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Industry Workshops and Panels


SAG-AFTRA low budget

film distribution

Monday, March 15, 11:00 am (EDT)

A webinar on the various forms of low-budget film production using SAG-AFTRA actors, especially now in the new media reality. Presented by Leif Larson of SAG-AFTRA


on Lebanon

Wednesday, March 17, 12:00 pm (EDT)

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Carol Mansour is an independent documentary filmmaker. 

Her film Shattered: Beirut is screening in the festival's current edition under Shorts: Home

and Belonging. She was awarded the Women Film Critics Circle Award at Rated SR Festival

2015 in New York, for her 2014 documentary film “We cannot go there now, my Dear”. She

was awarded Best Documentary at the Rated SR Festival 2014 in New York. Carol’s work

reflects her concern for human rights and social justice, covering issues such as migrant

workers, refugees, environmental issues, mental health, rights of the disabled, war and

memory, right to health, and child labor. Carol is Lebanese of Palestinian origin. She studied

in Montreal, Canada, and is currently living and working from Beirut, Lebanon.

Gino Raidy is a 30-year-old Lebanese blogger and activist. Gino’s Blog has tackled freedom

of expression, anti-corruption and peacefully resisting Lebanon’s embattled authorities since 2010. In October 17, 2019, Raidy participated and covered the Lebanese uprising, being detained on three separate occasions of his participation. Raidy is currently based in

New York City.


Nadim Shehadi is the executive director of the Lebanese American University’s Academic

Center in New York. He is also an associate fellow of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House in London. He was previously the director of the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.


The buzz

that made the film

Wednesday, March 17, at 2:30pm (EDT)

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Dan Gurlitz Headshot.jpg
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Valerio Caruso - Director of Cineuropa

Valerio Caruso is director of the web site, a portal about European cinema

in four languages, offering news, databases, services and promoting the European cinema in Europe and outside. As consultant, Valerio Caruso has been providing technical assistance to several national authorities, the European Commission and UNESCO in the field of cinema, culture and audiovisual. Since November 2018 he is Team Leader of the project to support Delegations of the European Union in the world in organizing film festivals.

Bruno Chatelin - Editor Founder of Filmfestival - Best for Fests curator

Bruno Chatelin has a long career in film distribution, branding, advertising, working with some

of the major players. He co-founded which regularly partners with the largest festivals and markets (Cannes, AFM, Toronto, Locarno, Venice…) and has served over 6.000 festivals worldwide and a community of 370 000 unique monthly visitors, and newsletter subscribers base of 193 000. The company was one of VOD international pioneers (2001) and has opened a film and festival matchmaking community and is a leader in digital new developments in the industry. He runs a consulting boutique Major Buzz Factory

Dan Gurlitz: Owner of Soundview Media Partners

Dan Gurlitz is the owner of Soundview Media Partners, an agency specializing in the establishment of distribution for documentaries. He entered the industry in 1984, spent time in sales and then in executive management roles for such companies as Entertainment One and Fox Lorber Associates prior to launching Soundview in 2010. Recent examples of Soundview projects include Escape from Room 18, American Heretics, and We Are Not Princesses.

Mabel Pais - Journalist - Indian Panorama

Mabel writes a column for The Indian Panorama newspaper, a weekly online publication with 2 editions: One for the tri-State area - NY/NJ/CT and the other for Dallas, TX. She also writes on The Arts and Entertainment (which includes Film, Music Concerts and Live Theater), Social Issues, Health & Wellness and Spirituality. She is a contributor to the Wellness Book, "31-Day Food Revolution."


Chris Atamian

Christopher is a New York-based writer and filmmaker. He has published six translations from French and Western Armenian, a book of poetry ("A Poet in Washington Heights") which was nominated for a National Book Award and a forthcoming novel, Manhattan Boy. He has twice been awarded the Tölölyan Literary Prize and is recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. His short films have screened at the Venice Biennale and at film festivals globally---most recently Resurrection Myth was a winner at the Be Heard competition. He continues to work as a branded content provider for advertising clients and volunteers for Armenian and socially relevant causes whenever possible. Christopher is a Board Member of the AGLA New York and an alumnus of Harvard, Columbia Business School and USC Film School.

The panel will discuss the topic of The Importance of PR, the Press, Media and Marketing strategies in

Film Distribution. It will review the role of the publicist, the media and press person in securing a successful distribution or a film.


The new reality of film distribution

Friday, March 19, at 2:30pm (EDT)

The panel will discuss the topic of New trends and developments in Film Distribution. New platforms,

new forms, and new developments will be reviewed by panelists who are working distribution industry professionals in the new reality that the pandemic has imposed on the industry. Trends, new platforms, and the new post-COVID reality of film distribution.

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Beth Portello - Cinema Libre Studio - Burbank

Beth Portello is a co-founder of Cinema Libre Studio and has overseen marketing and business development shepherding over 200 social issue films into the marketplace since 2003. She is the producer of “The End of Poverty?,” a feature-length documentary directed by Philippe Diaz, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival (Director’s Fortnight selection) and has screened at over 47 film festivals around the world as well as being released theatrically in the US and France. She is currently developing a feature-length documentary on CNN camerawoman Margaret Moth, who was shot in the face by a sniper while covering the siege of Sarajevo. Moth survived the catastrophic injury and returned to Bosnia six months later despite her disfigurement and speech impairment, to continue her work.

Erica Enriquez - Acquisition Manager - Flixa-TV

Erica Enriquez-Clemente, alongside founder Claire Couson, sources and acquires content for FLIXA, a streaming platform focusing on stories from women filmmakers from around the world. She has worked across both Acquisitions and Distribution for some of Australia’s leading content platforms and content providers, having started her career when the likes of VOD was unheard of. She’s interested in stories that celebrate diverse human experiences and looks forward to connecting with filmmakers from all walks of life.

Jordan Mattos - New York-based film distributor, Founder of AspectRatio New York

Jordan Mattos is a New York-based film distributor with over 10 years of experience inlicensing content in

the USA.  Since 2006 he has led the theatrical and home entertainment distribution of hundreds of films from Europe, Africa and South America at arthouse label IndiePix. In 2016 he founded sales company Aspect Ratio, working with international producers seeking to enter the US market. Jordan is currently the US programming consultant for Critics Week at the Venice Film Festival. In 2017 he co-founded Cinemarket, a digital market for transacting film rights, which launched at the 2018 Marche du Film.


Nora Armani - Actor Filmmaker - SRFF Founding Artistic Director (Bio here)


65th Forum parallel event

Saturday, March 20, at 11:00am (EDT)




11:00 AM - 1:00 PM EDT on Saturday, 20 March

SPONSORED BY: SR Socially Relevant Film Festival NY & NYWIFT Join this event to see

two films and three trailers part of the Socially Relevant Film Festival! Followed by a panel discussion.

In the NGO CSW/NY Exhibit Booth where conversation circles, caucuses, Anti-Racism events are organized throughout the two weeks of the NGO CSW65 Forum. That Saturday is a day for learning through storytelling.


The films that will screen are:


How We See Water directed by Robin Starbuck

"How We See Water" follows the lives of two young women in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, as they grow from girls to young women and struggle to fulfill their dreams of obtaining an education while also serving a vital role in earning a living for their families. The survival of children in indigenous Chiapian Mexico is both fragile and resonant with community.


iMigrant Woman directed by Nora Armani

Monologues of migrant women juxtaposed to tell the various immigrant experiences of women who find themselves in a foreign country away from their loved ones, and as the sole means
of providing for them. They speak out as a way to protest against their fate as women. This was a play presented on Zoom in July 2020 with actors from five cities and three continents, something that was made possible only because of the fact that it was presented on zoom

due to the pandemic.


The trailers that will screen are:


Samira's Dream (Ndoto Ya Samira) directed by Nino Tropiano 

A Zanzibari woman, Samira, aspires to have a family like all of her friends but is also determined to pursue higher education and a career. Throughout 7 years of her life, society, and respect of traditions, constantly pressure her to choose one over the other.

Corked directed by Lori Shockley

Corked is a dramatic short film set in 1970's Northern California wine country. It's based on
the true story of one young women’s struggle against the status quo. Jane Dunlap is at 
the crossroads of asserting her independence in the male-dominated industry. Which direction will she choose?

The House That Built Tsoghik directed by Mariam Ohanyan

The story of an architect woman, Tsoghik Arabyan, in the Soviet Union, in Armenia,

in the 1950s.

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