2015 Panels

Jonathan Daniels, Book and Film: Research, Discoveries and Lessons Learned

Friday, April 17th, 12pm
Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Conference Room

A conversation with filmmakers Larry Benaquist and Bill Sullivan, and authors Rich and Sandra Wallace, on the processes of discovery in researching the life and legacy of Jonathan Daniels. The Wallaces, authors of books for children and adolescents, have spent over a year researching their biography of Jonathan Daniels, to be published early in 2016. Larry Benaquist and Bill Sullivan had done their research years before on their documentary on Daniels. What new information surfaced between the projects? How is research for a film different from that for a book? How do you tell this story to young people?

Larry Benaquist

Larry BenaquistLarry Benaquist was on the faculty at Keene State College, from 1969 until 2010. Appointed originally to the English department, having a doctorate in Renaissance Studies, his interests turned to the study of film. Educating himself on various leaves at Brown University, the University of Southern California, and other institutions, he began offering courses in film theory, history and then film production. The program he founded in the seventies became a major in the mid-nineties.

He himself has produced films, several of which having been on public television. Here Am I, Send Me: The Journey of Jonathan Daniels, produced with Bill Sullivan, narrated by Sam Waterston, is the story of Keene native Jon Daniels, martyr to the civil rights movement who died in 1965. Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve: The First Hundred Years of Keene State College, is an in-depth, historical examination of one of the hundreds of normal schools in America, Keene Normal, opened the doors of education to those otherwise not able to afford it.

He has also been responsible for the discovery of several lost films, including the Francis Ford film, When Lincoln Paid (1913) and the Mary Pickford film, Their First Misunderstanding (1911). Keene State College houses the personal collection of the films of Louis de Rochemont and has received a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation for preserving heretofore undiscovered footage shot by de Rochemont during the second world war. Rochemont was the producer of the March of Time, and a two-time Oscar® winner. His earlier research on Martha and Waitstill Sharp, a Unitarian minister and his wife, and their rescue work in southern France in 1940, resulted in the couple receiving the recognition of Righteous Gentiles from the state of Israel in 2006, for their work in rescuing Jews from France, including nine Jewish children. He was aided by Bill Sullivan, Tom Durnford, and Paul Vincent, all of Keene State College. Martha was the first American woman to receive this great honor; her husband, Waitstill, the second American man.

Although retired, Larry continues to teach at Keene State College, and is working on another film, this one on Vichy France and the Holocaust.

Sandra Neil Wallace

Sandra Neil WallaceSandra Neil Wallace is an award winning author of fiction and biographies for young people. Drawn to stories of social justice, her upcoming biography of Keene civil rights hero Jonathan Daniels is no exception. Written with her husband, Rich Wallace, Blood Brother traces Jonathan’s life from his childhood in Keene to his work and sacrifice in the South.

As a child of three generations of concentration camp survivors, Sandra’s work focuses on overcoming barriers, including gender and race. The former TV news anchor and ESPN sportscaster was the first woman to host an NHL broadcast on national television.

Sandra’s historical novel Muckers is based on the true, inspirational story of an Arizona football team overcoming racism to make a run at a state championship. Among the novel’s many awards are Booklist’s Top 10 Sports Books of the Year and Bank Street College’s Best Books of the Year.

Sandra was named an outstanding newcomer to the children’s literature scene by the Horn Book following the publication of her novel, Little Joe. Her first book of nonfiction is Babe Conquers the World – a bio of sports pioneer Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Read more about Sandra at www.sandraneilwallace.com.

Rich Wallace

Rich WallaceRich Wallace is the acclaimed author of a wide range of books for children and teenagers. Blood Brother – a biography of Jonathan Daniels – will be released in 2016. The book tells the story of the civil rights hero’s journey, beginning with his childhood in Keene.

Rich and his wife, novelist Sandra Neil Wallace, have teamed for two works of nonfiction, including the Daniels biography. Babe Conquers the World, their bio of legendary athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias, was an American Library Association Notable Book for 2014.

Rich’s first novel, Wrestling Sturbridge, was an American Library Association Top 10 Selection for Young Adults and a 100 Best of the Best for the 20th Century. Wicked Cruel – his latest fiction – is a trilogy of thought-provoking and spooky urban legends set in New Hampshire. Bank Street selected it as a Best Book of the Year for 2014.

Rich has written more than three dozen novels for kids. He also served as senior editor at Highlights for Children magazine for many years, and still writes the popular comic strip The Timbertoes for that publication. Read more about Rich at www.richwallacebooks.com.

Bill Sullivan

Bill SullivanBill Sullivan is professor emeritus, Keene State College, NH, where he taught courses in American literature and American studies. He is a co-author of Modern American Poetry and Containing Multitudes: Poetry in the United States since 1950. He also co-produced Here Am I, a documentary film on the life of Jonathan Daniels, a slain civil rights worker. The film aired on numerous PBS stations. His poems have appeared in Babel Fruit, Perigee, New verse News, Origami Poems, The Providence Journal, and The Westerly Sun. His book, Loon Lore: Poems and Prose, will be published this spring. Sullivan now resides in Westerly, RI.


Short Film Filmmakers Panel

Saturday, April 18th, 1pm
Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Conference Room

Presented by The Boston Creative Pro User Group

Join us for an interactive conversation featuring indie filmmakers who will share interesting stories & perspectives on short filmmaking – how they do it – and tips for those getting into production.

Moderated by Daniel Bérubé.

Kyle Gilman

Kyle GilmanKyle Gilman is an occasional short film director who works mostly as a freelance film editor on indie features and half-hour comedies. He was born in rural Western Massachusetts and received a degree in Visual & Environmental Studies from Harvard, which is just their fancy way of saying‚“film production.” He has worked closely with indie film pioneer Hal Hartley for over a decade. His lifelong interest in comedy and timing led him to editing, and he has edited projects with great comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Cheech & Chong, Denis Leary, Marc Maron, and Bobcat Goldthwait. He has taught editing at Harvard, The New School, and the Editors Guild. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Maggie Lehrman.

Jeff Stern

Jeff SternJeff Stern is a filmmaker, father and teacher who lives in Arlington, MA. He earned his MFA in film production from Boston University. He has made dozens of films, but The Morning of Everything is the first one that features his son, a giant owl man and a backhoe full of watermelons. The Morning of Everything has screened at several film festivals, including the Independent Film Festival Boston, the Ashland Independent Film Festival and the Nantucket Film Festival. Jeff works at Bentley University, where he teaches business students how to be auteurs.

Toni Nagy

Toni NagyToni Nagy is a writer for Huffington Post, Salon, Alternet, and many more publications. She has produced pilots for MTV, and is currently producing 2 feature documentary films. She has written, directed, produced, and edited over 10 short films which range from pure narrative to absolute absurdity. Toni’s production company, Cave Light Productions, is a sponsor of MONIFF.

Kyle Turgeon

Kyle TurgeonKyle Turgeon is a filmmaker who was born and raised in New Hampshire. He studied film at New York University went on to work on film productions of all sorts and sizes in New Hampshire, New York city and Los Angeles. He moved to Nashville, Tennesee in December 2013 and has been freelancing from there ever since.

Matt Hartle

Matt HartleOver the past 15 years, Matt Hartle has worked on over a hundred A list features in a variety of capacities ranging from Visual Effects to Main Title design to Theatrical Advertising. He has helmed departments as 3D Director at two major film advertising companies, BLT Communications in Hollywood and Deva Studios in Santa Monica. Some career highlights include the Lions Gate Logo, Super Man – Man of Steel, Van Helsing, Tin Tin, Superman, Watchmen, several of the Harry Potter Films, Troy, Jack the Giant Slayer, Beowolf, Wrath of the Titans, Narnia, Conan, Christmas Carol, several of the Saw Films, The Last Air Bender, Percy Jackson, Charlottes Web, Pirates of the Caribbean. While on these projects, Matt had the honor of working with many wonderful directors including Steven Spielberg, Chris Columbus, John Favreau and Wolfgang Peterson.

Additionally, Matt has written a number of screen plays and directed several shorts. He is working towards directing his first feature.

Daniel Bérubé

Daniel BérubéProducer and Editor Daniel Bérubé is worldtraveled with more than two decades of production and editing credits on public and network television. Dynamic thinking and collaboration are two elements that fuel Dan’s passion and vision in building film community. Dan specializes in negotiation, fundraising, producing, editorial, logistics, marketing, and visionary thinking.

Dan is founder of Boston makers and a creative outlet to pitch ideas for episodic content creation and to discover talent, crew and distribution for projects. Dan also co-produces the famous “SuperMeets” held annually in major cities such as Las Vegas, Amsterdam, London, and in 2015, in Vancouver and Tokyo. SuperMeets are large scale gatherings of digital media makers from the world over that provide the production, post and broadcast community an opportunity to not only learn about the latest technology trends, but to connect with each other to share creative experiences and opportunities within the industry in a social setting that is both educational and fun.

Dan’s most recent work as a producer and editor can be seen in The Chain, an independent film shot in New Hampshire and based on an original story by Tobias Wolff. You can reach Dan on twitter at @boscpug


The Boston Creative Pro User Group (BOSCPUG) is a story driven, globally connected community of collaborative digital media makers and a creative outlet to pitch ideas for episodic content creation and to discover talent, crew and distribution for projects.

Twitter: @boscpug
Facebook: facebook.com/boscpug
Website: boscpug.org