The 2017 panelists and executives will be posted this summer. For reference, here is last year's Panel & Seminar schedules and descriptions
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Akyumen Technologies Corp
Aasim Saied is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Akyumen Technologies Corp and is an established entrepreneur with experience and a history of high tech concept design and building fast-moving, innovative companies.
He has engineered powerful new mobile device technologies and software applications and has recruited a global team of developers, industry specialists and partners for a successful launch of his Companies including AkyumenTV, a global entertainment live and on-demand television, movie, music and gaming subscription platform available on the Akyumen projection phones and tablet.
Author, Executive Producer
Amy Richards is the executive producer of the WOMAN series on VICELAND. She is also a consulting producer on MAKERS and the HBO documentary Gloria Steinem: In Her Own Words. Amy has authored and edited several award winning books, including Opting In: Having a Child Without Losing Yourself, Manifesta and Grassroots. As the president of Soapbox, Inc. and founder of Soapbox Foundation Amy organizes dozens of events each year and hosts Feminist Camp.
Amy has appeared in most major media outlets -- from Fox's O'Reilly to The Oprah Winfrey Show to Charlie Rose -- covering everything from plastic surgery and shopping in New York City to abortion politics and sexual harassment.
Attorney, Masur Griffitts
Andrea advises technology and media startups on corporate matters, including formation and venture financing, as well as on intellectual property matters including portfolio management and protection.
Prior to Masur Griffitts, Andrea was the Director of Linux Defenders for Open Invention Network where she helped create alternatives to traditional patent strategy and open source software protection. She became a thought leader and highly sought after advocate in the field, speaking at numerous Open Source Conferences globally, including but not limited to LinuxCon and Grace Hopper.
Casting Director, LDI Casting
LDI has been casting both principal and background performers for feature films, independent films, television, corporate video, and commercials for the past twelve years.
Producer, Writer, Director
Recognized worldwide for their distinct comedic sensibility, Bobby Farrelly and his brother Peter have garnered notable and global commercial success with their heartfelt and raucously funny films. Bobby made his directorial debut in 1994 with the film Dumb & Dumber. A commercial success, Dumb & Dumber went on to gross over $246 million worldwide and launched Jim Carrey’s career.
Building off the overwhelming response to the film, Bobby and his brother Peter continued to define comedy with the Golden Globe Nominated There’s Something About Mary starring Ben Stiller, Matt Dillon and Cameron Diaz. Their catalogue of additional hits includes Kingpin; Me, Myself & Irene; Shallow Hal; Stuck On You; Fever Pitch; The Heartbreak Kid; and Hall Pass.
She’s a comedian, an actress, a NY Times bestselling author and producer, and Brett Butler has her very own Akyumen Original Series in development with KF Media Group for AkyumenTV! The two time Golden Globe nominated actress and People’s Choice Award winner wrapped 112 episodes of the ABC favorite Grace Under Fire in 1998.
Brett went on to a recurring role on the CBS soap The Young and the Restless, and most recently FX’s Anger Management with Charlie Sheen. She has made appearances in recent years on FX’s Archer, HBO’s The Leftovers, and this season you’ll see her in a “mystery role” on ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder.
CAISSIE St. ONGE
Caissie St.Onge is a television writer and producer who has worked on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, and Best Week Ever. She is currently a Co-Executive Producer of Bravo's Watch What Happens Live!
She has also written comedy for the late great Joan Rivers and for Bette Midler's most recent concert tour, and in her spare time, she tries to write Young Adult novels.
Interim Director of Development, Scenarios USA
Cecilia has worked in development and has written grants for several nonprofit organizations, including NGOs affiliated with the UN. During her undergraduate studies at SUNY Buffalo she worked with community youth organizations and served as a mentor.
Following college Cecilia worked in a law firm that specialized in nonprofit law, where she was inspired to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Affairs. Shortly after, she followed up her studies at the Columbia Business School Developing Leaders Program for Nonprofit Professionals.
Cindy Caponera, a native Chicagoan, has built an impressive career as an actress and writer. She started at the Second City Theater in Chicago where she performed in the National Touring Company, The E.T.C. and Main Stage. As well as many other local plays including, the critically acclaimed performances in Eugene O'Neil's Before Breakfast/Hughie at the Royal George Theater, and Maria Irene Fornes’ Mud at the Chicago Actors’ Project.
Her first solo show, Against the Grain, debuted in Chicago to rave reviews. Followed by the critically acclaimed The Debutante Ball which played in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, HBO Comedy Festival in Aspen, and was produced for Oxygen Network’s Life Out Loud series. Cookies and Booze, her third solo show, has been seen at the HBO Workshop Stage and the Comedy Central Stage in Los Angeles.
Film and Television Producer
Dana K is the founder of Fourth Agreement, a versatile film & TV production company whose mission is to create unique films that inspire and entertain. She has led diverse projects such as HBO’s pilot episode BOARDWALK EMPIRE and was the co-producer of NBC’s SMASH.
Dana is currently working with Doug Liman and Julina Tatlock, as one of the producers of the first scripted virtual reality series, INVISIBLE for Conde Nast Entertainment and she recently completed, THE NEW YORKER PRESENTS an episodic show for Amazon Studios visualizing the iconic magazine’s unique stories.
Vice President of Original Series Development at Super Deluxe
David Sigurani is the Vice President of Original Series Development at Super Deluxe, a new digital studio under Turner that develops, produces and distributes series from unique voices that tell bold, edgy stories. Previously he headed creative at Televisa USA, mining the vast format library and setting up various network series.
There he oversaw Devious Maids on Lifetime and Chasing Life on ABC Family. He hails from development stints at South Shore (Lionsgate+Televisa), Cutler Productions (Nashville, If I Stay) and Prospect Park (Wilfred, Royal Pains).
Writer, Author, Journalist
Dave Wedge is an author and writer based in Boston. A Boston College graduate, he was an investigative reporter at the Boston Herald for 14 years and has also written for VICE, Esquire, Newsweek, and DigBoston. His first book, "Boston Strong: A City's Triumph Over Tragedy," about the 2013 Boston Marathon attacks, was used for the new film Patriots Day, starring Mark Wahlberg, J.K. Simmons, Jon Goodman and Michelle Monaghan and directed by Pete Berg.
Dave and his "Boston Strong" co-author Casey Sherman are currently writing "Challenge," the story of ALS hero and Ice Bucket Challenge creator Pete Frates. A film based on that story is in development through their new company Whydah Productions.
CEO and Co-Founder of Kickfannie Media Group
Deb Chandler is the CEO and Co-Founder of KF Media Group and Strategic Partner with Akyumen Technologies and Akyumen TV. As head of the newly formed media group Deb's responsible for independent programming coming to the Akyumen TV and Radio Network. I believe, "These are exciting times. We are witness to a new global entertainment paradigm, Akyumen Technology's projection devices, paired with the Akyumen TV and Radio Network is allowing us to untether television...cut the cord. Untethered television is now, and here to stay. As the "new kids" on the block, our excitement is off the charts, when it comes to opening doors for independent creators!
VP, Corporate Social Responsibility
Dennis Williams is vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), for Home Box Office, Inc., responsible for the company’s philanthropic and pro-social initiatives. He was named to this position in January 2013. Williams played an integral role in the creation of the CSR group, and has since worked with his team to develop and define HBO’s corporate and social responsibility mission.
Under his leadership, the group has expanded and realigned corporate giving efforts with philanthropic partners, including non-profit organizations; enhanced HBO’s presence within the communities in which the company does business; and connected the company’s philanthropy to the themes reflected in the network’s programming.
Producer/Casting Director, arvold.
Producer/casting director/educator Erica Arvold most recently cast the indie feature Permanent has recently served as location casting director for Jeff Nichols’ feature film Loving, the AMC series Turn: Washington’s Spies and two seasons of Netflix’s House of Cards.
Erica produced and cast the indie film Josephine, served as associate producer and casting director on Coming Through the Rye, helped cast feature films Ithaca and Kicked by Grace, National Geographic’s Killing Kennedy, and her production company is currently producing the independent feature film Chesapeake. She was nominated for CSA’s prestigious Artios Award for the location casting of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln in 2013 and for the casting of independent feature Big Stone Gap in 2016.
Associate Director, Scenarios USA
Gloria came to Scenarios USA as an intern through the Development office. Then she was hired as the Youth Coordinator for Scenarios USA 2012 Youth Conference. Now Gloria joins the staff as the office manager. After 14 years of coordinating live television and 16 years of volunteer work at various organizations there was a natural shift from coordinating live TV to coordinating an active office and diverse staff.
Filmmaker and Entrepreneur
Greta McAnany is an award-winning filmmaker and entrepreneur. A proud graduate of the University of Southern California, she began her career in film by starting a production company and producing the feature film Bite Size. It released on TV, digital platforms, including Netflix, and was also featured on Katie Couric’s “Obesity Awareness” special on ABC.
After experiencing first-hand the gender bias that female filmmakers in Hollywood face, Greta co-founded X-Factor Films, a ‘Netflix’ for millennial female content that doubles as a space for fans and creators to engage.
Co-Founder, Frame Media Group
Hunter Kinsella is the Co-Founder of Frame Media Group, a digital media company focused on monetizing a variety of content-based web properties through programatic and real time bidding ad technology. Previously, Kinsella was in Brand Coverage focusing on Digital Packaging at Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
Kinsella interfaced with colleagues across the agency in an effort to connect clients with digital media partners and advertisers to create original entertainment content, which is then was strategically distributed across various platforms in innovative ways that maximized its monetization tail.
Writer, Founder of Jacob Krueger Studio
The founder of Jacob Krueger Studio in New York City, Jacob is an award winning screenwriter, playwright, producer and director.
Jacob’s first produced movie, The Matthew Shepard Story (2002) won him the Writers Guild of America Paul Selvin Award and a Gemini Nomination for Best Screenplay.
Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy
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, blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the books, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells and her new book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success.
Grisanti started her career in 1992 as an assistant to Aaron Spelling, who 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 was promoted to Vice President of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount where she covered numerous shows, including Medium, Numbers, NCIS, 4400 and Girlfriends.
Manager, 3 Arts Entertainment
Jermaine Johnson is a manager and producer at the Beverly Hills-based 3 Arts Entertainment. Originally from New Jersey, he graduated Rutgers with a BA in Marketing before transitioning into entertainment.
Jermaine represents a wide variety of clients, including writers, directors, journalists, and comedians. He helps manage the career of Aaron Covington (co-writer of CREED), Rell Battle (premiere comic and actor), Jessie Nickson-Lopez (story editor on STRANGER THINGS), Attica Locke (producer on EMPIRE and national bestselling author), Rembert Browne (writer for New York Magazine), Cord Jefferson (story editor on MASTER OF NONE and prominent freelance reporter), and more.
Showrunner, Writer, Producer
With more than 25 years of Hollywood experience, Jerome Perzigian has been a showrunner, writer, and producer on some of the most successful half-hour series in history, including “The Jeffersons,” “The Golden Girls,” “Frasier,” “The Nanny,” and “Married…with Children.”
He has worked with, for, and alongside some of the biggest, most successful names in the the medium, in virtually every half-hour genre: smart shows, silly shows, black shows, white shows, kid shows, sports shows, sketch shows, and a couple that defy rational explication.
Jesse Albert is a former Sr. Agent at ICM where he focused on digital and branded entertainment strategy and engagements for world leading clients and brands His efforts crossed all divisions, including digital, publishing, video games, venture capital, music, and others.
Prior to ICM, Albert led US digital entertainment for 19 Entertainment, creator of American Idol where he helped establish the first American Idol/iTunes relationship.
Founder, Jeskid Productions
Writer/exec producer/director Drawn by Pain, Status Kill, Shades of Gray; Webby Award Winner Jesse has written/directed/produced an average of 3 films for every year of his life. He first made his mark working in online video by creating the hit series, Drawn by Pain, Shades of Gray (not the S&M film) and Status Kill.
Called a “legend” by the massively popular Rooster Teeth Productions, Jesse was one of a handful of Vloggers creating content before YouTube opened its doors. He launched his first comedy feature film online in 2004 and has been actively producing content ever since.
Screenwriter, Playwright and Lyricist
Jessica Hinds is a screenwriter, playwright and lyricist from Contra Costa County California. Her recent screenwriting work includes “Tip of the Horn” currently in development with MediaWorld Productions, and the award winning short “Stranger at Home.”
Jessica has been a finalist in over a dozen major competitions and festivals including the prestigious O’Neill Conference (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012) and the 2009 Heidman Award. She received her MFA in Dramatic Writing from the New School for Drama.
Venture Partner at Social Starts, Editorial Director of Vidcon
Jim Louderback is among the most respected figures in digital media with a 20-year history of leadership at the intersection of publishing and technology. Currently, Jim is a Venture Partner at seed investment firm Social Starts, Editorial Director of Vidcon and consults with a variety of top tech and media companies on strategy, tactics and implementation.
Throughout his career, Jim has earned a reputation as a visionary who excels at leading startups, growth businesses and turnarounds. His most well-known role was that of CEO of Revision3, where he helped drive a 20x increase in viewers and a 12x increase in revenue beginning in 2007. In 2012, Jim sold the company to Discovery Communications where he remained as General Manager, transforming the group into Discovery Digital Networks.
Executive Producer, Showrunner
Joel Surnow is best known as the co-creator/executive producer of the tv show, 24. He has received Emmys for Best Drama and Best Dramatic Writing, a Golden Globe for Best Drama, a Producer of the year award from the PGA, a Best Writer of the Year award from the Hollywood Caucus and the Wired Rave award in 2003, as one of the”people changing your mind.”
He began his career as head writer on first season of Miami Vice. From there, he was the showrunner of “The Equalizer." In the mid-nineties, he adapted the movie, La Femme Nikita, which became a hit series for USA Network. Along the way, Joel provided writing and producing services for such highly-viewed and distinguished shows such as Wiseguy, Nowhere Man, Bay City Blues and The Commish.
John is an independent film producer with experience on many sides of the industry. He worked for Open Road Films’ acquisition team, acquiring and releasing such films as ‘The Grey’ starring Liam Neeson and ‘End of Watch’ starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
Previously he worked as a creative executive at Media Talent Group for clients including Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman.
Joshua Butler graduated Summa Cum Laude from USC Film School having written and directed the award-winning short Will Work for Food (1995). Joshua then directed 11 episodes of the hit CW show The Vampire Diaries (2009).
Lit Manager, Partner at Underground
From small town Sparta, NJ, Josh Turner McGuire got his start in the business as an intern at Underground after a brief stint in independent film. Having arrived in Hollywood with no connections or famous relatives, he has risen from intern to literary manager, producer and partner at Underground. McGuire graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Political Science and Economics.
Screenwriter, Television Writer, Producer & Cinematographer
A Screenwriter, Television Writer, Producer & Cinematographer, Karin Partin Wells studied photography and anthropology at Ball State University, worked with Matthew Barney Studio in New York, attended film school at New York University Tisch School of the Arts and is local 600 eligible for her camera work on feature films.
Karin writes about the stuff that everyone has to go through but no one talks about. Her feature and teleplay screenwriting has been a finalist at Sundance, Scriptapalooza, Screencraft and Austin Film Festival, and she was nominated to the prestigious Sundance Television Lab in 2015.
Vice President of Talent Development, HBO
Prior to HBO, Edwards was a key corporate diversity executive at Comcast/NBCUniversal for over five years where she introduced diverse creative talent to NBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and Telemundo.
Producer, AOL Studios
Khara is a director and producer of online content at AOL for brands like Makers.com, TechCrunch, and The Huffington Post. Most notable work includes an ensemble music video with Missy Elliott, Janelle Monae, Zendaya, and more, which was tweeted out by First Lady Michelle Obama for her #62MillionGirls campaign and MAKERS.com - a site illuminating the stories of groundbreaking women.
For The Huffington Post, she recently shot a segment for the Paralympic-qualifying Angel City Games - where she interviewed Scout Bassett and Rudy Garcia-Tolson, both of whom will compete in the 2016 Paralympic games in Rio.
Director & MD of Goldfinch Entertainment
Kirsty is a successful film producer and a tax specialist who has spent much of her career at top-ten accountancy firms. This combined expertise has seen her focus on the structuring of film companies and their finance raises since 1996 – a period in which she has raised over £150m for the industry.
After setting up and successfully running her own business consultancy business, she joined as a Partner leading entertainment accountants Nyman Libson Paul in 2013 as Head of Film & Media.
Producer, Owner at BlackEagle
Kris Meyer is the owner of BlackEagle, an Entertainment and Media company, and is an Emmy nominated and award winning producer who has worked for the past 19 years with the comedic duo The Farrelly Brothers under their production banner, Conundrum Entertainment.
He has worked as a creative executive, production consultant and producer on such blockbuster hits as “There’s Something About Mary,” “Me, Myself & Irene,” “Shallow Hal,” “Fever Pitch”, “Hall Pass”, “The Three Stooges” and “Dumb & Dumber To”.
Kristyn Caddell joins AkyumenTV and KF Media Group as their offical ITVFestival Host, reporting all of the happenings at this year’s festival. She will nab on the spot interviews with the film makers throughout the week, cover Akyumen panel discussions, conduct celebrity interviews, and Host the ITVFest Red Carpet Gala exclusively for the new AkyumenTV Network.
Kristyn is an award-winning journalist, host and commentator with more than 10 years of experience in print, online and television reporting. Her stories have been featured on local and national news outlets.
Actress, Social Media Influencer
With over 1 billion views online, Lauren Francesca has been described by Streaming Media as “a YouTube superstar.” Lauren’s videos have been featured on 20/20, Tosh.0, The O’Reilly Factor, FOX News, TruTV’s Funniest Moments, Comedy Central, and more. Entertainment Weekly said Lauren’s “Lady Gaga Telephone Parody,” was the “funniest Internet phenomenon of the moment.” As an actress, Lauren landed a role on the hit FX show Louie, and she was featured in one of Netflix’s top comedies, Bad Parents.
Co-Founder of X-Factor Films
As a college student, Lauren built an organization to bring financial awards to female filmmakers - collaborators included Kathryn Bigelow, NYU and Avid. After speaking at her graduation alongside Zerox CEO Ursula Burns, Lauren spent the next two years editing feature films in Los Angeles.
With her idea for X-Factor Films, she was a 2013 Dogfish Accelerator finalist (the world’s first entertainment business incubator), and accepted to Boston’s leading incubator Venture Development Center in 2014.
Chef and TV Personality
A vegan chef and healthy living educator, after establishing herself as a private chef for the NYC and Hollywood elite, Leslie emerged as a public persona, hosting cooking segments on television and healthy living content online.
Determined to inspire beneficial life-long eating habits for everyone, she has appeared on The Food Network, The Discovery Channel, The Doctors, The Hallmark Channel, Everyday Health and Mother Nature Network and written for MindBodyGreen, VegNews, CNN.com, Redbook, Glamour, Maxim, and dozens more, evangelizing the benefits of a mindful lifestyle, delivered with her trademark blend of sunshiney sophistication and girl next door relatability.
Former architect for 13 years. Changed to production in 1994. Started as a production assistant. Began designing in 2002 on NBC show "Third Watch”- Have designed both TV and film. Films include “Interview” directed by Steve Buscemi and “Blind Date” directed by Stanley Tucci. Both films are remakes of films by the dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh.
In television I have designed "Gossip Girl”, “Franklin and Bash”, “State of Affairs” , “Daredevil", "Jessica Jones” (Peabody award), and the recently released (as in Sept 30 2016) “Luke Cage”. I just wrapped “Iron Fist” the 4th character in the Marvel/Netflix series and am currently working on “The Defenders” which brings all 4 characters together to defend NYC.
Comedian and Filmmaker
Mark Malkoff is a comedian and filmmaker. He has been featured on the "Today Show", "Good Morning America", CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno".
Mark starred in a popular video in which he visited and consumed purchases at all 171 Starbucks locations in Manhattan in less than 24 hours. Mark also achieved worldwide media attention for his video series in which he lived and slept in an IKEA store in Paramus, New Jersey for an entire week which ended up winning the 2009 PR Week Campaign of the Year.
Development Executive/Producer/Pitch & Story Coach
Marla White is a television development executive with experience producing prime time series and award nominated television movies in multiple genres. The head of television for Emmy Award winning writer & producer Peter Tolan’s Fedora Entertainment for the past seven years, Marla was involved in numerous comedy and drama pitches being sold to networks and cable outlets. She’s worked hands-on with writers through the pilot process and has been involved with the WGN hit show “Outsiders”, the Fox drama “Rake” and “Gaffigan” for TV Land.
Prior to that, she sold the television movie “Kings of South Beach” to A & E for legendary television producers Sonny Grosso & Larry Jacobson, and was involved in the development and production of several television movies for ABC, CBS, USA and HBO.
Marx Pyle is an award winning writer, director, and producer, a graduate of Vancouver Film School and also holds degrees in psychology and computer science. He is the author of the book Television on the Wild Wild Web: And How to Blaze Your Own Trail and has worked on dozens of films and various reality TV shows over the years.
Co-Founder and CEO of Storyverse Studios
Maxine Lapiduss is an American comedian-singer, television comedy writer, director, producer, entrepreneur, and branding strategist. She is the co-founder and CEO of Storyverse Studios, an entertainment company founded in Los Angeles in 2014. Storyverse develops and produces story-driven, properties within a multi-platform universe of entertainment.
Before co-founding Storyverse Studios with partner, Hillary Carlip, Lapiduss wrote and produced many notable comedy series including Dharma & Greg, Ellen, Roseanne, Home Improvement and more.
In 2008, the US government teamed with a private enterprise to attack and take a file without authorization from an American small business. They used that information in order to expand and grow a government agency. Michael Daugherty, a small business owner who created LabMD, a cancer detection center in Atlanta, became a victim of this Government/Cybersecurity Private Enterprise.
That company, in association with a prestigious American university, conducted an invasion of business files and then used their findings to motivate the US Government to ride the wave of new cyber security protections and legislation.
Executive Producer, President, Rosey TV
Michael Rosenberg opened his Rosey TV production shingle in April 2015 after seven years overseeing US television for global studio Entertainment One. Under his tenure at eOne his credits included HBO’s hit series Hung, AMC’s Hell on Wheels, Discovery’s first-ever scripted mini-series Klondike, DirecTV/HBO Canada’sCall Me Fitz, Rogue for DirecTV’s Audience Network and MTV’s racy drama Skins based on the hit UK series of the same name.
Prior to his stint at eOne, Rosenberg served as Head of Television at Blueprint Entertainment where he produced Testees for FX.
Director of Production Legal
Michelle Johnson is currently the Director of Production Legal handling business and legal affairs matters related to the development, distribution and production of Embassy Row's bi-coastal television and digital/new media production company where she negotiates and drafts numerous agreements across a wide variety of genres including industry-acclaimed and popular shows such as Garbage Time with Katie Nolan, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Cutthroat Kitchen, Men In Blazers, Talking Dead and Watch What Happens Live.
Prior to joining Embassy Row, Michelle has worked at networks such as ABC and MTV where she worked on Good Morning America, The View, The Chew, New Year's Rockin' Eve with the late Dick Clark and My Sweet 16.
Writer, Producer, Director
Mike Rotman is an Emmy nominated television comedy writer, producer, director, and pioneer in new media content and live streaming. Rotman has written, produced, and directed hundreds of hours of television throughout his career including Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher (Primetime Emmy nominee), The Simple Life (Fox), Strip Poker (USA Network), South Park (Comedy Central), Nanny 911 (Fox), and most recently “My Crazy Ex” (writer / producer).
As a TV veteran and new media pioneer, Mike is a popular guest speaker, panelist, and consultant. Wanting to do something more creative than reality TV (and get his soul back), Rotman took a hiatus from television in 2010 and built one of the first ever multi-camera HD live internet network and live streaming company on the web in his own garage. Thus, Streamin’ Garage was born.
Author "TV Outside the Box"
Neil’s credits include the cult comedy Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead starring Christina Applegate; Melrose Place, The Magnificent Seven, Doogie Howser, M.D., The Secret World of Alex Mack, Twice in a Lifetime, MTV's Undressed, The Young & the Restless, Monarch Cove, and one-hour drama pilots for CBS, ABC, ABC Family, Warner Bros., Disney, Lifetime, and Freemantle.
Founding Partner, YOMYOMF
Philip oversees the creative content for YOMYOMF, director Justin Lin’s (STAR TREK BEYOND, FAST & FURIOUS franchise) digital company, and has worked in various capacities in film, TV, theater and digital. He started his career as a writer on the TV series LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN and was the co-founder/co-Artistic Director of Lodestone Theatre Ensemble, an Asian American theater company, for ten years.
Chung most recently wrote/produced HELP, Google’s first live-action 360 degree VR project directed by Lin, and co-wrote/produced HOLLYWOOD ADVENTURES, a Chinese feature which opened in China at #1 in 2015. He is currently overseeing projects for Warner Brothers, Comcast/NBCUniversal, IMDb, Disney Channel, ABC and others.
Senior Producer at United Nations
Priyanka Pruthi is a storyteller and strategist with a decade of experience in creating video content from pitch to publication.
At UNICEF, her work involves the creative development and production of original video content that aims to generate, mobilize and maintain public interest in children’s rights. Priyanka oversees all aspects of the production process and works on video strategy across platforms.
RICHARD "RB" BOTTO
Founder and CEO, Stage 32
Richard "RB" Botto is the Founder and CEO of Stage 32, the world’s largest online platform for connecting and educating film creatives. Called "LinkedIn meets Lynda for film creatives" by Forbes, Stage 32 boasts a member base of over 500,000 and works with over 500 industry executives across the globe.
RB is also a working actor, producer and screenwriter. As a producer, his films have played at dozens of festivals including Sundance. His latest screenplay, THE END GAME was purchased and is in development at Covert Media.
Co-Founder of X-Factor Films
A branding expert and film buff, Rick was the Corporate Art Director at Bolt Beranek and Newman for 10 years before starting his own firm Cambridge Design Group (CDG). For over 20 years his firm has been developing brands for new technology companies that have gone on to be acquired by Kodak, Konica Minolta, Covidien and Oxford Instruments.
Two brands were acquired for over $55 million each. Other CDG clients include Intel, Dell, Cisco, Microsoft, ARM and Princeton University – From 2008- 2011 Rick and Lauren ran an organization that provided funding and awards for talented female filmmakers. He is now responsible for all design and branding strategy at X-Factor Films, and over the top content provider and distributor focused on content made by women.
Founder/Content Partner, Rob Barnett Media
Rob Barnett creates innovative, original media with the best communicators & entertainers in pop culture. He's a creative management executive from MTV, VH1, CBS & an entrepreneur who founded My Damn Channel, the online studio & network where he was CEO, 2006-2016. Rob Barnett Media launched in 2016 to deliver talent, development & audience to networks, producers & brands.
The company offers strategic content partnerships & customized solutions to drive loyal audiences & repeatable revenues: www.RobBarnettMedia.com
Legal at Akyumen Technologies Corp
Roy J. Liebrecht is a Los Angeles based entertainment attorney and business and legal affairs executive who specializes in all aspects of the entertainment industry. Working with private clients as well as being an in-house attorney for one of the most recognized brands in the world, Roy has been involved in everything from profile brand licensing, to day to day production work as head production attorney for television programs, to negotiating with the largest cable/satellite/telco providers in the world.
Sal has produced commercials for some of the most important directors of our time.
For the next 20 years he produced over 500 commercials and won numerous accolades-Clios, Palme de Or. He has produced for major clients such as McDonald, BMW, Mercedes, Ford, Toyota, Apple, Wendy’s, Got Milk to name a few. The natural progression was to transition into films. He produced an independent feature film that won Best picture at the New York and Chicago Film Festivals. To this day it has a strong cult following.
SCOTT C. SMITH
Visual Effects, Digital Artist
Scott has always been at the forefront of digital imaging and technology, starting from the early 90’s. After launching start-ups in the computer imaging world, he entered the film industry. In 1999 Scott was hired into Lucasfilm Entertainment with the visual effects division, Industrial Light and Magic. His first film was Pearl Harbor (Michael Bay) where he developed and deployed the latest technology for their video engineering group.
Scott shares an Academy Award with his ILM visual effects team for their work on Pirates of the Caribbean 2, Dead’s Man Chest (2006 - GoreVerbinski).
Regional Head of Quality, The Gap Partnership
Sib Law brings nearly twenty years of negotiation expertise, having consulted at all levels of commercial negotiation in virtual every industry sector. Few can boast his breadth and depth of knowledge and practical application on the subject of negotiation.
He began his career as a member of the San Francisco - United Nations 50th Commemoration Committee (SF being the birthplace of the United Nations). In his role, he negotiated with the White House, U.S. State Department, Secret Service, Permanent Representatives to the United Nations, as well as numerous suppliers of services and goods related to the events.
Screenwriter, Author, Producer
Harper Collins published Stephen’s first novel, Brave Talk in 1987. His most recent book, Brothers in Arms: The Kennedys, the Castros and the Politics of Murder (co-authored with Gus Russo), was published in 2008 by Bloomsbury USA which nominated it for the Pulitzer Prize. He has written movies and mini-series for Showtime, New Line Cinema, Paramount Pictures and Viacom Networks, and produced two documentary features.
Actor, Producer, Director and Philanthropist
Enthralling, charismatic and passionate are just a few of the words that characterize the type of performances Tamara Tunie is known for delivering. Her memorable television roles include her portrayal of Medical Examiner Melinda Warner on the NBC drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and “mean Alberta Green” in the Fox hit series 24 Season One, as well as attorney Jessica Griffin on the CBS daytime drama As the World Turns, for which she received two NAACP Image Award nominations and two Soap Opera Digest award nominations.
Founder, Casting Influence
Tanya is an Emmy-nominated new media producer, writer, and talent advocate. A pioneer in the web video space, Tanya has worked with YouTube talent since before the term "YouTuber” existed. She has developed YouTube celebrities and helped transform traditional media figures into multi-platform digital icons-- recently as producer and digital talent booker of veteran broadcaster Larry King’s first foray into digital, Larry King Now.
She has also booked talent on YouTube Nation - A Dreamworks/Youtube partnership, Dance Showdown on Madonna's YouTube Channel DanceOn, many projects for Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's studio New Form Digital, and cast hosts for Disney, Legendary Pictures, and Nerdist, to name a few.
Partner & Co-Founder AkyumenTV
Terry Owen is a successful creator, visionary and results oriented Senior Executive and a founding member and partner of three technology companies over his continuing distinguished career, serving as Chief Sales, Marketing, Media and Operations Officer. Terry joined Akyumen Technologies Corp (Akyumen) to lead AkyumenTV.
Akyumen's answer to the growing demand for a true global content distribution aggregator network that offers consumers a true one-stop shop for wireless communication and increased human interaction such as audio, visual, physical and imagination methods.
Creative Director, Electus LLC
In 2006, Thom helped usher in the online video revolution with the launch of the first full-length sitcom made for the web, the semi-hipster comedy The Burg (called one of the Best Ideas of the Year by the New York Times). He also created, wrote and produced The All-For-Nots (a co-production with Michael Eisner), All's Faire, and Greg & Donny, which won a deal at IFC through the New York Television Festival.
Among his credits are the most recent James Bond 007 mobile game, the creation of the highly popular Episode Interactive storytelling platform, and the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World commercials. Currently Thom serves as Creative Director for Electus LLC, where he oversees development of native and branded shows and content for CollegeHumor (the #1 comedy YouTube channel), Dorkly.com, and other projects for both web and television.
TINA CESA WARD
Chair, International Academy of Web Television
Tina Cesa Ward started her career as a writer and director on several short films, most notably her multi-award winning short film In Their Absence that was named one of the best short films of the decade by Festival de cortos MíraLes. In 2008, Tina jumped into the web world and for three seasons Tina was the Executive Producer/Writer/Director of hit independent scripted drama, Anyone But Me.
Anyone But Me has reached nearly 50 million views and has brought home nearly every industry award, highlighted by Tina (along with Susan Miller) winning the first ever Writers Guild of America Award for Original New Media.
Tommy “Maddox”-Upshaw has been working in the film industry for close to 19 years. As a teenager he was a Production Assistant in New York City and the Boston area taking whichever opportunities came his way. Maddox’s opportunities came in the form of music videos which lead him to become a Union Grip/Electric for a span of 6 years before becoming a professional Motion Picture Cameraman, during which he earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree at the American Film Institute.
Upon completing his Masters and beginning his career as a Cinematographer, there was only one focus in filmmaking, to become one of Hollywoods premier Cameramen.
Entertainment Lawyer, President of FilmPro Finance
Vinca L. Jarrett, Esq. is an entertainment lawyer and president of FilmPro Finance, a financial consulting service for investors and producers for funding one-off films and building film slates.
She is currently writing the non-fiction work SHOW ME THE F#©K!NG MONEY (SMTFM): HOW TO INVEST, RAISE AND RECOUP MONEY IN THE FILM INDUSTRY, and launched TV web series of the same name in 2014 in which Vinca interviews A-list financiers, distributors, bankers, investors, casting agents, and producers from around the world. The show can be seen with new episodes airing every Wednesday at www.showmethefkingmoney.tv.
Senior Creative Producer, Ego 360
Zeke Thomas is a Senior Creative Producer at Ego 360, filmmaker, and on-camera talent with over a decade of experience in the entertainment and advertising industries. You may recognize him from ad campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, sketches on Conan, and viral videos that top over 100 MM views across Youtube and Facebook.
At Ego 360 he specializes in immersive storytelling in 360 environments including narrative, branded, and docu-series genres.