BIFF Filmmaker Summit 2012

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This program has been made possible by a generous grant from

Dear Filmmakers, Welcome to the inaugural Filmmakers Summit presented in association with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences at the 7th annual Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF). In addition to bringing the world to the Berkshires, the BIFF aims to foster a community-wide attitude that will allow filmmakers, directors, writers and actors an encouraging environment to collaborate, present their work, and interact with each other and with film audiences. It is in support of this aim that the Filmmakers Summit was developed as a nurturing, creative space for filmmakers on both sides of the camera to come together in the spirit of collaboration, discussion, and continued growth. Thank you for being part of our inaugural “class.� Your participation will help us ensure the success of this program and your diverse perspective will help generate the freshest dialogue and most relevant experience for all involved. Participate, engage, party, network, and share! But most importantly, have fun. Here’s to your continued success, another great year at the BIFF, and a brand new program!! Cheers,

Kelley R. Vickery

BIFF Founder and Director

Sarah Patrick Morgese

Filmmakers Summit Coordinator


Wednesday, May 30 12:00pm – 1:00pm Check-in and Welcome Lunch 1:30pm – 3:00pm Special Presentation by Academy Award winner and special effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull in his private, state-of-the-art home studio in the Berkshires (Shuttles to depart from the Red Lion Inn porch at 1:00PM) 3:30pm – 4:15pm Industry Panel, Topic: Film Funding Presented by Paco de Onis and Pamela Yates 4:15pm – 4:30pm Break 4:30pm – 5:30pm Industry Panel, Topic: The State of Indie Film Presented by Glenn Kenny and Harry Chotiner 6:00pm – 10:00pm Cocktail and Dinner Party at Mary Mott and Gordon Simmering’s Home


Thursday, May 31

6:45am – 8:00am Sunrise Hike at Steven’s Glenn, Berkshire County (Optional) 8:30am – 9:30am Breakfast Served in the Townsend Room, Red Lion Inn (Shuttles to depart from the Red Lion Inn porch at 9:30AM) 10:00am - 1:00pm Shakespeare & Company Cross-Media Workshop Followed immediately by a luncheon 1:15pm – 2:15pm Industry Panel, Topic: Ethics and Controversy Presented by Cynthia Wade, Sue Sternberg, and Amy Rapp 2:15pm – 2:30pm Break 2:30pm – 4:00pm Industry Panel, Topic: Acquisitions and Distribution Presented by Josh Braun, Gregory Rhem, and Debra Fisher 4:00pm – 4:15pm Closing Remarks and a Toast to opening night 5:30PM Opening Night Celebration begins


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Douglas Trumbull

Academy Award winning, special effects icon and visionary

Filmmakers Summit moderators:

Zhana Londoner Producer/Executive Momentary Pictures

Marco Londoner Producer/Executive Momentary Pictures, 1st AD

Legendary filmmaker and visual effects pioneer, Douglas Trumbull, was one of the Special Photographic Effects Supervisors for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). He went on to become the Visual Effects Supervisor for such classics as Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), and Blade Runner (1982), each of which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects. Mr. Trumbull directed Silent Running (1972), Brainstorm (1983), Back to the Future... The Ride (1991) and numerous other special format films. He is the recent recipient of an Academy Award in the area of Scientific and Technical Achievement as well as the International Monitor Award and American Society of Cinematographers’ Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions in the field of filmmaking. Douglas is currently involved in the evolution of visual effects using virtual digital sets and electronic cinematography.

Josh Braun

Founding Co-President of Submarine Entertainment Josh Braun runs Submarine, a hybrid sales and production company, consulting and strategizing on the sale, distribution and development of documentaries, feature films and nonfiction entertainment programming and producing feature films, documentaries and television properties. In the last year, Mr. Braun was a producer on the Sundance competition documentary PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NY TIMES (released by Magnolia and Participant) and was an executive producer on BLANK CITY. In addition, Mr. Braun exec produced the IDA Award winning Discovery limited series BOOMTOWN and sold the remake rights and is a producer on OF ALL THE THINGS at Warner Bros . Previously, Mr. Braun was an executive producer on David Cronenberg’s Oscar and Golden Globe nominated A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. Braun is a producer on the feature film adapation of John Wagner’s graphic novel BUTTON MAN at Dreamworks. Mr. Braun produced the cult horror hit HOUSE OF THE DEVIL directed by Ti West. Documentaries exec produced by Mr. Braun include SEAMLESS, GRAMERCY PARK HOTEL, CAT DANCERS, BILLIONAIRE, EASY RIDERS RAGING BULLS, KILL YOUR IDOLS and HOLLYWOOD DC.

Films sold within the last year by Mr. Braun include QUEEN OF VERSAILLES, SEARCHING OR SUGAR MAN, GIMME THE LOOT, BLACK ROCK, ME AT THE ZOO, THE COMEDY, NOBODY WALKS, HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE, CHASING ICE, THE IMPOSTER, PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NY TIMES, BUCK, PROJECT NIM, LAST DAYS HERE, BEING ELMO, BULLY, YOUR SISTER’S SISTER, DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL, FIRST POSITION, LAST CALL AT THE OASIS, I MELT WITH YOU and FIGHTVILLE. Mr. Braun previously worked with Fremantle Media as Senior Vice President and head of sales from 1991 to 1999. Mr. Braun was responsible for sales, production, coproductions and acquisitions with such programs as Baywatch, Grace Under Fire, All My Children, Third Rock from the Sun, South Park, The Price Is Right and many others. Mr. Braun also produced the final season of John Pierson’s TV show Split Screen (IFC), exec produced and created the comic book series Anti Gravity Room (SCI FI) and IFC specials: Focus on Bill Murray and Focus on Jim Jarmusch.

Paco de OnÍs

Partner and Producer for Skylight Pictures, INC.

Harry Chotiner Adjunct Professor for New York University

Harry Chotiner is an Adjunct Professor at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Some of Harry’s extensive previous experience includes serving as Executive VP of Development for Interscope Communications, VP of Development for 20th Century Fox, Story Editor for CBS Theatrical Films, and Reader for Zoetrope. In addition, his work outside of the film industry includes serving as Editor of Socialist Review magazine and teaching at College Preparatory School in Oakland, CA and Bard High School Early College in New York, NY. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Harry Chotiner received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and holds a Doctorate in History from UC Santa Cruz. Harry previously attended but dropped out of Rabbinical School and currently works with the Virginia Film Festival. Most importantly, Harry is married to Patty Blum, a human rights lawyer, and is the father of a wonderful son and two wonderful step-daughters – Isaac, Ali, and Natalie.

Paco grew up in several Latin American countries and is multilingual (Spanish, Portuguese, English, Italian, French). His most recent production is a film and educational media project about the International Criminal Court titled The Reckoning. Prior to the ICC project, he produced State of Fear, a Skylight Pictures film about Peru’s 20-year “war on terror” based on the findings of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Paco has produced documentaries for PBS (On Our Own Terms with Bill Moyers), National Geographic (Secrets from the Grave), New York Times Television (Police Force, Paramedics), and MSNBC (Edgewise with John Hockenberry). He was also a news producer for two internet companies,, a broadband news delivery site, and, a web site focused on Latin American affairs. Previous to producing television documentaries and news reports for internet media sites, he created music festivals in South America & the Caribbean, renovated and operated an arts/performance theater in Miami Beach, (The Cameo Theater) and owned and operated a Spanish-style tapas tavern in a 500-year old colonial house in Cartagena, Colombia.

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Pa Debra Fisher

Head of Digital Distribution for Oscilloscope Debra Fisher joined Oscilloscope in April 2011 to head the company’s digital department. In the past year she has overseen the release of all Oscilloscope films, including Sundance Film Festival film, Bellflower, Oscar nominated If a Tree Falls and Golden Globe nominated, We Need To Talk About Kevin. Prior to Oscilloscope, Debra spent nearly five years at Cinetic Media, most recently as Head of Domestic Sales. Debra’s career began at FremantleMedia, and then later at Sundance Channel and Lifetime Television.

Glenn Kenny

Chief Film Critic for MSN Movies Glenn Kenny is the chief film critic of MSN Movies. Prior to that he was the film critic for Premiere magazine from 1999 to 2007. His writing has appeared in the Village Voice, The New York Times, The New York Daily news, Film Comment, and other publications. He is the editor of the essay collections A Galaxy Not So Far Away: Writers And Artists on 25 Years of ‘Star Wars’, 2002.

Amy Rapp

Executive Vice President of Meredith Vieira Productions Amy Rapp partnered with Meredith Vieira to launch and head her TV/film production company, overseeing development and production of all projects and running day-to-day operations of the company. Rapp executive produced their first feature film RETURN, starring Linda Cardellini, Michael Shannon, and John Slattery, which premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and was released in theatres in February 2012, is producing the national tour of the hit Off-Broadway show LIFE IN A MARITAL INSTITUTION (20 Years of Monogamy in One Terrifying Hour), written and performed by celebrated monologist James Braly, and is producer of the feature documentary THE WOMAN WHO WASN’T THERE, which released in April 2012. She is currently in development on a diverse slate of projects, including feature film PARAMOUR, a dramatic thriller inspired by a true international scandal, an adaptation of the novel THE IRRESISTIBLE HENRY HOUSE by Lisa Grunwald, and a TV version of LIFE IN A MARITAL INSTITUTION. Prior to MVP, Amy was Head of Development for NorthSouth Productions, creating, developing, casting, producing, and selling a wide variety of unscripted TV shows to a broad range of networks, including FIGHT QUEST and ONE WAY OUT (Discovery), BIG SPENDER (A&E), and MILLION DOLLAR AGENTS (TLC), to name a few.

Gregory Rhem

Director of Documentary Programming for HBO Greg Rhem is Director of Documentary Programming for Home Box Office. For the past seventeen years, he's been involved in discovering new and distinctive documentary programming for HBO Documentary Films. Some of his finds have been: the Oscar®-winning Freeheld and Born Into Brothels; Oscar®nominated The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner and Spellbound. Mr. Rhem holds a M.A. in Media Studies from the New School University, and a B.A. degree in English and Film Studies from the University of Rochester.

Sue Sternberg

FOUNDER OF ROUNDOUT VALLEY ANIMALS FOR ADOPTION AND MAIN SUBJECT OF the DOCUMENTARY SHELTER DOGS Sue Sternberg is founder and owner of Rondout Valley Animals for Adoption, a small, open admission dog shelter which serves both the local (upstate New York) community as well as runs national programs. These national programs are dedicated to helping shelters ensure safe and lasting dog adoptions through behavioral and temperament assessments, quality of life for dogs in shelters, and to encourage innovative and proactive community outreach programs. Sue has over 30 years of dog behavior experience, including as a dog control officer, kennel technician and animal care technician at various shelters, dog trainer and behavior counselor, a dog training instructor and temperament evaluator at the ASPCA, a boarding kennel owner, veterinary assistant, is a successful competitor in a variety of dog sports, and a teacher of dog trainers. Sue was the subject of an HBO documentary called Shelter Dogs, which aired in January of 2004, which takes a hard look at quality of life issues in shelters. She is the author of Successful Dog Adoption (Howell Book House, many DVDs on dog behavior and aggression. Sue’s two newest books, Out and About with your Dog (training and evaluating dog-dog behaviors) and Serious Fun (a guide to teaching your dog to play, training tricks and more) are available through

Cynthia Wade

Academy Award winning Documentary Filmmaker Cynthia Wade won the Academy Award for her short documentary FREEHELD in 2008, which garnered 16 film awards worldwide. Wade is currently producing the fiction feature film based on FREEHELD, written by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Ron Nyswaner starring Oscar-nominated actress Ellen Page. Wade’s 2010 short documentary BORN SWEET won 17 festival awards including Sundance, Palm Springs, Aspen, Boston and Newport. Wade directed the 2011 PBS Prime Time Sesame Street special HOPE AGAINST HUNGER and the 2010 SundanceIFC Channel documentary LIVING THE LEGACY. Her 2004 HBO feature-length film SHELTER DOGS won five festival awards and was broadcast in seven countries, and her 1999 Cinemax film GRIST FOR THE MILL was called “a jewel” by Variety and “a delight” by The Hollywood Reporter. Wade most recently completed three films for Bristol-Meyers Squibb about HIV. She has been a cameraperson for A&E, Discovery, PBS, The History Channel, AMC, Oxygen, and MTV. Her newest documentary MONDAYS AT RACINE, about a beauty salon that caters to women with cancer, will be screened at the 2012 BIFF and will be broadcast on HBO next year. Wade is a full-time resident of the Berkshires.

Pamela Yates

President and Co-Founder of Skylight Pictures, Inc. and Director of Granito: How to Nail a Dictator Pamela Yates is an American documentary filmmaker. She was born and raised in the Appalachian coal-mining region of Pennsylvania but ran away at the age of 16 to live New York City. Yates is a co-founder of Skylight Pictures (with Peter Kinoy), a company dedicated to creating films and digital media tools that advance awareness of human rights and the quest for justice by implementing multi-year outreach campaigns designed to engage, educate and activate social change. Four of Yates' films as a Director - When the Mountains Tremble; Poverty Outlaw; Takeover, and The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court — were nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and When the Mountains Tremble won the Special Jury Award in 1984.

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Her film, State of Fear: The Truth about Terrorism, has been translated into 47 languages and broadcast in 154 countries. Her most recent directorial effort, The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court (ICC), is an epic tale about the first six tumultuous years of the ICC, filmed across 4 continents in 6 languages over 4 years. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in support of her current Sundance offering, Granito a feature-length documentary that is part political thriller, part memoir, transporting audiences through a riveting, haunting tale of genocide and justice spanning four decades. She also directed the development of Granito:Every Memory Matters, a transmedia project using mobile applications to restore the collective memory of the Guatemalan genocide.

Special thanks and acknowledgement goes to our generous underwriters The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for presenting the inaugural Filmmakers Summit Mary Mott and Gordon Simmering for graciously opening their home to host the Filmmakers Summit cocktail and dinner party Kate Baldwin for generously underwriting the celebratory Summit cocktail and dinner party Berkshire Film and Media Commission for generously underwriting the luncheon at Shakespeare & Company Tony Simotes and Shakespeare & Company for their generous collaboration and support in presenting the first-ever BIFF Cross-Media Workshop Berkshire Natural Resources Council for leading the filmmaker Sunrise Activities


tact n o

For anything you need throughout the Filmmakers Summit and the Festival, please contact Sarah Patrick Morgese, Filmmakers Summit Coordinator at 617.922.2349. Sarah will have limited access to email throughout the Summit and festival weekend, so please feel free to reach her at any time on her cell phone. To reach the BIFF main offices, please call 413.528.8030

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