Penn Film and Media Pioneers V

Saturday, October 25, 2014 - 9:30am - 8:30pm

Penn Film & Media Pioneers V (2014)

Learn about cutting edge research.
Hear from recent graduates who are pursuing media careers.
Discuss the current state of the film and media industry with filmmakers, producers, and other industry leaders.

The symposium is free and open to the public. No registration required.

Here's some photos from the event. Photographer is Elder Tanaka, a Fulbright student in Cinema Studies:



9:30-10:30am | Breakfast | ENGL Faculty Lounge, 135 Fisher-Bennett Hall

10:30am-12pm | Fieldwork | Elliot Wolf, C'15, Moderator
Karen Beckman, Penn History of Art & Cinema Studies
Peter Decherney, Penn English & Cinema Studies
Sandra Ristovska, Penn Communication, PhD'16

12-1pm | Lunch | ENGL Faculty Lounge, 135 Fisher-Bennett Hall

1-2:30pm | The Business of Art | Theresa Picciallo, C'15, Moderator
Gregory Quinn, C'07
Meta Mazaj, Penn Cinema Studies
Monica Aguirre Diez Barroso, C'13

2:30-2:45pm | Musical Interlude
Courtney Cilman
, C'13, w/ Mike Machaby on the guitar

2:45-4:15pm | Screens: Big and Small | Augie Bernstein, C'15, Moderator
Christopher Bremble, C'92
Linda Simensky, C'85
Maria Zuckerman, C'98

4:15-5:15pm | Keynote
Howard Gordon
, PAR'18, Writer & Producer (24, Homeland)

6pm | Screening | 200 College Hall
Director: Dito Montiel | Screenwriter: Douglas Soesbe | Cinematographer: Chung Hoon Chung | Cast: Robin Williams, Kathy Baker, Roberto Aguire, Bob Odenkirk, Giles Matthey



First Panel | 10:30am-12pm | Fieldwork

Karen Beckman
Karen Beckman is the Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Professor of Cinema and Modern Media in the department of the History of Art. She is the author of Vanishing Women: Magic, Film and Feminism (Duke UP, 2003); Crash: Cinema and the Politics of Speed and Stasis (Duke UP, 2010), and is now working on a new book, Animation and the Contemporary Art of War. She is co-editor of two volumes: Still Moving: Between Cinema and Photography with Jean Ma (Duke UP, September 2008) and On Writing With Photography (Minnesota UP, 2013) with Liliane Weissberg, and is also the editor of Animating Film Theory (Duke UP, 2014), which explores the marginalization of animation in film theoretical discussions. She has published articles on a range of subjects, including feminism and terrorism, death penalty photography, the animated documentary, and the relationship between cinema and contemporary art. She is a senior editor of the journal Grey Room.

Peter Decherney
Peter Decherney is Professor of Cinema Studies and English at the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a secondary appointment at the Annenberg School for Communication and an affiliation with the Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition at Penn Law School. He is the author or editor of five books including Hollywood’s Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet and the forthcoming Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction. He is co-editor of the journal Critical Studies in Media Communication and has testified before the Copyright Office of the United States and filed amicus briefs in several cases, including the Supreme Court Case of Golan v. Holder. Prof. Decherney has been an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scholar, a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, and a U.S. State Department Arts Envoy to Myanmar.  He has won multiple teaching awards at Penn, and he is a contributor.

Sandra Ristovska 
Sandra Ristovska is a documentary filmmaker and a PhD Candidate in communication at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. Her research explores the role of video in advocacy and public policy with a particular focus on human rights. Sandra is a recipient of the 2013 Herbert Schiller Prize from the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) and Top Paper Award from the Philosophy, Theory and Critique Division at the International Communication Association (ICA). Her work has appeared in the World Policy Blog, Public Books, American Journal of Sociology, and The Communication Review. Sandra is a co-chair of the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN) of IAMCR and an honorary, non-resident Research Fellow at the Center for Media and Communication Studies at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Her films have screened at film festivals, museums and scholarly symposia in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Serbia, and Macedonia.

Second Panel | 1-2:30pm | The Business of Art

Gregory Quinn
Gregory Quinn graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in International Relations in 2007 and received his MBA from Columbia Business School in 2014. He started his professional career as an investment-banking analyst in the Media & Telecom group at Merrill Lynch in New York City. In 2009, Greg continued his career as an investment banker when joining Financo, a boutique investment bank located in New York City. At Financo, Greg specialized on Mergers & Acquisition in the Retail & Apparel industries. In 2011, having received his finance fix, Greg joined his family’s business, Caribbean Cinemas, where he has assisted in the areas of Corporate Development and overseeing the Company’s holdings in the Dominican Republic. Greg spends his time between the Caribbean and New York City.

Meta Mazaj
Meta Mazaj is a Senior Lecturer in Cinema Studies at Penn. She has published on critical theory, Balkan cinema, new European cinema, film and nationalism. She is the author of National and Cynicism in Post 1990s Balkan Cinema (VDM Verlag, 2008), which examines the relationship between film and nationalism in contemporary Balkan cinema, and co-author, with Timothy Corrigan and Patricia White, of Critical Visions in Film Theory: Classic and Contemporary Readings (Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2011). She is currently working on a book about contemporary world cinema.

Monica Aguirre Diez Barroso
Monica Aguirre Diez Barroso is a Mexican/American movie producer who grew up in Geneva, Switzerland. Her passion for film led her to briefly work for the talent agency ICM, before founding her production company Camellia Entertainment. Her first feature Struck By Lightning, had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, and was subsequently bought and distributed by Tribeca. The film starred a notable cast including Emmy®-nominated Chris Colfer, Allison Janney, Christina Hendricks, Dermot Mulroney and Rebel Wilson. Her second feature, After Darkness, is currently in post-production and stars Kyra Sedgwick and Tim Daly. Her  third and most recently released feature is Boulevard, which had its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this year, and stars Robin Williams, Kathy Baker and Bob Odenkirk. She is also an Executive Producer on Dirty Weekend which is currently in post production, and is directed by Neil LaBute starring Matthew Broderick, as well as Some Freaks which stars Thomas Mann. Monica’s original drive for becoming a producer came from her desire to tell beautiful and unique stories. Her creative sensibilities and passion for storytelling, allowed her to develop scripts with the writers and directors of her movies from start to finish. She is now focused on expanding into the Television and Literary spaces, having optioned a book series that she hopes to turn into a TV show. Monica Graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Cinema Studies.

Musical Interlude | 2:30-2:45pm

Courtney Cilman
Courtney Cilman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. She spent the last year in Los Angeles pursuing music and acting. Her band Wild the Coyote has performed at a number of well known music venues including The Viper Room and The House of Blues. In addition to music, Courtney produced and acted in a number films this past year. Currently she is studying film in the graduate program at Columbia University. 

Third Panel | 2:45-4:15pm | Screens: Big and Small

Christopher Bremble
Christopher Bremble is Founder and CEO of Base Media, a visual effects and media company with 385 employees in Beijing, Wuxi, and Xiamen China. Founded in 2006, the company has won Emmys for its work on The Pacific, Boardwalk Empire, and Black Sails. A Strategic Alliance Partner with Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic, Base has worked with ILM on Super 8, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, GI Joe: Retaliation, Pacific Rim, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Transformers: Age of Extinction. As a leader in the Chinese visual effects industry, Mr. Bremble has worked with the top Chinese directors including Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Ning Hao, Lu Chuan, and Jia Zhangke on developing projects for a global audience. Mr. Bremble has directly supervised more than 20 feature films in the US and China. He is a graduate of U Penn and USC’s Graduate School of Cinema-Television.

Linda Simensky
As Vice President of Children’s Programming at PBS, Linda Simensky collaborates with producers, co-production partners, PBS station programmers, and distributors throughout the development, production, post-production, and broadcast phases for PBS KIDS programming. Since joining PBS in 2003, Linda has worked with renowned producers to develop hit shows that now reach 82% of all kids ages 2-8 in the U.S. – from CURIOUS GEORGE and THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT, to WILD KRATTS and WORDGIRL. Linda also helped bring PBS KIDS’ newest series to fruition: DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD, a program that brings Fred Rogers’ social-emotional curriculum to a new generation of children. Linda is currently working on a new PBS KIDS preschool math series, PEG + CAT. Before joining PBS, Linda was Senior Vice President of Original Animation for Cartoon Network, where she oversaw development and series production of "The Powerpuff Girls," among others. She began her career working for nine years at Nickelodeon, where she helped build the animation department and launch the popular series "Rugrats," "Doug" and "The Ren & Stimpy Show." Linda is a frequent speaker and writer on the topics of children’s programming and animation; she has presented at numerous animation and television conferences and her work has appeared in several books on animation and children’s media.

Maria Zuckerman
Maria Zuckerman is vice president, HBO Films, for Home Box Office. Based in New York, she is responsible for overseeing the development and production of original movies for the network. She was named to this position in April 2007. Zuckerman is currently supervising Dee Rees’ highly-anticipated film Bessie, about legendary Blues singer Bessie Smith, starring Queen Latifah who also executive produces. In 2013, she oversaw Stephen Frears’ Emmy nominated film Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, starring Oscar® winner Christopher Plummer, Frank Langella and Ben Walker; as well as the one man-show Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, directed by Academy Award® nominee Spike Lee. Recently, she also worked on Mary and Martha, starring two-time Oscar® winner Hilary Swank and Oscar® nominee Brenda Blethyn. Zuckerman was program executive for Hemingway & Gellhorn which led the network with 15 Emmy® nominations in 2012. She also oversaw the Golden Globe® nominated The Girl and the Emmy® nominated one-man show Thurgood. Among Zuckerman’s other acclaimed films she worked on are the multiple Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominated film The Special Relationship, the third film in Peter Morgan’s trilogy co-produced with BBC Films that includes HBO’s The Deal and the Academy Award®-winning theatrical The Queen; the multiple Emmy® nominated and Golden Globe®-winning Longford; and the Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning Grey Gardens. Zuckerman joined HBO in October 1999. Throughout her career at HBO, she has been associated with HBO Films. Previously, Zuckerman was a corporate communications associate at Artisan Entertainment, where she helped establish the company’s New York office and was involved in campaigns for The Blair Witch Project, The Limey and Felicia’s Journey. She began her career as a junior publicist in Castle Rock Entertainment’s New York office, where she worked on such projects as The Green Mile, Mickey Blue Eyes and The Last Days of Disco. Zuckerman is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, The Independent Film Project, and is a board member of BAFTA New York where she also co-chairs the Film Committee. She received a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in Film Studies.

Keynote | 4:15-5:15pm

Howard Gordon
Howard Gordon is an award winning television writer, producer and author whose credits include some of TV’s most prolific series. Most recently, Gordon co-created the breakout series Homeland, which is one of the biggest hits in Showtime’s history. The series has broken ratings records and won multiple awards, including the Emmy Awards for Best Drama Series and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, two Golden Globe Awards for Best Drama Series, Program of the Year at the AFI Awards, Best New Series at the Writers Guild Awards, Outstanding New Program at the Television Critics Association Awards, Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television Drama at the Producers Guild Awards and received the prestigious Peabody Award for Outstanding Achievement in Electronic Media. Gordon was the Showrunner and Executive Producer of the long-running hit television series, 24, for which he received both the Golden Globe and the Emmy Award for Best Drama Series in 2006. He is an Executive Producer on 24: Live Another Day, which premieres on FOX in May 21014. Gordon also Executive Produces two new series for 2014; Tyrant on FX and Legends on TNT. A twenty-five year industry veteran, Gordon first gained national attention for his award-winning work on Fox’s groundbreaking series The X-Files, for which he won multiple Golden Globes. His other credits include Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Beauty and the Beast, Sisters and Spenser: For Hire. He created the innovative 1999 drama Strange World, and the Fox series, The Inside. Also an accomplished author, Gordon released his first novel, Gideon’s War in 2011 and quickly followed it up with the sequel, Hard Target, which was released in January 2012. Gordon graduated from Princeton University, and now lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children. He is an active member of the Pacific Counsel on International Relations, and former board member and president of the Stroke Association of Southern California.

Screening | 6pm | 200 College Hall

Boulevard (2014)
Director: Dito Montiel
Screenwriter: Douglas Soesbe
Cinematographer: Chung Hoon Chung
Cast: Robin Williams, Kathy Baker, Roberto Aguire, Bob Odenkirk, Giles Matthey

Variety Review : Clik here.
IMDb : Click here.
Tr|beca Film Festival : Clik here.

The screening will be followed by Q&A with producer Monica Aguirre Diez Barroso



Penn Film & Media Pioneers V (2014) is made possible through the generous sponsorship and support of Lorraine Carrady Quinn, CW'73, to the Cinema Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Cinema Studies Program
209A Fisher-Bennett Hall ⋅ 3340 Walnut Street ⋅ Philadelphia, PA 19104 ⋅ (215) 898-8782