Cinequest Panelist and Moderator Biographies

Cinequest Panelist and Moderator Biographies

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Hal Ackerman

Hal Ackerman is co-chair of the UCLA screenwriting program. Among his close mentees are Sacha Gervasi, Pamela Gray, Scott Kosar, Nicholas Griffin and many others.

His book, Write Screenplays That Sell...The Ackerman Way, is becoming the text of choice in a growing number of screenwriting programs around the country.

His play, TESTOSTERONE: How Prostate Cancer Made a Man of Me concluded its premier theatrical run in Santa Monica, CA, and won the William Saroyan Centennial Award for drama and on its way to New York.

A moderator for the Day of the Writer - Dancing with the Wadoogee.

Peter Belsito

Peter Belsito grew up in New York City and graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and from the Masters film program at UCLA where he was a graduate teaching assistant at UCLA Film School. He was a founding member of Newsreel, a radical anti war student filmmaking collective. He was a founding member of the Independent Feature Project (IFP) in New York City in 1981 and opened the IFP office in Los Angeles (now FIND). He was a founding member of the Chicano Cinema Coalition. After graduating from UCLA he worked professionally as a cinematographer, produced feature films and feature documentaries and wrote screenplays. His produced documentary Valley of Tears is playing the festival circuit now (LA Latino FF, Margaret Mead FF 2003) and is being distributed US by Seven Arts. He worked in publishing for ten years for Charles T. Munger, Vice Chairman of Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway, and assisted Sydney Levine in founding Film Finders in 1988 as a blue chip film acquisitions tracking, consulting and publishing firm. He came on board full time in 1995 as a Film Finders partner, Head of Sales and Marketing as Executive Vice President. Fourteen years after Ms. Levine's successful launch of Film Finders, Peter recently founded the growing Film Finders Consulting division. Both Peter and Sydney have been involved for the last fifteen years in professional education and with young filmmakers via countless festival and market panels and forums and active course involvement with such institutions including Harvard, Wharton, the Maurits Binger Institute of Amsterdam, ACE of Paris, Rotterdam Cinemart, IFP New York, IFP West of Los Angeles etc. Both have originated and coordinated panels and conferences for various institutions as well as Film Finders. He lives in West Hollywood, California and travels extensively throughout the year to film festivals and markets worldwide. In July 2006 Film Finders merged with Without A Box to develop new digital services for filmmakers, festivals, and international sales and distribution. In January 2008 Film Finders / Without A Box merged with IMDb /

A panelist for the Audiences & Art Forum.

Gilles BianRosa

Gilles BianRosa is the Chief Executive Officer of Vuze, Inc. As CEO, Gilles is driving the evolution of the company from the popular, award-winning peer-2-peer application to a global distribution and exchange platform for high-resolution digital content.

Prior to Vuze, Gilles was with McKinsey and Company in Palo Alto, California, where he led mission-critical initiatives related to product roadmaps and go-to-market strategies for venture backed and "academy" technology companies including Microsoft, HP, BEA, SAP.

Prior to McKinsey, Gilles was instrumental in the launch of Vivendi's media and services Internet platform for health professionals. Early in his career, Gilles founded MileStone, a software company serving the retail industry.

Gilles is a frequent speaker at leading industry events in the US and Europe.

Gilles holds a MS in Computer Science from EPITA School of Engineering in Paris, and an MBA from Harvard University in Boston.

A panelist for The Business of Art Forum.

Ted Chalmers

Veteran distribution executive, Ted Chalmers, has joined Maitland Primrose Group as Vice President to oversee operations, sales and acquisitions for both Maitland Primrose Film Distribution and Moving Pictures Film and Television. He will report to Maitland Primrose Group President, Margaret Tritch.

Chalmers comes to Maitland Primrose Group with 17 years of film and TV distribution experience, having been involved with the marketing and sales of such well known films as Crimes of the Heart, Heathers, The Graduate, and One False Move. He was most recently Head of Worldwide Distribution for Creative Light Entertainment.

"Ted is the consummate sales and distribution executive who will bring to Maitland Primrose Group a level of experience that will elevate our titles in the world marketplace," said Margaret Tritch, Maitland Primrose Group President. "He reflects our brand's commitment to providing audiences with the best in independent filmmaking and message based films."

"I am proud to be representing Maitland Primrose Group and these high quality titles," said Ted Chalmers, Vice President of Distribution, Maitland Primrose Film Distribution and Moving Pictures Film and Television. "These films are indicative of the independent vision found in all aspects of this company and I look forward to delivering them to audiences around the world."

A panelist for The Business of Art Forum.

Steve Cooperman

Steve Cooperman is the Product Line Business Manager for P2 Systems at Panasonic Broadcast and Television Systems.

Steve Cooperman is responsible for implementing product marketing and development strategies for Panasonic’s advanced P2 HD systems, a line of solid-state HD camcorders, recorders and workflow tools. In his role, he has worked closely with leading independents, as well as film, broadcast and multimedia organizations in finding the perfect blend of cost efficiency, while maintaining high quality. Steve has launched some of Panasonic’s most innovative products and technologies, including the AJ-HPX2000 and 1080p AJ-HPX3000 camcorders, the AJ-HPM110 P2 Mobile player/recorder as well as the advanced AVC-Intra compression codec. Steve recently led the introduction of the new solid-state P2 HD VariCam® cinema camcorders (VariCam 2700 and VariCam 3700), expanding the legacy of Panasonic’s world-renowned VariCam cinematography brand.

Prior to Panasonic Broadcast, he held key sales and product marketing positions at leading broadcast technology companies, including Evertz Microsystems and Leitch Technology.

Steve serves as a speaker and presenter on panels at broadcast and media industry events. He graduated from California State University-Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts in Television and Film and he has a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

A presenter for Lights, Cameras...P2 Forum.

James Dalessandro

James Dalessandro is a regular contributor to the Day of the Writer. He is the author of the best selling novel, 1906, and screenwriter of the Warner Brothers epic of the same name, currently in production. In his 25-year WGA career, he has sold more than 20 feature films and currently has three screenplays in pre-production, including The Italian Girl, which he will produce, and San Joaquin, which he is directing. His documentary, The Damnedest, Finest Ruins, won four film awards in 2006 and 2007.

A panelist for the Day of the Writer - The Writers Mindset.

Barnaby Dallas

Barnaby Dallas is Director of Film Production for Spartan Film Studios and a screenwriting instructor at San Jose State University. He also teaches screenwriting and story development at DreamWorks Animation. His producer credits include All About Dad and Generic Thriller both official selections at the 2009 Cinequest Film Festival.

A moderator for The Great Collaboration Forum.

Barak Goldman

Co-Producer of Cinequest's Screenwriting Competition and De Anza College Screenwriting Instructor, Goldman has written, consulted and developed film & television projects for a number of Studios and Independent Producers, including Columbia-Tristar, Sony Pictures, and USA Network. Goldman holds an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School and an M.F.A in Screenwriting from UCLA.

A moderator for the Day of the Writer - The Writers Mindset.

Felicia D. Henderson

Co-Executive Producer of Fringe, Gossip Girl & Everybody Hates Chris. Henderson created the acclaimed Showtime series Soul Food and wrote for many other hit shows. Henderson holds an MBA in Finance, an MFA in Screenwriting and is a Doctoral Candidate in Cinema & Media Studies, at UCLA.

A panelist for the Day of the Writer - The Writers Mindset.

Lew Hunter

Lew Hunter is the Chairman Emeritus and Professor of Screenwriting at UCLA and a member of the American Screenwriters Association Hall of Fame. He is the author of Lew Hunter's Screenwriting 434. His drama special Fallen Angel was nominated for an Emmy. He established the Superior Screenwriting Colony in Nebraska which spawned Alexander Payne, the Academy Award winning writer of Sideways.

A moderator for the Diablo Cody Maverick Spirit Event.

Jeff Karnes

Jeff is the Vice President of Marketing and Products for VoloMedia, Inc, the leading provider of advertising and reporting solutions for downloadable media, extending the reach of video and audio from the PC to the portable device. Jeff is a digital media veteran having spent over 10 years delivering solutions within the enterprise and direct to consumer focusing on the emergence of online media. Most recently, Jeff held the position of Director for Multimedia Search and Products for Yahoo! where he led the company's efforts in building their video portal while also responsible for video search, audio search, image search, and a podcasting directory. Before then, Jeff worked at Virage (acquired by Autonomy), a leader and pioneer in video indexing and search, where he led the product and marketing efforts. And prior to that, Jeff worked at Cinebase Software (renamed eMotion) leading the product in the category of digital asset management. Jeff holds a BA in Economics and Sociology from Bucknell University and is a board member for the Cinequest Film Institute.

A moderator for the Audiences & Art Forum.

Eric B. Kim

Eric Kim is a senior vice president and general manager of Intel Corporation's Digital Home Group. Previously, Kim was general manager of Intel Corporation's Sales and Marketing Group and served as Intel's chief marketing officer, responsible for all sales and marketing operations worldwide. Prior to joining Intel in November 2004, Kim was an executive vice president at Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. He was responsible for global marketing and new business development and helped make Samsung a leading worldwide consumer brand. Prior to joining Samsung in 1999, Kim had significant and varied experience in hardware and software marketing, product development and venture investment management. During his five years with Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, Kim was president and CEO of Pilot Software and a chief technology officer. For Lotus Development, he was general manager of database products. Time Magazine named Kim to its annual "Global Influentials" list in 2002. Kim holds a bachelor's degree in physics from Harvey Mudd College, a master's in engineering systems from UCLA, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

A panelist for The Marriage Of Television & the Internet Forum.

Lance R. Koenders

Lance Koenders is the Technical Assistant to Eric Kim, the SVP and General Manager of Digital Home Group at Intel. The Digital Home Group is focused on building silicon and platform solutions for the consumer electronics industry, one of Intel's primary growth businesses. In this role he is responsible for facilitating the division's executive engagements, operations, and communications. Prior to his current role, Lance managed the field sales organization responsible for strategic engagements with service providers across North America. He has held various management, business development, technical sales, program management, and IT engineering roles at Intel Corporation since joining the company in 1997. Prior to joining Intel, he worked for over 10 years as a software engineer for various companies. Lance Koenders has a technical MBA and a BSE in Computer Science from Arizona State University.

A panelist for The Marriage Of Television & the Internet Forum.

Scott Kosar

Scott Kosar wrote The Machinist starring Christian Bale, as well as the remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Amityville Horror. His script for the remake of George Romero's The Crazies, co-written with Ray Wright, is currently in pre-production. Mr. Kosar earned his MFA from UCLA's Graduate Screenwriting Program in 2001.

A panelist for the Day of the Writer - The Writer's Mindset.

Brian Larsen

Brian Larsen wrote for George Lucas's TV series Clone Wars and is now writing a script for the producers of the acclaimed film Children of Men. A Film Department Instructor at De Anza College, Larsen is the recipient of the prestigious Samuel Goldwyn Screenwriting Award and holds a B.A. in History from Dartmouth College, an M.A. in English from UC Davis, and an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from UCLA.

A panelist for the Day of the Writer - The Writer's Mindset.

Kimb Katz Massey, Ph.D

Kimb Katz Massey is a Professor of Radio-Television-Film for the Television Radio Film and Theatre (TRFT) Department at San Jose State University in California. Dr. Massey earned her B.S. in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, her M.A. in Broadcast Communication Arts from San Francisco State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Prior to her academic career, Dr. Massey was involved in politics working for the Texas House of Representatives. She has professional broadcasting experience—both public and commercial in radio and television—in sales, programming and audience research in addition to multimedia production, testing and research. Dr. Massey has written numerous communication conference papers and published several communication articles and book chapters. She edited and authored Readings in Mass Communication: Media Literacy and Culture (Mayfield Publishing, 1999; 2nd ed. 2001), and has co-authored four other books: Introduction to Radio: Production and Programming (William C. Brown Publisher, 1994), Television Criticism: An Introduction to Reading, Writing and Analysis (Kendall-Hunt Publisher, 1994; 2nd ed. 1996), and Introduction to Telecommunications: Converging Technologies (Mayfield Publishing, 2001). In addition, Dr. Massey’s publication record includes numerous pedagogical materials (for McGraw Hill and Thomson-Wadsworth Publishers) that accompany media textbooks such as Web sites, study guides (printed and electronic), media literacy guides, and digital audio podcasts (lectures), CD, and DVD content.

Dr. Massey is fortunate to have International teaching/research experience. Over the past 15 years, she has participated several times in the Semester Abroad Program in Bath, England. While in England, Dr. Massey also taught multimedia and web design at Bath City College and consulted with Real World Multimedia (Peter Gabriel's brainchild) directing their audience testing and instrumentation for their CD-ROM release entitled Ceremony of Innocence based upon Nick Bantock's Griffin and Sabine trilogy.

In Germany, Dr. Massey was awarded a Distinguished American Lectureship Grant by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (1997). She lectured on topics related to "New Media and Multimedia in the United States" at various institutions across Germany (e.g., Hanover, Mainz, Munich, Nuremberg, etc.) Dr. Massey was also honored to speak on the topic of American Censorship to the Lower Saxony German Parliament.

Outside of the academy, Dr. Massey researches and consults on media effects and culture. She periodically takes professional leave from the academy in order to gain “real world” industry experience that she takes back to her students in the classroom. During her last leave from the University, she worked as Director of Web Services and ultimately Director of eBusiness Initiatives for a Silicon Valley marketing/advertising agency.

Dr. Massey's research interests include: mass communication and popular culture, new media technologies: production, performance and effects, broadcast industry performance and practices, assessment of audience interaction with mass media utilizing qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

A moderator for The Business of Art Forum.

Tom Morgan

Tom Morgan, Chief Strategy Officer of Move Networks, is a 25-year veteran of the world of interactive services and digital media. Move Networks, Inc. is a leading provider of online television services that drive the growth and support of online audiences for leading broadcasters and publishers including ABC, Fox, the CW, Discovery, Televisa, and ESPN. Mr. Morgan’s responsibilities at Move Networks include overall corporate strategy development, with specific emphasis on the development of new advertising and monetization models for Internet Television. Prior to his work at MoveNetworks, Morgan founded BlackArrow Corporation, where he served as a board member and CEO. BlackArrow is a cross platform television ad management system specifically designed to address the management the new generation of television advertising and marketing. His other past roles include co-founder of DiMA Group and the Ad Lab, VP of Business Development and West Coast General Manager for America Online, EVP of Business Development for BroadVision, President of IDG Interactive Services and West Coast VP and GM for MTV/Nickelodeon.

A panelist for The Marriage Of Television & the Internet Forum.

Robert G. Phelps

Robert G. Phelps is the Producer of Cinequest's Day of the Writer, Co-Chairman of the Screenwriting Competition, Film and Technology Forum Producer, lecturer and moderator. He has guest lectured at De Anza College and at Lew Hunter's Screenwriting Colony. He has written feature stories for Screentalk Magazine, for Parachutist Magazine as a freestyle skydiving and skysurfing correspondent/photographer, and for the San Jose SaberCats arena football team where he was published in the San Jose Mercury News and on CNN/SI's website. Mr. Phelps is currently developing a legal dramedy series for television and writing The Tamer, a horror/black comedy feature. As a deputy public defender in Santa Clara County, he lives in the world of noir.

A moderator for the Day of the Writer Film Noir Part One and Part Two.

Kathleen Powell

Kathleen J. Powell, formally Vice President of Worldwide Programming at Jaman, a socially-conscious online film distribution portal. As Vice President of Worldwide Programming, Kathleen was responsible for content acquisitions and programming capacities at Jaman. Kathleen's technology background includes a 17 year track record at Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies, where she served in a variety of management roles including R&D, Business Development and Quality Management. Her extensive experience in film includes producing/executive producing three feature films and co-founding Cinequest, a Silicon Valley institute that produces the 19 year old Cinequest Film Festival and is a recognized leader in fostering digital technologies and new distribution models that empower film artists. She currently chairs the Cinequest Board of Directors and manages all key technology partnerships. Kathleen holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Business Administration from Kansas State University.

A moderator for The Marriage Of Television & the Internet Forum.

Charles Pugliese

Charles Pugliese is currently the VP of development and production at Darren Star Productions, where he focuses on bringing in, developing and producing film and television projects.

Prior to this, Charles was a producer and head of development for Killer Films, where he worked for over six years. Most recently, Charles executive produced Ruba Nadda's Cairo Time, starring Patricia Clarkson, and co-produced Jordan Scott's Cracks, starring Eva Green, both of which are in post production. In addition, Charles co-produced Matt Aselton's Gigantic, starring Paul Dano, Zooey Deschanel and John Goodman, which premiered at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival.

In 2007, Charles co-produced Todd Haynes' acclaimed film concerning Bob Dylan, I'm Not There, which starred Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Richard Gere and Heath Ledger. The film was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress as well as a special jury prize and the best actress prize at the Venice Film Festival. Prior to this, Charles associate produced Douglas McGrath's Infamous, which starred Toby Jones, Sandra Bullock and Daniel Craig.

Charles is a graduate of Vassar College and began his career in the production and acquisitions departments of Miramax Films.

A panelist for The Business of Art Forum.

Zac Reeder

Zac is currently a partner at Circus Road Films. Circus Road Films provides strategic advisory services to filmmakers and entertainment companies, with an emphasis on film financing and sales of completed pictures. In the last year Circus Road represented The Go-Getter (Zooey Deschanel) which premiered at Sundance and was sold to Peace Arch; Special (Michael Rappaport) which also premiered at Sundance and was sold to Magnolia, August Evening, which won an Independent Spirit Award and was sold to Maya Releasing; Nitro, a French-language action film that was sold to IFC Films, Night of the Living Dead 3D, a Lions Gate release; Big Bad Wolf, a Universal release; Perfect Witness (Wes Bentley), a First Look release, A Perfect Fit (Adrien Grenier), a Warner Bros release, and many more. Circus Road currently represents Children of Invention, which premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Zac was formerly Head of Acquisitions at PorchLight Entertainment and MarVista Entertainment, where for ten years he acquired distribution rights to over 150 films and television programs. Films acquired by Zac include the successful family film trilogy, Shiloh, the award-winning The Blue Butterfly starring William Hurt, The Kid & I directed by Penelope Spheeris and starring Tom Arnold, and The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang, which stars Justin Long and was produced by Kevin Spacey and the team behind Napoleon Dynamite. Zac also acquired and helped arrange financing for the highly-acclaimed film Hunt for Justice: The Louise Arbour Story, which screened at the United Nations in New York and Geneva.

Zac has almost 20 years of experience in the film distribution business. Zac also ran his own independent film distribution company, 4 Corners Entertainment, which was involved in the international distribution of the Academy Award nominated film, Hoop Dreams. In his career, Zac has been involved in every aspect of filmmaking and distribution, including developing, writing, financing, directing, and selling films.

Zac is currently on the Advisory Boards of the Heartland Film Festival and the San Diego Film Festival, and has been a featured speaker at several film festivals, including the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival.

Zac holds a BA degree in Psychology from UCLA, where he was also a four-year letterman on the NCAA Division 1 baseball team.

A panelist for the Audiences & Art Forum.

Peter Trinh

Mr. Trinh started his career in the entertainment business interning at The Burstein Company, an artist management company, and then moved to TV production at G4 TV, the channel devoted to video games.

From there, Mr. Trinh was accepted into the agent trainee program at International Creative Management. He worked his way up from the mailroom and was an assistant in the talent department as well as the independent film division before being promoted.

Today, Mr. Trinh works in ICM's International and Independent Film division helping to package creative and financial elements to film projects as well as helping to arrange distribution deals for independent films.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Physiological Sciences from the University of California - Los Angeles.

A panelist for The Business of Art Forum.

Richard Walter

Richard Walter is an author of bestselling fiction and nonfiction, and a screenwriter who has written for virtually all of the major studios and networks. He is a professor at UCLA where for thirty years he has chaired the graduate screenwriting program in the film school. His students have written National Treasure, War of the Worlds, Sideways, Spider Man, Real Women Have Curves, Gossip Girl, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Office, among hundreds of other films and television productions.

A moderator for the Day of the Writer - Screenwriting: The Whole Picture.