Caryn Waechter is a director and photographer based in New York City. She is a graduate of Columbia University‘s MFA film program where she concentrated in Directing. Once a classically trained dancer, Caryn compares her film work to a dance of images. Her first short film BEAT, shot guerilla-style on super 8mm in NYC underground clubs, marked her as a visionary with a sense of rhythm — mixing dark fantasies with cinema verite filmmaking. Her thesis film GOD IS GOOD has garnered a number of awards including the New Line Cinema Award for Best Director, Columbia University Faculty Selects, Kodak Film Grant, Narrative Short Finalist at the IFP Market and Top Prize at the Chinese-American Film Festival where she was flown to China to talk about cultural diversity in American film. Caryn is also a main contributor to Ridley Scott and Kevin Macdonald's YouTube documentary LIFE IN A DAY, where her footage on one specific day was picked from 80,000 submissions and 4,500 hours. Thanks to the Internet and social media, Caryn is currently and attached to direct a multi-platform webseries and collaborating with YouTube celebrity Michelle Phan on a series to empower and inspire young ladies. Caryn also shoots and directs films in the underground EDM scene under a pseudonym.
Marilyn Fu received the William Goldman Screenwriting Fellowship from Columbia University and the Tribeca Film Festival's Creative Promise Award in Screenwriting for The Sisterhood of Night. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English and Columbia University with an MFA in Screenwriting. She is a writer/reporter for LIFE Books, a research editor for T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and a member of the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, for which she also moderates discussions with filmmakers, producers and actors.
Steven Millhauser is the author of numerous works of fiction, including Martin Dressler, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1997, and, most recently, We Others: New and Selected Stories, winner of the Story Prize and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. His work has been translated into seventeen languages, and his story “Eisenheim the Illusionist” was the basis of the 2006 film The Illusionist. He teaches at Skidmore College and lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Lydia Dean Pilcher
Lydia Dean Pilcher has produced numerous award-winning independent feature films, including the Sony Pictures Classics release of the international co-production, The Lunchbox, directed by Ritesh Batra, and in 2014 was nominated for an Academy Award for Cutie And the Boxer. Lydia has produced over 30 feature films including ten movies in a long-standing collaboration with director Mira Nair (most recently The Reluctant Fundamentalist), and other films including The Darjeeling Limited directed by Wes Anderson and You Don't Know Jack directed by Barry Levinson. She is the founder and president of CineMosaic, one of New York's leading independent production companies and has forged relationships with a wide range of talent and business partners in the US, Europe, India, Turkey, Africa and the Middle East. She is headed to production this year with Fela — Music is the Weapon, a feature based on the life of Nigerian musician and political activist, Fela Kuti, and “The Queen of Katwe” to be directed by Mira Nair. Pilcher is a Chair of PGA Women's Impact Network, and is a Founder and Chair of PGA Green, an active committee since 2006 dedicated to supporting sustainability in the entertainment industry, and winner of the 2011 EMA Green Production Award. (www.cinemosaic.net and @queendean)
Elizabeth Cuthrell is co-founder of Evenstar Films, an independent film and theater production company. Cuthrell executive produced Vara a Blessing (directed by Khyentse Norbu), which opened the 2013 Busan International Film Festival, and played festivals worldwide including the London BFI Film Festival, and the Tribeca Film Festival (winner, Best Online Feature). Cuthrell also produced Kelly Reichardt‘s film Meek's Cutoff, starring Michelle Williams, which was in competition at the Venice Film Festival (winner, Signis Ecumenical Award), as well as the Toronto, Sundance, and New York Film Festivals, and wrote and produced the award-winning film Jesus' Son, starring Billy Crudup, Samantha Morton, Dennis Hopper, Jack Black, and Holly Hunter. Jesus‘ Son was also in competition at the Venice Film Festival (winner, Little Golden Lion and Signis Ecumenical Awards), as well as the Telluride, Venice, New Directors New Films, and Toronto Film Festivals. Theater credits include the recent world premiere of Slut, the New York premiere of Denis Johnsons‘ Shoppers Carried by Escalators into the Flames (starring Will Patton and Michael Shannon), Roger Rees' one-man show What You Will at ACT in San Francisco, and Jonathan Cott's Walt and Emily: Between the Rooms at the Cherry Lane Theater. Cuthrell also wrote and produced (along with Mary-Louise Parker) a series of public service announcements called Stop the Hate for the Ad Council, which urged tolerance for Arab-Americans and people of color after the attacks of 9/11. For her work on Stop the Hate, Cuthrell was awarded the Courage Award, given by the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission. Elizabeth attended the University of Hawaii and the University of Pennsylvania and received her MFA from NYU‘s Tisch School of the Arts. (www.evenstarfilms.com)
David Urrutia is co-founder of Evenstar Films. He executive produced Vara A Blessing (directed by Khyentse Norbu), produced Kelly Reichardt‘s award-winning film Meek‘s Cutoff, starring Michelle Williams, and wrote and produced Jesus‘ Son, starring Billy Crudup, Samantha Morton, Dennis Hopper, Jack Black, and Holly Hunter. Theatre credits include the 2013 world premiere of Slut, the New York premiere of Denis Johnsons‘ Shoppers Carried by Escalators into the Flames (starring Will Patton and Michael Shannon), Roger Rees' one-man show What You Will at ACT in San Francisco, and Jonathan Cott's Walt and Emily: Between the Rooms at the Cherry Lane Theater. (www.evenstarfilms.com)
GalataFilm was founded by Taha Altayli, Mustafa Karahan and Muharrem Gülmez as part of a growing Turkish cinema industry. GalataFilm blends Turkish and universal cinema standards, setting a benchmark for both itself and the industry, in terms of not only creativity, but also business models and work principles. Commencing its journey in 2010 with the documentary The Lost Songs of Anatolia, GalataFilm continued with Will, a $12 million feature film, directed by British director, Ellen Perry and starring Damien Lewis. Ecotopia, a feature film written and directed by Yüksel Asku, was released in December 2011 and pulled in 520.000 admissions at the box office in Turkey and it won 4 major awards at the 23rd Ankara International Film Festival, including Best Film and Best Director.