Screen Forward Conversations Panelists’ Bios

We’ve got so many great speakers lined up for the Screen Forward Conversations! Find all their details below, and register for the program here!

10:30-11:15a – Welcome and Wake Up Writing Games

Hosted by Brinkman – the writing team for UCB Comedy’s web series. Brinkman makes character-driven web series that explore a universe where the dumb meets the dark. Through a stylized and cinematic presentation, Brinkman goes to places where hope and optimism run into the wall of reality, where our dumbest ideas are treated with the weight and gravitas of our smartest ones, and where every choice has consequences. Previous series include Pact (LA Indie Fest & LA Webfest) and Last Two People On Earth. Their most recent series, Life Support, is currently in production.

The official web series team of UCB Comedy, Brinkman is Denis Cardineau, Dru Johnston, Alex Evan Meyers, Rachel Roderman, Jason Shebiro, Sean Weiner, and Laura Willcox. check out their series Pact and Last Two People On Earth.

11:15a-12:00p- On TV & Online: Writing for Episodics


Sean Weiner, Director, Brinkman

Sean Weiner is a New York-based director, DP and editor. His first feature, the improvisational We Are Strangers, premiered as part of Newfilmakers NY in Spring of 2014. Sean is a director on the Upright Citizen Brigade’s own Web Series team, Brinkman who specialize in comedic narratives where the dumb meets the dark. He is also a lead creative in the Private Cabin Collective, a lecturer in Purchase College’s School of Film and Media Studies, and Senior Faculty and Program and Curriculum Developer at the Jacob Burns Film Center.

Ingrid Jungermann, Creator, F to 7th and The Slope

Ingrid has written and directed several short films and created the acclaimed web series, THE SLOPE and F TO 7TH, featuring Amy Sedaris, Janeane Garofalo, Olympia Dukakis, Michael Showalter and Gaby Hoffmann. Her work has screened at various film festivals around the world, including Rotterdam International Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, Outfest and Frameline. Ingrid was one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 Faces of Independent Film, Out Magazine’s 100 People of the Year and Go Magazine’s 100 Women We Love. She is an MFA candidate at NYU Graduate Film School, where she is currently a Wasserman Finalist for F TO 7TH. Her feature film, WOMEN WHO KILL, has recently been selected to be part of the Tribeca All Access Film Market.

Damon Cardasis, Writer, Vicky & Lysander

Damon Cardasis is a two time WGA (Writers Guild) nominated writer and filmmaker based in NYC. He is the producing partner of director Rebecca Miller and runs their company, Round Films. Together they are producing MAGGIE’S PLAN (directed and written by Rebecca and starring Julianne Moore, Ethan Hawke, Greta Gerwig, Bill Hader & Maya Rudolph). Additionally, they are in development on various projects for film and television including Damon’s first screenplay, which he will also direct.

Damon’s comedic web series VICKY & LYSANDER, which he produced, wrote and acted in, was sold to LOGO and nominated for two WGA awards in 2014.

Damon is the co-founder of the Lower East Side Film Festival, which is gearing up for its 5th year this June and showcases low budget international filmmaking. The festival was placed on NY MAGAZINE’S APPROVAL MATRIX as “Highbrow & Brilliant” and has more than quadrupled in size.


Shukree Hassan Tilghman, Writer, Satisfaction

Shukree Hassan Tilghman navigates between the fiction and non-fiction spaces as a documentary filmmaker and narrative screenwriter. Currently a writer on the USA Network drama series Satisfaction, Shukree received his MFA in Screenwriting from Columbia University. He has received several accolades for screenwriting including being named to the Columbia Blue List and winning the Faculty Selects Screenwriting Award for his television pilot Big Girls. In addition, his original television and feature scripts have placed in competitions such as Bluecat, Austin Film Festival, Anything But Hollywood, and ScriptShark Insider.


Philip Gilpin, Executive Director, ITVFest

Philip Gilpin, Jr. is Boston-area native with a BS in Physics and Mathematics from Boston College and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. After leaving BC, he headed west and began a career in entertainment working as a Business Affairs analyst at HBO in Santa Monica, CA until 2008. During that time, Philip was a guest at the 1st Annual ITVFest in 2006 where he met the festival’s creators. While in Los Angeles, Philip wrote and directed various short films coinciding with the launch of YouTube and digital media.

In 2010, Philip moved back east to the small town of Dover, Vermont and started an economic development firm focused on growing the local economy. When the opportunity came up in 2012 to potentially move ITVFest to Vermont, Philip raised the necessary funds and took over the festival that is has found new life in the mountains of Vermont. ITVFest is scheduled to stay in Dover through at least 2017.

12:00p-12:45p- Writing & Getting Paid

They tell you to do what you love and the money will follow; but you can’t just wait for that to happen. Hear from the curators, agents and advisors about all the revenue streams that may be open to you – from optioning the script to pay per view streaming.


Peter Gerard, Director of Audience Development and Content Operations, Vimeo

Peter Gerard grew up in Missouri, where as a teenager he made his first award-winning documentary and created and ran the Bargain Basement Film Festival for several years. He then founded Accidental Media and relocated to Scotland, where he finished the feature documentary “Just to Get a Rep“ for international television distribution. Running Accidental Media for more than ten years, Peter produced and directed a range of documentaries, music videos, and short films, and picked up many awards, including a BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award. Peter also built award-winning websites and is webmaster for The D-Word – the premiere online community portal for documentary professionals. In 2010, Peter founded Distrify to pioneer “direct-to-fan” digital film sales by inventing a shareable movie trailer that included a built-in buy-button and the easiest affiliate rewards system ever. In 2013 Peter won the British Council’s Creative Enterpreneur Award and was named in the h.Club 100 list by The Hospital and The Guardian Culture Professionals Network. In 2014, Peter moved to New York to join the team at Vimeo as Director of Audience Development and Content Operations. Peter executes and manages marketing campaigns and partnerships for Vimeo’s Audience Development team, with a particular focus on expanding the Vimeo On Demand solution for selling films and series.


Ursula Lawrence, Lead Strategic Organizer, Writers Guild of America, East

Ursula oversees the Writer Guild’s efforts in independent film and digital media, building Guild membership and helping writers in those areas achieve the rights and benefits that come with working under a WGAE contract. She also works closely with producers on contract issues and recently helped adapt the WGAE’s Low Budget Feature Agreement to bring it more in line with the realities of ultra-low and microbudget films. Ursula is the primary representative of the WGAE at film festivals and regularly appears on panels at industry conferences. Prior to working at the WGAE Ursula was at the Directors Guild of America – where she worked as a rep for directors of feature films, television shows, broadcast news and commercials. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Michigan.


Eva Vives, Writer, Raising Victor Vargas

Eva Vives graduated New York University in 1998. In 2000, she won the Best Short Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival with Five Feet High And Rising, a short she cast, edited and produced. She followed that up with the feature Raising Victor Vargas, which she co-wrote and was nominated for a Best Screenwriting Independent Spirit Award. She has been writing numerous projects including Chrome & Paint, which she co-wrote with Ice Cube and she was one of four writers in the Disney Writers Program from 2010-2012.


James R. Janowsky, Writer, Film Professor

James Janowsky is a writer/director living in New York City. He received his M.F.A. from Columbia University with a concentration in screenwriting in 2000. He is currently creating a television show and several screenplays. His graphic novel, “A.O.A.: Angle of Attack”, is in production and will be published in 2016. Since 2008 he has taught screenwriting and film business classes at the School of Visual Arts’ prestigious film program. He is frequently hired by studios to moderator Q&As.

He was a part of the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures from 2001-2012, and in 2005 he was hired to be the organization’s Creative Director and he was appointed the Student Grant Committee Chair. In 2012 he established the James Richard Janowsky endowments ( at Columbia University, New York University, and the School of Visual Arts film programs. Over the past two years 22 students have been awarded grants through his endowments.


Chris Galletta, Writer, The Boxtrolls

Chris Galletta is a New York based screenwriter. He received an MFA from Columbia University’s film program in 2010. His thesis script was made into the movie The Kings of Summer, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was released in June 2013. He’s since sold a comedy-adventure to New Line Cinema, called “WEISS”, which is currently casting, and as of December 2014 he’s writing an animated feature for Laika Inc, the studio behind The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline and The Boxtrolls. Prior to screenwriting, he was a joke writer for The Late Show with David Letterman.

2:45p-3:30p– Keynote

Sebastian Silva, Writer, Director, Actor, The Maid

Sebastian Silva, is a critically acclaimed and award winning Writer, Director, Actor, Singer and Painter. A native of Chile, Sebastian began his film career by studying filmmaking at the Escuela de Cine de Chile (Film School of Chile) after which he left Chile to study animation in Montreal, Canada where he had his first gallery exhibition as an artist and also began his music career by forming the band CHC which went on to sign with record label, Sonic 360 and record 3 albums.

Sebastian made is feature debut in 2007 with La Vida Me Mata, which he wrote and directed. The following year, Sebastian teamed up with Pedro Peirano to write and direct his next film, The Maid. This film was released in 2009 and went on to win multiple awards, including The Grand Jury Prize- World Cinema Dramatic at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2010 Golden Globe Awards as well as the 2010 NAACP Image Awards. Following this success, Sebastian and Pedro teamed up again to write Sebastian’s next film, OLD CATS, which premiered in 2010 at the Valdivia International Film Festival in Chile and at the New York Film Festival in the United States. Sebastian then made his TV debut in 2012 when he wrote, directed and produced the HBO short-form TV comedy show The Boring Life of Jacquelin.

In 2013, Sebastian returned to Sundance where he premiered two new films, Magic Magic and Crystal Fairy both starring indie actor Michael Cera. Sebastian went on the win the Sundance Directing Award for World Cinema in the Drama category for Crystal Fairy.

Sebastian’s most recent film, Nasty Baby, starring Kristen Wiig premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win the Teddy Award for best LGBT-themed feature film at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.

3:30p-4:15p: Writing Narrative Videogames


Caitlin Burns, Transmedia Producer (moderator)

Caitlin Burns has spent a decade working with narrative intellectual property franchises, independent artists, brands and philanthropic initiatives. Developing content strategies, overseeing multiplatform storyworlds and supervising localization campaigns spanning the globe, she understands what it takes to create a success story. Her past work includes: Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney Fairies, and Tron Legacy for The Walt Disney Company, James Cameron’s Avatar for Fox, Halo for Microsoft, The Happiness Factory for The Coca-Cola Company, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Nickelodeon and Transformers for Hasbro. She has also worked with Sony, Showtime, Pepperidge Farm, Scholastic, Tribeca New Media Fund, FEMSA, Diageo, Wieden+Kennedy, Odd Division, Tool of North America, Hush, Campfire, Reebok, Stratasys and The Disney Channel. Her independent feature McCarren Park, a film distributed by geolocated mobile app, premiered at the Tribeca Film Institute’s Interactive Day and screened at New York Film Festival.


Sande Chen, Writer and Game Designer, The Witcher

Sande Chen is a Writer and Game Designer whose experience spans over 10 years in the game industry. Her writing credits include 1999 Independent Games Festival winner Terminus and the 2007 PC RPG of the Year, The Witcher, for which she was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award in Videogame Writing. She also has a Grammy nomination. She holds degrees from MIT, LSE, and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.


Alex Toplansky, Writer and Game Designer, Dead Island: Riptide

Alex Toplansky has been building interactive products since 2005 in roles ranging from development to production on a number of AAA and MMO game franchises. Before beginning his current role as a Senior Writer for Deep Silver Volition, the studio behind award-winning franchises like “Saints Row” and “Red Faction”, Alex was the Senior Narrative Producer at Deep Silver, Volition’s parent and publisher. Alex holds a BA in Anthropology from Brandeis University and a 3d Animation Certificate from Boston University.

Barton Bishop, Narrative Director, Gameloft

Barton Bishop is a multimedia writer and director with 15+ years’ experience working in theatre, film, tv, and gaming. His theatrical work has been published by Smith and Krauss, Playscripts Incc, and Heinemenn Press and produced in NYC, LA, and his home state of Florida, where he is a three time winner of the Florida Playwright Process award. His last play STILL THE RIVER RUNS was nominated for 5 New York Innovative Theatre Awards and is currently in development for film. He has also adapted over 400 episodes of animated television for North American audiences. Series credits include YuGiOh, Winx Club, Gurren Lagan, Mars Daybreaker, Magical Do Re Mi, Tokyo Mew Mew, and Shaman King, for which he also worked with Konami, adapting several games for the GBA and PS2. He is currently the Narrative Director at Gameloft, a leading worldwide mobile game company.