LIfe... That's the Real Punchline

BRUCE SMOLANOFF (Director/Writer/Producer) – Bruce grew up in Flushing, Queens. He directed, co-wrote, and produced the short film MY ELENA and has directed productions at HERE, Surf Reality, Collective Unconscious, The Actors Studio, and the Bowery Poetry Club. He was also a consultant on Stephen Lang’s BEYOND GLORY, which ran on Broadway at the Roundabout. Bruce’s one-man show MY NEW YORK had a long run in both NYC and Los Angeles, and was an L.A. Weekly Pick of the Week. He has worked as an actor with directors ranging from Robert Wise to Alan Rudolph. He currently works in development at Brooklyn Academy of Music.

EMILIE MCDONALD (Writer/Producer) – Emilie McDonald is an NYC-based filmmaker who grew up traveling all over the U.S. and Mexico. She has written, directed, and produced several short films, including CROSSING THE RIVER (2013; Best Short, NUHO Online Film Festival, Best Ensemble Cast Award, NYC Downtown Short Film Festival), OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES (2010) and MY ELENA (2009).  She is currently in development on several feature films, including GUN CLUB ROAD and BUCKLE MY SOUL (semifinalist Tribeca All Access 2010; semifinalist Creative Capital 2011; participant Indie Film Clinic 2014). Emilie was Director of Development of Feature Films at Milk & Honey Films and Creative Director at Filmmakers Alliance and is a proud member of the Film Fatales, a female filmmakers’ collective.

CAITLIN MAE BURKE (Producer) – is an Emmy award-winning producer of documentary features, narrative short films, and non fiction television. She produced WE COULD BE KING (dir. Judd Ehrlich) which screened at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival is nominated for a 2015 Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Documentary. Caitlin also produced SEX AND BROADCASTING (dir. Tim K Smith) which had a three night sold out premiere at DOC NYC 2014. She co-produced APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT (dir. Amanda Rose Wilder; Emerging Cinematic Vision Award, CIFF 2014, nominated for Best Debut Feature, 2015 Cinema Eye Honors and 2015 Truer Than Fiction Independent Spirit Award.) She is currently in post production on two feature documentaries:  NUTS! THE BRINKLEY STORY, (the second feature from OUR NIXON director Penny Lane) and OBIT (dir. Vanessa Gould) as well as several narrative shorts.  Caitlin has produced television series for TLC, OWN, Discovery ID, SUNDANCE CHANNEL, CNBC and Discovery Health. She lives in Brooklyn.

SEAN PRICE WILLIAMS (Director of Photography) – While working at legendary video stores like Kim’s Video and becoming a fixture at every NYC repertory cinema, Sean Price Williams has been obsessed with movies ever since his early teens. His breathtaking cinematography is showcased in Jessica Oreck’s BEETLE QUEEN CONQUERS TOKYO, for which Variety’s Justin Chang described Williams’ camerawork and visual style as “pure poetry.” Williams was cinematographer on Ronald Bronstein’s FROWNLAND, which received a Special Jury Award at SXSW in 2007 and was named the 2007 Gotham Award-winner for ‘Best Film Not Playing at a Theatre Near You’. He has shot three films for Alex Ross Perry (IMPOLEX, THE COLOR WHEEL and LISTEN UP PHILIP) and two for Robert Greene (KATI WITH AN I and FAKE IT SO REAL). For the Safdie Brothers, Williams shot THE BLACK BALLOON, which won a jury prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, and HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT, which premiered at the New York Film Festival in 2014. Williams has also worked alongside Abel Ferrara and extensively as cameraman with mentor and living legend Albert Maysles.

MATT SARNO (Editor) – Native New Yorker Matt Sarno graduated from Carleton College in Minnesota and has been working in the film and television business for the past ten years.  In addition to numerous television credits for networks such as MTV, Bravo and National Geographic, he edited SIDE BY EACH, an independent comedy feature and CROSSING THE RIVER, a short film directed by Emilie McDonald.

ANDREEA DROGEANU (Associate Producer/Art Director) – Andreea Drogeanu is a filmmaker and Art Director from Bucharest, Romania passionate about films, photography and compelling, authentic stories. In 2008 she moved to New York leaving behind her career as a journalist and film critic built there. A few months later Andreea started her film journey by taking a NYU class where she made several short films using a 16mm Arriflex S camera. After completing a six month art internship for the first season of LOUIE she worked on more than 20 projects as an art director/production designer including Ricardo Benet’s film NOMADS starring Lucy Liu. Among the shorts she art directed, LITTLE REVOLUTIONS was nominated for Best short film at Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013 and RIGHT HAND, RED was nominated for Short Grand Prix category at Warsaw International Film Festival 2011. Daring voices in cinema as Andrea Arnold, Joachim Trier and Fatih Akin are still her models. Andreea is currently preparing her first feature.