Guest Filmmakers and Speakers
MIKE ATTIE is the director of Moment to Moment, which will be screened as part of Shorts + Cake. His feature documentary, In Country, had its world premiere at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and international premiere at Hot Docs in Toronto. His award-winning short documentaries have shown at major film festivals. Prior to receiving an MFA from Stanford University’s Documentary Film program, he worked as an assistant editor for Academy Award-winning filmmakers Alan and Susan Raymond. He worked extensively as a producer and cinematographer for clients including Facebook, Pinterest, CNN, PopTech, and Seattle Children's Hospital. He is a 2014 Sundance Documentary Film Program Fellow and was named as one of The Independent's "10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2014". He is an assistant professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and program director of the Film + Video department.
MOLLY COOPER is a film producer whose credits include The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs. She has also worked as a producer on projects with The Criterion Collection and HBO, with Abrams Books and Rizzoli, and for production companies based at Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., New Line and DreamWorks. She received a B.A. in English from Yale University and an M.F.A. in Film Production from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and is a current member of the Producers Guild of America’s Motion Picture Producing Council. She grew up spending summers in Cooperstown, and now divides her time between Cooperstown and Great Barrington, MA.
DAVID HAMBRIDGE is an Emmy-nominated cinematographer and commercial and documentary filmmaker currently based in the US. In 2018, his work on Angelique, a documentary short for CondeNast was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Feature Story in a non-fiction newsmagazine. His interest lies in personal, truthful, and highly intimate storytelling. His approach is verité driven that relies heavily on the mutual trust between filmmaker and characters, focusing on the universal truths we all share as humans. Hambridge’s style is aimed at exposing moments of humanity and vulnerability within his characters – finding the subtle attributes to storytelling that have the ability to transcend cultural barriers and identify with audiences around the world. For the last four years, Hambridge has been traveling back and forth to Ol Pejeta Conservancy at the foot of Mt. Kenya to work on his debut feature-length documentary film Kifaru.
JOHN HAPTAS and KRISTINE SAMUELSON’s award-winning documentary essays have been screened at festivals throughout the world, from Sundance and San Francisco to London, Rio, Belgrade, India, Germany, and South Korea. They have appeared on PBS and at museums including the Museum of Modern Art. Empire of the Moon was made possible by a Cité Des Arts International Studio Residency in Paris, and Tokyo Waka was supported by a Japan-U.S. Creative Artists Fellowship. They have also been Artists in Residence at the Victoria College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, and taught master classes at the Hanoi Academy of Theater, and Cinema in Vietnam. Their most recent film, Life Overtakes Me premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and is streaming on Netflix.
For over fifty years DENNIS JAMES has played a pivotal role in the international revival of silent films presented with historically authentic live music. A featured solo performer on the international film festival circuit, James also has performed programs under the auspices of the American Film Institute, National Film Registry, Museum of Modern Art, Library of Congress, and the British Film Institute. His professional appointments include Theatre Organist for the San Diego Symphony and Silent Film Organist for the Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto. He has appeared with Vincent Price, Bob Hope, Jimmy Durante, Olivia DeHavilland, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Ginger Rogers, and Loretta Young, plus toured nationally with silent film stars Lillian Gish, Myrna Loy, and Fay Wray, providing musical accompaniment on tour revivals of their motion pictures.
Washington, DC based filmmaker AVIVA KEMPNER has been making critically acclaimed documentaries about under known Jewish heroes for forty years. Prior to The Spy Behind Home Plate, she produced, wrote and directed Rosenwald, which was shown at Film Days in 2017. She wrote and directed Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg and Today I Vote for My Joey. She directed, wrote and produced the Emmy nominated and Peabody awarded The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg. She also produced and conceived Partisans of Vilna, about Jews fighting the Nazis. A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Kempner is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, WIFV Women of Vision Award, and Media Arts Award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. She is the founder of the Washington Jewish Film Festival.
BILL MORRISON’S films typically source rare archival footage in which long-forgotten, and sometimes deteriorated, imagery is reframed as part of a collective mythology. His work has been recognized with the Alpert Award, Creative Capital, a Guggenheim fellowship, and has had a mid-career retrospective at MoMA. His found footage opus Decasia (2002), with music by Michael Gordon, was the first film of the 21st century to be selected to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. The Great Flood (2013), with music by Bill Frisell, won the Smithsonian Ingenuity Award of 2014 for historical scholarship. Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016), with music by Alex Somers, won numerous awards including a Critics’ Choice Award for the most innovative documentary, and was included on over 100 critics’ lists of the best films of 2017. Along with those mentioned above, Morrison has collaborated with some of the most celebrated musicians and composers of our time, including John Adams, Maya Beiser, Gavin Bryars, Philip Glass, Vijay Iyer, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Kronos Quartet, and Julia Wolfe, among many others. This year marks Morrison’s third appearance at Film Days.
PETER RUTKOFF is a founding member of the Department of American Studies at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. He is the author of Fly Away, and other recent non-fiction works that examine African-American art and culture, as well as several novels, most recently Irish Eyes and Before Che. He is a regular summer visitor to Cooperstown, which is also the setting of his book of short stories, Cooperstown Chronicles. He will again lead the Sunday Brunch Film discussion, which this year is on the Julie Dash film Illusions. Rutkoff is a member of the steering committee for Glimmerglass Film Days.
JANE STEUERWALD is the executive director of the Thomas Edison Media Arts Consortium-Black Maria Film Festival. She curates and presents film programs for colleges, universities, museums, cinemas, and arts venues across the country and abroad. Her films have screened at MoMA; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; Anthology Film Archives; and festivals across the US. Steuerwald was a professor and chair of the Media Arts Department, NJ City University, for many years, where she taught media production, history and aesthetics. She has worked with film and video as an art medium since 1980 creating installations, documentaries, found footage works, experimental films, and single edition art books. In 2012, she was a Women’s History Month Honoree in NJ for empowering women through education.
ANN TALMAN made her Broadway debut playing Elizabeth Taylor’s daughter in The Little Foxes. Additional Broadway credits include roles in The House of Blue Leaves, Some Americans Abroad, and The Women with numerous credits Off-Broadway and regionally. Selected TV and film work includes roles in Seinfeld, Law and Order, Special Victims Unit, and in Wall Street, Limitless, Serendipity, and Archaeology of Woman. Her cast album credits include Yours Anne, and Hannah 1939, and on NPR’s Tales from the South. She wrote and performs in Woody's Order!, a one-woman stage show that has played to overwhelming acclaim in New York, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh, the Talmans’ hometown. The documentary short of the same name, which she produced, captures the first time she performed Woody’s Order! for her brother Woody.