Meet our F2F Board Members
Initially working with a video camera and cast of action figures, Geoffrey Fletcher began making films as a child. After graduating from Harvard University, Geoffrey received his M.F.A. in Film Directing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has also apprenticed under Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee. Magic Markers, a short film Geoffrey wrote, directed, shot and edited, received accolades from numerous organizations including the Directors Guild of America and the Sundance Film Festival.
Geoffrey is also the screenwriter of Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire and received an Oscar for Writing (Adapted Screenplay) from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on March 7, 2010. He is the first African American to win in this category. Precious was presented by executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry and released by Lionsgate in November of 2009. Precious won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Awards at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. It is only the third film to do so in the Festival’s twenty-five-year history. Precious also won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, making it the only film to win the top prizes at both Sundance and Toronto.
In addition to being honored by the Academy, Geoffrey was heralded by Variety as one of its “10 Screenwriters to Watch.”. He also received the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay, the Black Reel Award for Best Screenplay, Original or Adapted and the Best Adapted Screenplay award from the Chlotrudis, AAFCA and the Satellite Awards.
Geoffrey has also been an adjunct professor of film at Columbia University and New York University where he taught courses ranging from “Directing the Camera” to “Developing the Screenplay”. This summer, he taught screenwriting at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Lacoste, France. He now serves as the Honorary Chair of SCAD’s Dramatic Writing Program. Violet & Daisy, his feature directorial debut, was released in 2012 and received a SCAD Cinevation Award, which is given for imagination, inspiration and innovation in cinema. Geoffrey is currently writing projects for directors Antoine Fuqua, Doug Liman and Ed Zwick. He is also developing several projects to write and direct.
Homeless as a teenager, Elgin James was a fixture in Boston's hardcore punk scene and a member of a multi-ethnic national street gang that targeted neo-Nazi skinheads and drug dealers. After spending a decade and a half in the gang, James left for Los Angeles where he was shepherded by the Sundance Institute Feature Film program and given the tools of filmmaking to learn how to express himself through art instead of violence.
James’ wrote, directed and scored his debut film, LITTLE BIRDS, starring Juno Temple and Leslie Mann, which was nominated for the Grand Jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and nominated for Best International Feature Film at the Zurich Film Festival. LITTLE BIRDS was released in 2012 by Millennium Entertainment and won a National Board of Review award, James was named one of Variety’s “Ten Directors to Watch” and to IonCinema’s list of “The American New Wave 25.”
Along with Kurt Sutter, James is co-creating MAYANS MC for FX, a spin off of Sutter's hit show SON OF ANARCHY. On the film side, James co-wrote LOWRIDERS for Imagine Entertainment and Universal Pictures, being released in theaters Spring 2017. And he's currently developing a feature on the troubled life of actress Jean Seberg, adapted from the biography "BREATHLESS."
Tara Kole is a partner at Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown. She focuses her practice on entertainment law, representing established film and television directors, writers, actors and producers in their entertainment transactions.
She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Amherst College with a B.A. in English and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she served as the Articles and Commentaries Chair for the Harvard Law Review. After law school, Tara was a law clerk for Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for the Honorable Justice Antonin Scalia of the U. S. Supreme Court.
Tara has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter as part of their Next Generation issue in 2009, and Variety has featured her twice, first as part of their “Dealmakers Up Next” report in 2009, and again in 2012 as part of their “Dealmakers Impact Report” issue. She has also been featured in The New York Times. Tara is a professor at the USC Gould School of Law, where she has been involved as a speaker on their Entertainment Law Symposium, and she is a member of the Board of Directors of Women In Film. Prior to attending law school, she was an acquisitions executive at Lionsgate Films, where she also started their new media division.
Niija Kuykendall is the SVP of Production at Warner Bros. Pictures where she is in post-production on the films KING ARTHUR with director Guy Ritchie and UNFORGETTABLE with director Denise Di Novi. She is developing projects such as DC’s DARK UNIVERSE, DEATH NOTE, based on the Japanese Manga, and Stephen King’s IT. While at WB, Niija has worked on movies such as MAGIC MIKE XXL, THE LEGO MOVIE, EDGE OF TOMORROW, ARGO, and CONTAGION. Upon graduating from Brown University, Niija started her career as an Editorial Assistant in Corporate Communications for Viacom Inc. in NYC. In 2004 Niija moved home to Los Angeles to work in film as a Development Assistant for Beacon Pictures. She then moved to Twentieth Century Fox as a Creative Executive before joining Warner Bros. Pictures in 2008. Niija has been profiled as one of Variety’s “Hollywood’s New Leaders”, Glamour Magazine’s “35 under 35 Women in Hollywood” and Essence Magazine’s “Hot List: Black Women in Hollywood”. She serves on the board of the Emma Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media, the advisory board for Film 2 Future, and the American Film Institute’s Women Executive Circle.
Simon Rust Lamb
Simon Rust Lamb is an entertainment industry veteran with 20 years of experience discovering, developing and amplifying artists, creative experiences and brands. As the former Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of Insomniac, Simon managed Electric Daisy Carnival, which drew 400,000 people to Las Vegas in 2015, Nocturnal Wonderland, and many other brands. While there, he was the Executive Producer of the EDC documentary film “Under the Electric Sky” which premiered at Sundance and sold to Focus Films. Prior to Insomniac, Simon had a solo law practice focusing on the protection and monetization of intellectual property assets. As a lawyer and now with his consulting practice, Simon provides creative and strategic business to clients across the media spectrum, including the LA Podcast Festival. Additionally, Simon is an avid entertainment business observer and critic, having written numerous articles on the arts and media for Pollstar, LA Weekly, Ray Gun, Res, Surface, URB, etc. He graduated magna cum laude from Southwestern Law School, and earned his Bachelor’s at Occidental College.
Samata Narra is currently the Senior Vice President of Comedy Programming and Development at FOX where she is responsible for helping launch new live action and animated half-hour comedy series for the network. This year, she was instrumental in the development and launch of critically acclaimed The Last Man on Earth starring Emmy Nominated Will Forte. She also handles day to day creative on Emmy Award winner Bob’s Burgers. During her career at Fox she developed Golden Globe winner Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated New Girl, and The Mindy Project. She started at Fox in 2011 as Director of Comedy Development.
Prior to FOX, Samata spent over seven years as a literary manager at Fineman Entertainment where she represented writers and directors in both television and features including Dick Donnor (Lethal Weapon, The Goonies), Phillip Noyce (Quite American), Jack Bernstein (Ace Ventura Pet Detective), Steve Herek (Mr. Holland’s Opus), and Neal Israel (Police Academy). Through Fineman Entertainment’s producing deal at Fox Television Studios, Samata developed the series Lights Out for FX. This is also where she began executive producing Meet the Patels, a romantic comedy documentary and festival favorite, which was released in September 2015.
Samata started her career at the William Morris Agency working for CEO Norman Brokaw after graduating from Boston University’s School of Management. She serves as a board member of Colour Entertainment Groups, which brings together diverse executives throughout the entertainment industry.