Bette Gordon premiered her new feature Handsome Harry at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival in the world narrative competition section. The film stars an ensemble cast including Campbell Scott, Steve Buscemi, Aidan Quinn, John Savage, and Karen Young. A pioneer in the American Independent Film world, Gordon is best known for her bold explorations of themes related to sexuality. Her early short films, most notably Empty Suitcases, won numerous awards and festival acclaim worldwide, including showings at the Berlin International Film Festival, New York's Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney Biennial. Variety (1984) marked her debut as a feature film director, particularly in light of the film's invitational showing at The Cannes Film Festival's Director's Fortnight. Luminous Motion, based on the acclaimed novel History of Luminous Motion, was produced by Ted Hope and Anthony Bregman of Good Machine.

Jennifer Smith is producer/partner of Forgan-Smith Entertainment, a motion picture production company based in New York and Australia. In Los Angeles, she worked with Caravan Pictures (now Spyglass Entertainment) on hits such as Rush Hour with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. At Dreamchaser Productions in Dublin, Ireland, Smith developed documentaries and assisted with specific aspects of U2?s Zooropa Tour. She freelanced as a producer and assistant director on numerous award-winning music videos (e.g., narrative of Another Chance by Roger Sanchez) and film shorts (e.g., Scratch, The Favor). Earlier in her career, Smith served as staff production manager and assistant director at Houston-based Locke Bryan Productions. Smith has received recognition and awards from HBO, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (finalist, Student Academy Awards), The Milos Forman Fund, The Time for Peace Awards, The Irish Film Board, and Polo/Ralph Lauren. Her work has screened at U.S. and international film festivals, and broadcast on networks including HBO, Showtime Australia, B Sky B, and The Sundance Channel.   

Geoffrey Quan is an independent film director and producer, and a graduate of Columbia University’s MFA film program. His films and productions have been nominated for two Student Academy Awards and have shown internationally at over 50 festivals, including Sundance, Directors’ Fortnight (Cannes), New Directors/New Films, Clermont-Ferrand, SXSW, and Tribeca. His film, “The Other Way Round,” was sponsored by HBO Films and the Film Arts Foundation, and screened at over 10 festivals, including LA Shorts and the New York Latino Film Festival. Geoff has produced eight shorts, including John Magary's "The Second Line" and Nelson Kim’s “Long Distance", and served as co-producer on Myna Joseph’s “MAN". He was a 2009 BRIO Award winner, a recipient of the 2009 IFP Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film, and a 2011 directing fellow in Film Independent's Project :Involve. Geoff has taught filmmaking at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College, and has shot videos for New York Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. He served as production coordinator on James Marsh’s feature documentary, "Project NIM", and recently directed two new shorts, "Be Still" and "High Card Trumps". Geoff's first feature production, "Detonator", wrapped principal photography in July 2011. He divides his time between Los Angeles and New York.

Brian Emery is the Technical Director of the Filmmaking, Sreenwriting & Media Arts Program at Sarah Lawrence College. He is an Apple Certified Trainer in Final Cut Pro and has taught Editing and Production classes at the IFI since 2005.  Brian received his BA from Sarah Lawrence College and attended film school at FAMU in the Czech Republic.  His short films have been screened at over a dozen film festivals all over the world.  Brian has been with the IFI team for over 6 years as instructor and Coordinator of the Sarah Lawrence Summer Program

George Kimmel is a Los Angeles based writer and producer working in comedy and genre films. His short film Escape (2010) won Faculty Honors at Columbia University’s film festival, the EP Best Producer Award, a $20,000 ASCAP Grant and the DGA Best Director Award.  Most recently, George produced the comedy webisodes Family Bum, which will premiere online shortly. Previously, George was Production Supervisor on Pauly Shore’s Vegas is my Oyster (2011), a glitzy comedy special, Associate Producer/Unit Production Manager on the independent potboiler Pervertigo (2011) and Assistant Director on the Bollywood film Musafir. George received his MFA in film from Columbia University where he worked on over 30 short films and received the prestigious producing fellowship. 

Kyle Wilamowski is writer, filmmaker, and native of both small town and suburban Michigan. After receiving his B.A from the University of Michigan in 2003, Kyle worked in Geneva, Switzerland at CERN where he documented the world’s most renowned physicists as they worked on the Large Hadron Collider in search of the “God-particle”. In 2008, he received his M.F.A. in Film Direction and Screenwriting from Columbia University where his thesis short film and thesis feature script both received honors. Since then he has directed, produced, and written various short films, music videos and documentaries, which have screened at festivals throughout the United States. Kyle is currently slated to direct his first feature film, GRASS STAINS, in the spring of 2013 and is proud to call Brooklyn, New York his home.

Svea Vocke is a freelance story doctor who works with writers to formulate and edit their narratives. Previously, she taught screenwriting at Columbia University and DeSales University and worked in development at multiple production companies. While completing her M.F.A. in Screenwriting at Columbia, Svea won the Malia Scotch-Marmo/Frank Daniels Memorial Fund Award for Excellence in Screenwriting, wrote a feature that was optioned, and wrote/directed multiple award-winning shorts. As an undergraduate, she attended Brown University and earned a B.A. in German Studies. Svea is currently working on her sixth feature script. 

Donella Alanwick is a New York based Film and Theater actress with many years of experience as a professional. She has worked with Lee Breuer with the Mabou Mines Theater Company at the Skirball Center. She has worked on productions ranging from independent short films to feature length projects.  Her most recent work includes direction on a series of short films produced in New York and Utah. Along with her work as an actor Donella has dedicated a large part of her efforts into the development of the International Film Institute of New York.  As Partner and Marketing Director her responsibilities include promoting and developing partnerships with established film institutions in New York and Los Angeles.     

FACULTY

AND ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM

Misael Sanchez – Founder / Director / Cinematography - Misael is a New York based filmmaker whose primary work is comprised of Documentaries and Independent film projects relating to the urban city experience.  He began his career while enrolled at New York University’s Film Program where he graduated with a focus on Cinematography and Producing. Misael is the Founder and Director of the International Film Institute of New York founded in 1998 offering five and six week summer intensive filmmaking workshops. He joined the Columbia University Graduate Film program in 1995, where he was Director of Instruction & Cinematography program coordinator for 15 years.  As Faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, where he teaches Film Production at the undergraduate Film/New Media program, he is working closely with the department on expanding course offerings in film production. He works as a professional Director of Photography and Producer on a variety of projects ranging from Television Documentaries, Short Films, and Music Videos.


Following is a sampling of the incredible teaching and administrative individuals that make our program the best of its kind.  Our Faculty participate in our courses on a rotating schedule depending on their availability and schedule.  As we prepare for the programs updates are provided to participating students on instructors for their sessions.


Frederick Strype BA, Fairfield University. MFA, Columbia University School of the Arts. Postgraduate study: American Film Institute, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. Screenwriter, producer, director. Recent awards, grants, festivals: Grand Prize, Nantucket Film Festival, Tony Cox Award in Screenwriting; Nantucket Screenwriters Colony; World Jewish Film Festival, Askelon, Israel; Tehran International Film Festival; Berlin Film Festival Shorts; Uppsala Sweden Film Festival; USA Film Festival; Washington (DC) Jewish Film Festival; Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival; Temecula Valley International Film Festival “Best of the Fest”; Portugal Film Festival Press Award; Fade In Magazine Award/Best Short Screenplay; Angelus Film Festival Triumph Award; Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Award; Heartland Film Festival Crystal Heart Award; New Line Cinema Filmmaker Development Award; Hamptons International Film Festival; Schomburg Cultural Grants. Raindance Pictures: projects developed for Columbia/Tristar/Sony, Lifetime, MTM Productions, Family Channel, FX, Alliance/ Atlantis, Capella Films, Turman-Foster Productions, James Manos Productions, FX, Avenue Pictures. SLC, 2003–  


Corinne Kelly received her MFA in film with a concentration in screenwriting from Columbia University in 2009. Her original pilot, Lo-Fi Lives, was awarded the Faculty Selects honor at the Columbia Film Festival in 2009. She also produced the 2008 Student Academy Award winning short documentary, Unattached (dir. J.J. Adler). She wrote and produced Cycle Unknown (dir. Jessica Daniels), which has screened at festivals around the country. She has been a script reader at Andrew Lauren Productions and The Weinstein Company. Corinne currently lives in Los Angeles.   Patrick Downs – Directing Patrick is an award winning filmmaker and Columbia University graduate, whose most recent film Broken has received many awards. As the Directing instructor Patrick works with our students one-on-one to make sure they complete their projects in time for the final screenings.
Andres Rosende was born and raised in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.  He graduated summa cum laude from Universidad Complutense of Madrid with a B.A. in film studies and communication.  In 2006 he received the prestigious Fundacion Barrie de la Maza scholarship and he moved to New York City where he is a MFA candidate in Film Directing at Columbia University. He has written and directed six shorts films and he was awarded a directing fellowship and grant.  His film Snapshots will premiere in the 2010 South by Southwest Film Festival and has being going around the globe to numerous film festivals. His non-thesis, Escape, was selected to be a part of the  ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop and just premiered at the 2010 Columbia Film Festival.  Escape  was given "honors" by the faculty and won the E.P. Producing Award at the festival.  Andrés was recently awarded the James Bridges Award for excellence working with actors.   
Doug MacHugh BA, New England College. MFA, Sarah Lawrence College. Actor, writer, director. Taught for two years at the Universidad Nacional in El Salvador. Staff writer for Jones Entertainment and Gates Productions. Has written PSAs, commercials, industrials, documentaries, and 60 hours of local and regional live television in Los Angeles. Film acting credits include Clean and Sober, Alien Nation, Come See the Paradise, and Weird Science; television acting credits include Guiding Light, Law and Order, Cheers, Quantum Leap, LA Law, and Night Court; stage credits include Holy Ghost, End Game, Up, Down, Strange, Charmed, Beauty and Truth (director), Platypus Rex, Mafia on Prozac, North of Providence, Only You, To Kill A Mockingbird, and The Weir. SLC, 2000—  

Rona Mark BA, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. MFA, Columbia University. Award-winning writer, director, and producer. Festivals and awards include Best of Fest—Edinburgh International Film Festival; Filmmaker Magazine—Audience Choice Award; Scenario Award—Canadian International Film and Video Festival; second place, Best Short—Galway Film Fleadh; Best Comedy/Best of Night—Polo Ralph Lauren New Works Festival; BBC’s Best Short Film About the Environment—Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival; Opening night selection—Three Rivers Film Festival; Hong Kong International Jewish Film Festival; Irish Reels Film Festival; Seattle True Independent Film Festival; NewFilmmakers Screening Series; Hoboken International Film Festival; Miami Jewish Film Festival; Munich International Student Film Festival; Palm Beach International Jewish Film Festival; Pittsburgh Israeli Jewish Film Festival; Toronto Jewish Film Festival; Vancouver Jewish Film Festival. Finalist in Pipedream Screenplay Competition; third prize—Acclaim TV Writer Competition; second place—TalentScout TV Writing Competition; finalist—People’s Pilot Television Writing Contest; Milos Forman Award; finalist—Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Student Film Awards. Current feature film projects include screenwriter/director/producer, Strange Girls—Mdux Pictures, LLC. Screenwriter/director, Shoelaces. SLC, 2007—