Guest List



Dr. Richard Vetter
Developer of the Dimension 150, the optical system for 70 mm photography and projection (as used in the film “Patton”)


Paul Cox
Born is Holland and settled in Australia, Cox is an auteur of international acclaim. His illustrious film career began with his first full-length ILLUMINATIONS in 1974, which gave name to his Melbourne based production company Illumination Films. He has since become on of the most prolific makers of films in Australia, with more than 25 features and documentaries to his name. He is the humble recipient of numerous special tributes and retrospectives at film festivals across the world, including a major retrospective at the Lincoln Center in New York in 1992, and the subject of Alexander Bohr’s 1997 documentary EIN FREMDER IN DER WELT (A STRANGER IN THE WORLD).

Terry Norris
Terry Norris is one of Australia’s most prominent television actors, having enjoyed a career spanning over four decades. Originally wanting to be a boilermaker, Terry fell into acting, and began his career as a back stage worker in the Tivoli Theatre in Victoria. Married to Julia Blake for 38 years, Terry has previously played both her on-screen husband and her father. Says director Paul Cox, “This was a very courageous thing for Julia and Terry to do – it was hard for them. But this is the most peaceful film I have ever made – we were all totally in tune – and it just happened. “Terry is a wonderful man and a very fine actor. He is very natural and he is very funny – tragically funny,” adds Cox.

Paul Grabowsky
Composer from “Innocence.”


Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is the writer, producer and director of “Diamond Men.” Early in his career Mr. Cohen wrote for the Lancaster newspapers and appeared on WGAL TV. The New York Post called "The Whole Truth, a very low budget film he wrote and co-directed, "both funny and truthful," and gave it three (out of four) stars. Janet Maslin, editing in the New York Times, called it "a hardworking comedy with a homemade flavor" and compared it to the early work of Albert Brooks and Woody Allen.

Three generations of Dan Cohen’s family were “on the road” in the diamond business. When he was very small, Dan Cohen didn’t know what his father did for a living. When he started elementary school his parents told him only that his father was an “executive salesman.” The reason for all this secrecy had to do with the risky business of carrying a “live” line of diamonds on the road. Both his father and grandfather reasoned that the less said about the business the better. Until they reached adolescence, neither Dan nor his brother fully understood what their father did when he went away on business trips.

Robert Forster
When pundits say that just being nominated for an Academy Award is tantamount to winning, they must have had actor ROBERT FORSTER in mind. His role as Max Cherry in Quentin Tatantino's "Jackie Brown" was a landmark performance and helped revive a career, which Forster describes as having "a five-year ascending first act, and a 25-year descending second act." His performance has garnered universally great critical acclaim, but even more importantly, he received an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor. It has turned around a career which started over 30 years ago and put him suddenly in great demand. A native of Rochester, NY, Forster began his acting career in local community theatre, moving to New York City in 1965, where he made his professional debut in the two-character Broadway production of "Mrs. Dally Has A Lover." His other stage credits include "A Streetcar Named Desire," "The Glass Menagerie," and the off-Broadway productions of "Twelve Angry Men," "The Sea Horse," and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. “Never quit." Forster tells young actors. "If you have a good attitude, deliver excellence to everything you do, and hang in there, you can win it, even in the late innings."


Bernard Rose
After receiving encouragement from the BBC as a teen in the form of an award for young filmmakers, Rose attended England's National Film and Television School. He subsequently established himself as a TV director for the BBC ("Smart Money" and "Body Contact"), and helmed many music videos for recording artists including Roy Orbison ("Wild Hearts"), Frankie Goes to Hollywood ("Relax"), and UB40 ("Red Red Wine") 5Rose made his feature directorial debut with PAPERHOUSE (1988), an intriguing drama about a young teen whose dreams begin to merge into real life.


Kaylie Jones
“A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries" (1998), adapted from Kaylie Jones' novel based on life with her father, writer James Jones. “Roger Ebert is one of our greatest film critics,” Jones said. “He takes a stand on the films he believes in and doesn’t cater to the Hollywood vogue. When Ebert recommends a film, I go see it. I plan to stay for the entire festival because these are movies that have been chosen by a real aficionado of film.”

Kris Kristofferson
Kris Kristofferson was born in Brownsville, Texas. He spoke Spanish before English. His father was an Air Force Major-General. Kristofferson spent his youth moving around the country wherever his father was assigned. Some of his songs include, "Me and Bobby McGee," "Help Me Make It Through The Night," "For The Good Times," "Loving Her Was Easier, "and "Why Me," to name a few. Kris has toured several months a year for the last twenty years with his band and most recently as a part of The Highwaymen with his longtime friends Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. Kristofferson graduated from Pomona College in California where he majored in Creative Literature and was awarded a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University. After a stint as an Army pilot, he declined a teaching post at West Point and moved to Nashville to pursue a writing career and a foothold in the country music scene. Within a few years success arrived when his now classic song "Sunday Morning Coming Down." He has been named to the Songwriter's Hall of Fame and has had his songs recorded by hundreds of major artists. Kristofferson's acting career lifted off with his musical success. He started with his first film in 1971, and followed this success with several hits. Certainly a landmark in his film career was starring in "A Star Is Born" with Barbara Streisand, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. Kristofferson once said, "It's where the stuff you feel in your heart is expressed, it's the closest thing to your soul," he says of his music. "To me it's satisfying to express things that you feel and have other people say 'Right, that's exactly how I feel, too.'


Michael Gilio
Michael Gilio is the Writer and Director of KWIK STOP. He is a screenwriter and actor with numerous film and television credits to his name. His film and television credits include a co-starring role with Sidney Poitier in TO SIR WITH LOVE 2, directed by Peter Bogdanovich, ONLY IN AMERICA; THE LIFE & CRIMES OF DON KING with Ving Rhames, LOVE & ACTION IN CHICAGO with Kathleen Turner and Jason Alexander, guest roles on The Profiler, Chicago Hope and Early Edition. Gilio has starred in many independent films such as NO SLEEP TILL MADISON with Jim Gaffigan, 2 WEEKS, 1 YEAR and KWIK STOP. Gilio began his career in both screenwriting and acting in Chicago. There he worked as an actor in theatre and attended Columbia University in Chicago. KWIK STOP is his feature film directorial debut.

Rachel Tenner
Rachel Tenner is the Producer of KWIK STOP. She is a partner in the Chicago-based casting agency Tenner and Paskal Casting. There, Tenner is responsible for casting film, television and commercials and has in the past few years has worked with directors such as Sam Mendes, David Koepp, Joel & Ethan Coen, and Peter Bogdanovich. Among their film and television credits include: Road to Perdition, What Women Want, Stir of Echoes, The Negotiator and Fargo for which they won an Artios Award for “Best Location Casting” on a feature film. They also cast the series “Cupid” for ABC. Tenner guest lectures at Columbia College for the producer’s series and at Northwestern University for Studio 22 Productions.


Alloy Orchestra
Alloy Orchestra is a three man musical ensemble, writing and performing live accompaniment to classic silent films. Working with an outrageous assemblage of peculiar objects, they thrash and grind soulful music from unlikely sources. Alloy has composed scores for: Metropolis (German, 1926), The Wind (American 1927), Nosferatu (German, 1922), to name a few.



Drew “Moriarity” McWeeny, West Coast Editor of Ain’t It Cool News will be on stage with us to discuss the new “Metropolis.”


Tahmineh Milani
Born in Tabriz in 1960. Graduated in Architecture from Science and Technology University in 1986. Began her film career by doing research on screenwriting at the Free Film Workshop in 1979. She went on to work as script girl and assistant director on several films. Among her early works in screenwriting is the original screenplay of the film LOVE AND DEATH, under the initial title of IF TOMORROW COMES. Feature films (as director, also writer in all films) – 1989: CHILDREN OF DIVORCE (also set and costume designer). 1990 – THE LEGEND OF AH (also co-producer). 1991 – WHAT ELSE NOW? ( also co-producer). 1994 – KAKADU (also production manager, co-producer).



David Gordon Green
After studying film making at the North Carolina School of Arts, Texan native writer/director David Gordon Green worked in the film industry between New York and Los Angeles for both major studios and independent film companies. He has written several short fiction documentary films, including ROUGHOUSE (1995). PLEASANT GROVE (1998). At the Newport International Film Festival in Newport, RI, Green received the award for Best Director. GEORGE WASHINGTON is his first feature-length film.

Curtis Cotton III
Curtis Cotton III is one the star of “George Washington.”


George T. Nierenberg
George T. Nierenberg is the director of SAY AMEN SOMEBODY. He is an acclaimed filmmaker whose career has spanned the worlds of independent features, network, cable, and international television. Nierenberg has been called "our most accomplished and sensitive chronicler of popular performing art". His fascination with the roots of American music and dance has led to a series of remarkable non-fiction films. His award winning film, SAY AMEN SOMEBODY tells the story of the pioneers of Gospel music.

The Barrett Sisters
The Barrett Sisters, DeLois, Billie, and Rodessa, all natives of Chicago, Illinois started singing at an early age; while members of the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church. With the encouragement of their parents, the girls formed their own trio. Their father, Lonnie, who was known in the religious community as “Poppa Barrett,” was a very strong religious influence in the lives of his daughters. For over thirty years, DeLois Barrett Campbell, Billie Barrett GreenBey and Rodessa Barrett Porter, internally known as The Barrett Sisters, have lifted their voices to Praise the Lord!

Other scheduled festival guests include:

Michael Barker, President of Sony Classics

Clifford Parker Robertson III

A polished leading man, Robertson began his career in film and TV in the 1950s. It is said that he was chosen by President John F. Kennedy himself to portray JFK in the film P.T.-109 (1963). He won an Emmy for his performance in Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theater: The Game (1965). He won an Oscar for his portrayal of a mentally retarded man in Charly (1968) and wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the film J. W. Coop (1972). He played Hugh Hefner in Star 80 (1983) and starred in the TV series Falcon Crest (1983–84). He also appeared in Escape from L.A. (1996), Melting Pot (1997), and Family Tree (1999).

Paul Speaker, President of Madstone Films

Lorr Kramer, Director of Special Technical Projects at Digital Theater Systems (DTS)

Brand Fortner, Senior Research Scientist, Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University.

George Walton and Tyrene (Manson) Walton, stars from “On the Ropes,” screened at the 2001 Festival.

Tom Holman, President of TMH Corporation and Professor of Film Sound at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television and a Principal Investigator in the Integrated Media Systems Center at the university. Tom Holman won The ACADEMY AWARD for scientific, engineering and technical achievement for improvements in motion picture loudspeaker systems.

Dusty and Joan Cohl, founder of Toronto Film Festival and Floating Film festival.

Mitra Sen
Mitra Sen is a graduate of the University of Toronto and York University’s Film Production program. She has worked on several features and short films and completed her first independent film entitled JUST A LITTLE RED DOT…’ in 1996, which she produced, wrote and directed. The film is based on a true incident of discrimination and empowers young people to challenge racism and celebrate diversity. ‘just a little red dot…’ has traveled to over 25 film festivals and won 12 international awards including Most Popular Film at the 14th Chicago Int’l. Children’s film Festival, Best Short Film at the 10th Int’l. Film Festival for Children in Hyderabad, India, and Best Live Action Short at the Korean Int’l. Family Film Festival.
A UI cinema studies class will screen the film, JUST A LITTLE RED DOT.

James Berardinelli, web-based film critic, became interested in film during his college years; he received a BS and MS in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1993, he ‘went public’ on the Usenet newsgroups. He now views between 220 and 250 theatrical releases each year. His ReelViews Web site, which contains more than 1,600 movie reviews, can be reached at”

David Poland, web-based film critic – The Hot Button.