2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Mentors: Distribution: Documentary

#sxsw #FilmMentor

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

Sign Up Here: http://mentor.sxsw.com.

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.



Bec Smith




Daniel Braun



Dan Braun

Dan Braun is the co-founder and co-president of New York based Submarine Entertainment, a company whose services include film sales, distribution and marketing services, production and broadband content creation.

Mr. Braun, the chief creative and head of operations at Submarine has been involved with the sale of many feature films and documentaries including Man on Wire, Woody Allen an Untitled Documentary, Searching for Sugar Man, Tiny Furniture, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Cutie and the Boxer, Black Rock, Food Inc, Muscle Shoals, Buck, 20 Ft from Stardom, Muscle Shoals, Dirty Wars, Queen of Versailles, among others.

Braun runs the subsidiary distribution label Submarine Deluxe of which recent theatrical releases include Chasing Ice which was short listed for the Academy Award and nominated for best song, Casting By, Dear Mr Watterson, GMO OMG! Love, Marilyn and Weekend of a Champion. DVD releases include deluxe double disc editions of Wild Style, Downtown 81 and Chasing Ice.

Braun is a producer on the upcoming Creepy feature anthology horror film to be directed by Chris Columbus and is a writer/editor on all the Creepy and Eerie line of comic books and archival volumes being published at Dark Horse Comics.


Julie Parker Benello


Chicken & Egg/Gamechanger

JULIE PARKER BENELLO co- founded CHICKEN & EGG PICTURES with Judith Helfand and Wendy Ettinger in 2005 with a shared belief that powerful women storytellers can help build and sustain local and global movements for justice, equity, and health. Chicken & Egg Pictures matches strategically timed grants with dynamic mentorship and creative collaboration focused on story, craft, and community engagement. At Chicken & Egg Pictures, the team supported 2012 Academy Award winner Saving Face; 2008 Academy Award winner Freeheld; and Executive Produced 2012 Academy Award nominee The Barber Of Birmingham in addition to supporting Academy nominees -- The Square, The Invisible War, King’s Point, and Sun Come Up. Additional recent films of note include After Tiller, Brooklyn Castle, Call me Kuchu, Garbage Dreams, Private Violence, Semper Fi: Always Faithful, Sepideh and Valentine Road.
Julie is currently one of the co-founders and managing directors of a recently launched equity fund – GAMECHANGER FILMS– whose mandate is to invest in a slate of films by narrative women directors. Gamechanger's first film Land Ho! by Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz just premiered at Sundance and worldwide rights were scooped up by Sony Pictures Classics. Julie also served as an Executive Producer of Jill Soloway’s Sundance 2013 award winning debut feature film Afternoon Delight and Dee Rees Gotham Award winning, 2012 breakout success Pariah. She is Executive Producer of Leigh Janiak's directorial debut -- Honeymoon - premiering in the Midnighters section of SXSW 2014.
Earlier in her career, Julie co-produced the 2002 Sundance award-winning Emmy nominated, HBO documentary Blue Vinyl. Prior to Blue Vinyl, Julie was a Production Executive for the distribution company Non Fiction Films and a researcher for Walter Cronkite's production company. She cares passionately about creating access and investment opportunities so that more women are in the director’s chair.


Kristen Konvitz

Film Vertical


KRISTEN KONVITZ is the New York-based Manager of Film for global crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo. Her role includes acquiring projects in varying stages and overseeing them through all stages of their campaigns. She is instrumental in building relationships between both established and up and coming talent and also performs community outreach for the New York filmmaking community. Prior to joining Indiegogo, she spent 7 years as the Director of Acquisitions and Production at Wild Bunch, one of the leading independent film sales, financing & distribution companies. She began working in acquisitions at The Weinstein Company and made the transition to Wild Bunch to assist in opening its first U.S. office. She has also produced numerous award winning short films and music videos. Kristen holds a B.S. in media studies from New York University and a M.F.A. in film producing from Columbia University.


Lois Vossen

Sr Series Producer

Independent Lens

Lois Vossen is the Founding and Senior Series Producer of Independent Lens. She is responsible for curating the series and works with filmmakers on content, editorial, and broadcast issues. She scripts and directs the Independent Lens host introductions, and works closely with the marketing team on promoting and branding the series.

Independent Lens has received 7 Emmy Awards including 2 Primetime Emmys, 10 Peabody Awards, 5 duPont Awards, 7 Academy Award nominations, and received the 2013 IDA Best Continuing Series Award.

Previously, Vossen was Associate Managing Director of the Sundance Film Festival and the Sundance Labs. She has served on the jury at SXSW, DOC New Zealand, Toronto International Film Festival, and New Orleans Film Festival, among others.


Matt Grady


Factory 25

Matt Grady is the founder of Factory 25, an independent film distribution company launched in 2009. Factory 25 is a home for conceptually provocative narratives and documentaries. Grady’s mission is to deliver specialized film and music titles in an aesthetically captivating way while exposing the indie world to under-the-radar films, music, and other curiosities theatrically, digitally, on TV, VOD, via subscription, limited edition DVDs with vinyl LPs and books. Recent titles include SXSW films: Kid Thing, Sun Don't Shine and Pavilion. Factory 25 headquarters are in Brooklyn, New York.


Molly Thompson

SVP, A&E IndieFilms

A&E Television Networks

Molly Thompson launched and runs A&E IndieFilms, the network’s feature documentary division. A&E IndieFilms’ productions include the Oscar-nominated, Sundance Award-winner “Murderball,” the Oscar-nominated “Jesus Camp” and the Emmy Award-winners “The Tillman Story” and “Under African Skies.” Thompson executive produces the division’s original productions including: “American Teen,” “The September Issue” and “The Imposter”. A&E IndieFilms’ most recent productions include “Supermensch The Legend of Shep Gordon” directed by Mike Myers, and “Happy Valley” directed by Amir Bar-Lev.


RJ Millard


Obscured Pictures

RJ Millard has worked in the entertainment industry for twenty years. He currently runs his own marketing, publicity and sales agency, Obscured Pictures, representing films and filmmakers including MITT (Greg Whiteley), AFTERNOON OF A FAUN: TANAQUIL LE CLERCQ (Nancy Buirski), THE SQUARE (Jehane Noujaim), MATEO (Aaron Naar) and HAPPINESS (Thomas Balmes). As a corporate consultant, he has worked for Netflix, New Line Cinema, Paramount Vantage, IFC, and Warner Indepenent and oversaw the self-distrubition team for Lee Daniel’s debut, SHADOWBOXER.

He was recently VP of Publicity at Focus Features and previously served as the Senior Vice President, Marketing & Publicity for Samuel Goldwyn Films & Roadside Attractions. He was the Press Officer and national spokesperson for the Sundance Film Festival as well as the Marketing and Publicity Director for the Los Angeles Film Festival and has consulted on behalf of many other U.S. festivals.


Sean Berney

Mgr of Acquisitions

IFC Films

Steven Beer

Ent Atty

Franklin Weinrib Rudell & Vassallo

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