SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR JURY
Dana Gills, Lionsgate
A former member of the advertising/media community, Dana Gills now works in Production & Development at Lionsgate. Brown Paper Dolls, a multi-media company that is part of her greater mission to tell multi-dimensional stories about women, people of color, and the youth.
Bilge Ebiri, Film Critic
After studying filmmaking at Yale University Bilge Ebiri came to prominence as a critic. Mr. Elbiri's work as a critic has been seen in New York Magazine, Vulture, Rolling Stone, amongst many other publications. Still, he maintains his passion for filmmaking, seeing independent successes with films such as New Guy and Purse Snatcher. Currently, he is a Staff Writer for The Village Voice.
Catherine Curtin, Actress
Catherine Curtin joined the 2018 cast of HOMELAND and the second season of STRANGER THINGS and their upcoming third season. Ms. Curtin is also a member of the casts of INSECURE (3 seasons) and ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK (5 seasons). Winner: SAG Award for Best Ensemble 2015 and 2016, OITNB and nominated Best Ensemble, STRANGER THINGS 2018. Current Films: MIKE, MIKE TAN, WHEN WE GROW UP, BEAUTY MARK, GOLDSTAR, THE LIGHT OF THE MOON, CRAZY FAMOUS, BREAKING BROOKLYN, CATFIGHT. Theatre: BURNING (St. Clements); CONSENT (Steinberg Center); THE LADY FROM DUBUQUE (Signature); AUNT DAN N LEMON (The New Group); SO HELP ME GOD (Lucille Lortel). Janis Joplin in LOVE, JANIS, Off-Broadway (Joseph Jefferson nomination, Best Actress). Ms. Curtin just shot the indie features THE ARTIST’S WIFE, MAD and IMAGINARY ORDER, and THE CROSSING and is currently shooting the feature WHEN THE ICE BREAKS. Other Film/Television: Wolf of Wall Street, Bourne Supremacy, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Revolutionary Road, Bull, Mindhunter, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Leftovers, Blue Bloods, Law & Order/CI.
Rotimi Paul, Actor
Rotimi Paul is an actor and producer, known for The First Purge (2018), Dutch Kills(2015) and Ship of Fools (2014). Currently a determined stage and screen actor living in New York City, Rotimi made the decision to come to NYC to study at the world renowned William Esper Studio after completing his education at Syracuse University.
After living in Guyana, South America and Antigua, West Indies, he settled in Freeport, Long Island NY. His colorful experience provides him with an informed point-of-view of the world—”It is the thing that I think fundamentally separates one character from another…perspective.
Graham Fine, Film Sales Company
Graham Fine is Manager of Acquisitions at The Film Sales Company, where he focuses on discovering new talent and projects, strategizing festival play, and aiding the Sales team in strategizing and closing deals. The Company is unrelenting in securing distribution for independently produced narrative and documentary features, with over 200 titles sold since 2002 to a diverse group of domestic and foreign buyers.
Kristen Fitzpatrick, Women Make Movies
Kristen Fitzpatrick is the Director of Acquisition & Exhibition at Women Make Movies, the world’s leading distributor of films by and about women, where she programs the global exhibition of WOMM’s collection of over 500 films. Kristen has been on numerous film festival juries around the world and spoken on numerous panels focusing on distribution, promotional strategies and impact campaigns for social justice documentary. Kristen also guest curates an ongoing film series in Brooklyn, and spends a considerable amount of time deliberating about how documentary film & feminism really can change the world.
Sola Fasehun, United Talent Agency
Sola Fasehun is a producer, writer, actress, and musician based in NYC. She graduated undergrad with college and university honors from Carnegie Mellon University with a BHA degree. After CMU, Sola moved to LA and worked under Academy Award winning producer Michael Phillips (Taxi Driver, The Sting) in Beverly Hills. She also began an independent film company: Fasehun Films. In NY, Sola was an Associate Producer on the first Broadway revival of Godspell (starring Orange is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba) and was one of the producers of Broken Badge which was executive produced by Academy Award nominated Michael Hausman (Gangs of New York, Brokeback Mountain).
Sola is a Co-Producer on the feature film: Fire Music, which will soon be released in collaboration with Submarine Entertainment. She has an MFA degree from Columbia University. Currently, Sola works at United Talent Agency (UTA).
Mat Levy, Passion River
Mat Levy has worked with Passion River Films since 2004. Utilizing his background in Film & TV publicity, Mr. Levy has worked with film campaigns for New Line Cinema, Sony Picture Classics, and Magnolia Pictures, as well as producers for MTV and VH1. Throughout the year, Mr. Levy attends most major film festivals including Sundance, SXSW, TIFF, and Tribeca.
Daniel Cantagallo, Cargo Film & Releasing
Originally from greater Philadelphia, Daniel Cantagallo has been working in the film industry for almost a decade as a creator and distributor, specializing in premium documentary features. A graduate of Harvard University's renowned Visual & Environmental Studies program, Mr. Cantagallo obtained his MA in Film Production from the London Film School. Mr. Cantagallo co-wrote the award-winning documentary Shadows of Liberty and recent titles with Cargo include Intent to Destroy and Little Potato.
Short Film / Web Series
Aijah Keith, Acquisitions Manager, IFC Films
After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in Cinema Studies, Keith was accepted into NBCUniversal’s Page Program. While there, she held assignments at Oxygen Media, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live. After that, she was a publicity coordinator with Starz Entertainment. For the past four years, Keith has served as the Acquisitions Manager at IFC Films, aiding in securing over 240 titles for the company’s three film labels: IFC Films, Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight. She currently resides in New York City.
Gabrielle Nadig, Beachside
Since graduating from New York University with a BFA in Film & Television in 2009, Gabrielle Nadig has worked with Killer Films, Sony BMG, and Little Airplane Productions. Ms. Nadig has been with Buffalo Picture House since 2010 and Beachside since January of this year, as a producer.
Jeff Seelbach, Director, Non-Fiction Programming – Topic Studios
Jeff Seelbach oversees documentary projects for film, TV, and digital at Topic - the entertainment studio and digital platform from First Look Media. Recent projects include XY Chelsea (Showtime), directed by Tim Travers Hawkins, with EP Laura Poitras; The Blue Wall (Hot Docs 2018), directed by Rick Rowley; A Cure For Fear (Topic.com) directed by Lana Wilson; and Black 14 (Topic.com), directed by Darius Clark Monroe. Jeff oversaw short doc production and helped to launch AJ+, the innovative digital channel from Al Jazeera, and he spent four years working on the PBS international documentary series Wide Angle, including Overseas Press Club winner Heart of Jenin. Jeff graduated from Northwestern University with majors in Film and Political Science, where he was also a Music Director at WNUR-FM, the largest student-run radio station in the U.S.
Elaine Del Valle, Filmmaker
Elaine is an award-Winning Film Director, tv series producer, playwright and actress. Elaine was the first person to license an Interstitial series to the HBO Network. She’s one of nine directors selected for the Sundance Narrative Lab. Her latest film is supported by the Sundance Institute and the Knight Foundation.