Dana Harris is the Los Angeles-based editor-in-chief and general manager of Indiewire. Prior to joining IW, she spent nearly 11 years at Variety in roles that included film reporter, creating lifestyle section Variety Weekend, serving as editor of Variety.com and developing new products for the publication's website. She was also the managing editor for the Independent Film and Video Monthly and a film reporter at the Hollywood Reporter. She has covered virtually all of the world's major film festivals, contributed to publications that include the Los Angeles Times Magazine, the Star-Ledger, the UTNE Reader, FILMMAKER and Premiere and has participated as a moderator and panelist at festivals and conferences that include SXSW, Digital Hollywood and Palm Springs, among others. She also had a life in food, which included being a sous-chef, a restaurant critic and an editor for Fine Cooking. You can follow her in film and food @TheKnife.
James has been involved with Indiewire since 2001, when he served as Managing Editor for Indiewire's On The Scene coverage of the Sundance Film Festival. Currently he is the Director of Advertising, where he heads indieWIRE ad sales. Sponsors and advertisers include: American Express, HSBC, Stella Artois, Fox, HBO, Lionsgate, Paramount, Showtime, Universal, Warner Bros. and more. He also produced the popular event series at Apple Store Soho, Indiewire Presents, which features indie film professionals discussing various aspects of the filmmaking process. Recent speakers including filmmakers Michel Gondry, Darren Aronofsky, The Coen Brothers, Spike Lee, actors Clive Owen, Natalie Portman, and more.
James previously worked at the Association of Independent Video & Filmmakers (AIVF) and has written for The Independent Film & Video Monthly. He has also acted as a script reader for Global Film Initiative, the IFP Gordon Parks Awards, and has screened films for The Tribeca Film Festival. James is also a filmmaker with Back and Forth Films, where he makes short narrative films and is developing various feature length projects. His films have screened at numerous festivals, venues, (and pubs), including South by Southwest, the Hamptons International Film Festival, the Atlanta Film Festival, the Woodstock Film Festival, and on a giant outdoor video screen in Times Square. His short films FACE VALUE and THE TOURIST recently premiered at SXSW.
Peter Knegt is Indiewire's senior writer. He writes daily for the site, with regular columns on box office, queer cinema, new releases, and awards season. He has been working with the Indiewire team since 2006, and has covered numerous festivals around the world including Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, SXSW, AFI FEST, New York, Tribeca, London, Edinburgh, True/False, Karlovy Vary, Reykjavik, CPH:DOX, Hot Docs and Dubai.
Beyond Indiewire, the Canadian native holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto in cinema studies, semiotics and sexual diversity studies, and a master's degree in media studies from Concordia University in Montreal. He has contributed as a writer to several publications including Variety, Salon, The Toronto Star, Xtra!, Exclaim, Cannes Market News, Winq, HitFix, InToronto and Playback, and has served on juries or participated in panels at film festivals in New York, Atlanta, Copenhagen, Cleveland, Dubai and Toronto.
He has also worked for the Reel Asian International Film Festival, the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Image+Nation Montreal Gay and Lesbian Film and Video Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, and programmed the inaugural year of the Reel Out Film Festival, a queer film festival in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
He continues to organize and co-program Picton Picturefest, an bi-annual film festival and "youth cinephile retreat" held in rural Ontario, and serves on the advisory board of the University of Toronto's Sexual Diversity Studies program. His first book, "About Canada: Queer Rights" - a study on the history of LGBT people in Canada - was released in September 2011.
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Eric Kohn is the chief film critic and a senior editor for Indiewire. Prior to this position, he worked as a freelance critic and
journalist, contributing to The New York Times, New York magazine, New York Press, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The Wrap, Moving Pictures, Filmmaker, Moviemaker, Heeb Magazine and other places.
In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Kohn also served on the programming committee for Rooftop Films for two years and organized The Heeb Film Festival in 2008 while serving as a contributing editor for that magazine. The same year, he participated in the Museum of the Moving Image's Moving Image Institute in Film Criticism and Feature Writing.
While receiving his bachelors degree in cinema studies at NYU, Kohn worked as a research assistant for The Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman and interned at Entertainment Weekly. After college, he spent several years covering film festivals such as Sundance, SXSW and Toronto for numerous outlets, and began writing for Indiewire at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. A year later, he helped launch the short-lived Stream Magazine, an online publication dedicated to covering filmmakers in the digital age.
In 2009, Kohn was named Indiewire's chief film critic. In that capacity, he reviews hundreds of films each year as well as providing other editorial content for the site. Along with reviewing new releases, he has covered film festivals around the globe, conducted countless interviews, reported on trends in the global film community and moderated numerous panels as well as hosting other events. He also maintains the Indiewire blog Screen Rush. In 2010, he completed his masters degree in cinema studies at NYU.
Born in Texas and raised in Seattle, he currently lives in Brooklyn with his girlfriend, two cats and a projector. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter.
Nigel M. Smith is Indiewire's Managing Editor. He is responsible for overseeing the editing and social media for all Indiewire posts and for coordinating coverage with the bloggers on the Indiewire Network. He writes and edits daily for the site and heads the 'Interview' section of Indiewire. Nigel also serves as the primary liaison with SnagFilms.com, the website of Indiewire's parent company.
In addition to being a daily contributor to the site and covering film festivals ranging from Sundance to Abu Dhabi, Nigel has also conducted hundreds of interviews since he joined Indiewire in 2010. He also serves as curator for Indiewire's monthly VOD list.
Nigel served on the documentary jury for the 2011 New Orleans Film Festival and contributes for NextMovie and Bullet Magazine. He holds a Masters in Arts Journalism from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Performance: Acting from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.
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Alison Willmore is the TV Editor of Indiewire, having overseen the launch of Indiewire's television section in March 2012. Before joining IW, she worked as Editor of IFC.com, overseeing IFC's online editorial initiatives for six years, including coverage of Cannes, SXSW and Sundance. As a freelance film critic and journalist, she has written for The AV Club, Movieline, Salon and Time Out New York. With Matt Singer, she co-hosts the biweekly Filmspotting: SVU podcast, a podcast focused on films and TV new to streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu and Crackle.
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Ted Leonsis is known as one of the country's premier businessmen having held numerous leadership positions at AOL. He is also a professional sports team owner, a film producer, a private-angel investor, an active Board member and a committed philanthropist.
During his 14-year career with AOL, the company enjoyed its greatest periods of growth and financial success. Ted now serves as Vice Chairman Emeritus, having stepped down from day-to-day management at AOL on December 31, 2006. He has served as AOL Vice Chairman as well as President of several business units including the AOL Services Company; AOL Studios; AOL Web Services; AOL Core Service and the AOL Audience Business.
Ted's creation of SnagFilms stems naturally from his entertainment, technology and philanthropic activities. He conceptualized and produced Nanking, a documentary film that made its world premiere at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Documentary Editing Award. Since that time, the film has been screened at film festivals around the globe including the Hong Kong Film Festival, where it won the Humanitarian Award, and is already the best-selling documentary in China's history. For his production debut with Nanking, Ted assembled a highly acclaimed filmmaking team including the Academy Award-winning writer/director team of Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, as well as a strong Hollywood cast including Woody Harrelson, Jurgen Prochnow, Mariel Hemingway and others to narrate the film. Nanking is a documentary film that serves as a powerful, emotional and relevant reminder of the heartbreaking toll war takes on the innocent as it tells the story of the Japanese invasion of Nanking, China, in the early days of World War II. Theatrically released in late 2007, the film aired on HBO in April, 2008 and was short-listed for the Academy Award ©. While at the Sundance Film Festival, Ted coined the phrase "Filmanthropy" to describe a new category of filmmaking that activates discussion as well as new volunteers and new funds that benefit a social cause. His second production, Kicking It, is a feature documentary about the power of sports as an agent for change and personal redemption and is a natural extension of Filmanthropy.
Ted is now the Chairman of Revolution Money, an innovative new Web 2.0 payment platform and credit-card service created to transform the financial services industry by drastically altering the economics through Internet-based technology. This new payment platform also generates significant merchant and consumer benefits. Revolution Money, formerly GratisCard Inc., is a subsidiary of Revolution LLC, the investment company created by Steve Case. Ted is also Chairman of Clearspring Technologies, a fast-growing widget syndication and social media company based in Tysons Corner, VA.
Early in his career, Ted was the founder of several new media companies including Redgate Communications Corporation, a pioneering new media company which, in 1993, was the first company acquired by AOL. He was also the founder of six personal computer magazines, authored four books and worked on the introduction of the IBM PC and the Apple Macintosh. He co-invented a very successful board game called "Only in New York," and served as a marketing executive with Harris Corp and Wang Laboratories. Ted is also the founder, chairman and majority owner of Lincoln Holdings LLC, a sports and entertainment company that holds ownership rights in several Washington, DC entities including 100% of the NHL's Washington Capitals and the WNBA's Washington Mystics. Lincoln Holdings also owns approximately 44% of Washington Sports and Entertainment Limited Partnership (WSELP), which owns the NBA's Washington Wizards, DC's Verizon Center and the Baltimore-Washington Ticketmaster franchise.
During Ted's tenure as majority owner of the Capitals, the team has won two division titles and recorded the second-most points in franchise history. Under his leadership, several Washington Capitals business units have been recognized nationally, including game presentation by IDEA, media relations by the Professional Hockey Writers Association and the website by Sports Business Journal and Forbes magazine.
In addition to Lincoln Holdings LLC, Ted also has investments in a large group of web-related companies including: Algentis LLC; Beacon Capital Strategies LLC; Clearspring Technologies; Geneva Acquisition Corp.; Mahalo; Mobile Posse; Object Video and Qloud. Ted serves on the board of several of these companies as well as PodShow. Ted is a major philanthropist and is very involved with numerous charities, including Best Buddies, Hoop Dreams, See Forever Foundation, Youth Aids and others through the work of the Leonsis Foundation.
He also once served as mayor of Orchid, FL. Among his many honors, Ted has been named Washington's Businessman of the Year, a Washingtonian of the Year, one of the 20 most influential people in sports, one of America's most creative executives and a top 10 entrepreneur of the year. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, and later, Lowell, MA, he now lives in McLean, VA, and Vero Beach, FL, with his wife and two children.
Steve Case currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Revolution, an investment company that was launched in April, 2005. Revolution's mission is to partner with entrepreneurs in building businesses that give people more choice, control and convenience in important areas of their lives. Revolution's current activities are focused on companies in the health, financial, resort, wellness and digital sectors.
Prior to starting Revolution, Steve was the Chair and CEO of America Online, Inc., and later, the Chairman of AOL Time Warner. As the co-Founder of AOL, Steve played an integral role in building the world's largest Internet company and helped transform how people communicate, learn and conduct business. AOL brought millions of Americans their first connection to the Internet and drove worldwide adoption of a medium that has become more valuable than the telephone or television. Steve also ensured that AOL led the industry on issues like making the Internet a safe place for children, bridging the "digital divide," and investing in online philanthropy.
Steve is currently Chairman of two non-profit organizations, the Case Foundation, a private family foundation he established in 1997 with his wife Jean and Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2), an entrepreneurial approach to funding brain cancer research that he founded in 2001 with his late brother Dan. In addition, Steve was a founding organizer of Business Strengthening America and has served as vice chair of the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy. He was also honored with the National Mentoring Partnership Leadership Award.
Steve was born and raised in Hawaii, where he remains a leading advocate for combining respect for the islands' native culture and environment with job creation and economic growth. He is a major investor in two Hawaii businesses -- Grove Farm of Kauai and Maui Land & Pineapple -- that are developing fresh operating models for the agriculture industry and sustainable communities for residents and visitors.
Steve has resided in the Washington, DC area for the past two decades. Revolution's headquarters are in downtown Washington.
Miles Gilburne is currently a managing member of ZG Ventures, LLC. He has been active for more than 25 years as a venture capitalist, corporate strategist and technology lawyer in the media, communications and technology industries. In addition to his activities in media and information technology, Mr. Gilburne actively pursues venture capital activities in the life sciences and bioinformatics.
Mr. Gilburne served for five years as senior vice president of Corporate Development for America Online, stepping down from those duties in December 1999. At AOL, Mr. Gilburne was responsible for strategic planning and for major corporate acquisitions, joint ventures and alliances. He was elected to the Board of Directors of AOL in 1999 and continued to serve on the Board of Directors of Time Warner until stepping down in May 2006. Prior to joining AOL, Mr. Gilburne was a founding partner of The Cole Gilburne Fund, an early stage venture capital fund focused on information and communications technology and a founding partner of technology and media law firms in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Mr. Gilburne is currently a member of the Board of Directors of SRA International, Inc., a publicly traded government services company, Pharmacyclics, a publicly traded pharmaceutical company focused on new treatments for cancer and inflammatory disease, and Maui Land & Pineapple, a publicly traded real estate and agriculture company. Mr. Gilburne is also a founding investor and member of the board of several privately held venture capital backed companies, including Revolution Health Group, a privately held company focused on various aspects of consumer driven health care, and ePals, a global community of online learners.
Mr. Gilburne is a member of the Board of Trustees of The Washington Shakespeare Theatre, the ePals Foundation and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.
He received an A.B. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Rick Allen has run successful companies in nearly every form of media, and helped to develop or extend some of the country's most prestigious brands. Rick is the CEO of SnagFilms, a new digital distribution company formed with AOL Vice-Chairman Ted Leonsis, AOL founder Steve Case and others. Launching in July, 2008, SnagFilms gives everyone the latest in web tools to find, watch and share great documentary films and then engage in the causes, charities and communities these films spotlight. SnagFilms offers filmmakers an effective method of reaching the broadest global audience at a time when the traditional distribution methods for independent movies have largely broken down. Rick previously was President and CEO of Sporting News, the country's oldest sports media company, leading a revitalization that saw it named twice to Adweek's annual "Hot List" as a top-10 media property. Earlier, he served as President and CEO of the for-profit arm of the National Geographic Society, responsible for television and film; interactive products, websites and e-commerce; maps; travel; retail; catalog; and consumer products. Under his leadership, the National Geographic Channel was launched and became one of the fastest growing cable channels in recent history. Before coming to National Geographic, Rick was a senior executive at Discovery Communications, parent of the Discovery Channel, where he extended the company's brand into filmed entertainment, education, technology and retail.
He also served in the White House as a Deputy Assistant to President Clinton, helping to establish AmeriCorps (the domestic Peace Corps). Before his White House service, Allen was CEO of a privately-held group of 35 companies based in Los Angeles. He has written and lectured widely, and been active in civic affairs particularly dealing with education, including service with the advisory boards to the California State Board of Education and the Southern California Association of Governments, and as Vice Chairman of Project Exploration, a nonprofit science organization that makes science accessible to the public - especially minority youth and girls - through personalized experiences with scientists and science. Rick lives in Potomac, Maryland with his wife and three sons.
Stephanie Sharis has over ten years experience in New Media and Entertainment. From 2004 through 2007, she worked at AOL in Premium Services and then Original Programming. Her last role was as Director of Creative Development where she developed episodic web-based series sponsored by major clients like GM and P&G. She also built and managed AOL True Stories, a broadband channel for documentaries, which was the precursor for SnagFilms.
Before joining AOL, Stephanie co-founded and served as Co-President of Transmission Films, an online distributor of independent and foreign films. She has also worked as a project consultant for New York Office, Walden Media, Content Film, Urbanworld Films, JP Morgan and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
In addition to working as a business executive in the industry, Stephanie has also been involved in the creative side: she co-produced THE PROMISE, a short film starring Saundra Santiago and Kevin Conway, MUSIC INN, a documentary which premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, and THE PARTY'S OVER, a feature documentary starring Philip Seymour Hoffman that was released in theaters internationally and aired on the BBC.
Stephanie graduated summa cum laude from Wesleyan University in 1994 and received her graduate degree in public policy from Harvard University in 1999.
Which new release will you catch this weekend?