5th Edition Industry



GREG AIDALA, Radial Gage Entertainment                      Greg Aidala is an award-winning comedian / actor who has performed from New York City to Los Angeles with such comedians as Jerry Seinfeld and Colin Quinn.  He’s the producer and host of the award-winning touring production, The Brew Ha-Ha Comedy Showcase and also, the proprietor of Radial Gage Entertainment.    LAUGHSPIN magazine recognized The Brew Ha-Ha Comedy Showcase as one of the longest continually run showcases in the US.  Greg has been featured in AT&T International print ads, and can be seen in various tv commercials airing throughout the Northeast and New England.  Greg is also a Friar at the esteemed Friars Club in NYC.

ALICIA BERNS – development, story, fundraising

Alicia was an NY ad agency producer.  She established her own company as a sports agent representing retired superstar athletes.  Today she is a media consultant, entrepreneur and married to the guy just below, Norman.

NORMAN BERNS    Movie Budgeting Trainer – Unit Production Manager

Norman C. Berns is an  Emmy-winning producer and director. His three-part documentary series, The Writing Code, recently aired on PBS. A certified Movie Magic instructor, Norman was an early beta tester for Screenplay Systems budgeting and scheduling programs and was part of the Set Management development team that created Production Pro Budget. He is a consultant to the Roy W. Dean Film & Video Grants, on the Board of Advisors for People With Disabilities Broadcasting Corporation and the local Capital Cinema Cultural Exchange and its filmmakers’ labs. Norman is moderator of The Budgeting Group, owner of Reelgrok and the massive LinkedIn group Film and Television Professionals. Norman has taught film production and software for Media Services, The Directors Guild, Filmmakers Bootcamp and others. Member of DGA, SAG and Actors Equity.  His irregular columns appeared in BTL News and he blogged for ReelGrok, Pavaline and LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/normancberns/detail/recent-activity/posts/)

A consultant to the Roy W. Dean Film & Video Grants, Norman serves on the Board of Advisors for People With Disabilities Broadcasting Corporation and  Capital Cinema Cultural Exchange and its filmmakers’ labs. Norman is moderator of The Budgeting Group, owner of Reelgrok and the massive LinkedIn group Film and Television Professionals. Norman has taught film production and software for Media Services, The Directors Guild, Filmmakers Bootcamp and others.  In addition to his production work, Norman teaches a series of online seminars covering the fundamentals of filmmaking, from script breakdown to successful pitching. His live 8-hour seminar has been presented in New York and Los Angeles.  He is a member of DGA, SAG and Actors Equity.   ncberns@gmail.com

MICHAEL CAMOIN,  Writer, Producer, Director                                                                  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 Sundance Special Jury Prize winning AS YOU ARE and locations manager on WE THE ANIMALS and James Franco’s PRETENDERS.   As a filmmaker in his own works, Mike is best known for his documentary series on Adirondack culture and INSIDE THE BLUE LINE:  LEADLEY’S LEGACY.  He has numerous projects in development including “SCARED TO DEBT:  America’s Student Loan Scam“; LIFE OR DEATH featuring David Kaczynski and Bill Babbitt; and the feature fiction screenplay OFF THE MENU.  He 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 the Northeast Filmmakers Lab were planted.  He resides in upstate NY with his wife, Linda, and two children.    mike@videosforchange.com


Kwesi Collisson has been a producer for feature films, commercial advertising and broadcast promos for almost 20 years.  As a creative and technical feature film producer his expertise and experience includes development, financing, production, pioneering post-production work-flows, and a unique background of hands-on skills in design/animation, visual effects and editing.  Kwesi’s feature film portfolio contains domestic as well as international productions which have garnered awards from major film festivals across the globe.  Kwesi’s marketing and creative services experience includes the major studios, cable, networks and digital media, with a most recent tenure at HBO promoting high profile programming and global launches.  collisson.com



Tracy  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 she is part of have won multiple awards and have been appreciated world wide. Tracy’s excited to be invited back as a NEFL5 mentor.

JOSH A. FRIEDMAN – 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 Now!  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.  We’re building a community based on a simple mission… Connect. Create.  Collaborate…  Crew Me Up.

DEBBBY GOEDEKE, Albany County Film Commissioner

Currently the Convention Services Manager of the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACCVB) and Albany County Film Commissioner for the Albany County Film Commission.  Debby assists all of her clients by matching up the right “Albany” resource for their film shoots, conferences, conference needs, sporting tournaments, and corporations.  Debby continues to work with the motion picture industry, independent film community as well as providing assistance on documentaries, commercials and television projects including Columbia Pictures on SALT and The Other Guys as well as HBO Films’ Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, as well indies Fourth Man Out, As You Are, We The Animals and many more.  www.filmalbany.com

LARRY JACKSON, Producer, Industry Consultant                                                                      Persistence of Vision: A Resource for Independent Filmmakers 

Larry Jackson is a 40-year veteran of the motion picture business, working in every aspect from theater exhibition and marketing to distribution and production. As Managing Director of the world-renowned 3-screen Orson Welles Cinema Complex in Cambridge, MA he was responsible for general management, programming, promotion and advertising as well as developing other venues in the Northeast. His innovative marketing led to the launches of many successful independent films, most famously the Jamaican classic THE HARDER THEY COME, which played for 6 years in its first theater, introduced reggae in America and propelled the soundtrack album to become one of the best-sellers in movie history.

Jackson began filmmaking as production manager for the director Orson Welles, with whom he worked on several projects for both stage and screen. His innovative marketing led to work in LA as a producer’s rep, guiding marketing and distribution for offbeat films outside the Hollywood formula, such as Hal Ashby’s BEING THERE and Richard Rush’s THE STUNTMAN, both of which received Best Actor nominations for their leading men. In 1980 Robert Redford invited Jackson to join in planning the creation of the Sundance Institute, where he organized programs and selected and tutored participant filmmakers, as well as assisting in fund-raising efforts for several years.

At the Samuel Goldwyn Company, Larry established the theatrical distribution division and managed film acquisitions for TV and theatrical. He oversaw production and/or distribution of its independent films in the US and Europe, including legendary indies, such as STRANGER THAN PARADISE and MYSTIC PIZZA. He held later positions as V.P. in Charge Of Production at Orion Pictures and Executive Vice President of Miramax Films.

Larry holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master of Arts in Teaching, both from Cornell University. He is in the process of collaborating with New York’s Mike Camoin and other artists to help make the Capital Region a unique artplace, cultivate diverse community partners and expert leadership leading to a vibrant future for independent filmmakers and the entire community.  lej1001@gmail.com      

STEPHEN LANG – actor (Avatar,  Beyond Glory) earned enduring critical and popular acclaim over the course of a distinguished career as an actor in theatre, television, and film. His work on Broadway includes Death of a SalesmanA Few Good MenThe Speed of Darkness, and Hamlet. Nominations and awards include The Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, Helen Hayes, and Joseph Jefferson awards.

Lang has performed his solo play, Beyond Glory, for audiences all over the world, receiving the Chairman’s Medal for Distinguished Service from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Bob Hope award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. His acclaimed film of Beyond Glory has received awards at the Barbados Independent Film Festival, Buffalo Niagara Film Fest, and the Phoenix Film Fest. Other memorable films include Last Exit to BrooklynDeath of a SalesmanTombstoneGettysburgGods and GeneralsPublic Enemies, Avatar, and Don’t Breathe. He is currently filming 4 Avatar sequels, directed by James Cameron. He has received Honorary Doctorates from Jacksonville University, and from his alma mater, Swarthmore College. He is a member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of The Actors Studio.

VALERIE LANSBURGH  – Actor / Writer / Director

Although she has a very large body of work, with 42 years in production as a an actor, writer and director and producer, most of the world knows her as DORIS SCHWARTZ from the television series FAME.  She considers this her most treasured artistic achievement.

Her latest feature LOVE &DEBT with Tom Cavanagh, Bellamy Young, and Bailee Madison will have its US theatrical release 2018-2019. Other directing credits include the action-thriller BOUND BY LIES and TRIXIE’S SCORE  a short picked up by Shorts International as well as writing and directing a series of eight short erotic films for Showtime/Cinemax.   

Writing for film and television she penned BELTERS for Profile Films America, created THE MONEY SHOT, optioned by Lion’s Gate Television, AN UNEXPECTED GIFT for The Hallmark Channel and NORWEGIAN WOOD, a teen comedy for Kinetic Arts.

Valerie has worked as an on/off set coach for both actors and directors. She travels extensively teaching at colleges and universities as well as conducting her own workshops for actors, writers and directors. She is an adjunct faculty member at UCLA and works with the MFA and Professional Certificate programs at Maine Media and as guest faculty at multiple institutions.  She created MASTER CLASS for Euro Disney and is part of the International faculty of The Asian Academy of Film and Television in New Delhi, India.  She gets around.  SomebodyOf fan of the tiny house, she share a 600 square foot home with two 16lb. cats, 176 yards from the Atlantic Ocean.

JUSTIN MAINE – 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.

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.

JOY E. REED, award-winning editor / animator                      brings over a decade of experience in documentary as an associate editor and animator, and has been on the creative team of a number of films that have premiered at Sundance, including BUCK (Audience Award 2011), HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO, and most recently, THIS IS HOME (Audience award 2018). Joy is a principal of Oh, MY! Productions®, and their work has been broadcast on PBS, HBO, and other festivals worldwide.  Joy is drawn to character driven documentaries in which, by showing the day to day experiences of people that might otherwise be “othered,” through skillful editing, connections may be drawn and relatability with a wider world can be achieved. Joy’s feature directorial debut, Little Miss Westie, will premiere at DOCNYC 2018.  www.imdb.com/name/nm2328199

JOHN ROMEO, Stage and Film 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.

CHRISTOPHER SCHILLER, NY Attorney and Counselor at LawEntertainment, Copyright, Media and Art Law is a New York practicing attorney focusing on the independent film world and related fields for over a decade.  His knowledge and skill is shared globally in his regular articles for Script Magazine (ScriptMag.com) where he relates helpful information on the business and legal sides of the industry in his column titled, “It Depends”Chris is also an active filmmaker himself so he can easily translate between the creative and production worlds and business and legal ones.  Helping filmmakers get “in the know” before they are in the room allows them to best take advantage of their opportunities and look more professional and ready for success in the eyes of the executives across the table.  Even if you can’t get all the answers, knowing which questions to ask helps immensely.  chris@christopherschiller.com      Legal website: http://www.christopherschiller.com

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