Sponsored by Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
Tony Pitone, First Assistant Editor, Laika Stop Motion Animation Studio
A Germantown Academy alumnus (1987), Tony Pitone has built a 20-year career in the film industry, specializing in post-production visual effects. While at Industrial Light and Magic, he worked on each of the three Star Wars prequels. For Blue Sky Studios, Tony was the First Assistant Editor on Ice Age: Continental Drift, and now at Laika Stop Motion Animation Studio, he worked on 2016's Kubo and the Two Strings.
Pitone also directed and co-produced a short independent film, The Secretary, in 2007, and is in talks with a fellow GA alum on an indie feature. Tony met his wife Kristen, who is a visual effects compositor, while working at ILM, and they currently reside in Portland, Oregon with their two children and dog.
Cameron Yates, Documentary Filmmaker
Cameron Yates is a documentary filmmaker and curator. He is the former Documentary Programmer for the Hamptons International Film Festival. Cameron has also worked for the Sundance Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, NewFest, Albert Maysles, and Zeitgeist Films and has been a contributor to indieWIRE.
His first documentary, The Canal Street Madam, the story of a New Orleans madam who ran a brothel with her mother and daughter until arrested by the FBI, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and is distributed by Cinema Guild. He is currently working on two feature documentary films, one about a prodigy chef and his mother and the other about Mariela Castro, President Raúl’s daughter, who is at the forefront of the LGBT rights movement in Cuba.
Natalie Difford, Head of Filmmaker Development, Cinereach
Natalie Difford designs and oversees the development of filmmakers at Cinereach. Prior to joining Cinereach, she ran the non-profit film fund, Chicken & Egg Pictures. She has extensive film experience from development to festivals including, This is That, IFP, London Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, as well as various TV productions for A&E, Comedy Central, IFC and MTV Productions.
As an independent producer, Natalie was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Adam Leon’s feature debut, Gimme the Loot,and is co-producing Leon’s forthcoming Tramps. She also produced the interactive documentary 11/4/08. Natalie was named one of the “Jezebel 25 Amazing and Kick-Ass Women” in 2012.
Prior to founding The Padcaster, Josh founded Manhattan Edit Workshop, an Apple, Avid, Adobe, Autodesk, Assimilate and Blackmagic Authorized Training Center that offers a variety of classes in the art and technique of film editing & production.
In addition, Josh is an award-winning writer, director, and editor who has worked in all areas of filmmaking. In his directorial debut on the film Kaaterskill Falls, Josh was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards: the John Cassavetes Award and Best Debut Performance. As a film editor, Josh has worked on over ten feature films including The Holy Land and Barbecue is a Noun.
Josh holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Pennsylvania and Masters degree from New York University’s Graduate Film Program, where his film, The 53rd Calypso, was honored with the Martin Scorsese Award for achievement in directing.