Industry Experts to Share Expertise at ATLFF Creative Conference

Born out of the CINformation Seminar Series of festivals past, this year’s newly-minted Creative Conference has built upon our year-round education programming in an effort to create indispensable learning experiences that help foster growth as filmmakers and artists. Creative Conference is a unique opportunity for upcoming filmmakers, festival goers, newcomers and members of the greater community alike to learn from industry experts.

The 2014 Creative Conference touts a lineup that tackles a vast array of subjects from structuring a screenplay, navigating the film festival circuit, new media, and marketing a film to a Master Class with two-time Oscar®-nominated animator Bill Plympton.  All Creative Conference sessions are led by experts in their field. 

Creative Conference will take place Monday, March 31 through Friday, April 4 at the historic Plaza Theatre and 7 Stages festival partner venues. 

A Note from the Programmer

"The basic building blocks of the art and business of filmmaking are words. They define what it is we’re trying to say and create. In the form of a screenplay, words are the foundation—the blueprint—for film artists, on which they build their highest ambitions. Screenplays are so important that we thought we’d kick off this year’s Creative Conference with two sessions to both celebrate and demystify them.

It sounds cliché to say it takes a village, but any artist knows that once a concept is imagined, it takes many minds, hands and hearts to bring that vision to life.

Putting this Creative Conference together was a collaborative effort between my predecessor, Christopher Sailor, and myself. Chris did so much to lay the foundation for us in his role as the educational series programmer and just this year, he’s passed the baton. We look forward to growing, as the CINformation series transitions into this new Creative Conference.

Much like the process of filmmaking itself, we hope this conference is a never-ending learning experience that helps foster your growth as an artist.

Let us know what you think about the seminars and what topics you’d like to see discussed in our future events."

Looking forward to seeing you around!
Sue-Ellen Chitunya — Programmer of Education

Click here for more information on the 2014 Screenplay Competition

Day 1 - Monday, March 31

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM at The Plaza Theatre – How to Structure and Develop Your Screenplay
If you’ve never heard of Syd Field, you’ve got to attend this panel. Our featured panelists will help you get a grip on basic screenplay structure. Even if you learned long ago that you need to save the cat, we’ll help you brush up on the fundamentals. Featuring Michael Lucker (Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron, Vampire In Brooklyn, Mulan II), Brian Egeston (The Rickey Smiley Show, Tyler Perry's House of Payne, Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns), Matt R. Lorh (Dan O'Bannon's Guide to Screenplay Structure), and moderated by Anthony McHie a member of Atlanta Screenwriters Group.

11:30 AM - 12:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre – From YouTube's Indy Mogul to Tips on Navigating the Film Festival Circuit: A Conversation with Griffin Hammond
For years, Griffin Hammond has been teaching aspiring filmmakers the ins and outs of low-budget filmmaking on his Indy Mogul YouTube channel. At this panel, Hammond reveals some of his favorite Indy Mogul moments. He also discusses the challenges of producing and distributing his recent film, Sriracha (Food On Film block 3/30), which is now making its festival rounds.

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre – Packaging & Marketing your Screenplay
Your script is finally complete.  Now what? Learn strategies for polishing your final draft and how to package it. Featuring Takashi Doescher (Writer and Director), Mike Malloy (Writer), and script consultant Faith Kakulu (The Gersh Agency), .

3:00 PM - 4:15 PM at The Plaza Theatre – The Sessions Workshop
The Atlanta Film Festival’s new workshop is an intensive, 6-month program aimed at developing the talents of local writers, producers, directors, and actors. Find out more about the program’s methods and benefits during this in-depth discussion with its organizers and participants.

Day 2 - Tuesday, April 1

10:00 AM – 11:15 AM at The Plaza Theatre – DEMO: Cameras with PC&E (FREE!)
Seating is first come, first served.

11:30 AM – 12:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre – DEMO: Inside the Grip Truck (FREE!)
Seating is first come, first served.

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre – DEMO: Post Production (FREE!)
Seating is first come, first served.

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM at 7 Stages Theatre – Bill Plympton Master Class
Bill Plympton shows clips of his work and discusses his career as an independent animator. Free Plympton sketch for everyone in attendance! Moderated by Linda Beck.

3:00 PM – 4:15 PM at The Plaza Theatre – DEMO: Sound for Indies (FREE!)
Seating is first come, first served.

Day 3 - Wednesday, April 2

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM at The Plaza Theatre – TRANSITIONS: Actor to Director / Short to First Feature
Get some insight on how to successfully navigate the transition from a short filmmaker to a feature filmmaker. Featuring Rashaad Enersto Green (Gun Hill Road, Grimm), Juli Jackson, director of 45RPM (Tue 4/1), Kristjan Knigge, director of the The Right Juice (Sun 3/30), and moderated by Darrell Hazelrig (Actor and Director)

11:30 AM - 12:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre – Demystifying the Role of a Producer
Get inside the minds of producers who have worked in every aspect of production. From independent/studio films to television to commercials to industrials, these producers will talk with you about the ins and outs of each medium. They’ll share experiences & how their responsibilities shift depending on the medium. Featuring Jeanine Hunter (Discovery Communications), Bailey Barash (CNN), Tommy Oliver, producer and director of 1982 (Sat 4/ 5), and Moderated by Melissa Randle (Associate Producer).

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre – Demystifying SAG-AFTRA low Budget Agreements
Interested in shooting your upcoming indie project with SAG-AFTRA talent but have questions about how to go about it? SAGindie’s Eliza Hajek will explain SAG-AFTRA low budget contracts in this one-hour workshop.

3:00 PM - 4:15 PM at The Plaza Theatre – DEMO: DIY Lighting Design with Ly Bolia (FREE!)
Lighting on a limited budget. Learn economical tricks to build your own lights without compromising the professional look of your film. Featuring Ly Bolia (cinematographer, writer, director). Seating is first come, first served.

4:30 PM - 5:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre —  Legal Matters
Learn how to avoid common legal pitfalls as an independent filmmaker. Featuring Andrew Velcoff (Entertainment and New Media Laws), Shannon Nash (Tax and Non-Profit laws), and Intellectual Property Magazine’s Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year Joe Beck (Intellectual Property, Copyright,and Consumer Product Safety). Moderated by Melissa Randle.

Day 4 - Thursday, April 3

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM at The Plaza Theatre — New Media: Content creation for multiple platforms
Screens are everywhere, in all different sizes. Learn how savvy media makers create content to take advantage of the varying types of platforms and the engagement they allow. Presented by Elizabeth Strickler (GSU Digital Arts and Entertainment Lab) and Amani Channel (Visual Eye Media).

11:30 PM - 12:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre — Production Accounting
Learn how to manage production budgets, maintain common filmmaking financial records, and tax incentive documentation. Presented by Cheryl Jenkins, founder & CEO of PACS International (Production Accounting & Crew Services International).

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre — Conversation with ATL documentarians Jon Watts and Brantly Jackson Watts
The creators of AKA Blondie (ATLFF 2012) relate the inspiration and execution of their new documentary series of curated shorts, Homespun Series. The anthology series showcases Atlanta personalities created by local filmmakers.

3:00 PM - 4:15 PM at The Plaza Theatre — Documentary Discussions
Documentary filmmakers provide perspective on producing and marketing documentaries in the ever-changing marketplace. Featuring Daniel Robin (My Olympic Summer 2008 Sundance Grand Jury), Brantly Jackson Watts (ATLFF14 Filmmaker in residence), and Thomas Allen Harris, director of Through A Lens Darkly (Fri 4/4).

4:30 PM - 5:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre — Financing for Indies 
Independent filmmaking is tricky. Following the money trail can be complicated and challenging. This panel discussion will focus on entertainment tax credits, various film financing methods and pitfalls, as well as elements that filmmakers can keep in mind for the bigger picture of their projects. Featuring Elton Brand (Executive Producer), John Cones (Film Finance Attorney), and Matthew Baxter (CEO of StaxExchange).

Day 5 - Friday, April 4

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM at The Plaza Theatre — The Art and Logistics of Creating and Placing Music in Media 
PARMA Licensing is pleased to present “The Art and Logistics of Creating and Placing Music in Media,” a panel addressing the integral role that music plays in film, television, and advertisements, in addition to the logistics, legalities, and coordination that comes with the territory. Our panelists of music professionals will cover everything from the necessary steps that are involved with licensing pre-recorded music for a project, to contracting and working with a composer. Please join us for this fascinating discussion featuring Danya Levine (Supervising Producer, CNN), Gina Barboza ( Director of Music Licensing & Development, Turner Entertainment Networks), Richard Devine (Owner, Composer and Sound Designer, Devinesound) and moderated by Jake Weinreb (Managing Director, PARMA Licensing LLC).

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM at The Plaza Theatre — Festival Programmer Super Panel Smackdown!
Festival & conference programmers Erik Jambor (Indie Memphis), Michelle Emanuel (Oxford Film Festival), and Erin Hallagan (Austin Film Festival & Screenwriters Conference) discuss the deadly sins of panel programming, the rise of the social media peanut gallery, and the etiquette of approaching programmers with your film at a festival.

11:30 AM - 12:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre — Sustaining Yourself as an Actor in the Atlanta Market
A casual conversation with Casting Directors Alpha Tyler and Rebecca Shregger of People Store, as well as actors Rob Pralgo and E.Roger Mitchell. This interactive and informative panel discussion will cover topics including auditioning etiquette, preparing for roles, overview of various resources available for actors, and tips that will get you to working actor status in the production booming Atlanta market.

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre — Networking Etiquette
Ever wondered how to navigate your way through events, professional outings or social media platforms? Get tips on how to place your best foot forward as you mingle and build potential future business relationships. Featuring Melissa Randle (Advisory Bd Member - WIFTA & Past President 2008-2009), Barry Brandon (Artist), Amani Channel (Visual Eye Media), and moderated by Kyle Collins (Multimedia Journalist).

3:00 PM - 4:15 PM at The Plaza Theatre — Post Film Festival Circuit: Maximizing the Life of Your film
You made your film, had some success on the festival circuit, and may have even scored a short distribution cycle. What happens next? If Hollywood doesn't come calling do you have a plan? Get some sustainability insight from Jay Edwards (Aqua Teen Hunger Force).

4:30 PM - 5:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre — A Conversation With The Hawkins Brothers
Zeke & Simon grew up in Darien, CT. Zeke graduated from the American Film Institute and Brown University, and worked as the director’s assistant to Bennett Miller on the Oscar winning film "Capote." For his AFI thesis film, "Equestrian Sexual Response," Zeke was nominated for a Student Academy Award. Simon graduated from NYU’s Tisch School for Film & TV. He worked for GOOD Magazine, creating web video content, and has directed many award winning short films and music videos. "We Gotta Get Out of this Place" (Fri 4/4) is their first feature film. It  premiered at TIFF and won the Audience Award at AFI Fest. It's been called 'a special piece of filmmaking' by Renegade Cinema, 'criminally good' by Hitfix, 'a terrific film' by Indiewire, and 'one of my favorite movies of 2013' by Ain't it Cool News.

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM at 7 Stages Theatre — Music Video Panel Presented by Y'allywood (FREE!)
Join us for a panel discussion with filmmakers from this years Atlanta Film Festival Music Video Competition. We will screen the selected music videos of panelists and have a open discussion regarding collaboration with musicians and strategies for distribution. Panelists Include: Video Rahim & Ashley Simpson w/ 'Hallucination Generation -The Biters,' Josh Yoder w/ 'Go Softly -Jungol,' John Henderson w/ 'Plans -Dead! Wait?,' Tomasz Wlazinski w/ 'Melt -KAMP!,' Brady Bigalke w/ 'Switzerland -The Dewars' and Josh Mckie w/ 'His Eyes Are Closed -Kathleen Mary Lee.' Panel Moderated by Michelle Louise Bird. Seating is first come, first served.

Creative Conference Panelist Biographies

  • Anthony McHie is a highly active member in the independent film community. Mr. McHie has formed a body of work that reflects his sensibility as a storyteller as well as his creative dexterity. Accustomed to all sides of the camera, he’s gathered a holistic knowledge of the visual medium. His commitment to the many facets of filmmaking has refined what he believes to be the most important phase – screenwriting. He’s played script doctor to countless short stories and screenplays in addition to writing dozens of shorts and 8 features of his own.  He’s also a regular at the Atlanta Screenwriters Group.
  • Bailey Barash is an independent filmmaker.  She began in local Atlanta TV, and in 1980 moved on to CNN. In 19-years at CNN she advanced from Production Assistant to Senior Executive Producer, generating news, features and documentaries and leading a team of journalists in award-winning programming.  In 1999 she formed her own production company.In addition to her independent films, Barash produces videos and media for non-profits, social service agencies, community organizations and corporations.  She shoots, writes and produces stories she believes must be told. Winner of two CINE Golden Eagle Awards, Barash’s productions have screened at film festivals worldwide.
  • Brantly Jackson Watts is a Writer and Producer for Half Pint Productions, LLC, an Atlanta based film production company she operates with husband Jon. In 2012, Brantly premiered her highly anticipated documentary feature, “AKA Blondie,” at the Atlanta Film Festival. She is currently developing Homespun, a collection of short character-driven documentary films focused on Atlanta’s underground cultural backdrop.
  • Brian Egeston is Vice-President of Development for Bobbcat films in Atlanta, Georgia.  After working as a novelist, sports editor and NPR commentator, Brian set his sights on TV writing.  He adapted his third novel, Granddaddy’s Dirt into a screenplay, which caught the attention of Tyler Perry Studios where he later worked as a writer on 192 episodes and three series. (Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Meet The Browns and For Better or Worse)  He was head writer for more than 80 of those episodes and wrote more than 30 episodes.  Brian also worked as Head Writer and Associate Producer  for The Rickey Smiley TV show.
  • Cheryl Jenkins has been creating and managing production budgets for over 15 years as a production accountant and line producer.  Jenkins started her career in Hollywood working on projects for major studios like Fox, NBC/Universal, New Line Television and MTV on projects such as The Last Comic Standing, The Real Wedding Crashers and Family Foreman.  Here in Georgia, Jenkins, who is also owner of Production Accounting and Crew Services Int’l has been the go-to professional for notable productions like My Super Psycho Sweet 16, Gamers and Single Ladies.
  • Eliza Hajek's duties as Manager of Development and Sponsorship encompass (among other things) traveling to film festivals, speaking on panels and at seminars, and interacting with independent producers worldwide in order to get the word out about the SAG-AFTRA Low Budget Agreements. She lives in Los Angeles.
  • Erin Hallagan is the Creative Director for the Austin Film Festival where she oversees both the Film and Conference planning. She originally joined AFF as their Film Competition Programmer, stepping in as Conference Director in the summer of 2012. In addition to orchestrating the annual Screenwriters Conference and the year-round On Story®: Conversations in Film series, she works in tandem with the film team to plan, promote, and implement the film program. Hailing from the East Coast, she studied Film and Theatre at Temple University, focusing on writing, directing, and editing. Prior to moving to Austin, Erin taught screenwriting courses at the Graduate School of Washington, DC, while also managing the programs and riding school at a high-volume equestrian center. Erin currently serves as an Associate Producer for Austin Film Festival’s television show, On Story.
  • Faith Kakulu is a Creative Executive & Script Consultant. When she’s not developing film and TV for Kenny Leon Productions, she advises on script development, acquisition and packaging. Minted as a junior literary agent at GERSH Beverly Hills, she launched the agency’s first Story Department, developing, branding & marketing client films before branching into development and production. Faith has worked with known and new voices from Kurt Johnstad (300, Act of Valor) to Kyle Newman (Barely Lethal). Her passion and genius for story led to SCENEANDRED, her vehicle for collaborating with emergent voices in “telling global narratives spotlighting the Everyman in us all.” Faith has an MFA from Florida State University Film Conservatory and a BA from Wellesley College.
  • Gina Barboza is the Director of Music Licensing & Development, Turner Entertainment Networks. Gina Barboza is the Director of Music Licensing and Development for Turner Entertainment Networks (TBS, TCM & TNT). She has been working there for over 17 years where up until last year she also wore another hat as the Director of Production producing promo shoots with all the actors in TBS & TNT television shows.  In 2001, she formed and became the CEO of Balancing ACTS Entertainment LLC to produce, write and develop screenplays for television and film as well as consult music artists and indie labels. She is a member of WIFTA (Women in Film & Television Atlanta), NAMIC (National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications) as well as a volunteer and former member of the Boys & Girls Club of America. Her most important role is being a mother to daughters Sasha and Mariah.
  • Griffin Hammond is an independent filmmaker in Bloomington, Illinois, who has produced hundreds of low-budget filmmaking tutorials on YouTube. His Kickstarter-funded documentary “Sriracha” traces the origins of the iconic hot sauce. He studied film at New York University, and earned a Masters from Illinois State University. His 2011 "turkey fryer" short film starring William Shatner won a Silver Anvil award from the Public Relations Society of America.
  • Jay Edwards is best known for his work editing and producing Aqua Teen Hunger Force for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim from 2000 to 2012, including the feature film Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters. Edwards’ independent filmmaking work includes three short sci-fi films known as The Monster Trilogy, the documentary Y’all Come! The Hell Hole Swamp Festival, and the beach party rock 'n' roll monster movie, Stomp! Shout! Scream!  Edwards is currently a staff editor for Disney TV Animation in Glendale, CA.
  • Jeanine Hunter is an Emmy award winning Writer, Producer, Director with a M.F.A. in Film from Howard University and a B.A. in Public Communications with a minor in Creativity and Innovation from S.U.N.Y. College at Buffalo. Ms. Hunter began her career in AM radio and has over 16 years in the entertainment/communication industry and over 10 years writing and producing in Marketing for On- Air network television which includes TLC, Discovery Home, Science Channel, Travel Channel, TV One, CNN and Upwave on HLN. She’s also produced various music and corporate videos and serves as a production consultant on various projects. Currently, she is Freelance Writer, Producer, Director and Production Manager residing in Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA.
  • John Cones is a 23 year veteran Los Angeles-based securities/entertainment attorney who has handled the legal tasks associated with more than 57 successful investor funded film offerings. He is also the author of 8 books and 30+ articles about film finance and related topics.  He will speak to us today about the latest developments in investor financing of independent films.
  • Jon Watts
  • Juli Jackson is a media artist working in film and animation. Graduating from University of the Arts with a BFA in Film/Video in 2005, she has acted as Director of Photography for 2 Philadelphia-based independent features, contributed camerawork to the award-winning documentary Circle the Wagen, and created her directorial debut 45RPM with the help of her native Arkansas film community and state-awarded Indie Film Initiative Grant. 45RPM has garnered several awards while touring the festival circuit, including a Special Jury Prize for Best Emerging Director at the Oxford Film Fest. Jackson is currently developing an animated short and writing her 2nd feature film.
  • Linda Beck is a Producer and Development Scout who helps connect artists and animators with executives. She is currently the Line Producer on Nickelodeon's animation/live-action hybrid preschool show "Team Umizoomi" in New York City. In addition, Linda illustrates, makes art, writes, animates, and is a SAG-AFTRA voiceover artist. She is also the Co-President of ASIFA-East.
  • Matt R. Lohr is the co-author of the bestselling book "Dan O'Bannon's Guide to Screenplay Structure," written with the late screenwriter / filmmaker behind ALIEN, THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD and other genre classics.  An award-winning screenwriter, essayist and critic, Matt's writing on music and cinema can be regularly found in JazzTimes Magazine and on his blog, "The Movie Zombie."  He lives in Burbank, CA.
  • Matthew Baxter is the founder and CEO of the StaxExchange, an online marketplace for entertainment tax credits.  The StaxExchange provides a transparent and efficient marketplace for filmmakers to sell tax credits to a verified community of credit buyers and financiers. Matt has extensive experience with production incentives and finance, having served as the tax and economic development policy advisor to the Governor that expanded Georgia’s tax credit program in 2008, and an investment banking associate at a national financial institution. Matt holds undergraduate degrees in business and economics, and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia.
  • Melissa Randle is best known as a script supervisor, though she serves as a producer/associate producer also, in addition to being a former teleprompter operator.  Her diverse production experience includes a dozen TV shows, 20+ films, and hundreds of Commercial//Corporate videos & live events, with content in English, Spanish & Portuguese.  Her clients include: Turner Studios, the FLOTUS, Delta, GA Lottery, GMC, Bobbcat Films, Disney, ASV Productions and more.  An active community member, she’s an advisor/past president of Women In Film & Television Atlanta,  committee member of Atlanta Korean & Dragon Con Independent Film Festivals, and the former Southern Screen Report Magazine.  A huge festival proponent, she regularly attends the Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance, Slamdance, ABFF & Busan International Film Festival in South Korea.
  • Michael Lucker is an acclaimed writer/director with twenty years experience creating film, television and animation. He began his career writing and directing television commercials in college in Boston. Soon after he landed in Los Angeles working in production on series for ABC, NBC, CBS and HBO before taking a job as assistant to Steven Spielberg at Amblin Entertainment on feature films Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, Back To The Future ll & lll and Jurassic Park. He went on to work in creative affairs at Hollywood Pictures, helping develop the movies Crimson Tide, Terminal Velocity, Taking Care of Business and Straight Talk. He then went onto write movies for DreamWorks, Paramount, Disney, Fox, Universal and more, including “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” which was nominated for the Academy Award for best-animated movie.  
  • Mike Malloy has been involved in various aspects of cinema, including film journalism, cinema documentaries and acting for nearly twenty years. His screenwriting includes a number of paid assignments (some of which he declined on-screen credit for) and, most recently, the official, in-development sequel to DJANGO, which is being represented by Resolution Talent and Literary Agency and has attached in its cast Franco Nero (DJANGO), Mark Boone Junior (SONS OF ANARCHY) and Noah Segan (LOOPER).
  • Rashaad Ernesto Green is a graduate of Dartmouth College and NYU Grad Film. A New York native, Green has been included in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film and indieWIRE's Ten New Voices in Cinema.  His films have screened on HBO, BET, Sundance and festivals internationally.  He’s been supported by HBO, NBC, Time Warner, Sundance, Tribeca Film Institute and IFP. Rashaad's first feature and thesis film “Gun Hill Road” premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, opened #1 for independent films in the summer of 2011 and is now available on DVD & Netflix. &
  • Rob Pralgo has been studying acting/ and acting since 1989.  After Graduating UGA with a degree in TV/Film Production, he began studying with Sandra Dorsey here in Atlanta. Sandra set the groundwork for the past 25 years which has included working/studying in NY & LA..  Robert has been teaching an acting class in Atlanta the past 6 years as he continues working and studying the craft.   Recently seen on Tyler Perry"a 'The Have and the Have Nots" and Upcoming in the Feature film "Kill The Messenger."
  • Shannon Nash is an Attorney, CPA, Producer and Entrepreneur.  She is a sought after finance and legal expert with almost twenty years of providing sound business advice to clients.  She is president of Nash Management Group, Inc., a business and production management company providing Business Affairs, Tax planning, Production Accounting and Production Management. She recently produced the feature film, Switching Lanes, starring, Kim Fields, Terri J. Vaughn, Fred Hammond, Marla Maples, Michael Lerner and directed by Tommy Ford.  She also produced the award winning short documentary on autism, Colored My Mind, winner of the 2012 BronzeLens Film Festival and the 2013 Best Short Documentary at the American Pavilion in Cannes.  She is currently the Production Counsel, Accountant and Consulting Producer for the TV show, BEING (Centric/BET).
  • Simon Hawkins grew up in Darien, CT. Simon graduated from NYU’s Tisch School for Film & TV. He worked for GOOD Magazine, creating web video content, and has directed many award winning short films and music videos. We Gotta Get Out of this Place (Fri 4/4) is his and his brother's first feature film. It premiered at TIFF and won the Audience Award at AFI Fest. It's been called "a special piece of filmmaking" by Renegade Cinema, "criminally good" by Hitfix, "a terrific film" by Indiewire, and "one of my favorite movies of 2013" by Ain't it Cool News.
  • Takashi Doscher is a writer/director from Atlanta, GA. In 2010, he became the youngest director to sell a film to ESPN when he sold his feature doc, A Fighting Chance, at the age of 22.  He has written and directed short films, advertisements, and music videos that have been featured on the front page of Vimeo, USA Today, and MTV Hive. Currently, Takashi is working on several feature screenplays, two of which were selected as finalists in the 2013 and 2014 Sundance Writer's Labs. Takashi’s work often depicts the conflict between science and the human condition - a reflection of his educational background in Physics and English.  His latest screenplay, a romantic drama about the last woman on Earth, is being produced by Ineffable Pictures.
  • Tommy Oliver producer of Sundance winner Kinyarwanda, a film Roger Ebert ranked number six on his top ten films of 2011, recently premiered his directorial debut, 1982, starring Hill Harper, Sharon Leal, La La Anthony, Ruby Dee and Wayne Brady at the 2013 Toronto International Festival to strong reviews and critical acclaim. Even before it’s premiere, 1982, a film about a father who’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect his family, earned a host of accolades, including a prestigious San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Filmmaking grant and the top prize at the 2013 US in Progress showcase in Paris. The film also won the Marquee Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival, an honor previously bestowed upon Academy-Award nominees Silver Linings Playbook and The Artist. Oliver is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, a Microsoft alum and founder of LA-based production company Confluential Films, which he started with actor/author/speaker Hill Harper. He’s repped by CAA and managed by Thruline Entertainment.
  • Zeke Hawkins grew up in Darien, CT. Zeke graduated from the American Film Institute and Brown University, and worked as the director’s assistant to Bennett Miller on the Oscar winning film ‘Capote.’ For his AFI thesis film, ‘Equestrian Sexual Response,’ Zeke was nominated for a Student Academy Award. We Gotta Get Out of this Place (Fri 4/4) is his and his brother's first feature film. It premiered at TIFF and won the Audience Award at AFI Fest. It's been called "a special piece of filmmaking" by Renegade Cinema, "criminally good" by Hitfix, "a terrific film" by Indiewire, and "one of my favorite movies of 2013" by Ain't it Cool News.         

Additional Creative Conference Panelists

  • Alex Kreuter
  • Alpha Tyler
  • Amani Channel
  • Andy Velcoff
  • Angie Bones
  • Aron Siegel
  • Barry Brandon
  • Chris Holland
  • Danya Levine
  • Darrell Hazelrig
  • E. Roger Mithchell
  • Elizabeth Strickler
  • Elton Brand
  • Erik Jambor
  • Jake Weinreb
  • Jeffrey Bullins
  • Joe Beck
  • Jose Acosta
  • Kristjan Knigge
  • Kristy Breneman
  • Kyle Collins
  • Michelle Emanuel
  • Pete Ballard
  • Rebecca Shregger
  • Richard Devine
  • Thomas Allen Harris