Robert Redford | director / producer
ROBERT REDFORD (Director/Producer) has received international acclaim for his work as a director, actor and producer, as well as for his efforts as a champion of independent film and as an environmentalist.
Redford won an Academy Award®, a Golden Globe Award and a Directors Guild of America Award, for his feature film directorial debut on the emotionally shattering family drama “Ordinary People (1980).” He went on to both direct and produce “The Milagro Beanfield War (1988)”; “A River Runs Through It (1992),” for which he garnered a Best Director Golden Globe nomination; “Quiz Show (1994),” earning dual Oscar® nominations for Best Picture and Best Director and another Golden Globe nomination for Best Director; and, most recently, “The Horse Whisperer (1998),” which brought him his fourth Golden Globe nod for Best Director. Also honored for his acting work, Redford received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Actor for his performance in “The Sting (1973).”
A strong advocate of independent filmmaking, Redford founded the Sundance Institute in 1980 as an organization “dedicated to the support and development of emerging screenwriters and directors of vision and to the national and international exhibition of new American independent cinema.” The Institute also sponsors the annual Sundance Film Festival, which is held every winter in Park City, Utah. From its modest beginnings, the Festival is now the most important venue for the presentation of independent film in the United States.
Ed Zwick | producer, director and screenwriter
Edward Zwick has been honored with an Oscar, three Emmys, the Humanitas Prize, the Writer’s Guild of America Award, two Peabody Awards and a Director’s Guild of America Award and more. Edward first attracted critical acclaim at the American Film Institute for his short film Timothy and the Angel before he found himself directing and producing for television. Together with Marshall Herskovitz, Edward created thirtysomething, My So-Called Life and Once and Again. In 1986, he began directing feature films with About Last Night… and went on to direct Oscar winners Glory and Legends of the Fall. His other directing credits include Leaving Normal, Courage Under Fire, The Siege and The Last Samuri, and his producing credits include Traffic, Blood Diamond and Shakespeare in Love, for which he won an Academy Award.
Liz Glotzer | president of Castle Rock Entertainment
In addition to supervising all aspects of production and development for Castle Rock Entertainment, Liz executive produced The Shawshank Redemption and Fracture. She most recently produced Dimension Films’ The Mist and Warner Brothers’ Music and Lyrics starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. During her tenure as president of Castle Rock, the company has produced over 80 films, including When Harry Met Sally, Misery,Honeymoon in Vegas, In the Line of Fire, A Few Good Men, City Slickers, Best In Showand Polar Express. Prior to joining Castle Rock, Liz was an executive at Samuel Goldwyn Company, where she was involved in a number of projects, including the sleeper hitMystic Pizza. She is a graduate of Bennington College and holds an M.F.A. from the University of Southern California’s Peter Stark Program.
David Skinner | executive producer of ShadowCatcher Entertainment
As the owner and manager of ShadowCatcher Entertainment, David is responsible for the company’s strategic and financial planning, as well as the development, financing and production of the company’s film and stage projects. He has worked as an Executive Producer on Smoke Signals, The Book of Stars, Getting To Know You, Game Six,Outsourced and The American Pastime. David has served as the president and chairman of the Board of Trustees for A Contemporary Theatre, as well as the chairman of the Seattle Theatre Group. He is currently serving on the Board and chairing the development committee for the Seattle Chinese Garden Society, the largest horticultural project of its kind outside of China, which involves design teams from China and the United States.
Chris McQuarrie | screenwriter
Christopher McQuarrie is well known for his collaboration with Bryan Singer on The Usual Suspects, which won him both the Oscar and the BAFTA Award. Christopher followed up his success by contributing to the shooting script for Singer’s big-budget, effects-laden comic-book adventure, X-Men in 2000. That same year, he marked his own directorial debut with The Way of the Gun, another crime thriller starring usual suspect Benicio Del Toro and veteran actor James Caan. Christopher began his successful screenwriting career as co-writer of the screenplay for Public Access (1993), which was named co-winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival.
Tim Girvin | principal of Girvin Design
Tim Girvin has been working as a brand strategist, designer, writer, photographer and illustrator for nearly forty years in the Pacific Northwest, nationally, as well as internationally at their offices. His focus is on storytelling — and seeking out the emotional link between the concept of enterprise, the branded form of commerce in community, and how engaging “telling” can be meaningfully orchestrated, resonantly reflected in an audience experience.
Michael Caldwell | director of motion picture productions for Vulcan
Michael Caldwell oversees development, production, and post-production of all feature films produced by Vulcan Productions. His primary focus is finding strong, creatively viable projects to produce as part of Vulcan’s slate of low budget films.
He has served as a production executive with New Line Cinema and Walt Disney Studios, where his credits included The Joy Luck Club and Miami Rhapsody.
Caldwell holds a B.A. degree in business and accounting from the University of Washington, Seattle, and an M.F.A. degree in Cinema/Television Production from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Gian-Carlo Scandiuzzi graduated from the Ecole Superieure D’Art Dramatique of Geneva where he worked in theater, film and television before moving to the United States in 1978. In 1979, Carlo started Modern Productions, a music production and promotion company, bringing to Seattle such legendary bands as The Police, Devo, Nina Hagen, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, John Cale, Robert Frip, James Brown, Muddy Waters and many more. In 1986, Carlo’s company Agate Films began producing feature films, among them, Prototype,Apex and Dark Drive. Carlo is CEO of Clear Pictures, a production company with offices in Seattle and Los Angeles, and is developing a new distribution company called IndieFlix. He lives in Seattle when not producing movies and enjoys the love and support of his wife, Lalie, and his children, Sebastien and Nathalie.
Currently, Ms. Minkarah serves as Senior Vice President of Revenue & Business Development for Fisher Communications, Inc., where she has corporate responsibility for revenues at Fisher television, radio and internet properties and was accountable for developing and implementing its digital strategy. In this role, she has successfully identified and launched revenue streams and initiatives that have dramatically grown revenues, increased shareholder value, and consistently exceeded market share forecasts.
Since joining Fisher Communications in 2002, Ms. Minkarah has held a series of roles of increasing responsibility, including leading business and market development initiatives and serving as the General Sales Manager of KOMO 4.
Ms. Minkarah is an active and energetic member of multiple professional and community boards including. She is a regular contributor to broadcast and digital conference and panel discussions. She earned her BFA in Broadcasting from the University of Cincinnati.
Chris Ackerley | co-founder Ackerley Partners
Chris Ackerley is a co-founder of Ackerley Partners, LLC. Prior to founding Ackerley Partners in 2002, he was the President of The Ackerley Group, Inc. and was also a member of its board of directors. He spearheaded the launch of Ackerley Ventures, a division of the company that focused on core media and entertainment operations. Chris has served on the board of directors of two of Ackerley Ventures’ former investments, FastChannel Network and i5 Digital. He currently serves on the board of governors of the Business Alliance For Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the World Trade Center of Seattle, Pacific Science Center, Downtown Seattle Association and The First Tee of Seattle. In addition, he is a member of the Northwest Chapter of the Young President’s Organization. In 2001, Chris was recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of the region’s most influential ”40 Under 40″ business leaders.
David D. Buck | principal of Riddell Williams P.S.
David is chair of Riddell Williams’ Real Estate Group and Non-Profit Group, vice president of the Seattle Chinese Garden Society and a trustee of the Frye Art Museum. He serves as vice chair of the Board of Trustees for ArtsFund and is a graduate of Leadership Tomorrow. David graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1971 and earned his J.D. with honors at Georgetown University Law Center in 1977. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the King County Bar Association and the Washington State Bar Association. He was named one of “Seattle’s Top Lawyers” by Seattle Magazine, one of “Seattle’s Top Business Lawyers” by Seattle Business Monthly, and a Super Lawyer® by Washington Law & Politics magazine.
Deb Person | managing director of the Seattle International Film Festival
Deb is a former SIFF staff member and a member of the Board Emeritus, as well as a Platinum Lifetime member of the organization. She was a member of the SIFF Group Board of Directors from 1999 to 2005 and served as board president for four years. She has worked in nonprofit arts administration in Seattle for the last 15 years, most recently working for House of Dames Productions as producing director. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she also studied theater management at Yale School of Drama. She is currently the board president of University Unitarian Church and managing director of Deus X Machina theatre company.
Heather Hughes | president at Three Hole Punch Productions
Heather Hughes is an award winning screenwriter and the president of Three Hole Punch Productions. She is a recipient of the Templeton Foundation Kairos Prize for Screenwriting, was awarded a Hedgebrook Residency, was a Sundance Institute finalist and is represented by the Nethercott Agency and literary agent Gayla Nethercott. She is a graduate of the the University of Washington with a BA in History with honors, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and an alum of The Film School.
Aron Michael Thompson
Aron Michael Thompson was born in Seattle, where he lives and works to this day. He is a financial advisor to a select group of Seattle area families, assisting them with wealth management, estate planning, and philanthropy. Aron is also a writer, actor, and executive producer for independent films, working not only on his own projects but supporting those of other artists as well. He has served on a variety of nonprofit organization boards, which currently include The Seattle Aquarium Society and The Film School.
Jesse Harris | Filmmaker & Executive Director of NFFTY
Jesse is leading the next generation of young and talented filmmakers. Variety agrees, and named Jesse one of 25 talents who transformed youth entertainment in 2009. Born and raised in Seattle, WA, Jesse has always been a fan of film, art and culture. At the age of 17, Jesse wrote, directed, financed and ultimately secured multi-city theatrical release for the feature length drama, Living Life. As a result of his experience making, releasing and distributing his own film, Jesse decided to create an organization to support other young filmmakers. In 2007 Jesse co-founded The National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY), a film festival and non-profit organization to support young filmmakers 22 and under. It is now the largest youth film festival in the world. Today, Jesse serves as Executive Director of NFFTY as well as working as a freelance director, writer and producer of commercials. His commercials have been seen on National TV, On-demand and on the web.