Industry Mentors

NEFL6 – INDUSTRY MENTORS *

 

MICHALINA SCORZELLI – Executive Producer, Feature Film, Actor

Michalina Scorzelli is an award winning film and television producer. Her body of work includes Distractions for BET, All My Children, Sex and the City, Sopranos and the feature film, Nate Dogg, which won Best Debut Feature at the Raindance Film Festival. Her feature film, Aftermath, premiered at the Cinequest Film Festival and went on to receive a theatrical run and significant financial success.  She has been featured in such publications as VarietyThe Hollywood Reporter and the L.A Times and had the pleasure of working with stars Christopher Penn, Anthony Michal Hall, Jamie Harrold, Tony Danza and Kaili Vernoff. Some of her upcoming projects include the  feature, The Composer, and The Twelve Dancing Princesses.


VITO BALENZANO – Producer, International Co-Production

Vito Balenzano has over 20 years experience in the Canadian film and television industry in development, production and distribution. He attended the Canadian Film Centre’s Producing program and the National Screen Institute’s Global Marketing Program for producers in collaboration with the Global Television Network. Balenzano started working in cinema and TV moving his way up from a production assistant to a major stakeholder in several multi-media holding companies dealing with content creation and distribution. In recent years he was the Head of Production and Market  Development at Breakout Entertainment, responsible for all domestic and international co-production and business development.  He is based in Montreal.


KALLEN BLAIR – Keynote Speaker – Producer, Crowd Funding Expert

Kallen Blair is a New York City based actor, producer, and writer originally from Memphis, TN. She co-produced and created ABLE, a series about disability inclusion in entertainment, now streaming on Amazon Prime.  As an actor she has played a lead in indie-feature This Day Forward and co-starred on Nashville and A Crime to Remember. Kallen has also worked extensively in New York and regional theatre. In 2018, she founded production company SoulStirCreative, with a mission of “creating art that advocates.”

HAYDEN CRADDOLPH  – Marketing Expert – Haydenfilms Institute 

Executive Director and Founder of Haydenfilms LLC and Haydenfilms Institute, Hayden Craddolph has always been an avid film lover. Starting off as a broker on Wall Street rather than a film producer in Hollywood, Hayden would return to earned a masters Degree in Electronic Media and develop an interactive, virtual film festival – a universally accessible forum where filmmakers from across the globe could showcase their films and vote on a winner. This idea translated into Haydenfilms LLC, which launched the first Haydenfilms Online Film Festival in 2004.   Now a non-profit, Haydenfilms Institute’s mission is to empower, educate and fund global independent filmmakers with a focus on student and Youth Media production using resources and technology to create effective public service announcements speaking out against violence.  Craddolph believes filmmakers have a responsibility for the message communicated in their works. Craddolph hopes HFI will help enable emerging and veteran filmmakers to share their stories globally by providing a platform available to all filmmakers, not controlled by commercial projects, yet innovative as well.  Haydenfilmsinstitute.org


TRACY CRING – DP / Post Production Expert

Tracy Cring is a veteran of two dozen features as a director of photography and editor.  She has developed a reputation of ‘mothering’ projects to their greatest potential. Recent social documentaries (ICE EAGLES, LEE’s 88 KEYS, etc) have won multiple awards and appreciated worldwide.  Co-writer on Background Biker, Perfect Union and editor Mike Camoin’s teaser for Scared to Debt.  Tracy returns to NEFL for her 3rd year and is excited to be back with her own project and as an industry mentor.  


JARED CROWELLE – Short Film Expert – Television Production

Jared comes from a small town in Virginia. When ambitions of film school were dampened, he uprooted himself to New York where he landed his first gig, as production assistant, within a month.  He then spent the next 5 years learning all aspects of film production working first as a PA and then a director’s assistant.  He’s been apart of over 50 major movies and television shows.  When given an opportunity to work with the creator/showrunner of Gotham & CSI, he honed his skills in writing and directing. Jared’s on-set knowledge of properly run productions range from high to low level budgets.  In his own filmmaking, Jared has directed experimental (DON’T FORGET), to dramatic, BRO which premiered on HBO FILMS and in competition for AMAZON.  His latest, TROUBLE TIMES, is based on a true story of an Irish Catholic teen who inadvertently meets an English Protestant girl.  Shot in Ireland and the U.K., Trouble Times is produced by Whoopi Goldberg and will reach the festival circuit in 2020.  

underdogdirections@gmail.com


JOSH FRIEDMAN – Producer – Member D.G.A. – Key Industry Liaison

Joshua A. Friedman is a Producer, DGA Assistant Director, and Author of Getting It Done: The Ultimate Production Assistant Guide.  A Decade of Experience on shows such as Law & Order: CI to his newest feature film Warning Shot have led Mr. Friedman to create a mobile labor platform to Connect filmmakers around the world (Crew Me Up).  Mr. Friedman loves sharing his experience and cultivating new talent.   Crew Me Up is a New Mobile Labor Platform for the Film Industry Available on iTunes.  Why make 60 phone calls to hire 6 people? Crew Me Up offers detailed crew profiles, interactive availability calendars, favorite lists and more… all at the touch of button.  Friedman is building a community based on a simple mission:  Connect. Create. Collaborate … Crew Me Up.


ALIE B. GORRIE – Keynote Speaker – Co-Producer, Actor

Alie B. Gorrie is an actor, producer, teaching artist, and inclusion consultant based out of NYC.  Most recently, her doc-series, ABLE, discussing disability inclusion in the entertainment industry, launched on Amazon Prime Video.  As an actor, Alie B. has performed on tour, off-Broadway, and regionally. Alie B. travels to regional theaters and NY-based companies and serves as an inclusion and access consultant. Current project include work with the Rock the Audition Coalition, Motivated Movers NYC, various BFA musical theatre departments, Red Mountain Theatre Company, and more.  She happens to be visually impaired, and she hopes to educate, equip, and empower disability inclusion allies world-wide.


JUSTIN MAINE – Documentary Producer – Magic Wig Studios 

Justin Maine (Director/Cinematographer) is an award winning filmmaker who has traveled the world telling stories.  He co-founded MagicWig Productions, Inc. in 2002 and has produced a library of projects throughout his career including corporate and industrial films, documentaries, television programs and narrative shorts.  He produced and co-directed the eco doc So Right So Smart which screened around the world in over 30 festivals including wins in the USA and New Zealand and aired on PBS stations nationwide. Most recently he was executive producer and director on the 13-episode television series Brewed In New York about the craft beer movement in New York State.  His passion for visual storytelling is rooted in his love for cinematography and is why he shoots most of his own projects.


LEANNE ROBINSON-MAINE – Writer/Producer – Creative Circus, LLC

Leanne Robinson-Maine is a celebrated producer, writer and editor for independent film and television.  Emmy winning writer on the 13-episode PBS travel series Brewed in New York (2018), Leanne also acted as Director on three of the show’s episodes (recognized with an Emmy nomination for the Chautauqua episode) and was Editor on five. The full first season of Brewed in New York is now available on YouTube.

She also served as writer and producer of the award-winning feature documentary So Right So Smart narrated by Daryl Hannah (2009), which has screened in film festivals around the globe and enjoyed a national release on PBS in 2015.   Delving into the sci-fi-thriller genre, Leanne was Writer/Editor on the short Notifications On (2016), which premiered at the Athens International Film Fest.

With a BA in Communications & Theatre from The University of Notre Dame and an MFA in Theatre from Ohio University, Leanne attributes her passion for language and storytelling to her background in drama.  She has worked on hundreds of commercial and industrial video projects through her company Creative Circus, LLC.


RICHARD LOVRICH – Marketing Expert – Proctors Collaborative 

Richard Lovrich began his career as a photographer, graphic artist and project manager, out of his own studio in New York City.  At the Albany Times Union he was hired as graphic artist, progressing to become the paper’s first Art Director, winning awards in illustration, design, writing and overall excellence.  Currently, the Creative Director of PROCTORS group of theaters in New York’s Capital region, encompassing Proctors, Capital Repertory Theatre and Universal Preservation Hall.  Each and every employee, under the leadership of CEO Philip Morris, has contributed to the meteoric rise in programming and income of Proctors Collaborative. For his part, Richard’s rigorous branding guidance, focus on history and the creation, along with a talented team, of materials are integral to fundraising and grant acquisition.  As an artist, Richard is actively photographing, with a concentration in portraiture and he is writing, adding to his ongoing project, “The Regrettable Lagniappe a collection of Today’s Very Short Stories”, occasionally reading them live to a very patient and charitable public.  As part of that series, Richard has written a few plays, two having been performed by the fabulous TROY FOUNDRY THEATRE.  In addition, he is a tireless, globetrotting advocate for Alpha-1, genetic COPD a degenerative lung disorder  and he is also a proud member of the board of CCCE, empowering filmmakers to achieve artistic,  production, marketing and financial goals.  He is also a member of the programming team for film at Proctors, aka IT CAME FROM SCHENECTADY.


ALECIA ORSINI – Documentary and Multi-Media Production

Alecia Orsini is an award winning multi-media professional with 12+ years experience working in the film industry.  As CEO of a video agency, Good Natured Dog Productions, her clients include National Geography and Discovery. She is a prominent voice in the region’s film community as President of Women in Film and Video of New England. She also uses her voice, marketing and development skills working for the NPR station WCAI, a service of WGBH.

Alecia also devotes time to Save MA Film Jobs, working behind the scenes for the grassroots organization. In 2012 she was named one of the Cape & Plymouth Business 40 Under 40 for her volunteer work & entrepreneurship and is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts.


DONNA PENNELL – Showrunner / Executive Producer 

Donna Pennell is Showrunner and CEO of Destiny Productions. Her programs have aired on ABC, NBC, CBS networks and cable affiliates.  She has more than 585 programs to her credit and is currently in development on shows in the reality, documentary, scripted drama, and sitcom genres.

In 2012 she formed Electric City Entertainment to support and collaborate with other producers, directors, writers, and creatives in the arts and entertainment industry.  ECE has two feature films and several TV series in various stages of production.   Both Destiny Productions and Electric City Entertainment (sponsors of the Electric City Screenplay Contest) are located in Schenectady, New York.  In 2016, Donna was appointed by Mayor Gary McCarthy as a Schenectady Film Commissioner.

PAUL RAPP – Entertainment Attorney

Paul Rapp is an intellectual property lawyer and writer who lives and works in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Mass and represents musicians, writers, fine artists, not-so-fine artists and businesses and institutions involved in the creative economy. He appears regularly on WAMC’s Vox Pop as a member of the copyright forum and wrote the column “Rapp On This” for Metroland Magazine.  He has taught at Albany
Law School, Western New England Law School, and MCLA. He’s also the
drummer for the band Blotto (“I Wanna Be A Lifeguard”) and has the
distinction of being the first person to appear on MTV wearing a Speedo.


LAUREN CONCAR SHEEHY – Executive Director, Garden State Film Festival

As a content creator, Lauren has written, produced, directed & edited many award-winning television programs for Cablevision, Bloomberg TV, Brookdale TV & other media outlets. In addition, she is a senior video production specialist, avid certified editor and professional makeup artist with numerous credits to her name. Concar builds programs that make New Jersey a state where undeserved communities and diverse populations have equal access to arts programming making her a unique asset.

As Executive Director of the Garden State Film Festival, Lauren spearhead­s all day to day decisions.  The GSFF is run mainly by women who lend Lauren’s values of women lifting women. She is an advocate of showcasing films worldwide and highlighting work created by women.  Concar is a member of New York Women in Film & Television and President of the Brookdale Alumni Association.  She interacts with Monmouth County Community making alliances with other businesses and new non-profits.  Lauren manages a TV station that broadcasts to 626,351 homes in her region.

The many lives touched through her work in New Jersey and globally is remarkable. She has shown exemplary community involvement by helping undeserved communities, demonstrated commitment through extensive research, workshops, panel discussions and community outreach.  While making significant differences for women’s lives in film and television it goes beyond that.  Her ability to connect the dots and extend her relationships to others, to pay it forward without selfish gain, is a remarkable trait — one we hope is refreshingly contagious in the Northeast Filmmakers Lab 6th edition.


BEHIND THE SCENES – STAFF

Michael J. Camoin – Director of NEFL6 – Filmmaker – Videos For Change Productions

Mike Camoin is a firm believer that emerging artists are an integral part to the future of the US culture and economy.  Working closely with Film Upstate, Mike has led the independent film movement in northeastern New York for over 20 years. Co-founder of Upstate Independents Filmmakers Network, Camoin served as the orgs first president (1995-2000).  Today, Camoin serves as the Founding Director of the Northeast Filmmakers Lab.  More recently, Camoin served as the UPM for the 2016 Sundance Special Jury Prize winning AS YOU ARE, locations manager on WE THE ANIMALS (Sundance 2018) and James Franco’s PRETENDERS and locations on director Alice Wu’s Netflix feature THE HALF OF IT.   As a filmmaker in his own works, Mike is best known for his documentary series on Adirondack culture Inside the Blue Line,  The Battles of Saratoga.

Camoin is currently developing  SCARED TO DEBT:  America’s Student Loan Scam,  Out of This League, a docu-series on the Atlantic League Professional Baseball, and  LIFE OR DEATH about two families devastated by mental illness and murder featuring David Kaczynski and Bill Babbitt.  Mike is responsible for the short films “Ruler of Life”, “Crossing the Whitestone” and “Relax.”  The latter made its Russian premiere in 2011 when Camoin was the sole American invited to an intensive 8-day producer’s lab in Russia, where the seeds for NEFL were planted.  He resides with his wife, Linda, and two children in upstate NY.   e-mail: grazing4life@gmail.com


John Romeo – Assistant Director of NEFL6 – Actor, PhatAkter Productions

Albany born stage and film actor, recently co-directed, shot and co-edited the documentary, ‘The Neighborhood That Disappeared”, and was Director of Photography and editor on “Breakfast of Champions”. He also recently appeared  in “Fighting For Freedom” with Bruce Dern. His lengthy career on stage included working in London’s West End and Off-Broadway in NYC. He has taught Acting at Union College and Acting and Directing at  Russell Sage College. He owns PhatAkter Productions, LLC  Member of SAG-AFTRA and Actor’s Equity and Upstate Independents Filmmakers Network.


ERIC VOLLWEILER – Marketing Consultant

Eric Vollweiler is based in Upstate NY and has been producing and marketing film festivals, conferences, movie premieres, parties at major film festivals and concerts in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Utah, Albany, Connecticut, Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Manhattan, Kansas City, New Jersey and Toronto since 2005.  Some of Eric’s credits include the Saratoga Springs International, New York State International, Garden State, Boston International, Woods Hole, Silicon Beach, Seal Beach, Marina del Rey, San Pedro International, Artemis Woman in Action Film Festivals and events during Sundance and Independent Filmmakers Day during TIFF.  Eric is often given the responsibility for sponsorship, advertising, booking entertainment professionals, social media, production, and other public relations.  He’s launching a new partnership with Haydenfilms Institute and attended Emerson College in Boston and Los Angeles earning a degree in Management Communications.


BRAD ROBINSON – Production Expert – Member D.G.A. 

Brad Robinson has over 20 years of experience in the motion picture industry.  He started his career as a 1st AD on several micro-budget independent films before working as production assistant on all levels of productions ranging from television (CBS’ HACK), studio films (GUESS WHO, DAN IN REAL LIFE), as well as independent features (including Lee Daniels’ directorial debut, SHADOWBOXER).  As an assistant director, his credits include WIDOWS, FOSSE/VERDON, BLUE VALENTINE, THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, CONFIRMATION, LIMITLESS, and COMPLETE UNKNOWN.  He has worked with directors such as Steve McQueen, Sofia Coppola, Derek Cianfrance, Rick Famuyiwa, Renny Harlin, and Mike Million; as well as alongside icons Peter Bogdanovich and Woody Allen (with whom he has collaborated on seven projects).  In 2013, he was part of the directing team that was nominated for the DGA Award for Movies for Television and Mini Series (with director, Greg Berlanti) for the USA show, POLITICAL ANIMALS (“Pilot”).  He was also part of the winning team for 2016’s DGA Award for Commercial for their work for Powerade.

Brad’s own award-winning films have played film festivals all over the world.  In addition, his production company, Two Pints Productions, has partnered with several filmmakers in helping to get their projects completed.

* please note – industry mentors subject to change, check website regularly for updates.*

Check back soon for additional industry professionals added to our line-up.