About/Team

Leadership

Jeffrey Sharp

Jeffrey Sharp

Executive Director

Jeffrey Sharp is an award-winning film and TV producer. Jeff and John N.Hart, Jr. formed Hart Sharp Entertainment in New York in 1996 where they developed, financed and produced a series of Academy Award® and Golden Globe® nominated and winning films such as Boys Don’t Cry, You Can Count on Me, Nicholas Nickleby and Proof. Additional feature films included Dark Harbor, A Home at the End of the World, Lift, The Night Listener, PS, Evening and Revolutionary Road. Jeff and John were also partners in Hart Sharp Video where they released a series of notable documentaries including Super Size Me.

In 2009, Sharp co-founded the digital publishing and marketing company Open Road Integrated Media with former HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman and served as its’ President. In 2013, he co-founded Story Mining and Supply Co. with Jim Kohlberg serving as President and CEO. The company produced the TV show Outlander (Starz) as well as feature films The Yellow Birds (Warner Bros./Saban Entertainment), UFO (Sony Pictures) and the upcoming production of The Fence (Fox Searchlight). Sharp formed Sharp Independent Pictures in partnership with GEM Pictures in 2016 to develop, finance and produce feature films and TV shows for the US and China co-production market. Sharp Independent productions include: My Other Home (Huayi Bros); hit TV show Wonderful Life for Tianyi Film & TV Co. as well as the current China $300 million box office hit Crazy Alien.

Sharp is a member of AMPAS (The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences), BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) and the PGA (Producers Guild of America). Sharp won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature for You Can Count on Me, was nominated for a Golden Globe for Nicholas Nickleby, and was honored with the Andrew Sarris award in 2005 from the Columbia University School of the Arts for his contribution to independent cinema in 2005. Jeff is Chair of the Hamptons International Film Festival Advisory Board. Sharp graduated with a BA from Colgate University and an MFA in Creative Producing from Columbia University.

Kia Brooks

Associate Director, Sales & Operations

Kia Brooks is the Associate Director, Sales & Operations at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, where she is responsible for securing event rentals, supporting membership sales, event production and operations. Before joining the Media Center she worked in publicity and special events for over five years at such coveted companies as Focus Features, Tribeca Film Festival, and Oscilloscope Laboratories. Prior theatrical releases, awards campaigns and special events titles include Dallas Buyers Club, Anna Karenina, Moonrise Kingdom, Time is Illmatic, among others. Kia received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Public Communications from American University. Kia is a lover of stationery and event décor elements that she creates in her spare time.

Bill Curran

Bill Curran

Programming Producer

Bill Curran leads the curation and execution of events, classes, and other programs for the Media Center. He comes from the film festival world, having held leadership, programming, and editorial positions at prominent national and regional festivals. He worked for the Nantucket Film Festival from 2010 to 2016, and from 2012 as Festival Producer, managing year-round logistics—including operations, production, ticketing, marketing, outreach, staffing, programming, and live events—and working on long-term strategic planning for the organization. From 2009 to 2017, he worked at the Hamptons International Film Festival, as a programmer, editorial manager, on special projects/events, and in a variety of operation-based roles. He also served as Director of Operations for the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. He has served as an advisor to NYU’s Fusion Film Festival, and spoken to students about film festivals at Pratt and Brown. A hardcore cinephile, he occasionally contributes film essays and reviews to The Film Experience and, most recently, Reverse Shot. In his spare time, he is a lover of puzzles and has created “puzzle hunts” for friends and family through places like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the High Line, and Central Park.

Colin Whitlow

Colin Whitlow

Director of Business Development

Colin Whitlow is the Director of Business Development at the Media Center, where he is constantly expanding the mission to use our resources to strengthen global creative and entrepreneurial communities. He focuses on designing impactful partnerships with innovative companies of all shapes and sizes in media and tech.

Colin previously held strategic roles at YouTube over five years, crafting significant parts of its operations and sales organization, leading global teams in consumer-facing strategic initiatives and driving product feature prioritization and international expansion into 30+ countries. An experienced producer, Colin has been responsible for dozens of award winning media projects, including short films, commercials and transmedia experiences. He led business development at Start Media, where he oversaw financing activities related to feature film projects, movie theater acquisitions and book publishing. He holds an MBA and MFA from New York University and BAs in Studio Art and English Literature from the University of Virginia. Colin is an avid photographer and art lover, who can often be found chasing his toddler around NYC museums.

Thomas Rotenberg

Thomas Rotenberg

Digital Media & Gallery Manager

Thomas D. Rotenberg is a writer, video artist, and curator at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, his written and visual works revolve around memory, time, and technology, and the often symbiotic relationship shared by all three as they inform and distort our perception of the past, present, and future. 

April Bethea

April Bethea

Membership & Community Associate

Coming Soon.

Brianna Carney

Brianna Carney

Manager of Education & Programming

As Manager of Education & Programming, Brianna runs the professional and creative development classes at the Media Center. She also supports the Programming Producer in organizing and executing public events and special programs at the space. Brianna comes to New York by way of Texas, where she previously oversaw the Style and News & Journalism focused programming at SXSW. In her spare time, she serves as Print Editor for the environmental lifestyle magazine, Selva Beat.

Chase Harrison

Chase Harrison

Marketing Manager

As Marketing Manager, Chase handles social media, event promotion, physical/digital ad-buying, newsletter output and other marketing tasks at the Media Center. Chase was born in Durham, North Carolina and lives in Brooklyn by way of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Parkton, Maryland. He holds a Bachelor’s in Marketing from Saint Joseph’s University and a Master’s in American Media & Popular Culture from Arizona State. He previously worked in Marketing at the New York Film Academy, WordHampton PR, and The Drink Nation. In his free time, he DJs around New York and volunteers at the Democratic Socialists of America.

Molly Fulton

Molly Fulton

Design & Marketing Coordinator

Molly is the Design & Marketing Coordinator for the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, where she works with each department at the Media Center and IFP to strategize and conduct marketing campaigns for the multitude of programs and initiatives the organization offers, as well as designing online and print assets to accompany these campaigns.

Molly comes from both the design and documentary film community, having worked on outreach campaigns, digital marketing strategy, and web design for organizations such as Doc Society and POV, and Filmmakers such as Cecilia Aldarondo and Sonia Kennebeck.

Saidah Belo-Osagie

Saidah Belo-Osagie

Executive Assistant

As Executive Assistant to the Executive Director, Saidah handles the administrative tasks for both IFP and the Media Center through scheduling, correspondence, and event organization. Previously, Saidah worked at Kickstarter on the Film Team and at Tribeca Productions as an Office PA. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2018 with a major in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and a minor in Cinema & Media Studies. In her free time, Saidah enjoys watching/making films and finding new thrift stores to scavenge.

Sara Rennert

Sara Rennert

Operations Assistant

Sara Rennert is the Operations Assistant at the Made in New York Media Center by IFP, where she helps with membership, marketing, event production and operations on a daily basis. Sara spent a year at Penguin Random House, where she published books by Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay, and David Chang. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Writing and Producing for Television at LIU Brooklyn’s TV Writers Studio.

Advisory Board

Nancy Abraham

SVP, Documentary Programming, HBO

Janet Allon

Acting First Deputy Commissioner, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment

Gabo Arora

Founding Director, Immersive Storytelling and Emerging Technologies (ISET) & Assistant Director, Film and Media MA at Krieger School of Arts and Sciences in JHU, Founder and President, Lightshed

Kerry Donahue

Director of Training, PRX

Phil Engelhorn

Executive Director, Cinereach

Nick Fortugno

CCO, Playmatics

Christian Guirnalda

Director of Verizon 5G Labs, Verizon

Adam Neuhaus

Director of Development, ESPN Films

Noah Rosenberg

Founder, CEO, & Editor-in-Chief, Narratively

Sharon Solomon

Senior Managing Director, Jerrick Media/Vocal

Vinay Singh

Partner, Archer Gray

Roger Ross Williams

Documentary Filmmaker, Roger Ross Williams Productions

Innovation Committee

Gordon Ampel

Entertainment & Media Executive

Gordon Ampel has held numerous leadership roles at entertainment and media companies, most recently as Chief Operating Officer at the Independent Filmmaker Project’s (IFP) Made in NY Media Center. As COO, he oversaw all aspects of the Center’s marketing and communications, programming, operations and business strategy. Gordon drove the vision for outreach to storytellers and technologists working to create and distribute content within an ever-changing media landscape. Prior to IFP, Gordon was Vice President of Worldwide Operations for NBCUniversal’s Focus Features, a position that he held from the company’s inception. While there, he was responsible for strategic oversight and management of the firm’s Los Angeles, London and New York offices. Prior to joining Focus, he was Director of Operations at October Films, which became USA Films, a division of USA Networks, Inc. Gordon began his career in New York as the executive assistant to Barry Diller, Chairman of IAC. Gordon is a member of the IFP Media Center’s Innovation Committee and has served as Director for numerous non-profit organizations, most recently as Chairman of the Board for Lollipop Theater Network.

Aaryn Anderson

Executive Director, Vectorform New York

As Vectorform’s Creative Director of Experience and Executive Director of the New York office, Aaryn Anderson invents forward-thinking and award-winning work that challenges expectations. Aaryn’s visionary talent has shaped innovative solutions for large clients such as Coca-Cola, Toyota, Hachette Book Group, Volkswagen, Estée Lauder Companies, Microsoft, Google and more. He is a regular contributor to the technology and advertising industries through panel discussions, seminars and jury panels.

Jonathan Askin

Founder/Director, Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic

Jonathan Askin is a professor at Brooklyn Law School, teaching technology, telecommunications, and entrepreneurial law and policy. He is the Founder of the Brooklyn Law & Policy Clinic, which represents Internet, new media, communications and other tech entrepreneurs and is the “Innovation Catalyst” for the Brooklyn Law Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship. He has served on numerous communications and Internet industry boards and consumer groups.

Tom Constabile

Associate Director, Strategic Marketing & Community Development Verizon Ventures

Tom Constabile brought his experience in venture capital and business development, strategic marketing and operations within the media, mobile, software, and enterprise technology sectors to Verizon Ventures in 2013. He is on the Corporate Strategy & Development team, spearheading strategic marketing, industry and community relations, and venture development functions for the Verizon Ventures portfolio partners and firm.

Owen Davis

Managing Director, NYC Seed

Owen is currently Managing Director of NYC Seed, a seed stage venture capital fund in New York City. Owen has experience in all aspects of the online world, including work with early versions of AOL and MSN. He created one of the first 200 sites on the web and founded Thinking Media, an online marketing firm which pioneered tracking of pages and advertisements. Owen is the author of various patents in Internet methods and technologies. Owen was named multiple times as one of the 100 Top Internet Executives in New York by The Silicon Alley Reporter and Silicon Alley by Business Insider.

Billy DiMichele

Vice President, Creative Development, Scholastic Inc

In his more than 17 years at Scholastic, Billy has overseen many of the company’s corporate creative initiatives, multi-media events, video productions and webcasts. He recently co-developed and launched the company’s newest brand position and reading initiative, “Open a World of Possible.” Billy is the recipient of multiple Webby and Telly Awards, as well as the 2003 Emmy Award.

Vanessa Goldstein

YouTube Creator Programs Manager

Vanessa Goldstein is a Creator Programs Manager for YouTube’s production facilities, YouTube Spaces. These global facilities (currently in LA, NY, London, Sao Paolo, Berlin, Paris, Tokyo and Mumbai) serve as centers for channel development where YouTube Creators can further unlock their creative potential, collaborate with other creators, experiment with new ways of storytelling, and learn how to grow their audiences on YouTube and beyond.

Vanessa has a diverse professional background in Film, TV and New Media. With her roots in story development as a creative producer, she’s worked on a wide spectrum of productions from big film studio tentpoles to smaller TV and web series.

Nick Fortugno

Co-Founder/COO, Playmatics

Nick Fortugno is a game designer and entrepreneur of digital and real-world games based in New York City and a founder of Playmatics, a game development company. Playmatics has created a variety of games including the CableFAX award winning Breaking Bad: The Interrogation, The Walking Dead: Dead Reckoning game which was top-ranked on the Android Store, and the MUSE Award-winning transmedia, storytelling experience Body/Mind/Change. Nick is an internationally recognized expert on game design and development.

Noah Harlan

Founder, Two Bulls

Noah Harlan is a Founder of Two Bulls, a boutique software development firm specializing in mobile and related infrastructure with offices in New York, Melbourne, and Berlin. He also serves as Managing Director of Digital Strategy for Sullivan, a brand engagement and strategy firm where he guides digital communications strategies of diverse organizations including Cornell Tech, Two Sigma, LiquidNet, Merrill Lynch, and others. Noah has served as an advisor to the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy.

Paul Noglows

Executive Producer, Forbes Reinventing America Summits

Paul Noglows is Executive Producer of Forbes Reinventing America Summits, a congress of more than 300 innovators, business leaders, growth-focused policy makers and academics who are helping usher in the next industrial revolution. Paul has spent his entire career focused on identifying, analyzing, explaining, investing in and helping to build ground-breaking business models. As a journalist, equity analyst, director of research, angel investor, teacher and producer, Paul has vast experience in the effective live presentation of content. In his current role, Paul drives the creative growth and profitability of the burgeoning conference business for Forbes.

Jamin O’Brien

Producer

Jamin O’Brien is the founder of The Film Community, a NY based finance and production entity dedicated to prestigious, auteur-driven, viable independent films. The first title under the new banner is Hateship Loveship Friendship Courtship Marriage starring Kristen Wiig, Guy Pearce, Nick Nolte and Hallee Steinfeld. Mr. O’Brien has extensive experience as a Producer, Line Producer and Production Manager on over twenty independent films, studio films and international co-productions.

Jessica Lawrence

Executive Director of NY Tech Meetup (NYTM)

Jessica Lawrence is the Executive Director of NY Tech Meetup (NYTM), the largest Meetup group in the world, a non-profit organization supporting the growth and diversification of New York’s technology sector. In 2013, she co-founded The Work Revolution Summit, a conference on the future of work. Jessica’s writing has been featured on the Harvard Business Review blog, Forbes.com, The Next Web, The Huffington Post as well as a weekly column in The Press-Enterprise.

Vinay Singh

Partner, Archer Gray

Vinay Singh is a Partner at Archer Gray, a media production, financing and venture capital company. Vinay currently leads the firm’s venture capital and content financing businesses. He also manages the company’s investment portfolio and financial strategy. At the firm, Vinay has overseen investments in disruptive media companies including Littlstar, Vigour, and Dealflicks; films such as Michael Moore’s WHERE TO INVADE NEXT; and theater productions including The Elephant Man.

Kent Sanderson

President, Acquisitions and Ancillary Distribution at Bleecker Street

Kent Sanderson is President, Acquisitions and Ancillary Distribution at Bleecker Street. In a dual role, Kent is responsible for both discovering new content for distribution as well as managing each film’s lifecycle outside their theatrical windows, including television, DVD, Blu-Ray, and all forms of digital distribution. Prior to Bleecker Street, Kent served as EVP, Distribution and Merchandising at the independent distributor Amplify. Previously, Kent worked at NBCUniversal’s Focus Features for six years.

Yvonne Sheehan

Founder, HighTea

With over 15 years of Client and Agency experience, working with the largest Telecommunications and Retail industries globally, Yvonne offers a unique perspective on innovative marketing communications. With a strategic-first approach, Yvonne enjoys helping clients and agency partners solve key business challenges and effectively implement high impact solutions. Continuously inspired by a love of technology, passionate about creativity and innovation, Yvonne founded HighTea in 2015, having left her position at Verizon. At HighTea, Yvonne helps clients solve key business challenges and effectively manage and implement high impact solutions. By architecting the process from beginning to end, from strategy and creative development, to production and program implementation, Yvonne connects the dots to create frictionless collaboration.
While at Verizon, Yvonne led key strategic initiatives for both the Retail and Brand Experience disciplines, as well as leading the Branded Entertainment & Sponsorship teams.

Debika Shome

Deputy Director, Harmony Institute

Debika Shome is Deputy Director at Harmony Institute (HI), a research center that studies the impact of entertainment on individuals and society. She leads a diverse team working at the intersection of media, social science research, data science and technology. She joined HI from Columbia University’s Center for Research on Environmental Decision where she served as Assistant Director from 2005 to 2009. Debika also led CRED’s outreach and public policy initiatives.

Margaret Wallace

CEO, Playmatics

Margaret Wallace is an American entrepreneur who focuses on gaming, digital media and technology. She is Chief Executive Officer of Playmatics, a design and development company that sits at the intersection of brands, narrative, gaming and transmedia. The company has been a part of several award-winning products. In 2012, Wallace was named one of Forbes’ “12 Women in Gaming to Watch” and in 2014, she was listed by Fortune as one of “10 Powerful Women in Video Games.”

Paul Woolmington

Co-founder, Naked Communications Americas and Senior Fellow, Columbia School of the Arts

Paul Woolmington is widely recognized as one of the world’s most innovative marketers, disrupting and redefining traditional communications models while working with many of the world’s leading brands. Named one of the ten most creative people in marketing and advertising by FastCompany, he has launched two successful media and communications concerns and served as an advisor to business at large, governments, startup firms and social cause organizations worldwide.

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The Made in NY Media Center by IFP was developed through a unique partnership between Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation.