The presenters at the Sundance Producers Conference are an extraordinary group of people. They have impressive resumes and amazing experiences. Being able to spend four days with these people will have an enormous, unbelievable impact on me, Jabbes and Alec. Of course, we’re getting ready to go to Zambia to shoot BAD T!MING (the first feature film) and VOICE OF AN AFRICAN NATION (a documentary about our struggles to get that film made). The information that these people will provide will make such an impact on our efforts in Zambia. They truly are changing the world. Sometimes, people like to bash Sundance, saying it’s too commercial. As someone who has attended the festival since 1996, I get irritated with that complaint. I sure benefit from their commitment to independent voices in filmmaking.
A filmmaker and producer, JON ALPERT has won eleven National Emmy Awards for News and Documentary Programs. Alpert is the Co-founder and Co-Director of the Downtown Community Television Center, America’s largest and most honored non-profit community media center which is located in a landmark Tribeca firehouse. His filmography includes: CUBA: THE PEOPLE (1974), VIETNAM: PICKING UP THE PIECES (1977), THIRD AVENUE (1980), ONE YEAR IN A LIFE OF CRIME (1987) HIGH ON CRACK STREET – LOST LIVES IN LOWELL (1995), A CINDERELLA SEASON – THE LADY VOLS FIGHT BACK (1998), FROM GROUND ZERO TO GROUND ZERO (2002), LATIN KINGS: A STREET GANG STORY (2003), and SIBERIAN ADOPTION STORY (2005)
JEREMY BARBER is a motion picture agent at UTA where he also co-heads the Independent Film Packing & Film Finance Department. Since joining UTA in 2003, Barber has packaged and/or sold films on behalf of clients including John Singleton-produced HUSTLE AND FLOW; CRASH, produced by and starring Don Cheadle and written by Bobby Moresco; Mike Mills’ THUMBSUCKER; Phil Morrison’s JUNEBUG; Dave Chappelle’s CHAPPELLE’S BLOCK PARTY; Patrick Stettner’s THE NIGHT LISTENER; Chris Gorak’s RIGHT AT YOUR DOOR; and Michel Gondry’s SCIENCE OF SLEEP; among others. In addition Barber represents filmmakers such as John Singleton, Noah Baumbach, Alan Parker, Jared Hess, Peter Cattaneo, Tim Blake Nelson, and actors including Don Cheadle, Patrick Dempsey, Sigourney Weaver, Steve Coogan and Jennifer Jason Leigh. He is married and lives in Los Angeles.
RAM BERGMAN, is an independent film producer who was nominated this year for two Independent Spirit Awards: John Cassavetes Award for BRICK and the Producers Award (for BRICK and CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHER WOMEN). A hard-boiled noir mystery, BRICK won a Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. Since then, Brick, which was acquired by Focus Features, has screened at numerous other festivals, including Venice and Deauville.
BOB BERNEY, President of Picturehouse, was founded in April 2005 and born out of the combination of Fine Line Features and HBO Films. Picturehouse is a theatrical distribution company that will release 8-10 films a year. Currently in release from Picturehouse: Robert Altman’s A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION. Upcoming films include Steven Shainberg’s FUR, starring Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey, Jr.; Guillermo del Toro’s dark fairy tale PAN’S LABYRINTH; Tom Vaughan’s romantic comedy STARTER FOR TEN; Scott Z. Burns comedy-thriller PU-239; Sergei Bodrov’s MONGOL, the epic story of young Genghis Khan; and Francois Girard’s SILK. Before co-founding Newmarket Films, Berney was Senior Vice President of IFC Films where he oversaw the distribution of the box office hit MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING and release of the critically praised hit Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN directed by Alfonso Cuaron. Prior to working at IFC Films, Berney worked as an independent marketing and distribution consultant, where he was responsible MEMENTO and HAPPINESS. Berney lives in Westchester County, New York, with his wife and their two sons.
Film and Television Producer BARBARA BOYLE’s credits include PHENOMENON, INSTINCT, BOTTLE ROCKET, EIGHT MEN OUT, MRS. MUNCK, and THE HI-LINE. Her company, Sovereign Pictures, Inc., financed and distributed internationally 25 films including, MY LEFT FOOT, CINEMA PARADISO, REVERSAL OF FORTUNE, IMPROMPTU, HAMLET and THE COMMITMENTS. She is a past president of both Film Independent (IFP/West) and Women In Film. Boyle has received, among others, a Vision Award from Independent Film, the Women In Film Crystal Award and the Alumni of the Year from UCLA Law School. She holds a BA from UC Berkeley and a JD from UCLA School of Law. The most recent publication is the third edition of the Movie Business Book.
PAUL COHEN’s film financing, acquisition, marketing and distribution experience is wide ranging. As CEO/President and co-founder of Manhattan Pictures International (MPI), he acquired and distributed independently produced motion pictures which include ENIGMA, Jean-Luc Godard’s IN PRAISE OF LOVE (ELOGE DE L’AMOUR), and Alan Rudolph’s The SECRET LIVES OF DENTISTS, starring Campbell Scott and Hope Davis. More recently, Paul distributed Campbell Scott’s OFF THE MAP, starring Joan Allen and Sam Elliott. He serves as a consultant to a number of academic institutions, foundations, independent entertainment companies as well as filmmakers. His education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Hofstra University; graduate work in Psychology at The New School for Social Research/Graduate Faculty and post graduate work at the Jungian Foundation in NYC.
MICHAEL COLE joined The Weinstein Company as co-president of production in November of 2005. Michael was involved in the production or acquisition of films such as: THE OTHERS, TUPAC: RESURRECTION (Oscar-nominated for Best Documentary), SWINGERS, SWIMMING WITH SHARKS, and KILLSHOT, the adaptation of best-selling novel The Nanny Diaries starring Scarlett Johansen, a remake of the SEVEN SAMURAI, Anthony Minghella’s BREAKING AND ENTERING, Kevin Smith’s CLERKS 2.
R.J. CUTLER is a producer and director who has worked in film, television, theater and radio. Last year, Cutler executive produced the acclaimed FX documentary series 30 DAYS, featuring Morgan Spurlock. His feature documentary THIN premiered this January in competition at the Sundance Film Festival, and will air on HBO this November. As a filmmaker, Cutler began his career producing THE WAR ROOM, the acclaimed feature documentary about Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign for the presidency. R.J.’s production company, Actual Reality Pictures, specializes in the development and production of non-fiction projects for film and television.
CASSIAN ELWES, Senior Vice President and Co-Head of William Morris Independent, is one of the leading agents in the business of independent filmmaking. Elwes has worked on THE ENGLISH PATIENT, SLING BLADE and Robert Duvall’s THE APOSTLE. At the recent Toronto Film Festival, Elwes was involved in the sale of, Jason Reitman’s THANK YOU FOR SMOKING and David Ayer’s HARSH TIMES. Elwes began his career producing the 1983 film OXFORD BLUES starring Rob Lowe and Ally Sheedy. In the 1980’s and early 1990’s, he became one of the foremost independent producers with 30 features to his credit. In 1994, Mr. Elwes joined the William Morris Agency’s motion picture division. William Morris Independent has become the leading agency in the independent film business. In 2005 alone, it was involved in the financing and distribution of over 30 films, including such films as PULP FICTION, DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN, SOUL FOOD, HAPPY, TEXAS, SAVING GRACE, THE WOODSMAN and MONSTERS BALL, which won the Academy Award for Halle Berry.
CRAIG EMANUEL’s principal practice area is entertainment law, involving representation of writers, directors, actors, and producers in all aspects of motion picture and television transactions. Mr. Emanuel is also involved in the negotiation of strategic distribution relationships with the major studios. Mr. Emanuel’s talent clients include Iain Softley, Michael Winterbottom, Charles Stone, Jean Pierre Jeunet, Peter Chelsom, Russell Mulcahy, Alex Proyas, Gary Scott Thompson, Gary Oldman, Robert Rodriguez, Ryan Murphy, Leelee Sobieski, Vanessa Marcil, Tony Gilroy and Paul Hogan. His producer clients include Jeff Silver and Don Murphy.
MATTHEW FEURY is Senior Product Marketing Manager for Avid Technology’s Advanced Postproduction team. Since joining Avid in 1994, Matt has provided consultation to film and video professionals throughout North America. He continues to work on projects of personal interest as a freelance editor.
TOM GARVIN has practiced law since 1979, first at the international law firm Loeb & Loeb and then at Ervin, Cohen & Jessup, LLP. In 1997 he established Thomas F. R. Garvin, A Professional Law Corporation in Los Angeles. Garvin has represented films that have won every major international film award including the Golden Palm in Cannes, Academy Awards, Golden Globes and Golden Bear. He has served as a producer or executive producer on several international co-productions including THE ARC, THE GARDEN OF EDEN, Rob Tregenza’s INSIDE/OUT,; Walter Salles’ CENTRAL STATION, ENIGMA, which premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. Tom has arranged the financing and/or distribution of: K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER, THE WEDDING PLANNER, ADAPTATION, KPAX, THE QUIET AMERICAN, T3: THE RISE OF THE MACHINES, Renny Harlin’s MINDHUNTERS, Martin Scorsese’s THE AVIATOR, Oliver Stone’s ALEXANDER. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Sundance Film Festival and the Founding Chairman of the UCLA Entertainment Tax and Finance Institute and teaches in the UCLA Graduate School of Theater, Film and Television.
PETER GOLUB‘s recent film scores include: WORDPLAY; AMERICAN GUN, STOLEN, for which he won a Best Music Award at the 2005 Avignon Film Festival; Americano; THE LARAMIE PROJECT; and SUNSET STORY, winner of best documentary at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival. He also arranged and conducted music for THE LOST CITY. Golub, also a pianist, received a Doctorate in Composition at the Yale School of Music. In the last year he composed music for Macbeth, for Shakespeare in the Park. Golub has composed four ballets with noted choreographer Peter Anastos, including THE GILDED BAT and THE LOST WORLD.
MICAH GREEN is an agent at Creative Artists Agency in the Film Finance Group specializing in film packaging, financing, sales and branded entertainment. He began his career at the Samuel Goldwyn Company and Arnold Kopelson Productions in Los Angeles. In 1997 he began working with attorney John Sloss at Sloss Law Office. Green spearheaded the domestic sales campaigns for several of the highest profile films of the last decade, including NAPOLEAON DYNAMITE, SUPERSIZE ME, MAD HOT BALLROOM, SPELLBOUND, and BRICK. Green has also assembled financing for MURDERBALL, and BE KIND, REWIND. He received a J.D. from USC Law School, an M.A. in communications management from USC’s Annenberg School and a B.A. from Colgate University.
MATTHEW GREENFIELD is Senior Vice President of Production at Fox Searchlight Pictures. Prior to Searchlight he was an award-winning independent film producer whose feature credits include The Motel, The Good Girl, Chuck & Buck and Star Maps. In 2004 he was named Associate Director of the Feature Film Program at the Sundance Institute. He currently serves as a Trustee of Wesleyan University.
LYNETTE HOWELL attended the world-renowned Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) and earned her degree in Enterprise Management. She was a casting assistant on MAMMA MIA, WE WILL ROCK YOU, CHICAGO and STARLIGHT EXPRESS. Ms. Howell worked as Production Coordinator on the West End Musical NAPOLEON. In 2001, Ms. Howell moved to Los Angeles to head the theatrical division of production company East of Doheny. She also helped create the Los Angeles children’s theatre company The Pickering Street Players. In 2004, Ms. Howell left East of Doheny to found Silverwood Films with entrepreneur Doug Dey. Silverwood Films’ first two feature films premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film festival: HALF NELSON, starring Ryan Gosling. Silverwood’s upcoming slate for 2006/2007 includes stage musicals, features films and documentaries.
MARCUS HU is Co-President of Strand Releasing. Upcoming films for 2006 include Fatih Akin’s CROSSING THE BRIDGE, Francois Ozon’s TIME TO LEAVE and Tomer Heymann’s PAPER DOLLS . Hu has worked in distribution for such companies as the Samuel Goldwyn Co, Vestron Pictures, United Artists and Columbia Pictures. Hu has served as a producer on such films as Gregg Araki’s THE LIVING END, the films of Bruce LaBruce, Todd Verow’s adaptation of Dennis Cooper’s FRISK and Charles Busch’s PSYCHO BEACH PARTY. Hu is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and serves on the board of FIND (Film Independent) and is on the Advisory Board for the Sundance Film Festival.
KEVIN IWASHINA is an agent in the Film Finance Department at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), a literary and talent agency based in Beverly Hills. Mr. Iwashina is involved in the packaging and representation of independently financed films and international co-productions. He also represents acting, directing and producing talent and assists the Marketing Group in international business. Some examples of recent films are MATADOR, RIZE, and CRASH. His client list includes Gabriele Muccino (L’ULTIMO BACIO), Monica Bellucci, David LaChapelle (RIZE), Gil Kenan (MONSTER HOUSE), John Waters, Christine Vachon’s KILLER FILMS and NETFLIX. A native of Los Angeles, Mr. Iwashina graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in English Literature with an emphasis in World Literature.
JAMES JACKS was the Executive Producer of RAISING ARIZONA, and then became Vice President of Acquisitions for Universal Pictures. Jacks was involved in such films as FIELD OF DREAMS, DO THE RIGHT THING, DARK MAN, TREMORS, JUNGLE FEVER, AMERICAN ME, and PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS. In 1992, Jacks left Universal to go into partnership with Sean Daniel and formed the Alphaville Company. Together they have produced: DAZED AND CONFUSED, HARD TARGET, TOMBSTONE, THE GULF, MICHAEL, THE JACKAL, A SIMPLE PLAN, DOWN TO EARTH, THE GIFT, RAT RACE, THE MUMMY, THE MUMMY RETURNS, and THE SCORPION KING. Alphaville dissolved and Jacks formed the Frelaine Company. Upcoming projects include DOGS OF WINTER, written by Scott Rosenberg and Ken Nunn from Nunn’s critically-acclaimed novel.
ROSS KATZ received Best Picture Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominations and won Best Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards as producer on Sofia Coppola’s LOST IN TRANSLATION. He previously garnered Best Picture Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominations for Todd Field’s IN THE BEDROOM, which starred Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson and Marisa Tomei. After joining the leading New York-based independent film company Good Machine, he spent five years working on Ang Lee’s THE ICE STORM and Todd Solondz’s HAPPINESS. His first feature as producer was Jim Fall’s TRICK. Most recently, Katz produced Marie Antoinette. The film was written and directed by Sofia Coppola.
CRAIG KESTEL was raised in Long Island, New York and attended St. John’s University in Queens. Internships at The Shooting Gallery and Good Machine led to a period of work at Lions Gate Film’s New York office. In 2000, Craig moved to Los Angeles and began working as a Trainee at the William Morris Agency. After two and-a-half years assisting co-head of William Morris Independent Cassian Elwes, Craig was promoted to Agent in the Motion Picture Department.
As Sundance Channel’s Senior Vice President, Original Programming, LYNNE KIRBY oversees the development and production of Sundance Channel’s original series and films. In her current role, Kirby oversees the production of original series and films such as the upcoming series THE HILL, HOUSE OF BOATENG, ONE PUNK UNDER GOD and NIMROD NATION. Kirby worked at Court TV as Vice President, Alternative Entertainment. Kirby holds a Ph.D., Film and Television from the University of California Los Angeles; a D.E.A., Film Studies from the Universite de Paris III; an M.A., Art History from State University of New York, Binghamton; and a B.A., Art History and French from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
RICHARD KLUBECK is a motion picture agent at UTA and Co-Head of the Independent Film Group where he represents independent filmmakers, financiers and production companies. Most recently titles include HUSTLE AND FLOW, BLOCK PARTY, SCIENCE OF SLEEP, THUMBSUCKER, THE LIBERTINE, JUNEBUG, RIGHT AT YOUR DOOR, THE NIGHT LISTENER, and THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON. Klubeck represents filmmakers Joel And Ethan Coen, Mike White, Miranda July, Scott Burns, Jeff Feuerzeig, Patrick Stettner, and Alex and David Pastor. Klubeck was CEO of Jersey Films. While there, Klubeck was a producer on Jersey’s independent feature, GARDEN STATE. In addition, he was an executive producer on the IFC Indie CAMP that played in competition at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, and supervised Jay Chandrasekhar’s comedy SUPERTROOPERS on behalf of Jersey. Prior to Jersey Films, Klubeck was Executive Vice President of Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions. Klubeck earned his JD at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
ROSANNE KORENBERG is President of Traction Media, which produces and represents the sale of distribution rights to feature films. Traction has handled the sale of distribution rights to over 25 films, including: BEHIND THE MASK, STEEL CITY SÓLO DIOS SABE, WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR?, DUCK SEASON, FATELESS, and PRETTY PERSUASION. Prior to launching Traction, Ms. Korenberg was Vice President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions at Twentieth Century Fox. At Fox, she acquired numerous feature films for Fox Searchlight. She also identified new directing and acting talent and remake possibilities for all divisions of the studio. Before joining Twentieth Century Fox, Ms. Korenberg was Vice President of Acquisitions at the Samuel Goldwyn Company.
With her driven spirit, TRACY MCKNIGHT is recognized as a premiere talent and has earned a place in the entertainment industry as a highly respected music supervisor, record producer, label cofounder and company head. Ms. McKnight´s music supervision projects proudly embrace a range and diversity of genres. Many of her over seventy films include films that have been seen at Sundance (THE HAWK IS DYING, WORDPLAY, MURDERBALL, BORN INTO BROTHELS), Tribeca (THE WAR TAPES) and The Independent Spirit Awards (THE WAR WITHIN). In 2006, Ms. McKnight was named head of soundtracks at Ryko Filmworks. Prior to Ryko Filmworks, Ms. McKnight co-founded Commotion Records in 2003 with Walter Yetnikoff where she was the Executive Soundtrack Producer on an impressive array of releases including HOTEL RWANDA, HAPPY ENDINGS, MYSTERIOUS SKIN, THE COOLER, and A DIRTY SHAME.
CARA MERTES has recently been appointed as Director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program. Mertes was the Executive Director of American Documentary, Inc., and Executive Producer of P.O.V. Mertes is a long time advocate for independent media artists, and an award-winning filmmaker, programmer, teacher and writer whose work has been featured widely in museums, festivals, on PBS and internationally. Mertes has been a visiting artist at the Walker Arts Center and the Wexner Center for the Arts, and a featured speaker at panels and festivals internationallyShe has been a panelist for the Jerome Foundation and the MacDowell Colony, a nominator for the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships and the Alpert awards, and an Advisor for the Museum of Television and Radio Documentary Festival, the Full Frame Documentary Festival, MOMA, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Smithsonian Museum for the Native American, the MacArthur Foundation, the Sundance Documentary Program, the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, CPB, PBS, the PBS Producer’s Academy and many others. Mertes is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America, East and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
ROBERT MESSINGER formed First Artists Management with Vasi Vangelos in 2003. The company is a boutique agency that represents top film composers and music supervisors. Messinger was previously a founder and Senior Vice President of Blue Focus Management. Messinger began his career in music in the publicity department of IRS Records, working with bands such as REM, while attending UCLA as a Theater Arts major.
MAUD NADLER, Senior Vice President, joined HBO Films in March 2000. Based in Los Angeles, Maud is responsible for overseeing the development and production of independent films including Academy Award-nominated MARIA FULL OF GRACE, winner of the Audience Award Sundance 2004; Academy Award nominated AMERICAN SPLENDOR, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2003; REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES, winner of the Audience Award, as well as, a Special Jury Award, at Sundance 2002.
SHEILA NEVINS is president, HBO Documentary and Family, for Home Box Office. She is responsible for overseeing the development and production of all documentaries and family programming for HBO and Cinemax and their multiplex channels. She was named to this position in February 2004, promoted from executive vice president, original programming; a title she had held since 1999. Nevins has been honored with several career achievement awards, with the most recent being a 2005 Emmy® Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the art of the documentary, the first time the National Television Academy has awarded Lifetime Achievement recognition to a documentarian. Nevins joined HBO in l979 and worked for four years as HBO’s director of Documentary Programming. During this period, she supervised the production of more than l50 programs, winning 35 CableAce Awards for programming excellence from the National Cable Television Association as well as the first George Foster Peabody Award presented to a cable program, SHE’S NOBODY’S BABY, produced with Ms. Magazine. Before she was named HBO vice president, she worked for three years as president for Spinning Reels, based in New York City. Nevins is a member of the Writers Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America, is on the Board of Creative Capital, Full Frame Film Festival at Duke, the Independent Feature Project and The Film Forum. Nevins holds a BA from Barnard College and an MFA from Yale University School of Drama.
Thanks to PJ for the assist with prepping this for posting.