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PANEL: Producers on Producing


What does a producer REALLY do? From finding the financing, to dealing with the day-to-day dramas during the shoot, producing requires enormous talent and high production standards to keep a film from spinning out of control. As George Gallo (Midnight Run) once said: If every scene is off by an inch, the film misses by a mile. Producers are in charge of these inches, whether the film is a huge Hollywood production requiring an army of talent and coordination, or a low-budget independent production with a small crew. This panel on the foibles and passions of producing film, featuring some of today's most sought after producers, promises to be a lively and informative discussion.

Panelists: (listed alphabetically)
An Emmy and Golden Globe winner, Lucy Barzun Donnelly began her producing career with Oscar nominee Pieces of April, which she co-produced with John Lyons and Alexis Alexanian. After founding Locomotive in 2007, Donnelly developed and executive produced Grey Gardens, starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore; produced Bag of Hammers, That's What She Said and Friends with Kids, starring Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig and Adam Scott, and executive produced Maggie's Plan, starring Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore and Greta Gerwig. Locomotive's recent productions include Look Away, starring Matthew Broderick, Chloe Sevigny and Aidan Turner, which is currently in post-production.

Wendy Ettinger has been producing documentaries and narrative films for over 20 years, starting with Academy Award-nominated The War Room. In 2005, with Julie Parker Benello and Judith Helfand, she co-founded Chicken & Egg Pictures to fund and mentor women documentary directors whose storytelling catalyzes social change. Chicken & Egg Pictures has awarded over $4 million in grants and 5,200 hours of creative mentorship to more over 200 award-winning films and filmmakers - films that have created change at home and globally. This year, C&E supported-films Trapped, Sonita, When Two Worlds Collide, and Cameraperson premiered at Sundance. In 2013, Ettinger co-founded Gamechanger Films, the first equity fund for woman narrative directors. Land Ho premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Sony Pictures Classics; The Invitation and Fresno premiered at SXSW; Lovesong premiered in 2016 at Sundance; Mal Heart will premiere at Toronto this fall.

William Horberg is a film producer whose company Wonderful Films is located in Kingston, NY. Among his many producing credits are Searching For Bobby Fischer, TheTalented Mr. Ripley, Milk, The Kite Runner, Cold Mountain, The Quiet American, Black Nativity, and Disconnect, as well as the upcoming The Promise, starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac, and Crash Pad, starring Domhnall Gleeson. He is currently Chair of the Producers Guild of America East and was previously president of Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, partner with Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella at Mirage Productions, and a Senior Vice President at Paramount Pictures.

Lawrence Inglee is the founder of Blackbird, a film production company based in New York. Films produced since launching the company in 2013 include: 2016 Sundance Best Director, Swiss Army Man; 2016 Berlinale Panorama Audience Award, Junction 48, and The Ticket, starring Dan Stevens, which premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Prior to forming Blackbird,, Inglee served as president of Mosaic Film and of The Mark Gordon Company,where he shepherded international blockbusters, including The Day After Tomorrow and Source Code. One of Variety's "10 Producers to Watch" Inglee began his career with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment. Other producing credits include four films with writer/director Oren Moverman: The Messenger, Time Out of Mind, Rampart, and The Dinner, adapted from the best-selling novel, starring Richard Gere, Steve Coogan, Laura Linney, and Rebecca Hall.

John Sloss is the founder of Cinetic Media, a co-founder of FilmBuff and was a co-founder, with director Gary Winick, of the groundbreaking digital production company, InDigEnt. He is the founder of and a partner in the entertainment law firm Sloss Eckhouse LawCo LLP. And he co-founded Producers Distribution Agency, the theatrical distributor of Exit Through the Gift Shop, Senna, The Way, Brooklyn Castle, and Escape From Tomorrow. Through Cinetic Media, Sloss has facilitated the sale and/or financing of well over 400 films. He produced Richard Linklater's Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning film, Boyhood.. He has also executive produced over 60 films, including Before Midnight, Far From Heaven and the Academy Award-winning The Fog of War and Boys Don't Cry.

Richard Abramowitz is an innovative leader with more than 35 years of experience in the distribution and marketing of independent films. His company, Abramorama, takes a personalized, focused form of marketing and distribution that bypasses traditional studios. Their focus is on 'tribal' films, with a specialty in music and social issues. Recent distribution projects include Ron Howard's celebrated documentary "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years;" Laurie Anderson's acclaimed "Heart of a Dog;" Banksy's Spirit Award winner and Academy Award-nominee "Exit Through the Gift Shop", and Sacha Gervasi's Spirit Award-winning music documentary "Anvil! TheStory of Anvil!"

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The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity. The Hudson Valley Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.
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