board of directors
While in his last year at UCLA, Tom Skerritt debuted as a film actor in WAR HUNT, an independent 1962 anti-war film that also featured New York theater actors Robert Redford and Sydney Pollack. Since then, Skerritt has appeared in more than 35 feature films, including Robert Altman’s MASH, ALIEN, TOP GUN, A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, HAROLD AND MAUDE, THE TURNING POINT and CONTACT. He is a winner of an Emmy Award for Best Actor for his role in CBS’s Picket Fences and has directed many episodic and long-form television productions.
Robert Redford has received international acclaim for his work as a director, actor and producer, as well as for his efforts as a champion of independent film and as an environmentalist. Redford won an Academy Award®, a Golden Globe Award and a Directors Guild of America Award, for his feature film directorial debut on the emotionally shattering family drama “Ordinary People (1980).” He went on to both direct and produce “The Milagro Beanfield War (1988)”; “A River Runs Through It (1992),” for which he garnered a Best Director Golden Globe nomination; “Quiz Show (1994),” earning dual Oscar® nominations for Best Picture and Best Director and another Golden Globe nomination for Best Director; and, most recently, “The Horse Whisperer (1998),” which brought him his fourth Golden Globe nod for Best Director.
Also honored for his acting work, Redford received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Actor for his performance in “The Sting (1973).” A strong advocate of independent filmmaking, Redford founded the Sundance Institute in 1980 as an organization “dedicated to the support and development of emerging screenwriters and directors of vision and to the national and international exhibition of new American independent cinema.” The Institute also sponsors the annual Sundance Film Festival, which is held every winter in Park City, Utah. From its modest beginnings, the Festival is now the most important venue for the presentation of independent film in the United States.
Edward Zwick has been honored with an Oscar, three Emmys, the Humanitas Prize, the Writer’s Guild of America Award, two Peabody Awards and a Director’s Guild of America Award and more. Edward first attracted critical acclaim at the American Film Institute for his short film Timothy and the Angel before he found himself directing and producing for television. Together with Marshall Herskovitz, Edward created thirtysomething, My So-Called Life and Once and Again. In 1986, he began directing feature films with About Last Night… and went on to direct Oscar winners Glory and Legends of the Fall. His other directing credits include Leaving Normal, Courage Under Fire, The Siege and The Last Samuri, and his producing credits include Traffic, Blood Diamond and Shakespeare in Love, for which he won an Academy Award.
In addition to supervising all aspects of production and development for Castle Rock Entertainment, Liz executive produced The Shawshank Redemption and Fracture. She most recently produced Dimension Films’ The Mist and Warner Brothers’ Music and Lyrics starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. During her tenure as president of Castle Rock, the company has produced over 80 films, including When Harry Met Sally, Misery,Honeymoon in Vegas, In the Line of Fire, A Few Good Men, City Slickers, Best In Show and Polar Express. Prior to joining Castle Rock, Liz was an executive at Samuel Goldwyn Company, where she was involved in a number of projects, including the sleeper hitMystic Pizza. She is a graduate of Bennington College and holds an M.F.A. from the University of Southern California’s Peter Stark Program.
As the owner and manager of ShadowCatcher Entertainment, David is responsible for the company’s strategic and financial planning, as well as the development, financing and production of the company’s film and stage projects. He has worked as an Executive Producer on Smoke Signals, The Book of Stars, Getting To Know You, Game Six,Outsourced and The American Pastime. David has served as the president and chairman of the Board of Trustees for A Contemporary Theatre, as well as the chairman of the Seattle Theatre Group. He is currently serving on the Board and chairing the development committee for the Seattle Chinese Garden Society, the largest horticultural project of its kind outside of China, which involves design teams from China and the United States.
Christopher McQuarrie is well known for his collaboration with Bryan Singer on The Usual Suspects, which won him both the Oscar and the BAFTA Award. Christopher followed up his success by contributing to the shooting script for Singer’s big-budget, effects-laden comic-book adventure, X-Men in 2000. That same year, he marked his own directorial debut with The Way of the Gun, another crime thriller starring usual suspect Benicio Del Toro and veteran actor James Caan. Christopher began his successful screenwriting career as co-writer of the screenplay for Public Access (1993), which was named co-winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival.
Chris is Hollywood’s foremost story professional. As Story Editor at WME, the world’s largest diversified talent agency, Chris curates projects for A-list actors such as Denzel Washington, reading and exploring through piles of screenplays, magazines, books, old movies, TV shows, and pitches in search of potential film projects.
Chris began his career at International Creative Management (ICM), where he worked as script consultant to legendary talent agent Ed Limato, who represented industry giants such as Mel Gibson, Richard Gere, Michelle Pfeiffer, Liam Neeson, and Robert Downey, Jr. Chris later moved to the venerable William Morris Agency, which eventually merged with Endeavor to form WME. He is an adjunct professor at National University’s Professional Screenwriting Program. He has also taught at LA Valley College and UCLA. His writing workshop The Inside Pitch was filmed for Los Angeles television, earning him an Emmy Award nomination. Chris’s creative counsel has been used on many hit films such as the 2016 Sundance Film Festival sensation, “The Birth of a Nation.”
Chris crossed over into film producing with the cult horror hit “The Collector” (2009) and its sequel “The Collection” (2012), which opened in the top 10 box-office. He also wrote and produced the award winning documentary “Most Valuable Players” (2010), which was acquired by OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network). Matt Roush of TV Guide reviewed as the “Sleeper of the week…Charming and disarming…A genuine treat.” He has set up several other projects, including “A Rhinestone Alibi” at Paramount, and “Crooked Creek,” a modern noir thriller. Chris is a member of the Writers Guild, the Producers Guild, and the Television Academy. He graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with an MFA in dramatic writing and was awarded the school’s Public Service Prize for his dedication to public education.
Brant Boivin has written films for such international names as Dany Boon, Fan Bing Bing, Justin Lin and Will Smith. He’s worked under contract with Overbrook Entertainment, Sony Studios, Columbia Pictures and China’s Fundamental Media among others. In addition, Brant has developed projects for Germany’s Telepool GmbH, Broken Road, Zero Gravity Management, Norman Lear’s Act III Production and Anonymous Content. He recently completed a screen adaptation of the novel “Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan”, and is working on a variety of other projects including an independent film with actor/director Daniel Stern attached to direct. As a producer, Brant has been involved in several television movies. He’s a member of the prestigious Writers Guild of America, and was voted onto Hollywood’s “Young and Hungry” list by industry insiders.
Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov is an award winning Israeli filmmaker who has worked in a variety of mediums. She studied filmmaking at the London Film School and travels around the world as a lecturer. Her most recent award winning documentary, Operation Wedding is now distributed worldwide. She is currently adapting her documentary with award-winning producer, Sasha Klein, into a feature film based on the best-selling novel “Prison Diaries”.
Jeremy is an award-winning writer, director, and producer whose work spans commercial television, show development, and corporate communications. Most recently he’s worked as a writer and producer at Microsoft, articulating the company’s vision for the role of artificial intelligence in people’s lives. Prior to Microsoft, Jeremy spent 10 years in the advertising industry running his own agency where he produced national and regional campaigns for clients such as Boeing, Behr Paint, Virginia Mason Hospital, Service Brands International, and many others. Jeremy is co-founder of the Bigfoot Script Challenge, the premiere screenwriting contest and development platform in the Pacific Northwest. Jeremy holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington, and currently serves as board Vice President of the Northwest Screenwriters Guild.
Ben Andrews is a Seattle based actor, director, and producer. He’s directed and produced numerous award winning short films. These projects have been in over 200 films festivals and have won dozens of awards around the world. He’s the founder of the Seattle Film Summit and Renton City Comicon. He’s also an accomplished actor, been on over 200 film//commercial/TV sets, and can be seen on national TV shows like TNT’s The Librarians and SYFY’s Z-Nation.
Arsalan Iftikhar is an internationally renowned writer and storyteller whose articles and columns appear regularly in: Rolling Stone, USA TODAY, The Atlantic, CNN.com, Esquire Magazine (Middle East edition), Detroit Free Press, and the Miami Herald, among others. His on- air interviews have appeared on: The TODAY Show, National Public Radio, FOX News, MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, CBS News, ABC’s NIGHTLINE, NBC’s “Meet The Press”. CNN, BBC World News, Al-Jazeera English, and the Agence France-Presse, As a commentator, The Huffington Post ranked his twitter account among the most important Muslim Twitter accounts in the world.
Arsalan was also a featured in Emmy-award winning journalist Christiane Amanpour’s documentary called “Back to the Beginning”, and is currently developing his own series based on stories from his book “Scapegoats” which was lauded by President Jimmy Carter in his forward for the book. Arsalan is also a human rights lawyer, founder of TheMuslimGuy.com, and a faculty member at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.
Brian McDonald is the author of Invisible Ink: A Practical Guide to Building Stories that Resonate, and The Golden Theme. An accomplished screenwriter and director, Brian has taught and consulted, at Pixar, Disney and Industrial Light & Magic.
His films include Flickering Memories, and the award-winning short film White Face, which sold to HBO. He has also directed spots for Visa and MTV’s $5 Cover. McDonald scripted Abe Sapien: Drums of the Dead, the first Hellboy spin-off comic book, as well as Lost in Space and Predator – Strange Roux for Dark Horse Comics.