Friday, March 14th 10am nexStage Theater
Jim Burke is the producer of the Academy Award-winning Fox Searchlight film THE DESCENDENTS directed by Alexander Payne. He recently produced CEDAR RAPIDS and served as executive producer on Tamara Jenkins’ Academy Award-nominated film THE SAVAGES. Burke, along with Alexander Payne, and Jim Taylor formed a production company in 2004 entitled Ad Hominem Enterprises. Prior to Ad Hominem, Mr. Burke was a founding member of an independent film and television company Rysher Entertainment. At Rysher, Burke spearheaded the company’s foray into feature films and oversaw the development, production, and release of the company’s motion pictures. Rysher’s diverse slate included Sundance audience award winner BIG NIGHT, as well as PRIMAL FEAR, KISS THE GIRLS, PRIVATE PARTS, and THE SAINT. Burke also co-produced 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY directed by John Herzfeld, KINGPIN directed by the Farrelly Brothers, and ELECTION directed by Alexander Payne. Prior to Rysher, Burke was Vice-President of Warner Bros. Television Domestic Distribution. Jim Burke hails from Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota.
Ron Yerxa formed Bona Fide Productions with Albert Berger in 1993. Their producing credits include Stephen Soderbergh’s KING OF THE HILL, Alexander Payne’s ELECTION, Anthony Minghella’s COLD MOUNTAIN, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’s LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and RUBY SPARKS, Todd Field’s LITTLE CHILDREN and the recently released NEBRASKA among others. Yerxa’s executive producing credits include the Wilco documentary I AM TRYING TO BREAK YOUR HEART, HAMLET 2, and the Levon Helm documentary AIN’T IN IT FOR MY HEALTH. Bona Fide recently premiered LOW DOWN, starring John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, and Glenn Close. Ron Yerxa graduated from Stanford University and worked as a journalist and teacher before becoming an independent producer.
Saturday, March 15th 10 am nexStage Theater
Renaissance woman Mariel Hemingway is not only an iconic Academy Award-nominated actor from a celebrated family, she is a prolific author, adventurist, eco activist, healthy lifestyle and mental health advocate, yoga video star, a food brand entrepreneur, and a much sought after keynote speaker focused on mind-body-spirit optimization and purposeful living. In 2013, an evocative documentary about Mariel and the Hemingway family, RUNNING FROM CRAZY, screened at SVFF and Mariel spoke afterwards. The film focuses on Mariel’s boundless advocacy for mental health awareness.
Sunday, March 16th 10 am nexStage Theater
Believe it or not, it’s been 20 years since Kevin Smith’s breakout film CLERKS, a film set at the convenience store where he worked during the day and filmed at night. A proud New Jersey native who finds a way to work in hockey or STAR WARS references into most of his films, Smith is an everyman of moviemaking—well, an everyman with an exceptional film resume. After CLERKS, a film that won the Filmmaker’s Trophy at Sundance and the Award of the Youth and the Mercedes-Benz Award at Cannes in 1994, Smith made MALLRATS starring Ben Affleck and Jason Lee, CHASING AMY, starring Ben Affleck and Jason Lee and winner of the Independent Spirit Award in 1996, DOGMA, starring Ben Affleck and Jason Lee, and JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK with appearances by Ben Affleck and Jason Lee. Smith’s sometimes on-screen alter ego Silent Bob and his foul-mouthed but affable sidekick Jay (Jason Mewes) inspired an entire generation to pick up a camcorder and start filming. His advice to young filmmakers? “You don’t need Ben Affleck to make a good movie.”