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Thank you to our sponsors
Dear Filmmakers, Welcome to the second annual Filmmakers Summit and 8th annual Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF). We are so happy to have you! As said best in its inaugural year, â€œIn 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.â€? We appreciate you taking time out of your busy lives to join us. Your participation, along with the diverse perspective each of you brings, will ensure success and another great year! Meet, greet, collaborate, be inspired, and enjoy a wonderful few days at the Filmmakers Summit, BIFF, and in the lovely Berkshire Community! Cheers,
Kelley R. Vickery
BIFF Founder and Director
CL Productions NYC Filmmakers Summit Producer
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Wednesday, May 29 11:30am Check-In 12:00pm-1:00pm Welcome Lunch at the Red Lion Inn 1:30pm-3:30pm Special Presentation by Adademy Award winner and special effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull in his private, state-of-the-art home studio in the Berkshires. (Shuttle departs from the Red Lion Inn porch at 1:00pm. Approx 15 min ride. Returning to the Red Lion Inn at 3:30pm) 4:00pm-5:00pm Industry Presentation, Topic: Technical Considerations - Current Choices in Medium and High Speed Acquisition for the Independent Producer Presented by Alex Kurze 5:00pm-6:00pm Industry Panel, Topic: The Fusion of Sound in Film Brian Keane, Ira Spiegel and Francisco Bello 6:30pm-10:00pm Cocktail and Dinner Party at Mary Mott and Gordon Simmeringâ€™s Home 28 Yale Hill Road, Stockbridge, MA 01262 (Shuttle departs from the Red Lion Inn porch at 6:15pm. Approx 3-5 min ride)
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Thursday, May 30 7:30am-8:30am Pilates offered by Karen Lee 9:00am-10:00am Breakfast 10:00am-11:00am Industry Presentation, Topic: Insurance and Risk Management for Film Presented by Peter Marshall 11:00am-12:00pm Industry Panel, Topic: The Art of Editing Arielle Amsalem, Christopher White, Tricia Reidy 12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch 1:00pm-2:00pm Industry Panel, Topic: Marketing and Distribution Richard Abramowitz, Marc H. Simon, Greg Rhem
2:00pm-3:00pm Industry Panel, Topic: Reel Funding Nick Quested, Brian Meece, Tracie Holder 3:00pm-3:30pm Break 3:30pm-4:30pm Industry Presentation, Topic: The Full Picture of the Big Picture: Producing Responsibly in an Era of Digital Disruption Presented by Ted Hope 4:30pm-4:45pm Closing Remarks and a Toast to Opening Night 5:00pm Opening Night Celebration begins
All Red Lion Inn events will be in the Hitchcock Room The Red Lion Inn: 30 main st, stockbridge, MA | Phone: 413-298-5545 | directions: www.redlioninn.coM
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Filmmakers Summit moderators:
Producer/Executive Momentary Pictures
Producer/Executive Momentary Pictures, 1st AD
RICHARD ABRAMOWITZ President of Abramorama
RICHARD ABRAMOWITZ is at the forefront of innovation in the world of distribution and marketing of independent films. His company, Abramorama, is an industry leader in the personalized, focused form of film marketing/distribution that bypasses traditional film studios and their methodology, providing invaluable distribution alternatives to current content makers and owners. He is also a founding partner in the new model distribution company, Area23a, which is devoted to the distribution of performance and social issue films, the distinguishing factor being a post-screening component of live music, a lecture or panel discussion. Initial releases from Area23a include REVENGE OF THE ELECTRIC CAR, Adrian Grenier’s Sundance entry TEENAGE PAPARAZZO, SOUNDTRACK FOR THE REVOLUTION, AMERICAN HARMONY, THEY CAME TO PLAY, and THE MIGHTY UKE.
As a marketing and distribution executive, Richard has been responsible for acquiring and releasing some of the most provocative and substantial films during the recent “golden years” of American independent cinema. Mr. Abramowitz has been involved with the release of five Academy Award Nominees in the Best Feature Documentary category: EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP, 4 LITTLE GIRLS, MANDELA, SOUND AND FURY and THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND. Richard currently teaches at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Institute of Film and Television, is a frequent panelist and juror at film festivals around the world, serves on Advisory Boards to several major film festivals and film centers, and regularly lectures on film and the film industry.
FRANCISCO BELLo Oscar and three time EMMY Nominated Filmmaker
Emmy Award winning editor Arielle Amsalem is an Emmy Award winning editor of feature length documentary films. After graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts film program Arielle started her career working on Spike Lee’s award winning documentary “When the Levees Broke” (2006), a film about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. She has since been the editor of several feature documentaries including the Edward Norton produced HBO documentary “By the People: The Election of Barack Obama” (2009) for which she won the Primetime Emmy for Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming. More recently, Arielle edited “The Education of Dee Dee Ricks” (2011) which was bought and aired by HBO and “The Contradictions of Fair Hope” (2012) and “Comedy Warriors” (2013) both of which have been winning awards at festivals around the country. Arielle has also worked on television shows for MTV, the Food Network, The Cooking Channel and Travel Channel.
Francisco is an OSCAR® and three time Emmy nominee. He launched Ropa Vieja Films in 2007 with SALIM BABA (HBO, Canal+, EBS), which he shot and produced in Kolkata, India. SALIM BABA has screened in over 100 festivals worldwide including Sundance, Telluride, IDFA, and Tribeca. In 2008 SALIM BABA was Nominated for a Best Short Documentary ACADEMY AWARD®, followed by a News & Documentary Emmy Nomination in 2009. His directorial debut commissioned by HBO Documentary Films was EL ESPÍRITU DE LA SALSA, which premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. Francisco produced and edited WAR DON DON, which won the Special Jury prize at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival and the first annual Karen Schmeer Award for Excellence in Documentary Editing. After airing on HBO, WAR DON DON received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Coverage of a News Story and Outstanding Editing. Most recently, he edited the films OUR NIXON (2013 Rotterdam, SXSW, New Directors New Films - released by CNN Films), BEST KEPT SECRET (IFFB - broadcast by POV), and is co-directing DREAMING AGAINST THE WORLD (formerly titled MU XIN: NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND), all due for release in 2013. Currently in development, his feature directorial debut is THE MURDER AND THE JOURNALISTS. He is represented as a commercial director by BaseCamp Entertainment.
award-winning filmmaker, engagement specialist for social issue documentaries and consultant to Women Make Movies Tracie Holder is an award-winning filmmaker, engagement specialist for social issue documentaries and consultant to Women Make Movies. She is a former board member of NY Women in Film & TV and Manhattan Neighborhood Network; grant panelist for national and local funders; a guest lecturer for film organizations and universities; and consultant on numerous documentary projects. She is the recipient of numerous grants from many of the most prestigious funders including Ford Foundation, National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, New York State Council for the Arts, New York Council for the Humanities, Foundation for Jewish Culture, Sulzberger Foundation, CPB, ITVS, PBS/American Masters, The J.M. Kaplan Fund and The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, among others. Holder’s most recent film is JOE PAPP IN FIVE ACTS, a co-production with PBS/ American Masters and ITVS. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012. It has gone on to play at more than twenty film festivals in the U.S. and abroad including the Berkshire International Film Festival.
Executive Director, San Francisco Film Society; Producer, Double Hope Films Ted Hope took leadership of the San Francisco Film Society as Executive Director in September 2012, leaving New York City where he produced independent films for more than 25 years. A survey of Hope’s 65 plus films includes many highlights and breakthroughs of the last two decades, including recently Todd Solondz’s Dark Horse, Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene and Greg Mottola’s Adventureland. In 1990 he cofounded with James Schamus the production and sales powerhouse Good Machine, which was sold to Universal in 2002. Known within the industry for having an extraordinary ability to recognize emerging talent, Hope has more than 20 first features to his credit, including those of Alan Ball, Todd Field, Michel Gondry, Hal Hartley, Nicole Holofcener and Ang Lee, among others. In addition to his independent film productions, Hope is editor of the HopeForFilm blog and is one of the most influential and followed voices in independent film on social media. At the San Francisco Film Society, Hope is providing a launchpad for film lovers and filmmakers to participate in the broadest definition of cinema by creating innovative programs for the creation, appreciation and monetization of the art form.
American multiple Emmy winning composer, Grammy winning music producer, musician and noted guitarist Brian KeaneÂ is an American multiple Emmy winning composer, Grammy winning music producer, musician and noted guitarist. He has scored hundreds of films and television shows and is considered one of the foremost composers of his era, and a pioneer in the world of scoring to documentaries. Collectively, Brian Keane has scored over a hundred award winning documentaries and films, including fourteen Emmy winners for best documentary or series, nine Peabody Award winning films, five Oscar nominated films, one Academy Award winning film, and more award winning documentary films by a wide margin, than any other composer in history. Brian Keane is the winner of four Emmy awards for music composition, among eighteen nominations, and in 2001, he became the first and only
composer in the history of the Emmy awards to sweep all of the nominations for music in a single year. Brian Keane's notable documentary scoring credits include Ric Burns' Emmy and Peabody award winning films New York: A Documentary Film, The Donner Party, Ansel Adams, and Andy Warhol, Thomas Lennon's Peabody award winning and Oscar nominated film The Battle over Citizen Kane, Thomas Lennon and Ruby Yang's Academy Award winning The Blood of Yingzhou District, ABC News' pioneering contemporary documentary series Turning Point, and multiple award winning episodes for the long running PBS history series American Experience, among many, many others.
NEW YORK RENTAL AGENT Alex was born and raised in Germany until the age of 18, when he came to New York City to study film at the School of Visual Arts. In his years working in NYC, Alex has produced numerous award winning films and has since joined the Abel Cine Rental team consulting feature films and commercials with regards to their camera needs, scheduling of equipment, and overseeing all aspects of camera use from prep to invoicing. AbelCine is an industry leader in the sales, rental, service and training of new acquisition tools for film, digital cinema, highspeed, 3D, broadcast, new media and communications. They serve professionals and serious content creators working at all levels of production.
MANAGING DIRECTOR DeWitt Stern Group Peter specializes in insurance programs and risk management for film and television productions as well as electronic games. He coordinates DeWitt Sternâ€™s national practice in these media. Before joining DeWitt Stern in 2005, he produced feature films and television. During his many years of experience in the film industry, he was the Senior Vice President of Film Production at Lionsgate, head of television production at Trimark Pictures, and served as an executive at Warner Bros. as well as at several prominent independents. He started his career in the New York and LORT A theater worlds. Peter holds degrees from Yale University and The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama. He is a licensed Property and Casualty broker in both New York and California.
Executive Director of Goldcrest Film
Brian Meece CEO of Rockethub
Brian Meece plays a mean ukulele and is the CEO of RocketHub, one of the world’s top crowdfunding platforms. He has lectured on crowdfunding at SXSW, TEDxBrooklyn, Columbia University, Makers Faire, among other colleges, conferences and institutions. His goal? To teach creative entrepreneurs how to leverage the crowd for funding their endeavors. RocketHub is known as The World’s Crowdfunding Machine. The company has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Variety, Rolling Stone, NPR, Wired, The Economist, CNN, The Washington Post, ABC News, USA Today, etc. while helping thousands of funding campaigns raise millions of dollars globally. RocketHub has recently partnered with A&E Networks for Project Startup, which brings crowdfunding and the RocketHub community to A&E’s wide audience.
Nick is Executive Director of Goldcrest Films, where he has been key to the financing of projects such as Twilight, Tropic Thunder, Eagle Eye, Revolutionary Road, 2012’s Academy Award winning, The Iron Lady, and Elvis & Anabelle (2007), starring Blake Lively, on which Nick also served as a producer. His most recent producing effort, Which Way is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington premiered at Sundance this year and aired in April on HBO. Nick’s credits as an executive producer include, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (Sundance Special Jury Prize Documentary Winner, 2013), The Winning Season (starring Sam Rockwell and Emma Roberts, 2009); Restrepo (Sundance Grand Jury Documentary Winner, 2010); Homework (Sundance Narrative Selection 2011, starring Emma Roberts and Freddie Highmore); On The Ice (Berlinale Crystal Bear Generation 14Plus and Best First Feature Winner, 2011); Cheerful Weather for the Wedding (starring Felicity Jones and Elizabeth McGovern, 2012); The Girl (starring Abbie Cornish, 2011), and Dark Horse (starring Christopher Walken and Mia Farrow, 2011). Nick is currently directing Con Artistes, a documentary about the theatre program in Sing Sing Prison.
Tricia Reidy EDITOR
Like just about everyone else on the post-production crew, Tricia started at Florentine Films as an intern. Since her internship as an apprentice editor on Statue of Liberty, which aired in 1985, Tricia has gone on to be an associate editor on The Civil War, and then continued as editor on episodes of Baseball, Jazz, The War, and Prohibition. In addition, she edited Frank Lloyd Wright. Her work at Florentine has resulted in a screening at the Sundance Film Festival, an ACE nomination, and two Emmy nominations (Best Editing for Frank Lloyd Wright and Episode 4 of The War – Pride of Our Nation). She is currently working two episodes of the upcoming series,The Roosevelts. Tricia has also had the opportunity to work with other filmmakers – including editing three films for WGBY in Springfield, Massachusetts documenting the public school arts curriculum in that area. Tricia lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with her husband and two rapidly growing children.
Director of Documentary Programming for HBO Greg Rhem is Director of Documentary Programming for Home Box Office. For the past eighteen 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, Born Into Brothels, Thoth, and Breathing Lesson: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien; and Oscar®-nominated Mondays at Racine, 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.
Marc H. Simon
ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY AT COWAN DeBAETS ABRAMS & SHEPPARD LLP A partner at Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP, Marc has carved out a reputation as a powerhouse in all areas of independent film. He has sourced, packaged and structured financings for projects under $1MM and over $15MM, including handling all finance matters for the current $16MM Pierce Brosnan thriller November Man, produced by Das Films and Irish Dreamtime and financed through a sophisticated combination of debt, equity and multiple soft money transactions. Marc has also negotiated sales deals for some of the most successful and/or acclaimed recent independent feature films, including Debra Granick’s Winter’s Bone, Werner Herzog’s Caves of Forgotten, Park Pictures’ Robot & Frank, the Ice T produced Iceberg Slim: Portrait of Pimp, and Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color, where he structured innovative digital and other ancillary rights packages. Marc has also become the go-to source for documentarians seeking counsel and opinion regarding fair use
and other clearance issues (notable recent films include Elaine Strich: Shoot Me, Keanu Reeves’ Side By Side and Me at the Zoo). Filmmakers have been drawn to Marc’s sensibilities, passion and strategic knowledge, cultivated as a filmmaker himself. As a producer, Marc won a Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for his first film, the acclaimed After Innocence, about the wrongfully convicted, inspired by his law school experience as a student in the renowned Innocence Project. He also directed Nursery University, a film about the competitive pre-school admissions landscape in Manhattan (and currently in development as a television series), as well as Unraveled, about the massive white collar fraud committed by his former boss Marc Dreier. Marc filmed the now infamous Dreier under house arrest from his guilty plea until he was sentenced to prison. Unraveled has premiered theatrically and has been broadcast on Showtime and CNBC networks and is available across digital platforms.
Ira Spiegel is an Emmy award-winning sound editor and sound designer. He has worked on numerous documentaries and feature films, including The Civil War, Baseball, The West, Jazz, The War, Prohibition and The Roosevelts, produced and directed by Ken Burns, and The Donner Party, The Way West, New York and Into The Deep, produced and directed by Ric Burns. A selection of other notable directors with whom he has worked include Robert Altman, Elaine May, Paul Shrader, Alan Ball, Alex Gibney, John Sayles, Campbell Scott, Alan Rudolph, Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Steve Ives, Susan Seidelman, Michael Apted, Rory Kennedy, Brian DiPalma, Milos Forman, Julian Schnabel, Nora Ephron, Albert Maysles, Errol Morris, Chris Choy, Deborah Dickson,Tracie Holder, and Karen Thorsen. His work is focused on sound effects editing. He has lectured at film programs on topics concerning sound design, sound editing, and the role of sound effects in film, including the London Film School, The School of Visual Arts in New York, New York University, Brooklyn College, Ithaca College, and The Jacob Burns Film Center.
Christopher White has been a documentary film editor (and occasional producer and director) of numerous award winning films since 1995. His most recent project (as co-producer and editor) is Love Free or Die, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, winning the Special Jury Prize. Other films include The Killer Within (as editor and co-director) which premiered at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival and was nominated for a 2008 Best Documentary Emmy; and Hard Road Home, nominated for a Best Documentary Emmy in 2009. Whiteâ€™s early professional training was with Ric Burns on The Way West and the Peabody Awardwinning film The Donner Party. White also edited Waging A Living, and Critical Condition for Academy Award nominated filmmaker Roger Weisberg. Elevate, a cross-cultural, multi-national journey of four particularly tall West African basketball-playing Muslim teenagers premiered at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival and won the Best Documentary Award at the 2011 Dallas International Film Festival. White is a partner in Reveal Productions with Producer Sandy Itkoff and Director Macky Alston.
40 Railroad Street PO Box 237 Great Barrington, MA 01230 413.528.8030 biffma.org
A very special thanks and acknowledgement goes out to our generous underwriters Douglas Trumbull for opening up his magical state-of-the-art home studio and for generously donating his time to the 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 The Red Lion Inn for hosting the Filmmakers Summit and for the wonderful hospitality to our Filmmakers and Panelists The Berkshire Days Inn for their wonderful hospitality accommodating our Filmmakers Panther Distributing, Purveyors of Fine Wines Domodimonti, Vista Hills, Sada Bittersweet for providing wonderful treats for all to enjoy throughout the Filmmakers Summit Stella Artois and Girardi Distribtors for their continued support and donation Tommy Leveque for the wonderful Filmmaker bags and shirts Karen Lee for her Thursday morning Pilates class
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Should you need anything throughout the Filmmakers Summit or Festival, please contact the BIFF office directly at 413.528.8030. The festival web address is www.biffma.org. Thank you!