110 BLEEKER 9F NY, NY 10012
Chairman | Jerome Gary
Jerome is an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker who created, executive produced and directed the hit series, ON THE ROAD IN AMERICA, about four young Arabs traveling across America with an American film crew, now in its third season. He also executive produced MUSLIM WOMEN and LIFE AFTER DEATH, both of which aired in the Middle East and are currently in release. Jerome has recently completed production of the third season of ON THE ROAD IN AMERICA and is in post-production on AMERICAN CARAVAN and TRADING PLACES. Other credits include PUMPING IRON, the Academy Award-nominated documentary that launched the career of Arnold Schwarzenegger; STRIPPER, the critically acclaimed feature documentary distributed by Twentieth Century Fox; OLD BOYFRIENDS, starring John Belushi and Talia Shire; THE RUSSIANS, an eight hour television series for TNT that won a Cine Golden Eagle; the award winning LAUGHS series for HBO with P.J. O’Rourke; THE GATHERING (Miramax); REBEL HIGHWAY (Showtime); DOUBLE SWITCH (an interactive game for Sega).
As an executive in the entertainment industry, he has been an Exhibitor (Co-founder and Co-CEO of the Festival Cinemas, a chain of art houses in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1972-75); Head of Acquisitions and Production at an independent studio (Cinema 5, the Miramax of its day, from 1978-1980); and President of a Production Company (Visionaire Communications from 1981-86) that did more than 60 hours of high quality programming for television.
From 2001-2005, he was the Strategic Director of USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies, charged with government relations, fundraising, managing Think Tanks and the ICT’s consulting relationships, and founding ICT Works, in 2005.
For 13 years Jerome was a senior lecturer in screenwriting and directing at the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies and was, for ten years, on the directing faculty at the University of Southern California School of Cinema and Television. He has also taught directing, screenwriting, storytelling and digital filmmaking at the Los Angeles Film School, Esalen Institute, Yale University, Dartmouth, The University of Hawaii and in numerous foreign countries. In 2006, 2007 and 2008, he went to Afghanistan three times leading teams of filmmakers to teach storytelling, filmmaking and program development to television personnel in Kabul and Kandahar.
Last year he taught a Pakistani documentary filmmaking intensive sponsored by the Department of State and a master class in storytelling and screenwriting at USEK in Lebanon. He graduated from Yale University with Honors in History of the Arts and Letters and is a member of the WGA and DGA.
Director | Shawn Thompson
Shawn Thompson is an Award Winning Director, Writer, Producer and Editor. In 1994 he founded the independent production company, Mo’z Art Pictures, producing numerous Award Winning Features, Shorts, Music Videos and Commercials. In 2000, he wrote FOUR DOGS PLAYING POKER (starring Forest Whitaker, Tim Curry, Balthazar Getty). Concurrently he wrote episodes for the television series, REDWALL. After editing and writing for several films and television shows, in 2007 he joined Visionaire media and edited the critically acclaimed documentary series ON THE ROAD IN AMERICA . He also won several awards including the Audience Choice “Best Short Film” in the Beverly Hills Film Festival (2003) for his black comedy, SHOTGUN WEDDING. In 2009, he Produced, Directed and Edited the powerful documentary, LIFE AFTER DEATH, which won numerous Awards on the festival circuit. In 2011 and 2012, Shawn was Editor, Producer and Post Production supervisor on the second and third seasons of ON THE ROAD IN AMERICA and edited the cult classic MEGA PYTHON VS. GATOROID, a feature film for SyFy Channel directed by MARY LAMBERT. In 2014-2015, Shawn directed and edited the feature documentary, YEMENIETTES, the reality series, GENERATION ENTREPENUER and the short film, ANGEL ROAD, winning dozens of awards on the festival circuit. He is currently the Co-Director and Supervising Editor for the Award Winning documentary, AMERICAN CARAVAN. His latest film, THE STATE OF ASSYRIA won the 2015 Golden Palm Award at the Beverly Hills film festival.
Shawn began his career as an actor and musician in NYC before he moved to LA to star in the Aaron Spelling television series, THE HEIGHTS. He received a Gold Record for singing, songwriting and playing guitar on Gold Record for the hit soundtrack and the single, HOW DO YOU TALK TO AN ANGEL, which went to #1 on the Billboard Charts.