Laura Azevedo - Associate Director, Filmmakers Collaborative
Laura Azevedo is Associate Director of Filmmakers Collaborative, a non-profit company serving independent media makers across the country. She has over twenty years of experience as a production manager and supervising producer, with credits national series such as NOVA, American Experience and FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman. In her tenure at Filmmakers Collaborative she has positioned the organization as one of the few non-profit fiscal sponsors able to handle both traditional and crowd-sourced funding in an easy and streamlined fashion -- a huge asset to filmmakers as they increasingly turn online for project funding. She manages Filmmaker Collaborative’s day-to-day cash flow and fiscal reports, web updates, newsletters, and management of interns and volunteers.
Laina Barakat - Producer, ONLY DAUGHTER
Laina Barakat followed an unconventional route to a life in film. After pursuing a liberal arts education, earning a degree in Philosophy and Literature, she headed to New Hampshire choosing to apprentice with Either/Or Films instead of enrolling in film school. She recently produced and was art director for the company's latest feature film, ONLY DAUGHTER. Former projects include the music video, Globster (Producer), UNWOUND (Co-Producer, 2nd AD), and Project Open Voice (Production Manager). As a singer-songwriter, Laina fronts the five-piece folk-rock band, GirlandPiano. She co-founded The Starving Artist, a non-profit artist collective in Keene, NH, and was the 2012 Director for Art Walk. Laina is also the director of the Monadnock International Film Festival, set to have its debut run in April 2013.
Kyle Turgeon - Writer/Director, FIGMENTS OF A FATHER
Kyle Turgeon got his start at 14 as a coffee boy on the NH film THE SENSATION OF SIGHT, and has gone on to work on shorts and features in New Hampshire, NYC, and Los Angeles. In the spring of this year he worked in the art department of Joss Whedon’s IN YOUR EYES, after which he wrote and directed his short FIGMENTS OF A FATHER, which is currently in post-production. He studied film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and is thus working extremely hard to move out of his mother’s house.
Matthew Benson - Attorney, Cook, Little, Rosenblatt & Manson, pllc
Matt Benson is a corporate attorney at Cook, Little, Rosenblatt & Manson, p.l.l.c. and advises his business clients on a variety of legal and business issues, with a focus on representing entrepreneurs. In his work with start-up and other privately held companies, Matt has counseled his clients on a wide variety of corporate matters, including entity formation, obtaining angel round financing, venture capital or other debt and/or equity financing, executive and employee compensation (including stock option plans and other compensation), contract issues, equity ownership matters (including shareholder disputes), and exit strategy issues. He is the co-chair of the New Hampshire High Tech Council’s Entrepreneur Forum Presenter Committee, and the immediate past co-chair of the Corporation, Banking, and Business Law Section of the NH Bar Association.
Matt Newton - Director, New Hampshire Film & Television Office
Matthew Newton, as director of the New Hampshire Film & Television Office, promotes the state as a filmmaking destination and works to support New Hampshire’s in-state film and video industry. Newton is a 1997 graduate of the Film Studies program at Keene State College, where he returned to teach production in 2003 and 2004. He was a production coordinator and editor at C.2K Entertainment in Los Angeles, and has worked in a variety of capacities on feature film and television projects on the West Coast. He is co-founder of the statewide New Hampshire High School Short Film Festival, and in 2011, he was named to the New Hampshire Union Leader and Business & Industry Association of New Hampshire's 40 Under Forty list, recognizing the state's emerging leaders. Newton also serves as chair on the board of directors for Concord Community TV.