SATURDAY OCTOBER 21 | 10 am - 6 pm


Filmshop’s Breakthrough Series showcases a curated selection of our members' films in an intimate setting with festival programmers, distributors, and executive producers. Facilitating discussions centered around development and distribution, Breakthrough provides a forum for filmmakers to explore the next stages of their careers.

After each project is presented, there will be a conversation with the filmmaker and an industry luminary. Our guests include documentarian and DCTV Co-Executive Director Jon Alpert, playwright and screenwriter Aurin Squire (“This is Us”), and [CHANGE...] director  Marc Webb ("(500) Days of Summer", "The Amazing Spider-Man"). 

Featured projects range from works-in-progress to fully-produced narrative and documentary shorts, features, and series and feature screenplays. The event also functions as a meeting point and marketplace for filmmakers and industry guests to view these projects. 

Breakthrough Event Schedule:

Social Coffee Hour 9-10am

Documentary Block 10am-12pm 

Lunch 12-1pm

Screenplay Block 1-3pm

Narrative Block 3-5pm

Industry Happy Hour 5-6pm

Featured Filmshop member filmmakers include Horatio Baltz and Yasmin Mistry (documentary); Benedict Campbell, Nina Gielen, and Alexandra Rivera (screenplays); and Jason Hood, Anne Hu, and Hillary Nussbaum (narrative).

documentary block

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM


"The world's greatest storyteller" (documentary short)

by horatio baltz

T-Berry, a Harlem based street performer and self-described "World's Greatest Storyteller," struggles to find relevancy in a rapidly changing city seemingly apathetic to his craft.


"while I breathe, I hope" (documentary feature)

by E. H.

What does it mean to be young, Black, and Democrat in the American South? "While I Breathe, I Hope" answers this question through the experiences of South Carolina Politician Bakari Sellers.


"Family Rewritten" (documentary short)

by Yasmin Mistry

Despite battling Cystic Fibrosis, Camilla, age 16, identifies as a typical middle-class American teenager until the thread that holds her family together suddenly snaps. Just months before her 18th birthday Camilla finds herself in foster care, but instead of being ashamed, she makes a conscious decision to not let her situation define her.



Jon Alpert has produced and directed dozens of acclaimed documentaries, winning 16 Emmy Awards and two Academy Award nominations. He has also won four Columbia DuPont Awards, two Overseas Press Club Awards and a Peabody Award. More than a hundred of his reports and documentaries from across the United States and around the world have been broadcast on HBO, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, ESPN, Canadian, and Japanese networks. Alpert is the Co-Founder/Co-Executive Director of the Downtown community Television Center (DCTV ), the oldest and most honored non-profit community media arts center in the country. It is located in a landmark Tribeca firehouse in New York City.


screenplay block

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM


"The high bridge" (narrative feature)

by benedict campbell

A Bronx teenager is suddenly faced with fatherhood when the mother of his young daughter plans to attend an elite military academy.


"Magic window" (narrative feature)

by nina gielen

In this true-crime drama, when a twelve-year-old boy from a troubled home falls in love with his father’s friend, an adult man, he is determined to do whatever it takes for the two of them to be together—setting him on the path to tragedy.

Fortune, Alexandra Rivera.jpg

"Fortune" (narrative series)

by Alexandra Rivera

Jane Whitehurst, a Freshman at Georgetown, inherits $11 billion from an estranged grandfather, and decides to buy the US government.



Aurin Squire is a playwright, reporter, and multimedia artist. He is a New Dramatists resident playwright, and a two-time recipient of the Lecomte du Nouy Prize from Lincoln Center. He has received residencies at the Royal Court Theatre in London, Ars Nova, The Eugene O'Neill Center, Lincoln Center Lab, National Black Theatre, the Dramatists Guild of America, and Brooklyn Arts Exchange. In 2017 Squire won the Helen Merrill Prize for Emerging Playwrights and the Emerald Prize from Seattle Public Theatre for his new drama "Fire Season." In TV he has been a writer for the CBS political satire “BrainDead," the legal drama "The Good Fight," and the NBC family drama "This is Us."


narrative block

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Pair of Normals Supplementary Material poster.png

"Pair of Normals" (narrative series)

by Jason Hood

An anxious, divorced psychic and a disheveled college dropout with boundary issues find that rock bottom is a solid foundation when they become roommates in New York to put their disastrous lives back together.

Jade Ohhhhh0.jpg

"Cake" (Narrative short)

by Anne Hu

Eliza tries to explore her sexuality within her marriage with her husband Thomas by surprise ordering a female sex robot for them to share. But the sexbot is not the cure-all she had hoped for.


"Keep me posted" (narrative series)

by HIllary Nussbaum

"Keep Me Posted" is a biting exploration of the impact of texting and social media on our closest relationships.



Marc Webb is an American music video, short film, and film director. He made his feature film directorial debut with the 2009 romantic comedy-drama "(500) Days of Summer," and went on to direct the 2012 Spider-Man reboot "The Amazing Spider-Man," its 2014 sequel, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," and the 2017 comedy-drama films "Gifted" and "The Only Living Boy in New York."

documentary JURY


Marjon Javadi is the Film & Partnerships Executive at BRITDOC . She brings a wealth of experience from her background in production, development and acquisitions. Following her tenure with the documentary team at Netflix Originals, Marjon worked as an independent producer as well as a consultant for IFP and Animal Kingdom Films. She previously worked in development for producer Scott Rudin, in film finance and sales at Creative Artists Agency, and for directors Morgan Spurlock and Ross Kauffman.

Jess Kwan is an Associate at Archer Gray. She is involved in all investment activity relating to the film and venture capital businesses, and leads the initiative to provide finishing funds for social issue documentaries. Before joining the team at Archer Gray, she was a creative executive at Evamere Entertainment. Prior to that, Jess spent several years in the London and New York offices of Focus Features working in development, production and digital distribution.

Rachel Traub is the Film Creative Executive at Morgan Spurlock's New York based production company, Warrior Poets where she oversees film development and co-productions. In her tenure, she has ushered numerous feature documentaries and non-fiction series through development and into production, including THE EAGLE HUNTRESS (premiered at Sundance 2016 and sold to Sony Pictures Classics), PISTOL SHRIMPS (acquired by Seeso out of Tribeca Film Festival 2016), NO MAN'S LAND, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in April, and TOUGH GUYS, which premiered at AFI Festival in June and is currently on Showtime. Prior to her time at Warrior Poets, Traub previously worked in acquisitions for the Paris based foreign sales agents/financier, Wild Bunch, where she was a part of such films as James Gray's THE IMMIGRANT and Stephen Frears' LAY THE FAVORITE. 

Screenplay JUry


Alison Bailes is a freelance film critic and journalist. She reviews movies for WOR radio and Sirius XM “Tell me Everything with John Fugelsang”.  She writes for and is co-host of the New York Film Critics Series.  Alison co-hosted “Lyons and Bailes Reel Talk” for four years on NBC and “At the Angelika” for nine years on IFC.  She has appeared on The Today Show and CBS This Morning and has contributed to,, More and InTouch magazines.

Rena Sapon-White is a writer-producer-director based in New York. She is currently a Creative Associate at Tadmor (Swiss Army Man, Norman) helping oversee The Distillery screenwriters lab, and working on the development and production of a slate of film and television projects. Her first feature documentary, Paradisus: The Thousandth Year (2014), set in Poland, was awarded a Nagle Award for significant achievement in broadcast journalism and produced with fellowship funding from Dartmouth College, her alma mater. She is the recipient of a 2014 Dartmouth General Fellowship, the 2013 Rick Angulo Award, and a 2012 Leslie Center for the Humanities production grant. Rena is an alumnus of United World College in New Mexico. She is an amateur expert on the Romanovs, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and pierogi, and is a certified ropes course instructor. She lives in Queens with her creative partner and four fluffy dogs.

Narrative Jury


Kimberley Browning is a filmmaker and the founder and Festival Director of the Hollywood Shorts Film Festival, which launched in 1998 in Los Angeles. She also serves as an Associate Short Film Programmer at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Alex Cirillo is a producer and Co-founder of Big Vision Empty Wallet, a film & media incubator, and Big Vision Creative, a development and production company.   Founded in 2010, Big Vision Empty Wallet is a film and media incubator that produces programs that support creators and get projects made and seen. Recent producing projects include narrative feature THE LIGHT OF THE MOON (Audience Award SXSW ‘17), opening in theaters November 1, 2017, and HOW TO TELL YOU’RE A DOUCHEBAG, which premiered at Sundance 2016 and sold to BET. Her upcoming short film, A.M. Lukas’ ONE CAMBODIAN FAMILY PLEASE FOR MY PLEASURE starring Emily Mortimer will be released on TNT and Refinery29 as a part of their Shatterbox Anthology, with creative support from the Sundance Institute’s Women at Sundance Program.

Caitlin Gold is the Co-Founder of New York-based production company, Nine Lives Pictures. She produced numerous feature films including The Sounding, Imagine I’m Beautiful, In This Our Youth, ’79 Parts, and Indigo. Previously, Caitlin served as Head of Acquisitions at the boutique distribution company, Candy Factory Films, where she acquired over twenty films for release including Sarah Adina Smith’s The Midnight Swim, Eddie Mullins’ Doomsdays, and the WGA-nominated documentary, Being Canadian, starring Mike Meyers and Seth Rogan. Following Candy Factory, Caitlin went on to work at Lionsgate where she managed home entertainment sales and distribution of the company’s new release and catalogue titles. Currently, she oversees acquisitions and programming at Seed&Spark, the subscription streaming and crowdfunding platform dedicated to delivering sustainability to artists and diverse films and series to audiences.

Interested in becoming a member? Click here to learn more.

Interested in becoming a member? Click here to learn more.

We're a diverse, hard-working lot. Learn more about us here.

We're a diverse, hard-working lot. Learn more about us here.

We put on film screenings and conferences. Learn more here.

We put on film screenings and conferences. Learn more here.