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Presenter Bios

Ronit Avni (Budrus)
Ronit Avni Forum
Ronit Avni is an award-winning social entrepreneur, media strategist, human rights advocate and filmmaker. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Just Vision, an organization that supports Palestinian and Israeli efforts to end the occupation and the conflict without arms. Recently, under her leadership, Just Vision won the highly competitive 2012 PUMA Creative Impact Award. Ronit’s work is featured regularly in major international news outlets, from The Washington Post, the BBC, NPR and The Economist to Al Jazeera and Ha’aretz. At Just Vision, Ronit produced the documentary film Budrus, which was hailed in The New York Times as “this year’s must-see documentary.” Budrus screened in 185 cities, premièred in 53 film festivals and won more than 15 awards. Ronit also directed and produced the documentary film Encounter Point, which premièred at the Tribeca Film Festival and received numerous awards including two Audience Awards for Best Documentary in San Francisco and Montreal. Encounter Point has screened in 200 cities worldwide and continues to be used in classrooms and community centres in America and the Middle East. Previously, Ronit trained human rights defenders worldwide to incorporate film and digital media into their advocacy campaigns while working for Peter Gabriel’s human rights organization, WITNESS. She co-edited the book Video for Change with WITNESS and now sits on the WITNESS Board. Ronit has been recognized with a variety of honours, including the King Hussein Leadership Prize, Search for Common Ground’s Common Ground Award, Auburn Seminary’s Lives of Commitment Award, the Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship and the Joshua Venture Fellowship for young Jewish social entrepreneurs. She is currently a Global Expert through the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, a Young Global Leader through the World Economic Forum and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Irene Lilienheim Angelico (Dark Lullabies)
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Irene Angelico is an acclaimed film director, producer and writer. Her work was included in The Fifty Greatest Documentaries of all Times at the international Salute to the Documentary, and selected to represent the best of the NFB’s Studio D at retrospectives in London and France. She was the first woman from Quebec selected for Women in the Director’s Chair in Banff and is the founding chair of CIFC-Montreal (now DOC Quebec). She is presently Chair of Magnus Opus, a monthly program presenting the world’s best documentaries. In 1980, Angelico and her husband and partner, Abbey Neidik, formed DLI Productions. Together they produced and directed Dark Lullabies, about the effects of the Holocaust on the next generation of Germans and Jews. This highly regarded film continues to be shown worldwide and has garnered many prestigious international prizes. Angelico went on to direct, write and produce other acclaimed award-winning films, including The Cola Conquest, about Coca-Cola as a metaphor for America; Black Coffee, about the history and social impact of coffee; and Inside the Great Magazines, about the first international media. She also produced and wrote many successful documentaries, including Entre Solitudes; The Love Prophet and the Children of God; She Got Game; Vendetta Song; Canadaville, U.S.A.; and Unbreakable Minds, a poignant film that aims to humanize mental illness. Currently, she is co-producing SpaceRace 2, about the next great turning point in human history; Shekinah: The Intimate Lives of Hasidic Women; and An Ill Wind. She is also in development with Mirror Mirror, a visual poem about reflections. Along with her work in film, Angelico has been involved in the publication of two books. With Abbey Neidik and Mark Pendegrast, she edited The Aftermath: A Survivor’s Odyssey Through War-Torn Europe, the manuscript written by her father, which was the inspiration for Dark Lullabies. The Aftermath was endorsed by Nobel Peace Prize laureates Elie Wiesel and the Dalai Lama. This year, Angelico and Yehudi Lindeman launched The Third Seder: A Haggadah for Yom HaShoah. Twenty-five years in the making, The Third Seder includes new rituals they created uniquely for the commemoration of Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Morten Parker (The Stratford Adventure)
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Morten Parker is an internationally recognized film producer, with some 50 documentary and narrative films – which he wrote and directed – to his credit. He began his career at the National Film Board of Canada, where he was responsible for several of the distinguished films to be produced during his time there. Leaving the NFB to form his own production company, together with his noted wife, Gudrun Bjerring Parker, who has been made an Officer of the Order of Canada for her film work, he started Parker Film Associates, Inc. Under PFA, Inc., he wrote and directed a wide range of narrative and documentary films, not only in Canada but in the United States, the Caribbean and South America. Among his many prominent sponsors were the U.S. Information Agency in Washington, for which he produced 10 films, the National Endowment for the Arts, Rutgers University and several major U.S. trade unions. Morten Parker’s numerous distinguished national and international awards include two Academy Award nominations; First Prize, Venice Film Festival; Four CINE Golden Eagle Awards; First Prizes and Film of the Year Awards, Canadian Film Awards. He won First Prize, Associated Film Writers Competition; two Special Awards, Stockholm Film Festival; two Golden Sheaf Awards – Best Drama, Best Direction – Yorkton International Film Festival; Film of the Year, American Scholastic Teacher; City College – Robert Flaherty Film Award. Many of his films have been accepted for showings at international film festivals, including those at Berlin, Cannes, Edinburgh, Johannesburg, Moscow and Melbourne. Mr. Parker served as a United Nations Expert in Film Production and for three years was the Film Advisor (UNESCO) to the State of Israel. He further served as Special Advisor on Communications to the Prime Minister of Jamaica. He has written two novels and is presently completing a documentary film on gospel music, How Sweet the Sound. In 2011 Mr. Parker wrote and directed a short narrative titled Quintet: Reflections on a Life. Mr. Parker is a Professor of Film at New York University.
Stuart Samuels (Hollywoodism)
Stuart Samuels Forum
Since his groundbreaking work as a professor of the History of Ideas at the University of Pennsylvania (1968-1981), Dr. Stuart Samuels has used films to open people’s minds to new ways of thinking by using film to understand popular culture. In the 1980s, he left academic life to become a pioneer in cable music television (NightFlight, “the most entertaining late night show on cable TV…” – TV Guide), and by making award-winning music videos for Lou Reed, Mick Jagger, Herb Alpert and Supertramp—and exploring how the medium of video music can communicate new messages to an MTV generation raised on visual culture. In the late 1990s Dr. Samuels immigrated to Canada to produce, direct and write award-winning feature documentary films that explore the relationship of music and film to the values and belief systems of popular culture: Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography; Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream; Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream (Official Selection: Cannes Film Festival, Out of Competition, 2005); and Rasta: A Soul’s Journey, a film about Bob Marley and Rastafarianism.

2014 Playbill List King LearCrazy for YouA Midsummer Night's DreamThe Beaux' StratagemMan of La ManchaAlice Through the Looking-GlassHay FeverKing JohnMother Courage and Her ChildrenAntony and CleopatraChristina, The Girl KingA Midsummer Night's Dream - a chamber play2014 Season


Sustaining support for the Forum
is generously provided by
Kelly & Michael Meighen and
the T.R. Meighen Foundation

Support for the 2014 Forum is
generously provided by
Nandita & Julian Wise

 

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