REACT to FILM
Through film, we inspire young people to engage in the real issues of today.
Leveraging the best issue-based filmmaking to promote social responsibility and spark civic engagement, REACT to FILM is a platform of educational programs in high schools and colleges.
Our full-semester, for-credit REACT to FILM elective course is taught in high schools across the country.
The REACT to FILM network of college chapters aims to educate, inspire, and be a call to action for collegiate audiences on a monthly basis during the school year.
Every month, REACT to FILM also curates a pre-theatrical, salon screening series of the year’s best new docs, to share these films and their important messages with friends, engage in an intimate discussion with inspiring filmmakers, and call the audience to action. A roaming film festival, the series takes place in partnership with our venue partners at Soho House, the Museum of the Moving Image, the French Institute Alliance Francaise, the Museum of Modern Art, NeueHouse, and the US Capitol.
REACT to FILM’s founding was a confluence of events which began when Film Advisory Board member, Avanti, introduced Dennis to Zana Briski and the film she co-directed, “Born into Brothels”. Inspired by the film and its intention to raise funds to build a school for children born into Calcutta’s red light district, Dennis and Coralie developed a passion for social issue documentaries, which eventually led to the formation of RTF to host a NYC premiere screening of “Food Inc” with executive producer (and now RTF Board member) Eric Schlosser.
REACT to FILM received its 501c3 nonprofit status in October 2010.
Board of Directors
- Coralie Paul, PresidentCoralie Charriol Paulis the co-founder and president of REACT to FILM. In her day job she is a Creative Director of CHARRIOL, a Swiss watchmaker and jeweler based in Geneva. She is graduate of Tufts University.
- Dennis Paul, ChairmanDennis Paulis the co-founder and chairman of REACT to FILM. In his day job, Dennis is the co-founder of the THYRA Global Technology Fund. He is a Trustee of the Museum of the Moving Image, also serving on the Audit and Executive committees. He received his BA from Columbia College.
- Nik Apostolides, SecretaryNik Apostolides is an arts manager, educator, and independent curator. His latest exhibition, “Mixed Blood,” a series of photographs of mixed race/ethnicity families by the contemporary photographer CYJO, opened in Beijing at the Today Art Museum and is touring China in 2014-2015.
- Henry BodmerHenry Bodmerreceived a B.A. from the University of Richmond Business School and now works at Starr Principal Holdings, Inc. focused on its global merchant banking activities
- Fredrik CarlstromFredrik CarlstromFredrik Carlström heads up C&CO, a growth consultancy and business incubator, headquartered in New York. Over the years, he has advised companies like Absolut Vodka, IKEA, iittala, H&M, HBO, L’Oreal, Scandinavian Airline Systems (SAS), AMC, Electrolux, Havaianas, Kahlua, Svenska Dagbladet, Procter & Gamble, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Vodafone, Estèe Lauder and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). He is also an accomplished film producer and credits include “Destricted”, “Big River Man” and “My Favorite Neoconservative”.
- Helene ComfortHelene Comfortworked at Helix Associates raising money for private equity funds in London and before that for various institutions including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley selling financial products. She earned a Master degree from the European Business School.
- Colter van Domelen, TreasurerColter van DomelenColter van Domelen, with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Duke University, has worked as a Junior Associate at Morgan Stanley and currently works as an Investment Management Analyst for Tiger Global Management.
- Richard FarleyRichard Farleyis a partner in the Corporate practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s New York office. Mr. Farley has extensive experience in complex syndicated loan and high-yield debt financings.
- Adrian GrenierAdrian GrenierWith a strong creative sensibility that has driven his personal evolution as an actor, filmmaker,musician, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Adrian Grenier is as passionate about embodying compelling characters as he is about developing successful business ventures and leading a global evolutionary shift: a campaign toward environmentally responsible conscious living.
In front of the camera, the versatile Grenier is best-known for his starring role as Vincent Chase on Entourage, one of HBO’s most popular half-hour series in the network’s history, which ran for eight seasons and was syndicated in nearly two dozen markets worldwide. He recently wrapped production on the much anticipated Warner Bros. film version of Entourage, written and directed by series creator Doug Ellin, scheduled for theatrical release on June 12, 2015.
- Sarah HolbrookeSarah Holbrookeworks on most of the Giraffe Partners productions, but also has an active career producing cable television. Most recently she co-produced “Hard As Nails” and was senior editorial producer launching a controversial talk show on CNN’s Headline News.
- Tiffany ListonTiffany Listonis the Managing Director of Strategy and Development and Counsel at Public Preparatory Network, a nonprofit organization that equips students with the knowledge and foundation for future educational success. In conjunction with outside counsel, she also provides all legal services and advice in connection with the schools.
- Linda G. MillsLinda G. Millsis NYU’s Vice Chancellor for Global Programs and University Life and the inaugural Lisa Ellen Goldberg professor. Professor Mills co-produced and co-directed the documentary, Auf Wiedersehen: ‘Til We Meet Again, a film that explores the intergenerational transmission of trauma from the Holocaust to 9-11. She is also the director, with Chelsea Clinton as Executive Producer, of a new documentary short, Of Many, an inspiring narrative of friendship between an Orthodox Rabbi and Imam that unites a community around multi-faith dialogue and action; this film will have its World Premiere at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. Mills is the Co-Founder of the Of Many Institute at NYU, with Chelsea Clinton, Imam Khalid Latif and Rabbi Yehuda Sarna. The Of Many Institute concentrates on cultivating cross-cultural leadership experiences, with a focus on students who seek to develop a multifaith space that ensures harmonious relationships on campus. Professor Mills’ scholarly work, funded by the National Institute of Justice and the National Science Foundation, challenges the current paradigms of domestic abuse by rethinking how we respond to violence in intimate relationships.
- Avis RichardsAvis Richards is the founder and CEO of Birds Nest Foundation™, a 501(c)3 non-profit creative group that produces several television shows, documentaries and short films for charitable organizations. The goal of Birds Nest Foundation is to provide the media to educate and promote important causes and issues that enable non-profits and other foundations to communicate their messages.
- Charles RockefellerCharles Rockefelleris an experienced businessman, with 12 years in the industry and is currently pursuing a doctorate degree from the University of Pennsylvania to work in the field of corporate responsibility. He is also a trustee of the Asia Society and Historic Hudson Valley.
- Amanda RossAmanda Ross is an internationally renowned fashion director, stylist, costume designer and consultant for celebrities, film, TV series and designers. She is known for her elegant, refined and sophisticated eye which she has developed through her years as a staple in the fashion industry. Amanda is the former Market Director at Harper’s Bazaar US. Following this venture, she moved to LA, where she facilitated the launch of C Magazine. Now based in New York City, Amanda has held positions as Consulting Fashion Director at Anne Klein and the Fashion Director for Departures magazine, where she created her own monthly column called, Uptown Girl.
- Stephanie RuhleStephanie Ruhleis an anchor for Bloomberg Television, based in New York. She serves as co-host of “Market Makers,” airing from 10-12pm ET, and contributes to “Lunch Money,” Bloomberg TV’s noon-hour program covering all the top news in equities, currencies, bonds, and commodities. Ruhle began her career at Credit Suisse. There, she was the highest producing credit derivatives salesperson in the U.S. Stephanie earned her bachelor’s degree in International Business from Lehigh University.
- David SchulhofDavid Schulhofis a Managing Director at G2 Investment Group,overseeing the firm’s Media Business. Mr. Schulhof has spent two decades as an executive, investor, entrepreneur and producer in the media and entertainment industry.
- Doug ScottDoug Scottis the President of OgilvyEntertainment, where he has, since June 2006, been developing and producing brand funded entertainment for clients, including The Business of Innovation for IBM, Digital Cribs for Cisco, The Invested Life for TD Ameritrade, and an animated series for Capri Sun.
- Jasper van SantenJasper van Santenis currently at Columbia University working towards a Masters in International Affairs. He has worked as a consultant, streamlining processes at different businesses and spent time in Swaziland where he taught and was involved in development work.
- Lily Johnson WhiteLily Johnson WhiteWhite employs her creativity as a Writer and Creator at The American Artisan Project, the Design and Branding Consultant at City Lillies LLC, and an Ambassador for the CoutureLab. In the past year, aside from raising her two sons, she has sat on the Grants Advisory Committee for The New York Women’s Foundation, worked with the American Ballet Theater’s Junior Council and is working on publishing a book on American artisans.
Film Advisory Board
- AvantiAvantiAvanti was instrumental in the formation of RTF, by introducing Dennis to Zana Briski and her film “Born into Brothels”. She has held various roles as part of the management of RTF. Currently an independent producer in Los Angeles, she has previously worked in programming at Capture Film International, producing the forums/panels of the Artivist Film Festival, feature film production at 20th Century Fox Studios, and in MP-Lit at the United Talent Agency.
- Zana BriskiZana Briskiis the filmmaker behind the Academy award-winning Born into Brothels. Her experience while filming the documentary feature inspired her to found Kids with Cameras, a non-profit that empowers marginalized children through learning the art of photography.
- Dan CoganDan Coganis the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Impact Partners, a fund and advisory service for investors and philanthropists who seek to promote social change through film.
- Marshall CurryMarshall Currygot his start shooting, directing, and editing the documentary STREET FIGHT, which followed Cory Booker’s first run for mayor of Newark, NJ. Curry’s newest documentary, IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT was nominated for an Academy Award and aired on PBS’s documentary series, POV. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College.
- Danfung DennisDanfung Dennisis a war correspondent, whose photographs have been published in Newsweek, TIME, and The New York Times, among others, and whose documentary film, Hell and Back Again, garnered awards at the Sundance Film Festival. He founded the immersive video startup Condition ONE.
- Lacey DornLacey Dornis a filmmaker, actress and writer. While a student at Stanford University, she began collaborating on two documentaries as Co-Director with actor/director James Franco, as well as working as a junior screener for the Telluride Film Festival. After a brief stint as an entertainment banker at The Raine Group, Dorn returned to film full-time. In the fall of 2011, she founded Pourquoi Pas Pictures and directed, wrote, produced, edited, and acted in Frontera, a short narrative film. Frontera premiered at the 2012 Festival de Cannes Shorts Corner and won “Best Short Film” at The Williamsburg International Film Festival, playing at many other festivals internationally. She is currently in post-production on her feature-length documentary about teens coping through the arts during the Palo Alto Teen Suicide Epidemic and a short narrative film revolving around the Deep Website, Silk Road.
- Josh FoxJosh Foxis a writer, director, and producer of the two feature films, Memorial Day and Gasland, and over twenty works for the stage. As the Founder and Artistic Director of the International WOW Company, he has created an international network of professionals in theater and film.
- Mimi Polk GitlinMimi Polk Gitlinis an accomplished producer and film executive who is equally passionate about youth education and social issues, she is best known for having produced films such as “Thelma and Louise”, “White Squall”, and “1492: The Conquest of Paradise.
- Catherine GundCatherine Gundis an Emmy-nominated producer, director, writer, and organizer. Her media work focuses on arts and culture, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health, the environment, and other social justice issues. Her films – which include Born to Fly, What’s On Your Plate?, A Touch of Greatness, Motherland Afghanistan, Making Grace, On Hostile Ground, and Hallelujah! – have screened around the world in festivals, theaters, museums, and schools; on PBS, Discovery’s Planet Green, and the Sundance Channel.
- Lee HirschLee Hirschfounded the Local Voices for Obama project, a series of ads featuring Obama supporters in small towns of swing states, and he continues to direct and produce documentary films, some of which are in conjunction with the History Channel or Discovery Channel. He latest film, The Bully Project has received international recognition.
- Jo InfantolinoJo Infantolinois one of the major creative forces behind the foundation of Soho House New York, which provides special pre-release, art-house, and documentary screenings.
- Brian NewmanBrian Newmanis the founder and CEO of Crowd Play, LLC a recently funded start-up launching a mobile application called Flicklist in 2013. He is also acquisitions and marketing consultant to Brainstorm Media, acquiring twelve feature docs a year for the Something to Talk About series on DirecTV. Brian has served as CEO of the Tribeca Film Institute, president of Renew Media and executive director of IMAGE Film & Video.
- Susan NorgetSusan Norgetfounded Susan Norget Film Promotion, a film publicity and marketing agency that specializes in bringing the best in independent cinema to broader audiences and acclaim.
- David RedmonDavid Redmonis a producer, director, editor and photographer of six feature documentaries with Ashley Sabin, Mardi Gras: Made in China (2005), Kamp Katrina (2007), Intimidad (2008), Invisible Girlfriend (2009), Girl Model (2011) and Downeast (2012). Redmon received his PhD in sociology from the University at Albany, State University of New York. In 2010/2011 he was a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University.
- David de RothschildDavid de Rothschildis the founder of Adventure Ecology, an organization that harnesses the power of dreams, adventures and stories in order to inspire educate and activate individuals, communities and business’s to start moving towards a smarter more sustainable planet 2.0 way of living and acting.
- Ashley SabinAshley Sabinis a producer, director, editor and photographer of six feature documentaries with David Redmon, Mardi Gras: Made in China (2005), Kamp Katrina (2007), Intimidad (2008), Invisible Girlfriend (2009), Girl Model (2011) and Downeast (2012). Sabin received her BA in Art History from Pratt Institute.
- Madeleine SacklerMadeleine Sackleris the director of The Lottery, a critically acclaimed documentary film about the shortcomings of the U.S. public education system, and she currently has her second feature-length documentary, Unstable Elements, in the works.
- Eric SchlosserEric Schlosserhas been a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly since 1996 and has authored bestsellers, such as Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal and Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market.
- Charles ThompsonCharles Thompsonteaches at Duke University in the Department of Cultural Anthropology and the Department of Religion. Having produced and directed three documentary films, he also leads the Undergraduate Program at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies as its Director.
- Mark UrmanMark Urmanis the president and CEO of Paladin, a distribution company he formed in 2009, and has also served as co-president of Lionsgate Releasing from 1997-2001 and was co-founder and head of the theatrical division of THINKFilm from 2001-2008.
- Lucy WalkerLucy Walkeran award-winning documentary filmmaker, created Waste Land, Countdown to Zero, and the Devil’s Playground, which grant unique and enlightening access into closed worlds.
Education Advisory Board
- Chike AguhChike AguhChike Aguh currently serves as an Associate Principal in Education Corporate Strategy and New Ventures at the Advisory Board Company, a global technology and services firm. He has worked with a variety of organizations including, the Office of Innovation and Improvement of the US Department of Education, McKinsey and Company’s Education practice, a health and education technology focused spinoff fund of the Acumen Fund, and the Obama Administration’s Performance Improvement Council focused on job training. He attended Tufts University and graduated with a degree in Political Science. Chike graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a Master’s degree in Education Policy and Management, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he received an MBA focused on innovation strategy, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where he received an MPA on globalization and innovation.
- Tauheedah Baker-JonesTauheedah Baker-Jones is a distinguished educator and researcher. She began her career 13 years ago in LAUSD, before moving to the Newark Public Schools and NYC DOE. Tauheedah currently serves as the Executive Director and Chief Academic Officer of the Paulo Freire Charter School in Newark, NJ. Tauheedah holds many awards and distinctions including the 2014 NJ Charter Schools Association’s, Charter School Administrator of the Year Award. In 2011, she was selected by President Barack Obama as a White House Community Leader in Education. She has also been featured in the New York Times for her innovative approached to curriculum and instruction. Tauheedah holds a B.A. in History and Near Eastern Language and Culture, and a Masters in Urban Education from UCLA. She also holds a MPA in Non Profit Management and Urban Educational Leadership from Rutgers University. She also holds an Urban School Leadership certification from Harvard University.
- Natalie ByrneNatalie Byrne is the Principal at KIPP NYC College Prep in the South Bronx.
- Brooke CarnotBrooke Carnot is on the Board of Trustees at The Madeira School and St. Patrick’s School. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at George Washington University.
- Dr. Katherine CohenDr. Katherine Cohen (known as “Dr. Kat” to her students) is one of the leading independent university admissions counselors in the world. Cohen is the founder and CEO of IvyWise, a comprehensive educational consulting company—with expertise in admissions counseling, tutoring and test preparation, and school research–that works with students globally in over 40 countries to help them get into the schools of their choice. Cohen is the best-selling author of The Truth About Getting In and Rock Hard Apps, and is a sought-after speaker and expert on university admissions.
- Elsa HepnerElsa Hepneris a graduate of Trinity College and has a M.Ed. She recently moved to New York, after teaching for the past two years in South Carolina. She is now teaching Latin at Grace Church School.
- Lindsey JacobsonLindsey Jacobsonis a former community organizer and legislative advocate. After directing the Federal Field Campaigns for the Washington Public Interest Group in Seattle, WA, Lindsey worked with REACT to FILM for two years designing the media literacy and civic engagement High School curricula. Lindsey is currently working as video editor and animator in New York, NY. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Colgate University with a degree in Sociology and Film.
- Ali PinschmidtAli Pinschmidt is a filmmaker and educator, and works to amplify the perspectives of others through video training and outreach. She has worked internationally and domestically in education, poverty alleviation, and video for impact, including with Community Supported Film, Press Pass TV, and Video Volunteers. As a Social Change Fellow at Clark University, Ali received an M.A. in International Development and Social Change. She has taught at Clark University and Holyoke Community College.
- Ronald G. RapataloRonald G. RapataloBorn in Brooklyn, raised in Queens, Ron leads and supports hiring searches for school districts and non-profits independently and in partnership with firms including the Offor Walker Group. Ron is also a coach, giving career advice on how to navigate career transitions and present oneself from networking to interviewing. Before consulting, he worked at Newark Public Schools as the Director of Recruitment and Selection for two years, leading principal, teacher and central office leadership recruitment and selection. Starting in 2004, he worked at New Leaders for seven years, working his way up to designing and leading the recruitment and selection process for the Aspiring Principals Program nationally. In his first job in education after working at NYU and Morgan Stanley, he worked at Teach For America’s National Office for 18 months as the National Office Manager. He earned a B.S. in Neural Science from New York University in 1997.
- Peter SaundersPeter Saunderscurrently at the Breck School in Minneapolis, Peter spent many years teaching acting, directing and filmmaking at St. Albans School in Washington, DC. Peter studied communications at St. Lawrence University, and earned an MFA in Directing from the University of Portland. Peter has also taught at The Hotchkiss School and the City University of New York, and has spent many years working as a freelance actor and director.
- Amanda VegaAmanda Vegais a 2012 Teach for America alumna, part of a highly selective program to place teachers, and a professional with 5 years of public relations agency and in-house experience. As the Spanish-language publicist she garnered media placements for her clients in top tier publications including The New York Times Book Review and relevant regional and niche media markets; as a Spanish teacher and school events coordinator, Amanda worked with local media to spotlight school news, events, and advancements for which she received the 1st Annual Board of Trustees Educator Recognition Award (2013). Currently she blends her love of communications with her passion for education advocacy work at the New Jersey Charter School Association.
- Howard WeinbergHoward Weinbergis a professor at Columbia University, independent documentary filmmaker, and television journalist. He co-founded The Documentary Project at the Columbia Journalism School, where he also runs a documentary screening series and mentors students who make half-hour documentaries.
- Rebecca WrightRebecca Wright is a graduate of Smith College, a former talent scout at Universal Music Publishing, and former music manager. She is the creator and co-founder of the App GoferNote. In addition to women’s advocacy issues, Rebecca is passionate about and active in protecting the American food supply through education, lobbying, and labeling.