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by Website Update on September 24, 2012

Speakers and mentors include Mira Nair, Jonathan Demme, Ramin Bahrani, Barbara Kopple, Oren Moverman, Joe Berlinger, Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini, and Tom McCarthy

NEW YORK (September 24, 2012) – Today, IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project), the Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC), and the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), announced the lineup for the second annual Emerging Visions Filmmaker Symposium, a partnership made possible by RBC’s Emerging Artists Initiative, taking place October 4, beginning at 9:00am at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at Lincoln Center. The symposium will take place in tandem with the 50th Anniversary New York Film Festival.

Emerging Visions is a one-day program focused on providing mentorship and networking opportunities to promising filmmakers from around the world. This year Emerging Visions will match 12 up-and-coming filmmakers with some of the industry’s most prolific directors and producers for one-on-one meetings, panels, conversations, and networking receptions, providing a further introduction into the film industry, as well as an opportunity to learn, first-hand, from relevant and influential filmmakers.

“The Royal Bank of Canada’s Emerging Artists Initiative is fulfilled through the Emerging Visions program,” said Mark Standish, President and Co-C.E.O., RBC Capital Markets. “This is our second year joining with IFP and the Film Society of Lincoln Center in order to foster the careers of new film artists in our city and our culture.”

Spearheading Emerging Visions are directors Mira Nair (The Namesake, The Reluctant Fundamentalist) and Academy-Award winner Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Rachel Getting Married). Serving as the year’s keynote speakers, Nair and Demme will talk on how to build sustainable filmmaking careers and maintain artistic integrity working both within the studio and the indie film communities.

Joining as mentors to the twelve filmmakers are Ramin Bahrani (At Any Price, Man Push Cart), Barbara Kopple (Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing, Harlan County USA), Oren Moverman (Rampart, The Messenger), Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor, Imogene), Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost Trilogy, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster), Tom McCarthy (Win Win, The Station Agent) and Nancy Savoca (Union Square, If These Walls Could Talk).

“Emerging Visions is not just about one day, it’s about establishing a connection for filmmakers with peers and mentors that will last throughout their career,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director, IFP. “IFP is excited to once again present this wonderful joint program with Film Society of Lincoln Center, providing a significant opportunity for talented and deserving emerging filmmakers to receive direct, one-on-one advice and creative feedback.”

“Emerging Visions offers filmmakers an opportunity to receive special attention from a diverse group of industry professionals, gaining hands-on knowledge and advice on how to sustain their careers and navigate today’s ever-changing world of filmmaking,” said Rose Kuo, Executive Director, Film Society of Lincoln Center

Last year’s inaugural fellows include Ryan O’Nan, whose film Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best is opening today in theaters through Oscilloscope, and Adam Leon, whose film Gimme The Loot premiered at the SXSW and Cannes Film Festivals, and is scheduled to open in October through IFC Films.

“It’s really exciting to have my first feature film coming out now”, said Ryan O’Nan. “Emerging Visions and RBC gave me a platform to share my work and learn from filmmakers I’ve admired since the beginning of my career, and I’m incredibly thankful for that opportunity”.

“I look back at Emerging Visions as an essential moment in the journey of putting Gimme the Loot out there into the world and am very grateful for the opportunity RBC, IFP, and the Film Society provided to work with peers and esteemed industry professionals in a supportive, honest setting” said Adam Leon. “My team and I were able implement much of the advice that came out of the Emerging Visions sessions almost immediately and I don’t think there would be the great level of exposure we’ve been lucky to have with the movie if not for the encouragement of the program and the connections made that day.”

2011’s inaugural Emerging Visions program also helped to launch the careers of filmmakers including Tim Sutton, whose feature debut Pavilion premiered at SXSW and is being distributed by Factory 25; David Lowery, whose script Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is currently in post-production with actors Rooney Mara, Ben Foster, and Casey Affleck; Rola Nashef, whose feature Detroit Unleaded premiered at Toronto 2012; Alrick Brown, whose feature Kinyarwanda received the 2011 Sundance World Cinema Audience Award and is being distributed by the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement; and Adam Bowers, winner of the 2011 RBC Emerging Filmmaker Competition, who is currently developing his feature script We’re A Wasteland with Brillstein Entertainment Partners’ Brad Petrigala.

This year’s Emerging Visions will also feature two presentation sessions wherein filmmaker fellows will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and their work to their peer group and select industry advisers, including Circle of Confusion’s Lawrence Mattis, WME’s Craig Kestel, and producers Paul Mezey (exec. prod. Beasts of the Southern Wild, Another Earth), Alex Orlovsky (The Place Beyond the Pines, Blue Valentine), and Pamela Koffler (exec. prod. Mildred Pierce, Boys Don’t Cry). Advisers will speak to the fellows on how best to tailor their presentations and treatment materials to keep agents, producers and buyers engaged. The goal of these sessions is to foster creativity and community amongst the participants.

The 2012 Emerging Visions fellows include narrative and documentary filmmakers selected from IFP’S various programs and the Film Society’s pool of emerging filmmakers.

2012 Emerging Visions Fellows:
(Selected projects in parenthesis)

Rodney Ascher has been creating his own brand of genre-blurring films and videos for over a decade. His new “subjective documentary” film ROOM 237 premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and will be released later in the year by IFC Midnight. The film also screened at the 2012 Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes and will show at the New York Film Festival. His previous work includes numerous independent shorts (including the infamous THE S FROM HELL) as well as TV commercials, web comedy videos, and music videos. In 2008 he created PHOTO-FICTIONS, a show of new narrative photography at the Showcave Night Gallery.

DANIEL CARBONE (Hide Your Smiling Faces)
A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Daniel Carbone’s short films have been showcased at various film and arts festivals internationally. In 2007, his short “Being” was showcased at Lincoln Center. In 2008, he received the Warner Bros. Film Award for his short, “Feral,” in addition to honors for directing, editing, and NYU’s Wasserman/King Award for filmmaking at NYU’s First Run Film Festival. As a Director of Photography, Carbone has shot feature films for Matthew Petock (“A Little Closer”) and Rick Alverson (“Rabbit”).

RUSS HARBAUGH (Love After Love)
Russell Harbaugh received his MFA in Film Directing from Columbia University’s School of the Arts in 2011. His thesis short “Rolling on the Floor Laughing” has played festivals worldwide including the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, BAMcinemaFest, Maryland, Milano, Warsaw, and many others. Previously, Harbaugh was the assistant to Eric Mendelsohn on the 2010 film “3 Backyards,” which earned the Best Director award at Sundance that year. Currently, Harbaugh is developing his first feature “Love After Love” with producing partner Michael Prall. He is from Evansville, Indiana and currently resides in New York.

SIMON JAIKIRIUMA PAETAU (Without Artificial Tits There is No Salvation)
Simon Jaikiriuma Paetau was born in 1986 to a German father and a Colombian mother. Since 2006 he has made several projects in Colombia, Brazil, Cuba and Germany. His last short film, “Mila Caos,” was selected for Cannes’ Director’s Fortnight, New Directors New Films, Rotterdam and many other International Film Festivals. He has won several awards, including the German Human Rights Film Prize 2008 for “Oury Jalloh.” He studied at the International Film School Cuba, EICTV and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, KHM. Simon is currently developing at the Résidence his first feature film called “Without Artificial Tits There is No Salvation.”

ANA LAZAREVIC (Bacha Bazi: Boys For Play)
Ana Lazarevic is a Writer/ Director who has completed her MFA in Film at Columbia University in the city of New York. She was born in Belgrade, Serbia and left the country before the Yugoslav war erupted. She visited Serbia often and developed a great desire to share the characters of that world and the intangibles of the post-war atmosphere. She studied film at DePaul University in Chicago and went on to work in production for NBC Universal before moving to New York to pursue her degree at Columbia University. Her short film, “The Runner,” premiered at the 2011 New York Film Festival and was a Student Academy Award Regional Semifinalist. She is currently developing her first feature film, “Bacha Bazi: Boys for Play.”

LEAH MEYERHOFF (I Believe In Unicorns)
Leah Meyerhoff’s short films have screened in over 200 film festivals, won a dozen international awards and aired on IFC, PBS, LOGO and MTV. She has been shortlisted for the Sundance Labs and the Student Academy Awards, won a grand jury prize from Slamdance and an honorable mention from San Francisco Film Society, and received grants from IFP and the Tribeca Film Institute. She has been featured in Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and The New York Times and was profiled on the docudrama “Film School” on the Independent Film Channel. She has taught at Tisch Asia, The Art Institute of Chicago and New York Film Academy, served on the jury for Slamdance and Hollyshorts, and is a current programmer for Rooftop Films. She holds a Bachelor’s in Art-Semiotics from Brown University and is a Dean’s Fellow in Graduate Film at NYU.

Olivia Newman is a Brooklyn-based writer/director and recent graduate of Columbia University’s MFA Film Program. She has written, directed and produced several short films in the USA, France and Serbia, and currently has two feature films in development. Olivia’s short films have received awards from HBO, The Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors, SimonSays Entertainment, Cine Golden Eagle, and the Angelus Awards, and have screened in film festivals internationally including the New York Film Festival, Aspen Shortsfest, Palm Springs International Shortsfest, Cinequest, Vancouver International Film Festival and the Bermuda Film Festival. Her feature screenplay, “216 Garden,: was selected for Faculty Honors at the Columbia University 2011 Screenplay Competition and her thesis film, “First Match,” won Best Student Short at the 2012 Aspen Shortsfest and Best Short Film at the 2012 NJ International Film Festival. “First Match” is currently being broadcast on the California PBS affiliate, KQED.

LUCAS SMITH (Ghosts of the Aral Sea)
Lucas Smith is an emerging director, cinematographer, and editor based in New York City. An Arizona native, he studied Philosophy at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His first major short documentary, “Sacrifice”, explores halal live animal slaughter in the outer boroughs of New York City, and is one of the most-viewed films on the subject online.  He is keenly interested in creating observational documentaries that emphasize cinematic vocabulary and sound design.  Lucas is currently in production on “Ghosts of the Aral Sea,” a feature length documentary concerning the lives of subsistence fishermen on the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan.  He received his MFA in Social Documentary Film from School of Visual Arts in 2012.

KIM SPURLOCK (The Whispering Giant)
Kim Spurlock received her MFA at NYU’s graduate film program. Her short film, “Down in Number 5,” screened at over 30 festivals ultimately winning a 2010 Student Academy Award and will soon be traveling the United States as part of the exhibition America: Here and Now, along with work by notable artists including Gregory Crewdson, Chuck Close and Laurie Anderson.  Other films include “Afternoon,” a Vietnamese ghost story, which premiered at Slamdance and won the Jury Prize at the Vietnamese International Film Festival, and “Fish,” which premiered in Palm Springs and ended its run at Tokyo Short Shorts. While developing her first feature, “The Whispering Giant,” Kim has been honing her directing skills in the theater. She made her directorial debut in March 2012 with a short play entitled “Book Club,” which premiered in The Barrow Group Mainstage in New York City.

MUSA SYEED (The Doctor)
Musa Syeed’s debut feature, “Valley of Saints,” won the World Cinema: Dramatic Audience Award and the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He previously co-directed “Bronx Princess” (Official Selection, Berlinale) and produced “A Son’s Sacrifice” (Best Documentary Short, Tribeca), both of which aired nationally on PBS. Syeed is currently working on two interactive projects that were developed at BAVC’s Producers Institute and the ITVS/Mozilla Hackathon. Syeed has also taught film for Williams College and was a Fulbright fellow in Egypt. His new narrative project was selected for IFP Film Week project forum, for the Asian Project Market, and as a finalist for the San Francisco Film Society/Hearst screenwriting grant.

GREG VANDER VEER (Miss Hill, Church Forest)
Greg Vander Veer is a documentary filmmaker from Jay, Vermont. He directed and photographed the film “Keep Dancing,” which was an Official Selection of over 25 international film festivals, won the Starz Denver Film Festival Audience Award, and was nominated for the International Documentary Association’s 2010 Distinguished Short Documentary Award. Greg is currently directing and producing three feature documentary films and creating a variety of short content.  He also serves as a student mentor for Old School Films, a board member of the Dance Film Association, and a video contributor for

SUSAN YOUSSEF (Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf)
“Habibi,” Susan’s first feature, is an official selection for the 2011 Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. For her work on “Habibi,” Susan has been recognized as number 25 on Arabian Business’ list of “100 Most Powerful Arab Women”. Additionally, Filmmaker named her one of the “25 New Faces” to watch for.“Habibi” won Best Film, FIPRESCI Prize, Best Actress, and Best Editor at the Dubai International Film Festival. It received the Camera Novo, the highest prize at the Cinema Novo Festival. “Habibi” is the recipient of support from IFP Narrative Lab, Cinereach, Princess Grace Foundation, Jerome Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, and others. In September, Tate Gallery exhibits a piece by Susan. She has made five other shorts which have screened at Sundance Film Festival, New Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and elsewhere. Susan is a Fulbright Fellow. Prior to filmmaking, she was a schoolteacher and journalist in Beirut. She was born in Brooklyn.

For the Emerging Visions schedule, updates, and more information, visit:

The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) is the nation’s oldest and largest not-for-profit advocacy organization for independent filmmakers. Since its debut at the 1979 New York Film Festival, IFP has supported the production of over 7,000 films and offered resources to more than 20,000 filmmakers, providing an opportunity for many diverse voices to be heard. IFP believes that independent films enrich the universal language of cinema, seeding the global culture with new ideas, kindling awareness, and fostering activism. The organization championed the early work of pioneering independent filmmakers Charles Burnett, Todd Haynes, Mira Nair, Michael Moore, Joel and Ethan Coen, Kevin Smith, and Todd Solondz. IFP continues to play a vital role in launching first films of many of today’s rising stars on the independent scene including Debra Granik (“Down to the Bone”), Miranda July (“Me, You and Everyone We Know”), and Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden (“Half Nelson”).

IFP represents a network of 10,000 filmmakers in New York City and around the world and fosters the development of 350 feature and documentary films each year. Through its workshops, seminars, conferences, mentorships, and Filmmaker Magazine, IFP schools its members in the art, technology, and business of independent filmmaking.  The year-round program includes Independent Film Week, Envision, The Gotham Awards, and the Independent Filmmaker Labs. IFP’s programs promote diverse voices in independent film by working to include racial, ethnic, religious, ideological, gender and sexual diversity. IFP, often in collaboration with other cultural institutions, builds audiences by hosting premieres and special screenings. For more information and to become a member, visit

Under the leadership of Rose Kuo, Executive Director, and Richard Peña, Program Director, the Film Society of Lincoln Center offers the best in international, classic and cutting-edge independent cinema. The Film Society presents two film festivals that attract global attention: the New York Film Festival, currently planning its 50th edition, and New Directors/New Films which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment Magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award—now named “The Chaplin Award”—to a major figure in world cinema. Past recipients of this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks. The Film Society presents a year-round calendar of programming, panels, lectures, educational programs and specialty film releases at its Walter Reade Theater and the new state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit and follow #filmlinc on Twitter.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We are Canada’s largest bank as measured by assets and market capitalization, and among the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking and transaction processing services on a global basis. We employ approximately 74,000 full- and part-time employees who serve close to 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 55 other countries. For more information, please visit