The Festival of the Worlds provides a forum for global expression through filmmaking. It is a platform for a spectrum of political, cultural and philosophical ideologies presented in an environment designed to foster creative and intellectual expansion. Our goal is to explore both the differences and the similarities of the international community in order to become a more educated population, one that is more capable of avoiding negative historical cycles and more willing to push us into a sustainable future.
We expect this year’s festival to reach an audience of over 1000 people in venues that embrace today’s global nature, including museums and international theaters (which we are currently seeking). The festival is designed to cultivate a community of filmmakers who can share, network, and help to build each other’s vision. chashama Film Festival is dedicated to the art of film and the existence of uncensored outlets.


chashama burst on to the art scene over a decade ago with provocative window performances, dazzling pedestrians amid the skyscrapers of Midtown Manhattan. Founded by Anita Durst in 1995, chashama is an organization dedicated to serving artists in New York City. Durst realized that lack of affordable space was the greatest threat to a diverse, dynamic, and provocative cultural environment in NYC. Her vision was to connect artists with untapped reserves of vacant real estate such as empty storefronts and offices languishing between tenants while invigorating surrounding communities with creative activity.
Since its inception, chashama has provided opportunities for performing and visual artists by awarding grants, producing shows and providing subsidized studio, rehearsal, and performance space. chashama has transformed more than 40 locations, giving 7,500 artists access to space well below market rate, which supported approximately 10,000 public presentations for over 500,000 viewers since its inception.


JURY 2009:

Annette Danto


Professor Annette Danto is a filmmaker, educator and faculty program director for Brooklyn College Study Abroad India.

Professor Danto holds a BA magna cum laude from McGill University (1980), an MS from Columbia University (1982), and an M.F.A. from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts Program in Film and Television (1989). Since 1997 she has been a professor at Brooklyn College, with a joint appointment in the Department of Film and the Department of Television/ Radio. She has been a Fulbright Research Scholar to India (2002-03), a Leonard and Claire Tow Faculty Fellow (2003, 2008), and a Fulbright Senior Specialist to India (2004). She has received grants from the Ted Turner Foundation (2001), Gates Foundation (2004, 2005), Eastman Foundation (2008), and has directed films in West Africa for the United Nations Development Fund for Women, and in India for Pathfinder International. Her award winning films have exhibited nationally and internationally.

In 2002-03, she was a Visiting Research Scholar at the Gandhigram Institute of Rural Health in Ambathurai, Tamil Nadu. In 2004, she received a second Fulbright grant to co-organize an International Environmental Health Roundtable in Chennai, India. The conference included participants from all SAARC countries, and was funded through grants from the U.S.EPA, U.S.AID, U.S.AEP and the USEFI .

In addition to international screenings of her films, she has given lectures and special presentations at conferences and universities in Istanbul, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Karnataka and in the United States.

Professor Danto is the President of Friends of Fulbright to India, an alumni association of former Fulbright Scholars to India. She has also been selected as a panelist for the Fulbright Scholar Review board. She is an active member of New York Women in Film & Television, as well as the Film & Television Union - I.A.T.S.E. Local 52.

Julie Fossum


Julie was born on the South side of Minneapolis. She studied Psychology and Modern Art at the well known Saint Thomas University located in Saint Paul Minnesota. Aside from her astute studies, Julie enrolled and excelled in the Korean born martial art of Tae-Kwon-Doe, earning several degrees of black belt. Approaching her fifteenth year of training and the birth of her second child, Julie has incorporated her Tae-Kown-Doe studies with modern dance and child rearing. Julie can be reached by e-mail at the following address:



Daniel J. Kahn

dan bio

Age: 33
Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota

Favorite modern film: Once Upon a Time in America
Favorite all time films: Ikiru, Night of the Living Dead, M, etc, etc, etc, etc,
Favorite genres: Horror, Independent, Short Films, Film Noir

Daniel grew up on the mean streets in Chicago's rough and tough South Side. He inherited a love for film and photography from his father, Journet Kahn, an amateur photographer whose works have been published in many well known journals. The "obsession" manifested early. At age ten, Daniel received his first video recorder (VHS-C) and immediately rounded up the neighborhood kids to perform in short films which he wrote and directed. This "hobby" continued well into adult life. At the ripe age of nineteen he hooked up with Rick Kariolic, a good friend and neighbor who was assigned to write, direct and perform in a short film for college credit. The two friends collaborated beautifully. Rick received an "A" in the course and his film was shown to the entire institution.

Shortly after this minor success Daniel spent time studying film at both the Chicago Art Institute and the Gene Siskel Film Center, attending courses with his then seventy-seven year old father.

At age 25, a new existence began. An extravagant "man of the world" Daniel's excesses' led him to live a simpler, safer life in Minnesota where he continues to practice his love of the arts by watching dozens of movies a week, attending theatre and taping his fifteen-month old son. Daniel is honored to participate in ChaFilmFest. He will dedicate any amount of time needed to view, analyze, critique and most importantly enjoy the films selected.

You can contact Dan by e-mail at djkahn@comcast.net


Vinit Parmar


Assistant Professor
B.A., SUNY Buffalo; J.D. New York Law School

BLACK WATERS won awards and had juried international and regional film festival screenings in 2008 for Outstanding Environmental Vision and Katherine Knight Award for Excellence in Documentary on Pollution. He is a repeating Leonard and Claire Tow Travel recipient (2006, 2008) to make QUEST FOR LIGHT. ONLY ONE CHILD: FANG SHA’S STORY is based on a Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship (2006) on Women, Family and Social Change, a Stewart Fellowship Award (2006) and New Faculty Fund Award (2006, 2007). Directed and produced multiple environmental short documentaries. Received the CUNY Collaborative Incentive Grant (2007).

Worked as a freelance Camera Operator, Sound Mixer, Editor on over thirty film productions for Independent Film Channel, Discovery Channel, History Channel, and a variety of other cable and television companies as well as independent feature film productions.


Garry Pastore


Garry Pastore comes from an early theater background. He was a drama major in high school and took some drama classes in college where he was a Culinary Arts major. When he decided that life as a chef was really no life for him, he began doing off – off Broadway plays and summer stock. Garry started his film career at age 22 when he accepted a job as a pickpocket on the Sergio Leone epic ‘Once Upon A Time In America’.  Once bitten by the feature film bug, he immediately went to work with legendary Director John Huston on the last film before his death, Prizzi’s Honor.  Since his induction into the Screen Actors Guild in 1984, Garry has appeared in over 35 television and feature film productions including ten supporting roles on various independent and studio features. He also appeared on the much revered HBO series The Sopranos as New York Underboss Jerry Basile in season five.
Garry began his writing career in 1992; with Love Lost, Love Found, Love and the Rebound a trilogy of love stories. Garry directed the play to rave reviews off-Broadway for a 2 week run in 1993. The play starred Sopranos alumni Vincent Pastore and Vincent Curatola. His passion for writing intensified after losing his mother to heart disease the month before the play opened. Garry has since written ten feature film screenplays and a teleplay for cable titled ENFORCEMENT.
He just produced “On the Waterfront” in Hoboken NJ as a play with his company Hudson Film Group. The play received amazing reviews and press in all metro and national papers. He had a star studded cast and a special appearance by Budd Schulberg who passed away one week after seeing it. Wasteland is a film written from Garry’s knowledge of the street and how it has its effect on today’s youth with a production scheduled for late spring 2010. Waiting for.. BUDD is Garry’s directorial debut which is now in the post production editing phase with a late 2009 release expected. Garry attended NYU’s Film and Drama Program at the school for continuing education in September 1992 and took a two year intensive course on directing and film production. Garry also wrote and published a cookbook in 1996 titled “You’re Not in Mom’s Kitchen Anymore” the book sold 10,000 copies on its first run. 
In 1996 Garry joined IATSE Local 52 and became a member in their property division. He has worked as a prop master, set decorator and set dresser on 20 feature films and television programs. ‘I wanted to work in the trenches with crew members and learn every aspect of the film business; it’s also not a bad way to make a living!’ In 1999 Garry met Deborah Mello and the two joined forces to open Willowcreek Entertainment an independent production company on 5th Ave in NYC.  The terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the subsequent shut down of filming in NYC forced Garry and Deborah to close their offices. Garry and Deborah continued to collaborate, develop and write together over the years and in 2008, they decided to give their ambition and great working relationship another go. Together they formed Hudson Film Group they own a total of ten written feature film properties, a cable television crime drama series, a network series about nurses and a teen driven girls talk show.


Rick Kariolic- Director
Currently directing and producing a documentary on the history of 42nd Street, the multi-disciplined Kariolic has directed and produced many films, ranging from experimental to a feature-length documentary. His imagery focuses on life situations, including the birth of a child or the rescue of a friend, never turning off his humanity or the camera to share in “real time” moments and events through film and photography.
In 2006, Kariolic received a space grant from chashama for his exhibition of “paint and shoot” and his photography exhibition “Europe” was shown at the chashama Black Box. Internationally, his works were featured at the BE HERE Festival in the former Yugoslavia at performance venues in Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia in 2004.
Born in Chicago’s South Side, Rick Kariolic spent most his time watching movies and dreaming of making his own. Growing up, he often broke his father’s camera trying to get the impossible shot. Despite a humble background and lack of formal artistic education, his deep passion led him to pursue a career in the creative and performing arts.

Lan Xu, Website Tech

Lan is a freelance designer from Sichuan, China and she is currently living in NYC. Lan does graphics design, web design and video art. Despite her role as being a visual artist, Lan is also a Buddist, and is interested in being a Feng Shui Consultanat.

Jennifer Orbom , Associate Producer

Jennifer is a California native now living in Brooklyn. She works as an organizer, wrangler, producer, and photographer for several art, film, fashion, and theater organizations. Past projects include work for chashama, Inc., NY Art Beat, FIGMENT, and the Fashion District's Business Improvement Coalition. Jennifer breathes fire.

Ariel Vered , Development

Claudia Chung , Media Relations Consultant

Shanece Taylor, Bloggist

A recent graduate from Boston University’s College of Communication, Shanece started college as a journalism major, then made her way into film production, and finished with a degree in public relations. She joined the chashama Film Festival team to live out her passion for film and to help contribute to the mission of fostering creative and intellectual expansion around the world. Read the blog for more info on the festival, and for Shanece’s commentaries and interpretations about the festival’s film submissions.

Michael Martinez, Press Representative