2020 Panelists




Born in Barcelona, Anna is a New York based cinematographer who has worked extensively in film and documentary. Anna has benefited from her background in Art History and Theory, from which she still draws a great deal of influence. Her most recent work, Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell”, won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature and a Golden Globe for Best Actress. Other of her feature film work includes “Buck run” which premiered at Palm Springs International Film Festival 2019, and “Indiana” which was selected at Sitges International Film Festival, and Fantasia Film Festival among others. Anna’s work has also played in festivals such as Sundance Film Festival, Oldenburg International Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, Docs Barcelona, Hamptons International Film Festival.



Mark A. Terry is a Production Designer, Art Director, and Graphic Artist for Film & TV. His professional experience has accumulated over 10 years & 40+ productions in an array of capacities. He has worked for numerous production companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Quibi, Lifetime, Sony, CBS, PBS, Showtime, along with many others. He currently resides in Mobile, AL, and continuously works throughout the south east region. He is a member of IATSE local 478 & Local 800-Art Directors Guild.



Originally from Spain, Nieves Garcia Perchin is a Script Supervisor and Director based in NYC. She studied film for six years, including a Master’s from Boston University. Nieves discovered script supervising in Spain when she felt she had to cover that role because of the importance of continuity in one specific scene. That led to 4-year experience in shorts, features, TV shows, and commercials. She works digitally and loves both the technical and creative side of script supervising, as well as the close work required with every department. She is part of the Filmshop Community, the Sandbox Workshop, and an official screener for the Female Voices Rock Film Festival.



Born and raised in NY; Derek is a graduate of H.S of Art & Design and NYC Technical college with a degree in Art & Advertising. He’s freelanced for the last 7yrs in the Grip & Electric department as well as part-time at Scheimpflug rentals. His experience encompasses short and feature-length works as well as commercial and still photography. His main goal is to write and direct his own works in the future.



Crystal graduated from UC Berkeley in 2012 before moving to Los Angeles, where she began her career working in post-production in documentary and reality television. She now works as an assistant editor in film and TV in NYC, having worked on projects such as “Lady Bird,” “Search Party,” “Russian Doll,” and the upcoming Charlie Kaufman film “I’m Thinking of Ending Things.”



Cidney Hue is a director and filmmaker in NYC with a focus on building inclusive futures through science fiction. Her most recent award-winning film, Ovum, is a Black Mirror-Esque short on the convergence of reproductive rights and VR technology. Her previous award-winning short, Odessa, recounts the journey of an astronaut’s last night on Earth. Her web series for Wired & Reddit, Cyborg Nation, profiles scientists at the forefront of prosthetics, robotics, and brain-computer interfaces. Her environmental documentary, Shark Loves the Amazon, toured nationally and premiered at the World Sustainability Forum to leaders and policymakers. Cidney serves as the Director of 360 Video at NSENA and has traveled across the US to film VR for law enforcement and corrections training. She teaches filmmaking at NYU’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. Cidney founded NYC Women Filmmakers in 2015, where she leads its monthly workshop series and its thousands-strong grassroots community to support women and non-binary filmmakers in New York. In her spare time, Cidney designs and creates art, sets, and futuristic visions from her imagination. She can often be found traveling the world with her camera in tow, capturing Earth’s most spectacular natural phenomenons. Her lifelong goal is to visit space by 2050 so you should email her if you have an extra seat on your rocketship.



Pulkit Datta is a film producer, director, programmer, and community organizer. He has worked on the creative development and production of a range of international projects, including scripted films, documentaries, commercials, short films, music videos, and multimedia campaigns. Pulkit is active in the filmmaking community, setting up incubator initiatives for South Asian filmmakers, and as a member of Asian American Doc Network, Center for Asian American Media, and as an alum of IFP and the Impact Partners Producing Fellowship. He serves as a consultant and programmer for several film festivals and events working towards greater South Asian inclusion in the mainstream. He is also the Artistic Director of the Tasveer South Asian Film Festival, which is part of the Coalition of South Asian Film Festivals (CoSAFF) 2020.



Sola Fasehun works in Film/TV sales, distribution, producing, music, and event planning in NYC. She graduated undergrad with college and university honors from Carnegie Mellon University with a BHA degree. After CMU, Sola moved to LA and worked under Academy Award winning producer Michael Phillips (Taxi Driver, The Sting) in Beverly Hills. She also began an independent film company: Fasehun Films.



Iman Zawahry is an American-Muslim female writer/director who has worked on numerous films that have played at over 100 venues worldwide. She has worked as a producer on the feature film Paperback with Moonlight producer Adele Romanski and Sundance alum Adam Bowers.  Her short film “Tough Crowd” won an Emmy Award and qualified her as a finalist in the NBC Comedy Short Cuts to pitch a sitcom with NBC executives. She is the recipient of the coveted Princess Grace Award for her film “Undercover” and was selected as a Lincoln Center New York Film Festival Artist Academy Fellow in 2015. Iman also collaborated with the non-profit Islamic Scholarship Fund to create the first-ever American Muslim film grant where she currently serves as director. Iman works to amplify the underrepresented female voice. She wrote and directed her debut feature film American.ish, currently in production with a majority female crew. She is a professor of production at the University of Florida.



Kristin P Lovell is a lifelong New Yorker and member of the trans community she has advocated for her people for over 20 years. She was a co-founder of  FIERCE, a long-time staff at Sylvia’s Place shelter, and co-founder of the WRRQ Collective. Over the past decade, Kristen has been pursuing her dream to be an actress, and filmmaker. Kristen has been featured in HBO’S RANDOM ACTS OF FLYNESS, TALES OF THE CITY, and NBC’S THE STONEWALL REVOLUTION DOCUMENTARY. The film she co-produced “The Garden Left Behind” was just named one of the 200 greatest LGBTQ films of all time by Rotten Tomatoes. The film, which she co-produced and appears in as an actress, won countless awards including the SXSW Audience Award 2019, Kristen is also the founder of The Trans Filmmakers Project and a film at Lincoln centers artist academy member 2019.



Born in California and raised in Nebraska, Ashley Eakin is a writer-director with a physical disability. This year she was 1 of 8 women selected for the AFI Directing Workshop for Women and her project SINGLE was selected for the SXSW 2020 Film Festival and received the Special Jury Recognition Award. Eakin was also the recipient of the New York Women in Film Loreen Arbus Disability Awareness Grant. In 2019 Eakin worked for and shadowed Mark Pellington on the Quibi series SURVIVE filmed in the Italian Alps starring Sophie Turner. Prior to this, Eakin was the assistant to film director Jon M. Chu. In 2017 she spent 5 months in Malaysia and Singapore working on his critically-acclaimed box-office hit CRAZY RICH ASIANS. Eakin’s short documentary THE DETAILS, featuring Henry Golding and Awkwafina was selected for the 2018 Hamilton Film Festival and her short film BLUE premiered at the 2019 LA Shorts Fest. Eakin is represented by United Talent Agency and Artists First Management.



ROY WOL (p.g.a) is a filmmaker with a visual disability, Amblyopia, and an LGBTQ advocate. Having grown up in 5 countries before ending up in the US, as a cross-cultural Turkish-Latinx-Sephardic producer, he is driven by the idea of bridging communities. His latest film “The Garden Left Behind” won the 2019 SXSW Audience Award and is one of the “Top LGBTQ films of all time” (by Rotten Tomatoes). Roy is the founder of the border, genre, and platform-agnostic IP development and production company Autonomous Pictures, whose latest projects include: 2020 IFP Episodic Lab sci-fi series “Autom Reign” by Sundance Alumni Sofian Khan, Yes, And…Laughter Lab finalist Roddenberry Impact Award-winning “Muslim Girls DTF” among many others. He’s a 2020 SXSW & NALIP Mentor; 2019 GLAAD Media Fellow; 2019 ReelWorks Mentor; 2018 Hollywood Radio and Television Mentor; 2017 IFP Narrative Lab Fellow; 2017 Trans Filmmakers Project Mentor; 2016 Harlem Cinema School Mentor. His projects include: Academy Nominees, Golden Lion Winners, NYFF Academy Artists, Princess Grace, Sundance, SXSW, TIFF, Golden Globe, Spirit Award, and Ryan Murphy’s Half Initiative fellows.



Flavio Alves is a Brazilian writer and film director. He was granted political asylum in the United States in 1998. Shortly thereafter, he attended Columbia University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science. After graduating, Alves worked as an assistant to then-New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY). In 2007, Flavio returned to school to study film production at NYU, where he received the Technosphere Award for Outstanding Achievement. His debut feature film, The Garden Left Behind (2019), premiered at SXSW, where it won the Audience Award. In 2018, Alves received The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Artist Academy fellowship, and in 2019, he was selected to Ryan Murphy’s HALF Initiative Directing Program, aimed at creating equal opportunities for minorities behind the camera. He is also the recipient of grants from numerous organizations, including the New York State Council on the Arts PEN America and Jerome Foundation.



Chester Algernal Gordon (Producer & Costume Designer): In 2019 Gordon became the first gender non-binary African-American costume designer to compete in competition at Cannes Film Festival with “Port Authority”. In the last 4 years they’ve produced a fleet of acclaimed short films and a feature documentary called “Pier Kids”. Gordon was also a winner of the Tribeca Film Institute’s 2019, TFI All Access Grant and TFI Pond5 Program. Gordon is a Film Independent 2019 Producing Lab & Fast Track Lab fellow. Gordon’s films have been official selection and won many awards in over 200 festivals combined including Berlin, SXSW, BFI, Outfest, New Orleans, Cleveland, Athens, Palm Springs, Blackstar, and the American Black Film Festival. They’re also a producer for the MIPCOM 2018 winner – GLAAD nominated documentary TV series, “My House”, on Viceland. Gordon’s latest shorts “Buck” and “Ship” are Sundance Film Festival 2020 world premieres.



Brian Newman, the founder of Sub-Genre, consults on content development, distribution, and marketing to help connect brands with filmmakers with audiences. Clients include: Patagonia, REI, IBM, Yeti Coolers, New York Times, Shopify Studios, Stripe, Unilever, and Zero Point Zero. Brian is the producer of The Outside Story (Tribeca Film Festival, 2020), and Love & Taxes, and executive producer of Shored Up. Brian has served as CEO of the Tribeca Film Institute and is the founder of the Brand/Foundation Alliance.



Glen Reynolds founded Circus Road Films in 2006 to provide strategic advisory services to filmmakers. Circus Road guides filmmakers through the festival and distribution process and negotiates licensing agreements on their behalf. Glen has participated in the sales of over 700 narrative and documentary feature films with many films premiering at Sundance, Slamdance, SXSW, Tribeca, Hot Docs, Fantastic, Telluride and Toronto. Distributors of these films include Fox, Sony, Universal, Lions Gate, Magnolia, IFC, Strand, Oscilloscope, Drafthouse, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, Starz, Lifetime, ESPN and Syfy.  Glen has also co-produced twenty films to date including Conversations with Other Women starring Aaron Eckhart, Helena Bonham Carter, and Olivia Wilde.  Glen holds a JD from the University of Texas at Austin, a BA in English from NYU, and is a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York.



Rabia Sultana is a British-Pakistani film producer working in NYC and LA. Select credits include: “Angelfish” (TIFF Next Wave, rapper Princess Nokia’s feature film debut); “Extra Innings” (Winner Best Feature Manhattan Film Film Festival); “Interference” (NBC/Universal Film Festival, BAMCinematek New Voices in Black Cinema Festival); “Friendly Neighborhood Coven” (DUMBO Film Festival, Golden State Film Festival), “Ladies Lounge” (Winner Los Angeles Cinefest, Oaxaca Film Festival). She also worked on the 2019 Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard winner, “The Climb” and produced the comedy films “Are You Happy Now” (Josh Ruben, Catherine Curtin, Danny Johnson), and The Truth About Santa Claus” (Michael Winslow, Kevin Brown, Kevin P. Farley, Judy Gold).



Simon TaufiQue is a producer, composer, educator, and sometimes festival programmer. Simon entered the film world working with notable filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan. He later worked on projects by Julia Roberts, Daniel Radcliffe, Julian Casablancas, and Mary Harron. Recent films that have screened at top festivals and released globally include: The Weight of Gold (HBO), The Interpreters, an award-winning PBS Independent Lens documentary, The New Yorker Presents (Sundance ‘17), She’s Lost Control (Winner – Berlinale ‘14, SXSW ‘14, Independent Spirit Awards ‘15), Imperium (Lionsgate/Universal), and Jesus Henry Christ (eOne). Simon recently created a Producing certificate program for NYU as well as teaching Film & TV Producing at the university. He has been profiled in Medium, NBC News, ASCAP,  mentioned in Rolling Stone, Deadline, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Spin, and IndieWire. Simon is a member of the Producers Guild, board member of HRTS (NY), has served on the jury at Bermuda International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival’s Programming Committee, and a two-time Sundance Lab finalist (Creative Producing Lab and Feature Film Composing lab).



International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/Paramount. Jen is the author of three books, Story Line: Finding Gold in Your Life Story, TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells, and Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success. Grisanti started her career in 1992 as an assistant to Aaron Spelling. He served as her mentor for 12 years, and she quickly climbed the ranks and eventually ran Current Programs at Spelling Television Inc., covering all of Spelling’s shows including Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place and Charmed. In 2004, Grisanti received a promotion to Vice President of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount, where she covered numerous shows, including Medium, Numbers, NCIS, 4400, and Girlfriends.



DAVID FRANCE is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker, New York Times bestselling author, and award-winning investigative journalist. His directorial debut, HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE, is hailed as an innovative and influential piece of storytelling and is regularly screened in university classrooms, and by community groups and AIDS service organizations. Appearing on over 20 “Best of the Year” lists, including Time and Entertainment Weekly, the documentary earned a GLAAD Award and top honors from the Gotham Awards, the International Documentary Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics, and the Provincetown Film Festival, among many others. After a theatrical run reaching over 30 cities, HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE was aired on PBS’ Independent Lens, reaching an audience of millions and garnering Academy and Emmy nominations and a Peabody Award. His 2017 film, THE DEATH & LIFE OF MARSHA P. JOHNSON, a Netflix Original Documentary, won numerous festival prizes and was awarded the Outfest “Freedom Award” and a special jury recognition from Sheffield International Documentary Festival. Critics put it on multiple “Best of the Year” lists (and gave it a 96% ranking on Rotten Tomatoes). David’s latest book, also titled HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE (Knopf, 2016), received the Baillie Gifford Prize for best nonfiction book published in the English Language. In addition, France has seen his journalistic work inspire several films, including the Peabody-winning Showtime film SOLDIER’S GIRL, based on his New York Times Magazine story of the transgender girlfriend of a soldier killed in an anti-gay attack. And earlier this year, David premiered his critically acclaimed new film WELCOME TO CHECHNYA at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the special jury award for documentary editing. Reviewers have called it “gripping, essential viewing” and “this is tour de force documentary filmmaking on a level rarely seen and experienced.”



Smriti Mundhra is an Academy Award-nominated director/producer and one of DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40 Filmmakers to Watch. Her latest film, St. Louis Superman , has been nominated for a 2020 Academy Award in the short documentary category. Her debut feature, the documentary A Suitable Gir l , world premiered in competition at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival to rave reviews from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, New York Magazine and was awarded the Albert Maysles Best Documentary Director prize at the festival. Smriti also helmed ad campaigns for Google, the United Nations and Bumble (starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas). She created and executive produced Indian Matchmaking, an eight-part Netflix original documentary series currently streaming on the platform.



James Ivory is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. For many years he worked extensively with Indian-born film producer Ismail Merchant, his domestic as well as professional partner, and with screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. All three were principals in Merchant Ivory Productions, whose films have won six Academy Awards; Ivory himself has been nominated for four Oscars, winning one. Ivory’s directorial work includes A Room with a View, Maurice, Howards End, and The Remains of the Day. For his work on Call Me by Your Name, which he wrote and produced, Ivory won awards for Best Adapted Screenplay from the Academy Awards, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Writers Guild of America, the Critics’ Choice Awards, and the Scripter Awards, among others. Upon winning the Oscar and BAFTA at the age of 89, Ivory became the oldest-ever winner in any category for both awards.



Kevin Wilson, Jr. is an Oscar Nominated and Student Academy Award Winning Filmmaker based in New York City. His first works as a filmmaker came shortly after directing a sold-out play as an undergraduate student in North Carolina. Since that time, his short films have screened at Film Festivals all over the world including the 55th New York Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival, and HollyShorts Film Festival where he won Best Director. In 2017, he won the Gold Medal at the 44th Student Academy Awards for his short film, “My Nephew Emmett,” a 20-minute short film based on the true story of the 1955 murder of Emmett Till. Months later, “My Nephew Emmett” was nominated for an Oscar for BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM at the 90th Academy Awards. “My Nephew Emmett” also won Wilson a Directors Guild of America Student Film Award and a BAFTA Student Film Award. Having just received an M.F.A. in Film Production from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, he is in development for his debut feature film.