Ithaca College Workshop-  10:00 am to 11:15am

Description: Come with us on whirlwind tour of creative development, sponsor funding, production, post-production, and distribution of film and video content by studios large and small.  Case studies, clips, and Q&A presented by Carol Jennings, Gautam Singhani, and Zeke Spector.  


Carol Jennings is Director of the Park Media Lab at Ithaca College.  She guides students, professionals and alumni who collaborate on media projects for local and international audiences.  She oversees The Studio, a creative incubator for students who are interested in producing content for the entertainment industry, and Park Productions, an award-winning media production company staffed by students.   The Lab's team has made narrative and documentary feature films and shorts, commercials, educational outreach and strategic campaigns for broadcast and streaming.  Websites  and

Facebook @ParkProductionsIthacaCollege and @IthacaCollegeTheStudio

Gautam Singhani has worked with NBCUniversal, Food Network, Immortal Cinema, and The Art of Living all over New York, Los Angeles, and India. Gautam’s experience in the film and entertainment industry spans the areas of production management, production logistics, production budget analysis, vendor management, post-production supervision, and global marketing strategy.  His most recent credits include assisting on “Fast 8,” directed by Gary Gray; “Ghostbusters 3,” directed by George Aguilar; “Sully,” directed by Clint Eastwood, and “Gotham” for Fox and “Elementary” for CBS.  He’s a graduate of Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications with a BS in Cinema Production.  

Zeke Spector is a video producer and editor for Vice Media, Inc.  Zeke has experience in all phases of video production: from pre-production and conception through post-production and distribution.  He can take an idea and shape it from paper to the big screen, television screen, and the mobile screen.  Zeke is a graduate of Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications with a BS in Cinema Production.  

NYFA - Hook'em and haunt'em

 11:30am to 12:45pm



Description: Creating a great opening and closing for your movie is one of the most important aspects of giving your audience an intense emotional experience. In Hook'Em and Haunt'Em we'll screen clips from shorts and feature length work to explore cinematic techniques used to grab your audience's attention early in the film and leave them thinking about yoru movie long after they've left the theater. 


Ben Cohen is a Brooklyn-based comedy filmmaker and teacher. Born in the Bay Area, raised in Atlanta, Ben Cohen has been writing and directing since 2004 and teaching since 2009.

He attended the undergraduate University of North Carolina Wilmington film school and graduated from Georgia State University with an M.A. in Film Production & Screenwriting. He also studied Sketch and Improv Comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade, Annoyance, and Reckless Theaters as well as French Culture at The University of Paris - La Sorbonne.

Ben has screened and performed in film and comedy festivals around the country. He has also appeared on CNN, College Humor, and The Examiner who called him, “One of the best filmmakers Atlanta has and will produce.” He is also an active member of the WGA-E.

You can see Ben perform Improvised Action Movies at Reckless Theatre on Thursdays at 7 pm. 



Prodigy Camp - (Details to follow shortly)  1:00pm to 2:15pm

The Prodigy Camp Presents THE SECRET OF NINES- What is ’the secret’ that only the world’s best young filmmakers know when it comes to making award wining films? What makes their work rise above the pack?  Every year The Prodigy Camp searches the globe for 20 of the world’s top young teen filmmakers.  Every year these young filmmakers make a film in NINE SHORT HOURS at camp largely without make-up, official costumes or props, or budgets.  So why do these little films made by 12-18 year olds consistently beat out larger budgeted shorts made by well- equipped university film school students when it comes to getting into the world’s top film festivals?  Come find out THE SECRET OF NINES and how 20 of the most promising teens filmmakers are selected from around the world every year.  Featuring director/writer/producer and Prodigy Camp director, Rick Stevenson*, and recent Prodigy Campers.

Host: Rick Stevenson Director/Writer/Producer

Rick Stevenson has produced, written and/or directed twelve feature films and nearly 100 hours of television.  He has worked with Robert Redford, Hugh Grant, Christopher Plummer, Keifer Sutherland, Meg Ryan, Patrick Dempsey, Jennifer Connelly, Mark Harmon and many others.  He has created, hosted, directed, written and/or produced over 100 hours of television.  He is Founder of The School of Life Project which is now in ten countries and features 300 kids.  He also co-founded thefilmschool with Tom Skerritt and Stewart Stern and is director of its annual PRODIGY CAMP for the 20 most talented young filmmakers in the world.  He has won over 40 awards for his work in film, television and commercials.  He holds a doctorate from Oxford University, a master’s degree from The London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree from Whitman. Rick is married with four children.   Contact:


Blackmagic Design "A Day in the Life of a professional filmmaker" - 2:30pm to 3:45pm 


Over her career, Cirina Catania has done nearly everything in the film business. She has worked on Hollywood blockbusters. She co-founded the Sundance Film Festival co-founder. And she has spent the past years shooting documentaries that have taken her all over the US and even down the Amazon River. 

Having worked on films ranging from James Bond action flicks to pursuing her passion of creating a new documentary looking at life of a wounded Marine, Cirinia knows what it takes to get a film done. 

Cirina will take the experiences she has gained and will discuss what a day in the life of a professional filmmaker truly means. And will help young filmmakers understand what it really means to plan and create a film. This includes the basics of planning a new film, the importance of choosing the right camera and how to get the most out of any camera choice. And she will do all of this by giving real life examples taken from her own shooting of the past two years.   

Cirina will also provide practical advice for young filmmakers in terms of how go and get started as a filmmaker. Creating an amazing film is no longer about how much technology you can afford, but about a person’s talent as a filmmaker. There is nothing stopping young filmmakers from going out and shooting, and Cirina will provide advice on how to do that.

Host: Cirina Catania

Cirina Catania is Writer, Director, Journalist and former marketing executive with a long history of success in both the major studio and independent film environment. She is one of the co-founders and former director of the Sundance Film Festival. She is a futurist and a digital distribution specialist.

Catania's production credits include National Geographic's "Nat Geo's Most Amazing Photos" as writer/field producer, Nat Geo's "Top Ten Photos of 2011," 12-part series for Discovery Channel, "Southern Steel;" 13 episodes of Lifetime's " Merge," 16 episodes of "Worst Case Scenario," for Columbia Television, 6 episodes of "Untold Stories from the ER," for TLC; and 2 episodes of "Animal Kidding," for Animal Planet.

She produces stories about interesting people worldwide. You can see a few of them (Danny Glover, Ang Lee, Morgan Freeman, John Singleton, etc.) on her YouTube channel, "BrenCara Films" or on Vimeo.

Cirina has produced and directed numerous marketing campaigns in various capacities for over 100 major motion-pictures and mini-series including, "Rainman," "Tombstone," "Stargate," "Yentl," "The Arrival," "Les Miserables," "Rocky IV," four James Bond films beginning with "A View to a Kill," "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures," "Poltergeist III," "2010," "Hamlet," and "Total Recall."
Cirina is an active member of the Producer's Guild of America, the Writer's Guild of America and IA Local 600.