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Coffee Talks

Coffee Talks

the crown jewel of the festival

Presented by

at The Argyros

Coffee Talks are moderated one hour conversations with top industry talent sharing war stories about their journey and their craft. They take place each morning and are always free and open to the public. Come have a seat – the coffee’s on us.

2022 Guests

Photo:Mary Ellen Mathews

Amy Pohler

Amy Poehler is one of Hollywood’s most versatile and sought-after talents with credits including that of actress, writer, director, producer, and bestselling author.

On March 4 Poehler is made her documentary directorial debut with Amazon’s critically acclaimed documentary Lucy & Desi where she also executive produces alongside Imagine Documentaries & White Horse Pictures. Poehler also serves as
co-creator, executive producer, and the lead voice of FOX’s animated series Duncanville and as co-host (alongside Nick Offerman) and executive producer of the hit crafting competition series Making It. She also serves as executive producer on the series Harlem at Amazon and Making It spinoff Baking It at Peacock both of which are now streaming. She recently starred and directed in Netflix’s Moxie and continues to serve as executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning Netflix series Russian Doll and on Adult Swim’s half hour comedy series Three Busy Debras. She has a number of additional projects in development as part of her successful production company Paper Kite Productions, including, the NBC thriller-drama The Mother-In-Law, Steps at Netflix, the film adaptations of The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street and The Great Believers and an untitled basketball comedy feature for Universal that she will also star in.

Outside of her film and television work, she continues to produce the award-winning online website “Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls,” which showcases real girls who are changing the world by being themselves.

Poehler is perhaps best known for her starring role on the Emmy-nominated NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation, which completed its seventh and final season in February 2015. Her portrayal of Leslie Knope earned her a 2014 Golden Globe award for “Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical, or Comedy,” the award for “Best Actress in a TV Comedy” at the 2014 American Comedy Awards, and a 2013 Gracie Award. For her work on the show, Poehler also received six consecutive Emmy nominations, two additional Golden Globe nominations, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations.

In the film world, Poehler recently made her directorial debut in the buzzed-about Netflix comedy Wine Country, which she also starred in and produced. Her additional film credits include The House, Sisters, Wet Hot American Summer, They Came Together, A.C.O.D., Free Birds, Are You Here, Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and Mean Girls. She lent her voice as the character “Joy” in Disney Pixar’s Oscar-winning smash hit Inside Out and could also be heard in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Monsters vs. Aliens, Horton Hears a Who!, and Shrek the Third.

Poehler’s first book, “Yes Please,” was released in October 2014 and debuted at #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list. The book went on to spend over 23 weeks on the list.

After her much buzzed about portrayal of Senator Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Presidential Election, Poehler completed her eighth and final season of Saturday Night Live (and her fifth as the co-anchor of “Weekend Update”). That year she received her first Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series” for her work on Saturday Night Live. This was an unprecedented nomination, making her the first performer in SNL history to land a spot in this category. She went on to receive a second nomination for her work on her final season the following year. In December 2015, Poehler returned to the SNL stage to co-host the show alongside Tina Fey. The duo’s performance led them to win the 2016 Emmy Award for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.”

Poehler joined the SNL cast from the Upright Citizens Brigade, a sketch/improv troupe that she co-founded and continues to be heavily involved in.

Poehler co-hosted the Golden Globe Awards alongside Tina Fey for three consecutive years from 2013-2015, a role that was consistently met with critical acclaim. She returned as host with Fey for the telecast in February 2021.

She currently splits her time between Los Angeles and New York.

Woody Harrelson

Woody Harrelson’s rare mix of intensity and charisma consistently surprises and delights audiences and critics alike in both mainstream and independent projects. His portrayal of a casualty notification officer, opposite Ben Foster, in Oren Moverman’s The Messenger garnered him a 2010 Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He was previously nominated by the Academy, the Golden Globes® and SAG Awards® in the category of Best Actor for his portrayal of controversial magazine publisher Larry Flynt in Milos Forman’s The People vs. Larry Flynt. Most recently Harrelson’s performance in Martin McDonagh’s, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri earned him a 2018 Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actor and a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.  

Harrelson recently completed filming on Champions with Bobby Farrelly directing, and HBO’s The White House Plumbers with David Mandel directing and co-starring Justin Theroux.

Up next for Harrelson is the release of Columbia Pictures’ action-comedy The Man From Toronto starring opposite Kevin Hart and directed by Patrick Hughes and Ruben Ostlund’s first English language film Triangle of Sadness opposite newcomers Charlbi Dean and Harris Dickinson.

Harrelson was most recently seen in Sony Picture’s Venom sequel where he plays supervillain ‘Carnage’ opposite Tom Hardy. He also reprised his role as Archie Bunker in the holiday edition of the Critics Choice and Emmy-winning ABC special Live In Front Of A Studio Audience reenacting an episode of Good Times along with a Christmas episode of All in the Family. Produced by Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear, Harrelson starred alongside Viola Davis, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon, Jesse Eisenberg among others. In the first installment he starred alongside Jamie Foxx, Marisa Tomei, Wanda Sykes, Ellie Kemper, Ike Barinholtz with special guests Kerry Washington and Will Ferrell among others. 

Recent releases include Netflix’s The Highwaymen with Kevin Costner and Kathy Bates, Midway opposite Mandy Moore, Lucasfilm’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, Shock and Awe and LBJ  both directed by Rob Reiner, The Glass Castle co-starring Naomi Watts, the third installment of the Planet of The Apes, entitled War for the Planet of the Apes directed by Matt Reeves, Fox Searchlight’s critically acclaimed The Edge of Seventeen, Wilson with director Craig Johnson, Now You See Me 2 for director Jon Chu, Triple Nine for director John Hillcoat. Harrelson wrote, directed, produced and starred in an unprecedented live feature film Lost in London, which was broadcast live into theaters nationwide on January 19, 2017. The comedy also stars Owen Wilson and Willie Nelson. He was seen in HBO’s True Detective co-starring Matthew McConaughey for which he was nominated for Emmy and SAG Awards in the lead actor category and a Golden Globes Award for lead actor in a Mini Series. In 2012 Harrelson starred opposite Julianne Moore and Ed Harris in the HBO film Game Change for which he earned Primetime Emmy®, SAG Awards®, and Golden Globe® nominations for his role as Steve Schmidt, and Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths, alongside Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell and Christopher Walken.

Other highlights from Harrelson’s film career include Rampart with director Oren Moverman, Ruben Fleischer’s box office hit, Zombieland as well as the 2019 sequel Zombieland: Double Tap, Out of the Furnace starring opposite Christian Bale and Casey Affleck, The Hunger Games film series, Now You See Me, The Grand; No Country For Old Men; A Scanner Darkly; A Prairie Home Companion; Seven Pounds; The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio; North Country; Transsiberian; The Thin Red Line; Welcome To Sarajevo; Natural Born Killers; Indecent Proposal; White Men Can’t Jump and was recently seen as the on screen host for director Pete McGrain’s powerful political documentary Ethos.

Harrelson first endeared himself to millions of viewers as a member of the ensemble cast of NBC’s long-running hit comedy, Cheers. For his work as the affable bartender ‘Woody Boyd,’ he won a Primetime Emmy® in 1988 and was nominated four additional times during his eight-year run on the show.  In 1999, he gained another Primetime Emmy® nomination when he reprised the role in a guest appearance on the spin-off series Frasier.

Balancing his film and television work, in 1999 Harrelson directed his own play, Furthest From The Sun at the Theatre de la Juene Lune in Minneapolis. He followed next with the Roundabout’s Broadway revival of The Rainmaker; Sam Shepherd’s The Late Henry Moss, and John Kolvenbach’s On An Average Day opposite Kyle MacLachlan at London’s West End. Harrelson directed the Toronto premiere of Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth at Toronto’s Berkeley Street Theatre. In the winter of 2005 Harrelson returned to London’s West End, starring in Tennessee Williams’ Night of the Iguana at the Lyric Theatre. In 2011, Harrelson co-wrote and directed the semi-autobiographical comedy Bullet for Adolf at Hart House Theatre in Toronto. In the summer of 2012 Bullet for Adolf made its Off-Broadway debut at New World Stages.

2020 Scheduled Guests


Winston Duke made his feature film debut in BLACK PANTHER, the highest-grossing film of 2018, as well as the third-highest-grossing film ever in the United States. Duke played the fan-favorite character M’Baku, leader of the Jabari Tribe and eventual valuable ally to King T’Challa.   

Later that year, Duke reprised his role as M’Baku in AVENGER’S: INFINITY WAR. 

Duke’s was most recently seen starring in Jordan Peele’s, US for he received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture.

Duke’s upcoming projects include Peter Berg’s Netflix crime drama SPENCER CONFIDENTIAL, in which he costars with Mark Wahlberg.

Duke has received numerous accolades including the Breakout Award at the 2018 Savannah Film Festival and was highlighted as one of the top ten actors in Hollywood Reporter’s Next Generation issue.

Outside of acting, Duke is an advocate for the HeForShe movement and most recently issued a global call to action for gender equality during the United Nations HeForShe Impact Summit.

He also has joined the American Diabetes Association® to spark a national conversation about diabetes – a disease that impacts nearly half of the U.S. adult population.

A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Duke received his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre at the University at Buffalo and Master of Fine Arts at Yale School of Drama.

Ford Pitch Fest and Producers Grant

SVFF and presenting sponsor Ford Motor Company are thrilled to announce a new grant to support the hardest working folks in the biz: producers. Three finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their film to a panel of award-winning producers, and one will walk away with a $25,000 Ford Producers Grant to take their project one big step closer to reality.

During this event, the three finalists will pitch their films before the Producers Panel, and SVFF audience. Attendees will get the chance to participate in this typically behind-the-scenes process, including a Q&A with both producers and finalists. The winner will be announced live at the end of the event.

2020 Producers Panel included Michael Burns, Heather Rae, Jim Burke, Effie T. Brown and will be hosted by Will McCormack.

Find our more here.

Eliza Hittman

Eliza Hittman is an award-winning filmmaker, born and based in Brooklyn, NY. Her latest film Never Rarely Sometimes Always premiered in the US Dramatic Competition section at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival where it received a special jury prize. The film had its international premiere in competition in the Berlin Film Festival and will be released by Focus Features this spring. Beach Rats, her second feature film, premiered in the US Dramatic Competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, where she won the Directing Award. It premiered internationally at Locarno in the Golden Leopard Competition and was the Centerpiece Film at New Directors / New Films. Beach Rats was released domestically by NEON Rated, and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick. It was the winner of the Artios Award for Outstanding Achievement in Casting, Outstanding Screenwriting in a U.S. Feature at Outfest, and the London Critics’ Circle Film Award for Young British/Irish Performer of the Year. In 2018, it was nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Male Lead at the Independent Spirit awards and a Breakthrough Actor Award for the Gothams Awards. Her micro-budget feature film It Felt Like Love premiered at Sundance in 2013 in NEXT and was a New York Times Critic’s Pick. She earned an MFA from California Institute of the Arts and is currently an Assistant Professor of Film/Video at Pratt Institute. She is the recipient of the Emerging Artist Award from Lincoln Center, and a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow.

2019 Guests

Meg Ryan

Meg Ryan’s comedic appeal was widely recognized in her first Golden Globe-nominated performance as Sally Allbright in WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, directed by Rob Reiner and written by Nora Ephron. She went on to star in Nora Ephron’s hit romantic comedy SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, opposite Tom Hanks, garnering a second Golden Globe nomination. Her last collaboration with Ephron and Hanks was the romantic comedy YOU’VE GOT MAIL, which once again gained Ryan  international recognition as she was awarded her third Golden Globe nomination for her role in the film.

Acclaim has also come to Ryan for her distinctive dramatic portraits, including her role opposite Denzel Washington as the first military woman nominated for a Medal of Honor in COURAGE UNDER FIRE, directed by Ed Zwick, and her moving portrayal of a wonderful woman with a drinking problem in Luis Mandoki’s WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN, opposite Andy Garcia. For her performance opposite Kiefer Sutherland in the Sundance Institute’s PROMISED LAND, she earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination.

Ryan exhibits her versatility and natural charm in every role she plays. Ryan’s recent film credits include Cheryl Hines’ SERIOUS MOONLIGHT penned by the late Adrienne Shelley; the remake of George Cukor’s 1930 film THE WOMEN; Jonathan Kasdan’s IN THE LAND OF WOMEN and Steven Schachter’s THE DEAL.


A Fairfield, Connecticut native, Ryan embarked on her acting career after studying journalism at New York University. She made her motion picture debut as Candice Bergen’s daughter in RICH AND FAMOUS, and attracted the attention of moviegoers and critics in her 1986 performance as a fighter pilot’s wife in TOP GUN.

In 2011, Ryan traveled to Cambodia with journalist Nick Kristof as part of the
groundbreaking PBS documentary series, HALF THE SKY.

Ryan can last be seen in her directorial film debut ITHACA, written by Erik Jendersen and based on the novel by William Saroyan. ITHACA was released September 9th, 2016.

Aaron Paul

Paul is best known for his Emmy award-winning role as Jesse Pinkman on the acclaimed television series, “Breaking Bad,” and as protagonist Eddie Lane in the Hulu drama series “The Path.” Paul first appeared in the HBO drama “Big Love” alongside SVFF alum Bill Paxton and also appears as the voice of Todd Chavez in the animated series, “Bojack Horseman.” He will next star in Apple’s highly anticipated thriller series “Are You Sleeping” alongside Octavia Spencer and Lizzy Caplan and he is set to appear in the third season of HBO’s hit series, “Westworld.” Paul’s feature film credits include “Mission: Impossible III,” “Need for Speed,” “A Long Way Down” and “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” “Central Intelligence” and the upcoming “The Parts You Lose.” Born in Emmett, Idaho, Paul is beloved by Idaho filmmakers and enthusiasts for his riveting on-screen performances and inspirational career.

Alex Ross Perry

Alex Ross Perry is an American writer and director, born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He studied film at NYU. His feature directorial efforts include The Color Wheel (11), Listen Up Philip (14), Queen of Earth (15), and Golden Exits (17). Her Smell (18) is his latest work.

Chelsea Handler

Regarded as one of the most successful figures in entertainment today, Chelsea Handler and her talk shows, best-selling books, and stand-up comedy have attracted millions of fans worldwide.

After a successful seven-year run as the host of E!’s top-rated “Chelsea Lately,” Handler launched an all-new talk show for Netflix in May 2016. “Chelsea” was the first of its kind for the global on-demand generation and tackled today’s tough issues with the same acerbic wit and fearless curiosity fans know and love. Handler traveled around the world – braving an ice-skating rink in Russia and wielding a Trump-shaped piñata through the streets of Mexico and back again to Los Angeles, where she taped in front of a live in-studio audience featuring celebrities, dignitaries, and surprise guests. From intimate dinner parties to viral PSAs to “explainer segments” that answered all the questions you’re too embarrassed to ask, she brought you thought-provoking, yet hilarious conversations about topics like international cultures, alternative lifestyles, education, health, sports, parenting, politics, and more. The show’s 120 episodes continue to be available for streaming globally on the platform.

Handler can also be seen in Netflix’s documentary series “Chelsea Does,” which was directed by Academy Award and Emmy-nominated Eddie Schmidt and executive produced by Handler, Schmidt and Academy Award and Emmy-winning Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom). In each of the four revealing, relevant, funny and introspective films, she explores a range of subjects of personal and universal curiosity, from marriage to drugs, to racism and Silicon Valley. Handler continues her partnership with Netflix and is currently in production on a feature length documentary focusing on the notion of white privilege to be released in 2019

In 2018, Handler left her Netflix show to focus on her work as an activist by joining forces with EMILY’s List to help elect more women to public office, register people to vote and campaign for candidates who are fighting for women’s rights. In addition, she has partnered with the Karam Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to build a better future for Syria by developing innovative education programs for refugee youth, distributing smart aid to families and funding sustainable development projects initiated by Syrians for Syrians. In 2018, Handler traveled throughout the U.S., hosting town hall-like events. These discussions centered around social activism in the hopes of galvanizing citizens to use their voices.

Handler’s five best-selling books include My Horizontal Life (2005), Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea (2008), Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang (2010), Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me (2011), and 2014’s Uganda Be Kidding Me, which was her fourth nonfiction title to debut at No. 1 on The New York Times Best-Seller List. In support of the book’s release, Handler embarked on a sold-out global tour, and in October 2014, a stand-up comedy performance based on the tour, Uganda Be Kidding Me Live, premiered exclusively on Netflix. On April 9, 2019, Handler will release her much anticipated sixth book, Life Will Be the Death of Me with Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Handler has been honored by TIME magazine as one of its annual “TIME 100”; Glamour magazine as one of its 2011 Women of the Year; and the Human Rights Campaign, which gave her its Ally for Equality Award in 2009. Handler’s wide appeal and multiplatform success have been highlighted by publications all over the world.

A native of New Jersey, Chelsea currently resides in Los Angeles.

2018 Guests

Gwyneth Paltrow

Oscar®-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, whose 1998 turn in Shakespeare In Love garnered her Best Actress honors at the Golden Globes®, Screen Actors Guild Awards®, and Academy Awards®, is also a decorated author, singer and entrepreneur. In 2011, she won an Emmy® for Guest Actress in a Comedy series for playing substitute teacher Holly Holiday on Glee, and her song, “Coming Home,” from the soundtrack for Country Strong, was nominated for an Oscar® (the album went gold).

In addition, Paltrow has authored three New York Times Best Selling cookbooks, My Father’s Daughter (2011), It’s All Good (2013), and It’s All Easy (2016)—the latter two hit #1. She also co-wrote Spain, A Culinary Road Trip with acclaimed chef Mario Batali after their PBS documentary, Spain…on the Road Again, which was about Spanish food and culture, aired.

In 2008, Paltrow launched goop, a lifestyle brand devoted to making every choice count, where food, shopping, and mindfulness collide: In particular, goop has gained acclaim for its focus on health, wellness, and clean eating, as well as its city guides, an insider’s perspective on the very best places to eat, shop, and stay in the world’s most compelling destinations. Goop’s recent ventures include goop magazine in collaboration with Condé Nast, goop Lab, its first permanent store located in Brentwood, CA. In addition, goop has a tightly edited digital shop, a book imprint and its own product lines, including skincare, fragrances, apparel, and supplements.

Other notable film credits include Proof (for which she received a Golden Globe® nomination), Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums, Anthony Mighella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, David Fincher’s Seven, the Farrelly brothers’ Shallow Hal, Alfonso Cuarón’s Great Expectations, Douglas McGrath’s Emma, Sliding Doors and Marvel’s Iron Man franchise.

Jay Duplass

Jay Duplass is a trailblazing independent filmmaker and actor, best known for playing Josh Pfefferman in Jill Soloway’s critically acclaimed series Transparent (Amazon).

As an actor, Jay has appeared in a wide range of film projects, including Lynn Shelton’s OUTSIDE IN (which he also co-wrote and executive produced), Miguel Arteta’s BEATRIZ AT DINNER, and Gillian Robespierre’s LANDLINE. In addition to his work on Transparent, Jay has had recurring roles in Search Party (TBS) and The Mindy Project (Hulu).

Jay’s career took off back in 2005, when he and his brother Mark debuted their first micro-budget feature, THE PUFFY CHAIR, at the Sundance Film Festival. THE PUFFY CHAIR went on to win the Audience Award at the South by Southwest Film Festival and also garnered two Independent Spirit Award nominations.

Over the past decade, Jay and Mark have co-written, directed, and produced multiple independent film and television projects together, including CYRUS, BAGHEAD, JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME, “Togetherness” (HBO) and “Room 104” (HBO). Additional producer credits include: SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, THE SKELETON TWINS, THE ONE I LOVE, TANGERINE, THE OVERNIGHT, and “Animals” (HBO).

Jeanne Tripplehorn

Jeanne Tripplehorn, known for her starring roles in Basic Instinct, Waterworld, The Firm, Sliding Doors; and her five-season portrayal of Barb Henrickson on HBO’s Big Love, received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her performance as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the HBO film Grey Gardens. She will next be seen in the films Little Pink House with Catherine Keener and Gloria with Julianne Moore.

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