Panel Details


As production restrictions are being lifted and safety precaution plans are being formulated, there is still much uncertainty about how the entertainment industry will function in a post-coronavirus world. SAGindie’s Michael Sládek brought together an array of professionals from various aspects of indie film – production, acting, casting, and legal – to discuss potential pitfalls, specific strategies, and unexpected opportunities. Tune in to see how they envision the indie film world moving forward into an unknown future.

[See Part 1 of the “Working Through” panel here.]


  • Actor Catherine Curtin
  • Writer/Director Dui Jarrod
  • Assistant Director Isabella Olaguera
  • Producer Michael Prall
  • Casting Director/Producer Paul Schnee
  • Entertainment Lawyer Anita Surendran
  • Moderated by Filmmaker/SAGindie New York Consultant Michael Sládek

About the Panelists:

Actor Catherine Curtin’s numerous TV credits include Stranger Things, Homeland, Blacklist, Insecure, Mindunter, Bull, and Orange is the New Black, for which she won 2015 and 2016 SAG Awards for Best Ensemble. Her numerous film credits include Bad Education, Blush, The Artist’s Wife, Beauty Mark, Gold Star, The Light of the Moon, Crazy Famous, and Breaking Brooklyn. Before the great pause, she shot leads in the indie features Werewolves Within, 18 1/2, Red Pill, Kendra & Beth, and First One In.

Writer-director and playwright Dui Jarrod is best known for Brooklyn. Blue. Sky., which is the first acquired web series for BET Networks after winning the Xfinity Best Web Series Award at the American Black Film Festival. Issa Rae’s Color Creative has acquired his new series King Ester, with its first season out now. King Ester has garnered Dui Outstanding Director and Outstanding Writer Daytime Emmy nominations.

A career Assistant Director with over 80 narrative, commercial, and short film credits, Isabella Olaguera’s films include the Oscar-nominated short film My Nephew Emmett as well as the features All These Small Moments, The Perfect Murder, and A Very Nutty Christmas. When COVID-19 hit, she created Feed the Freelancers to help her freelance film family stay healthy. Isabella is also a proud member of New York Women in Film and Television.

Michael Prall is a creative producer based in Brooklyn. Most recently, he produced the feature The Sound of Silence and was a co-producer on Halston, both of which premiered at Sundance 2019. He also produced Love After Love, which received the Best Cinematography award at Tribeca 2017, The Strange Ones, which received a Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Actor at SXSW 2017, and The Mend, which received nominations for both the Gotham Awards and Independent Spirit Awards in 2016.

Founding partner of Barden/Schnee Casting, Paul Schnee is a top casting director and producer who has won and been nominated for multiple Artios Awards and Independent Spirit Awards. His casting credits include Oscar-winners Spotlight, Dallas Buyers Club, and The Help, Oscar-nominees Winter’s Bone and August: Osage County, as well as Clemency, The Girl on the Train, Leave No Trace, Ma, The Mend, Love and Mercy, Still Alice, and the TV shows Jessica Jones and The Last OG.

A partner at Granderson Des Rochers with offices in LA and New York, Anita Surendran is an entertainment lawyer whose practice is primarily focused on individual and corporate clients in the film, television, and digital media industries. She’s served as production counsel on over 100 indie film productions and as outside counsel for various studios and networks, including A24, Netflix and Amazon. Some of the clients that she works with include Mary J. Blige, Jesse Williams, Taylour Paige, Kofi Siriboe, Lars Knudsen, and Mass Appeal.

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