Film Interchange values our esteemed Thought Leaders
They are re-invited to join FI at the final event of each season. We take a vested interest in keeping up to date with their careers. These are people you want in YOUR Network. Hire them! They'll make you look good!
The founder of Jacob Krueger Studio, Jacob has worked with all kinds of writers, from Academy and Tony Award Winners, to young writers picking up the pen for the first time.
His writing includes The Matthew Shepard Story, for which he won the Writers Guild of America Paul Selvin Award and was nominated for a Gemini Award for Best Screenplay. To follow Jacob’s blog or learn more about his Screenwriting Workshops, Online Classes, One-on-One Mentorship Program and International Retreats please visit WriteYourScreenplay.com.
Adam Leipzig is the COO of Creative Future, a nonprofit advocacy organization for the creative community.
He is the author of "Inside Track for Independent Filmmakers" and co-author of "Filmmaking in Action: Your Guide to the Skills and Craft" , the premiere college textbook on filmmaking.
Previously, he has been the CEO of Entertainment Media Partners, a senior executive at Walt Disney Studios, and president of National Geographic Films.
As producer, distributor and financier, Adam has been responsible for more than 30 films. He is also the publisher of Cultural Weekly.com.
Ingrid Jean-Baptiste was born in Paris and raised between Paris and London. After graduating from La Sorbonne University, she started a career in journalism and worked for different French magazines at publication group EMAP France. Jean-Baptiste also contributed in the production of cultural TV shows broadcasted on National French Television at France Televisions.
After living in Los Angeles for several years, Ingrid Jean-Baptiste moved to New York in 2010 to study a different career: acting. She is now a graduate from the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. From an early age, she traveled the world, which aroused her passion to discover new cultures; having visited more than a hundred countries, always trying to understand the world we live in and communicate her views. As a former journalist, Jean-Baptiste always wanted to relate an accurate information and share a universal message. In 2013, Jean-Baptiste and her mother Sonia Jean-Baptiste found themselves in a car accident along with 6 other people, which changed the course of their lives. Ingrid suggested the idea to her mother to create an international hub for up and coming artists in Chelsea, New York, where she currently lives: the Chelsea Film Festival was born. Since its creation, the Festival has presented 130 Official Selections (World, US and NY Premieres) from more then 30 countries and has become an international platform for emerging filmmakers.
Ingrid Jean-Baptiste is also an active advocate for many causes such as Human Rights, Women in Film and Gender Equality. Today, she sits on the Board of prestigious organizations: Easter Seals, Young Minds for Gender Equality and Chelsea Film Institute.
Amy is the author of the two critically acclaimed novels, A Mouthful of Air and I Smile Back.
She is an outspoken advocate for women's mental health.
She received her undergraduate degree from The University of Pennsylvania, and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University.
Koppelman and a screenwriting partner adapted I Smile Back for the screen, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance, Toronto and Deauville Film Festivals and starred Sarah Silverman.
It was released in November by Broad Green Pictures.
Adam Reid is the Film Director & Executive Creative Director/Partner, Bodega Studios.
Adam got his start writing and producing promos for Comedy Central. He is currently the Executive Creative Director & Partner of the content creation company Bodega Studios.
Best known for his feature film HELLO LONESOME, a 2012 Independent Spirit Award Nominee....also for shooting national commercials on his iPhone.
Producer and actress Allegra Cohen is maximizing her experience from both sides of the camera to create All In One, a visionary 21st century integrated lifestyle brand designed to build and sustain successful strategic partnerships and alliances in business and the arts.
A self-described "brand curator," Allegra Cohen wants to serve as a conduit and catalyst for artists, products and businesses she believes in. She's a champion for people's dreams and highest ambitions and believes that "true beauty comes from within."
"No life or business function stands alone -- it is the synergy of what we do in our personal and professional lives that escalates integrated success." -Allegra Cohen
Brette Goldstein is the casting director at Brette Goldstein Casting.
Credits include: THE LAST IMMORTALS, directed by Greg Baldi; A VIOLENT NATURE, directed by Erik Weigel; QUEEN CITY, directed by Peter McGennis (with Vivica A. Fox and Lyriq Bent); the PBS documentary NO JOB FOR A WOMAN: THE WOMEN WHO FOUGHT TO REPORT WWII, narrated by Julianna Margulies.
She was the Casting Director and Associate Producer of the feature film HELLO LONESOME directed by Adam Reid, that won major awards at festivals internationally.
Caitlin Gold is the Head of Acquisitions at Candy Factory Films. With CFF, she has been proud to acquire engaging, thought-provoking content from some of today's leading filmmakers, helping to make it one of the most innovative distribution companies operating today.
She is also the co-founder of Nine Lives Pictures, a New York-based film production company. ("Imagine I'm Beautiful.") To date, Caitlin has produced numerous features including: "79 Parts" with Eric Roberts and Sandra Bernhard; "Indigo," starring Nicholas Brendon; "Juvie," starring Jared Gilman; and the upcoming drama, "Liv," starring Teddy Sears, Harris Yulin and Frankie Faison.
David Spaltro is a writer, director, and producer.
After a few years of traveling abroad and working as an editor and post-supervisor he wrote, directed and produced his first feature film "...Around" in 2007. It made the rounds on the festival circuit to much critical acclaim, and found release through Cinetic Media online, VOD, and Netflix in 2009. It had a television debut on PBS on Christmas Day in 2010. Other films include; "Things I Don't Understand", "The Cat's Cradle" (Short), and "...In the Dark".
Spaltro optioned acclaimed Gothic horror novelist Steven Peck's "A Short Stay in Hell" for an adaptation which he co-wrote with Peck, as well as writing-directing-producing "Wake Up in New York," the final chapter of his NYC Valentine Trilogy through his company Wandering/Cut Films. He is in development on a TV series, "Welcome to Hockey Town".
Elisabeth Holm is a Brooklyn-based writer and producer.
She is the recipient of the 2014 Sundance Red Crown Producers Award for her work on Gillian Robespierre's OBVIOUS CHILD, starring Jenny Slate.
From 2011-2014 Elisabeth served as Kickstarter's Film Program Director. She produced Keith Miller's 2012 Slamdance and FIPRESCI Jury Prize-winning WELCOME TO PINE HILL (Oscilloscope), associate produced Joe Berlinger's Oscar-nominated PARADISE LOST 3 (HBO), is a TFI Tribeca All Access and IFP alum, and was profiled in Forbes and The L Magazine's "30 Under 30."
She most recently wrapped an FX pilot she co-created, wrote, and Executive Produced with Robespierre, and the two are currently writing a divorce comedy for OddLot Entertainment.
Emily Best is the founder/CEO of Seed&Spark, a startup crowdfunding platform to build a truly independent film community.
Seed&Spark combines the crowd-building power of crowd-funding with streaming digital distribution. From pitch to premiere, audiences gain unprecedented access to exceptional independent content and filmmakers keep 80% of the distribution revenue. It's a Fair Trade Filmmaking movement. Find out more at seedandspark.com.
Erica is Seed&Spark's Director of Crowdfunding & Community and one of its founding members.
Seed&Spark is a curated crowdfunding and integrated distribution platform that was developed specifically for film and film related projects.
Erica has advised over 200 crowdfunding projects and splits her time advising and traveling the country teaching entrepreneurship for creative professionals on the #StayIndieTour.
As a producer, educator, and actress, Erica brings 15 years film, theatre and commercial experience to her role working with filmmakers to build audiences at Seed&Spark, where she is responsible for the highest crowdfunding success rate in the business!
Erik Weigel is a director, writer, and producer at Winsome Productions.
Known for such films as GRAVITY, the indie feature, CHARLIE, the critically acclaimed, EL CAMINO, and most recently A VIOLENT NATURE.
Some of his other producing projects include, THE BELL, with Martin Sheen, I THINK, I THOUGHT, directed by and starring Matthew Modine, as well as numerous other short films.
In addition, Erik has worked with Olympus Pictures on, RABBIT HOLE starring Nicole Kidman; the Academy Award-winning film, BEGINNERS; and served as producer on their upcoming film, SOMETHING IN THE WATER starring Academy Award-winner Melissa Leo.
James is the founder and executive Producer of Dogfish Pictures and the Co-Founder and CEO of Dogfish Accelerator.
James recently invested in the MESA+ fund for media focused tech startups in NYC through MESA Global Bank. James just received his MBA at NYU Stern.
Dogfish has produced such films as PRINCE AVALANCHE with Paul Rudd and Emile Hersh; THE ROMANTICS with Katie Holmes, Josh Duhmal and Anna Paquin; and LIKE CRAZY with Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin, and Jennifer Lawrence.
Jason Ward is a Film Distributor and Producer.
Through his company Candy Factory Productions and Distribution LLC, Jason has distributed and produced a wide range of films and documentaries, in addition to investing in various film productions. His most recent catalogue of projects includes:
The Sublime and Beautiful - Distributor A Song Still Inside - Distributor Beats, Rhymes and Life-Travels of a Tribe Called Quest - Investor Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life - Post-Production Coord., Asst. Editor Comedy Warriors: Healing Through Humor - Post-Production Consultant Regular Guy - Producer, Investor Bicycle Lessons - Producer
Jeremy Redleaf is an Emmy Award winning multi-hyphenate. He serves a “head honcho” at Brackets Creative a transmedia creative/production company whose work includes Odd Jobs and a development deal with Fox Television Studios as well as an upcoming slate of shows, features and documentaries.
Jeremy is a creative consultant on Fuse's Funny Or Die’s Billy on the Street. His latest project is “3rd Street Blackout” a narrative feature he co-wrote and co-directed with Negin Farsad that’s now in post production. Jeremy daylights as a voice artist, where he appears as “Gonnigan” in Sesame Street and on networks including Food Network, HGTV, MTV and Fusion.
Jim Jermanok is a former agent at ICM, where he represented Alan Arkin, John Guare, Helen Hayes, Arthur Miller, Shirley MacLaine, Dudley Moore, Henry Winkler and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, among others.
There, he was privy to understanding how actors, writers, directors, and producers succeeded in the entertainment industry. He now works on his own projects as an award-winning writer, director and producer in independent film, theater, television and new media. In 2003, a full-length feature romantic comedy he wrote and produced, “PASSIONADA,” was released by The Samuel Goldwyn Company domestically and by Columbia Tri-Star internationally in over 150 countries. In 2008, he produced “EM,” which had its world premiere in June 2008 at the Seattle Intl. Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film from among the more than 200 entries. It had a worldwide release late last year by Vanguard Cinema and SnagFilms. He recently finished “AGGANIS,” a feature documentary he directed about a renowned New England sports legend in the 1940s and 1950s and a prince of a man, Harry Agganis.
As featured on Marie TV, Jo-Ná A. Williams, Esq. founded J.A. Williams Law P.C. - The Artist Empowerment Firm in 2011 to provide artists, entertainers and the generation's thought leaders with ways to successfully navigate their careers and provide assistance with business, entertainment and intellectual property matters.
She is dedicated to issues regarding the rights of artists and content creators because she believes they are a population highly vulnerable to exploitation without proper knowledge.
She founded Artist Empowerment Group in 2013 to advise artists on business, branding and marketing.
Some of her clients have written best-selling books, created award-winning bogs, been nominated for Grammys, listed in the Billboard Top 100, Amazon and iTunes Top Album Charts and received local and international acclaim.
Jonathan Smith is a filmmaker and an improv and sketch comedian.
Jonathan's first feature film, Breast Picture, a comedy about pornographers who make an Oscar-worthy drama, was distributed in 2010 by Gravitas Ventures.
His second feature film, The Worst Year of My Life, opened theatrically on February 13th, 2015, and is currently being distributed by Devolver Digital Films.
Additionally, Jonathan has optioned a comedy entitled Batshit Bride with Oscar-winning director James Moll at Allentown Productions at Universal Studios, and he won the 2013 Collaboration Filmmakers Challenge with his short film A Simple Test.
Jonathan is currently working on The Peanuts Movie at Blue Sky Studios for 20th Century Fox. As a comedian he has primarily studied, written, and performed at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Jonathan has online video work on FunnyOrDie.com, YouTube.com, and UCBComedy.com, with millions of hits to his name.
Kimberly Graham has been the Associate Casting Director for Judy Henderson Casting since 2003.
Her office was the pioneers for voice over casting for video games, primarily the Grand Theft Auto series.
Kimberly has help cast such films as Avatar, Paranormal Activity 2 and Rick Linklater's Before Midnight among others.
Her work on the first three seasons of Homeland for Showtime garnered numerous awards, including Artios and Emmy Awards for outstanding casting a drama.
Kimberly frequently teaches workships in NYC and London.
K. Lorrell Manning's film Happy New Year, was an official selection at SXSW, & Hamptons International Film Festival and also winner of the Rhode Island International Film Festival for Best Director and Best Actor.
The film has a VERY interesting story behind its developmental process including a stage version, and a short film before it was eventually funded for a full length feature.
Mark Farrell is a director, producer and writer.
Mark has helped bring to life projects including the pilot of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," HBO's "Ben Stiller's Comedy Roundtable" with Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Chris Rock and Bill Hader for Epix, two seasons of "Z-Rock," a single camera sitcom for IFC and "Off the Record" with Bono and the Edge for HBO.
Getting his start in commercials and music videos, Mark switched over to comedy ad music early on.
His current projects include a documentary on comedian Patrice O'neal, a screenplay that just got approved to head up the ladder to Lorne Michaels and a new digital comic book publishing company.
Matthew Bonofacio is a Director/Producer, Founder of Goodface Films, & Co-Founder of 6250 Productions.
His feature/directorial debut, LBS, enjoyed a world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the John Cassavetes Award at the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards.
He has also premiered several films at Tribeca multiples years in a row.
He won the Grand Jury Prize at Tropfest@Tribeca Film Festival in 2006 for his short film, The Watering Hole.
Other films include: The Quitter, Ana Smile, Dump, Truck, Fortune House, among others.
Producer at Michael Alden Productions.
At Cannon Films, he oversaw the creative and technical post-production of over one hundred feature films. Michael assumed Vice Presidency at Pathe Communications in 1989. He has served as a producer on feature films including, JUST CAUSE with Sean Connery, the fashion forward documentary UNZIPPED (Sundance Film Festival) for Miramax, Stephen Daldry’s THE HOURS (Academy Award Nom, BAFTA Awards, a Golden Globe, AFI Award), KISSING JESSICA STEIN (GLAAD Media Award, Independent Spirit Awards, Los Angeles IFP/West Film Festival) and Ralph Ziman’s foreign feature film, THE ZOOKEEPER starring Sam Neill.
Now he's producing the Off-Broadway BECOMING DR. RUTH with Debra Jo Rupp of "That 70's Show".
He began his career at Paramount Courier Inc., America’s most reliable courier service for the entertainment, music, and fashion industries, where he worked as a Film Courier delivering prints for films distributed by New Line Cinema, Sony Pictures Classics, and Warner Bros.
Michael interned at Marvel Comics from 2008 to 2009 where he worked as an Editor on the “Young Guns Sketch Book ’09” and the “New Exiles Sketchbook ’09”.
Award winning screenwriter and filmmaker, Peter Kelley, has worked professionally as an acting coach, a writer, and a director of film and theatre for over fifteen years.
He is an on-set acting coach for both NCIS - LA and DOLLHOUSE. His clients include Chris O'Donnell, Eliza Dushku, Dane Cook, Spencer Grammer, as well as many others.
He co-taught "The Feature Film Audition," with John Lyons. Mr. Kelley is currently on the faculty of Boston University's School of Film as well as the Studio at C/P Casting in Boston. Shortly after joining C/P to run the Studio, Mr. Kelley began casting for C/P; his work included Boston principal casting for over a dozen feature films and hundreds of regional and national commercials.
"The Path Most Resistance", his newest film, was a selection in over 18 festivals worldwide, and was an official selection in competition at the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival.
Rich Guay is a New York based producer, screenwriter and teacher.
He has produced fifteen feature length films and documentaries and is currently the Vice President of East Coast Marketing and Sales for Entertainment Partners.
He began his career as a production auditor for such filmmakers as John Sayles, Woody Allen, Mike Nichols and Jonathan Demme.
Ryian Gielen is the director, writer, producer at Believe Limited.
Ryan Gielen's feature directorial debut, LBS, enjoyed a world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the John Cassavetes Award at the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards. He won the Grand Jury Prize at Tropfest at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2006 for his short, The Watering Hole.
Gielen's films have won awards in fesivals around the country and have been featured in The Washington Post, Wholphin, Filmmaker Magazine, Gawker and over 200 local print, radio and television outlets.
His most recent feature, Turtle Hill, Brooklyn debuted at NewFest 2011, the country's premiere LGBT film festival and won the Audience Award for Best Narrative. Love Bomb and The Pink Platoon (Brownpenny) is Ryan's first book, and is available everywhere books are sold online.
Vladan Nikolic is an independent filmmaker who has written and directed five feature films.
Nikolic was among the digital filmmaking pioneers in the 90s.
The LA Times called Nikolic a “visionary writer-director,” for his 2010 futuristic feature ZENITH, which was released in a unique and innovative way, combining theatrical, DVD and online releases over multiple platforms.
Nikolic’s next feature ALLURE (2014), an art-house improvisational drama about the lives of five immigrant women in NY, has been released theatrically and on video-on-demand in 2015, while his last feature, the international comedy BOUREK (2015) premiered at the Athens International Film Festival in Greece that September.
Christopher Webb is a Cinematographer and Technical Director.
His work ranges in scale and includes location and studio shoots. Chris serves creatives, directors, and producers by offering one-of-a-kind resources and expertise focused on artistic process and craft. He has built a studio with dedicated production resources and an engineering workshop for developing in-camera VFX and practical methods for creative image making.
Chris's aim is to build creative partnerships that yield great work and to excite and inspire others.