Board of Directors

Charles S. Cohen As owner, president, and chief executive officer of Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation (CBRC), Charles S. Cohen has achieved an enviable national reputation for his exceptional business acumen, innovation and creativity at every turn. An entrepreneurial real estate executive in the truest sense, Mr. Cohen, one of the country’s legendary commercial real estate owners/developers with a portfolio of over 12 million square feet of prime properties located in New York, Texas, Florida and Southern California, is one of the rare breed of developers with a vision that is clearly and ultimately defined by design.
Katherine Bauer, President of the Board of Directors, works primarily with 16mm film and its material potential for sculpture, photography and installation. Much of her work involves mythologies, folklores, and narratives adapted from her travels across the United States and Southeastern Asia. The celluloid of film gives bodily presence to these narratives and enacts their themes of decay, eroticism and horror. Katherine received a BA from Bard College where she majored in Film and Electronic Arts. She is currently working on a MFA from NYU in Studio Art where she also teaches 16mm filmmaking. Her work has been shown across the United States in a variety of venues and galleries. Recently she has performed or shown work at The Knitting Factory, Anthology Film Archives, St. Cecilias Convent, Millennium Film Workshop, New York Underground Film Festival, Tribes Gallery, Mono No Aware, Union Docs, Unsmoke Systems Gallery in Braddock, Television Access Gallery in San Francisco, among others. Her films are available for rent from The Film-Makers Cooperative in New York City.
Richard Sylvarnes, Vice-President of the Board of Directors, is a filmmaker, photographer, and sound artist. His work has been exhibited in museums, galleries, and festivals around the world. In 2009 he received a Creative Capital Grant and in 2008 he was nominated for a Rockefeller Renew Media Fellowship. His first feature premiered in the International Dramatic Feature Competition at the inaugural Tribeca Film Festival in 2002 continuing on in festivals throughout Asia and Europe and was released by Possible Films in 2004. H.C.E., his second feature, also premiered at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival in the NYNY Narrative Competition. He has collaborated numerous times with four-time Bessie Award winning choreographer David Neumann, with their most recent work premiering at the Kitchen in 2010. He has been diversely commissioned to make music videos for the likes of the band Interpol to videos for fashion designer Miho Miho to directing a pilot for Brazilian television. He holds a Degree in Photography from The Rochester Institute of Technology and has been a guest lecturer at Harvard University.
M.M. Serra, Executive Director of the Film-Makers Cooperative is an experimental film/videomaker who has produced, directed, and edited more than fourteen works. Her own work, as well as her curated programs, have been screened at the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of the Moving Image in New York; The Centre Georges Pompidou and the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris; the London Film Festival, Oberhausen International Short Film Festival and the Dresden Film Fest in Germany. Serra has been the Executive Director of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative in New York City since 1991 and has curated several exhibition programs in New York and Europe.
Joel Schlemowitz, Treasurer, has made over forty short experimental films, and numerous film installation pieces. His work has been shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA, Anthology Film Archives, Millennium Film Workshop, Berks Filmmakers, and various festivals. His film Reverie was shown on the Sundance Channel. Another work, Moving Images – the Film-Makers’ Cooperative relocates, received Honorable Mentions from the Thaw02 Film & Video Festival and NY Short Film Expo, and was awarded a silver plaque from the Chicago International Film Festival. He teaches filmmaking at the New School.
Coleen Fitzgibbon, Secretary, is an experimental film artist who worked under the pseudonym “Colen Fitzgibbon” between the years 1973-1980. A student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Whitney Independent Study Program, she studied with Owen Land (aka “George Landow”), Stan Brakhage, Yvonne Rainer, Carolee Schneemann, Vito Acconci, and worked on film projects for Dennis Oppenheim, Gordon Matta-Clark and Les Levine. She formed the collaborative X&Y with Robin Winters in 1976, The Offices of Fend, Fitzgibbon, Holzer, Nadin, Prince and Winters in 1979, and is best known for co-founding the New York based Collaborative Projects, Inc. (Colab) in 1977 through 1981, along with artists Kiki Smith, Jenny Holzer, Liza Bear, Betsy Sussler and Tom Otterness, among others. Fitzgibbon has screened her work at numerous international film festivals and museums, including The Toronto International Film Festival 2009, Museum of Modern Art, EXPRMNTL 5 at Knokke-Heist, Belgium, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, Anthology Film Archives, Collective For Living Cinema, and Millennium Film Workshop. Fitzgibbon currently resides in New York City and Montana.
Jonas Mekas, is a Lithuanian-born American filmmaker, writer, and curator who has often been called “the godfather of American avant-garde cinema. His work has been exhibited in museums and festivals across Europe and America.
Smith & Lowles George Smith and Amy Lowles have worked as a collaboration since 2003 when they were both studying at The Slade school, London. Since 2006 they have been living in New York working in both film and video. Recently have had screenings at the Millennium Theater NYC, SilverScreen Theater, Pacific Design Center LA, MIX Film Festival NYC and have had various gallery installations in London and New York.
Gregg Biermann Gregg Biermann is a video artist whose work comes out of the avant-garde filmmaking tradition but takes advantage of the power of recent digital technologies to advance rigorous compositional strategies. His work has been shown internationally at a wide variety of museums, galleries, and alternative film venues, and is in the permanent collection of FRAC Limousin. His work has been reviewed by the New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Film Threat, The Millennium Film Journal and in Eivind Rossaak’s book Between Stillness and Motion: Film, Photography and Algorithms. He is Professor of Cinema Studies and Chair of the Visual Arts Department at Bergen Community College in New Jersey.
Rachael Guma is a filmmaker and sound artist currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Through her experiments with Super 8 film and analog sound, Rachael strives to create an engaging live viewing experience that embraces the idiosyncratic qualities of technology, while maintaining a hand-crafted approach to her output. Since graduating from the San Francisco Art Institute, her films have screened at the San Francisco Cinematheque, RX Gallery, Mono No Aware, Northern Flickers, Union Docs, AXWFF 2011, Black Mariah Films, and Microscope Gallery where she was invited to present her first solo show. As a member of Optipus Film Collective, she has performed live foley sound at the Kitchen, Participant Gallery, 2011 Index Festival, Roulette, Sight Unseen, and the Museum of Art and Design. Her teaching experience includes introducing avant-garde film to at risk teens at Reel Works, artist visits at Pratt Institute and Sarah Lawrence, and the ongoing Super 8 workshops for Mono No Aware.
Margaret Rorison is a writer, curator and filmmaker from Baltimore, Maryland. Her work often develops from extensive walks through rural and urban landscapes, combining memories, field recordings and text. She is interested in the potentials of storytelling through the use of live 16mm projection and sound.
Her work has been screened at various festivals and venues including The Ann Arbor Film Festival, CROSSROADS, Images Festival, Mono No Aware VI & VII, Sonic Circuits Festival, Microscope Gallery, The Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russia and The High Zero Festival in Baltimore, MD. She is the co-founder and curator for a roaming film series, Sight Unseen and holds an MFA from The Maryland Institute College of Art. She is also a member of The Red Room Collective and has been a member of The Maryland Film Festival Screening Committee since 2012.
Melissa Friedling is a filmmaker, writer, and educator. Her creative work has been selected for numerous international festivals and has also been presented in galleries and museums including PS1 MoMA (NY,NY), Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center (Buffalo, NY), The Athens Institute for Contemporary Art (Athens, GA), and Apex Art (NY,NY). She has been an artist in residence at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (NY, NY), a Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum School Programs Guest Artist, and is the recipient of a Fulbright Award and artist’s grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the New York State Council for the Arts. In 2006, she also founded her own web video production company, Slouch Productions. In addition, her writing on film, art, and culture has been published widely including essays in Flash Art International, Afterimage, and Discourse and a book, Recovering Women: Rhetoric, Feminisms, and Addiction (Westview Press, 2000). She has been teaching courses in film and video production and aesthetics at the New School since 2004 and has also taught at The Pratt Institute, Hunter College, and Syracuse University. PhD, U. of Iowa.


Board Member and Filmmaker Biographies last updated March 24th, 2014

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