Get to know the Panelists
BIOS FOR “WHY WOMEN ARE A GOOD INVESTMENT”
JULIE PARKER BENELLO’s work has always been driven by a shared belief in the power of women storytellers to build and sustain movements for justice, equity, and health. Julie co- founded Chicken & Egg Pictures with Judith Helfand and Wendy Ettinger in 2005 to match strategically timed grants with dynamic mentorship and creative collaboration focused on story, craft, and community engagement for women documentary filmmakers. She is Founder and Managing Director of Gamechanger Films, a newly launched equity fund that is actively investing in a slate of independent narrative films by women directors. Gamechanger’s first film LAND HO! by Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz premiered at Sundance 2014 and was released by Sony Pictures Classics this summer. Julie previously served as Executive Producer on Jill Soloway’s 2013 Sundance award-winning debut feature, AFTERNOON DELIGHT (Cinedigm/ Film Arcade 2013); Dee Rees’ feature PARIAH (Focus Features 2011); and Leigh Janiak’s debut feature film, HONEYMOON (SXSW 2014/ Magnolia). She also co-produced the 2002 Sundance award-winning documentary, BLUE VINYL (HBO 2002), directed by Judith Helfand. Earlier in her career, she served as a Production Executive for the distribution company Non Fiction Films and as an archival researcher for the Discovery Channel series “Cronkite Remembers.” Julie is a member of the Board of Directors of The Global Fund for Women and The San Francisco Film Society.
NINA YANG BONGIOVI is a seasoned film professional with over 15 years of combined production, finance and management experience in the entertainment industry between Hollywood and Asia. Nina develops/creates business strategies and alliances covering feature films, television, documentaries and new media with domestic & global strategic partners for Forest Whitaker's Significant Productions based in Los Angeles. Nina and her producing partner, Forest Whitaker, produced Ryan Coogler’s FRUITVALE STATION which was the winner for both The Audience and The Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival 2013, Cannes Film Festival’s winner of the L’Avenir Award (2013) and was released theatrically by The Weinstein Co. This year she and Whitaker produced SONGS MY BROTHER TAUGHT ME and DOPE which are both in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival 2015.
ANGELA C. LEE is the Artist Development Manager at Film Independent, where she oversees the selection process and curriculum for the Filmmaker Labs, including Screenwriting, Directing, Producing, and Documentary Labs, and the Fast Track Finance Market. Angela also curates the final pool of applicants considered for the Fox Writers Intensive and Fox Global Directors Initiative, in partnership with Fox Audience Strategy, in addition to co-managing the Fox Writers Intensive curriculum and program with Fox. Angela is also an independent film producer. She is a Film Independent Fellow, an IFP Narrative Lab Fellow, a Sundance Creative Producing Summit Fellow, and a recipient of the inaugural Center for Asian American Media Fellowship. She is currently in post-production on her first feature film, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, which will premiere in competition at Sundance. Previously, Angela served as Director of Creative Affairs at Vox3 Films in New York. Prior to her career in film, Angela was an Associate at Goldman Sachs. A native Chicagoan, Angela graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in Economics and is on the Board of Directors for the University of Chicago National Arts Alumni Network.
MICHELE TURNURE-SALLEO is the Director of Filmmaker360, San Francisco Film Society and is a producer with over 18 years experience in the United States, Australia, France and Canada. As head of Filmmaker360, Turnure-Salleo oversees major grants, the FilmHouse residency program, the Producers Initiative and project development programs. From 2009 through 2014, the Filmmaker360 grants programs have provided more than 2.5 million dollars in funding to incubate and support innovative and exceptional films such as CIRCUMSTANCE, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, FRUITVALE STATION, SHORT TERM 12, LOVE IS STRANGE, HELLION, TEST, MANOS SUCIAS, MOSQUITO Y MARI, CUTIE AND THE BOXER, and AMERICAN PROMISE amongst others.
JENNIFER PHANG’S sophomore feature ADVANTAGEOUS will have its world premiere competing in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at Sundance 2015. Her award‐winning debut feature HALF-LIFE premiered in 2008 at the Tokyo International and Sundance film festivals. It screened at SXSW and was distributed by Sundance Channel. She was invited to Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab and was awarded a San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Foundation FilmHouse Residency and Sundance Institute Feature Film Grant. The Berkeley-born daughter of a Chinese-Malaysian father and Vietnamese mother, Phang graduated from the MFA directing program at the American Film Institute.
Moderator: GRACE MCPHILLIPS is a leader in Chicago’s voiceover and screen acting community. Her production company, Sterling Rock Productions, creates feature films, shorts, television series, and the Producers Patio Podcast. As an actress, Grace has danced with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in Salome with Deborah Voight, sung with the famous Stanley Paul Orchestra, other bands, and recently completed her 6th album with her band Mysteriam (available on itunes), produced/starred/directed award-winning independent films, and has lent her voice to numerous commercials and radio ads nationwide. In 2014 her recently produced feature THE OTHER ONE toured to many festivals, winning awards, and was an Audience Choice Nominee at the prestigious 50th Anniversary Chicago International Film Festival. Her short prequel entitled ECLIPSE world premiered at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner. Both go into wide release this summer and in the spring begin a public screening series called “The Forgiveness Tour.”