Decision-Maker Roundtables

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Decision-Maker Roundtables

Industry Days Decision-Maker Roundtables: Thursday, October 13 through Saturday, October 15.

This year’s Industry Days will feature in-person and virtual Decision-Maker Roundtable meetings taking place from Thursday, Oct. 13 through Saturday Oct. 15, open to approved badgeholders only. The roundtable meetings are opportunities for small and intimate conversations with industry leaders with experience in development, production, and finance for feature films and documentaries.

Limited spots available and are approved on an individual basis.

How to Apply

Registered and approved Industry Days badgeholders will receive an email with a link to submit their application. Spots are limited, with only up to 5 participants per meeting. The application must include a professional resume or a link to a professional website as well as their 1st and 2nd choices of which Decision-Makers they want to meet. Submissions will not be accepted otherwise. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis to ensure appropriate and beneficial match between applicant and Decision-Maker. Please note that student badges do not have access to the Roundtables. Each meeting will be 50 minutes long.

Industry Decision-Makers

Industry decision-makers will include: (subject to change)

  • Joshua A. Foster, Executive in film finance & production at Cinetic Media
  • Dana Gills, Senior Vice President of Development and Production at Monkeypaw Productions
  • Greg Newman, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Acquisitions at MPI Media and Dark Sky Films
  • Kyra Noonan, Vice President of Film & TV Development at tiny goat Productions
  • Diane Quon, Academy Award-nominated documentary producer
  • Daniel Rak, Media Finance at WME Independent (VIRTUAL)
  • Yvonne Welbon, Award-winning filmmaker and Founder & CEO of Sisters in Cinema

Industry Decision-Maker Bios

Headshot: Joshua A. Foster

JOSHUA A. FOSTER is a graduate of NYU Tisch MFA graduate film program and earned an IMBA graduate degree at the University of South Carolina. Joshua produced or directed sixteen short films while at NYU Tisch. He has over twenty years of experience in the financial sector trading future contracts, M&A and managing high net worth clients’ assets. Currently, he resides in New York City with his family working as an executive for Cinetic Media in the film finance and production department. Cinetic has worked on such films as Boyhood, Parasite, Green Book, and Summer of Soul.

Headshot: Dana Gills

DANA GILLS is Senior Vice President of Development and Production at Monkeypaw where she works across TV and film. Most recently, she was an Executive Producer on the company’s first feature acquisition with Focus Features, Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul, after its 2022 premiere at Sundance Film Festival.

Prior to Monkeypaw, Dana was Head of Development and Production at Wondaland Pictures where she built and oversaw a slate of projects reflecting the company’s radical and rebellious ethos including Ziwe Fumudoh’s The Nigerian Princess with Amazon and De La Resistance with A24. Dana started as an executive in Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group where she developed and managed various feature projects. While there, she also hosted workshops, screenings and conversations with cultural game-changers through her role as Co-Chair of the Multicultural Employee Resource Group.

Dana has been recognized for her work creating inroads and pipelines for underrepresented talent and voices. Her first foray into entertainment was by co-creating a web series after working in advertising and media in New York City. Dana is an alumna of Spelman College and the UCLA Producers Program, and a proud Chicago native.

Headshot: Kyra Noonan

KYRA NOONAN is the Vice President of Film & TV Development at Sam Levinson’s company tiny goat, the team behind HBO’s Emmy-winning series Euphoria with Zendaya and the upcoming series The Idol, starring The Weeknd and Lily Rose Depp. On the film side, Kyra has worked on Pieces of a Woman, Malcolm & Marie, A24’s X and Pearl, and most recently, Breaking, starring John Boyega. Prior to joining tiny goat, Kyra began her career at Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear Pictures having worked on I Care a Lot, Ben is Back and more. Kyra is a writer as well as producer. Her first animated series, Fables, is in post-production, directed by Azazel Jacobs and starring Ricky Gervais.

Headshot: Diane Quon

DIANE QUON is an Academy Award-nominated producer who worked as a marketing executive at NBC and Paramount Pictures in LA before moving back to her hometown of Chicago. Diane produced multiple documentaries including: Oscar and Emmy nominated, Peabody award-winning film, Minding the Gap (Hulu, POV); The Dilemma of Desire (Showtime); Emmy-nominated Finding Yingying (MTVDocs); For the Left Hand (PBS), Wuhan Wuhan (POV), Bad Axe (IFC FILMS) and Surf Nation (Mountainfilm Telluride). She is producing the upcoming documentaries: Untitled Sam and Omar Project, and The Untitled 19th* News Film. Diane is also developing a fiction film based on a New York Times bestseller, as well as Bing Liu’s first fiction film. Diane is an AMPAS and PGA member, a recipient of the Cinereach Producer Award, and is a Sundance Creative Producing Fellow and Film Independent Fellow.

Headshot: Daniel Rak

DANIEL RAK is a part of the film finance team at WME Independent. Formed in 1898, WME is the longest-running talent agency. In 2009, William Morris Agency (WMA) merged with Endeavor to become one of the leading entertainment and media companies with an unparalleled list of artists and content creators. In 2014, WME acquired IMG, the global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, forming Endeavor.

Headshot: Yvonne Welbon

YVONNE WELBON is an award-winning filmmaker and founder and CEO of the Chicago-based non-profit Sisters in Cinema, inspired by her documentary of the same name, about the history of Black women feature film directors. She is a Senior Creative Consultant at Chicken & Egg Pictures, and has produced and distributed over two dozen award-winning films, including Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis @100. Welbon’s produced work has been broadcast on PBS, Starz/Encore, TV-ONE, IFC, Bravo, the Sundance Channel, BET, HBO, Netflix, iTunes and screened in over one hundred film festivals around the world. Projects in development include The Spies Who Loved Me, a thrilling exposé on surveillance which focuses on the six-years she lived in Taipei, Taiwan and American Pride, a Black lesbian coming-of-age series set on the south-side of Chicago. She has taught at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and chaired the Journalism & Media Studies Department at Bennett College. Raised in an Afro-Latinx Honduran household on the South Side of Chicago, Welbon holds a B.A from Vassar College, a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, and is a graduate of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women. In 2020 she became a member of the Documentary branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences.

2022 Industry Days Sponsors & Supporters

Logo: Adobe 257x85Logo: Camera Ambassador 172x150Logo: Cinelease 270x100Logo: Dark Matter Coffee 125x125Logo: Film Independent 67x100Logo: IFA Independent Film Alliance 263x100Logo: IPA Illinois Production Alliance 342x125Logo: Light Iron 275x75Logo: Panavision 185x85Logo: Periscope Post & Audio 154x50Logo: SAG Indie 163x100Logo: The Second City 329x75Logo: The Seeker 210x75

Additional Support

Logo: NEA 293x100Logo: Illinois Arts Council - 133x100logo: Illinois Film OfficeLogo: DCASE Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events 311x100Logo: DCASE/Chicago Film Office (202) - 450x75

This program is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.