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Independent Filmmaker Project Names Producer Jeffrey Sharp as New Executive Director

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The Independent Filmmaker Project announced on Wednesday that it has tapped film producer Jeffrey Sharp as the institution’s new executive director.

Sharp, an award-winning producer for “You Can Count on Me,” will bring decades of experience to IFP, including his other work producing films such as “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Evening and The Yellow Birds” and digitally publishing authors such as William Styron, Pat Conroy and Pearl Buck as co-founder and president of Open Road Integrated Media.

“We are delighted to have Jeff join IFP as its leader.  His credentials and background are a perfect fit with our organization,” IFP co-chairs Anthony Bregman and Jim Janowitz said in a statement. “He has developed and produced prestigious independent films. He has extensive non-profit experience as a co-founder and Chair of the Hamptons International Film Festival Advisory Board. He has broad contacts across foundations, arts organizations, and government.”

“I am tremendously honored to be joining the IFP as its new executive director,” Sharp added. “IFP has had an enormous impact on the independent film industry in New York and around the world for the past forty years.  I am excited to begin working with the talented IFP team, IFP members and alumni as we continue to explore new opportunities and expand on Joana Vicente’s remarkable legacy.”

The IFP connects artists with essential resources at all stages of development and distribution. The organization fosters a vibrant and sustainable independent storytelling community through its year-round programs, which include Independent Film Week, Filmmaker Magazine, the IFP Gotham Awards and the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, a tech and media incubator space developed with the New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.

The IFP represents a growing network of storytellers around the world and plays a key role in developing 350 new feature and documentary works each year. During its 40-year history, the IFP has supported over 10,000+ projects and offered resources to more than 20,000 filmmakers, including Barry Jenkins, Laura Poitras, Debra Granik, Miranda July, Michael Moore, Dee Rees, and Benh Zeitlin.

Sharp will succeed Joana Vicente who previously served as the executive director of IFP for eight years. The IFP Board of Directors selected Sharp after conducting a nation-wide search.

In 2009, Sharp co-founded the digital publishing and marketing company Open Road Integrated Media with former HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman and served as the company’s president. In 2013, he co-founded Story Mining and Supply Co. with Jim Kohlberg serving as president and CEO. The company produced the TV show Outlander for Starz, as well as feature films “The Yellow Birds,” “UFO” and Fox Searchlights’s upcoming production of “The Fence.”

He also formed Sharp Independent Pictures in partnership with GEM Pictures in 2016 to develop, finance and produce feature films and TV shows for the U.S. and China co-production market. Sharp Independent productions include: “My Other Home,” the hit TV show “Wonderful Life” and the current $300 million Chinese box office hit “Crazy Alien.” Upcoming projects include “The Great Banquet” and “The Baccarat Queen.”

Sharp is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Producers Guild of America. He won an Independent Spirit Award for best first feature for “You Can Count on Me,” was nominated for a Golden Globe for “Nicholas Nickleby,” and was honored with the Andrew Sarris award in 2005 from the Columbia University School of the Arts for his contribution to independent cinema in 2005.

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