BIFF Filmmaker Summit 2016

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5th annual Filmmaker Summit Sponsored by

Dear Filmmakers, We are pleased to welcome you to the fifth annual Filmmaker’s Summit and the eleventh annual Berkshire International Film Festival! 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 5 years ago as a nurturing, creative space for filmmakers and industry professionals to come together in the spirit of collaboration, discussion, and continued growth. The Filmmakers Summit is an integral part of the festival experience for filmmakers, ensuring the freshest and most poignant dialogue in conjunction with unique events with Douglas Trumbull and Sheila Nevins. The Summit goes beyond networking and fortifies the festival experience. Cheers,

Kelley R. Vickery


Sponsored by

Carolyn Lancaster


BIFF thanks Marco and Zhana Londoner, Carolyn Lancaster, Mary Mott and the industry professionals for their time and participation. Congratulations to the 2016 Filmmakers!


, Y A ESD016 N D WE E 1, 2 JUN

11:45am Filmmaker Summit Begins: Yale Hill for Lunch & Welcome Intros 12:30pm Bus Departure to Doug Trumbull’s Studio 1:00-3:30pm Doug Trumbull Presents 3:30pm Bus to Yale Hill 4:00-5:00pm IT’S A VR WORLD WE LIVE IN…. Alex Kurze, Christian D. Bruun, Ben Paluba 7pm Filmmaker Cocktail Party 28 Yale Hill Road, Stockbridge, MA


, Y A D 6 S R THU 2, 201 E N U J

10:00-11:00am INSURANCE PRIMER Peter Marshall 11:00am-12:00pm RISING ABOVE THE NOISE: SENDING A CLEAR SIGNAL TO AN INTENDED AUDIENCE Greg Rhem, Doug Tirola, Maureen Masters 12:00-1:00pm Lunch 1:00-2:00pm ASSURANCE & INSURANCE: ERRORS, ACCIDENTS & DELIVERING THE FILM Peter Marshall, Susan Muir, Per Melita 2:00-3:00pm Shiela Nevins Presents 3:00pm Champagne Toast and Closing Remarks 5:00pm BIFF Opening Night at the Tent 7:00pm Opening Film *Filmmaker Summit Headquarters Yale Hill Barn: 28 Yale Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA





Marco Londoner has worked in film and television for over twentyfive years. As a Producer, Mr. Londoner most recently completed the production ON THE ICE, which was filmed entirely within the Arctic Circle. The film premiered in dramatic competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win the Best First Feature and Crystal Bear awards at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival. Prior to this, he produced the film LOVELY BY SURPRISE (New American Cinema Special Jury Prize) and was both a producer and AD on THE PHOTOGRAPHER (New York Film Festival Vision Award). His varied experience includes work as a 1st AD on such titles as the television series, BLUE BLOODS, PERSON OF INTEREST, GLEE, and DAMAGES. In feature films Mr. Londoner has worked on titles such as the Academy Award nominated THE CONTENDER, as well as PROZAC NATION, and THE WENDELL BAKER STORY. In the reality television field, Mr. Londoner has worked as both Field Producer and Production Manager on such popular shows as AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL and PROJECT RUNWAY. Mr. Londoner continues to develop and produce both television and feature film projects and moderates The Filmmakers Summit at the Berkshire International Film Festival, Sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

PRODUCER/EXECUTIVE MOMENTARY PICTURES While attending NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Zhana started her career in the development office of Universal Pictures. Upon graduation, she appeared on NBC shows LAW & ORDER, LAW & ORDER: SVU, LAW & ORDER: CI, and worked at an LA based, entertainment law firm, where her interest turned to production. Zhana stepped into production with award winning films THE STATION AGENT and LOVELY BY SURPRISE, and TV shows THE APPRENTICE, THE RESTAURANT, MTV’s BOILING POINTS and produced Nike’s BATTLEGROUNDS: KING OF THE WORLD for Radical Media. She later opened and ran the production and development arm of Vanguard Management, a bicoastal, talent management company, where she was head of their east coast office. In 2010, Zhana and her husband, Marco Londoner, started Momentary Pictures, Inc., a media production and finance company based in New York City. That same year, the company produced its first film ON THE ICE. The film premiered in Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, won both the Best First Feature Prize and the Crystal Bear at Berlinale, the FIPRESCI Prize at the Seattle International Film Festival, and Best Narrative Film Award and Best Cinematography Award at the Woodstock Film Festival, amongst others. Momentary Pictures is currently producing a thriller with writer/director Deborah Goodwin, a scripted dramatic series, and in development for an action/adventure film. The company also supplies production services for various network television shows and feature films. Zhana has been serving on the BIFF’s advisory board for ten years and is proud to be celebrating the 5th anniversary of it’s Filmmaker Summit that she directs and moderates with, you guessed it, Marco.



ACADEMY AWARD WINNING, SPECIAL EFFECTS ICON AND VISIONARY Academy Award winning, special effects icon and visionary 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 involved in the evolution of visual effects using virtual digital sets and electronic cinematography.


PRESIDENT OF HBO DOCUMENTARY FILMS Sheila Nevins is president, HBO Documentary Films, for Home Box Office, responsible for overseeing the development and production of all documentaries for HBO, HBO2 and Cinemax. She was named to this position in February 2004. As an executive producer or producer, she has received 31 Primetime Emmy® Awards, 34 News and Documentary Emmys® and 40 George Foster Peabody Awards. During her tenure, HBO’s critically acclaimed documentaries have gone on to win 26 Academy Awards®, the most recently of which was A GIRL IN THE RIVER: THE PRICE OF FORGIVENESS in 2016. Other Oscar® winners include CITIZENFOUR (2015), CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1 (2015), SAVING FACE (2012), STRANGERS NO MORE (2011), MUSIC BY PRUDENCE (2010), SMILE PINKI (2009), THE BLOOD OF YINGZHOU DISTRICT (2007), BORN INTO BROTHELS (2005), CHERNOBYL HEART (2004), MURDER ON A SUNDAY MORNING (2002), KING GIMP (2000), THE PERSONALS: IMPROVISATIONS ON ROMAN IN THE GOLDEN YEARS (1999), ONE SURVIVOR REMEMBERS (1996), I AM A PROMISE (1994), EDUCATING PETER (1993) and YOU DON’T HAVE TO DIE (1989). The series CINEMAX REEL LIFE has featured a number of award-winning documentaries including BIG MAMA, winner of the 2001 Academy Award® for Best Short Subject, and BREATHING LESSONS: THE LIFE AND WORK OF MARK O’BRIEN, an Oscar® winner in 1997.

Nevins has been honored with several prestigious career achievement awards including, most recently, the 2009 Governors Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and was made an NYU Tisch School of the Arts Honoree. She is also the recipient of a 2008 Gotham Awards Tribute; a 2005 Emmy® Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the art of the documentary, the first time the National Television Academy awarded a Lifetime Achievement recognition to a documentarian; and a Personal Peabody in 1999 in recognition of her work and ongoing commitment to excellence. In 2003, Women in Film presented Nevins with a Lucy Award for her outstanding achievements in advancing documentary filmmaking. In 2002, the National Board of Review presented her with the Humanitarian Award for her contribution to the advancement of social reforms and the promotion of human welfare through film. In 2000, Nevins was inducted into Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame, and in 1998 she garnered the IDA Career Achievement Award and the New York Women in Film & Television Muse Award for Outstanding Vision & Achievement. Nevins was named vice president, Documentary and Family Programming in 1985; appointed senior vice president, Original Programming, in 1995; and promoted to executive vice president, Original Programming, in 1999. She has supervised the production of more than 1,000 documentary programs for HBO, and won the first George Foster Peabody Award ever presented to a cable program for SHE’S NOBODY’S BABY, which was produced with Ms. Magazine. Nevins is a member of the Writers Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Nevins holds a BA from Barnard College and an MFA from Yale University School of Drama in Directing.





OWNER/PRODUCER/DIRECTOR AT LIGHT CONE PICTURES Christian D. Bruun is an international film director/producer, architect, and curator. He is an innovator in the fields of digital filmmaking, digital media, and architectural design. His films have had international theatrical and television distribution and been in official selection at Sundance, Tribeca, and Berlin film festivals. He recently directed the feature documentary, BLUE GOLD and produced the Danish Film Academy Award winning feature film THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD, both to be released in 2016. He is currently in post production on two new feature documentaries. He has directed and produced national commercial campaigns. Christian is also a contributor to the international discourse on pioneering efforts in film, media, story-telling, and digital technologies and he produced the first internationally released, 3D, Real-D feature film. His short films and animations have been exhibited at MoMA NY, Venice Biennale, Whitney Museum of American Art, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and Centre Pompidou. Christian curated and designed the US Pavilion at the 2004 and 2006 Venice Biennale. He is the cofounder of the Danish Film Festival in Los Angeles. He is a New York ambassador for Index Design Awards, a board member of the A+D Museum in Los Angeles. Christian studied at SCI-Arc in California and holds a Master of Architecture from AAA in Denmark.


GENERAL RENTAL MANAGER AT ABEL CINE, AKURZE@ABELCINE.COM Alex is a freelance producer and the General Rental Manager at the esteemed camera house Abel Cine in New York. As a producer he has put together numerous highly decorated films that have screened at festivals all over the world and been selected at venues such as Cannes, Tribeca, Austin and many more. Most recently he had a short film on the Academy Awards short list or others nominated for a Webby award. As a member of the Abel Cine family he has provided camera equipment and consulted the commercial, TV and feature market for over 5 years now with such staple shows like SNL, LOUIS CK, BROAD CITY and various other. With a wide range from slow motion cameras, high end cinema, broadcast, compact HD down to DSLR and GoPros he has covered a little bit of everything and supported pretty much any nature of a show which has only helped Alex grow in his understanding of the needs of productions of any scope. He continues to produce and create content while supplying the market with gear and his expertise.



MANAGING DIRECTOR AT DEWITT STERN Peter specializes in insurance programs and risk management for film and television productions as well as electronic games including production insurances, intellectual property insurance, and Cyber Risks. He coordinates DeWitt Stern’s national practice in these media. Before joining DeWitt Stern in 2005, Peter 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 New York, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, and California.


HEAD OF PUBLICITY, BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC’S CINÉMATEK A film publicist by trade for over 12 years, Maureen Masters currently serves as the head of publicity for the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Cinématek. Before BAM, she was head of regional publicity at Magnolia Pictures for nearly 5 years. She earned a BA in Journalism as well as a Masters in Communications, writing independent film reviews and working in film publicity throughout the country. Additionally, she has mentored young aspiring film makers, as well as served on many prominent film festival juries and panels and is currently working on her own documentary project.


Per is an award winning Producer who has worked on almost 20 feature films such as STATE PROPERTY II, THE WAR WITHIN and ANTON CHEKHOV’S THE DUEL. Most notable amongst his producing credits are ROGER DODGER, (Jesse Eisenberg, Campbell Scott, Isabella Rossellini) which won the 2002 Tribeca Film Festival Best Narrative Feature Award, one award and a special recognition by the 2002 National Board of Review, a 2002 New York Film Critics Circle Award, three awards at the 2002 Venice Film Festival and garnered three Independent Spirit Awards in 2003; PADRE NUESTRO aka SANGRE DE MI SANGRE which won the 2007 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and garnered two Independent Spirit Awards nominations in 2009; HOLY ROLLERS (Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha) which won the 2010 Dauville American Film Festival Revelation Prize and the 2010 Breakthrough Director Gotham Award; and CERTAINTY (Adelaide Clemens, Giancarlo Esposito, Bobby Moynihan, Valerie Harper) which won 3 awards at the 2010 Boston International Film Festival. Per’s most recent producing efforts are the adaptation of the Stephen King novella A GOOD MARRIAGE (Joan Allen, Anthony Lapaglia) which opened in theatres nationwide in September of 2014; CLUB LIFE (Jerry Ferrara, Jessica Zsohr) which was released domestically by The Orchard in May of 2015; EXPERIMENTER, THE

STANLEY MILGRAM STORY (Peter Saarsgard, Winona Ryder) written and directed by Michael Almereyda which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was released in theatres by Magnolia Pictures in October of 2015; and Carrie Pilby (Bel Powley, Nathan Lane, Gabriel Byrne) which is currently in post production. As a Line Producer and Production Manager Per has worked on over 35 feature films such as LA CIUDAD, TRICK and IN THE BEDROOM. In this capacity Per has worked for such industry veterans as James Shamus (GOOD MACHINE, Focus Features), Ted Hope (GOOD MACHINE, THIS IS THAT, Amazon). Andrew Fierberg (AA Films and VOX3 Films), Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente (Open City Films, Blow Up Pictures and Mark Cuban’s HDNet Films) and award winning producers Ross Katz (IN THE BEDROOM, LOST IN TRANSLATION), Paul Mezey (MARIA FULL OF GRACE, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD), Chris Moore (GOODWILL HUNTING, PROJECT GREENLIGHT, AMERICAN PIE) and Suzanne Farwell and Susan Cartsonis (THE INTERN. IT’S COMPLICATED. SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE). Per’s most recent line producing efforts THAT AWKWARD MOMENT (Zac Effron, Imogen Poots, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan)was released in theatres by Focus Features in early 2014. Per is also the co-founder of Cinergy Pictures and Cinergy Productions, two New York based production and production service companies which over their combined 15 year life served numerous foreign and domestic clients. Some of the most notable credits include the Oscar nominated LA BESTIA NEL CUORE aka DON’T TELL and the critically acclaimed GIOVANNI FALCONE: L’UOMO CHE SFIDO COSA NOSTRA which tells the real life story of the Italian judge whose investigation of organized crime lead to the largest indictment and conviction of members of “Cosa Nostra” in Italian history as well as to his assassination. Per was born in Rome and lived extensively in Italy and in the Netherlands. A former banker, he is a graduate of Fordham University’s MBA program in New York. He is a member of the Producers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, the IFP, and the Independent Producers Alliance.



FOUNDER & PRESIDENT OF AUGAR Ben Paluba is founder and president of Augur, a creative agency based in New York. Augur specializes in merging art, design & technology to create a full spectrum of future focused experiences with a concentration in virtual reality and 360° cinema. Currently, Ben is working on VR projects with a broad range of collaborators from independent artists to major consumer brands. Prior to founding Augur, Ben began his career as a producer and editor, then spent a decade in the agency world leading multidisciplinary teams in strategy, branding, interaction design, and development of cutting edge new media marketing for institutions and brands of all stripes. As a cinema lover, tinkerer and technology addict, Ben has always been fascinated with combining technology and media in new ways to expand the potential methods of expression available to creative thinkers.


HBO DOCUMENTARY FILMS Greg Rhem is Director of Documentary Programming for Home Box Office. For twenty-one years, he has help discover distinctive 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 PRISON TERMINAL: THE LAST DAYS OF PRIVATE JACK HALL, MONDAYS AT RACINE, THE LAST CAMPAIGN OF GOVERNOR BOOTH GARDNER and SPELLBOUND. Greg 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.




PRESIDENT OF 4TH ROW FILMS DOUGLAS TIROLA is an award-winning director and producer. His films include DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD - The Story of the National Lampoon which premiered at Sundance 2015 and was released by Magnolia Pictures, the James Beard nominated HEY BARTENDER (Showtime), ALL IN: THE POKER MOVIE (Netflix and Showtime), and his first documentary AN OMAR BROADWAY (HBO Documentary Films) which premiered at TFF. As a producer and the head of 4th Row Films Douglas has produced all of documentarian Robert Greene’s films including ACTRESS and this year’s Sundance awardwinner, KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE. Douglas has worked as a screenwriter for studios including Paramount, Fox and Sony. He began his career working in film production in New York City on films by directors Woody Allen, Robert Benton, Mike Nichols and Penny Marshall. His first job was as a PA on WHEN HARRY MET SALLY.

Susan Muir is a Senior Vice President at Film Finances, Inc., the worldwide leading completion guarantor in the film industry. She works with filmmakers to assess the viability of their plan and works closely with the production team during the preproduction period through delivery of the film to ensure the film will be completed and delivered on budget and on schedule. Recent films include DIRTY GRANDPA, SOUTHPAW, ME, EARL AND THE DYING GIRL and THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL. Prior to joining Film Finances, Susan Muir worked in the film industry as a Production Accountant and Production Controller on foreign and domestic productions for both independent and studio financed films such as ONE FINE DAY, BROKEN ARROW and THE JOY LUCK CLUB. Film Finances was founded in 1950 by motion picture producers who were finding it increasingly difficult to borrow funds to finance their films. Often, they would have to pledge their home and personal assets as collateral to the bank to ensure that the film would be completed and delivered as contracted. FFI was able to procure an insurance policy through Lloyds of London, which the bank or financier accepted as guarantee that if the Film was not completed and delivered as contracted, they would be repaid their full investment.









WRITER/DIRECTOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Brenda has been writing for over ten years. BIG T. is her first narrative short. As an audio engineer in the film business for 25+ years, she has worked on documentaries and movies around the world.

A BFA graduate of Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, Max has been in the film and television industry for more than 25 years. Max was a contributing filmmaker on the History Channels 5 and 10 year retrospective on 9/11: 102 MINUTES THAT CHANGED AMERICA and TEN YEARS LATER. Producing and Directing credits include documentary feature LOOK TWICE, a study on Americas obsession with celebrity; and the award-winning Documentary Short JUST INTO GIRLS. Max is currently Producer on the documentary feature Widowsville, a supernatural story focusing on the lives of four widows in Boca Raton, FL. THE BIG T. is Maxs most recent project, a narrative sexual comedy. THE BIG T. is about a middle aged woman who is prescribed testosterone replacement therapy and discovers what its like to be a man. In the world of online “hook ups,” she explores a myriad of sexual fantasies that lead to emotional freedom and a greater self awareness. Additionally, Max is developing a docu-series to promote better teen eating habits, through a nutrition app.






Lana Young, (Nina) received her M.A. in acting from the Arts Educational School in London. Her work includes the recurring role of Mrs. Douglas in THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, co-star roles in JESSICA JONES, BLINDSPOT, SATISFACTION, NASHVILLE. She performed with Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor in the Oscar-winning film BEGINNERS, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams in SOUTHPAW, and with Emily Blunt and Justin Theroux in THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (release 2016). Lana lives in New York City and when she’s not working enjoys coaching developing actors.

Alden Peters is a documentary filmmaker and director of COMING OUT, an award-winning feature documentary about coming out of the closet. His writing has appeared in Hello Mr. and The Daily Beast, his photography has been posted in GAYLETTER, and his film work has been featured in Out Magazine, Time Out New York, The Huffington Post, NPR, Mashable, BuzzFeed, and many more. Alden is a co-founder of Casa Vera Productions, where he produces and directs documentary films. He is based in Brooklyn, New York. He loves sci-fi films.




DIRECTOR/PRODUCER Kristi Zea has been in the contemporary film scene for three decades. Zea has been acclaimed for her work as a production designer, costume designer and producer of major feature films. She production designed Martin Scorsese’s GOODFELLAS (Academy Award Winner), NEW YORK STORIES, THE DEPARTED (Academy Award Winner); Jonathan Demme’s MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, BELOVED, PHILADELPHIA (Academy Award Winner), MARRIED TO THE MOB and SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (Academy Award Winner), as well as Neil Jordan’s THE BRAVE ONE; Brett Ratner’s RED DRAGON; Roger Michelle’s CHANGING LANES; Barry Levinson’s SLEEPERS; and James L. Brooks’ BROADCAST NEWS.



Ben Hillman is a filmmaker, designer, writer and illustrator who loves subatomic particles and Betty Boop. Ben’s company works on multifarious projects across all media except for macramé and Etch-A-Sketch.

Zea costume designed FAME, SHOOT THE MOON, and TERMS OF ENDEARMENT. She was nominated for an OSCAR and a BAFTA for her production design work on Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road. Zea produced AS GOOD AS IT GETS for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and the independent film The Joneses starring Demi Moore and David Duchovny. In 1997, she was nominated for an Ace Award as director of Domestic Dilemma, part of the HBO series WOMEN and MEN 2. Most recently Zea production designed the series AMERICAN ODYSSEY for NBC and Nancy Meyer’s THE INTERN.




EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Jacki Ochs is an award winning documentary filmmaker. Her films include VIETNAM: THE SECRET AGENT which was awarded Special Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival and LETTERS NOT ABOUT LOVE which won the Best Feature Documentary at SXSW Film Festival. Jacki is currently producing OUT OF MY HEAD, a feature documentary in post-production, about the disease migraine. She is Executive Director of the Human Arts Association, a fiscal sponsoring organization for art and media-based productions and teaches part-time as Associate Professor at Pratt Institute’s Film Video department.


Caroline Goodman-Thomases is a New York based filmmaker and producer. She has worked for director Jonathan Demme’s production company Clinica Estetico for many years, on projects including RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, NEIL YOUNG TRUNK SHOW, I’M CAROLYN PARKER and RICKI AND THE FLASH. She is currently working on Mr. Demme’s Justin Timberlake concert film and helping to develop projects with the director. She recently produced and directed a documentary, THE BELLES OF GREENLEE COUNTY, which premiered at the NewFilmmakers Festival at the Anthology Film Archives. She is currently in pre-production on a feature length documentary about the controversy in the East Ramapo, New York school system.



Sarah Gardner (producer) teaches planning and policy at Williams College and is the Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Studies. Her areas of research and teaching include land use, agriculture and food systems. She has led many research projects about agriculture and has interviewed hundreds of farmers, both in New England and Eleuthera, Bahamas. Sarah’s experience in local government and local issues is extensive: she has served on the Williamstown Planning Board, The Williamstown Conservation Commission, and the Agricultural Commission. Sarah was instrumental in proposing and passing the Williamstown Right to Farm bylaw and was a member of the Williamstown Farm Market Committee. She was a leader of the North Berkshire Keep Farming project, a three-year food systems research project and served on the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission’s Food and Agriculture Subcommittee. Sarah is a graduate of Smith College, she holds a Masters in Public Policy from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the City University of New York. She has made two short films about tourism and farming in Eleuthera.



Dave Simonds (director) is an actor, writer and filmmaker. He directed CHERRY COTTAGE: THE STORY OF AN AMERICAN HOUSE, which premiered at the Berkshire International Film Festival 1n 2014. He directs Simonds Films, which is a full service boutique production house. He continues work on his ongoing series of short episodic films and the web series FREE ADVICE FROM AN OLD GUY with Jay Tarses. As an actor, Simonds worked extensively in New York, and regionally at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Long Wharf Theatre, and The Portland Stage Company. He was a familiar face in the indie-film renaissance of the late 80s and early 90s and his screen credits include AMATEUR, THE BOOK OF LIFE, SIGNS AND WONDERS, THE FISH IN A BATHTUB, HENRY FOOL, B MOVIE, among many others. He appeared in music videos for EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL, BETH ORTON and others. He was the co-founder of the award winning Cucaracha Theatre, which was housed in a warehouse in Tribeca before anyone knew where Tribeca was. The New York Times proclaimed, “Cucaracha Theatre has become a center for some of the most interesting experimental theatre in New York.” He is currently working on a documentary called THE HOY BOYS.



CRAIG POSPISIL is the author of the plays MONTHS ON END, SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN, and THE DUNES, among others. JANUARY, which he adapted from the opening scene of MONTHS ON END, is his first short film, and was an official selection at the 2015 Big Apple, Black Bear, and Laughlin International film festivals, and for the 2016 Sacramento and Big Easy International film festivals. His plays have been seen at Barrington Stage, Bay Street, EST, Purple Rose, Detroit Rep, New World Stages, around the US, in two dozen countries, and translated into Cantonese, Dutch, French, Greek and Spanish. He has written over 60 short plays, including IT’S NOT YOU (theAtrainplays, Vol. 1), ON THE EDGE (Best Ten-Minute Plays: 2005), THERE’S NO HERE HERE (Best Ten Minute Plays 2012), and DISSONANCE (Best American Short Plays 2010-2011). He lives in New York with his wife, Bloomberg TV anchor, Alix Steel, their daughter, Dillon (favorite word: No), and an imported French cat.



Kahane Cooperman is a documentary filmmaker and television producer. Her short documentary JOE’S VIOLIN world premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Her most recent television role was as the Executive Producer / Showrunner of THE NEW YORKER PRESENTS – a new series for Amazon Prime Video, which premiered in February 2016. From 1996-2015, she was a producer of THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART. Her previous films include the documentaries COOL WATER and MAKING DAZED. She began her career at Maysles Films.



Maria Cuomo Cole is the award-winning producer of the feature documentary, NEWTOWN, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. In her career, she has tackled such relevant subjects as gun violence, homelessness, veterans’ PTSD, Domestic Violence and sexual assault. Most recently, she executive produced THE HUNTING GROUND, directed by Kirby Dick. This Emmy and Peabody award winning film has been lauded as a powerful investigation into the epidemic of sexual assaults on college campuses. In 2012, Ms. Cuomo Cole worked with the same film team, executive producing the 2014 Oscar® nominated documentary, THE INVISIBLE WAR. This groundbreaking documentary about the epidemic of rape and sexual violence in the U.S. military, which served as a catalyst for federal legislation and enacted federal policy reforms.

Cuomo Cole’s 2011 documentary, LIVING FOR 32, about gun laws in America, was short listed for an Academy Award® and premiered at the 2011 Sundance FilmFestival. In collaboration with national communities of gun violence survivors, faith leaders, political leaders and nonprofits, the film has served as a catalyst for awareness and advocacy on the subject of federal and state legislative reform across the country. Since 1992, she has led HELP USA, the national nonprofit leader in both homeless and permanent supportive service housing and employment programs for veterans, families and survivors of domestic violence.




DIRECTOR/PRODUCER Director/Producer Kim A. Snyder’s most recent film, NEWTOWN premiered in competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, and was hailed in Entertainment Weekly as among the “Best of Sundance.” NEWTOWN will continue to screen at premiere festivals worldwide and is poised to have a theatrical release in September 2016, with a national broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens in late 2016. Snyder’s last feature documentary, WELCOME TO SHELBYVILLE was also nationally broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens. In 2007, Kim co-founded the BeCause Foundation to direct and produce a series of socially conscious documentaries which have won numerous awards with campaigns furthering the work of the social innovators they highlight. Kim’s award-winning directorial debut feature documentary, I REMEMBER ME was theatrically distributed by Zeitgeist Films. In 1994, she associate produced the Academy Award-winning short film Trevor directed by Peggy Rajski. Kim graduated with a Masters in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and resides in New York City.


Christian D. Bruun is an international film director/producer, architect, and curator. He is an innovator in the fields of digital filmmaking, digital media, and architectural design. His films have had international theatrical and television distribution and been in official selection at Sundance, Tribeca, and Berlin film festivals. He recently directed the feature documentary, BLUE GOLD and produced the Danish Film Academy Award winning feature film THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD, both to be released in 2016. He is currently in post production on two new feature documentaries. He has directed and produced national commercial campaigns. Christian is also a contributor to the international discourse on pioneering efforts in film, media, story-telling, and digital technologies and he produced the first internationally released, 3D, Real-D feature film. His short films and animations have been exhibited at MoMA NY, Venice Biennale, Whitney Museum of American Art, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and Centre Pompidou. Christian curated and designed the US Pavilion at the 2004 and 2006 Venice Biennale. He is the co-founder of the Danish Film Festival in Los Angeles. He is a New York ambassador for Index Design Awards, a board member of the A+D Museum in Los Angeles. Christian studied at SCI-Arc in California and holds a Master of Architecture from AAA in Denmark.



Paco de Onís grew up in several Latin American countries and is multi- lingual. Most recently, de Onís produced Skylight Pictures’ film DISRUPTION, about women’s economic empowerment in Colombia, Peru and Brazil. In 2011 he produced GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR (world premiere at Sundance 2011), a documentary detective story focused on the role of filmic and archival documentation in the prosecution of a genocide case against Guatemalan generals, and launched GRANITO: EVERY MEMORY MATTERS, a companion mixed media project developed to restore the collective memory of the Guatemalan genocide. One year after the release of GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR, the dictator of the title was charged with genocide and put on trial in Guatemala. Paco also served as the producer on Skylight’s film THE RECKONING: THE BATTLE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (world premiere Sundance

2009), a documentary accompanied by IJCentral, an interactive audience engagement initiative promoting global rule of law, developed at the BAVC Producer’s Institute in 2008. Prior to that, 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 the Executive Director at Skylight. Prior to his work at Skylight he produced documentaries for PBS (ON OUR OWN TERMS with Bill Moyers), National Geographic (SECRETS FROM THE GRAVE), and a range of other programs. Before producing television documentaries, 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.



Pamela Yates is a co-founder of Skylight Pictures and currently the Creative Director of Skylight, a company dedicated to creating feature length documentary 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. Her 2011 film was GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR, for which she was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship. The film was used as key forensic evidence in the RĂ­os Montt genocide conviction in Guatemala. Yates is an American filmmaker and human rights defender and was born and raised in the Appalachian coal mining region of Pennsylvania, but left home at an early age to live in New York City. She is the Director of the Sundance Special Jury award winning WHEN THE MOUNTAINS TREMBLE; the Executive Producer of the Academy Award winning Witness to War,about an American Doctor behind guerrilla lines in El Savador; and the DIRECTOR OF STATE OF FEAR: THE TRUTH ABOUT

TERRORISM, which has been translated into 47 languages and broadcast in 154 countries. Her epic film THE RECKONING, about the tumultuous first 6 years of the International Criminal Court was filmed on 4 continents and in 7 languages and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She also directed the development of GRANITO: EVERY MEMORYMATTERS, an interactive media project that gathered memories and put them into a public online archive to help restore and repair the collective memory of the Guatemalan genocide. Yates just completed DISRUPTION (2014),a documentary that explores innovative strategies to reduce poverty through women’s economic empowerment in Latin America. She is currently working on 500 Years, the third in the Guatemalan trilogy that explores the battle for the national narrative in present-day Guatemala. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, The Writers Guild of America, the Independent Documentary Association, and a Contributing Editor to NACLA: Report on the Americas.




With deep roots in New York City environmental issues, Dan is ideally positioned to produce this first-ever, full-length documentary on Jamaica Bay. Formerly Vice President at the New York League of Conservation Voters, he now works at NRG as Director of External Affairs, working on clean energy policy. Dan is the author of a book on the bay’s history (JAMAICA BAY, Arcadia Press, 2006). His writing on environmental issues has appeared in The New York Times, Newsday, Greenwich Time, Stamford Advocate, the New York Daily News, Queens Chronicle and many others. He is a graduate of Columbia University and a proud U.S. Navy veteran.


Stacey Reiss, Producer, is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker who writes, directs and produces documentaries and long form programs for HBO, NBC, WNET, CNBC, National Geographic and The Weather Channel. Recent film credits include THE EAGLE HUNTRESS and SUITED — both premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2016. The Eagle Huntress was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics; SUITED will be broadcast on HBO in June. Other documentaries include THE DIPLOMAT, about the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke which received a National Board of Review Award and IT’S ME, HILARY, about the “Eloise” book illustrator; both aired on HBO in 2015. Reiss also produced I KNEW IT WAS YOU, about the late actor John Cazale which premiered at Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO in 2010 and JOACHIM PRINZ: I SHALL NOT BE SILENT, about the Jewish leader who helped organize the March on Washington.




Writer/Producer Lisa Kenner Grissom is a Boston native living in Los Angeles—with bi-coastal tendencies. An award-winning playwright, Lisa’s plays include FOUR CHAMBERS (Co-Recipient of the 2016 Jean Kennedy Smith Award, The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival), BUILDING THE PERFECT CHAIR, MOTHERLAND, HOME IS A FOURLETTER WORD and MISSED CONNECTIONS among others. Her awardwinning one-act play, TATTOO YOU has been seen by audiences in D.C., Boston, New York and LA. The short film adaptation of TATTOO YOU, directed by S.R. Bindler, is having its East Coast premiere at BIFF. Lisa earned her B.A. from Wesleyan University and her MFA in Writing for Stage and Screen from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.


Ryan Convery was born and raised in the suburbs of Worcester, MA. After graduating high school he moved to LA in hopes of becoming a special effects makeup artist by attending the Make-Up Designory in Burbank, CA. After the special effects shops closed in early 2000 due to the birth of computer animation Ryan moved to Boston and went to school for animation where he fell in love with the art of film-making. Now 10 years later him and his production company Fat Foot Films have directed, edited and produced 3 full length features that have had worldwide distribution and been broadcasted on TV. Fat Foot Films has also produced multiple award winning short films. Back in 2014 Ryan landed his dream gig working as special effects makeup assistant on the Johnny Depp film “BLACK MASS”. His clients also include the New England Patriots, Huffington Post, and Hasbro.



Jim Ford is an American film/ television actor and stuntman. After recieveing his BFA in drama from the Hartt School Conservatory and studying with the Royal Shakespeare company in England, Jim landed an agent and has been a full time actor in New York and Los Angeles ever since. He is best know for his work in the TV shows: GOTHAM, MYSTERIES OF LAURA, THE FOLLOWING, PERSON OF INTEREST and the John Travolta movie: THE FORGER. At a very young age Jim developed a passion for film making and short films. Over the years he has completed dozens of short films which have screened all over the world. He loves to travel and attend as many festivals as he can.



Melissa Jacobson is the head of development for Five More Minutes Productions. In addition, she oversaw research for the film, THE CONSPIRATOR, and the ESPN limited series, THE BRONX IS BURNING. Previously, she was co-founder of a stock footage research company, Alternative Images, and Acquisitions Specialist at Getty Images / The Image Bank. This is her first documentary.





LAURA GOODENOW is an award-winning reporter, photojournalist, and news editor who transitioned to the creative arts in 2010 to follow her passion for storytelling. Now a dramaturge, book editor, lyricist, librettist and graphic designer, she’s been the driving force behind YEAR BY THE SEA’s successful Kickstarter and marketing campaigns. The editor of NYT bestselling author Joan Anderson’s sixth book, STRETCH MARKS, Ms Goodenow’s first musical, EMERGING FROM THE NIGHT, is currently in development. YEAR BY THE SEA is her feature film producorial debut.

An award-winning writer/director/composer, ALEXANDER JANKO’s repertoire spans the music, literary, stage, TV and film industries. A graduate of Princeton, he has worked on more than 65 major motion pictures, including the Oscar-nominated ANASTASIA and Grammy-nominated MAN ON THE MOON. A career milestone, he composed the score for the indie sensation MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, the highest grossing romantic comedy in history. As a writer, he has penned a one-act stage play and five screenplays, including HOME TOWN, which became a semifinalist in Final Draft’s “Big Break” competition. He has also written two TV pilots and a mini-series, LOST HOPE (based on the Walsh-McLean family’s pursuit of the Hope Diamond) now in development. His book, VMS (the first in a tween actionadventure series), will soon be published. YEAR BY THE SEA is Mr Janko’s feature film directorial debut.



NORIKO SAKAMOTO — film editor — began her career as a television editor on the NYT TV reality series TRAUMA: LIFE IN THE ER. Since then, she has edited dozens of reality shows and documentaries for HGTV, Discovery, History, A&E, and TLC, currently serving as editor of the popular series SAY YES TO THE DRESS. She filmed and directed the documentary short THE HERON AND THE GEISHA: A LIFE IN DANCE, a story about Japanese dance, and graduated from The Edit Center shortly before coming on board YEAR BY THE SEA.




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