Producer / Director
Ben Niles is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His film, “Note By Note (The Making of Steinway L1037),” (IFP 2005) won top honors at the Sarasota Film Festival, was nominated for an IDA award and selected to the prestigious American Film Showcase, and has screened in over 30 countries. It has now been translated into 5 languages and has aired nationally on PBS since 2009. His most recent film Some Kind of Spark (IFP 2012) was also selected to the American Film Showcase and will premiere on PBS in the fall of 2016. He is currently co-directing “Still We Rise” with producer Molly Raskin, a film about mental health in Liberia.
Commercially, he brings his documentary approach to produce videos for Ford, Razorfish, J. Walter Thompson and The PBS NewsHour and has worked with artists including Amy Ray of Indigo Girls, Punch Brothers, Wynton Marsalis, Harry Connick, Jr., Jason Moran, Lang Lang, Helene Grimaud and Rufus Wainwright. In his earlier years as an Art Director in the record industry, Ben created album packages for Collective Soul (Entertainment Weekly’s Best 100 Album Covers 2000), Jewel, Jon Brion, Hootie and the Blowfish, celebrated box-sets for Phish and George Carlin, and packages and identities for jazz musicians Cyrus Chestnut, James Carter and Henry Butler.
A graduate of the University of Georgia at Athens, Ben attended UGA’s prestigious Cortona program, an intensive fine arts study-abroad program located in Cortona, Italy.
Geralyn Dreyfous has a wide, distinguished background in the arts, extensive experience in consulting in the philanthropic sector, and participates on numerous boards and initiatives. She spent an early part of her career at the Philanthropic Initiative in Boston, which guides families of wealth in strategic giving opportunities, and taught Documentary and Narrative writing with Dr. Robert Coles at Harvard University. Geralyn is the Founder and Board Chair of the Utah Film Center, a non-profit that curates free screenings and outreach programs for communities throughout Utah.
In 2007, she co-founded Impact Partners Film Fund with Dan Cogan, bringing together financiers and filmmakers so that they can create great films that entertain audiences, enrich lives, and ignite social change. Since its inception, IP has been involved in the financing of over 70 films, including: THE COVE (2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature); THE GARDEN (2009 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature); FREEHELD (2008 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Film); and HELL AND BACK AGAIN (2012 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature) and multiple film festival award winning films such as E-TEAM (2014 Sundance Film Festival Cinematography Award, US Documentary), THE OVERNIGHTERS (2014 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize), and ALIVE INSIDE: A STORY OF MUSIC & MEMORY (2014 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award, US Documentary). In 2013, Geralyn became a founding member of Gamechanger, the first for-profit film fund dedicated exclusively to financing narrative features directed by women. Their first film, LAND HO!, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Geralyn's independent executive producing and producing credits include the Academy Award winning BORN INTO BROTHELS; Emmy nominated THE DAY MY GOD DIED, Academy Award nominated and Emmy Award winning THE SQUARE, Academy Award nominated and Peabody Award winning THE INVISIBLE WAR, and multiple film festival winners such as MISS REPRESENTATION, MEET THE PATELS, ANITA, IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST, THE HUNTING GROUND, DREAMCATCHER AND ALIVE INSIDE. Her works in production include: WAIT FOR ME and BE NATURAL. Geralyn was honored by the International Documentary Association with the Amicus Award in 2013 for her significant contribution to documentary filmmaking. Variety recognized Geralyn in their 2014 Women’s Impact Report highlighting her work in the entertainment industry.
A “recovering journalist,” Ruth Ann started out as a teen deejay in her native Buffalo, NY. Her media career spanned three decades and includes Emmy-nominated television reporting, becoming the first woman to anchor Nashville, TN’s CBS-TV affiliate, hosting a daily talk-radio program on WLAC-AM, and 17 years as a columnist for the Nashville Banner.
After retiring from journalism, Ruth Ann chaired the board of More Than Money, a national nonprofit assisting top wealth-holders in “putting their money where their values are”. The organization’s coaching program piqued her interest in the emerging field and, before long, she had joined the International Coach Federation and the International Association of Coaching. Ruth Ann went on to serve on IAC’s Board of Governors, the board of the Thomas J. Leonard Foundation, and to co-found both The Foundation of Coaching and The Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Her deep belief in the power of professional coaching also drove her to become an IAC Master Certified professional coach herself.
Ruth Ann’s other philanthropic endeavors include serving on Sigma Delta Chi Foundation’s Board of Trustees and joining a myriad organizations including: the International Women’s Forum, Rachel’s Network, the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences, the Radio and Television News Directors Association, American Women in Radio and Television, the Buffalo Broadcasters Association, Women Donors Network and Women Moving Millions. She is a lifetime member of the Broadcasters Foundation and an enthusiastic patron of TED.
Recently described as the “the punk rock fairy godmother of feminism,” Ruth Ann splits her time between her pro bono practice and her work with the Harnisch Foundation. While you may have a tough time grabbing ahold of her Awesome Cape, which flies along the coast between the Hamptons and the Bahamas, the shimmer of her philanthropy can be seen far and wide. She is married to William F. Harnisch, President and CEO of Peconic Partners, an investment management firm with offices in New York City and Long Island, and co-founder of the Harnisch Foundation.
Regina K. Scully is the Founder and CEO of Artemis Rising Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to developing and promoting media, education and healing projects that transform our culture. Ms. Scully also is the Founder and CEO of RPR Marketing Communications, a premier Public Relations Agency, NYC, specializing in exclusive consumer products and brands. Ms. Scully is a social entrepreneur, education activist, and documentary Filmmaker. She is one of the leading communications and media consultants in the country, speaking at schools, conferences, and companies around the world. A 30-year veteran in the fields of Journalism, Public Relations, Brand Marketing and Filmmaking, Ms. Scully has a successful track record of building and producing successful premier brands, projects, and films that integrate cause-related issues, social media, and outreach campaigns.
Ms. Scully is an Academy award nominated executive producer, most recently for the 2013 powerful documentary called the “Invisible War”, a film about the epidemic rapes of women and men in the military. The “Invisible War” won the 2012 Sundance Audience Award. Ms. Scully also executive produced “MissRepresentation”, a compelling documentary exposing the gender bias that still exists in our country based on the limited portrayals of women and young girls in our Media, Politics and Entertainment. Ms. Scully is a co-founder of www.MissRepresentation.org. Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network bought “MissRepresentation.” Ms. Scully helped spearhead the development and distribution of its critically acclaimed corresponding national curriculum. And Ms. Scully is also involved in the films, “Fed Up”, a compelling documentary that deals with the growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes in America; “Alive Inside”, a recent Audience Award winner at 2014 Sundance film festival; and “Anita: Truth to Power”, about the 20 year anniversary of the Anita Hill hearings.
In addition to filmmaking, Ms. Scully is deeply passionate about Education reform, and has helped launch some of the most successful inner city charter schools in the country: the Success Academy Schools, in NY (www.successacademies.org); and the Making Waves Academy Schools in Northern California (www.makingwaves.org)
Ms. Scully sits on the following Boards: Stanford University Board of Philanthropy and Civil Society, CA; Project ALS, NYC; Harvard Women’s Leadership Board; V-Day Board;TheRepresentationProject.org; and the Women’s Media Center, NYC.
Amanda Larson is a multi award-winning editor with over 15 years of experience.
Her recent work includes the feature documentary City of Joel directed by Jesse Sweet (in finishing), King Georges (2015: Full Frame, SIFF, IFFBoston, AFI Docs, Big Sky and more; distr. Sundance Selects), and Matthew Porterfield's short, Take What You Can Carry (2015: Lincoln Center's The Art of the Real, The Berlinale and more). Her work has screened at festivals worldwide, including: SFDoc Fest, Traverse City FF, Maryland International FF, Outfest, Frameline, Miami International FF, and the London International Documentary Festival; as well as theatrical and broadcast screenings including PBS’s Independent Lens and BET. She is a graduate of Oberlin College, (B.A., Visual Arts, Film Concentration, May 1999) and attended NYU Tisch School of Film:
Sight & Sound Film Visiting Semester, NYC, Spring 1998.
Purcell Carson is a documentary filmmaker and editor. As an editor, she’s served as a lead creative partner on long-form documentaries, including the Oscar-winning Smile Pinki and the 2011 Semper Fi: Always Faithful, which won best-editing from the Tribeca Film Festival. As director, she was awarded a MacDowell Fellowship for her feature debut, Among the Perishable, a multi-character portrait of the global banana industry and has begun a series of shorts exploring the Guatemalan community in New Jersey. Purcell teaches a seminar in urban studies and film at Princeton University, where she is project director of a multi-year community-based documentary project, The Trenton Project. Purcell studied literature and history at Brown University, and received her Master's from Stanford University. She divides her time between New York City and Princeton, NJ.