Creatively Connected Online Film Festival Advisors
David Grubin is a director, writer, producer, and cinematographer who has produced over 100 films, ranging across history, art, poetry, and science, winning every award in the field of documentary television, including two Alfred I. Dupont awards, three George Foster Peabody prizes, five Writer’s Guild prizes, and ten Emmys.
David has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, has been a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College, and is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Hamilton College.
A former chairman of the board of directors of The Film Forum, he is currently a member of the Society of American Historians and sits on the board at Poets House. David has taught documentary film producing in Columbia University’s Graduate Film Program and has lectured on filmmaking across the country.
For me, documentary filmmaking is a process of discovery, an opportunity to wander along some unmarked shore with my mind open and my senses alert. I love to be surprised. I begin each project with a recognition of how little I know, and cultivate a state of radical ignorance.
Tolerance for the disquieting limbo of uncertainty in the midst of chaos is at the center of my creative process. I’ve always done the initial research on my films myself because I can’t explain to anyone else what I’m looking for. It’s only later – when I start to write the script or I’m in the editing room, trying to make sense of a shapeless jumble of information – that I begin to understand where I might be going. Making documentaries requires comfort with disorder – being at ease with what seems like an infinite number of brute, meaningless facts and knowing that only the empathetic imagination can infuse them with meaning.
It is the empathetic imagination that feels its way into the thicket of facts to find hidden in the welter of possibilities the shape of a story. I have no argument with films that are essays, laying out ideas in an orderly, point by point fashion. But I like to tell stories – because stories do not simplify complex personalities and events; because stories embody values without preaching them; because in stories, we learn how ideas feel; because in stories there are no answers, only more questions, pointing viewers, I hope, toward insights of their own.
For thirteen years, Gabby Hanna was with the Provincetown Film Society, ten of those years as Executive Director. Gabby is a former Executive Director of the Provincetown Business Guild and has served on the Town of Provincetown’s Finance Committee and Economic Development Council. She was previously President of GAH Consulting, a New York City-based fundraising and special events company raising funds for not-for-profit organizations and documentary films.
While living in New York, Gabby also served as Executive Director of the Andrew Goodman Foundation, Director of Development of Body Positive, a New York City HIV/AIDS service organization, Director of Institutional Advancement for The Hewitt School, and Barnard College’s Associate Director of Alumnae Affairs. Her diverse career path began as an Assistant Buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue, after working as a pianist.
Currently, Gabby lives in Provincetown, dabbling in film and theater producing. She has been the Executive Producer of Love Is Strange, a film by Ira Sachs, and co-producer of the Broadway revival of Side Show, directed by Bill Condon, It Shoulda Been You, a new musical directed by David Hyde Pierce and a new musical Tuck Everlasting, directed by Casey Nicholaw.
Edward Hirsch is a poet and critic. He has published nine books of poems: For the Sleepwalkers (1981), Wild Gratitude (1986), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Night Parade (1989), Earthly Measures (1994), On Love (1998), Lay Back the Darkness (2003), Special Orders (2008), The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems (2010), and Gabriel: A Poem (2014), a book-length elegy for his son that The New Yorker calls “a masterpiece of sorrow.”
He has also written prose books: the bestseller How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry (1999), Responsive Reading (1999), The Demon and the Angel: Searching for the Source of Artistic Inspiration (2002), Poet’s Choice (2006), and A Poet’s Glossary (2014), a complete compendium of poetic terms.
He is the editor of Transforming Vision: Writers on Art (1994) and of Theodore Roethke’s Selected Poems (2005). He is also the co-editor of A William Maxwell Portrait: Memories and Appreciations (2004) and The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology (2008), and he edits the series The Writer’s World (Trinity University Press).
He has received the Prix de Rome, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and a MacArthur Fellowship. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry in 1985. Since 2002, he has served as a trustee of the Foundation, and in 2003 he became the fourth President.
Grace Kiley, an accomplished actor and playwright continues to perform her most recent solo show, Grace Kelly Longing for Grace, for which she has won three awards at United Solo Festival in NYC for Best One Woman Show, Best Director (Austin Pendleton) and Best Makeup (Elle Murphy) for 2012 and Best Encore, 2013. She was praised in Edinburgh where she performed at Hill Street Theatre for the 2013 Festival Fringe, and at 59E59 Theaters, East to Edinburgh, 2013. Other credits include an award-winning performance in IMTF’s NeverCracked, the debut of her original solo piece, I Bred The Best, at the Estrogenius Festival and Theater West, as well as leading roles in Summerfolk (dir. Austin Pendleton), A Death of a Salesman, Shirley Valentine, Six Degrees of Separation, The Novelist, A Life in the Theater, Old Times, Hot Flashes, and Perfect Analysis Given By a Parrot, along with numerous TV and film credits, most recently,The Comedy starring Tim Heidecker.
Ms. Kiley teaches Directing at NYU’s Tisch Kanbar Center for Film & TV, as well as acting courses at the Stella Adler Studio,Trinity/LaMama Urban Arts Program, and at her own studio – Grace Kiley ACTING – in New York City.
Michael Paseornek is the President of Lions Gate Films Productions. After graduating New York University in 1974, he became the writing partner to former National Lampoon Editor Michel Choquette. Paseornek wrote, rewrote and produced a number of films, and opened Cinepix Film Properties’ (CFP’s) U.S. operations in 1991. CFP went public in 1995 and became Lions Gate Films.
Jason Schuler is an intuitive creative visual storyteller, is driven by the compelling journeys of others. With an extensive background and client base in the Nonprofit and Corporate sectors, Jason is frequently called upon to tell meaningful stories through documentary style productions. His clients include Dr. Oz and his national school-based charity HealthCorps, the YMCA, the American Heart Association, Lippincott, Dun & Bradstreet and others. Jason utilizes movie caliber visuals to take the sometimes- overlooked events of life and create deeply impacting stories.
Steven M. Safyer
Steven M. Safyer, MD, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Montefiore Medicine, one of New York’s premiere academic health systems. An accomplished clinician, physician leader, and educator, he was recognized by Modern Healthcare as 13th of the “50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare” in March 2016.
Prior to being appointed President and CEO of Montefiore in 2008, he held a variety of increasingly senior leadership roles at Montefiore, including Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer from 1998 until 2008. Under his leadership, Montefiore significantly expanded the breadth and depth of its clinical care services. It is now composed of a network of 10 hospitals, including the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and Burke, a specialized state-of-the-art rehabilitation hospital, plus more than 200 ambulatory care centers in the Bronx and the Hudson Valley.
During his tenure as CEO, Dr. Safyer strengthened the relationship between Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine by identifying, leveraging and nurturing key synergies in research, clinical care and education between the two organizations. His efforts culminated in the integration of the two organizations and the creation of Montefiore Medicine in 2015.
Throughout his career, he has been a leader in the development of innovative business and clinical strategies designed to provide high-quality care management under prepayment and other value-based arrangements. He was an early champion of clinical information systems and launched physician order entry in the 1990s that supported his focus on creating nationally recognized quality and safety programs.
In addition, Dr. Safyer has always been deeply committed to improving healthcare for the underserved and galvanized a broad effort to stem the burgeoning epidemics of HIV and TB that were taking their greatest toll on the poor during the 1990s in New York City. A champion for a single standard of healthcare quality and access regardless of social or economic circumstances, Dr. Safyer led the way for Montefiore to set a new standard for equitable healthcare systems.
Dr. Safyer earned his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed his internship and a residency in Social Medicine at Montefiore. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, as well as a Professor of Medicine and a Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health at Einstein. He is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, a founding member of The Health Management Academy and a member of the Healthcare Institute. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University.
Dr. Safyer currently serves on the Boards’ of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Teaching Hospitals (COTH) Administrative Board, the NYC Board of Corrections, the Coalition to Protect American’s Health Care, and the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC). He is also on the boards of the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes and the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), where he served as immediate past Chair and as a past chairman of the Board of Governors, respectively.
Throughout John Zweig’s long and varied career there has been one constant and unifying theme – a spirit of exploration, creative expression and a quest to transform individuals and organizations against the backdrop of a dissonant culture. John has been a professional musician, a combat veteran, a race relations educator, management consultant, writer, P&G brand manager, and Group CEO in the largest marketing services company in the world.
For most of John’s career, he has been chairman of a group of companies owned in whole or in part by WPP. As the first chief executive of Branding, Identity, and Specialist Communications, John led firms in identity, branding and design, consumer promotion, direct marketing, retail, digital/interactive media, strategic marketing consulting, ethnic/demographic marketing, and healthcare marketing. John’s group comprised 60-some companies, half of which he acquired on behalf of WPP during his tenure.
He served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War on a destroyer and patrol gunboat; and in other Asian countries as one of the first race relations educational specialists, conducting seminars in understanding the personal worth and racial dignity. He attended both Washington University and the University of the State of New York where he earned a bachelor’s degree.
Prior to entering business, John was a professional jazz guitarist and studio musician, having performed with many internationally acclaimed artists, and on national television and radio commercials. He continues to perform in New York area jazz clubs.
John’s board service has included the International Longevity Center, an affiliate of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, where he was a regular keynote speaker at New York Times Foundation seminars and symposia. He also served as a trustee for The National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial, among other non-profits. He is currently a director of The Cape Eleuthera Foundation, providing life-changing educational programs and scientific research in sustainable technologies.