Tag Archives: Film Festival

Penn and Wharton Alumni Schmooze at the Sundance Film Festival

By Kiera Reilly, C’93
This Saturday, Penntertainment, Wharton Club of Southern California, Penn Club LA and Penn Wharton Club of Utah (with Ivy Entertainment) host the 4th Annual Penn/Wharton Sundance Schmooze in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival.
If you are in town for the film festival or for skiing and snowboarding, or if you live in the area, please join us. Advance registration is required.
image001The 4th Annual Penn/Wharton Sundance Schmooze (with IVY Entertainment)

Meet up with fellow alums in Media, Entertainment, Arts & Technology! Network with old and new friends who are working or playing in Park City. This year we have also opened it up to the IVY Entertainment group!

Organizers: Barbara McCullough, Matt Rosler, Evan Eneman, Art Warsoff

When and Where:
Saturday, January 23, 2016 • 11:00 am – 1:00 PM (MST)

The Spur Bar & Grill
352 Main Street
Park City, UT 84060

Cost: $20 Includes Admission, 1 drink + light appetizers

Spread the word and invite your Penn and Wharton friends!

Re-Cap of the 3rd Annual Penn/Wharton Sundance Mixer (2015)


Penn and Wharton Alumni at the 3rd Annual Sundance Schmooze

Thank you to Matt Rosler, Barbara McCullough, and Caroline Waxler for this review. To see all the pictures from last year’s event, visit this Facebook page.

Alumni made a strong showing at the Sundance Film Festival this year, taking a break from deal-making, movie-going, promoting—and skiing!— to attend the 3rd Annual Penn/Wharton Sundance Mix & Mingle. Over 200 people showed up on Saturday, January 24th, at the fabulous Spur Bar and Grill on Main Street in Park City, Utah, for an afternoon of schmoozing with their fellow Quakers at the event sponsored by Penn Club Utah, Penntertainment, Penn Club LA, PennNYC, and Wharton SoCal.


Since the festival attracts creatives and business types from the worlds of media, entertainment, the arts and technology, the Penn gathering was filled with amazing conversations. From what we hear, there were more than a few connections—and potential deals—that resulted from the event.


Among the alums in attendance were: Allen Fischer, partner at Principato-Young Entertainment; Marc Simon filmmaker and attorney at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard; Adam Tsekhman, actor (Tsili); Claude Ellis, CEO of vegan meal replacements company Naturade; Sara Braca, senior brand manager of Sabra; Frances Reagan Copinga, managing director of Reagan Outdoor; Steve Corbato, Ph.D., interim Chief Information Office of the University of Utah and the former co-president of the Penn Club Utah; Paul Zane Pilzner, international economist and bestselling author; and Scott Kaplan, head of distribution at Filmbuff.


Slava Rubin,Wharton ‘00, CEO of the film funding site Indiegogo, stopped by after a press conference announcing his company’s groundbreaking partnership with the video-sharing site, Vimeo. Rubin was being trailed by a PBS film crew doing a special on the highlights of Sundance 2015. We couldn’t agree more than the 3rd Annual Penn/Wharton Sundance Mix & Mingle was one of the highlights.


Many of the attendees expressed interest in the joining the ranks of the planning committee —Barbara McCullough, Evan Eneman, Caroline Waxler, Matt Rosler—for next year’s event. If that’s you, to, please contact us at penntertainment@gmail.com. We have big ideas for next year including panels and a larger program. W are looking forward to seeing even more alumni in Park City for the festival next year!


As we will be planning future LA Penntertainment events, please be sure to join our community by registering on our site & social media channels to keep up with the latest news, jobs, alumni advice and contests:

Penntertainment membership | Follow Penntertainment on:
Facebook | Twitter| Linkedin | Instagram | Vine

Penn Club of LA | Wharton Club of Southern California | Ivy Entertainment



For the complete photo gallery of last year’s event, please visit here.

RSVP for the 4th Annul Penn/Wharton Sundance Schmooze here! We hope to see you on Saturday!


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Filed under Alumni Programming, Clubs, Kiera R., Penn Clubs, Photos, Wharton

A Must See Movie: “Thunder Soul”

Author: Nicole C. Maloy, W’95

It’s Mr. Holland’s Opus meets Stand and Deliver; it’s Drumline meets Dead Poets Society. It’s not a movie about a band, or their music. It’s about the man who inspired them to greatness by making them believe that they could be great. They proved him right. Then, 30 years later, they got together to show him that they remembered what he’d taught them. And I’m not just talking about the music.

The Director’s name was Conrad O. Johnson, Sr., otherwise known as “Prof.” He led the Kashmere Stage Band to undreamed-of heights for an all-Black group of Houston, Texas public high school students in the early ’70s. I’m talking the kind of heights typically found in fairy tales and made-for-TV family drama. But this is all true. Through interviews, rehearsal video, and amazing footage/photos from the band’s heyday, this documentary – Thunder Soul, named after one of the group’s songs – tells the story of the band’s formation, the success they achieved, and the 2008 reunion where alumni came together to play for their “Prof” one more time to say thank you.

The true story of Conrad Johnson & the Kashmere Stage Band. “He gave them everything. Now it’s time to give back.”

Shout out to Executive Producer Jamie Foxx for helping to make this movie possible. Read this article for his thoughts on the film, and why he was so compelled to be a part of it. It’s a good thing he was; it has already won two “Best Documentary Feature” awards, and nine Audience Awards. And counting?

I was fortunate enough to attend a screening of Thunder Soul in Philadelphia (alumni, you will get a chance at Homecoming 2011 if you can’t find it near you before November). It is not often I believe that everyone I know, as well as everyone I don’t know, should see a particular film. But you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll groove, and you’ll leave knowing you’ve just experienced something powerful. And, if you happen to have ever played in a school band, or if you happen to care about kids having arts programs in school, or if you happen to enjoy ‘70s funk, well, then. So much the better. You will like – dare I say, even love – this movie even more.

But you’ll also like it – dare I say, even love it:

  • If you’ve ever had, or not had, the chance to show someone how much they meant to you.
  • If you have ever been a part of a team, in any form.
  • If you’ve ever taught someone how to do something, then felt the rush of pride in seeing them run with it.
  • If you’ve ever learned how to do something, then felt the exhilaration of running with it.
  • If you’ve ever run back to say, “Thank you.”
  • If you’re now thinking about the people you should be thanking.
  • If you’ve ever been in the minority, and been made aware of it by others (as if you didn’t already know).
  • If anyone has ever had low expectations of you that you went on to prove wrong.
  • If anyone has ever had high expectations of you that you went on to prove right.

Don’t let the fact that movie popcorn costs $75 keep you from going to the theater. You can always eat something beforehand.

You know the kind of movie you wished for, and that you said you’d support if it were out there? That anyone, from any background, can see and enjoy? That you can take your family to see, and that everyone, of every age, will actually like? That portrays a diverse array of African-Americans as thinking, feeling human beings rather than as insulting caricatures? That shows positive things happening while still being real? That is uplifting and inspiring without being cheesy? This is that movie, so here’s your chance to support it: find where it’s playing, and see it. Then tell someone about it.

And go ahead, get to that first “Thank you.” You’re about to make someone’s day.

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Homecoming Weekend featuring arts and culture, Nicole M., The Arts, The Arts at Penn