SHARON BADAL: VP, filmmaker relations & shorts programming, Tribeca Film Festival

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SHARON BADAL is vice president of filmmaker relations and shorts programming for Tribeca. She has been with the festival since its inception in 2001 and has produced special projects for Tribeca since 1999. Her first job at age 14 as an usher in her father’s suburban movie theatre was where she fell in love with “the movies.” Since that rather inauspicious start she has produced numerous live-events, worked in distribution and marketing for three major studios and, since 1994, has been on the faculty at New York University Tisch School of the Arts Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. She teaches NYU’s “Producing in London” summer study abroad program and was integral in creating the producing minor. She is the author of “Swimming Upstream – A Lifesaving Guide to Short Film Distribution,” published by Focal Press. She has been a panelist/juror at numerous festivals and for entertainment industry organizations and branded content initiatives. Sharon received both her B.F.A in film & television production and her M.A. in cinema studies and business from NYU.

What do I do best?

I have an exceptional memory and am impeccably organized. These qualities allow me to juggle two very demanding jobs simultaneously without dropping the ball.

What makes me the best version of myself?

I try to be kind when giving feedback on creative work since artistic expression is personal. I understand that rejection is painful, and try to make that rejection and my critique as gentle and supportive as possible. I never want anyone to “give up” on their dreams because of something I said so I think carefully about phrasing things in a way that is encouraging rather than discouraging.

What are my aspirations?

a. Personal - This is a funny question for me because I spent most of the summer thinking about “what’s next.” I don’t think you are the same person for your entire life, so your aspirations change as you age. I’m trying to figure this out. Stay tuned.

b. Business – I’d like to continue to support filmmakers by launching their work at the festival, mentoring my students, and hopefully discovering unique and diverse voices to share with the world.

My Biggest Success?

September 11, 2001 was a day filled with challenging moments. New York City is my home, and living and working downtown meant that not only did I personally know people who perished that day, but the ashes (literal and figurative) of that day surrounded me for a long, long time. Being part of the very first Tribeca Film Festival, which was founded to help our devastated community, is one of the things I’ve worked on of which I am most proud.

My Most Challenging Moment?

One of my biggest successes (above) was also my biggest challenge.


My Motto?

To quote my favorite band The Rolling Stones “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need.”

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My parents were my first and biggest role models and my amazing niece Noelle is my favorite person in the universe. I was fortunate to have some very strong mentors when I started out in the film industry, but someone who has been a huge influence during my lengthy time at Tribeca is Jane Rosenthal. She has inspired me to think, to create and to fearlessly bring ideas to fruition and I truly enjoy working on projects with her.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

I have 3 favorite places – Paris because, well, because it’s Paris and beautiful and I was fortunate enough to live there for a while many years ago. Dublin because when I was teaching there for several summers everyone in the film industry was friendly and inclusive – and I’m a sucker for good Irish whiskey. Finally, Hawaii is my peaceful place – there’s something about being in the middle of the Pacific that makes me feel far from the responsibilities of my real life, and I love the sound of the ocean and watching the surfers at sunrise. Aloha.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

The two people who invented spandex and noise cancelling headphones should receive the Nobel peace prize. I travel a lot, so feeling comfortable when flying and being able to tune out the noise and focus on the films I need to watch is great.

My Current Passions?

I am always in the throes of wanderlust.