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 for panels and workshops

SR Film Festival Spotlight Panels and Industry workshops  


SR Socially Relevant Film Festival panels and workshops are free of charge and open to all filmmakers and members of the audience (as space permits). 


RSVP is required as in some cases space may be limited

Free and open to the public.

NY Loves Film Roundtable

When: Friday, March 17, 3 – 4 pm

Where: Festival Lounge - Cinepolis Chelsea (260 West 23rd Street)


Meet the team from the New York State Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development for a roundtable discussion of all things productive in New York State – tax credits, location scouting, finding stages and crew, and more.  Whether you’re a first-time filmmaker wondering where to start or a veteran producer looking to catch up on the latest, this informal face-to-face Q&A is an invaluable opportunity to Meet Team NY and hear firsthand about all the great things New York State has to offer.

Kathryn Fisher and Steven Pelton. 

Low Budget Film Production workshop - SAG-AFTRA


When: Thursday, March 16, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Where: SAG-AFTRA NY Local, 1900 Broadway, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10023

Meet the SAGindie staff and the Theatrical Business team of SAG-AFTRA to learn the ins and outs of low budget Motion Picture & Television production.  Join SAGindie staff and SAG-AFTRA Theatrical Business Representatives to walk you through the process of signing SAG-AFTRA Low Budget Agreements from start to finish. The SAGindie workshop highlights the Student/Short Film and Low Budget Theatrical Agreements. If you want to learn about new media contracts, the SAG-AFTRA New Media department holds their own workshop in Los Angeles. 


New Technologies and their Socially Relevant TM Uses 


When: March 17, 2:00 - 3:00 pm

Where: Festival Lounge - Cinepolis Chelsea (260 West 23rd Street)



Kris Kolo: Industry Advisor, Global Executive Director VR/AR Association

Kris was an Advisor, Board Member, to FlyBy Media, an AR tech startup, acquired by Apple. In addition, Kris was an executive at Toys R Us and Verizon.  As an entrepreneur, Kris was the Co-Founder of Spime Inc, a Silicon Valley startup acquired by Trimble.  And, Kris published the ground-breaking book, Local Positioning Systems on mapping and location-based services. 

Alissa Crevier: Global Head of Brand Partnerships Littlestar

Alissa Crevier is a marketing and brand partnerships executive with a background in artist management, music and entertainment, and original content development. Alissa is the Global Head of Brand Partnerships at Littlstar, a premium distribution platform dedicated to showcasing the most immersive VR/360 content around the globe.

Andrew Feinberg: COO TimeLooper

Andrew has 12 years of global experience in strategy,operations, business development and sales. Andrew is a co-founder and the Chief Operating Officer at TimeLooper, an app that enables tourists visiting historic locations to experience events that transpired at those locations first-hand through virtual reality.

Kiira Benzing: storyteller

Kiira Benzing is a storyteller crossing the mediums of theater, improv, documentary, fiction and virtual reality. Kiira is a recent recipient of the 2017 Ford Foundation’s JustFilms Fellowship. “Cardboard City” her first venture in Virtual Reality won the Samsung Gear Indie Milk VR contest (2016) and debuted at Sundance.

Matthew MacVey: Journalist

Matt MacVey runs immersive journalism programs at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, teaching 360 production workshops and connecting immersive news producers.

Spotlight panel - CHAPLIN: Artists in Resistance


When: March 15, 8:00 - 8:40pm

Where: Cinepolis Chelsea (260 West 23rd Street)



Napoleon Da Legend: lyricist

Napoleon Da Legend is a Paris-born, East African and Washington DC-raised, Brooklyn-based lyricist who evokes the bleak reality of the world today without lose hope for a better tomorrow. He gained the attention of the Hip-Hop world last year after releasing "Steal This Mixtape" and "Steal This Mixtape Too". Facebook. 

Kim Fraczek: Director of Sane Energy Project

Kim Fraczek is the Director of New York-based Sane Energy Project, a grassroots group focusing on shutting down fracked gas infrastructure and bringing a renewable energy transition of justice to our region. She was a co-founder of the People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall St.

Raz Mesinai: Music producer

Raz Mesinai's productions (as Badawi, Ghost Producer, Sub Dub, Ladyman, Psy Co) have continuously surprised and inspired artists from around the world of various fields and disciplines. Raz’s project Badawi (1996-2011) helped define a style of music for film and media about horror and crisis in the Middle East, and his duo project with John Ward, Sub Dub, was a catalyst for the so called “illbient scene” in the 90’s in NYC.

Andrew Short: writer, actor, artist and activist

Andrew Short is writer, actor, artist and activist based in New York City. He focuses his art on the cultural climate of media-induced fear, paranoia, and America’s obsession with a glorified past. He creates digital collage art and the Dads Love Trump series. He most recently co-wrote and starred in Post Everything Production’s Hot. Read. Leather. and appeared in Becky Yamamoto’s series Uninspired.

Andrew Tider: artist and creative director

Andrew Tider is an artist and creative director who produces culturally relevant projects to generate attention and action for NGOs and brands. Recently, this has included cementing a statue of Edward Snowden onto a Revolutionary War memorial in a Brooklyn park, becoming a “freelance surveillance agent on behalf of the NSA” as part of .

Moderated by Lucie Tripon

Lucie Tripon: writer

A French native, Lucie has been with the festival from the beginning. She writes plays and sketches. She was part of a French-Colombian women duo (Yorkville Theater) with Nadia Menco which wrote and performed plays around New York and then produced in 2015 a short film called Pink Dolphin that made it to several international festivals including the Cannes short corner. She is currently working on a play, a film project on Mishima as an actress, and writing a screenplay on the disenchanted French youths.

Spotlight panel Violence against women
with the filmmakers from Women Preyed: Program of shorts, Closing Film: Split and special guests


When: March 16, 3:00 - 4:00 pm

Where: Cinepolis Chelsea (260 West 23rd Street)



Monica Mahendra Singh : Social Activist for Violence against Women at the UN

Monica Singh is a Motivational Speaker, Humanitarian and well known Social Activist for Violence against Women at the UN. She was appointed Global Youth Champion by UN Women and is also a Spokesperson at United Nations representing Face of Resilience from India. She is a Fashion Design graduate from National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, India and Fashion Marketing graduate from Parsons School of Design, New York.

Piper Anderson: writer educator and Founder of Create Forward LLC

Piper Anderson is an award-winning writer, educator, cultural strategist and Founder of Create Forward LLC, a social impact firm that designs creative strategies for social change. In spring 2016, Anderson was awarded a TED Residency to develop an innovative art-and-design project called Mass Story Lab,  designing local and national initiatives using the arts to end mass criminalization/ incarceration.

Deborah Kampmeier: Filmmaker

Deborah Kampmeier’s first feature Virgin, starring Elisabeth Moss and Robin Wright was nominated for two 2004 Independent Spirit Awards. Her second feature, Hounddog, starring Dakota Fanning was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Deborah's third feature, SPLiT is the closing night film at the Socially Relevant Film Festival. Deborah is the founder of Full Moon Films, a company dedicated to the development and production of films by and about women: Deborah’s film SPLiT screens on Saturday, March 18, 9:15 pm

Kankana Chakraborty: filmmaker

Kankana Chakraborty is from Kolkata, India. She did her BFA in Filmmaking from India and is an Independent documentary filmmaker in her country. She is the director of the Docu-drama “Women Prayed and Preyed Upon”. She has worked with a number of eminent Bollywood Celebrities, namely Shri. Amitabh Bachchan, Shri Shyam Benegal and others.
Kankana’s short film Women prayed and preyed upon screens on Thursday, March 16, at 4 pm

Mirka Hermoza Laznik: Gender Justice coordinator at the Broad Front

Mirka is the Gender Justice coordinator of the Broad Front (Peruvian progressive political movement) in NYC and the coordinator and organizer of Ni una menos NYC

#NiUnaMenso (Not one less) that is a Latin American collective demonstration  and a protest against femicides and violence against women in the region.

Moderated by: Nora Armani

Spotlight panel Immigration and Refugees 
with the filmmakers from the immigration and refugee films.


When: March 16, 8:45-9:15pm

Where: Cinepolis Chelsea (260 West 23rd Street)



Lucas Jedrzejak: filmmaker, Bison Grass Films Ltd

As a film director and producer, Lucas has travelled from China to the Arctic Circle. His award-winning documentary work focusses on telling human stories with an atmospheric aesthetic. Lucas’ most recent film Ketermaya explores the extraordinary resilience of a group of Syrian refugee children living in a camp in Lebanon. Lucas’ film Ketermaya is in selection and can been seen on March 16th,6:00-7.30pm

Brigitte Gauthier: professor, author and filmmaker

Brigitte Gauthier is the author of two novels and is the French specialist on Harold Pinter and Pina Bausch. She is a Professor at the University of Evry-Val-d’Essonne where she is the Head of the Research Center SLAM, the axis SCRIPT and the editorial series S.C.R.I.P.T. Game Boy, le film is in development and she’s currently adapting a novel set in Mauritius.

Brigitte’s film Linda & her dog Vila helping the 2016 Samos Refugees is in selection and can been seen on Tuesday, March 14, at 4 pm

Irina Patkanian: Filmmaker

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Irina Patkanian is an award winning filmmaker, a Fulbright scholar, professor of documentary production at CUNY and the president of “In Parentheses,” a NYC based nonprofit film, theater & media arts company. Irina makes hybrid and immersive documentaries.

Hassan Hamza: Filmmaker

Hassan Hamza is a French born director who has written and directed four short movies. His work focuses on identity issues experienced by young people from non-European immigration descend. In 1996, his first short film entitled Apprends à porter ta croix (Learn how to carry your cross) quickly established his reputation on the Parisian cinema stage. His recent short film Cinémétèque received numerous prizes. Hassan is now developing his first long feature film.

Hassan’s latest film Immigration Sans Issue is in selection and can been seen on Thursday, March 16, at 9:15pm

Funding Your Film Ideas


When: March 18, 10:15-11:30am

Where: School of Visual Arts MFA Social Documentary Film Theater - 136 West 21st street, 1st floor, New York, NY 10011



Susan Margolin : Founder St. Marks Productions

Susan Margolin has built a reputation as a pioneer of digital distribution. Margolin recently launched St. Marks Productions, a production and distribution company. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of BAFTA NY, Chicken & Egg Pictures and Hamptons Take2 Documentary Film Festival and on the Advisory Board of New York Women in Film and Television.

Courtney Harge: Member advisor Fractured Atlas

Courtney Harge is an arts administrator, fundraiser, entrepreneur, and director originally from Saginaw, MI. For the past six years, Courtney has worked in an administrative capacity for several NYC cultural institutions including Fractured Atlas. She is the founder and Producing Artistic Director of Colloquy Collective, an emerging theater company in Brooklyn, NY.

Debra Zimmerman: Executive Director, Women Make Movies
Debra Zimmerman has been the Executive Director of Women Make Movies since 1983.  She is a member of numerous Advisory Boards for many media organizations, a jury member for many international film festivals, and regularly sits on foundation and government funding panels.  She is the recipient of New York Women in Film and Television's Loreen Arbus Award and the Hot Doc's Doc Mogul Award.

Hayden Goldblatt: Counsel, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz law firm

Hayden Goldblatt focuses on motion picture, television, and digital media work and has wide-ranging experience in all areas of entertainment and media, representing producers, writers, directors, documentary filmmakers, actors, comedians, financiers, and independent distributors. He has negotiated complex single picture and slate multi-party financings both on behalf of producers and financiers, as well as structured hundred million dollar film funds.

Moderated by: Christopher Atamian: storyteller, journalist and director

Christopher Atamian is a New York-based storyteller (fiction, film, theater), journalist and director. He has received a 2015 Ellis Island NECO Award and the Tololyan Literary Prize. He was also participant in the 2011 Venice Biennale as a video director and produced the 2006 OBIE Award-winning play Trouble in Paradise.

The Hazardous (Brave) Documentary


When: March 18, 12:00 - 1:15 pm

Where: School of Visual Arts MFA Social Documentary Film Theater -136 West 21st street, 1st floor, New York, NY 10011



Axel Baumann: Cinematographer

A native of Munich (Germany) and based in New York, Axel Baumann has been working in film and television for more than twenty years.  Nominated three times for an Emmy, Axel won for Carrier, a 10-part PBS series on the USS Nimitz, produced by Icon Films and directed by Maro Chermayeff. His latest project is a feature documentary on the European migrant crisis called Humanities on The Move, produced by Show Of Force.

Guy Davidi: Filmmaker

Academy Award Nominee and Emmy Award Winner Guy Davidi has been directing, shooting, and editing since the age of sixteen. His second feature Five Broken Cameras was nominated for an Oscar in 2013 in the best documentary category and won the 2013 international Emmy Award for Best Documentary. Davidi won the World Cinema Directing Award for Documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival.

David A. Andelman: Journalist

David A. Andelman is a member of the Board of Contributors of USA Today and a columnist for CNN Opinion, who served for more than seven years as Editor & Publisher of World Policy Journal. He also serves as US political commentator for France 24 TV. Previously he served as an executive editor of Forbes and Earlier, he was a domestic and foreign correspondent for The New York Times, a Paris correspondent for CBS News, a Washington correspondent for CNBC, news editor of Bloomberg News and Business Editor of the New York Daily News.

Smartphone filmmaking workshop by Ching Juhl

Where: Festival Lounge - Cinepolis Chelsea (260 West 23rd Street)

When: March 14, 3:00 pm - 4:00pm

Ching Chen Juhl is a producer, videographer, editor, concert violist.

Ching Chen Juhl has created documentary shorts, live performances, music audition and web videos for Kaufman Center, New York Virtuoso Singers, New York Chamber Music Festival, Mercedes FashionWeeks, Fashion TV, Shanghai Quartet, International Viola Congress 2010.

Script reading - excerpts from the five finalist scripts


Where: Festival Lounge - Cinepolis Chelsea (260 West 23rd Street)

When: March 16, 2:00 pm - 3:00pm

Excerpts from the five finalist scripts will be read by actors directed

by Jillie Simon and Mike Jankowitz in the presence of the scriptwriters:


Against by Justin Jackola, USA

Almast by Marla Sloane, USA

American Dream by Charles Ancelle, USA

The Chain by Robin Lamont, USA

The Record by K.R. Scott










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