Mentors - Open Call 1
Agents and Managers are a necessary part of the food chain in filmmaking from pre-production through distribution and release. What do they do exactly? How can they serve you? Talk to several industry professionals one-on-one.
Mentor session signup is open to all Film, Gold and Platinum badge holders at a first-come, first-served basis. Registrants who signed up online must check-in 30 minutes before your mentor time slot to guarantee your spot. Limited on-site signup is also available for a small number of mentor sessions spots and will begin 30 minutes before the first time slot of each session.
To sign up for a mentor session click on the link for the mentor you are interested in meeting with:
Andrew Mer -- http://mentor.sxsw.com/mentors/260
Benjamin Kramer -- http://mentor.sxsw.com/mentors/131
Cristina Garza -- http://mentor.sxsw.com/mentors/280
Emily Rose -- http://mentor.sxsw.com/mentors/129
Heather Collier -- http://mentor.sxsw.com/mentors/132
Kevin Iwashina -- http://mentor.sxsw.com/mentors/130
Lois Vossen -- http://mentor.sxsw.com/mentors/245
Thuy Tran -- http://mentor.sxsw.com/mentors/128
Andrew Mer is VP of Content Parterships for SnagFilms and has been instrumental in building the SnagFilms library of over 900 documentary films. SnagFilms library consists of single titles from individual filmmakers and producers to multiple titles from many of the most widely known and respected distributors, aggregators, and broadcasters including, Virgil Films & Entertainment, E1, Alive Mind, Cactus Three, PBS, ITVS, Sundance Channel, Cinetic Rights Management and IndiePix.
Andrew Mer has been an independent consultant to the film industry in development and acquisitions. His most recent client was AOL where he served as chief acquisitions consultant for AOL True Stories, an all-documentary broadband platform. Andrew helped build and develop AOL True Stories’ slate of documentary films beginning with its launch slate. Previously, Elixir Films engaged Andrew to head its creative development efforts. At Elixir he was responsible for developing all film and TV projects as well as scouting for new creative talent and project opportunities. Elixir Films' credits include the international non-fiction television series Long Way Round with Ewan McGregor. Before entering the film world Mr. Mer worked in the art world as a fine arts insurance broker and consultant. Andrew Mer is an attorney who lives and works in NYC.
Benjamin Kramer is a Film Finance Agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), an entertainment and sports agency based in Los Angeles with offices in New York, London, Nashville, and Beijing. Kramer works in the Los Angeles office and specializes in film financing and distribution.
Kramer has been deeply involved in the packaging, financing, and sale of such films as the
James Cameron-produced SANCTUM; RABBIT HOLE, starring Nicole Kidman; Robert Redford’s THE CONSPIRATOR; and the Michael Mann-produced THE FIELDS. In addition, he has helped to secure financing and distribution for a number of upcoming independently produced and financed films, including THE GREY, PEEP WORLD, THE EXPATRIATE, HIGHER GROUND, THE GOOD DOCTOR, and TIM AND ERIC’S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE.
Kramer began his career at the William Morris Agency. He joined CAA in 2005.
Kramer graduated from Wesleyan University with degrees in Political Science and Film Studies.
Cristina is the Head of Distribution at CANANA, a indie production and distribution company based in Mexico City founded in 2005 by Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz. Before arriving to CANANA, Cristina lived in New York for ten years and served as Manager of International Sales at FiGa Films, an international sales and micro-distribution company. She also co-founded FilmCatcher.com, an online video magazine for independent films. She is currently the U.S. Delegate for Critics Week of the Cannes Film Festival, rides a 10-speed Peugeot, and lives with her husband and chocolate lab in Mexico.
Emily Rose is a literary and talent manager at Mosaic, a management and film/television production company with deals at Sony and HBO. Prior to joining the team at Mosaic, Emily worked in creative development HBO Films in the Miniseries division, and she began her career in Los Angeles as an agent trainee at ICM.
Hailing from the great state of Michigan, Emily found her way to California after graduating from the University of Michigan. Her love of independent film stems from her passion to work with filmmakers and storytellers who endeavor to present audiences with the unique stories and characters that inspire them in both their work and their lives.
Heather Collier owns Collier Talent Agency in Austin, TX. She represents actors and actresses for film, television, theater, commercial and voice over work. She worked as an agent in Chicago, NYC, and LA before moving to Austin and opening her own agency.
Kevin Iwashina is a Managing Partner of Preferred Content, a film, television and digital production, finance advisory and sales company.
Preferred Content opens 2011 with two films it executive produced which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; LITTLE BIRDS written and directed by Elgin James and starring Juno Temple, Kay Panabaker and Leslie Mann and JESS + MOSS written and directed by Clay Jeter. In addition, it represented the worldwide rights to the competition documentaries HOT COFFEE directed by Susan Saladoff and MISS REPRESENTATION directed by Jennifer Newsom. The Narrative Competition titles HERE, THE LEDGE and ANOTHER EARTH rounded out Preferred Content’s Sundance Film Slate.
Other recent Preferred Content sales and financing projects include the 2010 SXSW Audience Award winner BROTHERHOOD, the 2010 Sundance Film Festival documentary entries LIFE 2.0 and 8: THE MORMON PROPOSITION, the Dramatic Competition entry LOVERS OF HATE and the Park City at Midnight selection THE PERFECT HOST. Other notable titles include the Academy Award winning documentaries THE COVE and MAN ON WIRE, the Emmy Award winning documentary POLANSKI: WANTED AND DESIRED as well as independent film projects from Chris Pine, Benjamin Bratt, Virginia Madsen and Jack Black.
Prior to Preferred Content Iwashina spent 10 years at the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), where he was a talent agent, specializing in film packaging, financing and distribution. Individual projects for which he arranged distribution and financing include Richard Kelly's DONNIE DARKO, Zach Braff's GARDEN STATE, Paul Haggis' Academy Award winning CRASH and the Peabody Award winning documentary NANKING. Clients Iwashina has represented include Italian filmmaker Gabrielle Muccino, French filmmaker Patrice Chéreau, European actors Vincent Cassel, Monica Bellucci and Emmanuelle Seigner, independent film icons John Waters and Christine Vachon as well as Netflix and the former Vice Chairman of AOL, Ted Leonsis.
Iwashina holds a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in French Language and Culture from U.C.L.A. He is active in the non-profit and political sectors and currently serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE). He began his career in the mailroom at United Talent Agency (UTA) and is a native of Los Angeles, where he currently resides.
LOIS VOSSEN is the founding and Emmy Award-winning series producer of Independent Lens. In its first eight seasons, Independent Lens received 4 Emmy Awards including a Primetime Emmy, 2 Best Documentary and Outstanding Arts & Cultural Documentary Emmy awards, 6 Peabody Awards, and 2 DuPont Awards, among other honors. Previously, Vossen was Director of Broadcast, Distribution & Communications at ITVS and oversaw the launch of more than 250 films on public television. Prior to ITVS, she was Associate Managing Director of the Sundance Institute, Sundance Labs Manager, and programmed Sundance Cinematheque at the Sundance Resort. Vossen worked with director Philip Kaufman on China: Wild East (Turner Broadcasting) and has served on the jury at SXSW, DOCNZ (New Zealand Documentary Festival), Toronto International Film Festival, among others. Independent Lens titles include ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM, WORDPLAY, CHICAGO 10, CRIPS & BLOODS: MADE IN AMERICA, END OF THE CENTURY: THE RAMONES, HELVETICA, KING CORN, THE ORDER OF MYTHS, DIRT! THE MOVIE, GARBAGE DREAMS, YOUNG@HEART, MARWENCOL and WASTE LAND.