Independent Filmmakers Day at the Sundance Film Festival


Hosted at the acclaimed Hotel Park City on Jan. 28, 2020, the Independent Filmmakers Day will feature a series of panel discussions, keynote addresses and debates on a wide range of timely topics of interest to independent filmmakers and content creators.

All panels are moderated by Corky Kessler, voted “Best Entertainment Lawyer in the United States.” Produced by Eric Vollweiler.

Register Here to Attend.

Schedule of Events:

9:00 am – Registration/Check in

9:35 am – Introduction to Independent Filmmaker Day

9:55 am – Introduction to Artists United

10:05 am – Introduction to Hayden Film Institute

10:10 am – Fireside Chat with Angela Lawson Ph.D from Northwestern Medical Group on the Topic of Challenges of Women in the context of the “Me Too” Movement.


10:15 am – Women in Film Panel (Discussing Current Issues Affecting Women in Film)


  1. Carol Anne Shine – Award-winning producer who has produced over 50 titles for film and television. Highlights from her long list of credits include “Blackbird” starring Academy Award® winner Mo’Nique, I Am Legend starring Academy Award® nominee, Will Smith, the groundbreaking LOGO television series, “Noah’s Arc,” a Student Academy Award® national finalist, Waking Mele, Dirty Lies also produced by Catherine Hardwicke, and “Pastor Brown”, a critical and commercial hit on Lifetime.
  2. Angela Northington – Angela most recently served as Senior Vice President, Content Acquisitions & Programming for UMC – Urban Movie Channel, a division of RLJ Entertainment, overseeing the company’s acquisitions, programming and development for the proprietary subscription VOD platform UMC (, launched by RLJE Chairman and BET founder Robert L. Johnson.
  3. Nancy Puetz – Vice President of Women in Film & Television, International (WIFTI) and President of Tennessee Women in Film & Media (TWIFM). She is also the Founder/Executive Director of Franklin International Indie Film Festival (FIIFF).
  4. Lilliana Kawase – Co-founder of an independent film production company Titanio Films, investor and influencer. Her last production is Kids & Glory, a Chinese co-production 55’ documentary.
  5. Kym Jackson – Kym recently wrapped shooting the series regular role of Queen Neela in ABC Networks 2019 pilot ‘Triangle’ alongside Mike Vogel and Mallory Jansen. She has also played roles on American Crime Story, NCIS, This Is Us, ABC’s Ten Days in The Valley, and BET show, Rebel. Her latest feature film ‘Wishman’ recently screened at both Cannes and Toronto film festivals.


11:10 am – Screenplay and Beyond Panel (How to Get Your Film on the Big Screen)


  1. Todd Hein, CPA – Senior Tax Manager at Stockman Kast Ryan +Company LLP. Todd works with clients in the entertainment industry, including film and television production, and television commercial production. He speaks frequently to film industry groups, specifically regarding the application of Internal Revenue Code Section 181 and 168.
  2. Tina Treadwell – As president of Treadwell Entertainment Group, Ms Treadwell develops and manages the careers of groundbreaking talent. She also oversaw series casting for Lizzie McGuire, Even Stevens and The
    Famous Jett Jackson with director Shawn Levy (through which she helped launch the careers of Shia LaBeouf, Hillary Duff and Lee Thompson Young).
  3. Honnie Korngold – Producer and founder of CineVantage Productions, a film and television Production Company. With locations in Southern California, South Georgia and Colorado, CineVantage specializes in narrative films with true story origins combined with iconic directors such as Bruce Beresford and Andy Tennant.
  4. Adam Fisher – Armed with a background in production and finance, Adam runs the day-to-day operations of Complete Production Group’s West Coast office in Los Angeles where he currently serves as the companies President & Managing Partner.
  5. Andrew Steel – On screen Andrew has wowed audiences in the cult hit show’s “Home & Away,” “Wonderland” and his award-winning portrayal of Batman in two seasons of the wickedly sardonic hit comedy “The Justice Lease.” Upon moving to Los Angeles Steel landed his first leading role in the nationally released US feature film “Wish Man,” now available on Netflix.


12:00 pm – Expert Roundtables (includes Catered Lunch)

Join interactive lunch discussions, moderated by an expert or thought leader, held at roundtables of up to 10 participants. These are freeform discussions, so bring your own challenges, questions, and ideas to talk through and get to know your fellow conference participants.

Experts include:

  1. David Rubenstein – Business and Entertainment Attorney. Producer’s Consultant on Human Capital, starring Marisa Tomei, Liev Schreiber and Maya Hawke and recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.
  2. Corky Kessler – Voted “Best Entertainment Lawyer in the United States”. Executive Producer on more than 20 films including Certifiably Jonathan starring Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters.
  3. Marc Gold – An in-demand entertainment executive and producer of Fresh Cats Productions and currently oversees development, marketing, and finance for high quality independent films ranging from 500k to 15 million dollars.
  4. Gil Aglaure – Gil Aglaure is the founder of Koan, an industry leader in the distribution of quality films and television programs worldwide, and Executive Producer of a number of feature films. Over the years, Koan has grown an impressive catalogue of films with casts such as Mila Kunis, Danny Glover, James Earl Jones, Christopher Reeve, Jon Heder, Denise Richards and many others.


1:00 pm – Pitch Competition

Your chance to pitch your idea to a panel of industry professionals – they are the people who matter. They are the ones who decide which films get made and which films get shown in cinema and on TV.

You have 2 minutes to convince the panel to read your script or fund your film. Limited Availability of only 15 Pitches. Winner receives over $20,000 in In-Kind Services for 2020.

Pitch Judges include:

  1. Corky Kessler – Voted “Best Entertainment Lawyer in the United States”
  2. Marc Gold – An in-demand entertainment executive and producer of Fresh Cats Productions and currently oversees development, marketing, and finance for high quality independent films ranging from 500k to 15 million dollars.
  3. Josh Friedman – CEO of Crew Me Up, Inc. The first on-demand marketplace connecting the people making the movies. Gain direct access to Film Crews and Film Creators to form lasting partnerships through the Crew Me Up Network.
  4. Jennifer Balliet – Jennifer served as Financial Advisor for First Line Films, via Writer/Director Coerte Voorhees (The First Line – Now on Netflix), and in production of his next film,Canyon Del Muerto.
  5. Tom Hillery – Producer and writer, known for Ouija House (2018), Project Solitude (2009) and Bikini Kitchen: Best of Stormy (2011).


2:10 pm – Branding, Distribution, and Funding Panel (How to Market Your Film)


  1. Ash Greyson – Digital Marketing specialist for over 65 films, including Oscar nominated Deepwater Horizon starring Mark Wahlberg and Kurt Russell, and Wonder starring Julia Roberts.
  2. Tamara Bell – As Vice President of Koan, Tamara Bell oversees the acquisition and development of feature films, documentaries, series, and animation in genres ranging from sci-fi and action to romantic comedy and faith-based for an ever-growing worldwide audience.
  3. Suzy Lenet – Branding Principal at Lightbulb, LLC. Formerly a Branding Director at Levy, a 2 Billion Hospitality and Catering Company in Chicago, Suzy is a branding guru with over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies such as Disney, Microsoft, and ExxonMobil.
  4. Dave Conlon – CFO and founding partner of EggPlant Collective and it’s group of companies. EggPlant was formed in 2001 and has two media facilities in downtown Toronto capable of handling all aspects of post production, from dailies to final deliveries. Through his extensive experience with Canadain tax credits and co-treaties, Conlon has executively produced and produced numerous projects.
  5. Joe Ventura – With over 35 years of experience as a Registered Investment Advisor, Joe Ventura has helped his clients in all walks of life. His forte is helping individuals raise capital in both conventional and unconventional methods. Joe has mentored over 100 financial professionals to manage and raise capital.

3:00 pm – After-Party Sponsored by Artists United

6:00 pm – End


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