Why would anyone want to become a filmmaker? Does it make for a sustainable career? In a freeform discussion, learn from two filmmakers who will share their journey and inspiration and have made New England, and specifically, Rhode Island, their base.
Michael F. Drywa, Jr., Esq. (moderator) RIIFF Advisory Board President, is a highly accomplished attorney with more than ten years experience in all phases of civil litigation and corporate law supplemented by a successful ten year career in corporate management and strategic business planning. He has been licensed to practice in Rhode Island since 1998 and Massachusetts since 1999. He is also licensed in the United States District Courts for Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He is currently a Senior Attorney at SIMS & SIMS LLP, where he is responsible for all aspects of complex and standard civil litigation with a concentration in commercial disputes and employment/labor law for corporations and individuals. He has served as the RIIFF Advisory Board President since 2002 and provides general legal counsel to the non-profit arts organization specializing in the development of independent filmmakers and screenwriters, including areas of intellectual property, copyright, non-disclosure, non-compete, general liability, contract issues, leases, sponsorships, advertising, and e-commerce. He also participates and assists in the annual festival organization, acting as master of ceremonies. Michael's position with RIIFF requires the ability to communicate legal decisions which guide the executive staff’s strategic business decisions thus minimizing legal exposure while allowing the organization to thrive. Michael received his Juris Doctor from the Roger Williams University School of Law where he was the Senior Staff Member/Notes Editor for the Roger Williams University Law Review. Outside of his legal experience, he was acknowledged in 1982 as the top foreign language student in New England by the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages for excellence in German language study, and elected as top German language student in New England by the Goethe Institute, Boston.
Reshad Kulenovic is a writer/director based in Rhode Island and New York. He has worked in the production department of numerous films and TV shows, including THE EDUCATION OF CHARLIE BANKS and in the camera department for the Newport Jazz Festival. He has been awarded the Antonio Cirino Memorial Art Fellowship and the University of Rhode Island gave him the first ever President's Award for Excellence in Film. For his short film SNOVI he became one of the first artists to be funded by the Heinrich Boll Foundation. Another producer of SNOVI was the Centre Andre Malraux Sarajevo, which also produced Jean-Luc Godard’s NOTRE MUSIQUE. SNOVI has played 20 international film festivals and was awarded a Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 Rhode Island International Film Festival. SNOVI is nominated for a 2011 Student Academy Award. For more information go to: www.snovifilm.com/.
Daniel Sousa uses animation and themes commonly found in mythology and fairy tales to examine archetypes of human nature, and the inner struggles between our intellects and our unconscious drives. Rather than following conventional narratives, he approaches filmmaking from a painter’s perspective. He focuses on states of mind, evoking the fragility of fleeting moments, memories and perceptions. Daniel was born in Cape Verde and grew up in Portugal. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Sousa has worked as a director and animator with Cartoon Network, Olive Jar Studios, Global Mechanic, and Duck. Sousa has taught at several colleges in the New England area, including Harvard University, The Museum School, and The Art Institute of Boston. Since 2001 he has been teaching at the Rhode Island School of Design. He is a Creative Capital grantee for the production of his new film, "Feral" which was recently nominated for Best Animated Short by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.