FEATURE NARRATIVE JURY
Matt Dentler is the head of marketing and programming for Cinetic Rights Management, a sister company of Cinetic Media in New York. Prior to that, he spent five years as the Producer of the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference & Festival in Austin starting in 2003. Matt currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Austin Film Society and graduated with a BS in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas. He is also the executive producer of PJ Raval’s and Jay Hodges’ documentary feature, Trinidad.
Mark Duplass and his brother Jay’s film, The Puffy Chair, was one of the breakout hits from the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. The film, which also stars Mark, won the Audience Award at SXSW and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards. Mark and Jay first made a name for themselves with a string of award-winning short films, including This is John and Scrabble, both of which premiered at Sundance. The brothers are currently writing and directing films for both Universal and Fox Searchlight and have sold The Trail, a television show, to NBC. Their latest feature, Baghead, sold to Sony Classics at Sundance 2008 and is now in limited theatrical release.
Ted Hope is the co-founder of This is That, a New York production company. He most recently wrapped production on Greg Mottola’s Adventureland. His credits include production of Oscar®-winner Alan Ball’s directorial debut Nothing is Private. Ted has also brought the first features of Ang Lee, Hal Hartley, Nicole Holofcener, Todd Field, Michel Gondry, Moises Kaufman, Bob Pulcini and Shari Berman, among others, to the screen. Among Hope’s productions are 21 Grams, which earned two Academy Award® nominations; In the Bedroom, earner of five Oscar® noms; and Happiness, winner of the Cannes Critics Prize.
Mary Stuart Masterson started acting before the age of ten, when she appeared in The Stepford Wives in 1975 with her father. Afterwards, at the direction of her parents, Mary Stuart led a life outside of the limelight, attending school in New York. She appeared in a few productions at New York’s Dalton School. At the age of 15, the young actress appeared on Broadway in Eva Le Gallienne’s version of Alice In Wonderland. She played two parts, the Four of Hearts and the Small White Rabbit. She returned to films in 1985 with the role of Dani in Heaven Help Us (1985). For eight months afterwards, Mary Stuart attended New York University, where she studied anthropology.
FEATURE DOCUMENTARY JURY
Rachel Grady is the co-director of the Emmy®-nominated documentary T he Boys of Baraka. A private investigator-turned-filmmaker, she has produced and directed numerous non-fiction films for MTV, CBS, Discovery Channel, A&E and Britain’s Channel 4. She has directed several films that focus on mental illness, including Mad Justice and Ward 2 West. Rachel was the Series Producer for TX, an eight-part series for VH1. She recently completed her second documentary feature, Jesus Camp, which was nominated for an Academy Award®. She is currently directing a film in Saudi Arabia, and is the co-founder of Loki Films.
Morgan Spurlock is the writer/producer/director of the Academy Award®-nominated film Super Size Me. His highly acclaimed series 30 Days recently completed its third season on the F/X network. The show examines social issues in America and has been praised by such diverse groups as the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. Spurlock’s latest directorial project, Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? premiered at Sundance 2008. In 2006, Spurlock and Arts Alliance America created a film and distribution partnership to release films considered to be groundbreaking and important that were overlooked by the majority of filmgoers.
Molly Thompson launched and runs A&E IndieFilms, the network’s feature documentary division. She executive produces the division’s original productions including Jesus Camp, a film by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, which was nominated for an Academy Award® and American Teen, a film by Nanette Burstein which won best director at Sundance 2008 and was released by Paramount Vantage this summer. Molly also executive produced a film about Anna Wintour directed by RJ Cutler; and a film on Pat Tillman directed by Amir Bar Lev. Other A&E IndieFilms include the Oscar®-nominated, Sundance Award-winner Murderball and My Kid Could Paint That.
Peter Bowen is editor of FilmInFocus and Senior Editor of Filmmaker magazine. He previously served as Editorial Director of the Sundance Channel. He has written for a range of periodicals and served on the board of the New Festival.
Karen Durbin is the film critic for Elle magazine, where she writes a monthly two-page column. She also writes features for Elle and articles on film for the Sunday Arts & Leisure section of The New York Times. Previously, she was the film critic for Mirabella magazine and its arts and entertainment editor. From April 1994 to September 1996, Karen was the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice.
Ross Partridge, a native of the Hudson Valley area, recently received critical acclaim for his role of Matt in the Duplass Brother’s Baghead. He went on to co-produce their next film Dodeca Pentathlon, to be released in 2009. Film credits include Steven Spielberg’s The Lost World; Black and White with Gina Gershon; Amityville Horror with Terry O’Quinn; and The Wedding Murders with Canadian director Bashar Shibib. Television credits include: NYPD Blue, CSI, Law and Order, Hudson Street, Quantum Leap and The Net. In addition, Ross wrote and directed the feature film Interstate 84. He was a producer for Trigger Street Productions.
Student SHORTS JURY
Jeremiah Newton is the producer of the upcoming documentary Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol Superstar Candy Darling, which has just been sold to the Sundance Channel. He is the industry liaison for New York University’s Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television and is known for his work with young filmmakers. Jeremiah currently resides in Manhattan and Cherry Valley, NY.
Amy Gossels has been the casting director, and in many cases a producer, for more than sixty film productions. Feature film casting credits include Something’s Gotta Give, Godsend, Milk & Honey and Shoot First and Pray You Live. Ms. Gossels has cast and produced more than thirty award-winning short films, including the Academy Award® winning Zen and the Art of Landscaping and Happenstance. Ms. Gossels also casts for a wide range of televison projects, including the Comedy Central 2008 Special Night of Too Many Stars; Lifetime Television’s upcoming series Mom’s Cooking; and three highly anticipated new productions from the creators of Blue Man Group, Counts Media and legendary comedy writer Bruce Vilanch, all slated to open on Broadway in early 2009.
SHORT DOCS JURY
Ryan Harrington serves as the Head of IndiePix Studios. In addition, he serves as the Executive Producer on all IndiePix films. Current projects include 21 Below, Entre Nous, P-Star’s Redemption and Slap & Tickle, all of which will hit the festival circuit in 2009. Prior to this, Ryan ran the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund and managed production for A&E IndieFilms for four years. He was a champion for the Oscar®-nominated films Murderball and Jesus Camp; the Sundance hits My Kid Could Paint That and American Teen; and Barbara Kopple’s Bearing Witness and Street Thief.
Stephen Nemeth formed and heads Rhino Films, the independent film company that originated as a division of iconoclastic record label Rhino Records. He has produced ten films and has executive produced fourteen others, including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; What We Do Is Secret; the upcoming Radio Free Albemuth; the 2008 Oscar®-nominated documentary War Dance; the documentary Fields of Fuel, which won the 2008 Sundance Audience Award; and the documentary Flow which is being screened at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. He is also working with Amnesty International through Artists for Amnesty on developing and producing human rights-related motion picture and television projects.
Tim Sternberg started working in the editing rooms of Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope Studios in San Francisco. After moving to New York he has worked as a sound effects recordist on Sleepless in Seattle and The Human Stain; re-edited the 1992 Academy Award® winning Mediterraneo for U.S. release; and acted as a script consultant for the IFP and American Zoetrope. Recently he worked as music editor on Milos Forman’s Goya’s Ghosts and the Academy Award® winning documentary The Taint of Yingzhou District directed by Ruby Yang. His first film as a director, the documentary short Salim Baba, was nominated for an Oscar® in the 2008 Best Short Documentary category but won the 2007 Best SHort Doc Awad at Woodstock.
Since her arrival to New York, Signe Baumane has produced and co-produced, written, directed and designed eight independent animated shorts. She has continued her collaboration with Rija Films, where she directed two of her own stories. Her films have screened at such prestigious festivals as Annecy, Tribeca, Sundance, Berlin and Ottawa and have received numerous awards. Signe is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is a Fellow in Film with the New York Foundation for the Arts. She advises a series of film festivals in the U.S. on their animation programs and curates special shows where she personally presents films and filmmakers.
Bill Plympton is often referred to as the “King of Indie Animation.” He’s completed six animated features and over thirty animated shorts. He has a new book coming out this winter, illustrating the lyrics of Kanye West, and is now starting his seventh animated feature film, about sexual jealousy.
Patrick Smith has written, produced, animated and directed five award-winning films. He has made his directorial debut for the Emmy®-nominated series Daria. Smith is a senior thesis advisor at the Pratt Institute in New York; a fellow with the New York Foundation of the Arts; and a curator for multiple international film and animation festivals.
Haskell Wexler, A.S.C, is considered one of the most well respected cinematographers in the film industry today, His career spans six decades, and his work includes such films as Coming Home, Bound for Glory, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Interviews With My Lai Veterans and American Graffiti. Haskell has received five Academy Award® nominations and a number of other prestigious awards honoring his outstanding achievements in the photography of a wide range of films. He won his first Best Cinematography Oscar® in 1967 for Mike Nichols’ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and received the coveted prize again, ten years later, for Hal Ashby’s Bound for Glory. His other nominations were for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1976), Matewan (1988), and Blaze (1989).
Sabine Hoffman has passionately edited independent feature films for over ten years. Credits include Rebecca Miller’s The Ballad of Jack and Rose and Personal Velocity, and her new feature film The Private Lives of Pippa Lee; Rodney Evans’ Brother to Brother; Morgan J. Freeman’s Desert Blue and Hurricane Streets; Katja Esson’s Academy Award®-nominated Ferry Tales and Bill Jennings’ Harlem Aria. Sabine is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and serves on the advisory boards of the Fusion Film Festival and the Woodstock Film Festival.
Brian A. Kates, A.C.E. ‘s work as a feature film editor includes the Oscar®-nominated The Savages (Tamara Jenkins); the Emmy Award®-winning Lackawanna Blues (George C. Wolfe) for which he won an A.C.E. Eddie Award; Shortbus (John Cameron Mitchell); The Woodsman (Nicole Kassell); and the Emmy®-nominated The Laramie Project (Moisés Kaufman). He was Jonathan Caouette’s co-editor on the groundbreaking documentary Tarnation, named Best Non-Fiction Film by the National Society of Film Critics. Brian recently completed the Warner Bros. production Nights in Rodanthe (George C. Wolfe). He is currently editing Taking Chance, his third collaboration with director/producer Ross Katz.
Kate Williams studied photography, sculpture and film theory in Australia. In New York, she began editing as an assistant on Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo and Juliet and Fred Schepisi’s Six Degrees of Separation. A sampling of the films she has edited include: Steve Buscemi’s Trees Lounge and Interview; Schepisi’s Last Orders and Empire Falls; Hong Kong director Clara Law’s The Goddess of 1967; and Michael Almereyda’s This So-Called Disaster, a documentary on Sam Shepard. Most recently, Williams edited the 2008 Sundance Grand Jury prizewinner Frozen River.
Sabine Hoffman (see above)
Sloane Klevin has been an editor of films, television, commercials and music videos for twenty years. Her most recent feature film, Taxi to the Dark Side, which she also co-produced, won the 2008 Academy Award® for best Documentary Feature as well as the WGA award for Best Doc Screenplay. She also received a Peabody Award and the jury prizes at the Tribeca and Chicago film festivals. Her other feature credits include Real Women Have Curves, Heights and Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues for PBS. She is a partner at Union Editorial and an Adjunct Professor of Film Editing at Columbia University.
Susan Littenberg’s credits include the recent live action Charlotte’s Web; A Lot Like Love; Gary Winick’s 13 Going on 30 and Tadpole. Most recently, she completed Five Dollars a Day with Christopher Walken. She is currently editing Bride Wars starring Kate Hudson and Drew Barrymore. Other credits include The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack, winner of a Special Jury Prize for Artistic Achievement at Sundance 2000; Jump Tomorrow, winner of a BAFTA award for first-time filmmakers; and Stephen Soderbergh’s 1996 film, Gray’s Anatomy. Susan also served as the associate editor on Soderbergh’s Solaris.