Laura Kutnick grew up around the world, but raised her own family in a small green community in rural Connecticut. Graduating in film studies from Dartmouth College, she went on to pursue film theory at the Sorbonne and later business and communications at the U of Penn. She went on to work as communications consultant for the Aspen Institute and then on several of ABC network’s Emmy award winning documentaries before becoming health producer on CBS nightly news. Her drama examining the fragility of nuclear disarmament ran briefly in 2018 and her biography of her parents’ contemporary art collection was released by Sotheby’s the same year. Currently, Laura is president of the Dale and Laura Kutnick Foundation which has been pivotal in the success of many non-profit initiatives which address climate change.
Mitchell Block the inaugural Jon Anderson Chair at the University of Oregon and Professor of Documentary and Film Studies. He is one of the very few documentary producers whose films have been recognized for achievements by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences four times. As a distributor (Direct Cinema Limited) his company’s short films, documentaries, animated and feature films have received over one thousand awards including 25 Academy Awards and 76 Award nominations. Before arriving at the University of Oregon, Block was an adjucnt professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and taught and lectured in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities in China. He has lectured at over 50 colleges and universities worldwide. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and was a founding member of the British Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He is a life member of the University Film & Video Association and the International Documentary Association.
Sam Kadi is an award winning filmmaker based in Santa Barbara, California. Sam is the director, writer and producer of the critically acclaimed feature drama, The Citizen, which won multiple awards and was named one of the “Best 10 Films of 2013” by Examiner.com. Sam’s recent war-zone documentary Little Gandhi was an Official Selection for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2017 Oscars. He is the producer of the 2023 Oscar-shortlisted feature animation film Lamya’s Poem, which world premiered at the 60th Annecy Film Festival (France). He has been recognized by the prestigious Cinema For Peace organization for raising awareness of human rights issues through film, and was asked to speak on the same subject before the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands. Sam is a TEDx speaker, a juror for multiple film festivals, a member of the International Animated Film Society (ASIFA-Hollywood), and a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), where he serves on the Guild Asian American committee.
Tzipi Trope’s feature films include: “tell Me That You Love Me”, “Tel-Aviv Berlin”, Best Israeli Film Award, Best Script Award, Best Supporting Actress Award: “Chronicles of Love” (which she also produced): “Six Million Pieces”: Movie of the Week; “Adela”. Documentaries; “The Magic Circle”; “A Day with Madeline”; “My Brother”; ” A Dream Comes True”; “Political Theater”: ” Close and Far Away”, : Looking for the Lost Voice”, “A Ballad for my Son”, ” The Prime Minister’s Wife” (also DP), ” Cafe Europa” (also DP), Dearest Enemy”. Tzipi was the Head of the Film Program at Haifa University and she taught at Columbia University, Graduate Film Department.
In 1993, Jacques co-founded Filmmakers Alliance. As President, he built the grassroots collective into an important independent filmmaking community and resource organization with films screening at every major festival in the world. He’s overseen the production of hundreds of films and developed a wide range of innovative and dynamic filmmaking support programs.
His writer-director filmography includes the feature film “The Dogwalker” (Los Angeles Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Best First Feature – Cinequest Film Festival), as well as the shorts “My Last Day On Earth”, “Transaction” (Sundance Film Festival, winner of the Grand Prix du Jury Award in the Labo Competition at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival), “Infidelity In Equal Parts” (Sundance Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival), “Egg” (Best Comedy Short – Cinequest Film Festival, Jury Award for Best Short – Methodfest) and “Love Without Socks”.
Vrinda Sood, a woman entrepreneur and founder of Citrus Ink, has an MBA in marketing and a diploma in animation. She started her career working with American Express and after a brief stint at Contract Advertising agency she founded her own animation venture. Vrinda has grown Citrus Ink Studios from a small team of 20 people to currently a team of 225 people working on several TV shows, Features Films, Short Films, Branded Content and VFX.
Chris Henderson Produced at Walt Disney Television Animation, two 65 episode series “101 Dalmatians” and “Hercules”. Also for Disney, he created and produced 720 Interstitials for the Disney/BVTV afternoon syndication block of programming “Disney’s 1, too”. Henderson went on to produce 2 long forms, the Direct to Home “Hunchback of Notre Dame II” which won the Best Animated Feature Film, DVD Premiere Award, and the theatrically released sequel to Peter Pan, “Return to Never Land”.
Following Disney, he produced the animated feature film “Clifford’s Really Big Movie” for Scholastic Entertainment and Warner Brothers.
In 2016, Henderson formed Astro-Nomical Entertainment with partner Jay Ahn (producer of The Nut Job). Current projects at Astro-Nomical are: Mean Margaret, a $27M animated feature film in final stages of negotiations, planning a 1st quarter production start in 2023, A Tale Dark and Grimm, based on a NY Times best-selling book series by Adam Gidwitz, delivered to Netflix, Halloween 2021(uodate: nominated for an Emmy in Outstanding Animated Series category), The Grimmest Tales, based on a number one podcast by Adam Gidwitz, a hybrid series, live-action and animation, and Unicorn Rescue Society, again based on a best-selling book series by Adam Gidwitz. Astro-Nomical is currently working with the IP owners of Larva, to set it up as a feature film for a global release.
Veronica Taylor is a classically trained actor who found her way into voice acting while performing in the Batman Stunt Show at Six Flags Great Adventure. She became a mainstay of Saturday morning cartoons, best known for playing the original Ash and May on the first 8 seasons of “Pokémon”, April on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (2003- 2007) and roles in “Yu-Gi-Oh!”, “Cubix”, “Dinosaur King”, “Winx Club”, “One Piece”, and more with 4Kids. Shows for PBS include “Word World” (Sheep), “Lunch Lab” (Mixiebot), and “Chuck Vanderchuck’s something something’ Explosion!” (Ramona). Current projects include Nickelodeon’s Emmy nominated “Welcome to the Wayne” (Spy from 8- i), “Sailor Moon” (Sailor Pluto), Netflix’s “Shaman King” (Tamao)) and “Rilakkuma and Kaoru (Tokio), “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” (BerryBlue) “Dragon Ball Super” (Brianne/Ribrianne), Sprout’s “Ollie and Moon” (flight attendant/ensemble) and “Astroblast” (Sputnik), “Aria” (Akari), “Mofy” (Mofy, Mogu, Sora), “Fire Emblem: Three Houses/Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes (Manuela), “Fire Emblem: Heroes” (Macaiah), and “Valkyria Chronicles 4” (Crymaria). Anime favorites include “Slayers” (Amelia), “His and Hers Circumstances” (Yukino), “Nana Seven of Seven” (all 7 Nanas), among others. She has done numerous voices for animation, video games, audiobooks, commercials, and documentaries.