Janis Plotkin programmed and produced the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, a pioneering cultural event, first as Co-Director and later as the Festival Director from 1982 to 2002.  She co-wrote and published Independent Jewish Film, a film guide.  Currently Janis is Senior Film Programmer for World Cinema at the Mill Valley Film Festival and has taught at Stanford University, San Francisco State University and UC Davis. This is her first film as a producer. 



William Farley’s features, documentaries and short films have won countless awards and have been broadcast and screened in hundreds of film festivals around the world, including Sundance, New York, Mannheim, Chicago, and Sydney Film Festivals. Farley’s two dramatic feature films: Of Men and Angels and Citizen, opened at the Sundance Film Festival. Included among Farley’s 20 films are the artist biographies:  Shadow & Light: The Life and Art of Elaine Badgley Arnoux, 2007, Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, 2007 and Darryl Henriques Is In Show Business 2006.  Other notable productions include Broke (1994 & 2004) and The Old Spaghetti Factory (2000).





Richard Levien co-edited the feature documentary D Tour, which won the Golden Gate award for Best Bay Area documentary at the San Francisco International Film Festival, and appeared on the PBS series Independent Lens. Richard edited and crafted motion graphics for the short film On the Assassination of the President, which premiered at Sundance. He also edited the cult Internet hit, Store Wars, seen by 5.5 million people in its first 6 weeks of release.

As a director, Richard Levien’s Immersion, 2009, debuted at Slamdance Film Festival and also played Seattle, Sarasota, Palm Springs Shortfest, Mill Valley, Chicago International Children's and Media that Matters Film Festivals. Immersion won the "No Violence" Award at Ann Arbor film festival, and the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Golden Gate Award for Best Bay Area Short film. Richard was also awarded the prestigious Rainin Foundation screenwriting grant for his upcoming feature film.


Photo © Anne Hamersky

Photo © Anne Hamersky

Beth Custer is a San Francisco based composer, performer, bandleader, and the proprietor of BC Records. She composes for theatre, film, dance, television, installations and the concert stage. Beth has created scores for the contemporary chamber ensembles Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Zeitgeist, Earplay, City Winds, and Turtle Island and Kronos String Quartets; for the theatre productions of Campo Santo Theatre, Berkeley and San Diego Repertory Theatres, Magic Theatre, California Shakespeare, Overtone Industries, and Cornerstone Theatre; for the dance troupes Joe Goode Goode Performance Group, Roco Dance, Flyaway Productions, Ledoh, Harupin Ha, and Osseus Labyrinth; for the films of Cathy Lee Crane, Melinda Stone, Betsy Bayha, KQED, CBS/Film Roman, and Koohan Paik (aka Camera Obscura). Beth has created four musicals with award winning writer Octavio Solis. Her collaborative scores with inventor and MacArthur Fellow Trimpin lead her to compose Vinculum Symphony, a site-specific, large-scale work that unites chamber musicians with experimental instrument builders. She has over twenty-five recordings out with her ensembles Eighty Mile Beach, Clarinet Thing, Trance Mission, The Beth Custer Ensemble and Club Foot Orchestra. Her numerous awards include a six week artist residency in an Italian castle at Civitella Ranieri.





Gail Silva, Film Consultant; former Executive Director, Film Arts Foundation, San Francisco, California

Ashley James, Producer/Director Searchlight Films, Oakland, California

Dr. Sally Shaywitz, Professor of Pediatrics, Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, Yale University