BRIAN UDOVICH (Producer, Board Member, Head Juror)
Brian Udovich is an award winning feature film producer residing in Los Angeles, California. His credits include ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE (Amber Heard, Anson Mount - debuted at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival where it was sold to The Weinstein Company), THE WACKNESS (Ben Kingsley, Josh Peck, Olivia Thirlby - debuted at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and was the winner of the festival’s Audience Award), A NECESSARY DEATH (winner of the 2009 AFI FEST Audience Award for best dramatic feature film) and WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE (Mark Pellegrino, Mackenzie Davis – debuted at 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.)
"What is becoming apparent is that the best time in history to be a filmmaker is actually right now! The power is completely in the creators hands. From Bellflower to Another Earth to Weekend to Cheap Thrills - we are seeing that there are no excuses or higher powers holding you back. Artists like Cassavetes and Godard would be doing backflips to know that final draft, HD cameras and Final Cut Pro are all at your fingertips. Barriers that used to exist to keep filmmakers from telling their stories are gone and one of the biggest barriers, budget, is no longer an excuse. If you're an artist at your soul, let your soul pour out on the big screen. Nothing is holding you back."
AMY NICHOLSON (Film critic at LA Weekly)
Amy Nicholson is the chief film critic for the LA Weekly and author of Anatomy of an Actor: Tom Cruise, to be published Spring 2014 by Cahiers du Cinéma/Phaidon Press.
"When $100 million budgets are the norm, so, too, are play-it-safe creative compromises. Want to be provoked, side-swiped, excited and even thrillingly confused? Look to the current crop of storytellers and the scripts they vowed to produce, even at great personal cost. The filmmakers who dare to take risks are the ones with nothing to lose. "
Matt Holzman is the host of Matt's Movies, KCRW's screening series. He's also a veteran public radio reporter and the creator of KCRW's show about the business of show business, ingeniously named The Business. He blogs about movies and the movie business at http://blogs.kcrw.com/mattsmovies. His favorite color is Sherwin-Williams Emerald Show-Stopper Red.
"I had never even heard of "Let The Right One In" when I popped it into my DVD player. And I remember thinking, oh no, not another movie about disaffected Scandinavian children set against a bleak northern landscape. But as I watched, I remember thinking "what a minute..." and as the movie went on I slowly curled up into a terrified ball. I wish I could have that experience with every movie I see!"
ARRON KINSER (Founding exec of PrimeTV, Larsen Bay Entertainment)
Founding Member of Larsen Bay Entertainment Inc. and Prime TV Network, has more than 12 years experience in Film, Television and Digital Distribution. Arron recently produced and starred in the 2013 release of Cruel Will with actors Harry Lennix (Man of Steel, Ray, The Matrix Trilogy) and Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, Adaptation). Arron's credits include Assistant Director work on The Last Stand starring Laz Alonso (Constantine, Jarhead, Stomp the Yard), Anthony Anderson (Hustle and Flow, Scary Movie 4, Departed). Assistant Director work on Creepshow 3, starring AJ Bowen (Last Goodbye, The Signal). Along with Arron's credits as a Director/Assistant Director he has worked on many films including, Shanghai Kiss, Clerks 2 directed by Kevin Smith, Fun with Dick and Jane, starring Jim Carrey, Herbie Fully Loaded, Guess Who and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. In 2012 Arron debuted the launch of Prime TV Network. A Connected TV Network available through ROKU. Featuring Independent Music Artists, Filmmakers and Creative Collaborations from around the world.
MAREN OLSON (Indie Sales Distributor, Producer)
Maren Olson is the President of independent film company Traction Media, LLC, where she is responsible for the creative development, packaging, financing and sale of independent films. Since joining the company in 2005, Ms. Olson has represented domestic and/or worldwide distribution rights to over 70 finished films, including Academy Award winner The Secret in Their Eyes, festival favorites such as An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Natural Selection and Red Flag, and Sundance Audience Award winners This is Martin Bonner, Valley of Saints and Kinyarwanda.
In addition to representing distribution rights, she acts as a producer. Most recently, she produced critically lauded Short Term 12, which premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards. Other recent projects include South African social issue documentary Angels in Exile and upcoming post-apocalyptic drama Orion, both of which she executive produced.
Ms. Olson’s previous industry experience includes working in script development for producer Lawrence Bender (Kill Bill, Good Will Hunting, Pulp Fiction). While at Lawrence Bender Productions she helped develop films Innocent Voices, The Chumscrubber and Killshot, and also acquired and developed popular Japanese fantasy series The Guin Saga for the company.
She graduated from the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television with a B.A. in Film Production and a minor in Business.
New Artists Alliance)
New Artists Alliance is a cutting edge film production studio. Through focus on story, character, and modern uses of technology, NAA consistently produces the highest quality PRODUCT with the lowest possible cost. Collaborating with young filmmakers and using a profit sharing model, NAA has attracted some of Hollywood’s most up and comers to their team. They have quickly become the singular voice in redefining the term "low budget" as "truly independent".
GABRIEL COWAN (Producer/Director; New Artists Alliance)
Since 2011, Gabriel Cowan has produced over a dozen feature films. Of the 5 narrative features sold at SXSW 2013, 3 of them were produced (and one written) by Cowan. In 2013, 4 of Cowan's pictures will be released including BAD MILO! which he produced with The Duplass Brothers (in theaters Oct 4 through Magnolia Pictures) and CHEAP THRILLS, which won the audience award at SXSW 2013, has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and was dubbed "A thoroughly nasty piece of work" by Variety.
So far, Cowan has produced 4 features in 2013 including WHY NOW with Sam Rockwell and Marisa Tomei and JUST BEFORE I GO which is Courteney Cox's directorial debut and stars Seann WIlliam Scott, Olivia Thirlby, Kate Walsh, Rob Riggle and David Arquette. He is currently shooting a documentary about a screenwriting class he is teaching to Juveniles who are facing life sentences in prison.*Cowan's picture is from the set of STATIC which was shot using a 3D camera rig he helped to develop (also pictured).
JORDANA MOLLICK (Haven Entertainment, Sundance Creative Producing Fellow)
Jordana Mollick began her career in Theater in New York and later transitioned into film by working at the Endeavor Agency and then as the film development executive for writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Rounders, Runaway Jury, Ocean’s 13). She then moved to Los Angeles where she lives currently and formed her own literary management and production company with producing partner Brendan Bragg called Black Sheep Management and Productions, which aims to develop and produce a diverse slate of films and manage a carefully curated array of writers and directors. In May of 2013, Black Sheep merged with Haven Entertainment. Jordana created the Unscreened play series, an annual development and presentation of four world-premiere short plays by some of Hollywood’s fastest-rising screenwriters and television writers featuring a multi-star cast. Through this annual project, Jordana has produced work written and directed by Leslye Headland, Dahvi Waller, John Whittington, Michelle Morgan, Will Graham, Susanna Fogel & Joni Lefkowitz, and Robbie Pickering, among others. Now under Haven, Jordana just wrapped on LIFE PARTNERS directed by Susanna Fogel and starring Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs, and Adam Brody for which Jordana was a 2012 Creative Producing fellow with the Sundance Institute and is now a Sundance Alumni. Under Haven, she is also producing Beth Schacter’s feature film A Virgin Mary, which will star Abigail Breslin, Addison McQuigg’s SONATA starring Zachary Quinto, and Steven Feder’s Hooking Up starring Ray Liotta.
JORDAN VOGT-ROBERTS (Director, Kings of Summer)
Jordan Vogt-Roberts directed and executive produced the film THE KINGS OF SUMMER which premiered at Sundance 2013. He is the creator and director of the Comedy Central television show Mash Up and the director of the acclaimed short film Successful Alcoholics, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and subsequently screened at more than 30 festivals worldwide including SXSW and AFI. His award-winning work on the Web and with branded content has reached millions of viewers and launched a career in commercials. Hailing from the ruins of Detroit but currently living in Los Angeles, Vogt-Roberts also loves dachshunds.