosted by Katie Couric, Families Stand Together hosted by Al Roker and Coming Home: Military Families Cope with Change hosted by Queen Latifah and featuring John Mayer.
Prior to joining Sesame Workshop, John had produced runway shows for Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria’s Secret; produced and directed videos for Fortune 500 companies and produced commercials and television programs for RCA records, CBS and AMC among others.
John is a native New Yorker who teaches film production and editing in various universities in New York City.
Casey Drogin is a freelance animator, director and project manager. Born in the Philippines to a family of journalists, Casey learned from an early age the impact of honest, efficient storytelling. Whatever the project, he values organization and a willingness to learn as crucial to creativity.
After graduating from New York University with a BFA in Film, Casey has collaborated as an independent contractor with high-end studios, agencies and brands. His work has been showcased in nationwide ad campaigns, blockbuster movie releases, Times Square billboards and the Tribeca Film Festival. Alongside commercial work, he frequently collaborates on music videos, art installations, documentaries and horror films.
In addition to freelancing, Casey regularly leads workshops and classes at New York University and Brooklyn College. These classes cover the basics of animation craft, professional pipelines and freelance business skills. His workshops aim to prepare students to enter the animation industry as business-minded creatives and collaborators.
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Seth Fein is a Brooklyn-born-and-raised film historian and filmmaker who lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, where he operates Seven Local Film. He did his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin, where his dissertation about the United States in the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema won the Barnes Lathrop Prize. His writings on the audiovisual history of the Americas include: journal articles in Diplomatic History, Film-Historia, Historia y Grafía, Nuevo Texto Crítico, Objeto Visual, Secuencia, Studies in Latin American Popular Culture; book chapters in Close Encounters of Empire, Fragments from the Golden Age, In from the Cold, Mexico’s Cinema, México-Estados Unidos: Encuentros y desencuentros en el cine, Visible Nations; and film reviews in the American Historical Review. Fein was a professor of film and history at Yale, which awarded him its Graduate Mentor Prize for the Humanities, its Poorvu Prize for Interdisciplinary Instruction, a Morse Fellowship for his interamerican research, and a McCredie Fellowship in Instructional Technology, which facilitated his move from writing about audiovisual culture to making it. His video work includes Between Neighborhoods (2017), which won the Founder's Choice Award for Documentary at the Queens World Film Festival; the transhistorical diptych combines original and archival footage to travel between the urban and transnational present and past of immigration and imperialism that orbit the Unisphere in Queens across the last half-century. He’s now making Our Neighborhood, a documentary feature that tells the story of Washington’s secret production of Latin American TV to wage small-screen cold war against the Cuban Revolution across the Sixties; grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies are among those that have supported Our Neighborhood's research, which Fein recently spent a year developing as a Fellow at Harvard's Charles Warren Center.
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Steele Tyler Filipek
Steele Tyler Filipek, professor of writing for new media, is one of the world’s leading transmedia writers and producers. As executive editor at Starlight Runner Entertainment, he has designed story worlds and nonlinear narrative design for such franchises as Halo, Transformers, Dexter, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Pirates of the Caribbean, and more. He has also created large-scale campaigns for projects ranging from branding (Reebok, Pepperidge Farm) to nonprofit work (the government of Colombia, Curtin University). In addition, Filipek has written numerous children’s books, screenplays, television scripts, comic books, video games, comedy, and radio dramas.
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Jérôme Game studied at Sciences-Po and Sorbonne University in Paris. He gained his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. After teaching at Cambridge and London, he was on the faculty of the American University of Paris for more than 10 years. He is an award-winning teacher of film studies and philosophy. His work focuses on modern and contemporary culture (cinema, literature, visual arts) around a theoretical reworking of key topics such as subjectivity, the body, temporality, and the narrative. These concerns are addressed in numerous publications, often within an interdisciplinary context involving film and visual studies, philosophy, and literary studies. He has published books and collective volumes on Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy, text/image relations in the modern context, filmic representations of the body, contemporary narrative theory in cinema and the arts, and the work of Jacques Rancière. He has received research grants from the Mellon Foundation, Cambridge University, the American University of Paris, Université Paris Eight, Institut Français, Centre National du Livre, and the British Council, among others. His current projects include a collective research on cinema’s native impurity with regards to its transmedial mobility, and a book on the status of language in contemporary European and Asian cinemas.
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Douglas Geers is a composer who works extensively with technology in composition, performance and multimedia collaborations, focusing on creative integration of new technologies and multimedia dimensions into concert music, with a continuing emphasis on interactive electroacoustic works.
Reviewers have described Geers' music as "glitchy... keening... scrabbling... contemplative" (Steve Smith, The New York Times), "kaleidoscopic" (Andrew Lindemann Malone, Washington Post), "fascinating...virtuosic...beautifully eerie" (Jim Lowe, Montpelier Times-Argus), "expertly showy" (David Cleary, New Music Connoisseur), "powerful" (Neue Züricher Zeitung), "arresting...extraordinarily gratifying" (Dierdre Donovan, TheaterScene.net), and "rhythmically complex, ominous" (Karen E. Moorman, CVNC), and have praised its "virtuosic exuberance" (Computer Music Journal) and "shimmering electronic textures" (Kyle Gann, Village Voice).
Geers' works include Inanna, a 90-minute multimedia theater piece (2009, Zürich); an opera, Calling (2008, New York); Sweep, written for the Princeton University Laptop Orchestra (2008, Chicago); a violin concerto, Laugh Perfumes, commissioned by Festival Unicum for the RTV Orchestra of Slovenia (2006, Ljubljana); Gilgamesh, a 70-minute multimedia theatrical concerto; and numerous works of acoustic and electroacoustic concert music.
His music has been performed worldwide, on concerts in North and South America, England, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Romania, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, China and Australia as well as on television, radio and the Internet.
His works have been played by musicians including Ensemble Fa, Speculum Musicae, Ensemble Pi, the NODUS Ensemble, The Radio-Television Orchestra of Slovenia, the Experimentalstudio des SWR, the Centre Henri Pousseur, the Princeton University Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk), the Verge Ensemble, Choral Chameleon, Sønreel, the NEXt Ens, Zeitgeist, the Electric Music Collective, Maja Cerar, Izumi Okubo, Jinsoo Lim, Lisa Bahn, Saul Bitran, Erin Lesser, Jed Distler, Esther Lamneck, Kamala Sankaram, Roland Burks, James Rollins, Shiau-uen Ding, Chihiro Shibayama, Regie Cabico, Jenna Espisito, Darryn Zimmer, Matthew Polashek, Steve Cohn and Greg Beyer.
Geers has won numerous grants and awards, including a 2009 Bush Foundation Fellowship Finalist award, a 2008 Argossy commission award, 2007 McKnight Composer Fellowship, a 2007 Jerome Foundation Composers Commissioning Project award, a 2001 Jerome Foundation Composers Commissioning Project award, and grants from organizations including the Ditson Fund, the Roth-Thomson Foundation, the Hochscule für Musik und Theater Zürich (Switzerland), NYSCA, Meet the Composer (now New Music USA), and the American Composers Forum.
He studied via full-tuition scholarships at Xavier University (bachelor of arts in English and music), the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (master of music), Columbia University (doctor of musical arts, 2002), and the NoTAM Computer Music Center of the University of Oslo, Norway (research fellowship 2000–01 via a Fulbright Foundation award).
At Columbia University, Geers studied composition, computer music and music theory with Tristan Murail, Fred Lerdahl, Brad Garton and Jonathan D. Kramer. From 2002 to 2009 he taught on the faculty of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and while there he founded the Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts, which he directed from 2003 to 2009.
From 2009 to the present, Geers has been an associate professor of music composition at the City University of New York Graduate Center and the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, where he is director of the Center for Computer Music.
For more information, visit Douglas Geers' website.
Tony Gerber’s films include Full Battle Rattle (SXSW '08 Special Jury Prize), about life inside the U.S. Army’s Iraq simulation in the California desert, and The Notorious Mr. Bout (Sundance 2014), about Russian arms dealer Victor Bout. Gerber is a two-time Emmy recipient and has written and directed more than a dozen documentaries for National Geographic, shot in some of the most remote regions of the world. Most recently is a film on the Kurds and their fight against ISIS, filmed on location in Iraq, and a film on the life and death battle around conservation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Battle for Virunga). Gerber produced Rachel Beth Anderson’s First to Fall (Gucci/TriBeCa recipient, IDFA 2013), about the broken promise of the revolution in Libya. In 2005 he founded Market Road Films, a New York–based production company with Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Lynn Nottage. Currently in production is a Ford Foundation–supported, transmedia project about how poverty is changing the American narrative, and a documentary for CNN Films on Michelle Obama’s campaign to educate girls around the world, featuring Meryl Streep and Frieda Pinto.
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Leo Goldsmith is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Cinema Studies at New York University, where he is completing a dissertation on found footage and image circulation. He is the co-editor of the film section of The Brooklyn Rail, a monthly arts and politics newspaper, and his writing on film and media has most recently appeared in art-agenda, Artforum, Cinema Scope and Reverse Shot. He is the co-author, with Robert Stam and Richard Porton, of Keywords in Subversive Film/Media Aesthetics (Wiley, 2015), and, with Rachael Rakes, of a forthcoming book on the filmmaker Peter Watkins. He has organized exhibitions and film series for the Museum of the Moving Image, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, UnionDocs, 92Y Tribeca and Heliopolis Project Space. With Gregory Zinman, he curated the traveling film series "Computer Age: Early Computer Movies, 1952–1987,” and, with Lukas Brasiskis, he organized "Human. Material. Machine," a program of films about machinic vision for the Contemporary Art Centre (Vilnius, Lithuania). His research interests include digital cinema aesthetics, documentary, and avant-garde/experimental film and video.
Jeff Gomez is a leading expert in the fields of story world development, franchise design, and transmedia storytelling. He specializes in the expansion of entertainment properties, premium brands, and socio-political themes into highly successful multi-platform communications and international campaigns.
As a transmedia producer, he also develops the story worlds of films, television shows, toys, books, comics, apps, video game titles, immersive installations, virtual reality, and theme park attractions across an array of media touchpoints, which deepens audience engagement, and generates massive fan communities and multiple revenue streams.
Gomez's pop culture work has impacted such blockbuster entertainment properties as Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean, James Cameron's Avatar, Hasbro's Transformers, Sony Pictures' Spider-Man and Men in Black, Microsoft's Halo, and Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
As a story world creator he is known for his work on Mattel’s Hot Wheels animated series, the Valiant Comics superhero universe, Hasbro's Magic: The Gathering, Acclaim Entertainment’s Turok videogame series, and Mark Burnett's Lucha Underground TV series, for which he serves as Transmedia Producer.
Gomez has also developed highly successful transmedia campaigns and participative brand narratives for The Coca-Cola Company (Happiness Factory), Pepperidge Farm (Goldfish) and Spartan Race. Other current clients include Sesame Workshop, Disney Parks & Resorts, STX Entertainment, and World Vision Canada.
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David Grubbs is a Professor of Music at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. At Brooklyn College he also teaches in the MFA programs in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) and Creative Writing. He is the author of Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, The Sixties, and Sound Recording (Duke University Press), which appears in French, Italian, and Japanese translations.
Grubbs has released thirteen solo albums and appeared on more than 150 commercially-released recordings. His most recent releases include Prismrose (Blue Chopsticks, 2016) and WOODSLIPPERCOUNTERCLATTER (Blue Chopsticks, 2015), a collaboration with Susan Howe. In 2000, his The Spectrum Between (Drag City) was named “Album of the Year” in the London Sunday Times.
Grubbs is known for his cross-disciplinary collaborations with writers Susan Howe and Rick Moody, with visual artists Angela Bulloch, Anthony McCall, and Stephen Prina, and with choreographer Jonah Bokaer. His collaborations with Susan Howe appear on four CD releases and have been presented in performance at MoMA, the Southbank Centre (London), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Cambridge University, Harvard University, and Yale University’s Beinecke Library.
Grubbs’s collaborations with Anthony McCall have been exhibited at the Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin) and the Sean Kelly Gallery (New York), and he created the sound design for ECLIPSE, the performance work by McCall and Jonah Bokaer that inaugurated the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAM Fisher Building in September 2012. Works by Angela Bulloch featuring soundtracks by Grubbs have been exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (in the exhibition theanyspacewhatever), the Centre Pompidou (in elles@centrepompidou), and the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich. Grubbs and Bulloch premiered a new performance work, The Wired Salutation, at the Centre Pompidou in 2013. Grubbs’s music appears in two installations by Doug Aitken, and his sound installation “Between a Raven and a Writing Desk” was included in the 1999 group exhibition Elysian Fields at the Centre Pompidou. Most recently his collaborative installation One and One Less (with Eli Keszler) was exhibited at the MIT List Visual Arts Center.
Grubbs is one of five musicians profiled in Augusto Contento’s 2012 documentary film Parallax Sounds. He collaborated with Matmos on music for Thierry Jousse’s feature film Les Invisibles, and has contributed music to Augusto Contento’s Parallax Sounds, Strade Trasparenti, and Onibus; Gustav Deutsch’s FILM IST. a girl & a gun; Braden King and Laura Moya’s Dutch Harbor: Where the Sea Breaks its Back; and John Boskovich’s North, as well as to the Red Krayola’s soundtrack to Norman and Bruce Yonemoto’s Japan in Paris in LA. Music by Gastr del Sol appears in the P.B.S. television series The United States of Poetry, Hal Hartley’s film The Book of Life, and Doug Aitken’s film The Diamond Sea. Grubbs composed the musical score for Karl Bruckmaier’s radio adaptation of Peter Weiss’s Die Ästhetik des Widerstands (Hessischer Rundfunk’s “Hörbuch des Jahres 2007”) and contributed music to Bruckmaier’s adaptation of Alexander Kluge’s Chronik der Gefühle (Deutscher Hörbuchpreis 2010, “Best Fiction”). He appears in the Arte television documentary Lost in Music: Chicago Connections and the NHK (Japan) television documentary The Red Krayola.
David Grubbs was a founding member of the groups Gastr del Sol, Bastro, and Squirrel Bait, and has performed with the Red Krayola, Will Oldham, Tony Conrad, Pauline Oliveros, Royal Trux, Loren Connors, and many others. Live performances include the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Fondation Cartier (Paris), MACBA (Barcelona), Museu do Chiado (Lisbon), CAAC (Seville), P3 Art and Environment (Tokyo), Vienna Jazz Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival, Steirischer Herbst (Graz), Festival Musique Actuelle (Victoriaville), Musique Action Festival (Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy), STRP Festival (Eindhoven), SONAR (Barcelona), Playback Play Festival (Warsaw), Music Merge Festival (Tokyo), and What Is Music (Melbourne/Sydney). Grubbs directs the Blue Chopsticks label, which has released new and archival recordings by Luc Ferrari, Derek Bailey and Noël Akchoté, Workshop, Circle X, and many others. Between 1996 and 1998 he co-directed with Jim O’Rourke Dexter’s Cigar, an acclaimed label that reissued out-of-print recordings by, among others, Arnold Dreyblatt, Henry Kaiser, and Merzbow.
Grubbs holds a Ph.D. in literature from the University of Chicago, and from 1997-99 taught in the Sound and Liberal Arts departments of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In the summer of 2008, he taught in a four-week session of the Interdisciplinary and Technological Performance Arts (ITPA) program, a ten-week intensive course in performance, interdisciplinary collaboration, and interactive media technology offered through the Fundacão Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon. Between 1999 and 2007 he regularly published music criticism in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. His criticism has appeared in Chicago Review, Texte zur Kunst, Frieze, Afterall, Modern Painters, The Wire, Bookforum, Tin House, Black Clock, and Conjunctions. Grubbs is a 2005-6 grant recipient from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a contributing editor in music for BOMB Magazine, and a member of the board of directors of Blank Forms.
Eric V. Hachikian is an Armenian-American composer, whose music has been hailed by the New York Times as "lovely and original." His compositions can be heard in a variety of major motion pictures (The Place Beyond The Pines; Project X; 50/50; The Wrestler) and network television shows (Netflix's Marco Polo; ABC's Mixology & Revenge; Fox's The Mindy Project; HBO's Entourage & How To Make It In America; Showtime's The Big C; AMC's Rubicon; FX’s Tyrant; The Discovery Channel's LIFE: The Series). As Creative Director and co-founder of Soundcat Productions, a boutique music company with studios in New York City and Los Angeles, Eric has written and produced music for numerous national and international ad campaigns including Apple, Google, Budweiser, BMW, Kate Spade, Wendy's, among many others. Eric has also written for Off-Broadway productions, and his compositions have been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New York Pops Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, and the Boston Pops Orchestra, and in such venues as New York's Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and The Getty in Los Angeles. A classically-trained composer, as well as a self-taught DJ and perpetual student of world music, Eric's musical instincts have no boundaries, and his multi-genre interests result in a unique and personal sound.
Eric studied Nadia Boulanger's methods in Paris, France, and has also studied composition and audio engineering at the Aspen and Tanglewood Music Festivals. He received his Bachelor of Music with highest honors from the University of Michigan, and his Master of Arts from New York University. Also a performer, Eric plays the piano and tuba, is a classically-trained vocalist, and an accomplished conductor.
Assistant Professor Charles Haine teaches post-production. He earned a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.F.A. from the University of Southern California, and has worked as a filmmaker and entrepreneur since 1999.
Haine directed his first feature film, Angel’s Perch, in 2012. The film starred Joyce Van Patten, Ellen Crawford, Ashley Jones, and Ally Walker, and was released theatrically through Tugg and on VOD through Gravitas.
Among Haine's other directing highlights are a music video for Fitz and the Tantrums (Don't Gotta Work It Out, which featured on VH1’s Pop Up Video); the launch spot for the U.K. startup Gamestick; fashion advertisements for Fais Do Do and Emory K Holiday; and countless book trailers for Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Quirk, and many others, including the recent trailer for Chuck Klosterman’s novel The Visible Man, Ransom Riggs’ original Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and the hit trailer for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls for Quirk Books.
In 2008, Haine founded the Academy Award–nominated production company Dirty Robber, which has gone on to success in feature films, shorts, and commercials and music videos. He was part of the founding teams for the post-production and color grading companies Cinelicious, Coyote Post, and ColorCorrection.com. As a colorist, Haine has done work for Ford, Jeep, Burger King, McDonald's, Nissan, Lincoln, Chevrolet, and countless other clients, including major agencies such as TBWA\Chiat\Day. His music video work includes My Chemical Romance, Destroyer, and Delta Rae, and he graded the music documentary Hot Sugar’s Cool World.
Haine’s previous work as an educator includes seven years as an associate professor at Los Angeles City College, where he taught cinematography and editing, and six years at Columbia College Hollywood, where he taught color grading, visual design, and stereography. In 2011, Haine published his first book, The Urban Cyclist’s Handbook, and he appeared as the technical consultant and host on the Discovery Channel show Unchained Reaction. His other writings have appeared on NoFilmSchool.com, HD Video Pro, Student Filmmakers Magazine, and Citizens of Culture.
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Denis Hamill is a Meyer Berger Award winning journalist who worked for the Village Voice, New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, and the Boston Herald American. He wrote a newspaper column for the New York Daily News for 25 years and is currently a contributor to The Daily Beast. Hamill is the author of ten novels including Fork in the Road, and Sins of Two Fathers, and four motion pictures including: Turk-182! starring Timothy Hutton and Kim Cattrall and directed by Bob Clark, Critical Condition starring Richard Pryor and directed by Michael Apted, and The Assignment with Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez, directed by Walter Hill. Hamill lives in Queens, New York.
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Ricardo Hernández Anzola
Ricardo Hernández Anzola graduated from Columbia University’s M.F.A. program in film, and during his time there he co-wrote several thesis short films that went on to play and garner awards in showcases like Sundance, Telluride, Berlin, Aspenshort and New Directors/New Films. His first feature film as a screenwriter, Mejor es que Gabriela no se muera was part of the official selection of AFI FEST, Guadalajara and São Paulo, among others, and won the award for Best First Feature at Cinequest in 2008. As a writer for Venezuela’s RCTV (then one of the leading content producers in Latin America), he worked as creator and head writer of telenovelas and TV series including Tukiti, I Grew up, which was a semifinalist for the International Emmys in 2007 in the Children and Young People category. During that same period he also taught screenwriting at the Universidad Central de Venezuela as an adjunct professor.
Most recently he created and co-directed La cocina de Babe, a 13-episode documentary series about immigration in Venezuela and the way its stories are told through food.
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Foster Hirsch, who has been on the faculty of Brooklyn College for fifty years, is the author of numerous books on film and theatre subjects. Among his titles are Film Noir. The Dark Side of The Screen; Love, Sex, Death, and The Meaning Of Life: The Films of Woody Allen; Kurt Weill on Stage From Berlin to Broadway; Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King; and Harold Prince and The American Musical Theatre. He is now at work on a comprehensive history of Hollywood in the 1950s, to be published by Alfred Knopf, He is a frequent host/moderator/interviewer at many venues, including the National Arts Club, the American Film Institute, the American Cinematheque, the Harvard Club, the Film Forum, the USA Film Festival in Dallas, the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival, and the Palm Springs Film Noir Festival. He has lectured on film in Dubai, Israel, Moscow, Paris, London, Berlin, New Zealand, Finland, and Bologna.
Natacha is a DI colorist who can never let go of her passion for video art and storytelling. In her video art pieces she often uses documentary film techniques, verite shooting style, interviews, and always with a focus on bringing into play spaces as a narrative element and stories that focus on identity and the sense of belonging. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and raised in Paris, where she studied literature and philosophy, she arrived in Brooklyn in 2006. Her first encounter with digital coloring came accidentally as she was filling-in a temporary position at the Colour Space studio in New York. The more she learned, the more she was smitten with the profession. Practicing color grading had awakened a craze and appreciation for aesthetically bold imagery, a new understanding for the medium and awareness of what color can convey. Ikoli went on to be an assistant at Company 3, where she learned and strengthened her knowledge alongside top industry colorists. The close exposure to the high-end post production environment, convinced her that her place was in a boutique studio and joined Color Collective, a studio famed for grading Oscar-winning Moonlight, for which she was a color assist. Her most recent credits as a colorist include To Dust (narrative fiction), Afterward (nonfiction), Working in the Theatre (TV series documentary), multiple episodes for TED Small Things series, Comedy Central branded series Handy, commercial work for BBDO, music videos, and short films. Oscillating between color grading and creating immersive video installation pieces has been her balance for the past few years.
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Dr. Alexandra Juhasz teaches, makes and studies committed media practices that contribute to political change and individual and community growth. She has a Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from NYU and is the author of AIDS TV (Duke, 1995), Women of Vision: Histories in Feminist Media (Minnesota, 2001), F is for Phony: Fake Documentary and Truth’s Undoing with Jesse Lerner (Minnesota, 2005), Learning from YouTube (MIT Press, 2011), The Blackwell Companion on Contemporary Documentary with Alisa Lebow (2016), and with Yvonne Welbon, Sisters in the Life: 25 Years of African-American Lesbian Filmmaking (forthcoming Duke). She is the producer of educational videotapes on feminist issues from AIDS to teen pregnancy and the feature films The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye, 1997) and The Owls (Dunye, 2010). Her current work is on and about the feminist Internet including YouTube, pedagogy, affect and community. Her personal website is: Alexandrajuhasz.com.
Ivan Julian has been working in digital recording since the late '80's and analog recording long before that. His first experience in film was location recorder for KSK Studios. Soon after, he advanced to writing and mixing musical scores for the company's commercial spots. This led to the formation of his own company Gatlian Music, offering scoring and post audio production for film. The U.S. Mint (30 second Super Bowl commercial), Oprah Winfrey's Oxygen Network, Indiana State Museum are just some of the clients they serviced.
In 2007 Julian opened his own public recording studio, NYHed, providing recording and production services for music labels and film post production. Recently, with new partners he moved the studio to a new location and opened Super Giraffe Sound where he continues to do post-production work.
He has been teaching at conservatories and universities since 2010.
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Award-winning filmmaker, book author, and professor for film, Christina Kallas’ directorial debut, 42 Seconds of Happiness (2016), won her a number of accolades, including Best Feature Film at WTxFF in Texas, Best Ensemble Cast at Harlem IFF, Indie Spirit Award and Best Ensemble Cast at Princeton IFF, Best American Film at the Jaipur IFF, and nominations for the Emerging Director Award at the St. Louis IFF, the FIPRESCI Award at the Thessaloniki IFF, and the Exberliner Award at Achtung Berlin 2017. Kallas’ sophomore feature, The Rainbow Experiment, was one of five independent feature films selected by US in Progress Paris 2017. It will have its world premiere at Slamdance Film Festival 2018. Prior credits of the U.S. independent filmmaker and former Berlin-based screenwriter and producer include the political thriller The Commissioner, starring John Hurt; BBC Films and Polygram’s hooligan drama, I.D.; Toronto and Berlin selection hybrid narrative/doc Mothers, and European TV series hit Danni Lowinski. From 2005 to 2013, Kallas was president of the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE). She was honored for her outstanding contribution to the international writers’ community, which includes the European Screenwriters Manifesto and the World Conferences of Screenwriters. She is teaching at the Columbia University and Barnard College film programs since 2011 and is the author of six books, including Creative Screenwriting: Understanding Emotional Structure and Inside the Writers’ Room (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2010 and 2014). She is a member of the Writers Guild of America East, the European Film Academy, the German Film Academy, and the Film Fatales NY Narrative Chapter.
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Anand Kamalakar is a Brooklyn based documentary film director, producer and editor. The Gowanus Canal (Winner, Best Film, Brooklyn Film Festival), Chief Engineer Conrad, Citizen Sharma, Building Bridges, 300 Miles to Freedom, Garwin, Holy (un)Holy River, and Salam (Best Film, Raw Science Film Festival) are some of the films he has directed.
Heart of Stone, a film he produced and edited, won over ten awards including Best Film at Slamdance Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival, and Cinequest Film Festival. It also won an award for Best Editing at the Santa Fe Film Festival. Anand worked as an editor for Primetime (ABC), Dateline (NBC) and 20/20 (ABC) and was the editor of the 2004 Emmy nominated ABC special on the Iraq war titled Brothers in Arms. Anand was also a creative consultant on the academy award-winning documentary Born Into Brothels. Holy (un)Holy River, a film he co-directed and edited, premiered at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival and has won several awards around the world.
He is the co-founder of the Brooklyn based arts company, Trilok Fusion Arts, Inc. and Trilok Fusion Media. He has also taught as an adjunct professor at Syracuse University and School of Visual Arts, New York. He has also been a guest faculty at the Tisch Film School, New York University, and Parsons School of Design, The New School University.
Anand has masters degrees in film production, media studies and mass communications from Syracuse University, Bowling Green State University, and University of Hyderabad.
Apart from making films and listening to the Blues, Anand writes a blog on the state of the world we live in.
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Native New Yorker film director Billy Kent has co-written and directed two acclaimed feature films. Billy launched his career as a commercial director. His second feature film HairBrained (2014)stars Brendan Fraser, Alex Wolff, Parker Posey, and Julia Garner.
Billy's first feature The Oh In Ohio (2006) starred Parker Posey, Danny DeVito, Paul Rudd, Heather Graham and Liza Minnelli, premiered at SXSW, and internationally at the Edinburgh Film Festival. According to Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe, the film “is one of the sweetest, smartest sex comedies I’ve ever seen.” Billy has been directing professionally since 1989 when his series of political satire promos for MTV helped define the network's place in America's cultural lexicon. Billy has directed over 350 commercials worldwide, working with the world's top ad agencies. Billy studied at Vassar College and The American Film Institute. He lives in Brooklyn. He is currently in development on his third feature film Conversation 16.
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Jason Kliot is the producer of more than 40 feature films by such acclaimed directors as Jim Jarmusch, Brian De Palma, Steven Soderbergh, Miguel Arteta, Hal Hartley, Nicole Holofcener, Alex Gibney and Todd Solondz. Throughout his career he has produced innovative works by first-time filmmakers while championing the distinctive visions of established directors. Kliot has produced a wide variety of films, ranging from auteur-driven projects to successful commercial box-office hits as well as award-winning theatrical documentaries. His films have been selected for and won several awards at the Sundance Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival and Venice International Film Festival, including two Sundance Grand Jury Prizes and Venice's Silver Lion for Best Director, among others. His films have been nominated for more than 25 Independent Spirit Awards, and he has been nominated for an Academy Award.
Kliot is recognized as a leading figure of the digital film revolution. His pioneering digital production companies Blow Up Pictures and HDNet Films, which he launched with partners Joana Vicente, Marc Cuban and Todd Wagner, ushered in a new era of digital filmmaking that radically transformed the landscape of American independent film production and distribution. He also has cross-platform experience in interactive media. He has developed a proprietary platform for distribution of video content, and in the process has consulted with the Hearst Corporation, Condé Nast and other media companies on new-media content and platforms.
Sonny Kompanek has orchestrated more than 70 feature films and had compositions played by the major orchestras of New York, Boston, Montreal, Milwaukee, Rochester, Atlanta, and Portland, among others. He has written for a wide variety of artists ranging from Wynton Marsalis to Soul Asylum, Boyz II Men to the Canadian Brass.
As a pianist, in addition to having his own trio, Kompanek worked with Mel Torme, Diahann Carroll, Joe Williams, Shirley MacLaine, Chuck Mangione, and Buddy DeFranco.
After moving to New York in 1977, he began arranging and orchestrating for film composer Michael Small and, later, Carter Burwell. He went on to work with many other composers, including Howard Shore, Michael Kamen, John Powell, Elliot Goldenthal, Wynton Marsalis, Wyclef Jean, and Cy Coleman. Most recently, he orchestrated the films The Finest Hours and Hail Caesar for composer Carter Burwell.
He taught freshman and sophomore theory while at The Eastman School and more recently film scoring at New York University, the Mannes/New School, and most recently, Brooklyn College, as well as many private film scoring students. He is the author of a highly acclaimed book on film scoring, From Score to Screen, published by Schirmer Trade Books.
Kompanek has been a guest lecturer in film scoring at the NYU/ASCAP Foundation Film Scoring Workshop and most recently a guest speaker for a film scoring workshop at the University of Tulsa music school.
He received a bachelor of music degree from West Virginia University and a master of music degree from The Eastman School, where he was awarded a full scholarship. He studied composition with Thomas Canning and Samuel Adler, and piano with James Miltenberger and Brooks Smith.
Susan Lazarus has worked on over 40 films as a post-production supervisor and/or producer. Starting as a photographer for the Guggenheim Museum and assisting the experimental film and video artist Ed Emshwiller, she then worked as a picture-editing assistant and as sound editor for documentaries, including the Academy Award-nominated feature doc The War at Home.
Her feature film training began when she joined the editing teams of Dede Allen and Thelma Schoonmaker, apprenticing on Reds and The King of Comedy. Combining editing room knowledge with producing experiences, Susan became one of the New York film scene’s first Post Production Supervisors. Her narrative feature films range from Mississippi Masala (Mira Nair), Bob Roberts (Tim Robbins), The Boxer (Jim Sheridan), Inside Man (Spike Lee), Martha Marcy May Marlene (Sean Durkin) and Simon Killer (Antonio Campos) to Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller) and the Jim Jarmusch films The Limits of Control, Only Lovers Left Alive, and Paterson. She was Co-Producer of Sophie and the Rising Sun (Maggie Greenwald).
Susan Lazarus was producer with Josh Waletzky on the feature documentary Image Before My Eyes. Various other documentary credits include Godfrey Reggio’s Naqoyqatsi, Apache 8, Phyllis and Harold, Andre Gregory: Before and After Dinner, and the HBO series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.
Susan served on the Board of New York Women in Film & Television as Vice President. She is on the steering committee and former Chairwoman of the NYWIFT Women’s Film Preservation Fund, which has preserved over 150 films featuring the work of women in major creative roles throughout the history of cinema.
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Having a built an exceptional editing career over the years, Emirʼs long list of editing credits span documentaries, TV series, and feature films beginning with Slam (1998) which received both the prestigious Sundance Grand Jury Prize and the Cannes Camera DʼOr. In addition, several other of the documentaries edited by Emir received high honors such as HBOʼs O.J. – A Story in Black & White (2003 Emmy winner), PBSʼ Two Towns of Jasper (2003 DuPont and Peabody Awards), and Nickelodeon/MTV Networksʼ I Sit Where I Want- The Legacy of Brown v. Board (2005 Parents’ Choice Award). He has also parlayed his editing experience into a producer/director role for WNET, garnering Emmy nominations for both In the Footsteps of Marco Polo and Pioneers of THIRTEEN, a four part series chronicling the history of Public Television in New York. His latest project, Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives, for which he served as editor, opened in theaters across the country this past summer.
In the future, Emir plans to continue editing, producing and directing for a diverse range of media projects, but is also very happy teaching the next generation of students the fine art of editorial storytelling at both N.Y.U. & Brooklyn College.
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Topper Lilien has written dozens of movie and television scripts for such production companies and studios as Walt Disney, Sony Pictures, Village Roadshow, Miramax, USA Network and Showtime. He’s worked with such producers, directors, collaborators and actors as James Cameron, Ridley Scott, Michael Bay, Quincy Jones, Paul Newman, Steve Golin, Elmore Leonard and Robin Williams. As a screenwriting professor, he’s taught at USC, NYU, and now the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema.
Katherine Lindberg’s directorial debut, Rain (executive produced by Martin Scorsese), celebrated its world premiere at the 2001 Venice International Film Festival, followed by the North American premiere at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. The success of her film’s launch helped propel Lindberg into the film industry, and she began collaborating on a wide variety of independent and studio-driven projects, including several for television, notably Auction House for Sarah Jessica Parker/HBO and MindShock for Rosen-Obst Productions/Paramount.
In 2012, Lindberg was hired by Appian Way (Leonardo DiCaprio) to develop the feature script Crossers and by Georgeville Entertainment/CBS Television for the series Tomorrow. In 2013, Brett Ratner and Barry Schindel attached to Tomorrow; in fall 2014, Brendan Fraser joined as lead. Tomorrow is slated to be walked out in early winter 2015.
Lindberg has taught a wide variety of graduate-level screenwriting and directing courses in both the United States and Asia. Her students have screened and won awards around the world at all the major film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Busan, Toronto, Clermont-Ferrand, Palm Springs and Sundance among others, and have been invited to such high-profile labs as Berlin Talent Campus, Cinefondation Résidence du Festival and Tribeca Storytelling Innovation Lab. Two of her students have made the shortlist for Academy Awards.
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Writer/director Alison Maclean grew up in Canada and New Zealand, moving to New York in 1992. Her NZ shorts include Kitchen Sink (1989) which won eight international awards. Crush, her debut feature, starring Marcia Gay Harden, showed in competition at Cannes in 1992. Jesus' Son, adapted from the acclaimed Denis Johnson book, starred Billy Crudup and Samantha Morton, played at the Venice film festival in 1999, winning the Baby Lion. In 2004, Alison co-directed Persons of Interest (Sundance 2003), a documentary about Muslim detainees held on immigration charges in NY after 9/11. Her latest film, The Rehearsal, based on the book by Booker-prize winner, Eleanor Catton, was filmed in NZ with James Rolleston and Kerry Fox. It had its North American premiere at TIFF in 2016 and played at NYFF and LIFF. Her episodic TV work includes Subway Stories, Sex and the City, The L-Word, Carnivale, The Tudors, Gossip Girl and Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays in Canada. She has continued to direct shorts, including Intolerable and The Professor.
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Khaula Malik is a Pakistani-American filmmaker based in New York City. She received a B.A. in Anthropology and Economics from the George Washington University. Prior to filmmaking, Khaula worked in healthcare and cancer research. She has assistant directed and produced television shows for Pakistani television. Recently, Khaula associate produced Japanese documentary, Of Love & Law which won best documentary at the 2017 Tokyo International Film Festival. Khaula won the 2017 National Board of Review Student Filmmaker Award for her short documentary, How The Air Feels which premiered at AFI Docs in 2017. She was also awarded the 2017 BAFTA NY John Grist Scholarship. Her latest project is a feature documentary about a group of transgender women running a canteen at the National College of Arts in Pakistan. Khaula is a recent graduate of the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema where she received her M.F.A. in Cinema Arts.
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Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Jodie Markell attended Northwestern University where she was mentored by writer/director Frank Galati (Ragtime, The Grapes of Wrath) in the field of adaptation of literature to the stage and screen. In New York, Markell studied acting at Circle-in-the-Square Professional Theater School. As an actress, she worked with accomplished theater directors such as John Patrick Shanley, John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, Simon Curtis, and Michael Greif, and playwrights including David Lindsay-Abaire, Will Scheffer, David Marshall Grant, Theresa Rebeck, Will Eno, and Lanford Wilson. She has starred at Lincoln Center, Manhattan Theater Club, Circle Rep, The Public, Steppenwolf, Naked Angels (company member), Williamstown, and Mark Taper in LA. Markell has been featured in films by directors such as Woody Allen, Jim Jarmusch, Todd Haynes, Ira Sachs, and Barry Levinson. She also played a recurring role on HBO’s Big Love. After receiving the Obie Award for her leading performance at The Public in Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal (a 1929 play she helped rediscover), Markell was invited by Richard Eyre and the National Theater in London to be the creative consultant to Stephen Daldry on his production of Machinal with Fiona Shaw.
Markell adapted and directed the award winning short film Why I Love the P.O. based on Eudora Welty’s classic story and starring Robert Morse. The film played at numerous festivals including Seattle Film Festival/Women in Cinema and the Hamptons Film Festival. At the New Orleans Film Festival, her film was awarded the Lumiere Award and the Moviemaker Magazine Breakthrough Award—the highest award given to any film in any category at the festival. The film was invited to screen at the National Museum of Women In The Arts in Washington D.C. The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond is Markell’s feature film directing debut which she adapted from an original screenplay by Tennessee Williams. The film stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Evans, Ellen Burstyn, Will Patton, and Ann-Margret and premiered at the Toronto Film Festival before its theatrical release. The New York Times calls the film “a significant feat of reclamation.” The LA Times says, “lovely... A film to savor…. Rich in ways that are all too rare these days.” Jodie was interviewed by Melissa Silverstein for Women in Hollywood and her interview was featured as a chapter in a volume that includes 40 women directors – “In Her Voice: Women Directors Talk Directing”.
She recently completed a stage adaptation with the author William Kennedy of his landmark Pulitzer Prize winning novel Ironweed, which she will also direct. Markell has been a guest teaching artist at various universities, film festivals, and literary events. She also teaches Directing Actors in the Columbia University MFA Film program.
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Professor Paula J. Massood is on the doctoral faculty in the Program in Theatre at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of Black City Cinema: African American Urban Experiences in Film (Temple, 2003) and Making a Promised Land: Harlem in 20th-Century Photography and Film (Rutgers, 2013). She is the editor of The Spike Lee Reader (Temple, 2007) and the Film and Theater subject editor for the African American National Biography (2008). Her articles have appeared in a number of anthologies and journals, including Cinema Journal, African American Review and the Quarterly Review of Film and Video. She serves on the editorial board of Cinema Journal. Massood’s research interests include African American film and visual culture, the cinema and the city, and feminist film theory.
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David B. Mattingly
Born in Fort Collins, Colorado, David attended Colorado State University and later transferred to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. After school, he was hired by Walt Disney Studios as a matte artist, and ultimately became head of the matte department. He worked on a number of Disney films, including The Black Hole, Tron, and the Herbie series.
While at Disney Studios, David began doing freelance art. He painted album covers for Motown, Atlantic and Electra/Asylum Records. He worked on the movie posters for The Blue Lagoon, E.T. and The Thing. During this time his reputation as a book cover artist continued to grow, and in of May 1983 he moved to New York.
Mattingly has produced over 2000 covers for most major publishers of science fiction. and fantasy, including Ace, Baen, Ballantine, Bantam, Berkley, DAW, Del Rey, Dell, Marvel, Omni, Playboy, Penguin, Scholastic, Signet, and Tor. He is a two time winner of Magazine and Bookseller’s Best Cover of the Year award, and the Association of Science Fiction Artists Chesley award. He illustrated the popular Heroes in Hell series, David Weber’s New York Times best-selling Honor Harrington series, and the most recent repackaging of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pellucidar books. David illustrated all 54 books in Scholastic Books best-selling Animorphs series. Other clients include Michael Jackson, American Express, Lucasfilm, Universal Studios, Totco Oil and Galloob Toys.
David continues to be sought after as a matte artist. He painted the panoramic opening shot for Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy, along with many other scenes in the film. He did the mattes for two Stephen King miniseries, The Stand and The Langoliers. He painted the background for the corporate ID for Ivan Reitman's Northern Lights Productions. His commercial credits Dupont Chemical, First Chicago Bank and J.C. Penney. David moved to New Zealand to work for Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital on matte paintings for I, Robot. He was senior matte artist on the Coen Brother’s Hail, Caesar!.
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Maria is the founding partner of an entertainment law firm with offices in New York. Maria’s practice focuses on all areas of entertainment and media law, including, film (both documentary and narrative), music, literary publishing, fashion, sports and new media.
Prior to starting her own practice, Maria was general counsel for a multi-media and digital startup working on a diverse range of subject-matter areas including web series and editorial content, corporate and financing transactions, technology development and licensing, employment and intellectual property (including trademarks, copyrights and patents) both in the US and abroad. Prior to her role as in-house counsel, Maria was associated with Greenberg Traurig, LLP, and Rudolph & Beer, LLP, where she served as counsel to numerous award-winning actors, writers, producers, television hosts and multi-platinum recording artists, sports teams, and corporations in the fashion and retail industries related to their entertainment and intellectual property matters. Committed to promoting diversity in the film and television industry, she serves on the board of New York Women in Film & Television.
Maria received her J.D. degree from Western New England University School of Law (1998) and a Bachelors of Arts from Muhlenberg College (1995). Maria is admitted to practice in the State of New York, The United States District Court, Eastern & Southern Districts of New York, and The United States Supreme Court.
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Ekwa Msangi has written for both film and television, most recently the award-winning comedy Soko Sonko (The Market King) and her newly released drama Farewell Meu Amor, starring Tony Award nominee Sahr Ngauja and actress Nana Mensah of the famed series An African City. She has written several feature scripts, including her feature-in-development, Eastlands, which was in competition at the 2012 FCAT-Cordoba Film Market.
For television, Msangi has written several drama series for mainstream broadcasters in Kenya and MNET South Africa, including The Agency, MNET’s first original hour-long Kenyan drama series. She was selected for the 2012 Focus Features’ Africa First Program and the 2016 Berlin Talent Campus. In the past, she has been adjunct faculty at Tisch School of the Arts as well as resident instructor with the African Film Festival, Inc. and a recurring mentor in Mira Nair’s East Africa–based Maisha Screenwriting Labs. Msangi currently teaches Screenwriting 3 at The New School, and Short Film Screenwriting at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, Brooklyn College.
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Allan F. Nicholls is a BAFTA and WGA award nominated veteran of the film industry having produced, directed, acted, and composed music for the past forty years.
He is most noted for his collaborations with Robert Altman, Tim Robbins, and John Madden. Often performing multiple roles for a film, his experiences include associate producer and assistant director on Oscar nominated Dead Man Walking (1995), assistant director on the Oscar nominated The Player (1992), executive producer and assistant director for the Palme d’Or nominated Cradle Will Rock (1999), and associate producer on the Golden Globe nominated Bob Roberts (1992). His television experience includes, amongst others, being an associate director on Saturday Night Live (1989-91) and first assistant director on both Tanner ’88 (1988) and Tanner on Tanner (2004). He co-wrote A Perfect Couple (1979) and the BAFTA nominated A Wedding (1978), both directed by Robert Altman. He has also taught screenwriting at Burlington College, NYU’s Tisch Asia School of The Arts (Singapore) and served as the Artistic Director of New York Film Academy- Abu Dhabi Campus in the UAE.
To Allan’s credit too is a five-year Broadway career in several rock musicals including Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar along with his roles in such films as Nashville (1975), Slap Shot (1977), and Popeye (1980).
Tim Perell is president of Process Media, a New York based production company. Perell has produced over 25 feature films. Credits include: John Cameron Mitchell’s Cannes sensation Shortbus, Last Chance Harvey starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, Bobcat Goldthwait’s World’s Greatest Dad starring Robin Williams, five films with director Bart Freundlich including Trust the Man starring David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Billy Crudup and Eva Mendes and Wolves starring Michael Shannon and Carla Gugino. Other films: Ordinary World developed with and starring Billie Joe Armstrong (he also wrote 4 original songs), Dennis Iliadis’ genre bending and controversial +1 and The Love Punch starring Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson.
Process also produces short form digital and branded content for a wide range of brands and platforms. Some notable productions include a series of 5 films for Adidas and ESPN (directed by Bob Pulcini &Shari Berman and Marah Strauch), a short film for Audi starring Claire Danes, a docu series featuring athletes and social issues for The Player’s Tribune and a piece for the New Yorker Presents starring Paul Giammati. Process also works with a group of independent filmmakers to produce commercials.
Perell was one of Variety’s 10 Producer’s to Watch and the recipient of an Independent Spirit Award for Producing. Perell has been a adjunct professor of film at NYU and lectured to film students at schools such as Kenyon, Columbia and Brooklyn College. Perell has also served as a mentor at the Sundance Producer’s Lab. Perell is on the board of Project Renewal, an organization dedicated to addressing the issue of homelessness in NYC.
Amos Poe is a New York City–based filmmaker, screenwriter, and artist. He is known as the godfather of the “No Wave” film movement, which he started in 1976. His films as writer, producer, and director include The Blank Generation (1976), Unmade Beds (1976), The Foreigner (1978), Subway Riders (1981), Alphabet City (1984), Rocket Gibraltar (1988), Triple Bogey (1991), Dead Weekend (1994), Frogs for Snakes (1999), Empire II (2007), and A Walk in the Park (2012).
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Angela Piva is an audio/mix engineer and producer, highly skilled in all aspects of music/audio production, including recording, mixing, and mastering. She has over 28 years of professional audio engineering experience and accolades including several Grammy award nominations from NARAS, as well as RIAA multi-platinum sales of recordings on which she worked.
Ms. Piva’s credits include:
- Music: Michael Jackson, Tony Braxton, Naughty By Nature, Queen Latifah, Run DMC, Ronnie Spector, Groove Theory, Mary J Blige, Color Me Badd, Heavy D, Christopher Williams.
- Film Music Mixing: New Jack City, Poetic Justice, Juice, Love Jones, Toy Story, The Show, Sunset Park, Space Jam, NJ Drive, Why Do Fools Fall in Love.
- Voiceover recording: Cherry Jones, Stanley Tucci, Lynn Redgrave, Lauren Bacall, Anderson Cooper, and more.
Ms. Piva has a bachelor’s degree in Music Production and Engineering from the Berklee School of Music and a Master of the Arts Music (MAT) degree from Lehman College, CUNY. She is a member of AES, NARAS and ASCAP.
In her current position, Ms. Piva brings her cutting edge knowledge to the Feirstein School of Cinema facility, which she manages, and to the Music and Cinema MFA student body. On any given day, one might find her at work in the Audio Control Room, the Foley studio, the ADR room, or in a 5.1 suite, working on sessions that run the gamut from dialogue replacement, acoustic and orchestral recording, to mixing audio to picture.
Born and raised in the serene Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York State, Jordan recently resettled back in New York City after spending over half a decade doing filmmaking around the world. During that time, he was primarily based in Southeast Asia where he received his MFA at NYU’s Tisch Asia in Singapore. He went on to create narrative work, both documentary and fiction, and to direct commercials for clients such as Nike, IKEA and Google. His films and commercial projects have been shot across the globe including India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Kuwait, Iceland, Taiwan, the United States, Japan, and Singapore. This work has screened at various prestigious film festivals such as the Telluride, Clermont-Ferrand, Moscow, Busan, London and São Paulo film festivals.
In 2013, with a generous donation by Red Digital Cinema Camera Company, he was able to complete a feature film using Red’s Epic Monochrome, the first digital cinema camera to shoot exclusively in black and white. A panel of judges, led by Hollywood filmmaker, John Bailey, awarded the Kodak Cinematography first place award to Jordan in 2012. Jordan directed and shot IKEA’s 2014 Halloween campaign, a parody on Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining that amassed over 4.5 million views in less than a week on YouTube while receiving write-ups in Time.com, The Guardian and SlashFilm. That same year, Jordan again received another Kodak Gold Award for the film Tricycle Thief shot in Macau. Jordan is currently in New York developing both a feature film and a documentary while continuing to do commercial projects. His work still takes him worldwide. Since being back in the States, Jordan has shot a commercial in Indonesia as well as completed narrative productions in Mexico, Hong Kong/Macau, Slovakia and Uganda.
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Cortland Rankin holds a Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from New York University and has taught film studies courses at NYU, the New School, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the College of Staten Island. His research focuses on cinematic representations of urbanism in postwar American cinema and he is currently working on a book manuscript on representations of urban decline and renewal in New York City films of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. His publications include “Painting the Town Green: From Urban Teleology to Urban Ecology in New York Cinema, 1960-Present” co-authored with Brady Fletcher (NECSUS, European Journal of Media Studies, 2013) and “Spectacles of the Sacred Secular: Wim Wenders’ Cathedrals of Culture” (Film Platform, 2014). Rankin has also taught and written on war cinema and media. His chapters “‘A Quiet Day at the Front’: Realism as an Act of Memorialization in Cease Fire” and “Their War, Our War: Private Memory and Public Commemoration in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” are forthcoming in the anthology Hollywood and American War edited by Andrew Rayment and Paul Nadasdy (Brill, 2018).
Tom Reilly has been the Distinguished Lecturer on Film at Brooklyn College since 2011. He is a graduate of Harvard College and has been a member of the Directors Guild of America since 1979.
Reilly has 35 years of feature film production experience working as an associate producer, assistant director, production manager, second unit director and associate director for every major studio and network, including Twentieth Century Fox, Columbia, Warner’s, Paramount and Disney. He has filmed throughout the United States and Europe, helped oversee pro-rated budgets totaling in excess of $2 billion, and was nominated for the Directors Guild of America Award for Hannah and Her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors and The Prince of Tides. Over his career, Reilly has more than 50 A-level feature films to his credit as well as an extensive background in pilots, episodic television and MOWs.
Reilly has collaborated with directors Woody Allen (18 films), Sydney Pollack, Barbra Streisand, Taylor Hackford, and Irwin Winkler, among numerous others. Cinematographers worked with include Gordon Willis, Carlo Di Palma, Giuseppe Rotunno, John Seale, Michael Ballhaus and Sven Nykvist. He has done films with more than 70 Academy Award winners and worked with such actors as Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Vanessa Redgrave, John Huston, Alec Guinness, Diane Keaton, Harrison Ford, Charlize Theron, Keanu Reeves, Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford and Sean Connery.
He is the author of The Big Picture: Filmmaking Lessons From a Life on the Set (St. Martin’s Press, 2009; also published in the United Kingdom by Old Street Publishing and in Spain by Ediciones Jaguar).
Tom's most recent book was published earlier this year: The Hollywood MBA: A Crash Course In Management From A Life In The Film Business (St. Martin's Press, 2017).
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Howard Rosenman is best known for the remake of Father of the Bride (starring Steve Martin and Diane Keaton), the cult phenomenon Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Family Man (starring Nicolas Cage). Rosenman’s films have won two Peabody Awards, an Academy Award and top honors at the Sundance, Berlin and Cannes film festivals. Among his 30 films to date are The Main Event (Barbra Streisand), A Stranger Among Us (Melanie Griffith) and You Kill Me (Sir Ben Kingsley); the acclaimed documentaries The Celluloid Closet and the Oscar- and Peabody-winning Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt; and the HBO television series John From Cincinnati.
Rosenman remade his first film, Sparkle, for Sony Pictures, directed by Salim Akil (Jumping the Broom, The Game) and starring the late Whitney Houston. He is now preparing a remake of Israel’s most successful comedy, Matter of Size (2009), at Paramount, to be directed by Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Cool Runnings). He just produced his fifth documentary, Brave Miss World, about the rape of Linor Abargil, a Miss Israel who then became Miss World, directed by Cecilia Peck (Shut Up & Sing, 2006) and recently sold to Netflix. He is also preparing Shepherd: A Tale of a Dog in World War II, based on the best-selling Israeli novel, with Lynn Roth writing and directing. He just sold a mini-series — six hours of television based on Michael Oren’s book The Six-Day War, with Rob Eshman writing — to David Ellison’s Skydance TV. He is putting together a film based on the life of Anita Bryant, written by Chad Hodge, to be directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, and starring Uma Thurman and Zachary Quinto; Darren Star and Jeffrey Schwarz are his partners. In addition, he is preparing a Broadway musical, Anne Rice’s Voce, written by Craig Lucas with music by Lance Horne and Lisbeth Scott. His producing partners are Belinda Casas-Wells, Chuck Martinez and Allan Levey. Rosenman made his acting debut in Gus Van Sant’s Milk, playing the role of David Goodstein (founder of The Advocate) opposite the Oscar-winning Sean Penn, and has since appeared in five more movies.
Rosenman co-founded Project Angel Food, a lifeline to people affected by HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses, in 1989. The organization is now one of the largest charities in Southern California, preparing and delivering more than 2,000 meals per day.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Rosenman graduated magna cum laude from Brooklyn College with a degree in European literature. He served as an adjunct professor at USC and has lectured at USC’s Stark Producing Program, UCLA, Yale, Columbia, NYU, Brandeis and AFI.
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Deborah Reinisch has produced and directed award-winning movies and series for network, cable, and public television, including the Emmy Award and National Board of Review winner Andre’s Mother. Her recent short film Sure Thing won the Cine Golden Eagle for Fiction Short along with Best Comedy awards at the Virginia, Houston, and Big as Texas Comedy Festivals. It has screened at 27 film festivals, including the Palm Springs ShortFest, Cannes Short Film Corner, and the Hamptons, Bermuda, Mill Valley, Woodstock, and Napa Valley film festivals. Next up for Reinisch is directing Madam Secretary for CBS.
Prior to her work in television, Reinisch worked as first assistant director on many feature films, including Blood Simple and Raising Arizona for Joel and Ethan Coen. She founded the Sundance/Silverman Fellowship for New Producers, which became the basis for the current Sundance Creative Producing Initiative, of which it remains a part. Reinisch has taught directing, production, and film history at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and at Columbia University.
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Tom Richmond, ASC, is a cinematographer who has photographed more than 45 feature films in a career spanning 30 years. His films have received awards and nominations from the Academy of Motion Pictures, Sundance, Venice International, Independent Spirit Awards, SXSW Film Festival, and Rotterdam International. Notable credits include Little Odessa (winner of the Silver Lion and Best Supporting Actress for Vanessa Redgrave at the Venice Film Festival), Right at Your Door (winner of Best Cinematography at Sundance), A Midnight Clear, Pastime (winner of the Audience Award at Sundance), Killing Zoe, Slums of Beverly Hills, Hardball, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, House of 1000 Corpses, Tanner on Tanner (directed by Robert Altman), The Chateau, Waking the Dead, Palindromes, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, and Stand & Deliver (Academy Award nomination, Best Actor, for Edward Olmos; winner of Best Picture at Independent Spirit Awards).
In 2015, he photographed two features films: Little Boxes, which premiered at Tribeca Film Fest in 2016 and will be released shortly by Netflix, and My Art, which has just been invited to screen at the upcoming 2016 Venice International Film Festival.
His television work includes director of photography for the pilot of the long-running series Cold Case, and the 2006 mini-series Fallen. Additional camera work includes Mozart in the Jungle, Divorce, The Affair, and Happyish.
Richmond’s music video career is highlighted by Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” (winner of MTV’s 1991 Video of the Year), “Stay” by Lisa Loeb (directed by Ethan Hawke), and videos by the Foo Fighters, Emmy Lou Harris, Neil Young, The The, David Byrne, New Order, Joe Strummer, and Iris DeMent.
He studied art and architecture at Harvard, graduating in 1973. He studied graduate film at UCLA for three years before attending the American Film Institute’s Cinematography Program.
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Nelson Ryland is currently editor on the Emmy winning HBO series Vice News Tonight. One of his stories, "Gavin Grimm's Fight" was nominated for a GLAAD award in 2017. In 2015-16, he edited the Emmy nominated series Woman produced by Gloria Steinem for Viceland. In 2015, Ryland worked on the PBS investigative series Frontline, editing long form and digital content including "Portrait of an American Terrorist", "Newtown Divided" and "Middle School Moment". Ryland edited, among others, the feature length doc Freakonomics: The Movie which opened the Tribeca Film Festival. He was editor of the web series Fatherhood in 2014 directed by Hank Azaria. Ryland studied photography at RISD and was a Fulbright Scholar in 1994.
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Kryssa Schemmerling received her M.F.A. from Columbia University’s film program where she co-wrote, co-directed and co-produced a Student Academy Award-winning short film, Gold Mountain. She has since co-written and codirected two other narrative shorts. The First Seven Years, starring Israel Horovitz and Carol Kane, screened nationally on PBS, while her latest award winning short, The West Begins at Fifth Avenue, screened at festivals here and abroad. She also directed and produced a feature-length documentary, Our Hawaii, with funding from the New York State Council on the Arts. In 2016 her first book, Iris in, a collection of poems about films and cinema history, was published by Broadstone Books. Her work has been published widely in literary journals and nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She has taught has screenwriting at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and Montclair State University in New Jersey.
Jason Schmidt is an Emmy and Peabody Award winning editor with 20 years of broadcast experience. He has edited over 150 programs for 30 series on 20 networks. His better known projects include the CBS documentary 9/11, the ESPN documentary Benji, the Showtime documentary THE SPYMASTERS: CIA in the Crosshairs, and several documentaries for HBO, including Billie Jean King: Portrait of a Pioneer and Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush. He was part of NBC’s award-winning team covering the Olympics in London, Sochi, and Rio.
Jason has also edited numerous documentaries for Frontline (PBS), Behind The Music (VH1), and 30-for-30 (ESPN), as well as dozens of segments for Real Sports (HBO), and Sunday Morning (CBS). His other clients include MTV Networks, Sundance Channel, the NFL Today, Retro Report, 48 Hours, FuseTV, Animal Planet, A&E Biography, Nova, TLC, History Channel, and Discovery, among others.
Jason holds a Master’s Degree from Boston University and has international experience teaching editing platforms. He previously served as an adjunct professor at New York University and was an Avid Certified Instructor (ACI) for more than a decade. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two daughters.
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Ramin Serry has written and directed two critically acclaimed feature films, Maryam (2002) and Loveless (2011). His short films, Don’t Call It a Comeback (2013) and Future Hero, were official selections at multiple film festivals. He has recently completed a comedic Web series, Film U, which will be released later in 2016. Serry received a B.A. in English and American Literature from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and an M.F.A. in film from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. He has taught screenwriting courses at Columbia University, the University of Georgia, Sarah Lawrence College, and Hunter College.
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Jon Shear directed, co-wrote, and produced Urbania, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. The Lionsgate release won nine other film festivals; was named Best Film of the Year by Movieline, BoxOffice Magazine, and Baltimore City Paper; and was listed as one of the year's 10 best in every major Los Angeles paper, Time Out NY, the San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, and 30 other publications. Urbania made history as the first film to use a digital intermediate; Shear conceived the part of the process that conforms a film's negative.
He entered the business as an actor, using the pseudonym Jon Matthews because his family was being considered for the Witness Protection Program (he's the grandson of a hitman and son of a bookie and FBI operative). Shear was featured in such films as Independence Day and Heathers; starred in the original Pulitzer Prize–winning production of Angels in America; and appeared on Broadway in Six Degrees of Separation, Shimada, and Runaways. He won three Drama-Logue Awards and the San Diego Drama Critics Circle Award. His most recent theater work includes directing Jeremy Sisto in Sanguine and producing Val Kilmer's one-man play, Citizen Twain.
Shear's latest film projects as writer-director, Pursuit of Pleasure and Red Light Green Light, are currently under option and he's preparing his first documentary, Yours, Anne: A Diary of The Diary of Anne Frank. Shear attended Harvard University, where he won the Harvard Prize for writing and the McDonnell Award for his contribution to the arts.
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Ben Snyder is a filmmaker, playwright, and educator. His feature film, 11:55, with John Leguizamo and Julia Stiles, is currently streaming on Showtime. He was the story consultant for the award-winning documentary The Wolfpack and is currently developing scripted TV shows with Warner Brothers and BET. Snyder’s plays have been produced at HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, the Apollo Theater, P.S. 122, and the Vineyard Theater. For the last 15 years, he has taught film and theater courses in high schools and colleges. He is a member of Labyrinth Theater Company.
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Matt St. Leger
Matt St. Leger is a professional visual effects artist and compositor with 15 years of professional experience in New York City. In this time, he has honed his craft on feature films, episodic television shows, video games, concerts, music videos, and commercials. Working on set, Matt supervises complex green screen and motion tracking sequences. Behind the computer, he practices and develops the techniques that bring photo real effects to life.
He recently worked as part of the team responsible for the visual effects in the film Mother by Darren Aronofsky, as well as the Netflix/Marvel Comics series The Defenders and Iron Fist. Matt's work for Roger Waters The Wall Live tour in 2010-2012 was featured in a segment in which he appeared on the program 60 minutes. As a freelancer, he worked on projects for clients such as HBO, Showtime, Netflix, AMC, Cinemax, Microsoft, Beyonce, Coca-Cola, and Sony.
Matt is a 2005 graduate of School of Visual Arts computer art department, and a graduate of Bucks County Community College's fine arts program. He is currently employed as a lead visual effects compositor at Zoic Studios in New York City.
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Morton Subotnick is one of the pioneers in the development of electronic music and an innovator in works involving instruments and other media, including interactive computer music systems. The work that brought Subotnick celebrity was Silver Apples of the Moon [1966–67], commissioned by Nonesuch Records, marking the first time an original large-scale composition had been created specifically for the disc medium — a conscious acknowledgment that the home stereo system constituted a present-day form of chamber music. It has become a modern classic and was recently entered into the National Register of Recorded Works at the Library of Congress. Only 300 recordings throughout the entire history of recorded music have been chosen.
In the early 1960s, Subotnick taught at Mills College, and, with Ramon Sender, co-founded the San Francisco Tape Music Center. During this period he collaborated with Anna Halprin in two works (the 3 legged stool and Parades and Changes) and was music director of the Actors Workshop. It was also during this period that Subotnick worked with Don Buchla on what may have been the first analog synthesizer (now at the Library of Congress).
In 1966 Subotnick was instrumental in getting a Rockefeller Grant to join the Tape Center with the Mills Chamber Players (at Mills College with performers Nate Rubin, violin; Bonnie Hampton, cello; Naomi Sparrow, piano; and Subotnick, clarinet). The grant required that the Tape Center relocate to a host institution that became Mills College. Subotnick, however, did not stay with the move, but went to New York with the Actors Workshop to become the first music director of the Lincoln Center Rep Company in the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center. He became an artist in residence at the newly formed Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. The School of the Arts provided him with a studio and a Buchla Synthesizer. During this period he helped develop and became artistic director of the Electric Circus and the Electric Ear. This was also the time of the creation of Silver Apples of the Moon, The Wild Bull and Touch.
In 1969 Subotnick was invited to be part of a team of artists to move to Los Angeles to plan a new school of the arts. With Mel Powell as dean and a team of four other pairs of artists, Subotnick, as associate dean, carved out a new path of music education and created the now famous California Institute of the Arts. Subotnick remained associate dean of the music school for four years and then, resigning as associate dean, became the head of the composition program where, a few years later, he created a new media program that introduced interactive technology and multimedia into the curriculum.
Subotnick is now pioneering works to offer musical creative tools to young children. He is the author of a series of CD-ROMs for children and a children's website and is developing a program for classroom and after-school programs that will soon become available internationally.
Among Subotnick's awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, three Rockefeller Grants, two Meet the Composers, American Academy of Arts and Letters Composer Award, Brandies Award, Deutcher Akademisher Austauschdienst Kunsterprogramm (DAAD), Composer in Residence in Berlin, Lifetime Achievement Award (SEAMUS at Dartmouth), ASCAP: John Cage Award, ACO: Lifetime Achievement, and Honorary Doctorate from the California Institute of the Arts.
Morton Subotnick tours extensively throughout the United States and Europe as a lecturer and composer/performer.
Jerome Thelia has been working in film for 25 years. Throughout that time he’s been both a generalist and specialist, working as a 3D animator, visual effects artist, editor, post-production supervisor, colorist, director and producer. Over the years he’s worked with a motley assortment of directors that include Dario Argento, Prince, Steven Soderbergh, Richard Mosse, Shawn Christensen, Terrence Malick and Ben Stiller.
As a colorist Jerome has finished over a dozen features and many shorts, including Shawn Christensen’s Academy Award winning short film, Curfew (2013), Fernando Nation (30 for 30, 2010), Frank Serpico (IFC Films, 2017) and The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (A24, 2018). In the last 10 years he has worked with leading fine artists Richard Mosse and Trevor Tweeten on their multi-award winning video installations, The Enclave and Incoming. He has also worked with Criterion Collection as the lead colorist on John Ford’s Stagecoach, Jean-Luc Godard’s Two or Three Things I Know About Her and Pal Fejos’ Lonesome. More recently he’s contributed visual effects color work to Terrence Malick’s upcoming feature Radegund.
In 2004 Jerome co-founded boutique production company Merge with world-renown National Geographic photographer David McLain. Jerome and David specialize in directing and producing short form commercial work for clients such as Apple, Sony, Jockey, Toad and Co and Nau.
In 2015 Merge produced a feature documentary about the ball, directed by Jerome called Bounce: How the Ball Taught the World to Play (Journeyman Pictures 2015), which premiered at SXSW and went on to play over 30 film festivals and win numerous awards. Bounce is distributed by Journeyman Pictures and is available on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play and Vimeo.
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A veteran of the independent film industry for nearly 20 years, Michael Tuckman began his career at The Cinema Guild, where he ran the company's theatrical distribution division. Tuckman next served as vice president of theatrical sales for ThinkFilm from its inception to its closing.
He now operates mTuckman media, working directly with filmmakers under their own banners. He has handled Rory Kennedy's Academy Award–nominated Last Days in Vietnam, Shane Carruth's Upstream Color, and Detropia, from Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, having guided those films to national releases in more than 150 theaters each and grosses of half a million dollars. Other releases include Frederick Wiseman's last six films, the Academy Award nominee The Square, and We Come as Friends, which was shortlisted for the Oscar for Best Documentary. His company also provides theatrical booking and consultation services to distributors, with releases including Academy Award nominees Bullhead, War Witch, and The Broken Circle Breakdown as well as the indie box office hit, What We Do in the Shadows.
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Riccardo Valsecchi is a director, editor and colorist with more than 10 years of international experience in fiction films, documentary films and advertising. He has worked for such international outlets as Die Tageszeitung, New York Times, Repubblica, PVH, Tzu-chi, Showtime and many others. A graduate of the University of Bologna, he alternates the job as editor and filmmaker with a career as journalist and writer. He writes and speaks fluently English, German and Italian.
Riccardo has also directed and edited three feature documentary films; ID-Withoutcolors: Institutionalized Racism in Germany (2013), which won the Grand Prize at the 2013 Sardinia Film Festival, and the Respekt Gewinnt Prize for the best project for the development of the democracy in Berlin, Schwarzkopf-BRD: Martin Luther King in Berlin (2015), which has been theatrically released in USA, Germany, and Swiss, and The Nazi Hustle: The construction of Hate (2017), which is a shorter pre-version of this film and has been released in Italy achieving the nomination for the Silver Ribbon in the category Best Documentary. A new feature version will be released in Fall 2017.
A native Italian, he has lived eight years in Berlin and Germany, before moving to New York in 2015.
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Marc Vives is a feature film editor whose work has screened at Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, and other venues around world. He began his career in documentary, editing the artist portrait The Painter Sam Francis, directed by Jeffrey Perkins, which remains his only work to have been screened at the Louvre. He transitioned into fiction by way of the hybrid film Putty Hill, directed by Matt Porterfield, which won numerous international festival prizes and was included in the 2010 Whitney Biennial. In 2013 he was co-nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Editing for Museum Hours, directed by Jem Cohen. Other feature credits include Ping Pong Summer, starring Susan Sarandon and directed by Michael Tully, The Adderall Diaries, starring James Franco, Ed Harris and directed by Pamela Romanowsky, Little Boxes, starring Melanie Lynskey and directed by Rob Meyer, and Aardvark, starring Jon Hamm and Zachary Quinto, as well as the documentaries The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, directed by Marie Losier, and Walk Away Renee, directed by Jonathan Caouette.
Marc has worked as an editor at the Sundance Directors Lab, mentored over a dozen projects through IFP's Narrative Independent Filmmaker Lab, and taught editing at The Edit Center.
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Mark Voelpel has worked in a wide variety of capacities in the film, television and media industries. He supervised visual effects for feature films such as The Shadow, Braveheart, Demolition Man and The Last Action Hero. He directed more than 50 television commercials for clients such as Chrysler, BellSouth, SC Johnson, LG Digital and Intel. He was the DP for a variety of short and feature films, including the nationally distributed and award-winning feature documentary One Nation Under God and the short The Strange Case of Balthazar Hyppolite, which was a finalist for Best Short for the 1993 Academy Awards. He conceived of and directed the movies, as well as the overall website, www.ourvision.us, which screened on 25 TV stations nationally, and won website of the day on Alexander Cockburn's Counterpunch. He recently directed a national commercial campaign for the Department of Energy, designed to persuade consumers to save money by saving energy.
Jonathan Wacks is the founding director of the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Steiner Studios and professor of film at Brooklyn College. He has directed a number of films, including Powwow Highway (Warner Bros.), produced by George Harrison. The film was winner of the Sundance Film Festival Filmmakers Trophy and of awards for best picture, director and actor at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, and was nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards. 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 television productions, including 21 Jump Street (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 the United States, 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. (with honours) from the University of Essex (United Kingdom) and an M.F.A. from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America.
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Matthew Weise is a game designer and educator whose work spans industry and academia. He is the CEO of Empathy Box, a company that specializes in narrative design for games and across media. He was the narrative designer at Harmonix Music Systems on Fantasia: Music Evolved, the game design director of the GAMBIT Game Lab at MIT, and a consultant for Warner Bros., Microsoft, PBS, the National Ballet of Spain, and others on storytelling and game design. His work, both creatively and critically, focuses on transmedia adaptation with an emphasis on the challenges of adapting cinema into video games. Weise has given lectures and workshops on film-to-game adaptation all over the world, and has published work on how franchises like Alien, James Bond, and horror cinema in general are adapted into games.
Links to his writing and game design work, including his IGF nominated The Snowfield, can be found at www.matthewweise.com.
Red Wierenga is a pianist, accordionist, respectronicist, improviser, and composer based in New York City. His longest creative association is with the Respect Sextet, called “a group which has released one of the most compelling recordings of the year” by the Wall Street Journal, and “one of the best and most ambitious new ensembles in jazz” by Signal To Noise.
He has performed and/or recorded with artists including The Claudia Quintet, Ensemble Signal, Salo, the Fireworks Ensemble, and David Crowell.
Wierenga builds and performs with new interfaces for electroacoustic improvisation, working with analog and digital synthesizers.
He received his bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Harold Danko, Ralph Alessi, and Kevin Puts. After having studied at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague with Joel Ryan and Paul Berg, he became an Enhanced Chancellor’s Fellow at CUNY Graduate Center, where he received his Ph.D. and his teachers included Jason Eckardt and Douglas Geers. He has taught music appreciation and electronic music at Baruch College and currently teaches at the Brooklyn College Center for Computer Music.
Jonathan Zalben's work includes scores for film and television, concert works, and interactive multimedia installations, at times including his own performance on violin. In September 2016, Professor Zalben joined the Music Composition faculty of Brooklyn College, CUNY, with a specific focus on teaching in Brooklyn College’s new MFA programs in Media Scoring and Sonic Arts.
Jonathan Zalben has written music for films released by HBO, Lionsgate, Discovery, and Sony Pictures Classics. His film music has also screened at the Sundance, Berlin, SXSW, and Tribeca film festivals. He scored the feature film Flock of Dudes, starring Chris D'Elia and Hannah Simone, which was released by Starz, theatrically, and on VOD. Other scores include the Oscar-nominated Redemption, directed by Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill, as well as the HBO documentary There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane, directed by Liz Garbus. Previously, his music has been heard at Sundance in Morgan Spurlock's The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Evan Glodell's Bellflower, and Hotel 22, a New York Times Op-Doc directed by Elizabeth Lo.
Zalben is also a music supervisor and runs the music licensing company First Frame Music. Recent music supervision credits include Janis: Little Girl Blue, which aired on PBS, and The Fixer, starring James Franco and Melissa Leo, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. He also music-supervised Courteney Cox's directorial debut, Just Before I Go, as well as Adam Goldberg's No Way Jose.
Jonathan Zalben studied music composition and violin at NYU, Yale, and Juilliard Pre-College. Zalben previously taught courses in creating music and sound for picture as well as interactive media at Yale, The New School, Bloomfield College, and York College/CUNY.
Jonathan Zalben's work can be heard at: www.jonathanzalben.com.
Jamie Zelermyer has been a New York based Producer and Production Executive for the past 20 years. Currently she is the Program Manager of Made In New York: Pilot Competition, a program founded by The Mayor’s Office of Film Media and Entertainment, in collaboration with Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, to tackle gender diversity in the television industry. Jamie is Executive Producing the two winning half hour pilots both of which were shot in June 2017. Prior to this she produced Ratter starring Ashley Benson and Matt McGorry which was released by Sony Worldwide in March 2016. She was the VP, Physical Production at Focus Features / Rogue Pictures for six years ending in November 2012. At Focus she oversaw such movies as Admission, One Day, Jane Eyre, Sin Nombre and Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day. Prior to Focus, Jamie was a Line Producer and Production Manager working on films such as Igby Goes Down, Boys Don’t Cry and You Can Count on Me. Over the years, she has had the privilege to work with a number of notable directors including Steve McQueen, Lone Scherfig, Kenneth Lonergan, Cary Fukanaga and Kimberly Pierce. Jamie is on the board of New York Women In Film and Television, and is an adviser on NYWIFT’s The Writer Lab, a program for female Writer’s over 40 funded by Meryl Streep. She is a graduate of Bard College.
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Zeth Willie is a 3D artist and technical director who has been working in New York for more than 20 years. He has worked on hundreds of projects in that time, including projects in film, television, commercials, video games, art installations, music videos, and mixed-reality. His 2007 short film, The Needful Head, won Audience Choice Animation at the 2007 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films as well as Best Animation at the Santa Monica International Film Festival, the Angelus Film Festival, and the California International Animation Festival, showing in the 2008 Academy Awards in the animated shorts category.
Willie was the associate director and an associate professor at NYU’s Center for Advanced Digital Applications graduate program, and he has taught 3D production at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts undergraduate animation program. He has also provided live and digital training courses and material for Magnet Media, Bloomberg, Apple, and Adobe.
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David Zung is a painter, photographer, and filmmaker. He has worked as a storyboard artist, art director, and designer in the commercial film and television industry in New York City for the last 35 years on over 1,000 projects. David has taught storyboarding at NYU Tisch School of the Arts in the undergraduate film and animation program since 2005. His class was named one of the top 5 courses of its kind by Animation Magazine in 2009. He has also taught storyboarding, drawing, and design at the NYU Graduate Department of Design for Stage and Film to set and costume designers since 2012.
He studied architecture at Princeton University and worked as an architectural renderer for some of the leading architects in the world before going on study drawing and painting in New York City. He combined his art and architecture skills to work in the film industry. David can remember the first time a CG image showed up in a New York animation company.
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