Skip to main content

BAFF Advisory Board

Brian Smith - Brian Smith is an avid movie buff and award-winning screenwriter specializing in thrillers and comedy. He has been a pre-screener, programmer and Q&A moderator with the Big Apple Film Festival since 2010. A graduate of LIU Post with a BFA in Film, Brian has professional experience at the William Morris Agency, Fangoria Magazine, and for 7 years as a Production Associate for Little Steven's Underground Garage radio show hosted by actor/musician Steven Van Zandt. The position helped strengthen Brian's skills as a videographer and editor, creating video backdrops and montages at live events.

Brian has written short films which have screened at Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival, the Hoboken International Film Festival, the Zompire Film Festival in Oregon as well as a hometown screening of his scripted short "A Cup of Sugar" at the Big Apple Film Festival. In 2013, his feature-length screenplay, "Mother Mayhem," was nominated for Best Horror Script and won the Hollywood Scriptwriter Award at the Action on Film (AOF) Festival in California. The short film, "A Cup of Sugar," which he also stars in, was nominated for Best Comedy Short and won Best Comedy Scene at the AOF Festival.

His screenplays and concepts have won awards and placed in such notable contests as Writer's Digest, Final Draft/Big Break, StoryPros International, Tracking Board, Fade In Awards, PAGE International, and Creative World Awards. More scripts are in the works.

Raquel Bruno - Raquel Bruno began her career in television at Nickelodeon & Nick at Nite. She served as liaison between Viacom partners such as UPN, Paramount and National Amusements, as well as the Museum of Television & Radio. Special events became Bruno's forte, when she took on the on site coordination of all talent for MTV Radio, MTV News, MTV Online, and various other departments for MTV's big events. The MTV Video Music Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, MTV's Spring Break, MTV Icon, and Total Request Live are among the events/programs to which Bruno lent her talents.

In 2007 the time was right for Bruno to launch her own company. Drive Entertainment Group was started to offer clients – on the booking and management sides – unprecedented attention to detail, unparalleled forward movement of their careers and events and real understanding of their needs and circumstances. Since the company's inception, Bruno has booked/produced various events and shows such as Spike TV's Guy's Choice Awards, the Jennifer Hudson Oscar party, Logo Affiliate Launch Party, FearNet Launch Party, Xbox 360 'Gears of War' Launch Event, Current TV's New Icons Campaign, Jay-Z's MTV Movie Awards Party, G-Star's Fashion Show, Bravo's Even More Scary Movie Moments, IFC's 'Guest List', Logo's New Now Next Awards, Rosie O'Donnell's The Big Gay Sketch Show, Shaun White Snowboard Video Game Launch, WE TV's High School Confidential, MTV's It's on with Alexa Chung.

Jeffrey Abramson - Jeffrey Abramson is an integrated marketing expert with substantial experience in aligning and activating brands (ideation through execution) within the world of independent film, fashion, music and the arts, as well as creating impactful branded content for corporate partners through engagement with emerging talent.

Jeffrey spent 12 years with Gen Art most recently as the company's Co-President and previously as SVP of its Film Division where he oversaw the company's signature 5 City Gen Art Screening Series and annual Gen Art Film Festivals in New York City and Chicago. He has created and implemented many custom events, programs and content designed to bring brand's key marketing objectives to life in creative and unique ways. Such programs include Crest 3D White "Little White Wardrobe" competition, Delta Air Lines "Fly-In Movies," Starbucks Salon and Eco-Online Film Festival, Your Amazon Ad Competition, Nokia Sound Circle and Nokia Art In Motion, 7 For All Mankind's "7 Fresh Faces in Film," Kenneth Cole Black "Champions of Independent Film", Tic Tac's "Shake It Up" social media video initiative and Aquafina & MySpace's "No Sleep Til' Sundance" Beastie Boys music video contest and concert.

He has also overseen screening and premiere promotional partnerships between dozens of corporate brands and all the major film distribution companies including Fox Searchlight, The Weinstein Company, Sony Picture Classics and Paramount as well as many smaller companies and self-distributing films.

Jeffrey has served on panels and juries at festivals and conferences across the country (including Hamptons, SXSW, Woodstock FF, IFP Film Week) and has been actively involved in major festivals such as Sundance and Toronto for over fifteen years. He was featured as one of Los Angeles Confidential Magazine's "Innovators" in 2011.

He started his career at Miramax Films where he participated in the marketing of such films as Shakespeare in Love, Life is Beautiful and The Cider House Rules. He has also served as a trend consultant for companies such as Lambesis, The Intelligence Group and Sense Worldwide.

Sol Tryon - Sol produced his first feature film Bomb The System in 2002, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival 2003 and earned him a Spirit Award nomination for best first feature. In 2005 while continuing his work with Shirin Neshat on her video art film, Zarin (Sundance Film Festival 2007) Sol executive produced the feature film Weapons, (Narrative Feature Competition, Sundance Film Festival 2007).

The Living Wake, Sol’s directorial debut starring Mike O’Connell, Jesse Eisenberg and Jim Gaffigan, premiered at the CineVegas Film Festival where he garnered the Heineken Red Star Award for "the most innovative and progressive filmmaker". The film also won the Audience Award at the Woodstock Film Festival, Comedic Vision Award at the Austin Film Festival.

In 2007, Sol produced the narrative feature film Explicit Ills starring Paul Dano, Rosario Dawson, Lou Taylor Pucci and Naomie Harris, was executive produced by Jim Jarmusch and directed by Mark Webber. The film premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival where it won the Narrative Feature Audience Award and the Special Jury Award for Outstanding Cinematography.

Michael Roban - Michael Roban, founder of Cold Fusion Media, formerly the Chief Operating Officer of Stone Village Pictures. He has overseen production, sales and/or finance of numerous films. His credits include "Stonewall", "Plush", "Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out" "The Cooler", "13 Conversations About One Thing","Secretary" and "The Guitar".

Roban is the executive producer of "Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus" starring Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey Jr., "Sympathy for Delicious" directed by Mark Ruffalo starring Orlando Bloom, Juliette Lewis, Mark Ruffalo and Laura Linney and "Hesher" starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman(Sundance Film Festival).

Paul Borghese - Director/Producer/Actor – Paul Borghese has extensive experience as an accomplished Director, Producer, Distribution Executive and actor. By the 1990's, some of the almost two-dozen feature films he played an active producing and/or distribution role in by that year were George Romero's Document of the Dead , Beatle George Harrison's Wonderwall, Fatal Secret starring David Carradine, A Time to Remember starring Donald O'Connor, Prisoners of Inertia starring Amanda Plummer and John McGinley , Destiny to Order starring Michael Ironside, Fright House starring Al Lewis, and Lady Terminator.

Mr. Borghese recently directed a feature film that he Co-wrote the screenplay for, Searching For Bobby D (as in DeNiro), released by Monarch Home Video. Starring in the film are Carmen Electra, Sandra Bernhard, Kevin Dobson, Mario Cantone, Tony Darrow, Michael Nouri, Tyson Beckford and Frank Pellegrino.

David Paterson - Award winning writer/producer. Feature film credits include, "Love, Ludlow", which screened at the Sundance Film Festival and has been released by Warner Home Video. He is associate producer on "Don’t Stop Believin: Everyman’s Journey", which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Mr. Paterson is also the writer/producer of the 2007 film "Bridge to Terabithia", produced in conjunction with Walt Disney and Walden Media, as well as "The Great Gilly Hopkins" (2015).

Aaron Levine - Coordinator of the Gen Art Film Division and organizer of the Gen Art Film Festival.

Sandra Gayle Jordan - Producer, writer, actress, singer. As president of S.G.Jordan Enterprises, produced, wrote, directed and acted in musical reviews for 15 years. SAG & EQUITY. Film and theater actress. Published author (penname Jordana Sands). Lectured on personal development as well as teaching the performing arts.

Erik Davis - Currently a managing editor/film writer for Fandango. Formerly Editor-in-Chief for Cinematical.com, Erik has also worked for NBC and Getty Images. Last year, Erik co-wrote and produced the award-winning short film, See Ya Tomorrow. He's written numerous screenplays and, most recently, co-wrote, produced and directed the feature film "Making Love".

John Anello Jr. - Seasoned Business Development/Business-Legal Affairs/Marketing/Staffing/Sales Professional with 19 years of business experience and a Juris Doctor law degree with emphasis on Intellectual Property for Media. He is experienced in strategic development, market-share placement, marketing material creation, staffing and recruiting, sales, and business/legal issues relating to successful marketing, sales, and licensing.