Residents Business Visitors Government Office of the Mayor
Welcome to the official New York City Web site
Sign up for E-mail Updates

Industry Star of the Month

Michelle Byrd, Independent Feature Project

Michelle Byrd December 1, 2005 - Michelle Byrd started her career in publishing and fundraising, but broke into the film business fifteen years ago by working as a production assistant on films during evenings and weekends. She landed her first position in the industry as assistant to the Executive Director of Independent Feature Project (IFP), and after a career spanning positions in membership and programs, she is now herself the Executive Director of the Organization.

Headquartered in New York, the Independent Feature Project (IFP) has since 1979 nurtured our City���s creative community and strengthened the independent film industry through education, networking, exhibition and recognition opportunities among its rich member base. As Executive Director of the Organization, Ms. Byrd���s responsibilities include shaping programs, fundraising, building industry relationships and moving long-term projects forward.

During her tenure as Executive Director, Ms. Byrd is most proud of broadening the scope of the annual Gotham Awards and building the IFP���s annual market, the only US market which focuses on films in development. At the market, the IFP annually facilitates more than 1,500 meetings, in which ���Made in NY��� projects such as Maria Full of Grace and Mad Hot Ballroom have been facilitated.

Due to restructuring over the past year, IFP���s office is now officially headquartered out of New York. Recently, the NYC Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting and NYC Small Business Services collaborated with IFP to create a workforce training program which provides productions with funds to offset the costs of training crew members.

Ms. Byrd���s advice to those looking to break into the film business is to do what she did ��� intern or volunteer within the industry, especially for industry organizations.

���It���s really important to plug yourself into organizations,��� she said. ���Once you do that, you network, start to advance and find other work. The New York community is small enough that you can get to know a lot of people very quickly.���

And, for Ms. Byrd, New York is an ideal city for working in this industry.

���The unique niche which New York holds is the capital of independent filmmaking, and, on a practical level, this helps filmmakers make low budget films,��� she said. ���New York is a hospitable environment both for the making and showing of independent films. Producers have options to work on both large studio projects and smaller independent projects, really expanding their credits.���

Industry Star

Margarita Acevedo, Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting
John Battista, Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting
Tom Reidy, Madison Square Park
Steven Holtzman, Canal Creatures Productions

Jennifer Lenihan, Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting
Lynne Meadow, Manhattan Theatre Club
Thomas O'Donnell, Local 817
Katy Finch, Brooklyn Workforce Innovations
Meredith Conti, Grand Central Terminal

Gino Lucci, Picture Cars East
Habibah Ali-Love, OFTB
McCord Fitzsimmons, Former OFTB Intern
Lis Pearson, New York Public Library
Veronica Miles, EcoSet
Lisa Rubin, Hudson River Park Trust
Mari Jo Winkler, PGA Green
Michael Super, Coney Island, Parks and Recreational Manager
Caroline Stephenson, NYC Economic Development Corporation
Lisa Lucas, Tribeca Film Institute

Harriet Taub, Material for the Arts
David Moy, OFTB
Fred Cerullo, Grand Central Partnership
Marge Feinberg, DOE
Nate Grove, Marinas
Frank Gribbon, FDNY
Jeffrey Sangrund, Brooklyn Bridge Park
Javonne Parker, Staten Island Ferry
Justin Green, Build It Green! NYC
Tom Ross, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"
Eric Peterson, Randall's Island
Connie Fitzgerald, Department of Environmental Protection

Joey Violante, Technicolor
Stephanie Argamaso, OFTB
Vito Turso, DSNY
Elizabeth Rapuano, Governor's Island
Estelle Cooper, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Alvah Holmes, Former MOFTB Intern
Dana Kuznetzkoff, Line Producer
Eva Radke, Film Biz Recycling
Karen Meyerhoff, Guggenheim
Meredith Rothstein, Roseland Ballroom
Charlotte St. Martin, The Broadway League

The Artists Company
Celina Sze, OFTB
Sharon Jensen, The Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts
Terence Gray, New York Television Festival
Sam Levy, Summer Play Festival
Wes French, General Services Administration
Tom Maiorano, Brooklyn Navy Yard
Joan Cooney, South Street Seaport
Jeannine Marotta, Staten Island Economic Development Corporation
Brooke Smy, Tishman Speyer
Elliott Kerman, Tax Credit Accountant

Matthew Kania, Assistant Location Manager
Lieutenant Joe Lassen, Movie/TV Unit
In Memoriam - Nancy Littlefield
Ivory Henderson-Robb, Department of Transportation
Jack Powers, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Robin Forst, Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center
Kitty Preston, CUNY Locations
Liz Carollo, Greenmarket
Donna Masly, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation
Sean Jones, New York City Department of Corrections
Sheila Greene, NYCHA

Ralph Musolino, Parks and Recreation
Rick Cotton, NBC Universal
Joe Fontao, Location Manager
Gretchen McGowan, HDNet Films/Open City Films
Tim Tompkins, Times Square Alliance
Erika Feldman, Theatre Row
Vin Lenza, Staten Island Development Corporation
Tristan Assent, "Made in NY" PA
Denise Motta, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Terry Lawler, New York Women in Film and Television
Monty Ross, 40 Acres and a Mule

Pat White, Local 764
Michelle Byrd, Independent Feature Project
Matt Miller, AICP
Kyle McCarthy, MTA Metro-North
Jeannette Pinero, Department of Correction
Bambi Brook, Dawn Animal Agency
Andy Nagy, NYCHA
Juan Rosario, HPD
James J. Claffey, Jr., IATSE Local One
Mac Brown, Producer
Cheryl Hodge, VTU
Llewellyn Wells, Executive Producer
Lawrence Major, Parks and Recreation

Ken Konfong, Economic Development Corporation
Whoopi Goldberg, Actress/Producer
Caroline Baron, FilmAid International
Thomas O'Donnell Sr., Local 817
Drew Jiritano, Special Effects Coordinator
Carla Rajj, Location Manager
Al Cerullo, Film Pilot
James Lauer, FDNY
Dan Mercado, Parks and Recreation
Rebecca Seale, DCAS
Alberteen Anderson, MTA
Joseph Ellis, NYPD
Peter Basich, DOT
Richie Silverman, NYPD