This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

Mentors - Distribution 1: Documentary

#sxsw #FilmMentor

Meet with industry professionals who can give advice and answer questions about distribution, distribution options, and more for Documentary films.

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:

Chris Horton --
Greg Rubidge --
Jeff Tamblyn --
Joe Amodei --
Joel Heller --
Molly Thompson --
Orly Ravid--
Sean Farnel --


Chris Horton Assoc Dir, Artist Svcs Sundance Institute

Chris Horton joined Sundance Institute in 2011 to run #ArtistServices, a new initiative that further extends the organization’s mission of connecting artists with audiences. Through a series of innovative deals and partnerships, #ArtistServices provides Institute alumni with powerful tools and resources that enhance creative funding and distribution opportunities.

Horton was previously the head of acquisitions for FilmBuff, a pioneering New York-based digital distribution company and sister company to John Sloss’ Cinetic Media. Under Horton’s leadership, FilmBuff acquired sales rights to hundreds of feature-length movies, including Banksy’s “Exit Through The Gift Shop”, Chris Smith’s “Collapse”, and Edward Burns’ “Nice Guy Johnny”. He also brokered numerous output deals with distributors such as MTV Films, Kino-Lorber, Palm Pictures, Wolfe Video, and MPI Media.

Horton had been with Cinetic for five years before the formation of FilmBuff in 2007. At Cinetic, a powerhouse sales agency behind titles such as “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Napoleon Dynamite”, Horton negotiated several distribution deals and led the company’s tracking and outreach strategies.

Horton previously worked for Miramax Films, following his graduation from the University of Colorado with degrees in film studies and psychology.

He lives in Los Angeles.

Greg Rubidge Pres Syndicado/

New platform (digital) distribution company. Focus on documentaries and independent features with digital rights for North America and Europe.

Jeff Tamblyn Filmmaker Heavy Weather Films

Jeff Tamblyn began his professional career in live theatre before learning, on his own, the craft of filmmaking as writer, producer and director. In 2008, he joined New Day Films distribution cooperative with his feature documentary, Kansas vs. Darwin. He’s promoted and distributed this award-winning title to over 450 educational institutions as well as to science-education activists all over the world. He currently serves New Day on the steering committee and supervises their groundbreaking streaming service, New Day Digital, which hosts over 160 films to a worldwide audience.

In 2008, with partner Robert Hurst, Tamblyn co-founded Heavy Weather Films, a film-production company that has now begun the transition to content developer. Tamblyn and Hurst specialize in the creation of stories which can be told in multiple platforms, starting with their inaugural story-enterprise, JOAN DARK, which will be a graphic novel, a game, and a motion picture.

Joel Heller Principal Joel Heller Productions

Heller is an award-winning producer, writer, editor and consultant. His past projects range from theatrically released films to non-fiction books and interactive websites. Producing credits include the documentary feature WINNEBAGO MAN, the first cybercast of The Primetime Emmy Awards, and Random House's MUST-SEE MOVIES video renter's guide.

Joseph Amodei Pres Virgil Films & Entertainment

Joe Amodei has enjoyed a career in the video and film industry for close to thirty years. He is one of the few veterans of the video industry who can say he was there from the beginning - when video stores seemed to be on every corner. From the demise of Beta and VHS, through the DVD and eventual Blu-Ray revolution and on to today's digital world he has seen and been a part of it all. His personal love of film (all kinds) and anything independent made its way into the business when he took over the reins at USA Home Entertainment. His work at USA changed his outlook on the industry with the release of films like TRAFFIC, BEING JOHN MALCOVICH and GOSFORD PARK. He learned what it takes to get films of a different non-mainstream nature out into the marketplace.
When USA was sold he partnered with John Hart and Jeff Sharp to create Hart Sharp Video. Since that beginning in 2003 the company went through a name change (Virgil Films was created in 2008) but still maintains that indie spirit. With films like Supersize Me, Chalk, Restrepo, Paper Clips, Amreeka, Forks Over Knives, Tully, The Way We Get By, How to Fold a Flag along with a host of other documentary and narrative feature films Amodei has brought the company he runs into the future with deals across all digital and streaming portals. He has turned his passion and love for "everything movies" into a way to help filmmakers get their work seen whether it be on DVD, TV or any digital means available. He considers this his biggest accomplishment.
He credits his family, movies and the music of Bruce Springsteen for keeping him motivated and involved.

Winner of five EMA (Entertainment Merchants Association) Awards
Recipient of the 2005 VIAAC Visionary Award

Molly Thompson VP, A&E IndieFilms A&E IndieFilms

Molly Thompson launched and runs A&E IndieFilms, the network’s feature documentary division. Thompson executive produces the division’s original productions including: “My Kid Could Paint That,” “American Teen,” “The September Issue” and “The Tillman Story.” More recently, “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer,” directed by Alex Gibney, was nominated for three News and Documentary Emmy Awards in 2011. A&E IndieFilms’ productions include the Oscar-nominated, Sundance Award-winner “Murderball” and the Oscar-nominated “Jesus Camp.” Thompson’s latest films for A&E IndieFilms are “The Imposter” and “Under African Skies” both of which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Orly Ravid Founder, Co-Exec Dir The Film Collaborative

Orly Ravid, Founder, The Film Collaborative (TFC). Orly is a 12-year industry veteran whose experience in film ranges from festival programming to acquisitions & domestic licensing and distribution, as well as business affairs and foreign sales.
The Film Collaborative is ( the first non-profit organization devoted to the distribution of independent cinema and related filmmaker education. TFC has already worked with over 100 filmmakers on films such as SXSW-winner WEEKEND, Oscar shortlisted WE WERE HERE, Revenge of the Electric Car, Sundance winner UNDERTOW, Sundance film and Oscar nominee GASLAND, SXSW Winner MADE IN CHINA, to name a few. Orly regularly moderates or speaks on panels at film festivals and film schools regarding new technology and digital distribution and advised Sundance on and contributes to its Artists Services initiative.

Sean Farnel Proprietor Ripping Reality

Sean Farnel is a consultant specializing in documentaries and festival business development. His occasional blog is

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