Talk - Discover America Week 2016
Award winning documentary filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett and acclaimed film producer Alix Madigan-Yorkin talk about their passion, achievements, inspirations and journeys thus far.
Michael Rossato-Bennett is a documentary filmmaker. Alive Inside looks at the lack of music in nursing homes and asks questions about how we care for elders. This film will be available to screen as part of his programming of the Discover America Week.
Alix Madigan-Yorkin produced Winter’s Bone, directed by Debra Granik and starring Jennifer Lawrence, which was the winner of the Grand Jury Prize for best dramatic feature at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010. She was nominated for an Academy Award in 2011 for best picture for Winter’s Bone and the film received three other nominations. It also won The Gotham Award for Best Picture and won two Independent Spirit Awards. Currently, Alix is a staff producer for Anonymous Content, a multimedia company based in Los Angeles.
This event is presented as part of Discover America Week being celebrated from February 15 to 22, 2016.
Alix Madigan-Yorkin produced Winter’s Bone, directed by Debra Granik and starring Jennifer Lawrence, which was the winner of the Grand Jury Prize for best dramatic feature at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010. She was nominated for an Academy Award in 2011 for best picture for Winter’s Bone and the film received three other nominations. It also won The Gotham Award for Best Picture and won two Independent Spirit Awards.
Alix most recently produced Laggies, starring Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell and Chloe Moretz and directed by Lynn Shelton and Whitebird in a Blizzard, starring Shailene Woodley and directed by Gregg Araki, both of which premiered at Sundance in 2014 and will debut later in 2014. Also, she produced May in the Summer which was in the Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 and starred Hiam Abbass, Bill Pullman and Alia Shawkat, directed by Cherien Dabis, which will be released July, 2014.
She is in post on The Automatic Hate, directed by Justin Lerner. She has served in various producing capacities on films such as the cult comedy Smiley Face, directed by Gregg Araki and starring Anna Faris; Married Life, directed by Ira Sachs and starring Rachel McAdams and Pierce Brosnan; Cleaner, directed by Renny Harlin, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Ed Harris; Neil LaBute’s Your Friends and Neighbors, starring Ben Stiller and Natassja Kinski, Case 39, directed by Christian Alvert, starring Renee Zellweger and Girl Most Likely starring Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening and directed by Shari Berman and Bob Pulcini, which was released in
Alix’s first produced movie was Sunday, directed by Jonathan Nossiter, which won The Grand Jury Prize for best dramatic feature and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award in the 1997 Sundance Film Festival.
Currently, Alix is a staff producer for Anonymous Content, a multimedia company based in Los Angeles. She has served at various companies before her current position at Anonymous Content, including Propaganda Films, Skouras Pictures and Avenue Entertainment. She serves on the board of Film Independent.
She graduated from Dartmouth College and has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.
Michael Rossato-Bennett studied film at Temple University and studied lighting with family friend Vilmos Zigmond.
In 1982, he shot Street Dance a one-hour documentary on the emerging Break-Dance and Tick-tism scene in Cincinnati, Ohio funded by the Ohio Arts Council. In 1984 he co-wrote and directed Victory House, a low-budget award-winning feature that follows the fates of three young men returning to small-town Ohio after WWll. The film, shot mainly on BetaSP, won several local film festival awards.
In 1989, due to personal reasons, he gave up working in film and founded a photo studio in Cincinnati. He specialized in travel photography and shot for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Islands Magazine, Travel and Leisure, British Heritage among others. During this time he published two books, Cincinnati, A Pictorial History, and Mammoth Cave, a Pictorial History. In 1996 he came to New York where he helped his younger brother start Eyeball and after 3 years left to create Serious Business Films one of the pre-eminent Corporate Comedy outfits in NYC.
In 2009, he restarted his film work in film starting Ximotion Media a company dedicated to producing films for non-profits and good causes. In 2009, he made short documentaries for The Mozart Academy, The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center and Music & Memory. At present, his company is in production on four documentaries.
Alive Inside looks at the lack of music in nursing homes and asks questions about how we care for elders, Tradition Transformed follows 6 Contemporary Tibetan Artists, artists from a culture that has no word for art and no tradition of non-religious art. Practically Enlightened, a comic look at one man’s year-long quest to become enlightened. Prison Dance follows the changes in a dozen inmates in a maximum-security prison who are being taught
Michael Rossato-Bennett: "Alive Inside" Trailer
Alive Inside Foundation: Video tutorial for the Alive Inside App
Alix Madigan-Yorkin: "Winter's bones" Trailer