PANEL 1 // ATTACHING CAST
Kate Walsh is widely known for her starring role as Dr. Addison Montgomery on the ABC drama PRIVATE PRACTICE. The enormous success of her character on GREY’S led ABC, along with writer and creator Shonda Rimes, to create a spin-off based solely on her character, Addison. PRIVATE PRACTICE also starred Amy Brenneman, Taye Diggs and Paul Adelstein and debuted as the #1 show on Wednesday evenings. During her two seasons on GREY’S ANATOMY, the show received a SAG award for “Best Ensemble” in 2007, as well as ensemble nominations from the Screen Actors Guild and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. GREYS won the Golden Globe for “Best Television Series Drama” in 2007, Emmy nominations for “Outstanding Drama Series” in 2006 and 2007 and received three consecutive NAACP Image Awards for “Outstanding Drama Series” in 2006-2008. In the TV space, Walsh appeared on various shows, including series regular roles on THE MIKE O’MALLEY SHOW (ABC), MIND OF A MARRIED MAN (HBO) and THE DREW CAREY SHOW (ABC) and executive produced and starred in NBC’s BAD JUDGE. Most recently she had a four episode arc on FX’s critically acclaimed series FARGO, alongside Billy Bob Thorton, Colin Hanks and Bob Odenkirk. The series went on to win three Primetime Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes including Outstanding Miniseries. On the big screen, Walsh was seen in the supernatural thriller LEGION starring opposite Paul Bettany and Dennis Quaid and ANGELS CREST opposite Thomas Dekker, Mira Sorvino and Jeremy Piven. Additionally, Walsh was seen in Summit Entertainment’s THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, starring opposite Paul Rudd, Emma Watson and Logan Lerman. She was recently in Will Packer’s hit movie for Universal, GIRLS TRIP, in which she stars alongside Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, and Regina Hall. Next up she will return to Netflix TV in the highly anticipated series, UMBRELLA ACADEMY. She also recently appeared in the Netflix feature #REALITYHIGH. Kate can now be seen doing “career best work” in Season 2 of the Netflix series 13 REASON WHY from Tom McCarthy.
Mike Doyle is an actor, screenwriter, and director. Mike recently finished shooting SELL BY, a feature film he wrote and directed starring Kate Walsh, Patricia Clarkson, and Scott Evans. Mike's debut short film SHINER premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival where is was nominated for Best Narrative Short, then traveled the world festival circuit, garnering praise and awards, most notably at the Atlanta FF, Raindance, DC Shorts, to name a few. Mike's recent acting credits include: THE ROMANOFFS (Amazon), NARCOS (Netflix), NEW AMSTERDAM (NBC), the films JERSEY BOYS, THE INVITATION, and GREEN LANTERN. Theatre includes: THE NEW CENTURY (Lincoln Center), BETRAYED (Culture Porject). Training: Juilliard.
Cassandra “Cassie" Freeman has made her mark in everything from drama to laugh out loud comedy across film, television and the stage. She can currently be seen in the NBC thriller THE ENEMY WITHIN alongside Morris Chestnut. She stars as Jackie Pettigrew, a beautiful, witty and tough FBI agent who is fearful of no one and no situation. Additionally, Freeman co-stars in Marvel's LUKE CAGE and most recently appeared in the critically acclaimed indie film MONSTERS AND MEN. Freeman is perhaps best known for her roles in Spike Lee’s INSIDE MAN with Denzel Washington and Chris Rock’s I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE. In 2013, Freeman starred opposite Isaiah Washington in the film BLUE CAPRICE. Her additional television credits include ATLANTA and SINGLE LADIES. In theater, she appeared off-Broadway in August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Originally from Florida, Freeman currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.
PANEL 2 // PACKAGING & FINANCE
Mollye Asher is a New York-based producer and multiple Independent Spirit Award nominee. Most recently, she produced Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ SWALLOW (Tribeca 2019) and Chloé Zhao's THE RIDER (Sony Pictures Classics), which premiered in the 2017 Cannes Directors Fortnight and won its top prize. The film went on to be nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Picture. It was selected as the 2018 Best Picture by the National Society of Film Critics and won ‘Best Feature’ at the 2018 Gotham Awards. Other credits include the 2014 SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner, FORT TILDEN (MGM/Orion), by writer/director team, Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers, Anja Marquardt’s SHE’S LOST CONTROL (2014 Berlinale, SXSW, Monument Releasing), and Chloé Zhao’s debut feature SONGS MY BROTHERS TAUGHT ME (2015 Sundance, Cannes, Kino Lorber). Mollye is currently in post-production on Chloé Zhao’s third feature, NOMADLAND, starring Frances McDormand (Fox Searchlight). She is an alumna of Sundance Catalyst Forum, he Film Independent Producing Lab, IFP’s Narrative Lab, Trans Atlantic Partners (TAP) and the Graduate Film Program at NYU.
Alex Cirillo is a Creative Producer and the Co-Founder of Big Vision Empty Wallet, an inclusion-focused film and media incubator for film and series creators that feeds projects into her production company, Big Vision Creative. Along with Bobby Farrelly, Cirillo Executive Produced Jenna Laurenzo’s debut feature film “Lez Bomb” starring Bruce Dern, Cloris Leachman, Kevin Pollack and Steve Guttenberg, which was released theatrically by Gravitas in Fall 2018 and is available on Netflix and iTunes. She also served as an EP on feature film “The Light of the Moon”, which won the Audience award at SXSW 2017 and garnered a 22 city theatrical release and a digital release on Amazon, iTunes, Vudu and Google Play. She Co-Produced Tahir Jetter’s feature film “How to Tell You’re a Douchebag”, which premiered at Sundance 2016 and sold to BET and AMC/Sundance TV. And she was the lead Creative Producer of A.M. Lukas' Academy Award Qualifying “One Cambodian Family Please for My Pleasure”, which was released on TNT and Refinery29 in 2018 as a part of their Shatterbox Anthology and screened at Sundance 2019. An active member of New York Women in Film & Television for the past decade, Cirillo previously served as the Special Events Subcommittee Chairwoman. She currently serves on the Events Committee for Time’s Up and the Festival Committee for Women Independent Producers, and is also an active member of Women in Moving Pictures.
Francine Ganguzza has worked as a Production Manager for Hollywood/NYC Productions where she produced high concept special event projects for such clients as The 92nd Street Y. With a strong background in advertising and brand marketing, Fran began working with product placement teams in TV and Film for such clients as Unilever, Post and Verizon. She recently worked as the product placement coordinator on Rose Pictures’ upcoming film, POMS, cross branding the E-Z-GO Golf cars within the film, and additionally at the upcoming premiere and promotional events. Fran has also successfully produced the Award Winning Documentary, 4CHOSEN and HARRY: A COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN, which she co-wrote/co-directed.
In indie circles, Rose Ganguzza is known as “The Godmother of Young Filmmakers.” Indeed, many of her films have been with first time directors: AFTERSCHOOL (Antonio Campos), KILL YOUR DARLINGS (John Krokidas), MARGIN CALL (J.C. Chandor), THE GUITAR (Amy Redford). She has just completed the feature film, THE CHAPERONE, based on the best-selling novel by Laura Moriarty, with a script by Oscar-winning screenwriter, Julian Fellowes. She is in pre-production on the comedy, POMS, to star Diane Keaton and Jackie Weaver, and is in pre-production with FATIMA, starring Harvey Keitel and Sonia Braga. She is developing the story of Elaine de Kooning, to star Rebecca Hall, along with horror story, EVER THERE, and WILLOWBROOK, a heartfelt family drama. Besides feature films she has done a number of documentaries, including NEW YORK AT THE MOVIES, (which she created for A&E), BIOGRAPHY: LIZA MINNELLI, TRASHED, with Jeremy Irons, and BLUE GOLD. She is exec-producing the mini-series, HEDY, with Diane Kruger and developing FORGOTTEN, the story of African-American soldiers in WWII England. She is credited with creating the B-Flix series for Bloomingdales and TCM. Ms. Ganguzza has extensive experience in the global market and began doing co- productions many years ago and has worked throughout Europe, South America and Asia, structuring film and television deals. She is also adept in the marketing and promotional strategies at the beginning of the creative and development process and has been responsible for the involvement of many global brands with entertainment properties.
PANEL 3 // PACKAGING & SALES
Krysanne Katsoolis is a veteran of the film and media business. She is an entertainment attorney and began her career in business and legal affairs at Miramax Film Corp, working in both NY and London. Katsoolis’ experience includes all aspects of the film and television industry including curation, financing and distribution. Most recently, as CEO and President of Liquid Media Group, Katsoolis created a vertically integrated media venture taking the company public on the NASDAQ market (NASDAQ: YVR). In 2018 Katsoolis established VIEWPARK to curate and produce content across multiple verticals. Katsoolis has invited some of the most esteemed producers, writers and directors into the VIEWPARK. Some recent projects include OZI, a $35M film with Leonard DiCaprio’s Appian Way (it is the first film to be fully endorsed by the WWF) and a slate of films with Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope including ABANDONED HEIGHTS with Stephen Dorff, Mira Sorvino, F Murray Abraham and Laurence Fishburne, and FAIRYLAND with Sofia Coppola based on a best-selling memoir by Alysia Abbot. VIEWPARK launched VWPRK, a digital marketing and branding agency, a joint venture with technology company Tanooki Labs. VWPRK has established two platforms for the film and media industry including REPORTABLE and MEDIAMOJI for the monetization of digital imagery from films and tv series. As a founding partner of Cactus Three Katsoolis has produced more than 30 award winning films including Oscar winner THE COVE, Academy Award Nominee WHICH WAY HOME, SKETCHES OF FRANK GEHRY directed by Sydney Pollack, FAMILY BONDS, an HBO series, EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS based on Peter Biskind’s book, THE MARCH, for the 50th anniversary of MLK’s March on Washington executive produced by Robert Redford, and HOT GREASE for Discovery Networks. In 2012 Katsoolis founded Cargo Entertainment, an international sales company. Films financed and produced under this banner include ZIPPER from producer Darren Aronofsky with Lena Headey, Richard Dreyfuss and Patrick Wilson, ANGRIEST MAN IN BROOKLYN, with Robin Williams and Mila Kunis and WELCOME TO ME, a Kristen Wiig comedy from producer Will Ferrell. Her prior experience includes Head of Acquisitions and Legal Affairs for the NASDAQ venture WinStar Communications and Fox Lorber Associates where she acquired more than 3000 films. Katsoolis is a Fulbright Scholar with a Masters of Law degree from Columbia University and a Member of the New York Bar. Katsoolis teaches Film Financing at the New York Film Academy.
Houston King recently produced HEARTS BEAT LOUD by Brett Haley starring Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons as well as Andrew Bujalski's SUPPORT THE GIRLS starring Regina Hall which recently received Gotham award nominations for Best Screenplay and Best Actress and a Spirit Nomination for Best Actress. In 2017, he produced THE HERO and LEMON which were released by The Orchard and Magnolia respectively as well as executive produced the documentary THE REAGAN SHOW which was broadcast on CNN. In 2015, he produced RESULTS starring Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders and Kevin Corrigan directed by Andrew Bujalski, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Magnolia Pictures and executive produced ANESTHESIA starring Sam Waterson, Glen Close and Kristen Stewart directed by Tim Blake Nelson, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and was released by IFC Films. Houston has distributed, sold and/or produced all of Andrew Bujalski's features, as well as produced the films THE BEAUTIFUL GAME, GODSPEED, BEESWAX, COMPUTER CHESS, and THE TRIP. In addition, he has licensed and/or managed the theatrical distribution of approximately 60 other films as well as managed the outreach campaign for the documentary "Bully." Before entering the movie business, Houston worked in international corporate finance for Lehman Brothers and ING Barings and graduated from Boston University
Lucas Verga currently serves as the Senior Director of Sales and Acquisitions at the New York based The Film Sales Company. Prior to that he served as the director of sales, as well as the acquisitions coordinator. He has also been a part of the DOC NYC screening committee since 2011, as well as the screening committee for the Nantucket Film Festival since 2014.
Dani Faith Leonard | CO-HOST is a Comedian, Writer, and Producer. In 2010, she co-founded BIG VISION EMPTY WALLET (with Alex Cirillo), an inclusion-focused incubator that develops and amplifies unique voices in film and TV that feeds projects into her production company, Big Vision Creative. Along with Bobby Farrelly, Dani Executive Produced Jenna Laurenzo’s debut feature film LEZ BOMB starring Bruce Dern, Cloris Leachman, Kevin Pollack and Steve Guttenberg, which was released theatrically by Gravitas in Fall 2018 and is available on Netflix and iTunes. She also served as an EP on feature film THE LIGHT OF THE MOON, which won the Audience award at SXSW 2017 and garnered a 22 city theatrical release and a digital release on Amazon, iTunes, Vudu and Google Play. Other recent films include COAST (Producer, post-production), POWER OF PEARL (Producer, RED WHITE & WASTED (Co-Producer, Tribeca 2019 Premiere). She is currently in development on her feature film as a writer, a dark comedy called RUSH ISLAND. Dani created and hosts the live show ADULT SEX ED, which aims to plug the holes in your sex education (through comedy). You can catch her performing stand up or storytelling but she is the most easy to catch right in front of her Brooklyn building when she searches for her keys in her purse for about 10 minutes. Find out more at BigVisionEmptyWallet.com or follow her on IG and Twitter @danifleonard.
Mandy Ward | CO-HOST - After graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2002, with degrees in FILM/VIDEO PRODUCTION and MEDIA AND PERFORMING ARTS, Ward moved to NYC to dive head first into the production resurgence triggered by the New York City and State Film / Video tax incentive legislation. From 2003 to 2010 Mandy worked at Radioaktivefilm, producing independent documentaries addressing social and political issues in modern society. Notable titles from her time managing Radioaktivefilm's New York City arm include We Will Not Die Like Dogs, Palestine Blues and Pennhurst. While navigating New York City's independent film waters, Mandy saw a need for a centralized and intimate event catering to up and coming feature film and documentary talent to gain more exposure in the worldwide marketplace. In 2012, she conceived and launched First Time Fest, a 5-day showcase of original inspiring works by First Time Directors, Producers, Cinematographers, Editors, Screenwriters and Film Composers. The film festival located in New York’s Gramercy Park features 9 Competition Films, a First Exposure series of already prominent directors' first works and a "How They Did It" Series in an intimate setting. Most notable, First Time Fest is a “contest” disguised as a film festival offering the winning competition film a prize of Theatrical Distribution and International Sales Representation. In the first year alone the festival hosted names such as Martin Scorsese, Sofia Coppola, Darren Aronofsky, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Harry Belafonte, Todd Solondz, Christine Vachon, and many more. Mandy continues to oversee festival operations with her business partner Johanna Bennett. When she isn't navigating the demands of First Time Fest, Mandy works in various capacities on the physical production of feature films, scripted television series, reality and recreational tv series as well as documentaries, commercials and corporate promos. In between the festival and her production gigs she works tirelessly finding and developing intellectual materials in the feature film, documentary and TV spaces. Mandy lives in New York City and, after a long run on the Emmy Award winning recreational crime show A CRIME TO REMEMBER, she is producing two feature narratives THE MAN IN THE WOODS and SELL BY set to be released later this year.