Mira Nair is the rare, prolific filmmaker who fluidly moves between Hollywood and independent cinema. Her early credits include Salaam Bombday, which received more than 25 international awards, including an Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Film the Camera D’Or (for best first feature) at the Cannes Film Festival. Other credits include Mississippi Masala, The Perez Family, Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair, and The Namesake. A long-time activist, Nair divides her energies between filmmaking and two successful non-profit organizations, Salaam Baalak Trust and Maisha. In 2012, Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, based on the acclaimed novel by Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid, premiered at the 69th Venice Film Festival. Mira Nair was born in India and educated at both Delhi University and Harvard. She currently lives in Kampala, Uganda, New Delhi, India and New York City with her husband and son.
Jonathan Demme has proven to be that rare maverick filmmaker who managed to find a place for his talents within the Hollywood system while still making movies his own way and on his own terms. An acclaimed filmmaker, producer and screenwriter, his credits include The Silence of the Lambs, which won him the Academy Award for Best Director, as well as Philadelphia, The Manchurian Candidate, Rachel Getting Married, and critical favorites Melvin and Howard and Something Wild. Riding the line between features and documentaries, Demme also directed the Talking Heads concert movie Stop Making Sense, a trilogy of Neil Young documentary/concert movies, and I’m Carolyn Parker, the 2011 documentary about Hurricane Katrina victim and Lower NinthWard resident Carolyn Parker. Demme has also served as producer on a number of films including Adaptation, That Thing You Do!, and Mandela. Demme is on the Board of Directors at Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY. In addition to his role on the board, he curates and hosts a monthly series called “Rarely Seen Cinema”.
Ramin Bahrani was born and raised in North Carolina. His films have premiered and screened at such festivals as Venice, Cannes, Sundance, Berlin and Toronto. He has won numerous awards such as the FIPRESCI prize for best film (“Man Push Cart,” London; “Goodbye Solo,” Venice), the “Someone to Watch” Independent Spirit Award (“Chop Shop”), and was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He collaborated with Werner Herzog on his short film “Plastic Bag” and recently directed a music video for Sigur Rós. In 2010 legendary American film critic Roger Ebert proclaimed Bahrani as “the director of the decade.” Bahrani’s new film “At Any Price” stars Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron and world premiered in the main competition at the Venice International Film Festival 2012, and The Telluride Film Festival 2012 and Toronto Film Festival 2012 in North America. Sony Pictures Classics will release in 2013.
Academy Award-nominated and two-time Emmy and Peabody winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger has been a leading voice in nonfiction film and television for two decades. Berlinger’s films include the landmark documentaries “Brother’s Keeper,” the “Paradise Lost” Trilogy, which helped lead to the recent release of the wrongfully-convicted West Memphis Three, and “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster,” a film that re-defined the rockumentary genre. “Crude,” about oil pollution in the Amazon Rainforest, won 22 human rights, environmental and film festival awards and recently triggered a high-profile First Amendment battle with oil-giant Chevron. Five of Berlinger’s documentary features, including his Emmy-nominated 2012 Paul Simon documentary “Under African Skies,” have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, earning three Grand Jury Prize nominations. He has also received multiple awards from the Directors Guild of America, the National Board of Review and the Independent Spirit Awards.
Barbara Kopple is the two-time Academy Award winning director and producer of “Harlan County, USA” and “American Dream.” Her most recent projects are “Fight to Live,” a documentary about the United States’ drug approval and development system, and “A Force of Nature,” a film about journalist and philanthropist Ellen Ratner. She is currently in post-production on a documentary about actress Mariel Hemingway. Her other documentaries include “Gun Fight”, “The House of Steinbrenner,” “Woodstock: Now and Then”,” “Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing,” “A Conversation with Gregory Peck,” “My Generation,” “Wild Man Blues,” “Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson,” and many more. She also directed “Havoc,” a narrative feature film starring Anne Hathaway.
Born and raised in Israel, Oren Moverman is a New York City based filmmaker best known for “The Messenger,” which he co-wrote and directed, and for which he received an Academy Award ® Nomination for Best Writing, Original Screenplay. In 2009 he directed “Rampart” from a script he co-wrote with acclaimed novelist James Ellroy (“L.A. Confidential”). Moverman co-wrote “I’m Not There,” the experimental Bob Dylan biopic directed by Todd Haynes. He will next direct a segment of “Berlin, I Love You,” the third film in the franchise after the Paris and New York films.