Past Filmmaker Summit Panelists

Douglas Trumbull Academy Award-Winning, Special Effects Icon and VisionaryDouglas Trumbull, was one of the Special Photographic Effects Supervisors for 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968). He went on to become the Visual Effects Supervisor for such classics as CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977), STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE (1979), and BLADE RUNNER (1982), each of which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects. Mr. Trumbull directed SILENT RUNNING (1972), BRAINSTORM (1983), BACK TO THE FUTURE… THE RIDE (1991) and numerous other special format films. He is the recent recipient of an Academy Award in the area of Scientific and Technical Achievement as well as the International Monitor Award and American Society of Cinematographers’ Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions in the field of involved in the evolution of visual effects using virtual digital sets and electronic cinematography.
Dan Braun
Co-Founder of Submarine Entertainment
Dan Braun is the co-founder and co-president of New York based sales, production and distribution company Submarine Entertainment. Mr. Braun has been involved with the sale of many feature films and documentaries including LIFE ANIMATED, THE WITNESS, BLACKFISH, THE WOLFPACK, CITIZENFOUR, 20 FEET FROM STARDOM, BATKID BEGINS, THE OVERNIGHT, FINDING VIVIAN MAIER, BEST OF ENEMIES, and MAN ON WIRE. Braun also heads the distribution label Submarine Deluxe whose releases include I CALLED HIM MORGAN, PEGGY GUGGENHEIM ART ADDICT, CHASING ICE, LOVE MARILYN, PEACE OFFICER, and many others. Mr. Braun has executive produced documentaries KILL YOUR IDOLS, BLANK CITY, SUNSHINE SUPERMAN, STREETLIGHT HARMONIES, RATS, I CALLED HIM MORGAN and upcoming feature adaptation BATKID BEGINS; upcoming TV Anthology CREEPY; and upcoming Bill Wyman documentary THE QUIET ONE. Braun produced the documentaries BURDEN, PEGGY GUGGENHEIM: ART ADDICT and KUSAMA-INFINITY.
Sheila Nevins
President, HBO Documentary Films
Sheila Nevins is president, HBO Documentary Films, for Home Box Office, responsible for overseeing the development and production of all documentaries for HBO, HBO2 and Cinemax. She was named to this position in February 2004. As an executive producer or producer, she has received 32 Primetime Emmy® Awards, 34 News and Documentary Emmys® and 42 George Foster Peabody Awards. During her tenure, HBO’s critically acclaimed documentaries have gone on to win 26 Academy Awards®, the most recently of which was A GIRL IN THE RIVER: THE PRICE OF FORGIVENESS in 2016. Other Oscar® winners include CITIZENFOUR (2015), CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1 (2015), SAVING FACE (2012), STRANGERS NO MORE (2011), MUSIC BY PRUDENCE (2010), SMILE PINKI (2009), THE BLOOD OF YINGZHOU DISTRICT (2007), BORN INTO BROTHELS (2005), CHERNOBYL HEART (2004), MURDER ON A SUNDAY MORNING (2002), KING GIMP (2000), ONE SURVIVOR REMEMBERS (1996), I AM A PROMISE (1994), EDUCATING PETER (1993) and YOU DON’T HAVE TO DIE (1989). The series “Cinemax Reel Life” has featured a number of awardwinning documentaries including BIG MAMA, winner of the 2001 Academy Award® for Best Short Subject, THE PERSONALS: IMPROVISATIONS ON ROMANCE IN THE GOLDEN YEARS (1999) and BREATHING LESSONS: THE LIFE AND WORK OF MARK O’BRIEN, an Oscar® winner in 1997. Nevins has been honored with several prestigious career achievement awards including, most recently, the 2009 Governors Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and was made an NYU Tisch School of the Arts Honoree. She is also the recipient of a 2008 Gotham Awards Tribute; a 2005 Emmy® Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the art of the documentary, the first time the National Television Academy awarded a Lifetime Achievement recognition to a documentarian; and a Personal Peabody in 1999 in recognition of her work and ongoing commitment to excellence. In 2003, Women in Film presented Nevins with a Lucy Award for her outstanding achievements in advancing documentary filmmaking. In 2002, the National Board of Review presented her with the Humanitarian Award for her contribution to the advancement of social reforms and the promotion of human welfare through film. In 2000, Nevins was inducted into Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame, and in 1998 she garnered the IDA Career Achievement Award and the New York Women in Film & Television Muse Award for Outstanding Vision & Achievement. Nevins was named vice president, Documentary and Family Programming in 1985; appointed senior vice president, Original Programming, in 1995; and promoted to executive vice president, Original Programming, in 1999. She has supervised the production of more than 1,000 documentary programs for HBO, and won the first George Foster Peabody Award ever presented to a cable program for “She’s Nobody’s Baby,” which was produced with Ms. Magazine. Nevins is a member of the Writers Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Nevins is the New York Times bestselling author of “You Don’t Look Your Age… and Other Fairy Tales,” published by Flatiron Books. Nevins holds a BA from Barnard College and an MFA from Yale University School of Drama in Directing.
Josh Braun
Co-Founder of Submarine Entertainment
Josh Braun is the co-president of Submarine, a hybrid sales and production company. Recent films include KAILASH, THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, THE FINAL YEAR, SCOTTY, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRE, DINA, CHASING CORAL, TROPHY, NOBODY SPEAK, DEALT, BARBECUE, THE B-SIDE, WEINER, LO AND BEHOLD, LIFE ANIMATED, ZERO DAYS, THE WOLFPACK, CITIZENFOUR, BEST OF ENEMIES, BLACKFISH, 20 FEET FROM STARDOM, SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN and many others. Documentaries produced by Mr. Braun include SCOTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRE, BURDEN, PAGE ONE INSIDE THE NY TIMES, THE UNKNOWN KNOWN and EASY RIDERS RAGING BULLS. Mr. Braun was an executive producer on David Cronenberg’s A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, and produced the cult horror hit HOUSE OF THE DEVIL and recently was a producer on BURDEN and Morgan Spurlock’s RATS.
Christopher White
Documentary Film Editor, Producer & Director
Christopher White has been a documentary film editor, producer and director of numerous award winning films since 1995. His most recent project is ROLL RED ROLL, which premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. White was the editor and co-director of LOVE FREE OR DIE, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, winning the Special Jury Prize. Other films include THE KILLER WITHIN (as editor and co-director) which premiered at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival and was nominated for a 2008 Best Documentary Emmy, and HARD ROAD HOME, nominated for a Best Documentary Emmy in 2009. ELEVATE, a cross-cultural, multi-national journey of four particularly tall West African basketball-playing Muslim teenagers premiered at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival and won the Best Documentary Award at the 2011 Dallas International Film Festival. Episodic Series work includes THE HORN, which won the RealScreen Award for Best Digital and Branded Content – Non-Fiction in 2017. White lives in New York City with his wife and son.
Danielle Mccarthy-Boles
Magnolia Pictures Director of Regional Publicity
Danielle McCarthy-Boles is Director of Regional Publicity at Magnolia Pictures. She has overseen publicity and promotion for independent film hits including MAN ON WIRE (winner of the 2008 Academy Award for Best Documentary), BLACKFISH, MELANCHOLIA, LIFE ITSELF, THE WOLFPACK, THE SQUARE, and the Oscar-nominated documentary I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO among many others. McCarthy-Boles produced the critically acclaimed documentary BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME which was released theatrically nationwide and on demand by Magnolia Pictures on July 3rd, 2013. BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME was also released internationally by Universal Music Group in 2014. McCarthy-Boles holds a BFA in Cinema Studies from New York University and an MA in Media Studies from The New School.
Darren Dean
Producer, Writer, Director
Darren Dean is an American producer, writer and director. A three-time Independent Spirit Award nominee, Dean is responsible for producing some of the most notable independent features of the last 10 years. Together with frequent collaborator Sean Baker, he created the award-winning features PRINCE OF BROADWAY (which he co-wrote), tangerine, Clio Award-Winning short SNOWBIRD and 2017’s Spirit and Oscar nominated THE FLORIDA PROJECT. He has also produced such Award-Winning fare as 2010’s KINYARWANDA (dir Alrick Brown), which won the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance, H.O.M.E. (dir Daniel Maldonado), THE OTHER KIDS (dir Chris Brown) and the short film PIONEER HIGH (dir Suha Araj). He has also been nominated for an NAACP Image Award (KINYARWANDA) and has won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Feature (for the groundbreaking tangerine). In 2016, his body of work was recognized with a nomination for the prestigious Independent Spirit Piaget Producer’s Award. His upcoming projects include the recently announced SHORT HISTORY OF THE LONG ROAD (dir Ani Simon Kennedy) starring Sabrina Carpenter, Steven Ogg, Maggie Siff, Jashaun St John, Rusty Schwimmer and Danny Trejo, as well as soon-to-beannounced projects from Directors Chris Brown (THE OTHER KIDS; FANNY, ANNIE AND DANNY) and Matt Barber (TV’s Lethal Weapon; GUARDIAN). Dean is directing his first feature in 2018, the Spanish-language NO SUGAR TONIGHT. He continues to develop his adaptation of Will Eisner’s legendary graphic novel A CONTRACT WITH GOD for the big screen.
Douglas Tirola
Writer, Director, Producer
Douglas Tirola’s films have screened at over thirty film festivals around the world including world premieres at Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, Berlin and Edinburgh. DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD premiered at the Sundance Film festival and was released by Magnolia Pictures. The award winning HEY BARTENDER (Netflix) premiered at the SXSW Film Festival was released theatrically around the world and went on to be nominated for a James Beard award. ALL IN – THE POKER MOVIE (Showtime and Netflix) was a grand jury prize winner and is considered the definitive documentary about poker. Douglas’ first feature AN OMAR BROADWAY FILM premiered at the Tribeca Film festival where it was acquired by HBO. Douglas has also produced a number of critically acclaimed and award winning documentaries including BISBEE ’17 which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, the Sundance award winning KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE and the critically acclaimed MAKING THE BOYS, a film about the groundbreaking LGBT play and film The Boys in the Band.”Douglas Tirola’s films have screened at over thirty film festivals around the world including world premieres at Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, Berlin and Edinburgh. DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD premiered at the Sundance Film festival and was released by Magnolia Pictures. The award winning HEY BARTENDER (Netflix) premiered at the SXSW Film Festival was released theatrically around the world and went on to be nominated for a James Beard award. ALL IN – THE POKER MOVIE (Showtime and Netflix) was a grand jury prize winner and is considered the definitive documentary about poker. Douglas’ first feature AN OMAR BROADWAY FILM premiered at the Tribeca Film festival where it was acquired by HBO. Douglas has also produced a number of critically acclaimed and award winning documentaries including BISBEE ’17 which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, the Sundance award winning KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE and the critically acclaimed MAKING THE BOYS, a film about the groundbreaking LGBT play and film The Boys in the Band.”
Elizabeth Sheldon
Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Juno Films
Elizabeth Sheldon is the founding partner and Chief Executive Officer of Juno Films. She implements a collaborative approach with feature and documentary filmmakers and producers to secure funding and develop and execute bespoke all-rights releases. Recent releases include The Silk and the Flame, Constructing Albert and Michelin Stars -- Tales From the Kitchen. Prior to launching Juno, Elizabeth was COO of BOND Strategy & Influence where she oversaw the release of such films as The Settlers, Strike a Pose, Karl Marx City and The War Show. Prior she was the Senior Vice President at Kino Lorber, Inc, a leading North American independent distributor of critically acclaimed films such as A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Jafar Panahi’s Taxi, and 5 Broken Cameras. She was Vice President at Lorber HT Digital where she launched the Alive Mind Cinema label. The early stage of her career was built in the educational market, where she oversaw acquisitions and business development for two of the leading North America educational distributors. She has been recognized as one of the ‘50 Most Powerful People’ in the documentary world by POV, is the recipient of three NEH Grants for film development and is a frequent industry panelist and guest speaker. World Wide Motion Pictures recently elected New Board Member Elizabeth Sheldon to its Board of Directors. Elizabeth is joined by her husband, Sasha Kandaurov, Co-Founder and COO of Juno Films.
Greg Rhem"Director of Documentary
Programming For Hbo Doc Films"
Greg Rhem is Director of Documentary Programming for Home Box Office. For twenty-three years, he has help discover distinctive programming for HBO Documentary Films. Some of his finds have been: JOURNEYS WITH GEORGE; the Oscar®-winning FREEHELD, BORN INTO BROTHELS, THOTH, and BREATHING LESSON: THE LIFE AND WORK OF MARK O’BRIEN; and Oscar®-nominated PRISON TERMINAL: THE LAST DAYS OF PRIVATE JACK HALL, MONDAYS AT RACINE, THE LAST CAMPAIGN OF GOVERNOR BOOTH GARDNER, SPELLBOUND, and THE COLLECTOR OF BEDFORD STREET. Greg holds a M.A. in Media Studies from the New School University, and a B.A. degree in English and Film Studies from the University of Rochester.
Tracie Holder
Filmmaker, Consultant, Producer & Film Funding Specialist
Tracie Holder is a filmmaker, consultant, producer and film funding specialist. She is a 2016 Sundance Creative Producers Fellow and leads workshops in the U.S. and abroad, tutors and serves on juries at international pitching and training sessions. She is widely regarded as a “go-to” person and allround resource for artists seeking U.S. funding having raised more than $2.4 million for her own projects from a mix of government funders, private foundations and individuals. Clients include: Documentary Campus, European Documentary Network, Scottish Documentary Institute, Lisbon Docs, DocNomads, Active Voice, DOC NYC, Creative Capital, Unions Docs, and the Made in NY Media Center, among others. Holder was a longtime consultant to Women Make Movies and most recently was the Development & Funding Strategist for Abby Disney’s Fork Films. She is a former board member of NY Women in Film & Television and Manhattan Neighborhood Network, and grant panelist for national and local funders. Holder is the co-producer/director/writer of JOE PAPP IN FIVE ACTS, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and screened at more than 40 festivals internationally. The film will broadcast nationally on PBS/American Masters in 2019. She produced GRIT, a feature documentary set in Indonesia, co-directed by Academy Award-winner Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander, Executive Producer, Abby Disney and is currently producing A PRINCE FROM OUTER SPACE: ZEKI MÜREN and THE QUIET ZONE.
Wendy Lidell
Senior Vice President of Theatrical Distribution and Acquisitions
Wendy Lidell is Sr. VP, Theatrical/Nontheatrical Distribution & Acquisition at Kino Lorber Inc., a leader in independent art house distribution for over 30 years with a library of more than 1600 titles. Prior to joining Kino Lorber in 2016, Lidell was President of International Film Circuit, a company she founded in 1987. During its first decade, InFC earned a reputation for excellence, winning acclaim for its introduction into the US market of previously unknown filmmakers such as Raul Ruiz, Alexander Sokurov, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Nanni Moretti. She later turned to documentary releasing, and handled such films as SHE’S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE’S ANGRY, and YOO-HOO MRS. GOLDBERG which grossed over a million dollars. Lidell has also run academy campaigns for three documentaries that were nominated for Academy Awards.