We’ve seen your tweets, facebook posts and tumblr re-blogs. We know you’re enjoying yourselves at this year’s Festival. In addition to our events, parties and panels, the centerpiece of each Festival year is, of course, the program. Our programmers are responsible for helping emerging talent find a showcase for their films, giving established filmmakers a safe haven to experiment, and making sure that our selection is varied enough so that all movie lovers can have a  “must-see” movie of the Fest that peaks their particular interests..

Our programmers dedicate countless hours of their lives for the enhancement of the Festival and the good of movie fans everywhere. Their painstaking dedication, their wide-ranging areas of expertise, and their impeccable taste help ensure a rich Festival experience for everyone. To help you better understand the minds (and methods) behind the process, each member of our phenomenal TFF programming team filled out a questionnaire and provide us with a childhood picture so you can see how far they've come. 


Frédéric Boyer, Artistic Director

Where did you grow up? 
Paris

What film could you not get enough of when you were a little kid?
Bugs Bunny by Chuck Jones

After seeing what film did you realize you loved cinema?  
Nosferatu by Murnau

What well-known “famous” film have you not seen?
None

If you weren’t doing this,  what would you be doing?
Photographer

What performance by an actor or actress continues to resonate with you? It can be recent or long ago?
Mattias Schoenaert in Bullhead.

What film so effected you that it evoked an emotional and/or physical response?
Au Hasard Balthazar by Robert Bresson


Genna Terranova, Director of Programming

Where did you grow up?
I was born here (NYC) but grew up a short train ride away in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

What film could you not get enough of when you were a little kid?
So many...Main rotation was Grease, ET, Goonies, Rocky, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Die Hard, Breakfast Club, and Dirty Dancing. I remember not being allowed to watch Platoon or Fatal Attraction very clearly, yet I was allowed to watch Airplane (?) I guess my mom has a good sense of humor.

After seeing what film did you realize you loved cinema?
I think it may be a little cliché but I really fell in love with movies after watching Cinema Paradiso. I think it is because I come from an Italian heritage.

What well-known “famous” film have you not seen?
I have not really seen Harry Potter just snippets, I went to the 4th in the theater with friends but I think I fell asleep so I don't think it counts. Sorry, Potter fans, I am sure if I ever have kids I will be eating crow.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
If I was in film I would try to produce more, and outside film something more entrepreneurial like an inventor or baker.

What performance by an actor or actress continues to resonate with you? It can be recent or long ago?
I find Cher in Moonstruck and Jack Nicholson in The Shining wildly entertaining.

What film so effected you that it evoked an emotional and/or physical response?
I had to walk out of United 93 for a little bit. Also, I gagged multiple times watching Human Centipede.


Sharon Badal, Director, Short Film Programming and Initiatives 

Where did you grow up?
Old Bridge NJ

What film could you not get enough of when you were a little kid?
The Wizard of Oz

After seeing what film did you realize you loved cinema?
Casablanca

What well-known “famous” film have you not seen?
Lord of the Rings

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Producing the Superbowl halftime show

What performance by an actor or actress continues to resonate with you?
Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia

What film so effected you that it evoked an emotional and/or physical response?  
The Exorcist


Cara Cusamano, Programmer

Where did you grow up?
Providence, Rhode Island

What film could you not get enough of when you were a little kid?
I was obsessed with this creepy kids puppet movie called The Hugga Bunch. I asked my mom and she told me I also watched Leprechaun a lot which I don't remember but think is awesome.

In retrospect though, The Hugga Bunch is more nightmarish:

After seeing what film did you realize you loved cinema?
M

What well-known “famous” film have you not seen?
I didn't see Citizen Kane until grad school. They actually didn't even screen it for us in class because they assumed that as graduate students in Cinema Studies we would all have already seen it multiple times. So I ran out and rented it after class out of embarrassment.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Marine Biologist.  But I like to think I'd still be watching 600 movies a year anyway.

What performance by an actor or actress continues to resonate with you?
I have to say Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind since apparently I'm the only one who's seen it.

Finally, what film so effected you that it evoked an emotional and/or physical response?
The first time I saw The Exorcist I couldn't sleep for days because I thought I felt my bed shaking.


Ben Thompson, Shorts Programmer

Where did you grow up?
London UK.

What film could you not get enough of when you were a little kid?
Star Wars was one of first films I remember seeing. I watched it a lot.

After seeing what film did you realize you loved cinema?  
12 Angry Men.

What well-known “famous” film have you not seen?
I haven’t seen Lawrence of Arabia, I feel it is a film I can only watch in the theatre not on DVD.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Making films or running, I love to run. I guess I could just strap on a camera and combine the two although the footage might be a little shaky.

What performance by an actor or actress continues to resonate with you? 
A fairly easy one. Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood. Whenever I think I the character I always wished I had seen that film with my father. I think he would have appreciated it as much as me and we would have had a great time talking about why.

What film so effected you that it evoked an emotional and/or physical response?
I was deeply upset when the beast died in Beauty and the Beast but I was 10. In 12 Angry Men, when the father tears up his sons photo at the end, still chokes me up a little.


Liza Domnitz, Associate Programmer

Where did you grow up?
Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Home of beer, cheese and Mark and Mike from American Movie.

What film could you not get enough of when you were a little kid?
It's a toss up between any/all John Hughes and Cameron Crowe films, plus The Goonies, Willy Wonka and Dirty Dancing. And, oddly, I've seen Sleeping with the Enemy more times than I care to admit.

After seeing what film did you realize you loved cinema?
Ponette by Jacques Doillon. Not only was I stunned by the performances of the children, but it felt like my insides we're being ripped out—and I loved it.

What well-known “famous” film have you not seen?
2001: A Space Odyssey. Utterly shameful.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Likely something within the dance world, as that's where I began my career.  It's still such a big part of my life—my other passion!

What film so effected you that it evoked an emotional and/or physical response?
Hard to pick, but Beasts of the Southern Wild had me weeping in epic fashion through 3/4 of the film.  

What performance by an actor or actress continues to resonate with you? 
David Bowie in The Labyrinth will resonate in my dreams and nightmares for decades to come.


Ashley Havey, Associate Programmer

Where did you grow up?
Aliquippa, PA

What film could you not get enough of when you were a little kid?
The Goonies

After seeing what film did you realize you loved cinema?
Tough question. It took me a very long time to realize that movies aren’t real. (still trying to work that out.) Philadelphia Story, maybe?  Or Pulp Fiction, like any healthy teenager?

What well-known “famous” film have you not seen?
Gone With The Wind

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
On the other end, making things.

What performance by an actor or actress continues to resonate with you?
Anything from the mouths of Peter Sellers and Carmen Maura, or the minds of the Joel and Ethan Coen; the Robert Shaw monologue in JAWS, which prevented me from going in the deep end of the swimming pool alone for years; and Paddy Chayefsky made everything resonate. I am so bad at picking favorites. Have you noticed?  If this has to be a one word answer, I guess I’d say: Madeline Kahn as Mrs. White.

What film so effected you that it evoked an emotional and/or physical response? 
Watching The Who’s Tommy at age 8 with my parents probably did more to my subconscious than I would care to think.  


Ian Hollander, Associate Programmer

Where did you grow up?
Suttons Bay, MI

What film could you not get enough of when you were a little kid?
Ghostbusters

After seeing what film did you realize you loved cinema?
Dr. Strangelove

What well-known “famous” film have you not seen?
Bridge Over the River Kwai

If you weren’t doing this,what would you be doing?
Cooking and learning computer programming, with the goal of launching either a doomed tech startup, a failed restaurant, or some mad combination of the two. 


Dan Hunt, Associate Programmer

Where did you grow up?
I grew up  in Boston.

What film could you not get enough of when you were a little kid?
I watched lots of old movies because I was raised by my grandmother. She was a fan of Htichcock and anything with Bette Davis in it, so I developed a fascination with film and celebrity very early.  

After seeing what film did you realize you loved cinema?
It was during college that I discovered my passion for documentary. Titicut Follies, Harlan County, and Before Stonewall are the docs that pulled me in and later docs like Tongues Untied and Thin Blue Line that turned me into the docu-geek that I am.  

What well-known “famous” film have you not seen?
To this day I'm embarrassed to admit, I've still not seen 12 Angry Men.  I think it's the title that unnerves me — it sounds like my dating history.  

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
I've been making docs for years and love screening my work but if I was not a Programmer or filmmaker, I would be in the audience.  

What performance by an actor or actress continues to resonate with you?
Plenty of stunning performances over the years haunt me, like Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and Daniel Day Lewis in My Left Foot ...among others. The one performance I find particularly useful on a regular basis is when I've had a really crappy day, I simply recall Jennifer Coolidge's performance in Best in Show and my mood improves.

Finally, what film so effected you that it evoked an emotional and/or physical response?
Freeheld, a documentary short by Cynthia Wade.  2007.


Vivian Tse, Associate Programmer

Where did you grow up?
San Francisco

What film could you not get enough of when you were a little kid? 
Neverending Story or Star Wars

After seeing what film did you realize you loved cinema? 
Neverending Story or Star Wars

What well-known “famous” film have you not seen?
Gone with the Wind

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
National Geographic Explorer

What performance by an actor or actress continues to resonate with you?
Vincent Cassel in La Haine, David Thewlis in Naked.

Finally, what film so effected you that it evoked an emotional and/or physical response?
Watching The Joy Luck Club with my mother—too obvious? too bad. i was sobbing on the floor by the end of it


Brian Gordon, Assistant Programmer

Where did you grow up?
Cincinnati OH

What film could you not get enough of when you were a little kid?
Jerry Lewis' The Disorderly Orderly 

After seeing what film did you realize you loved cinema?
The Grapes of Wrath

What well-known “famous” film have you not seen?
The Exorcist

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Writing songs

What performance by an actor or actress continues to resonate with you? It can be recent or long ago?
Warren Oates in Two Lane Blacktop

Finally, what film so effected you that it evoked an emotional and/or physical response?
Dino de Laurentis's remake of King Kong (it wasn't pretty)


Loren Hammonds, Assistant Programmer

Where did you grow up?
Spanish Harlem, New York City

What film could you not get enough of when you were a little kid?
Beverly Hills Cop. It’s not the most appropriate film for a kid, but the mixture of action and comedy appealed to me so much that I barely even registered the profanity and violence (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) I must have seen it 25+ times once it was released on home video.

After seeing what film did you realize you loved cinema?
I’ve loved the experience of going to the movies for as long as I can remember, but it was actually a screening of The Bicycle Thieves that cemented my love for cinema as an artform. Something about the understated sadness & beauty of the film spoke directly to me, and still does.

What well-known “famous” film have you not seen?
Gone With The Wind. Somehow, that one has escaped me.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
I’d be a rock star, of course.   

What performance by an actor or actress continues to resonate with you? It can be recent or long ago?
Samuel L. Jackson as Gator in Jungle Fever. His portrayal of the crack-addicted older brother of affluent protagonist Wesley Snipes was masterful. He managed to humanize a character that had only been demonized prior to that. His soulful performance blended humor, pathos, and intensity in a way that stood out in the film and still stands the test of time.

Finally, what film so effected you that it evoked an emotional and/or physical response?
Lars Von Trier's Dancer In The Dark. While I generally avoid melodrama, his musical slice of dramatic depression forced me to sit in the theater and contemplate long after the credits rolled. While I didn't shed actual tears, I definitely felt shellshocked for a few days afterward, unable to get Bjork's haunting performance and the bizarre tone of the film out of my head. I know it's a divisive film, but it's one of my favorites.


Mallory Lance, Assistant Programmer

Where did you grow up?
LA as a young child but mostly New York City

What film could you not get enough of when you were a little kid?
Gremlins. I could not get enough.

After seeing what film did you realize you loved cinema?
Rosemary's Baby

What well-known “famous” film have you not seen?
Easy Rider. At this point I've built it up so much that I really need to see it on film. And I keep missing it whenever it plays for one reason or another.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Baking pies. Strawberry rhubarb is my favorite.

What performance by an actor or actress continues to resonate with you? It can be recent or long ago?
Without question, Isabelle Adjani's achingly terrifying performance in Andrzej Zulawski's 1981 film Possession. It's one of my absolute favorites and never ceases to amaze me.

What film so effected you that it evoked an emotional and/or physical response?
Really, there are a lot. I get intensely emotionally involved in films. But one of the most violent reactions I had was while watching the Canadian tax shelter film, Seige. It's a revenge movie and the beginning is so awful I jumped up out of my seat to turn it off. And it's rare that I find a film that's too brutal for me. Then of course I had to finish watching it a minute later because the only way to rid myself of the outrage was to see the oppressed get their sweet revenge. That and Savage Streets. And I cried like a baby at the end of Cronenberg's The Brood.


Holly Voges, Assistant Programmer

Where did you grow up?
Missouri – St. Louis and Piedmont, MO

What film could you not get enough of when you were a little kid?
The heavy rotation consisted of Star Wars Ewok Adventures: The Battle for Endor, Austrailian outback adventure, The Man from Snowy River, and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. My parents ended up basically buying these form the video store because I couldn't get enough.

After seeing what film did you realize you loved cinema?
Errol Morris' The Thin Blue Line, Sergei Eisenstein's STRIKE, F. W. Murnau's The Last Laugh

What well-known “famous” film have you not seen?
Gone with the Wind

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
C.I.A. Agent

What performance by an actor or actress continues to resonate with you?
Daniel Day-Lewis astounds me in most every role. I think he is the most talented actor of his generation. And Kate Winslet is stunning in the The Reader.

What film so effected you that it evoked an emotional and/or physical response?
Stephen King's IT and Peckinpah's Straw Dogs still haunt me. I was in awe of Malick's Tree of Life. I turned off The Exorcist after 20 mins because I knew I would never sleep again.