|Marianne & Dean Metropoulos, sponsors of the Project Discovery Forum|
Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) 2013
Project Discovery Forum – Participants
Sunday, June 9, 11 am – 3 pm
The purpose of the Project Discovery Forum is to enhance development and production possibilities for filmmakers of Greek and Balkan descent, as well as international filmmakers who wish to make a film in Greece or with a Greek theme. The participants present their projects to a panel of six professionals who are active in the world of film development and production. The participants also have the opportunity to participate in pitch practice sessions as well as receive one-on-one screenplay feedback prior to the panel. The Aegean Award winner will be announced at the Orpheus Awards ceremony.
As Co-Founder, Senior Partner and Producer of the newly established ON GLOBAL PICTURES, Manos Gavras is currently in pre- production on two Hollywood films. He was a Co-Producer of the film STRANGER IN PARADISE (2011), and he and his business partner, Adonis Hadjiantonas, were Associate/Executive Producers of the upcoming film THE BUTLER, distributed by the Weinstein Company.
J. Todd Harris is President of Branded Pictures Entertainment. Of the nearly 40 movies he’s produced, highlights include Golden Globe-winning and Academy Award-nominated THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT (2010), BOTTLE SHOCK (2009), CROOKED ARROWS (2012), JEEPERS CREEPERS (2001), and PIRANHA 3D (2010). Five of his films have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, including DIGGING TO CHINA (1997), URBANIA (2000), and LEWIS & CLARK & GEORGE (1997).
Alexia Melocchi is one of the partners of Little Studio Films and has a 20-year experience in the international marketplace, including packaging projects, handling US and international distribution, co-productions and development consulting. She recently produced STEALING ROSES (2012) and ICE SCREAM (2013) with Laura Harring.
Crystal Powell is Vice President of Production and Development at Electric City Entertainment, and previously at Silverwood Films. She associate produced TERRI and ON THE ICE, both of which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and SHARK NIGHT 3D (2011). She also co-produced TWENTY-EIGHT HOTEL ROOMS, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Most recently, Powell associate produced THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper.
Matthew Takata is Manager for the Feature Film Program’s international work at Sundance Institute. His focus is on international outreach and selection for the Institute’s Screenwriters and Directors Labs in Utah, FFP’s labs in India, Turkey, Jordan and Japan, and the annual Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award.
Alexis Varouxakis started his career in London as a film and commercials producer, and is currently the Chief Operating Officer of 1821 Media Group. He served as a co-producer on EL GRECO (2007), for which he set up the financing structure between Spain and Greece, OPA! (2009) and DARK HEARTS (2012), starring Sonja Kinski.
Adam Sigel, WGA, is a writer, producer and content strategist working across multiple platforms. He has been hired as a speaker and film mentor by international organizations such as Nordisk Film and TV, Torino Film Lab, Power to the Pixel, Independent Filmmaker Project, Berlinale Talent Campus, Forum Brazil, and more.
Christos Gage, WGA, is an acclaimed writer of comic books, television, films, and video games. He has co-written episodes of television shows such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Numb3rs.
Spiro Skentos, WGA, is a story editor on NBC’s Grimm. He has served as a writer for The Drew Carey Show and The George Lopez Show. He is a graduate of NBC’s Writers on the Verge Program, and has completed the NHMC writing program.
Bill Taub is a screenwriter and a WGA and WGC member. He has written and produced pilots for Relic Hunter, Friday the 13th:The Series, Mission Genesis, The Odyssey, and Dark Shadows. He has also written pilots for NBC and Paramount. He teaches at UCLA Extension’s Writer’s Program.
Filmmaker: Aristotelis Maragkos
AND THE SNOW LAY AROUND
Filmmaker: Fay Efrosini Lellios
Filmmaker: Paolo Marinou-Blanco, WGA
ET IN ATHENA EGO
Filmmaker: Georgis Grigorakis
A EUROPEAN LOVE STORY
Filmmakers: Thouly Dosios, Maeve McQuillan
Filmmaker: Argyris Papadimitropoulos
Jury of Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) 2013
Tassos Boulmetis (Chairman) was born in Constantinople and moved to Greece at an early age in the 60s. He earned a degree in physics from the University of Athens and film directing/production from the University of California Los Angeles. He started his career as a director/producer for national television networks. He wrote, directed and co-produced the award-winning film DREAM FACTORY (1990) and A TOUCH OF SPICE (2003), a story inspired by true events drawn from his life. SPICE was Greece’s official entry for the 2005 Academy Awards and was presented at several international festivals. The film became the biggest box office hit in Greece and has been distributed in 45 countries all over the world. Boulmetis was the first president of the newly established Hellenic Film Academy. He is currently working on his next feature project while teaching advanced directing courses at the AKMI Institute of Audiovisual Studies in Athens.
Leanna Bonamici produces the TV show Shorts Showcase, which features short films from all over the world (www.shortsshowcase.com). Shorts Showcase is currently airing in 18 million homes throughout Southern California on PBS station KVCR. Earlier the Bonamici family built Casablanca Studios which, at the time, was the only independent film and television sound stage and production facility in the Coachella Valley. Bonamici was Head of Operations the entire 10 years of Casablanca’s operation. In 2001, she founded the Palm Springs chapter of Women in Film and Television. In 2007 she received the Women of Distinction in the Arts Award from the National League of American Pen Women and, in 2009, the City of Indian Wells named her their Athena Award winner for Professional Excellence.
John Butkovich is a veteran film marketer with more than 1000 feature films to his credit. Before joining Arenas, an entertainment and media marketing company, in 2000, he was Senior Vice-President of Media at Sony Pictures Entertainment where, for 15 years, he spearheaded domestic media efforts. Prior to joining Sony, Butkovich served five years as Vice-President of Media at Universal Pictures. As a member the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he regularly sits on the annual screening committees to nominate the candidates for Best Foreign Language Film. In 2012 he reviewed more than 300 short narrative films as a member of the Slamdance Film Festival’s nominating committee.
Robert Koehler is a film critic and programmer. His film reviews can be read at Film Comment, Cinema Scope, Cineaste, Indie Wire, Sight & Sound and Filmjourney.org. Koehler’s blog column analyzing film festivals can be read at Filmlinc.com, the website of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, where he recently served as Director of Cinematheque Programming. His film reviews have previously appeared in Variety, The Christian Science Monitor, Cahiers du Cinema (France and Spain) and Die Tageszeitung. He served as an instructor and programmer for UCLA Extension’s Sneak Preview program from 2003 to 2007. In 2003 Koehler developed the successful and innovative program, “The Films That Got Away,” an ongoing series presenting significant recent work that has previously not screened in Los Angeles. Institutions with which the series has collaborated include UCLA Film Archive, the American Cinematheque and the Los Angeles Film Festival. In 2009, he was appointed director of programming at AFI Fest Los Angeles, where he helped create a new and focused competition section titled “New Lights,” as part of AFI Fest’s programming concept as a festival-of-festivals.
Anthony Skordi was born and raised in London, UK, to Greek Cypriot parents and trained at the Drama Centre London. Skordi’s prolific theatre career includes becoming a member of both The Royal Shakespeare Company (1990-92) and of Vanessa Redgrave’s Moving Theater Company, performing worldwide. Skordi crossed over to the screen, where he was a series regular for six television shows, including both dramas and comedies. His more recent work includes guest star spots on Men of a Certain Age, Detroit 187, and many video games including Mass Effect 3. Skordi recently worked opposite Kevin Spacey in the short ENVELOPE, and collaborated on the soon-to-be-released LUCKY STIFF.