Festival Staff

Peter Biskind:  Executive Director and Co-Programmer

Peter Biskind is the executive director and co-programmer of FilmColumbia. He also selects the nightly programs at the Crandell, and the every-other-Sunday indie matinees. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and the author of several books, including Easy Riders, Raging Bulls; Down and Dirty Pictures; and Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America. He is currently working on a book called The Eve of Destruction: Adventures in Extreme Culture and several other projects. Visit his website. Click here to watch an interview with Peter Biskind about FilmColumbia and independent film. (Courtesy of CCScoop)

Calliope Nicholas: Director

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron

Calliope Nicholas has been with FilmColumbia Festival since it’s inception in 1999 and as its Director since 2002, making sure the five-day film festival runs smoothly for the thousands of visitors descending on Chatham, NY.  Calliope is also the Residency Director at Millay Colony for Arts, an international artist colony in Austerlitz, NY, since 2005.  She was also a panelist for New York State Council on the Arts for several years, and way, way back, worked at Studio 54, so knows what it takes to create a fabulous event.  She is currently working on a book of wild times in the 70′s.

Click here to watch an interview with Calliope Nicholas about the film festival. (Courtesy of CCScoop)


Laurence Kardish: Co-Programmer

Larry is Senior Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art where he has organized hundreds of exhibitions that cover not only the whole history and culture of cinema but newly expanded digital expressions of the art of the moving image. He has served on the Selection Committee of the MoMA and Lincoln Center collaborative annual festival “New Directors/New Films” since its inception in 1972, and has also served on the juries of many international and American festivals such as Cannes, Sundance, Adelaide, and Edinburgh. He has written several books and catalogs including one devoted to the Dutch installation artist Aernout Mik, and more recently, “Weimar Cinema: Daydreams and Nightmares, 1919 – 1933″, to accompany a comprehensive exhibition devoted to a golden and influential age of German filmmaking.

Click here to watch Laurence interviewed on the Charlie Rose Show about the work of Alfred Hitchcock.

 PeapackGrace Fay: Assistant Festival Director
Grace is thrilled to be the Assistant Director of the Film Festival.  A graduate of Marywood University with a degree in Social Studies Education. She has been seen throughout the county as Technical Director, Stage Manager, Lighting Designer, and Lighting Technician for such groups as Parsons Dance, The Ghent Playhouse, Walking the Dog, and PS21. Grace is currently resides in Scotia, NY and is the Coordinator for Youth Ministry for two churches in the Schenectady/Saratoga Area.
Debbie Elbin photoDebbie Elbin: Associate Programmer
Debbie Elbin is an internationally renown NY based producer and production executive of feature films, documentaries, TV series and original mobile content.  She recently moved to Berlin, Germany to open her new production company, The Berlin Brandenburg Picture Company UG, which is currently in pre-production on the feature “TRIP”.  Domestically she is known as the pioneer of 24p HDTV. As Co-Executive Producer of Sidney Lumet’s “100 Centre Street”, this New York based production was the groundbreaking series in 24p. The production lead to experimentation with workflows and film-out techniques, which in turn allowed Lumet and other directors to create subsequent works in 24p HD.  She worked extensively for Sony Pictures opening their operation in Moscow, Russia, as VP Production, Russia and CIS, and before that as Executive i/c Production in Koln, Germany. For Warner Brothers Studios she served as production consultant in Berlin, Germany on the Wachowskis “Speed Racer”.  She is a Director and UPM member of the DGA.