Director and Producer: John Halpern
In 1988, Halpern formed I.T.A.P. Pictures. ITAP produced Halpern’s first documentary about the artist Joseph Beuys. It has two other films on artists in the works. Halpern’s recent involvement in the documentary about architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown was mentioned in the New York Times. (To view the article, please click here..)
MDS FILMS, created in 2002, is the distribution outlet for films produced and directed by John Halpern. MDS PRODUCTIONS, LLC was initially conceived and incorporated for the REFUGE film production, a film shot worldwide. MDS also produces, directs and post-produces programs of varying lengths for fellow artists and filmmakers, internationally. MDS PRODUCTIONS and MDS FILMS work in conjunction with the NEW CONSUME Project, originally started in Europe in 1991.
MDS is based in Manhattan. Its offices overlook Union Square, one of the most vital nerve centers of culture and commerce in New York City.
John Halpern is a documentary filmmaker living and working in New York City. He has collaborated with and filmed renowned artists and filmmakers like Joseph Beuys, Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Les Levine. He’s won awards from the Swiss government and grants from the New York Council on the Arts, the Migros Culture Percentage, the Merian Foundation, Harlekin Arts Foundation and the Cultural Departments of Bern and Basel, in Europe, and is fiscally sponsored by New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) in Manhattan, and Buddhist Film Foundation, San Francisco.
At age 16, Halpern began making 8 and 16mm films, launching his filmmaking career. His first experimental short films earned him entry to the cutting-edge Visual Arts Program at SUNY Purchase, where film directors Willard Van Dyke and John Cohen mentored him. He completed his BFA at SUNY Purchase in 1977.
Halpern has always been a pioneer in the media industry. He directed Bridging, the mass media event that won Best News of the Year 1977. Bridging’s objective was to divert media attention from and to displace terrorism in the press. Due to the spectacular nature of the event, the media was forced to film it and broadcast it on US TV. The event established a new concept for news content.
Halpern’s film, Joseph Beuys/Transformer (1988), starring the German iconic sculptor Joseph Beuys, was described by German Television as “Television Sculpture”. The film explores the use of documentary as a portrait medium and creates an evocative story about Beuys’ controversial art and theories of sculpture, politics and ecology. Joseph Beuys/Transformer becomes a journey of transformation, as its main character, once a Nazi, emerges as a world-class leader for change and human freedom.
Halpern further explores this theme of individual and cultural transformation with the films REFUGE (2005) and TALKING WITH THE DALAI LAMA (2006). Featuring Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Bernando Bertolucci and others, along with the Dalai Lama and other established spiritual leaders, these films transport the audience into the dynamic world of interactions between East and West, and the theme of self-discovery.
Halpern’s continuing exploration of the inner awareness and cultural evolution has brought him to WAKING BUDDHA a non-fiction feature length film about the story of the meditation movement and Buddhism’s relationship to today’s new consciously engaged culture and advocacy for a sustainable future.
Halpern’s films have been broadcast on Dutch, Swiss, German, and Austrian TV, and Italian RAI, and exhibited at the National Film Theater of London; the Tate Gallery, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Guggenheims in Venice, Berlin and Bilbao; and at Zurich’s Kunsthalle. They have also been shown at Film Festivals in Locarno, Montreal, San Francisco, Chicago, Breckenridge, Century City, etc., and have premiered in New York’s Quad Cinema, Toronto’s Bloor, and Berlin’s Babylon cinemas. The films are collected by modern art museums worldwide such as Getty, Frankfurt Modern, the Guggenheims in New York and Bilbao, and the Watari in Tokyo. He has been the subject of numerous articles and programs in news print, cultural magazines, major TV broadcast in America and abroad, and in-flight entertainment films since 1977. He has worked as an editor at NY-1 TV, Manhattan, and as director/producer for Swiss, Austrian and German TV.
Halpern’s has owned and operated MDS Productions in Union Square, New York since 2002, and ITAP Pictures in Switzerland and New York, since 1988. MDS Productions produces, directs and post-produces programs for fellow international artists and filmmakers.
Producer: Julia Miller
Julia Miller is an innovative executive with proven success in leading companies’ marketing, entertainment, media and technology efforts with a unique ability to integrate technology and innovation with consumer product and media, and maximize company profitability and growth, especially in the entertainment, gaming, and publishing industries. Miller is currently CEO at DigiPowers, Inc., a digital innovation company.
Her professional experience includes product and international management for global companies such as Apple, PepsiCo, Microsoft and CitiCorp. Start-up experience includes YouCast Corp, ShopWiki, Major League Gaming and the initial launch of Xbox and Xbox Live for Microsoft. Miller’s passion lies in bringing joy to people through creating products and experiences in next generation technology and networks, including mobile, iOS, Direct X, Xbox, and Apple.
While applying financial acumen in department budgeting and cost projections to achieve key performance metrics, she led, recruited and motivated world class development of engagement and tune-in digital experiences for leaders in television, publishing and sports, including NBC, BMX, Olympics, Universal Studios, Fox, Shine America, and Hearst Corporation.
From 2004 to 2005, Miller served as Sr. Director Applications Division, Internet Services for .Mac, and led the product and marketing team of APPLE Computer to a successful re-launch of Apple’s Internet Service .Mac—now iCloud— increasing revenue over 25%. The strategic vision and marketing plan were endorsed by the CEO of Microsoft, Redmond, WA.
As member of the Leadership Committee for the HED division of Microsoft and Sr. Director of Xbox Live, Miller strategically named and positioned Xbox Live, beginning with its 2002 launch, as the hub for home entertainment. Miller grew the business and online digital subscriptions to over $100,000,000 in revenues and 2,000,000 members in less than three years, and Xbox Live launched in 24 countries.
Miller, as Director of Pepsi Marketing and Pizza Hut at Pepsico, from 1991 to 1995, worked alongside team Pepsi to create and design the “Under the Cap” program and Pepsi Points, which led Pepsi U.S. market share to surpass Coke for the first time in Pepsi history. Miller managed an over $100,000,000 budget and was responsible for all planning, program design/improvement and reporting. She also architected and created a national database for Pepsi and Pizza Hut to beat competition.
Miller holds a Master of Business, Business Management Northwestern–Kellogg, Evanston, IL; a Bachelor of Science, International Business–SUNY Empire State, Stonybrook, NY; and a Direct Marketing Diploma–NYU; and Leadership and Decision Making–Yale.
Current board and advisory positions include Radio IO, Inc., Real eMarketing, Inc. and DigiPowers, Inc. She serves as a Shareholder Representative of Social Chorus. Miller’s previous board positions include E3 Advisory Council, and Retail Advertising Conference—part of the National Retail Federation.
Miller has been featured in numerous print publications and press, including The New York Times, CNET, WSJ, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Fast Company, Promo Magazine, PC Magazine and many others. Miller also co-authored Our Journey through Prostate Cancer with Jim Miller.
Her awards and speaking engagements include: Effie Award–Emmy Award Xbox Live; Video Story Board #1–Pepsi and Pizza Hut; Crain’s Business Top 40 under 40; DMA Echo Awards; judge and speaker for Billboard Magazine, speaker at Dow Jones, E3, Promo, Under the Radar, DMA, WIC, NAB and at numerous other events.
Producer: Post FactoryNY
Alex Halpern founded Post FactoryNY in 1996 with one Avid in a friend’s borrowed apartment. By day, he rented the Avid to other filmmakers, and by night he edited his documentary Nine Good Teeth. The response was overwhelming, and Alex realized that New York’s film community needed a new kind of post-production company—one with the flexibility and technology to serve the needs of all filmmakers, from the smallest indies, to TV, to commercials, to the biggest studio movies. In the years since, Post FactoryNY has expanded to include color correction, conform, mixing, digital delivery, and a state-of-the-art screening room. Post FactoryNY also continues to fiercely protect and promote the New York film industry through its work as a founding member of the Post New York Alliance and its devotion to its clients.