New York Indian Film Festival 2012

May 23-27, 2012

Thursday May 24th, 2012. 10 am – 5 pm
Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street, New York City.
Tickets: $30 advance; $40 at the door; $20 IAAC members.
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Industry Panels

10.00am –10.15am Welcome, Opening Remarks
10.15am –11.15am Distribution: Options and Changes
11.30am- 12.30pm Independent Film Production & Financing
12.30pm-  2.00pm Lunch
2.00pm – 3.00pm Distribution: Stakeholders & Influencers

Distribution: Options and Changes

Independent film distribution in the US forpx; any film, South Asian or other, is a bit like the Wild West right now. The old traditional models of windows and gatekeepers are giving way to new digital platforms, day and date releases, and more filmmaker control. On this panel, we hear not only from the South Asian filmmaker perspective, but also the perspective of distributors themselves, both traditional and new model distributors, taking advantage of day and date and digital platforms.

Moderated by Josh Green, ( VP, Distribution, Emerging Pictures)
Dev Benegal, (Film Director, Writer, Producer)
Dylan Marchetti, (Founder,Variance Films)
Jaideep Punjabi (Producer, "Patang")
Greg Rhem (Director of Documentary Programming, HBO)
Prasanna Subramanian (Co-Head, Content Operations, Cinetic Rights Management)

Independent Film Production and Financing

Given all the changes in distribution and the inability to predict some of the new digital revenues, what is the best way to have a film financed and produced? Options include crowd funding, asking your fan base for donations in exchange for special perks, new online platforms designed to connect financiers with the appropriate packaged projects, grants, foundations and social venture funds. Also traditional financing from production companies, distributors and through foreign pre-sales and co-productions or government soft monies. We listen to a number of people representing all these platforms and also get the filmmaker perspective.

Moderated by Josh Green, (VP, Distribution, Emerging Pictures)
Junaid Ahmed, (Director, “More Than Just A Game ”)
Duncan Cork (CEO, Slated)
Ryan Harrington (Director, Documentary Programming, Tribeca Film Institute)
Anadil Hossain (Producer & Founder, Dillywood, Inc)
Kat Popiel, (Indiegogo, Content Creation)

Distribution: Stakeholders and Influencers

 Attracting distributors and/or maximizing the distribution of an independent film in the US can depend on a few key factors or partners. Film Festivals have become the de facto platform to attract distributors or build word of mouth for a distribution campaign since they can aggregate press, buyers and audiences into one space.  On this panel, we listen to all these stakeholders talk about their roles in the process and we also get the filmmaker perspective once again in terms of how to navigate.

Moderated by Jaideep Punjabi (Producer, "Patang")
Natasha Chandel, Creator/ Executive Producer, Landing in Mumbai
Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla (Director, “Embrace”)
Amanda Lebow (Submarine Entertainment)
Nigel Smith (Indiewire)
Basil Tsiokis (Documentary Consultant & Sundance Programming Associate)

Panelists Biographies

Distribution: Options & Changes

 Moderated by Josh Green, VP Distribution (Emerging Pictures)  

Josh Green Green currently serves as the VP, Distribution for NY-based Emerging Pictures. Green is responsible for securing new exhibition venues for Emerging’s digital cinema network, now at more than 130 locations in the US, and managing marketing efforts for the network. Green further coordinates the distribution campaigns for exclusive HD programming playing at EP venues including independent and classic films, cultural programs like operas and ballets, and other special events.

Green has previously acted as a sales agent/producer’s rep to secure third party distribution for completed films and managed Emerging’s theatrical and DVD distribution businesses while in existence, coordinating campaigns for many films. All in, Green has had an agency or direct distribution role on more than 50 films.

Green has also engaged in a number of producing activities; he associate produced Sona Jain’s For Real and Ann Hu’s Beauty Remains. He executive produced Kief Davidson’s acclaimed IFC Films documentary Kassim the Dream released in 2009 and is also the Executive Producer on Ramona Diaz’s freshly launched and lauded documentary, Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey on the rock band Journey and their new Filipino lead singer who was discovered on Youtube. The film made its World Premiere at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.

Green is a frequent speaker at film industry panels, schools, workshops and other festival events. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and an undergraduate degree from Cornell University.

Dev Benegal, Film Director, Writer, Producer

Dev BenegalDev Benegal’s first feature English, August (1994) ignited the next generation of Indian  cinema and is acknowledged as a landmark film in contemporary Indian cinema.
His second feature Split Wide Open (1999) premiered at the Venice International Film Festival.
Both international and National Award- winning films were the first Indian films to be distributed to great success by 20th Century Fox.

Susan B. Landau (An Ideal Husband), it His feature film script, Road, Movie was selected for the prestigious Atelier du Cannes at the Cannes International Film Festival. Once produced, by Ross Katz (Lost in Translation) and was the first Hindi language filmed to be distributed worldwide by Fortissimo Films (2010) and was one of the first features to be distributed in the US by Robert De Niro & Jane Rosenthal’s Tribeca Films. Before it played at the NY festival, the film premiered at Toronto and was the Opening Night film at the Generation Plus section at the Berlin International Film Festival.

In addition to his directing career, Benegal is acknowledged as a pioneer in digital technology – having created 24×7 Making Movies, he has produced over 60 short feature films. The films (where anyone under 24 is invited to make a short film in 24 hours), have been acclaimed by Cannes and the Hollywood trade publication Variety.

Dev Benegal’s work represents modern Indian cinema which is distinct from the realist or popular traditions of Indian cinema. The strength of his films has been their humor, his characters and his unique style combining Indian narrative and western genre.

Dylan Marchetti, Founder, Variance Films

Dylan MarchettiAs founder of Variance Films, Dylan Marchetti works directly with filmmakers to help them release their films to theaters across North America.  Formerly of THINKFilm, ImaginAsian Entertainment, and AMC Theatres, Dylan has a strong background in all areas of film production, marketing, and releasing, and through Variance, works to bring this knowledge and experience directly to independent filmmakers.

Since Variance began releasing films in 2008, they have developed one of the most diverse slates in the industry, ranging from $20,000 black and white jazz musicals and experimental documentaries to $30 million Hong Kong action films.  They’ve worked directly with legendary directors such as Spike Lee, John Sayles, Stanley Tucci, Andrew Lau, and José Padilha, as well as with exciting new filmmakers such as Mike Ott, Damien Chazelle, and Tze Chun. Variance is proud to have handled the North American releases of the highest grossing domestic films of all-time from both China and Brazil.

While admittedly prone to bursts of profanity, Dylan is quite the sweetheart.  Outside the universe of film distribution, he likes puppies, Hendrick’s gin, karaoke, and Roland TR-808 drum machines, particularly when all are present at the same time.

Jaideep Punjabi, Producer, “Patang”

Jaideep Punjabi A graduate of New York University's Stern School of Business, Jaideep Punjabi has background in managing the development of high-profile media initiatives. These have included the online broadcast of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, website development for Elton John and Bob Marley, and the launch of Time Out magazine in Mumbai. As a Producer, PATANG (The Kite) is Jaideep's first feature film. A family drama set against the backdrop of India's largest kite festival, PATANG premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, screened in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival and went on to screen at over 25 film festivals worldwide. Jaideep is responsible for orchestrating the North American release of PATANG. The innovative self-distribution campaign focuses on maximizing the impact of community outreach, exploiting the benefits of direct sales and allowing the filmmakers to shape the film's destiny in the marketplace.

Greg Rhem, Director of Documentary Programming, HBO

Greg Rhem is Director of Documentary Programming for Home Box Office. He’s been involved in discovering new and distinctive documentary programming for HBO Documentary Films. Some of his finds have been: the Oscar®-winning Freeheld and Born Into Brothels; Oscar®-nominated The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner and Spellbound. Mr. Rhem holds a M.A. in Media Studies from the New School University, and a B.A. degree in English and Film Studies from the University of Rochester.

Prasanna Subramanian, Co-Head, Content Operations. Cinetic Rights Management

Prasanna Subramanian co-heads the Content Operations department at FilmBuff, a service provided by Cinetic Rights Management. A privately financed spin off of Cinetic Media, FilmBuff provides comprehensive film sales representation for digital media, in addition to assessing the universe of licensing opportunities on behalf of filmmakers.  

Prior to his current role at FilmBuff, Prasanna produced business news segments for CNBC's Fast Money, and managed a number of interactive projects for major brands and independent content creators.  A law school graduate with a background in entertainment law, Prasanna is fascinated by storytelling, and how stories are unfolding across different mediums like movies, books, games, and websites.

Independent Film Production and Financing

Moderated by Josh Green, VP Distribution (Emerging Pictures)

Junaid Ahmed, Director, “More Than Just A Game ”

Junaid AhmedDuring the past seventeen years Junaid Ahmed has been writing, directing and producing docu-drama’s, short films and documentaries. He has produced and directed for Channel 4, the Discovery Channel and South African broadcasters. His award winning films include IQAKAMBA- HARD BALL, which won Best Sports Documentary at the FICTS Festival in Milan in 1996. LUCKY, a short film that he produced was nominated for the 2006 BAFTA Best Short film award and has subsequently won Best Short Film at over 38 international film festivals, including Clermont Ferrand, Cinequest San Jose and Aspen Shortsfest. Ahmed is presently developing the romantic comedy STOCKHOLM, ZULULAND- a co-production with Bob Film Sweden. He has also played a leading role in the transformation of the South African film industry post apartheid. Ahmed’s company Fineline Productions is the recipient of substantial South African government funding to produce four feature films over the next three years.

Duncan Cork, CEO, Slated

Duncan CorkAs Slated’s CEO, Duncan provides day-to-day creative and strategic leadership to the business and its partnerships. Duncan created the initial vision for Slated and subsequently founded the company in December 2009 with his co-founders.

Prior to Slated, Duncan consulted for entertainment and entrepreneurial organizations in London, the UK and globally. He was Founder and Executive Creative Director of Katharsis, a consultancy specializing in strategy, user experience, product development, and design for clients in the entertainment, media and technology industries. The inspiration for Slated was born out of working with a British independent film seeking financing.
Duncan moved to New York in 2010 to pursue the launch of Slated where he continues to design and develop Slated’s core marketplace product.

Ryan Harrington, Director, Documentary Programming, Tribeca Film Institute

Ryan HarringtonRyan Harrington is the Director of Documentary Programming for the Tribeca Film Institute, which provides 1.2 million dollars in annual grants to up to 40 feature documentary projects world-wide. Previously, Harrington managed production at A&E IndieFilms, the theatrical documentary arm of the A&E Television Networks, where he championed the films American Teen and My Kid Could Paint That and the Oscar-nominated Murderball and Jesus Camp. He most recently produced the feature doc Finding North with Participant Media, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Anadil Hossain, Producer & Founder, Dillywood, Inc

Anadil Hossain Raised in South Asia and Europe, Anadil has thrived on cross-cultural bridging from a young age. She moved to the U.S. in 1998, continuing her career in the entertainment industry, initially by producing film projects and global events for multinational corporations. Anadil then focused on her true passion, feature filmmaking. She worked on a number of high profile Indian feature films shooting around the world, with acclaimed Indian directors such as Karan Johar, Ashutosh Gowariker, Rakeysh Mehra, and Nikhil Advani.

In 2004, Anadil co-founded Dillywood, Inc. to source, develop and produce films that fulfill her goal of truly global filmmaking. Dillywood, Inc. has worked on numerous projects, including films by directors Mira Nair, Wes Anderson, and Doug Liman. Over the years, Anadil has developed a specialized understanding of producing content specific to individual countries, being especially well versed in South Asia and the Middle East.

A recognized figure for her expertise within the growing U.S.-India entertainment market, Anadil continues to consult for major studios, film commissions and festivals, and is a passionate advocate for the advancement of new content across multiple media platforms around the world.

Kat Popiel, Content Creation, Indiegogo

Kat Popiel Kat spearheads content creation and community building at IndieGoGobringing with her marketing strategy experience for global brands such as K-Swiss, Diesel, Whyte & Mackay and Sony. She has produced over 200 events worldwide for the likes of Sothebys, Alexander McQueen, Taschen and Top Shop. Prior to IndieGoGo, she led the business development of Dekalb Market in Brooklyn. She has written for various publications, includingPSFK,Good,Trace,Dazed & Confused, and blogs geared towards subculture. Popiel also co-foundedOn Plate, Still Hungry, an online magazine about food, drink and travel.


Distribution: Stakeholders and Influencers

Moderated by Jaideep Punjabi, Producer, "Patang"

Natasha Chandel, Creator/ Executive Producer, Landing in Mumbai

Natasha ChandelNatasha Chandel is a multi-award winning media professional and performing artist.  Currently a digital producer at MTV News in New York City, the young Canadian has experience within almost every aspect of broadcast media including reporting, production, producing, writing, publicity, casting, sales and distribution, and has worked for some of the top networks and independent production companies in her native country.  Her versatility is witnessed in her founding production, the hit comedy web series, Landing in Mumbai about an up-and-coming socialite named Mumbai Chopra.  Natasha not only stars as the lead character, but she produces, writes and directs the highly stylized series under her own banner That’s OM, LLC, receiving over half a million hits.  Among her other achievements, Natasha has received accolades from executives at NBC and MTV Networks, was selected as a Lancôme Mille Femmes (honored as 1000 of the most creative women in the city of Toronto), and has had her projects seen on HBO, Sundance Channel, and even an in-flight movie. Natasha is a graduate of Ryerson University's acclaimed Radio and Television Arts program.

Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla, Director, “Embrace”

Ghalib Shiraz DhallaGhalib is a critically-acclaimed writer and filmmaker born in Kenya and based in Los Angeles. He is the author of the groundbreaking novel, Ode to Lata, praised by the LA Times as "an accomplishment" and recently, the International Bestseller, The Two Krishnas. Dhalla adapted, produced and co-directed his first novel into the major motion picture, The Odewhich was praised by the UCLA Asia Institute as a film that inspired "after-film contemplation" and boasting performances that are "noteworthy." His second film, Embrace, which is having its world premiere at NYIFF, is the first ever dramatization based on the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Amanda Lebow, Manager of Sales and Acquisitions, Submarine Entertainment

Amanda Lebow Ms. Lebow is the Manager of Sales and Acquisitions for Submarine Entertainment in New York City. Submarine is a hybrid sales and production company, consulting and strategizing on the sale, distribution and development of documentaries, feature films and non—fiction entertainment programming and producing unique and high quality feature films, documentaries and television properties. Lebow has worked on the sale of such films as: WINTER’S BONE, CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE, BOMBAY BEACH, PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NY TIMES and many more. Lebow grew up on Palm Beach, Florida and graduated from Deerfield Academy and the University of Richmond.

Nigel M. Smith is Indiewire's Assistant Editor

Nigel M. Smith Nigel writes and edits daily for the site and heads the 'Interview' section of Indiewire. Since joining Indiewire in 2010, Nigel has covered a number of festivals around the world including Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca, New York, Abu Dhabi, Sheffied Doc/Fest and Dallas. Interview subjects have included Javier Bardem, Isabelle Huppert, Juliette Binoche, Kirsten Dunst and David Lynch.

In addition to Indiewire, Nigel served on the documentary jury for the 2011 New Orleans Film Festival and has been contributing regularly to MTV's film site, NextMovie, since 2010. His writing can also be found in the Canadian alternative publication Xtra! and in The Post and Courier, Charleston's city newspaper, for which he covered the 2010 Spoleto  Festival.

Nigel 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.

Basil Tsiokos, Programming Associate, Documentary Features, Sundance Film Festival

Basil Tsiokos is a consultant to documentary filmmakers and a Programming Associate for the Sundance Film Festival. He is a regular contributor to Indiewire and curates Hulu's Documentaries page. At Pratt, Basil teaches a course on film festivals and oversees the Wallabout student short film festival. He co-produced the feature documentary THE CANAL STREET MADAM (SXSW, Hot Docs). Between 1996-2008, Basil was the Artistic and Executive Director of NewFest: The NY LGBT Film Festival. He has served on numerous film festival juries and panels in the US and around the world. Basil is active on Twitter (@1basil1) and on his blog what (not) to doc. He holds a Masters degree from New York University and two undergraduate degrees from Stanford University.


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