Fusion Film Festival Names Acclaimed Cinematographer Reed Morano 2015 “Woman of the Year”
The Fusion Film Festival, NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ premiere student film festival showcasing the work of emerging female filmmakers throughout NYU, will name distinguished cinematographer Reed Morano as the Fusion “Woman of the Year” for 2015. The award presentation will be part of the Festival’s three days of screenings and panels celebrating women creators in film, TV, and New Media beginning Thursday, February 26 and running through Saturday, February 28. All events are free and open to the public.
The award ceremony will take place at the Cantor Film Center, 36 East 8th Street, New York on Saturday February 28 at 6:30 p.m, preceded by a retrospective of Morano’s work on the festival’s opening night. She will also conduct a Master Class as part of the Festival earlier in the day on Saturday. Other winners of the “Woman of the Year” award have included Oscar-winning screenwriter Lucy Alibar and Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, Dean Emerita of NYU Tisch.
“Reed Morano’s career is both an incredible inspiration and a clear rebuke to anyone who believes women cannot achieve stunning success behind the camera,” said co-director Lucy Ross. “With over 40 credits under her belt at age 37, and her directorial debut Meadowland in upcoming release this year, Reed has maintained extraordinary quality, while achieving both commercial and artistic success as she maintains a full family life here in New York. I can’t think of anybody else who is a better fit for Fusion’s Woman of the Year.”
The youngest member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and one of only 13 women in the 339-member organization, Morano has earned cinematography credits for 41 films and television programs, including Frozen River, starring Melissa Leo and directed by Courtney Hunt, which was nominated for two Academy Awards; Skeleton Twins (2014), starring Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig; and most recently Meadowland, starring Olivia Wilde and Giovanni Ribisi, which she also directed and is currently in post-production for. She won the 2011 Kodak Vision Award for Cinematography at the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy awards, and in past years has been named one of Variety’s “10 Cinematographers to Watch”, one of ioncinema.com’s “American New Wave 25″, and one of five innovative cinematographers in ICG magazine’s “Generation Next” spotlight.
In addition to film screenings throughout the three day festival, Fusion will also offer a variety of special events, including a showrunners panel featuring Amy Sherman-Palladino and Janet Tamaro; special panels on web series and women in horror cinema; screenings of award-winning features and shorts; and the presentation of the Canon Best Cinematographer & Best of Fest awards and the Movado’s Emerging Artist Award.
“Now in its thirteenth year, NYU’s Fusion Film Festival has a growing reputation in the entertainment industry as a must-see showcase for up-and-coming filmmakers and cinematographers,” said Fusion co-director Natalie Erazo.”
“Iconic women from all areas of the entertainment industry bring their wisdom and energy to Fusion in a spirit that is unique to women supporting women,” said NYU Professor and Fusion’s Faculty Advisor Susan Sandler.
Below is a full list of programming and events. All events free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis. This year’s festival is sponsored by Canon Cameras, Adobe, Avid, Final Draft, Movado, and Essentia Water. For Fusion Festival 2015 updates, please visit www.fusionfilmfestival.com.
In this opening night event, the Fusion offers a showcase dedicated to the career of Reed Morano, featuring a special introduction from the Woman of the Year herself, a screening of the celebrated feature Kill Your Darlings, and excerpts from Skeleton Twins, As it Goes, and a teaser for the up-coming Meadowland.
Docs-in-the-Works Pitch Competition, 3 – 6 p.m., Tisch Theatre 006
Finalists compete for top honors, screen and pitch their work in progress and hear live feedback from top execs from HBO, VICE, Impact Partners, POV, Independent Film Project, and Chicken & Egg Pictures . Award-winning documentary filmmaker and NYU Professor Nilita Vachani hosts.
Women in Horror, 7 – 8:30 p.m., Tisch Theatre 006
Meet the front line of great directors working today in the horror genre, a male-dominated industry. Featuring, Mary Harron (American Psycho), Katie Carman-Lehach (Switch), and Jenn Wexler (Slumber Party) with NYU Professor and critically-acclaimed director Mary Lambert (Pet Semetary) moderating.
Brunch with an Icon: HBO’s Doris Casap, 10 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
~By online application only ~ apply here
An intimate brunch discussion with Doris Casap, Senior Vice President of Film Programming for HBO, manager for all of the network’s film programming, acquisitions and studio deals including independent acquisition for HBO and Cinemaz. Forty students will apply for a seat at the table with the woman who makes HBO and Cinemax the hottest destination for film distribution on television.
Women on the Web, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Tisch Theatre 006
Go behind the scenes with established web-series creators, actors, and producers who have successfully tackled the internet game with their innovative storytelling and compelling characters. Featuring, Jen Danielson (Head of Lorne Michael’s Above Average), Natalia Leite (Be Here Nowish), Alexandra Roxo (Be Here Nowish), Quincy Morris (In Between Men), and Emily Davis (Monday Brunch) with NYU Professor and producer, Christina Dehaven moderating.
Master Class with Woman of the Year Reed Morano 1 - 2:15 p.m., Tisch Theatre 006
An all-access affair with critically-acclaimed cinematographer and director Reed Morano, the youngest member to ever be admitted to the prestigious ASC and one of the most creative people behind the camera. Join Reed as she discusses her technique and screens her work .
SHOWRUNNER SUPERSTARS 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Tisch Theatre 006
A conversation with Gilmore Girls’ creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and Rizzoli & Isles’ Janet Tamaro.
NYU Prof. Andy Goldman moderates.
Film Fatales: Notes from the Field, 4 – 5 p.m., Room 006
The dynamic NYC-based female filmmaker collective Film Fatales share personal experiences and advice as they support each other in their challenging career journeys. Enid Zentelis (Bottled Up), Iyabo Boyd (Producer, Sunbelt Express), Jennifer Fox (Beirut), Kim Spurlock (Down in Number 5), and Sasha Gordon (Composer, God of Love) with Leah Meyerhoff (I Believe in Unicorns) as moderator.
Award Ceremony and Screenings, 7 – 10 p.m., Cantor Film Center
The Fusion Competition Screenings showcases the next generation of storytelling greats in an evening of stunning work by finalists in short film, animation, and web series.
The Competition Award ceremony and Woman of the Year presentation by Dean Allyson Green to Reed Morano. Showcase to be followed by a networking reception for filmmakers with the industry leaders who have served as judges and festival mentors.
In early 2013, Reed was invited to become the youngest member of the American Society of Cinematographers; she is one of only 14 women out of approximately 345 active members in the organization. She was honored with the 2011 Kodak Vision Award for cinematography at the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy awards, and in past years has been named one of Variety’s “10 Cinematographers to Watch”, one of Ioncinema.com’s “American New Wave 25″, and one of five innovative cinematographers in ICG Magazine’s “Generation Next” spotlight. in 2012, reed’s work was featured in Indiewire’s “On the Rise ’12: 5 Cinematographers Lighting Up Screens in Recent Years.” and was named and Indiewire “Heroine of Cinema” twice in 2 years. Some of Reed’s thoughts on the digital revolution and how it has affected filmmaking are featured in Keanu Reeves’ acclaimed documentary Side by Side. She was honored to be featured in Kodak’s long-running OnFilm series.
Reed’s work appears regularly at the Sundance film festival. in the past, audiences in Park City have seen the premieres of Little Birds, which was in competition at the 2011 festival, Shut Up and Play the Hits, a feature-length documentary about the band LCD Soundsystem that premiered at the 2012 festival, and For Ellen, which also premiered at the 2012 festival in the dramatic competition. Frozen River won the Grand Jury prize at the 2008 Sundance film festival and went on to be nominated for two Academy Awards (best actress for Melissa Leo and Best Screenplay) and seven Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Picture; Reed’s work on the film was the subject of an article in American Cinematographer. in 2013, Kill Your Darlings, a 35mm period piece about the beat poets set in 1943, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Michael C. Hall, Dane Dehaan, Ben Foster, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen, Kyra Sedgwick, David Cross, and Jennifer Jason Leigh was released theatrically and premiered at Sundance, as well as the Toronto and Venice film festivals. Also in 2013, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete, premiered at Sundance and was released theatrically that fall; the drama stars Jennifer Hudson, Anthony Mackie, and Jeffrey Wright.
in January of 2014, HBO premiered the first season of its new original series, Looking, shot by Reed and directed by Andrew Haigh (Weekend). Reed’s theatrical premieres of 2014 include The Skeleton Twins, a black comedy starring Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Luke Wilson, and Ty Burrell, directed by Craig Johnson and co-written by Mark Heyman (Black Swan); War Story, a dark drama filmed in Sicily starring Catherine Keener and Sir Ben Kingsley, directed by Mark Jackson (Without). both of these films premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014. also released were the cult 35mm and 65mm dark drama Autumn Blood, shot in the Tyrolean Alps in Austria, starring Sophie Lowe and Peter Stormare, and Rob Reiner’s latest feature, And So It Goes, starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton (this is Reed’s second feature with Reiner, after 2012′s The Magic of Belle Isle, which starred Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen).
In the summer of 2014, Reed began production on her first feature as both the director and DP; the dark drama Meadowland stars Olivia Wilde, Luke Wilson, Giovanni Ribisi, Elisabeth Moss, Juno Temple and John Leguizamo. In addition to editing Meadowland this winter, Reed is currently leading the charge on a movement to control motion interpolation aka “the soap opera effect” on our HDTVs; Reed’s change.org petition is supported by 10,500 signatures and has gained momentum, attracting the attention of both the film and technology communities.
Reed is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts Film and TV program class of 2000. She spent her years there falling in love with the art of cinematography, under the tutelage of Prof. Michael Carmine, Prof. David Irving and Prof. Rick Litvin. There she focused on shooting as many films for her peers as possible and even directing several shorts of her own. She returned to NYU as an adjunct cinematography professor a few years after graduating co-instructing the first Advanced Television classes that NYU offered. She currently lives in brooklyn, new york with her husband and two children.
Mary Harron studied English literature at Oxford and worked as a rock journalist and documentary filmmaker before making her first feature film, I Shot Andy Warhol, in 1996.
She also wrote and directed the films American Psycho, The Notorious Bettie Page, and The Moth Diaries. For television, Mary has directed episodes of television series including Oz, The L Word, Six Feet Under, Big Love, and The Following, and directed the Lifetime movie Anna Nicole. She is currently working on a film about the last years of Salvador Dali, and will shoot a segment of the horror anthology XX later this year.
Mary Lambert–resume & bio here
Katie Carman-Lehach is a New York-based film director, producer, and editor. For the past decade, Katie has produced original independent films, including the feature films Eat Me!, a zombie horror comedy, and the supernatural thriller Off Season, both in distribution worldwide on VOD and DVD. She has also produced numerous short films like “The Sucker,” “Switch,” and “Alter.” Katie is currently in development on the horror feature Spider with co-director Dayna Noffke, and is also in production on a new horror web series entitled Disturbances, coming soon.
Jenn Wexler is a producer for NYC-based production outfit Glass Eye Pix. She most recently wrapped principal photography on Mickey Keating’s psychochiller Darling. Prior to that, she produced Michael Vincent’s upcoming Only a Switch, Glenn McQuaid and Graham Reznick’s segments for Chiller TV’s horror anthology Chilling Visions: 5 States of Fear, and Larry Fessenden’s segment of ABCs of Death 2. She was Associate Producer on Fessenden’s Beneath as well as Glass Eye Pix’s Tales From Beyond the Pale, and she served as Post-Production Coordinator on Ti West’s The Sacrament. Jenn has also directed short films that have played US and international horror fests. She is an IFP Narrative Labs Fellow.
Doris Casap is Senior Vice President, Film Programming, for Home Box Office, responsible for managing the Film Programming group and for the following film acquisition activities: major studio output and library deals and independent film acquisition for HBO and Cinemax. The group is also responsible for the tracking and analysis of movie volume and performance. She was named to this position in January 2004.
Casap joined HBO in 1991 as a management associate in the Film Programming area, where she acquired films and other television programming for HBO’s international services in Hungary, Latin America and Asia. She was promoted to manager in 1992, expanding her work in the international sector where she worked on the planning and launch of new ventures. In 1994, as director, Film Programming, Casap’s acquisition focus shifted to the domestic licensing of programs for exhibition on the HBO and Cinemax services including identification and acquisition of world premieres in finished and script forms. She also oversaw the development, production and delivery of late-night series for Cinemax. In 1998, she was promoted to vice president and her duties expanded to a greater focus on major studio deals for HBO.
Before joining HBO, Casap was an assistant portfolio manager at Bear, Stearns in New York City.
She holds a BA in Economics from Vassar College and an MBA from Harvard University.
Caroline Chewning is a producer who specializes in comedic and musical online content. After graduating from Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School in 2007 with a BA in Film, Caroline moved to New York City to work at Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video. Beginning as the CEO’s assistant, she eventually became one of the original employees of Above Average– Broadway Video’s online venture– when it started in 2012.
Now one of the lead producers at Above Average, Caroline has headed up projects such as the critically acclaimed series Sugarboy, Sound Advice (featuring SNL’s Vanessa Bayer and musical artists like Drake, fun., and St. Vincent), Love Ride (starring Alec Baldwin), several music videos with SNL’s Jay Pharaoh, and much more. She is currently working on more episodes of Sound Advice in partnership with IFC, as well as the weekly series SNLine with SNL and NBC.com.
Natalia Leite and Alexandra Roxo, a.k.a. PURPLE MILK, are two Brazilian-American gals who met mid-Saturn return and decided to team up as they navigated the changes caused by planetary shifts and those inherent in the film world. They co-directed a doc about Andres Serrano’s work in Cuba, released on Vice.com, and directed & hosted the Vice Episode “Life As A Truck Stop Stripper.” Their comedy web show Be Here Nowish premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2014 and has been featured in The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Dazed & Confused magazine, and Vogue, among other publications. They recently wrapped a feature film called Bare that was shot in New Mexico, starring Dianna Agron (Glee) and Paz De La Huerta (Boardwalk Empire). Together they also co-direct music videos and commercials. www.drinkpurplemilk.com
Jennifer Treuting is a Brooklyn-based writer, producer, and filmmaker. Currently a writer/producer at Nickelodeon, her promo & interstitial work has earned recognition from the design and television community, including an Emmy nomination for a series of station IDs produced in 2010.
Outside of her work at Nick, Jennifer has produced and directed videos and web series for the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, including Between the Scenes, a web series featured on Nerdist. Her former UCB team SCRAPS was named one of the “11 Best Video Sketch Groups on the Internet” by the comedy news blog Splitsider. Jennifer has also created and produced What’s Inside? a stop-motion children’s web series with friend Kristen McGregor (together they form Squirrel Friends, a production collective specializing in children’s media). What’s Inside? was screened last summer at TO WebFest in Toronto.
Emily Davis has worked with her theater company Half Straddle at The Kitchen, The New Museum, Mass MoCA, Mass Live Arts, Philly Live Arts, PSS 122’s COIL Festival, Theatre Garonne, Theatre de Gennevilliers, La Maillon (Strasbourg), ZKM Zagreb Contemporary Art Museum, Automne en Normandie Festival, Theatre D’Arras, La Rose des Vents (D’Asqc), and CULTURGEST (Lisbon). She has also developed work at The Foundry Theater, The Pearl Theater, The Sundance Theater Lab at White Oak, The Woman’s Project, Dance New Amsterdam, The Walker Art Center, and the Watermill Center. Film: Almost Family, Ovum, The Amy Character. Web: Monday Brunch, Half Straddle: The Web Series.
Quincy Morris is screenwriter and television & film producer. He is a native of Philadelphia, Pa. After graduating from the nationally acclaimed, prestigious Central High School (also the second oldest high school in the nation), he attended Florida A&M University, majoring in Business and later, Theatre concentrating in Stage Management. The Essential Theatre of FAMU gave him the strongest foundation from which to build a successful career.
Quincy Morris began his career in theatre as a Production Stage Manager, eventually joining Actors’ Equity Association. After 10 years of stage managing over 40 productions across the country and around the world, his focus and aspirations turned to film and writing. Quincy also spent several years working in Marketing for The Vanguard Group, SBC Telecom, Nextel.
In 2007 Quincy took a hiatus from theatre and reentered the business world, taking a job at Digitas, the top interactive agency, working in Marketing, on American Express, Comcast, and other large accounts. Being at the top digital ad agency, he absorbed all he could from the best minds in the business for the next five years.
In 2008, he founded Qubed (pronounced cubed) Entertainment, a production company inspired from the combination of his first name and the 3 platforms of entertainment it produces: film, tv, and web content. Running and growing Qubed finally allowed him to combine his marketing and creative sides, focusing his dual background into a single endeavor.
In 2010, Qubed launched its maiden project, In Between Men. The show was a critical success and a bonafide hit. Applying what he learned about the ever evolving digital landscape at Digitas, Quincy was able to grow In Between Men from just a concept, to a hit show with millions of viewers and watched in over 150 countries, boasting such marquee brands as Marc Jacobs, Converse, Nike, Fila, John Bartlett, and initiating relationships with many others. His partnership with Co-Executive producer and Director, Jennifer Gelfer, has spawned the critical acclaim, and award winning prowess, the show enjoys today as it goes into its third season.
Qubed also has several other projects in development, both scripte and unscripted. Quincy has worked with stars and legends of stage, screen and literature, including Patricia Birch, Diane Paulus, E. Lynn Harris, Cheryl Freeman, Linda Twine, Diedre Murray, Karen Malina White, T’Keyah Crystal Keemah, Lynne Godfrey and poet Cornelius Eady.
Quincy’s two passions are world travel, having been to over 30 countries and counting, and architecture. His favorite city is Venice and favorite country to visit is Greece. Quincy loves eating out, relaxing at home, meeting new people from all walks of life, Is a huge movie buff, appreciates a good scotch, is a connoisseur of bbq ribs, loves dog, sailing and amazing conversation.
Master Class with Woman of the Year Reed Morano,
1 - 2:15 p.m., Tisch Theatre 006
(See Woman of the Year Press Release & Morano Bio above!)
Janet Tamaro is the creator of the top-rated TNT cable drama, Rizzoli & Isles. She was the executive producer/showrunner of the hit series, now in its fifth season and featuring Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander and Lorraine Bracco, for four seasons before stepping do
wn to develop two new series.
Tamaro was named one of the “TOP 50 SHOWRUNNERS” by the Hollywood Reporter in 2010, 2011 & 2012. Tamaro shares a Writers Guild Award for Outstanding Series for Lost. She was nominated for an Emmy Award as part of a producing team for Sleeper Cell. She received the WIN Award for Outstanding Drama for Rizzoli & Isles in 2010, and the Gracie Award for Outstanding Producer in 2011. She was recently featured in the documentary Showrunners: The Art of Running a Show.
Tamaro is a former television correspondent, journalist and author. Tamaro wrote her first script, a free-lance assignment for the first season of Law and Order: SVU, while still working as a national television correspondent. Before becoming a screenwriter, Tamaro reported for ABC News, Inside Edition and America’s Most Wanted, among others.
She has written for Breaking News, The Black Sash, The Court, Line of Fire, CSI:NY, Lost, Sleeper Cell, Trauma, Tell Me You Love Me, and Bones.
Tamaro has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Science from Columbia University. She is married to Producer/Director Steve Natt. They have two daughters.
With her customary lightning fast dialogue and pop culture references, writer/director/producer Amy Sherman-Palladino is perhaps best known as the creative mind behind The CW’s classic Gilmore Girls, which in 2007 was listed as one of Time magazine’s “100 Best TV Shows of All Time.”
Sherman-Palladino was also nominated for an Emmy Award, Writers Guild Award and Humanitas Award, and honored with a Peabody for her work as a writer and producer on the hit comedy Roseanne, where she rose from staff writer to supervising producer during her four season stay.
In the years in between and since, while lending her writing talents to a vast array of network pilots and television sitcoms (Can’t Hurry Love, Veronica’s Closet, Over The Top), she also created the Fox sitcom Love and Marriage, starring Tony Denison as well as The Return of Jezebel James, with Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose; and ABC Family’s hour-long dramedy Bunheads, starring Sutton Foster (having directed the latter two).
Most recently, she turned her attention to the Broadway stage and received a 2014 Tony nomination for producing The Roundabout Theatre’s revival of the hit musical Violet, also starring Sutton Foster.
Moderator: Andrew Goldman was Vice President, Program Strategy and Planning, HBO/Cinemax, for Home Box Office, responsible for the strategic planning, acquisition and scheduling of programs for HBO/Cinemax’s fifteen multiplex channels including the network’s original primetime series Strike Back, Hunted and Banshee. In addition, he oversees HD On Demand, Fancast and MAX GO, and supervises HBO/Cinemax’s film library analysis and inventory management. He left this position in December 2014.
Goldman joined HBO in 1986, first as a kit coordinator and then senior guide coordinator, responsible for planning and supervising the design and production of the HBO cable guide. In 1989 he was named media listings manager, Guide Publications, where he oversaw the implementation of the monthly guide information packet. Goldman moved to Scheduling and Program Planning, Cinemax, in 1992 as an assistant manager and was promoted to manager in 1994.
He briefly left HBO in 1998 to work at Showtime Networks, Inc. as director, Program Scheduling, where he managed and executed long-term programming strategies for their multiplex channels. He rejoined HBO that same year as director, Program Planning and Scheduling, Cinemax.
Goldman began his career in 1985 as a screenplay analyst at Warner Bros., where he worked with various studio-based producers.
He is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS), the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE), the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA), East Coast, and has been appointed to the Board of Governors at the Friars Club and the Alumni Council at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In addition, he has been an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Film & Television at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts since 2006.
Goldman holds an MA in Cinema Studies from New York University’s Tisch School of Arts and a BA in Political Science from Syracuse University.
Jennifer Fox s an internationally acclaimed director, producer, writer, and camerawoman. She directed Beirut: The Last Home Movie (Grand Prize Winner & Best Cinematography, Sundance Film Festival 1988; Frontline WGBH), the ten-hour An American Love Story (Sundance Film Festival 1999, Gracie Award 1999, Primetime PBS), the six-part Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman (Sundance Film Festival 2008; Sundance Channel), and the feature My Reincarnation (Emmy Nominated, IDFA Audience Award 2010; Premiere POV 2012). Films Fox has executive produced include Love & Diane; On the Ropes; Project Ten: Real Stories from a Free South Africa; Mauri Boy Genius; Upstate; Cat Scratch Fever; and She’s Lost Control (Associate Producer.). She is currently executive producing Daddy Don’t Go, Roll Red Roll, Inside Out, and The Rest I Make Up. Fox is the author of the screenplay Lila: A Fairytale, co-written with Oren Moverman (The Messenger), and the television pilot The Good Egg with Deborah Kogan (Shutterbabe). She wrote the screenplay and will direct The Tale, which is being produced by Oren Moverman, and co-produced by German Sol Bondy (Youth) and Canadian Marc Almond (Blackbird). The Tale was chosen for development by the Dutch BINGER LAB, Transatlantic Partners (TAP), and the OMDC’s Financing Forum at TIFF. It received ARTE co-production financing. Actors Laura Dern, Ellen Burstyn, and Sebastian Koch are attached to play the lead roles. Fox has appeared in To Heck With Hollywood!, Cinema Verite: Defining the Moment, and Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary. Her films have been shown in numerous retrospectives around the world.
Enid Zentelis is an award-winning writer, director, and producer of feature films, documentary short works and commercials. She has directed films across the US and in Europe for major studios and independent production companies including The Clinton Foundation and Warner Records. Her films have screened in festivals around the world including Sundance, Tribeca, and New York Film Festival, and have been sold and distributed worldwide. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and winner of Best Director at Sonoma Valley Film Festival, Evergreen stars Cara Seymour, Mary Kay Place, Lynn Cohen, Noah Fleiss, and Gary Farmer, and received critical acclaim when a first-of-its-kind deal was made with AMC Theaters. Micro-budget feature Bottled Up was written, directed and produced by Zentelis along with Olympus Pictures (Rabbit Hole, Beginners). It premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and was released nationwide after being picked up by Osiris Entertainment and Freestyle Media, and stars Oscar winner, Melissa Leo, Marin Ireland, and Josh Hamilton. Music shorts include Wilco and Eric Clapton, among others. Current work includes a comedy series, a feature, and novel set in 1990s Midwest and the South of France, French Resistance. Zentelis is a fellow of The Sundance Institute and a graduate of Hampshire College and the graduate film program at NYU.
Sasha Gordon is an award-winning filmmaker and composer. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sasha immigrated to the US in 1989. She attended Brown University, where she studied visual arts, animation, and music, composing for stage and film and performing as a concert pianist. After graduating from Brown, Sasha went on to pursue two Masters degrees – one in composition at the Mannes College of Music, and the other in filmmaking at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Since completing her Masters programs, Sasha has scored over 50 features and shorts (among them the Oscar-winning “God Of Love”); directed several award-winning shorts (including “Manhattan Melody,” which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and went on to play all over the world). She’s currently in the final stages of post-production for her first feature It Had To Be You, a subversive romantic comedy starring Cristin Milioti.
Iyabo Boyd, an independent film producer and currently the Program Manager at Chicken & Egg Pictures, has previously held positions at the Sundance Film Festival, Independent Feature Project, and Tribeca Film Institute. She has screened for the Hamptons, Sarasota, and Nantucket Film Festivals, and served on juries for the Cinema Eye Honors, SXSW’s Women Director Award, and Brooklyn Film Festival’s Pitching Exchange. She produced Evan Buxbaum’s feature film Sun Belt Express, which premiered at the Champs-Elysée Film Festival in 2014, and she is set to direct a short film based on the work of poet Ronaldo V. Wilson. Iyabo graduated New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BA in Film & Television.
Kim Spurlock received her MFA at NYU’s graduate film program. Her thesis film, Down in Number 5, won both the King First Prize and the Wasserman Award for Directing at NYU’s First Run Festival before traveling the festival circuit and winning a Student Academy Award. The film was also selected for the exhibition America: Now and Here, along with work by other American artists including Chuck Close and Cindy Sherman. Kim has several feature films in development including The Whispering Giant, which was selected for the IFP Emerging Narratives Program, the Emerging Visions Program, and the Artists’ Academy, a filmmaker development initiative sponsored by the Film Society at Lincoln Center. In 2013, Kim traveled to Venice with her screenplay A Case of the Dismals. She was one of twelve filmmakers selected worldwide to develop her project with the Biennale Cinema College. Kim is currently in post-production for her web series Livin’ the Dream, an eight-episode comedy about a film school grad struggling to find success in the indie film world of New York City. Kim traces her roots to Vietnam and Appalachia and currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband Ben.
Moderator: Leah Meyerhoff’s debut feature film I Believe in Unicorns premiered in competition at SXSW 2014 and continues to travel the film festival circuit. Her previous short films have screened in over 200 film festivals, won a dozen awards, and aired on IFC, PBS, LOGO and MTV. She has been shortlisted for the Student Academy Awards and Gotham Awards and received high profile grants from IFP, the Tribeca Film Institute and the Adrienne Shelly Foundation. Leah was one of eight filmmakers chosen to participate in IFP’s Emerging Narrative Labs and Narrative Finishing Labs and one of ten filmmakers chosen to participate in the Emerging Visions program at the New York Film Festival. She was also one of eight filmmakers chosen to participate in the Tribeca All Access Labs and was recently honored with the Adrienne Shelly Director’s Award. She has been featured in Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and The New York Times, and starred in the docudrama Film School on IFC. Leah is the founder of Film Fatales, a female filmmaker collective based in New York with ten local chapters around the world, dedicated to the creation of more films by and about women. She holds a BA in Art-Semiotics from Brown University and is a Dean’s Fellow in Graduate Film at NYU.
The Fusion Film Festival is NYU Tisch’s premiere festival dedicated to celebrating the work of women in film, television and new media, from student to icon. In the 13 years since its launch, the student-run festival has ben proud to attract accomplished artists such as Julie Taymor, Linda Obst, Miranda July, Lena Dunham, Penny Marshall, Amy Heckerling, Barbara Kopple, Lauren Zalaznick, and Jane Campion. Beyond the multi-day annual showcase of work, Fusion also serves as a vital artistic community that explores ways to break down barriers that separate men and women in film and television, while creating valuable opportunities for collaboration, cross-promotion and mentorship. For more information, visitwww.FusionFilmFestival.com.