Festivals across the world have committed to improve their gender representation in programming and in their leadership. This panel will discuss what role festivals can play in advancing the parity agenda and will feature festival programmers discussing what steps they are taking to create change in the industry.
This panel will be moderated by Athena Film Festival Programmer Opal H. Bennett
Cara Cusumano, Director of Programming for the Tribeca Film Festival
Basil Tsiokos, Director of Programming for DOC NYC, Film Program Director for the Nantucket Film Festival, and Programming Associate for the Sundance Film Festival
David Nugent, Artistic Director for the Hamptons International Film Festival
Nicole Tsien, Co-Producer POV
Cara Cusumano is the Director of Programming for the Tribeca Film Festival and the Tribeca TV Festival, where she oversees feature film and TV programming. Prior to Tribeca, she programmed for the Hamptons International Film Festival, including curating HIFF’s signature Conflict & Resolution competition and Oscar-qualifying shorts program, and has also worked with film organizations including the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, the Brooklyn International Film Festival, IFP, POV, Chicken & Egg, & Sundance. She frequently serves on festival juries and panels, among them CPH:DOX, SANFIC, Silverdocs, DOC NYC, Nordisk Panorama, and the Nantucket Film Festival, and is a member of the nominating committees for the Cinema Eye Honors, the International Documentary Association Awards, and the Gotham Awards. Her first short documentary The Bloop was an official selection of a dozen international festivals including Palm Springs Shortfest, AFI Fest, Rooftop Films, and DOC NYC, and was winner of an Audience Award at the 2016 New Orleans Film Festival. She holds degrees from Columbia University’s Barnard College and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Based in New York city & Amagansett, David Nugent has worked throughout the independent and documentary film world. After receiving an award for Excellence in Teaching from Harvard University in 2000, he moved to New York where he taught the history of documentary and American independent film at the New School for 10 years. Upon arriving in New York, he co-wrote Isaac Julien’s three screen installation piece BALTIMORE which was presented throughout the world. Nugent previously worked as the Program Director for DocuClub and the Director of Programming for the Newport International Film Festival. He is now the Artistic Director for the Hamptons International Film Festival where he also directs the festival’s annual Screenwriting Lab and programs co-hosts multiple film series with co-chairman Alec Baldwin.
Basil Tsiokos is Director of Programming for DOC NYC, Film Program Director for the Nantucket Film Festival, and Programming Associate for the Sundance Film Festival. Since 2011, he has been an instructor at Pratt, teaching a course on film festivals and overseeing Wallabout, a student short film festival. Basil was the Director of NewFest: The NY LGBT Film Festival between 1996-2008. He writes about documentaries at what (not) to doc. Basil holds a Masters degree from New York University and two undergraduate degrees from Stanford University.
Nicole Tsien is the Co-Producer at POV. As a member of the programming and production team, she manages film submissions, oversees pre-screeners, and assists in the curation and production of the series. Previously, she has worked as an intern and production assistant on Yance Ford’s Oscar-nominated documentary, Strong Island, and has worked as an assistant to Joshua Weinstein on his 2012 documentary, Drivers Wanted. Nicole has participated on panels and juries worldwide, including Doc NYC, Austin Film Festival, and DocAviv. She is a member of the Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc) and serves as a board member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia.