2020 Panels

Photo by Gunnar Rathbun

Filmmaker Panels

JUST DO IT! The Do's & Don'ts of Making Your First Movie

Sunday | November 8th, 1:00 PM | Virtual

Hear from filmmakers from the Monadnock region and around the country who defied many odds to make their first films outside of the university system. You’ll explore self-financing, working for free, working with friends and favors, and other aspects of bootstrap filmmaking.

Karlina Lyons


Karlina Lyons has 20+ years of experience in domestic and international media production, with a career focus on educational programming for children and families. She began her career in 1996 as a producer’s assistant at Cinetel Films in Los Angeles. In 1998 she relocated to New York City where she spent eight years in the International Production Department of Sesame Workshop. In 2005, Karlina returned to her native New England where she became a consulting producer for the Cambodian Educational Media Initiative (CEMI), a partnership between WGBH and the global NGO World Education. Her work with CEMI includes producing Cambodian versions of “Sesame Street” and “Peep and the Big Wide World.”


Nick Czerula, Director / Director of Photography (Concord, NH)

Coming from urban New Jersey and now residing in rural New Hampshire. Nick has worked as DP, Second Unit DP, and First Assistant Camera on feature and short form films as well as national ad campaigns. His experience on different size productions, both large and small budget, gives perspective of just how important teamwork is or more importantly, the team you work with. Today, Nick runs Cz Video Productions, an integrated visual platform production company. Nick helps clients articulate their message and showcase their products through branded documentary and commercial advertising video. With a team of dedicated professionals, Cz Video Productions brings artistic articulation of who companies are and why their brands matter. Beyond this, Nick has done a range of documentary projects that draw audiences into worlds previously unknown and unexplored. Cz Video Productions works with clients of all sizes, for-profit companies and community-based organizations, to help them let others see who they really are.

Anna Belmonte (Amesbury, MA)

Anna Belmonte is a new director based out of Northeast Massachusetts. Ever since gaining the dexterity to weild a VHS camcorder, she's been creating, curating and telling stories - however, in early 2020 she saw her screenwriting and directorial debut on "Summer," a comedy short. With a BFA in Art Therapy and a leg in the world of Special Makeup Effects, Anna's free-spirited approach to filmmaking opens a doorway for absurdity, creative spontaneity, and unexpected technique. Anna works as a camera assistant and editor in New Hampshire, and looks forward to getting into pre-production for the next comedy, dramedy, mocumentary and horror projects already underway.

Deniz Demirer (New York City)

Polish-born filmmaker—actor, cinematographer, writer and director. His unusual blend of intimacy and hardscrabble urban existence has never yielded the stories one might expect. Demirer’s filmography includes five feature films as writer and director including Nocturnal Jake (2009), Not I (2010), American Mongrel (2014), Ezer Kenegdo (2016) and Chinaroom (2016). And over a dozen short films, most recently Simon’s Agony (2020). His work as a filmmaker and actor has been exhibited at the Mill Valley Film Festival, Portland Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival, Moscow International Film Festival, Varna International Film Festival, Syracuse International Film Festival, among many others. Demirer was cinematographer on the award-winning short film Forest Born, of which the legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins wrote, “The film was extremely well made. I particularly liked the night work! So simple and effective.”

Sam Sorich (Chicago, IL)

Sam Sorich is a DP and Director from Chicago, who like many began his love of filmmaking at a young age making skate videos, short films, and DIY special effects with friends in the neighborhood. This lifelong passion has taken him around the globe as a documentary filmmaker and producer. In 2015, he started a production company, Glass Darkly Films, to focus his passion on full-length documentary and narrative work. In 2017, he began a project called 8beats, bringing together over 100 filmmakers from across the U.S and Canada to produce an anthology feature film, including a debut short film, “Seau de Sang” to be included in the anthology. The film will be released at the end of 2020. www.8beatsmovie.com

George Simon (San Diego, CA)

George Simon is a professor of film production at John Paul the Great Catholic University in San Diego, CA. His most recent projects include the award-winning short film Almost Home (2019) and The Scar (2020) which is just beginning its festival run. In 2019, George and his wife founded Isle3, a production company that specializes in crafting commercially viable works of art.

Likes are My Self-Esteem

Monday | November 9th, 5:00pm | Virtual

A live Talk Show (but... over the internet) hosted by Toni Nagy and Seth Chatfield where they will explore such topics as "why do I compulsively make videos for the approval of strangers on the internet - is it because my parents didn't pay enough attention to me?" Join Toni and Seth as they deep dive into the bowels of their experience of independent content creation. Accompanied by a few "special guests" who've collaborated with them in the past, they will discuss the emotional rollercoaster that is self-produced media. Get ready for them to pontificate on questions like "Are eyeballs more important than money?" "Can I commodify myself and be taken seriously by corporate America dressed as a giant inflatable penis?" and "Am I worthy of love if I don't have 1,000,000,000,000 followers?"

The life of an independent filmmaker is one of great satisfaction because you are in control of the art you create, but also great disappointment because "I DIDN'T GET INTO SUNDANCE... AGAIN!?" Come get to know how you too can become an "influencer" on the internet - which means you have to convince yourself that calling yourself an "influencer" is not a reason to puke in your mouth.

Toni Nagy

Toni Nagy is a stand up comic, sketch comedy creator, filmmaker, and co-dependant. She has written/ edited/directed/ and acted in a vast array of online content that have upwards of 1.5 million views. Nagy's script "One More Zero" was the grand prize winner for Coverfly's contest "The Industries Next: Women in Screenwriting" competition and her pilot of her sketch comedy entitled "The Masses" won the award for “Best TV Pilot” at the Top Shorts festival. She has twice won the Broadway Comedy Club's "New Talent" contest and a storyteller that has been featured on the popular podcast RISK!

Seth Chatfield

Seth Chatfield has appeared in a range of features, including Girlfriend, Blood of the Tribades and Clickbait as well as a number of shorts, a television show, music videos and numerous comedy sketches. An artist and musician in his spare time, he has also designed sets for shorts and music videos, and was a Production Designer on Girlfriend (2010). He made his directorial debut with makes his directorial debut with Winkville. Seth lives in Peterborough, NH.

Local Documentary Filmmaking

Saturday | November 14th, 11:00am | Virtual

Join Monadnock Region documentary filmmakers Greg Pregent, Douglas Challenger and Laurie Challenger to learn how to make films independently with minimal help and the importance of showcasing local stories that might otherwise be overlooked. Greg, Douglas and Laurie have made several successful documentaries about the Monadnock Region.

Greg Pregent

Greg Pregent is an independent filmmaker and the Production Director for the Monadnock Broadcasting Group in Keene NH. He has made numerous award-winning documentary’s about the Monadnock region including “Hidden in Plain Sight” Homelessness in Keene, “Thirst” about Branch and Blade Brewery, and “Locally Rooted” A short film about 4 local farmers and their path to success. Greg will be your moderator for this panel.

Douglas Challenger
& Laurie Challenger

Douglas Challenger is a professor of sociology and documentary studies at Franklin Pierce University. Along with his wife and documentary filmmaking partner, Laurie Challenger, they have made two short documentaries that have played locally and on New Hampshire PBS – An Education That Matters: The First Fifty Years of Franklin Pierce (2012) and From Hurricane to Climate Change: A Region Responds. (2016). They are currently finishing a feature-length documentary entitled Perpetual Journey that tells the story of a recent, semester-long study abroad trip they took with five college students walking over 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail in Spain.