Our Advisory Board  

FILMMAKERS WITHOUT BORDERS

Christine Peng | Maysles Institute | Director of Education

Christine Peng is a filmmaker and educator that has spent the past fourteen years foregrounding urgent and untold stories. Her recent films include FROM FOUR DIRECTIONS, an exploration of the intersections of personal and national narratives in the Taiwanese diaspora, and ATENCO VIVE, a documentary chronicling an indigenous community’s resistance against efforts to displace residents of San Salvador Atenco in Mexico. Christine has helped produce films, write curriculum, and develop media arts programs for numerous institutions including A&E Television, Firelight Media, Global Action Project, Tribeca Film Institute, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Harlem Children’s Zone/ TRUCE, and Sadie Nash Leadership Project.

 

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Ned Drew | Pratt Institute | Professor of Communication Design

Professor Ned Drew teaches various graphic design courses and the history of graphic design at Rutgers University-Newark. Professor Drew is the director of The Design Consortium, a student/teacher run design studio that focuses on non-profit, community-based projects. Drew is also a founding partner and creative director of the multi-disciplinary design firm, BRED based in NYC (www.brednation.com). Drew is also the co-editor of Design Education in Progress: Process and Methodology, Volumes 1, 2 and 3, an academic book series dedicated to the study of design pedagogy.

 

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Anne Kornfield | Newcomer School | Founding Member

 

Anne Kornfield is a Media Arts Specialist with a background in fine arts photography, educational leadership, media arts and technology, project management. She is a founding member of the Newcomer High School, a practitioner-led high school model serving new immigrant students where all teachers simultaneously support both language and content, and students are taught in groups of heterogeneous English proficiency levels.

 

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Siva Ramakrishnan | New York Public Library | Manager

Siva currently leads a team of 10 NYPL educators to develop new, engaging literacy and STEM after-school programs for 1st -12th graders at their neighborhood library branches. Before joining the NYPL, she served as the Manager of the Adventures in Science program where she oversaw programs that introduced children grades PreK – 8 to a wide variety of scientific disciplines through thought-provoking, hands-on investigations and interactive tours of Museum exhibits.

 

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Nelle Stokes | Magic Box Productions | Executive Director

Nelle Stokes is a documentary videographer, teaching artist, and has worked in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey for over ten years. After working as a Senate-side reporter for Florida Public Television’s award-winning series Today in the Legislature, a film reviewer for the Program for Art on Film at the Metropolitan Museum, she launched Magic Box Productions, Inc. and its production wing, Magic Box Studios LLC,  creating videos for nonprofit clients including the Hudson River Museum, The Center for Arts Education, Lexington Center for the Deaf, and the Roundabout Theatre Company. Magic Box has helped thousands of NYC students and teachers to create and share their own original videos through arts residencies throughout the tri-state area.

 

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Ariella Ben-Dov | MadCat Women’s Film Festival | Co-Founder

Ben-Dov is also the co-founder and curator of the MadCat Women’s International Film Festival, founded in 1997 to showcase experimental and historic works by women directors from around the world. Ben-Dov’s programs have been showcased at Anthology Film Archives, Brown University, Harn Museum of Art, Harvard Film Archive, the New School, Pacific Film Archive, PRATT, RISD Museum of Art, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, among other venues. Ben-Dov writes about documentary and avant-garde film for publications including The Independent Film and Video Monthlyand Release Print Magazine.

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Will Ackerman | Windham Hill Records | Founder & CEO

Will Ackerman is a guitarist and composer of acoustic-based instrumental music. He founded and ran for many years the influential new age record label Windham Hill Records. He has produced over 15 albums, won Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 9th Annual ZMR Music Awards

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Adam London | Public Supply Inc. | CEO & Founder

Adam London is the founder of Public Supply, a for-profit company that produces responsibly sourced and well crafted writing, art, and office essentials. Public Supply channels 25% of profits from every sale to high poverty public schools, specifically to support creative studies (music, theater, and art) and currently sells its products throughout New York City.

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Daniel Beer | Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial | Attorney

Daniel Beer is an attorney whose practice focuses on civil litigation with an emphasis on catastrophic injury, product liability, premises liability, commercial litigation, asbestos litigation, and construction litigation.

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Natalie Orfalea | Orfalea Foundation | Co-Founder & Chairperson

Natalie Orfalea is the Co-Founder of the Orfalea Foundation. She leads the foundation’s initiatives in early childhood education, scholarships, promotion of individualized learning, transition to real food in schools and preschools, establishment of outdoor classrooms and school gardens, community partnerships like Thrive Santa Barbara County, improved emergency and disaster readiness; as well as the experience-based youth development program for teens known as REACH.  Following a successful career at Xerox Corporation, Natalie ran an independent product development firm and raised two sons, who now participate on the Orfalea Family Foundation’s board. Natalie formerly served on the University of California Santa Barbara Chancellor’s Council, and on boards or councils for Direct Relief International, the Santa Barbara Children’s Museum, UCSB Arts & Lectures, and the national learning organization All Kinds of Minds. Natalie is passionate about discovering and providing opportunities for youth and family empowerment.

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Madeleine Bair | WITNESS | Human Rights Channel Curator

Madeleine Bair has been carrying a microphone in her backpack since she belonged to the Oakland bureau of the pioneering youth media organization, Children’s Express. Since then, she has taught radio production to young adults, wrote and co-directed a documentary on the Latino high school dropout crisis for PBS, and produced multimedia for Human Rights Watch. She is the co-founder of Maracuya Productions, and the Human Rights Channel Curator at WITNESS, where she works to help citizens worldwide use their cameras to effect change.

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Chloe Zimmerman | Soliya | Media Producer & Trainer

Chloe Zimmerman is an artist, filmmaker and educator based in New York. She works to develop and implement media training programs in an intercultural setting at Soliya, a nonprofit focused on innovative use of new media technologies to shift the way societies resolve their differences. Additionally, Chloe teaches film history and practice at various venues in the city (including Mono No Aware and the Museum of the Moving Image) and is a 2013-2014 collaborative fellow at UnionDocs, a center for documentary art in Williamsburg.

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Monique Coleman | Gimme Mo Foundation | Founder and CEO

Monique is an actress, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, and believer in young people.  She is the former UN Youth Champion, the current champion for GirlUp.org and the CEO/Founder of GimmeMo.com, an online platform to inspire and motivate today’s youth. Monique is best known for her co-starring role in Disney’s High School Musical movies. In 2011 Coleman was named the first ever UN Youth Champion for the International Year of Youth and took a world tour visiting 24 countries to raise awareness of challenges facing youth.

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Sasha Frankel | R4D | Senior Program Associate

Sasha Frankel currently works at a think tank in Washington DC where she helps resolve health financing challenges in low-income countries. She spent a year in Turkey on a Fulbright Fellowship and was an exchange student in Spain for her junior year of high school. Sasha is interested in student exchange and the opportunities that can arise from cross-cultural experiences for both the visitor and the community abroad.

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Benjamin Higgins | Robert F. Kennedy Center | STTP Founder

Ben Higgins is the co-founder of the Speak Truth to Power Initiative and has collaborated with the American Federation of Teachers, Robert F. Kennedy Center, Tribeca Film Institute, and the NYS Council for the Social Studies.  He has been honored by the Center for Digital Education in their inaugural Digital Content and Curriculum Achievement Awards. Of the six hundred submissions, Higgins’ Springville-Griggiths Institute was selected for its creative use of instructional technology and digital curriculum to enhance the educational experience of our students. Placing technology in the hands of students and teachers in order to make them producers of content rather than consumers has placed S-GI once again on the national platform for technical innovation, infrastructure, design, and application.

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Bayate Ross | NYU & ICP | Professor of Photography

Bayeté Ross Smith began his career as a photojournalist with the Knight Ridder Newspaper Corporation. Bayeté has exhibited with organizations and institutions such as the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Brooklyn Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, MoMA P.S.1, the Goethe Institute (Ghana), and Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Poland). His collaborative projects “Along The Way” and “Question Bridge: Black Males” have shown at the 2008 and 2012 Sundance Film Festival and has also been featured at the Sheffield Doc Fest and the L.A. Film Festival.  As an educator, he has taught at the International Center of Photography, New York University, Parsons, the New School for Design, the California College of the Arts, and numerous K-12 and college level courses. Bayeté is currently the Associate Program Director for KAVI (Kings against Violence Initiative), a violence prevention non-profit organization in New York that has a partnership with Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn.

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Katharine Moore | CEB | Senior Director Key Accounts

For 10 years, Katharine Moore has been a top performer in sales and account management at CEB, a global member-based advisory firm. Based in New York City, Katharine has managed relationships with top executives at Fortune 500 companies as part of CEB’s Key Accounts team. She has supported clients as they make key strategic decisions, particularly within HR, IT and Customer Service. Katharine maintains and grows a multi-million dollar portfolio of client revenue annually with expertise in mapping client needs to resources and contract negotiation. An avid music fan, Katharine has also supported the marketing team at Velour Records as they created Wanderlust, a music and yoga festival, as well as Northeast concert promoter The Bowery Presents.

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Beth Weesner | Marketing Transformations | Founder & CEO

Beth Weesner is the Founder and CEO of Marketing Transformation Services (MTS), a strategic consultancy dedicated to transforming Global 2000 marketing organizations.  Her clients have utilized her organization as a trusted advisor to achieve differentiated business success. She has held leadership roles in the Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) and was the founder and chair of the Marketing Operations Management Symposium.  Prior to founding MTS, she held senior positions at Aprimo and Unica, the two leaders in the marketing technology space.  She was a significant force in the emergence of marketing resource management (MRM) as a defacto standard at marketing operations functions around the world. Beth sits on the board of directors for the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University (SDSU).  She also has board positions with several international philanthropic organizations.

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Toby Lee | UnionDocs | Collaborative Program Director

Toby Lee is an artist and anthropologist based in Brooklyn, NY. She works across video, performance, installation and book arts. She is currently completing a PhD in Anthropology and Film & Visual Studies at Harvard University.

 

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Samuel Casey | Sutherland Law Firm | Attorney

Sam Casey practices securities litigation and professional liability issues, counseling corporate and individual clients in business torts, securities fraud, fraudulent and/or negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract and False Claims Act suits. He also supports clients in complex business litigation jury trials in state and federal courts, arbitrations, state and federal appellate litigation, SEC and other federal agency investigations, as well as in front of state securities agencies. Sam supports large-scale, multidistrict litigation with activities such as witness preparation, motions practice, exhibit preparation and confidentiality assessments.

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Peter Maugeri | Global Potential | Co-Founder

Peter is the Co-Founder of Global Potential (GP), an international youth empowerment program that facilitates transformative experiences to underserved inner-city youth who travel to rural villages in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua engaging in community development and cultural exchange projects. He is also the Founder and Director of GP’s Media program, a multi-platform advocacy program educating youth for using media as a tool for social advocacy. He also produces social justice documentary films. Peter has provided media consultation for Philanthropy Indaba and has sat on the selection committee of numerous film festivals, including Tribeca Institute’s Our City, My Story youth media program.

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Christie Marchese | Picture Motion | Executive Director

Christie is the Founder and Executive Director of Picture Motion, a team of social impact strategists that use the power of stories and digital media to accelerate social change. She works with filmmakers, distributors, funders and non-profits with inspiring films and media. Her campaigns raise awareness, educate and motivate audiences to think critically and be active, engaged citizens. Before founding Picture Motion Christie was the director of New Media, Marketing and Social Action at Righteous Pictures and the Digital Strategy Manager at Participant Media. 

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Jesse Mann | Mann Inc. | Visual Designer & Creative

Jesse is a Brooklyn-based interactive designer with strong experience in the music, luxury consumer product, design and furniture industries. His design career began at the multi-disciplinary creative studios of Carl Gustav Magnusson and Emanuela Frattini Magnusson, where he worked on a range of design strategy projects for BMW, Steuben, Valli & Valli, NYU, and the MoMA Store.

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Nikyatu Jusu | Nikyatu Films | Executive Director

Sierra Leonean-American filmmaker Nikyatu’s short films have played at festivals nationally and internationally garnering her NYU’s prestigious Spike Lee Fellowship Award, the Princess Grace Foundation Narrative film grant and Director’s Guild of America Honorable Mentions to name a few. Two of her shorts were acquired by and aired on HBO.

Presently she is in development on her feature film Free The Town to be shot on location in Freetown, Sierra Leone.  The project was one of 12 screenplays invited to participate in Sundance Institute’s inaugural 2013 Diverse Writers Workshop. Additionally FTT was hand selected for Africa’s most prestigious Film Market, the 2013 Durban Film Mart in South Africa and one of 5 narrative films selected for Film Independent’s Fast Track.

She studied narrative filmmaking at New York University’s MFA film program and lives and teaches in Brooklyn, NY.

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*Affiliations for identification purposes only.