Alumnus Jeffrey Sharp '01 Named Executive Director of Independent Filmmaker Project

BY Zoe Contros Kearl, July 24, 2019

Headshot of Jeffrey SharpIndependent Filmmaker Project, a non-profit based in Brooklyn that hosts the annual Gotham Awards, has named producer and alumnus Jeffrey Sharp '01 as its new executive director. An award-winning international film and TV producer and publishing entrepreneur, Sharp brings decades of experience to IFP, including his work producing films such as Boys Don’t Cry, You Can Count on Me, Evening, and The Yellow Birds, and digitally publishing authors such as William Styron, Pat Conroy, and Pearl Buck as co-founder and President of Open Road Integrated Media.


The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) champions the future of storytelling by connecting artists with essential resources at all stages of development and distribution. The organization fosters a vibrant and sustainable independent storytelling community through its year-round programs, which include Independent Week, Filmmaker Magazine, the IFP Gotham Awards and the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, a tech and media incubator space developed with the New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. IFP represents a growing network of storytellers around the world and plays a key role in developing 350 new feature and documentary works each year. During its 40-year history, IFP has supported over 10,000+ projects and offered resources to more than 20,000+ filmmakers, including Barry Jenkins, Laura Poitras, Debra Granik, Miranda July, Michael Moore, Dee Rees, and Benh Zeitlin.


“I am tremendously honored to be joining the IFP,” Sharp said in a statement. “IFP has had an enormous impact on the independent film industry in New York and around the world for the past forty years. I am excited to begin working with the talented IFP team, IFP members and alumni as we continue to explore new opportunities and expand on Joana Vicente’s remarkable legacy.”


Sharp co-founded the digital publishing and marketing company Open Road Integrated Media with former HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman and served as its President. In 2013, he co-founded Story Mining and Supply Co. with Jim Kohlberg serving as President and CEO. The company produced the TV show Outlander (Starz) as well as feature films The Yellow Birds (Warner Bros./Saban Entertainment), UFO (Sony Pictures) and the upcoming production of The Fence (Fox Searchlight). Sharp formed Sharp Independent Pictures in partnership with GEM Pictures in 2016 to develop, finance, and produce feature films and TV shows for the US and China co-production market. Sharp is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Producers Guild of America. He won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature for You Can Count on Me, was nominated for a Golden Globe for Nicholas Nickleby, and was honored with the Andrew Sarris award in 2005 by Columbia University School of the Arts for his contribution to independent cinema. Sharp was a founding member of the Hamptons International Film Festival in 1993, where he continues to serve as Chair of the Advisory Board.