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Erich Bergen

Erich Bergen currently stars as Blake Moran on the hit CBS television drama, Madam Secretary, broadcast all over the world and streaming on Netflix.

Erich is also known for his critically-acclaimed performance as Bob Gaudio in the Clint Eastwood-directed musical film, Jersey Boys, reprising his performance from the stage production in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the First National Tour. Other credits include Gossip Girl, Desperate Housewives, Person Of Interest and the 2018 film, Humor Me.

As a singer and musician, Erich can be seen performing in concert all over the world. His albums are available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and all other digital music/streaming outlets.

Erich stars in Humor Me. He will join audiences for a Q&A following the screenings on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29.

David Bernabo

David Bernabo is a documentary filmmaker, musician, dancer, visual artist, and writer, performing with the bands Host Skull and How Things Are Made; devising dances with his variable dance company, MODULES; and often collaborating with Maree ReMalia | merrygogo. He curates and produces work for the Ongoing Box imprint and co-curates the Lightlab Performance Series with slowdanger.

David’s recent documentaries include a four-film documentary series called Food Systems (2014-2016), the culinary travelogue The Vacation (2017), the food and labor film Eating & Working & Eating & Working (2018), and a history of the site-specific museum, Site-Specific: A History of the Mattress Factory (2018).

David is the director of In a Dark Wood. He will join audiences for a Q&A following the world premiere screening on Monday, April 30.

Laurie Zittrain Eisenberg

Laurie Zittrain Eisenberg is Teaching Professor in the History Department at Carnegie Mellon University, where she specializes in Middle East history. She holds a Ph.D. in modern Middle East history from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (1990).  Laurie’s areas of research and publication include the Arab-Israeli conflict and peace process.  She has published numerous articles and is the author of My Enemy’s Enemy: Lebanon in the early Zionist Imagination, 1900-1948 (Wayne State, 1994) and, with Neil Caplan, Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace: Patterns, Problems, Possibilities (Indiana University Press, 2010). An unusual project for which she served as consultant was “PeaceMaker,” a video game simulating Palestinian-Israeli interactions. On-going research projects concern the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war and the efficacy of simulation and role-playing activities in teaching the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Laurie will lead the Film Schmooze discussion following the screening of The Oslo Diaries on Wednesday, May 2.

Randall Halle

Randall Halle is the Director of the Film and Media Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Halle’s passion for film began in 1977 during a screening of Aguirre the Wrath of God at the Oriental Theater in Milwaukee. He became fascinated by the potential of Cinema as a space to open up worlds of other possibilities. He is the author of numerous books and his essays have appeared in journals such as New German Critique, Screen, and Film-Philosophy.

Randall will lead the Film Schmooze discussion following the screening of Bye Bye Germany on Tuesday, May 1.

Jonathan Mayo

Jonathan Mayo has been a reporter at MLB.com since April 1999 and has covered baseball events all over the globe, including Puerto Rico, Mexico, Japan and South Korea. He’s covered 18 All-Star Games and numerous postseasons. Since 2003, he’s focused on Minor League prospects and the Major League Baseball Draft for MLB.com, while appearing frequently on MLB Network as one of the premier prospects experts in the country. He is the author of one book, “Facing Clemens,” which came out in 2008. Jonathan lives in Squirrel Hill with his wife Sara and his two children, Ziv and Elena, and prefers Mineos over Aiellos.

Jonathan is the subject and star of the documentary Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel. He will join the audience for a Q&A following the screening on Opening Night, Thursday, April 26.

Philippe Mora

Philippe Mora is an acclaimed French Australian writer, director, producer and artist. He has made over forty films internationally in many genres. These include BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME, SWASTIKA, THREE DAYS IN AUSCHWITZ, COMMUNION, BEAST WITHIN, MAD DOG MORGAN, GERMAN SONS and DEATH OF A SOLDIER. Born in Paris in 1949, he grew up in Melbourne. His parents, Georges and Mirka Mora, were key figures in the art world of Australia. His godfather was Marcel Marceau. He had a retrospective of his paintings in London at England & Co. Gallery in 2008. New Horizons Film Festival, Wroclaw, Poland, held a 7 film retrospective in 2010. Oldenburg Film Festival, Germany, held a retrospective in 2014. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The National Archives of the United States has established the Philippe Mora Collection.

Philippe is the subject and star of the documentary Monsieur Mayonnaise. He will join the audience for a Q&A following the screening on Wednesday, May 2.

Sam Pollard

Sam Pollard is an accomplished feature film and television video editor, and documentary producer/director whose work spans almost 30 years. His first assignment as a documentary producer came in 1989 for Henry Hampton’s Blackside production Eyes On The Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads. Between 1990 and 2010, Pollard edited a number of Spike Lee’s films: Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Girl 6, Clockers and Bamboozled. Pollard and Lee also co-produced a number of documentary productions for the small and big screen: Spike Lee Presents Mike Tyson, Four Little Girls, and When The Levees Broke. He also co-produced and supervised the edit on the follow up to Levees, If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don’t Rise.

Since 2012, Pollard has produced and directed Slavery By Another Name (2012), a  documentary for PBS that was in competition at the Sundance Film Festival; August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand (2015), a documentary for American Masters; Two Trains Runnin’ (2016), a feature-length documentary that premiered at the Full Frame Film Festival; and The Talk: Race in America (2017) for PBS.

Sam is the director of Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me. He will join audiences for a Q&A following the screeningon Sunday, April 29.

Mathew Rosenblum

With diverse musical elements derived from classical, jazz, rock, and world music traditions, Mathew Rosenblum’s compositions offer “an ear-buzzing flood of sound, rich in unusual overtones” (The Boston Globe). A wide array of groups have commissioned, performed, and recorded his music such as the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, FLUX Quartet, as well as many others. His music has been performed throughout the world including at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Prince Mahidol Hall in Bangkok, and Sala Nezahualcóyotl in Mexico City. Honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Fromm Foundation Commissions, and a Barlow Endowment Commission. He received degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music and Princeton University and is Professor of Composition at the University of Pittsburgh where he co-directs the Music on the Edge new music series.

The documentary In A Dark Wood charts the path of composer Mathew Rosenblum’s “Lament/Witches’ Sabbath,” a highly personal concerto written for world famous clarinetist/composer David Krakauer. Mathew will join director David Bernabo for a Q&A following the world premiere of In A Dark Wood on Monday, April 30.


Adam Shear

Adam Shear teaches religious studies, history, and Jewish studies at the University of Pittsburgh, including courses on modern Israel and Zionism. His research focuses on early modern Jewish intellectual and cultural history, with a particular focus on the history of books and the transmission of knowledge. For the last eight years, he has directed the Jewish Studies Program and in fall 2018, he will become chair of the Department of Religious Studies. As director of Jewish Studies, he and Kathryn Spitz Cohan initiated the idea of the “Film Schmooze” but this is the first time he is leading one. In his spare time, he reads a lot of mystery novels and enjoys seeing how Israeli authors and artists adopt genre motifs of mysteries and thrillers to the Israeli matzav.

Adam will lead the Film Schmooze discussion following the screening of Shelter on Saturday, May 5.