The Barrymores Film

See below for more information on our upcoming documentary, The Barrymores.

 
 

The Champion

SHORT FILM (2017)

Nominated for a 2018 Emmy Award.

In the early part of the 20th century advancements in motion picture cameras by inventors like Edison made opportunities abound in the film industry.  Immigrants, artists, minorities and entrepreneurs fueled by ambition made a go in the film business looking for the American dream.  As the art-form advanced, dozens of motion picture companies sprang up to fill the tremendous demand.   Thousands of films were produced in the silent film era.   In those early years two small towns on either side of the nation with an abundance of space and scenery jockeyed for a position as the center of film production, with dozens of bustling studios calling them home.  However, only one would ultimately survive as as the undisputed studio town, as the other would fade into history.   

In 1910 promising film producer Mark Dintenfass made the trek to a sleepy little village across the Hudson River called Fort Lee, New Jersey.    With a mixture of amazingly interchangeable scenery close to New York City’s Broadway talent, it was the perfect location to shoot pictures.  Dintenfass joined dozens of filmmakers like D.W. Griffith, Mary Pickford and Carl Laemmle learning the new trade.   Here he would form The Champion Film Company, the first of eleven studios that would become the epicenter of the film industry for a decade before the California sun proved too enticing.  This is a story of the birthplace of the motion picture industry and the effort to save our film history.  

Premiere:  2014 Golden Door Film Festival 

Festivals and Awards: Nominated for a 2018 Emmy Award, 2015 Garden State Film Festival (Winner), 2015 Americas Film Festival NY, 2015 Cinecon5, 2015 Pordenone Silent Film Festival (Italy), 2015 Raindance Film Festival

Directed by:  Marc J. Perez

Produced by: John L. Sikes, Tom Meyers

Executive Produced by: Kristian Fraga

Distributed by Milestone Films

Meet the Team

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Marc Perez

Marc Perez is a graduate of the New York University Stern School of Business where he studied Marketing, Finance and Economics. He began his career in trading at large investment banks such as Republic National Bank (now HSBC) and UBS Brunswick Warburg.

In 1997, Marc moved away from finance into the entertainment industry by co-founding Sirk Productions, with Director/Producer Kristian Fraga. In 2005, Marc Executive Produced the award-winning documentary Anytown, USA, a look at the charade of partisan politics in an increasingly polarized nation. In 2010, he produced Severe Clear (SXSW, Rome, IDA Docuweeks) based on video footage shot by members of the Marines at the outset of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He is currently Executive Producer of the documentary The Troublemaker: Behind the Scenes at the United Nations which recently made its world premiere at the Havana Film Festival. Marc’s television background has included the award-winning PBS documentary The Inside Reel: Digital Filmmaking and NBC Telemundo’s Tu Nite, the network’s first late night talk show.  Marc is a member of the Fort Lee Film Commission, created to secure the town's historic role as the birthplace of the motion picture industry.  He directed a documentary short, The Champion, based on the town’s rich film history with the support of a public grant.  The film has played at festivals around the world and is distributed by Milestone Films.  In April 2018, Marc was nominated for an Emmy Award for directing The Champion.

Marc also serves as Head of Creative at Sirk, managing creative for clients like consumer electronics brand Altec Lansing.   Marc is also an accomplished awarding-winning director and animator, creating commercials, videos and 2D/3D animation for clients like Konami, BET, and Schumacher & Co.   

 

Kristian Fraga

Kristian is a graduate of the prestigious film program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 1997, Kristian and his partner, Producer Marc Perez, founded Sirk Productions. 

In 2010 he wrote, directed, and produced the feature documentary Severe Clear, based on video footage shot by members of the Marines at the outset of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The Hollywood Reporter called it “a visceral true-life portrait of the brutality and chaos of war.” The film had its world premiere at SXSW and received a Jury Special Mention at the International Rome Film Festival. Severe Clear had a 10-city theatrical release in the United States, playing in highly-regarded theaters such as New York’s Angelika Film Center and the Hollywood Arclight. In 2005 Kristian directed the feature-length documentary Anytown, USA, a look at the charade of partisan politics in an increasingly polarized nation. He won the Emerging Filmmaker Award for Best Documentary at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Film Festival and the award for Best Director at both the Trenton and Staten Island Film Festivals. Anytown, USA was also featured at the Atlanta, Woodstock, Newport Beach, and the True/False Film Festivals.  The film was theatrically distributed by Film Movement in 13 U.S. cities.  In 2001, Kristian produced and directed the award-winning PBS documentary The Inside Reel: Digital Filmmaking, which The Hollywood Reporter dubbed “a must see for anyone who loves movies.” 

In addition to producing film and television projects, Kristian has also directed dozens of award-winning commercials and branded content for clients that include Abrams, Altec Lansing, Hasbro, StarVegas, and Major League Soccer. 

 
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Gary donatelli

After attending Indiana University on athletic scholarship as an Art Major, Gary relied on his own accomplishments in football and wrestling to capture a unique perspective through the lens, filming for ABC’s Wide World of Sports, events like the Summer and Winter Olympics, the Kentucky Derby, Indy 500, the World Series, Heavyweight Championship bouts, and Monday Night Football, amassing 4 NATAS Emmy Awards. MNF brought well deserved acknowledgment for his talent, as well as allowing him to excel in another outlet as author of The ABC Monday Night Football Cookbook & Restaurant Guide. He also shot for ABC News events like Presidential Inaugurations and NASA Space Shuttle events. Looking to expand his abilities and contacts, he bought production equipment and through his company Hav Cam, began working as a Director of Photography. This led to many corporate and music videos , working with talents like James Brown, Grover Washington, Mel Torme, Miles Davis, Neil Young, along with bands like Boston, Spyro Gyra, KC and the Sunshine Band, The All-American Misfits, and Lifehouse to name a few.

While working in the freelance world, he maintained his job at the ABC network climbing the ranks from cameraman to Technical Director to Director.

Garyʼs talent soon became well known, making him a much sought after director. In 1993 he took the helm for ABCʼs Loving, followed by a four year commitment at NBC on Another World. Eventually lured back to ABC, he found a home as director for One Life To Live from 1998-2011 where he directed over 1000 hours of network drama. The awards continued with 7 Emmy Nominations and 3 more Emmy Awards for “Best Directing Team in Daytime Drama” in 2007, 2008, and 2012. He has since directed on The Bold & The Beautiful and General Hospital.

During that time, on the outside, he annually directed the Variety Children’s Telethon with “Cousin Brucie” Morrow for 10 years, a 5 hour live entertainment broadcast that raised over $20 million annually for children’s charities.

In addition, in 2001, Gary produced and directed the documentary series Lean on Me, a post 911 series for the Fire Department of NY Counseling Services Unit, and is currently completing a criminal investigation documentary Clearing Larry Floyd, as well as a yet untitled film on geothermal sustainability.

Gary is always eager to share his expertise and has done so as a faculty member of the Primary Stages Theater Company, as an Adjunct Professor for NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and by mentoring at the Bronx Digital Academy and the Disney Mentoring Program. He has been honored with a Quill Award from Marymount College for his mentoring work, and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University.

More recently, Gary was a Producer of the film 23 Blast, which can be seen on Amazon and iTunes. He also produced and directed Return To Hollywood on the Hudson, a short film instrumental in aiding State Senator Loretta Weinberg in her successful push for the NJ Jobs in Film and Digital Media Act recently signed by Governor Murphy, which has garnered a rebirth in NJ film and TV production.

Currently Gary is a Trustee of the Barrymore Film Center under construction in Fort Lee, NJ, scheduled for opening in early 2020. Nationally, recognized by his peers, he has served as the 6th, 4th and 2nd Vice President of the Directors Guild of America and has fostered contribution drives for the DGA-PAC, of which he is a Co-Chair on the Leadership Council.

His hobbies include perennial flower gardening, sculpture, and playing music with a band Friends of Friends.