Promoting Social Change through Film

About: Do you long to capture the stories that can make a difference? Film can be a powerful tool for promoting social change. Join experienced directors and producers as they share their experiences and offer insights about the power of film and its ability to create change.

Moderator: Chris Eyre 

Santa Fe University of Art and Design:The Film School Chair, MFA, New York University, BA, University of Arizona

Chris Eyre is the chair of The Film School at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. He is a nationally-recognized film and television director and producer, who has received many awards, including both a Peabody and an Emmy. Eyre directed the highly acclaimed Smoke Signals, which won a coveted Sundance Audience Award and the Sundance Filmmakers Trophy.

After graduating from New York University’s film school, Eyre worked as a fellow in the Sundance Institute’s Directors Lab under the mentorship of Robert Redford. His 2004 film Edge of America was selected to show on Opening Night at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, and it garnered Eyre the highly prestigious award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement from the Directors Guild of America. His latest film, Hide Away, starring Josh Lucas and James Cromwell, was released in summer 2012.

Eyre’s work for television includes three episodes of the PBS miniseries We Shall Remain (2009)—“After the Mayflower,” “Tecumseh’s Vision” and “Trail of Tears.” He also directed episodes of the critically acclaimed NBC show Friday Night Lights (2009 and 2011).

Eyre has received a Rockefeller Foundation Intercultural Film Fellowship, an NHK/Sundance Cinema 100 Award, the Martin Scorsese Post-Production Award, a Humanitas Prize, the Warner Brothers Post-Production Award, a United States Artists fellowship, an Independent Spirit Award, multiple First Americans in the Arts awards and multiple Best Film awards at the American Indian Film Festival. 

Panelist 2: Justice Whitaker

Justice Whitaker was born on the sunny shores of California where his father's AE-1 began an early interest in photography. Justice's passion for the lens eventually led him to New York University where he received his BFA from Tisch School of the Arts in Film & TV Production. Justice lived in Africa for nearly two years working on films and music videos in Johannesburg and Accra before beginning to teach film to high school students in New York City. Justice received several grants for his work in the Dept of Education including the Fund for Teachers Grant which facilitated a trip to Cuba he shot and directed a documentary on life and art in Cuba. While teaching, Justice produced several short films in New Mexico as well as using it as a retreat space where he wrote his first feature film BLAST. The screenplay has won Justice Accolades at three festivals in recent years. While working as a consultant for the NYC DOE, and as a teacher for the Educational Video Center, Justice decided it was time to re-focus his energy on his own career. Justice relocated to Santa Fe, NM in 2013 to teach at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. He currently teaches courses on Cinematography and Directing as well as continuing to write shoot and develop his own projects.

Panelist 3: Rudy Valdez

Rudy Valdez is a New York City-based documentary filmmaker committed to making cinematic, meaningful documentary films about social, cultural and political issues.

His early experience working alongside critically acclaimed filmmakers, Marc Levin (Protocols of Zion, Slam, Mr. Untouchable) and Mark Benjamin (Banging in Little Rock, Protocols of Zion, The Last Party) allowed him to be a part of many projects from pre-production to post-production and all stages in between - as a producer, field producer, cameraman, sound mixer, and editor. Rudy was called one of the three "young, up-and-coming" filmmakers that played key roles in the production of the Sundance series, Brick City.

Recently he was the East Coast Director of Photography for I Got Something to Tell You – a documentary produced by Whoopi Goldberg. Currently, Rudy is the DP for several projects in production, including the Untitled puppies behind bars Project, produced by G2P2 Films, The untitled Robert DeNiro sr. Documentary produced by HBO as well as The Last Patrol, Sebastian Junger’s latest film. Meanwhile, he’s hard at work as the Producer / Director / DP on his own documentary, Mommy’s House, a passion project about the effects of mandatory minimum drug sentencing.

Panelist 4: Elena Gaby

Elena Gaby is an award-winning Brazilian-American documentary filmmaker, born on Nantucket Island, and based in New York City.  Elena made her first film, Paper State: Undocumented, Unafraid, Undeterred, as a senior at Vassar College.  The film, which explored the plight of undocumented students and their quest for higher education, won "Best Student Documentary" at the American Pavillion at Cannes Film Festival 2014, and "Best Documentary" at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) in Seattle.  Elena currently works as a researcher in documentary television, while she develops her first feature length documentary film, and  serves on the alumni advisory board for NFFTY, the largest youth film festival in the world. 

Panelist 5: Joan Brooker-Marks

MA, Ed.M, was a television writer in Los Angeles, working on such shows as ‘Designing Woman’, ‘McGyver’, and ‘Full House’. She currently teaches writing and documentary filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts. Joan is the director of two award winning short documentaries, ‘We Got Us’ and ‘The Loud Ladies of South Fork’, and the feature documentary, ‘Larry Flynt: The Right to be Left Alone’. Her recent documentary, ‘The Silent Truth’, profiles the tragic death of Private LaVena Johnson and was released in August, 2014. The film received numerous grants, including NYSCA and the Visual Arts Foundation. Joan’s films have shown in festivals world-wide and have been distributed domestically and internationally, and broadcast by both IFC and PBS. She has been a member of SAG, WGA, AEA, and NYWIFT.

Digital/Web Content and Distribution

About: There are more ways than ever before to share your video creations with the world. Get up to speed with the vast content universe and learn how to market your films successfully in an ever-changing distribution landscape.

Panelist 1: Scott Lindenbaum (Moderator)

Scott Lindenbaum is Deutsch NY's Digital Planning Director. He works at the intersection of human behavior, data, business goals, big ideas, publishing strategy, and UX design to imagine delightful products, content, & experiences that fulfill human needs in efficient, effective, and innovative ways. Before that he was a tech entrepreneur in NY and a sponsored snowboarder. His projects have been covered by CNN, MSNBC, and FOXnews, and have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Conde Nast Traveller, Huffington Post, Mashable, VentureBeat, MobileMarketer, and numerous other outlets.


Panelist 2: Dan Silver

Dan Silver, Senior Director of Development, ESPN Films, manages the development of ESPN Films and Exit 31’s short film series, ESPN’s Home Entertainment group, and the licensing strategy for ESPN Classic. He oversees the Emmy Award Winning series 30 for 30 Shorts and the Nine for IX Shorts series. Previously, Dan ushered the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival through seven successful years, and was an integral part of the Peabody Award and Emmy winning series 30 for 30. Silver graduated from Syracuse University. He is a contributor for and an active member of the Producers Guild.

Panelist 3: Andrew Meyer 

ANDREW MEYER has over 30 years experience as an educator, entertainment industry senior executive, and feature film producer. He has served as the President of Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss’ A&M Films, Robert Redford’s Wildwood Productions, and Norman Lear’s Act III Productions. Mr. Meyer is currently a Professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Notable among the many films he has produced, Fried Green Tomatoes was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The first film Mr. Meyer developed and produced was the The Breakfast Club, named by Entertainment Weekly as the “Best High School Movie of all time”.  Mr. Meyer’s production company, A&M Films, produced Birdy directed by Alan Parker, starring Matthew Modine and Nicholas Cage. Birdy was selected as the recipient of the Grand Prix Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. 

Some of Mr. Meyer’s other films include Better off Dead (directed by Steve Holland, starring John Cusack), Bring on the Night (directed by Michael Apted, starring Sting), Breaking In (directed by Bill Forsythe, starring Burt Reynolds), Promised Land (directed by Michael Hoffman, starring Meg Ryan and Keiffer Sutherland), One Crazy Summer (directed by Steve Holland, starring Demi Moore and John Cusack), and Pyrates (directed by Noah Stern, starring Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgewick).  

Mr. Meyer joined the Film Faculty in the School of Entertainment Arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2004. Previously, He taught screenwriting at the Master of Professional Writing Graduate Program at the University of Southern California, and has been an Adjunct Professor at UCLA teaching record business fundamentals.

Panelist 4: Courtney Andrialis 

Courtney is an independent producer and media professional with experience in producing film, television and digital content, as well as media event planning. She is currently a producer for truTV’s “Friends of the People”. Other skills include screenplay development, film development and distribution and marketing. 


Panelist 5: Lisa Robinson

Lisa Robinson works as a screenwriter and director. She co-wrote and co-directed (with Annie Howell) the feature film SMALL, BEAUTIFULLY MOVING PARTS which premiered at South by Southwest Film Festival in 2011, screened at over 20 other festivals and won the Sloan Feature Film Prize at the Hamptons International Film Festival. It played theatrically in more than 20 cities, was a Time Out and New York Magazine Critics Pick and Roger Ebert praised it as “effortlessly engaging.”  Robinson also wrote and directed HOLLOW, a short film funded by ITVS (a division of PBS) for its Futurestates series that premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and streamed at Robinson also co-created SPARKS, a web series about humans and technology that was syndicated by the Sundance Channel. She wrote the screenplay MINDBLAST for The Blue Man Group that is in pre-production. Her short films have screened at film festivals around the world including Cannes-Directors Fortnight and Telluride. Robinson received her MFA from New York University’s Graduate Film Directing Program and is currently an Associate Professor of Film at Long Island University – Post.


We will be hosting an exclusive panel featuring Final Cut Pro X editors discussing filmmaking workflows, tips, and tricks. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A session, where attendees can speak directly with the editors and other Final Cut Pro X experts.

Students can also check out a dedicated display at our technology showcase to see the app in action and get a hands-on experience with Final Cut Pro X and the new Mac Pro. 

Panelist 1: Sam Mestman, Workflow Architect - FCPWorks

Sam has multi year experience is film making, latterly in LA for a range of large studios. He is also at the forefront of deploying FCPX in film workflows

Panelist 2: Evan Schechtman, CTO Outpost Digital

Evan is the CTO at a leading post production facility in NYC - working on high commercial post, documentary film and television project. He is a well know pundit and technologist with entertaining and strong views on the direction of technology in post production 

Panelist 3: Jem Schofield, Independent Film Maker

Jem is a independent film maker and training based in New Jersey He is the founder of theC47 and the host of its video podcast “gearbox". He is also the co-founder and director of The Filmmaker's Intensive, an annual two week program that focuses on narrative filmmaking.

3pm Beyond Directing: Jobs in the Film Industry (The Process of Hollywood)

About: Not everyone is going to be the next great director.  There are myriad job opportunities in the film industry.  This panel will explore some of the options, from the obvious to the obscure.

Moderator: Paula Amanda

  • Director of Garson Studios since 2009, hosting major motion pictures recently such as Legion, Paul, Haywire, True Grit, and Cowboys & Aliens, as well as HBO specials Sunset Limited and Game Change. Now hosting Longmire, A Warner Horizon TV production.
  •  President and Co-Founder of New West Media Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that supports independent documentary film making.
  •  Amanda’s short documentary It Must Be the Water was completed in 2007 and was a 2007 Santa Fe Film Festival Selection.
  •  Amanda is now in post production on her latest documentary Ritual & Renewal in Bali shot in Penestanan, Bali, Indonesia.
  •  Associate Chair of The Film School, at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
  •  Director of Internships at The Film School, responsible for placing hundreds of students in commercial and independent features including documentary film.
  • Created The Film Biz Hub at The Film School which has created ongoing partnerships between New Mexican media businesses and film students leading to internships and job placements in the industry.
  • Looking towards growing the film school and student interaction with the global film community.

Panelist 2: James McVeigh 

Over 20 years of investment banking experience.

  • Former Managing Director at Banc of America / Merrill Lynch, TMT and Head of Internet / New Media & Cable practice
  • Investment banker in the TMT Group at DLJ/Credit Suisse and Salomon Brothers’ Large Cap Diversified and Technology Group
  • Raised over $100 billion in the debt and capital markets for clients as bookrunning manager
  • Notable Media transactions/Clients: Time Warner Cable acquisition of Insight Communications ($3BN); NBCUniversal acquisition of Blackstone’s stake in NBCU Theme Parks ($1BN); Comcast acquisition of NBCUniversal; Mediacom Go-Private ($3.85BN)
  • Key new media clients include:,, eBay, Expedia, Exponential, FaceBook, Glam, GSI Commerce, Getty Images, Google, Kynetic, LinkedIn, Monster, Opentable, Priceline, QuinStreet, Rubicon, SurveyMonkey, Synacor, TripAdvisor, Yahoo, and Znyga
  • Columbia Business School – MBA; University of Notre Dame – B.A.; U.S. Navy - Lieutenant

Panelist 3: Chris Mirigliani

As a freelance producer based in New York City, Chris has produced television programs for major networks including:  NBC, Discovery, CBS, MTV and Travel Channel.  His diverse background spans genres from documentary and scripted comedy to late night talk shows.

Before producing for TV, Chris began his career as assistant to the president of Miramax Films.  Most recently, he supervised all digital content for a revolutionary new real time docu-series on Bravo.

Beginning next month, Chris resumes production on the internationally acclaimed BBC America mockumentary series, Almost Royal.

Panelist 4: Dave Snyder 

Dave Snyder is Jigsaw Productions’ Vice President of Development, working with Alex Gibney to expand the company into the fiction and non-fiction series television arena.  Snyder has run shows ranging from World of Jenks for MTV to science series Dean of Invention with inventor Dean Kamen for Discovery Networks.  As a director, producer or writer, Snyder has worked on hits like Bravo’s Emmy-winning Queer Eye for the Straight Guy as well as his own films such as yeah no definitely, which starred Boardwalk Empire’s Vincent Piazza.   He’s created content for many channels including HBO, NBC, CNN, Bravo, Comedy Central, Logo, A&E, and HGTV, and has previously worked with production companies such as Oscar-winning, Emmy-winning Moxie Firecracker, and Emmy-nominated World of Wonder.

Panelist 5: Jay Miles

Jay Miles has worked in TV, video, film and commercial production for 20 years, including shows for NBC, ABC, FOX, the Discovery Channel, HGTV, Versus and DirecTV. He has taught media at the college and high school levels for the past several years, where the work of his high school media students has garnered awards in numerous contests and festivals. He has contributed to such magazines/Websites as Film Threat, Moviemaker, and and on panels at events including iTVFest and the UFVA. He has sponsored the 48Hour Film Project in New Haven, CT for the past few years. Miles continues to consult and produce for independent clients, web shows, bands, businesses, not-for-profit organizations and schools.

His first book, Conquering YouTube, combines the professional and practical tips that he has used on major shoots with the approaches that he employs to help numerous beginners reach for the stars with their own successful projects.

Production Tips and Tricks

About: All things production for the aspiring filmmaker. Experts share the little things that make a big difference.

Moderator: Andrew Meyer (See Panel 1 for Bio and Headshot) 

Panelist 1: Bruce Bohman


Bruce Bohman was born and raised in Frankfort Kentucky and got his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television at the Savannah College of Art and Design. After college he moved to New York City for an internship at MTV and eventually started freelancing as a media manager on various television shows. Bruce has since worked as a camera operator, associate producer, field producer and even Art Director for various networks such as MTV, Animal Planet, CNN, A&E, Discovery, Food Network, Science Channel, Tru-TV and National Geographic. The exciting travel has been the most rewarding aspect of his career thus far and the most exhilarating project was a documentary about HIV/AIDS that took him to South Africa, India, Barbados and all around the United States. This particular project has really impacted Bruce personally as well as professionally and hopes to work on more projects like that one in the future. 

Panelist 2: Sam Lee

Sam Lee has edited and produced numerous projects for NBC, CBS, TLC, Bravo, VH1 and a variety of shows for MTV including MADE, 16 and Pregnant, My Life as Liz, College Life and The World of Jenks. In early 2000, Sam began working on feature documentary films. Her projects include; Trading Women, a film narrated by Angelina Jolie, which focuses on sex trafficking of minority women in South East Asia and was released on PBS. She co-directed and edited Pleasure and Pain, a 90-minute film on the musician Ben Harper. She field-produced and edited 270 Miles from Graceland a two-hour concert film on the Bonnarroo Music Festival in Tennessee.  In 2006, Sam directed and produced her first feature documentary, The Perfect Life, which follows five graduating high school students who were, ten years earlier, the filmmakers’ second grade students. The film premiered at the Slamdance film festival. In 2008, Sam traveled the world for a year and it was a chance encounter with two clowns on a roof in Kolkotta, which lead to her current documentary, Send in the Clowns: changing the face of humanitarian aid. In the past year Sam has worked with Mo Rocca on his Emmy nominated show My Grandmother’s Ravioli, edited a new film by David Feingold and is currently editing Andrew Jenks’ latest documentary about the wrongful conviction of Ryan Ferguson.

Panelist 3: Matt Mayer

Matt Mayer is a comedy multi-hyphenate: director-DP-producer-writer-editor-actor. His work can be seen all over the internet, including viral video Sh*t New Yorkers Say which has garnered over 4 million views on YouTube. He has worked for the first two seasons of NickMom's Take Me To Your Mother as a producer/director and editor. Matt was trained in comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, and can be seen performing there weekly as part of running long-form improv show Harold Night.


Panelist 4: Dejan Georgevich

“Perhaps it all started when I struggled to carry a 16mm Bell & Howell film projector half my 
size down the hallways of Hillside elementary school,” says cinematographer Dejan Georgevich, 
ASC. “ The thrill and power of the illuminated image on a giant screen captivating several 
hundred spellbound kids was the start of my lifelong journey into the world of cinema.”
A respected professor of cinematography (NY's School of Visual Arts), Dejan Georgevich is a 
national executive board member of the International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600, 
I.A.T.S.E., and member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), and the Directors 
Guild of America. Dejan's awards include a 1996 Emmy for HBO's Arthur Ashe: Citizen of the 
World; 1997 Hamptons' International Film Festival, Best American Independent Feature Film
nomination (Crossing Fields), Emmy nomination for My Sergei (CBS); a Gold Hugo from the 
Chicago Film Festival, and more than 20 other awards from major international and domestic 
film festivals. 
Georgevich’s recent director of photography credits includes a distinguished list of network TV 
series: Blacklist, Elementary, Mercy, Cupid, Gossip Girls, Book of Daniel, 3lbs., Now and 
Again, and the Emmy awarding-winning CBS-TV series, The Education of Max Bickford
starring Oscar winning actors Richard Dreyfuss, Marcia Gay Harden, and Eli Wallach. 
A partial listing of his theatrical films include Crossing Fields (JK Simmons), The Beatle 
Fan (Peter Stormare), Mirrors (Keifer Sutherland), The Emperor's Club (Kevin 
Kline), Woo (with Jada Pinkett Smith), and Universal Pictures' Satan's Little Helper (with 
Amanda Plummer). 
His cinematography credits also represent a diverse range of genres of over 500 commercials, a 
3D TV production, In Deep/Broadway featuring excerpts from five Broadway hit shows and a 
Live TV teleplay broadcast, PBS Hollywood Presents: Copshop (with Richard Dreyfuss, Rita 
Moreno, Rosie Perez) emulating the “ 50’s Golden Age of TV.” 
Georgevich has helmed the visuals on high-profile documentaries including Ordinary Miracles: 
The Photo League’s New York; PBS special, A Wayfarer’s Journey: Listening to Mahler, TV 
pilot, Adoption shot in Romania for Hallmark Channel, Spotlight on Broadway for New York 
Mayor’s office of Media and Entertainment and the CBS-TV Emmy winning My Sergei filmed in 
Russia. One of the most memorable highlights of his career was meeting and filming Nelson 
Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa on the eve of his election as the first freely elected 
president for the Emmy award-winning HBO production, Arthur Ashe: Citizen of the World. 
In 2012 he received the Deluxe Bud Stone Award for Outstanding Educational Contributions to 
the Art and Craft of Cinematography from the International Cinematographers Guild. He holds a 
Masters in Fine Arts from NYU’s Tisch Graduate Institute Film, and a Bachelor of Arts (Mass 
Communications/International Relations) from the University of Denver. He is a frequent lecturer 
and panelist at colleges, universities, and industry professional symposiums. 

Andrew Jenks Entertainment Panel 


About: Festival Co-Founder, Andrew Jenks will be joined by members of his production team to share their experiences producing documentary films and tv shows.

Panelist 1: Andrew Jenks

At age 19, Andrew moved into an assisted living facility in order to capture the true essence of this often overlooked community. What started as a simple, low-­‐budget documentary turned into an international hit. ANDREW JENKS, ROOM 335, starring Jenks and a group of elderly facility residents, went on to win top prizes at a number of domestic and international film festivals. The film premiered in theaters and on television around the world. HBO released the film domestically in January 2008 to rave reviews and critical acclaim.

At 21-years-old, ESPN financed Andrew’s second film, THE ZEN OF BOBBY V, which tracked Bobby Valentine, an American baseball manager who has become a national icon in Japan. The film premiered at the 2008 TriBeca Film Festival. 

In 2010, Jenks created MTV’s WORLD OF JENKS, focusing on stories not normally told: from a young homeless woman, to a physically abused football star, to a young adult with Autism. Jenks imbeds wholeheartedly into disparate lives and in the process pioneers a new style of storytelling for the millennial generation. The series launch garnered over 5 million viewers, marking MTV's highest rated series launch ever. Season 2 of WORLD OF JENKS expanded to hour long episodes, as Jenks followed three subjects over the course of a year.

Panelist 2: Dan Zinn

Dan is an award-winning filmmaker in his own right and grew up in the suburbs of New York City. He began his work in film alongside Andrew Jenks as the Line Producer for Andrew Jenks, Room 335.

A graduate of Cornell University, Dan went on to work for IBM where he successfully completed their leadership development program.  Following a one-year stint on an international assignment in Beijing, China, Dan came back to the US and spent the next four months traveling the country on the back of a Harley Davidson.  A la "Motorcycle Diaries," Dan captured over 100 hours of footage and set the Guinness World Record for the longest motorcycle journey within a single country.

Dan has been a freelancer and consultant to AJE since 2005, before coming on-board full time in October 2013. During that time, Dan has worked on a myriad of projects and produced content from the highly-successful GANT web series It's About A Girl, to Posterized, a film for ESPN that was part of the Emmy-Award winning series, to the soon-to-be-released MAC Cosmetics feature film about HIV/AIDS, which was shot in India, South Africa, Barbados, and throughout America . Dan is also co-producing the upcoming Ryan Ferguson film. 

Dan is thrilled to be a part of the AJE team, where he is in charge of production for new content creation.

Panelist 3: Mike Sirekowski

Mike has been with AJE since the beginning, working on projects starting with the first season of World of Jenks in 2010. As Director of Photography, Mike now leads an extended team of cinematographers and audio technicians on each production undertaken: from the web series It’s About A Girl to feature length docs and films. A writer and filmmaker in his own right, Mike’s vision and creativity exemplify what AJE is all about.

Panelist 4: Chris Mirigliani (see above)