Project Advisors


Brian Newman – Distribution Consultant

Brian Newman is the founder of Sub-Genre, a consulting company working with major brands and nonprofits to design and implement strategic marketing campaigns using films and new media. Brian has developed overall film strategy, business development and marketing strategies for major brands including Patagonia, Yeti Coolers, Levi’s (via Imprint Projects) and Vulcan Productions among others. 

Current and former clients include: Patagonia, developing film strategies and marketing and distribution for numerous films, including DamNation; The Fisherman’s Son, and Jumbo Wild; Sundance Institute on the Transparency Project; Vulcan Productions on sponsorships for Racing Extinction and We the Voters; Imprint Projects on festival strategy for two films for Levi’s; Yeti Coolers on media strategy and film distribution and marketing; and several filmmakers on fundraising, distribution and marketing. 

Brian is also the producer of Love & Taxes, and executive producer of Shored Up, The Invisible World and Remittance. Brian has served as CEO of the Tribeca Film Institute, president of Renew Media and executive director of IMAGE Film & Video. Brian serves on the boards of Rooftop Films, Muse Film & Television and IndieCollect and the advisory board of the Camden International Film Festival. He was born in North Carolina and has an MA in Film Studies from Emory University.

SuEllen Fried, Advisor

SuEllen Fried has been a dance therapist and a social activist in the fields of mental health, child abuse prevention, and bullying/peer abuse. She has co-authored three books on the topic of bullying and worked with over 75,000 students, parents, educators in 37 states. In 1982 she co-founded Reaching Out From Within, a self-help program for men and women who are incarcerated. The program is in every Kansas prison and has been transplanted to North Carolina. In 2015, she was honored as one of Ten Women Of Worth by L’Oreal Paris for her 34 years of continuous Volunteer Service to ROFW. She has been featured on the TODAY Show, CBS Evening News and Good Morning America. 

Lucy Bernholz, Ph.D. – Advisor

Lucy Bernholz is a philanthropy wonk. She is trying to understand how we create, fund, and distribute shared social goods in the digital age – what she calls The Future of Good. She writes extensively on philanthropy, technology, information, and policy on her award winning blog, philanthropy2173.com. This work led The Huffington Post to hail her as a “game changer.”

Bernholz is a Senior Researcher at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society where she co-leads the Digital Civil Society Lab. She has been a Visiting Scholar at The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and a Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, with the Hybrid Reality Institute, and at the New America Foundation. Bernholz is a frequent conference speaker and an oft-quoted media source for NPR, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Economic Times of India. She is the author of numerous articles and books about the philanthropy, policy, and technology, including the Blueprint Series of Annual Industry Forecasts on Philanthropy and the Social Economy, the 2010 publication Disrupting Philanthropy, and her 2004 book Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets: The Deliberate Evolution. She has a B.A. from Yale University, where she played field hockey and captained the lacrosse team, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Jennifer Tavernaro, Educational Advisor

Jennifer is an 8th grade English teacher in Overland Park, Kansas.  She has been teaching middle school for the past 24 years and is a life-long learner who loves to share that passion with her students.  She was named the Clyde U Phillips Outstanding Young Educator in 1994 and was the Kansas Teacher of the Year representative for the DeSoto School District in 1997. She has the BEST job of all time since she can live in Middle Earth, hang out with Ponyboy Curtis, and delve into the many layers of Holocaust education with her students each year.  She’s a dreamer and a poet, both of which serve her well in the classroom. She has two beautiful human daughters, Olivia and Sullivan, and one Canine daughter, Juneau, who take up the majority of her and her husband’s free time. She is the self-proclaimed Queen of the Nerds and loves attending whatever Comic-Con is within driving distance of Kansas City with her family and friends.

Todd Milton, Educational Advisor

Todd Milton is graduate of the University of Idaho with a B.S in Psychology  1993, and a MEd. in Counseling and Human Services 1998.  He’s currently working as a High School Counselor at Albert M. Lowry in Winnemucca, Nevada.  Todd was recognized as one of Washoe County’s “most influential educators” in 2003 and his biggest joy comes from working with teenagers. Todd, his wife Misty, and their two boys (Tazmin, and T.J.) are all very active in school athletics, and they’re specifically interested in student-led groups like “Empower” (founded by Caroline Kennedy in our film) that encourage students to make big changes in the world. As an educational advisor for BIG SONIA, Todd will help develop a 7-12 grade curriculum for school districts across the US, starting with Winnemucca.