CMP curates content, nurtures relationships between filmmakers and funders, and connects our members to the expanding world of impact media through events. Our members gain the opportunity to support new films that further the causes they are passionate about.
CO-FOUNDER AND CEO
A film director, visual artist, educator and entrepreneur, Paula has had a long and notable career in the arts, education and entrepreneurship. As Co-founder & CEO of Chicago Media Project she guides 50+ members in the philanthropic support of social impact documentary films. In addition to CMP, she oversees the CMP Invest/Impact & CMPAC equity funds, which provide equity investments in documentary films with commercial appeal. Paula is a member of the Gamechanger film fund, whose mission is to finance and produce feature films directed by women.
In the field of education Paula has developed and implemented unique curricula in media, the arts and impact at the graduate and undergraduate level, most recently for Saybrook University where she launched a Social Impact Media Specialization within their Transformative Social Change MA degree program. Prior to co-founding CMP, Paula was the Founding Academic Dean of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy (TFA), where she developed and implemented an intensive, immersive BA degree program in filmmaking, recording arts, graphic design, animation, and game design.
As a filmmaker she has directed 12 films and over 20 media projects. Her directing credits include her feature-length documentary, THE SHOW MUST GO ON, AN INTIMATE PORTRAIT OF THE FLYING WALLENDAS, which screened at numerous festivals and is distributed by MVD Entertainment Group. She is currently in development on several documentary projects.
As an entrepreneur, in addition to CMP & TFA, she has been involved in the founding of several startups including Opal Pictures design & film production company (2004-pres) and Atavistic Chicago (1988-2006).
CO-FOUNDER AND BOARD CHAIR
Steve is a Chicago-based attorney who is nationally recognized for his representation of whistleblowers. Since 2001, Steve's law firm, Cohen Law Group, has been representing private citizen whistleblowers who uncover fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer-funded programs. He has prosecuted dozens of cases of fraud involving health care, government contracting, and federally insured financial institutions that have returned more than a half-billion dollars to states and federally funded programs.
Since 2009, Steve has broadened his involvement with impact documentaries and media. Prior to co-founding Chicago Media Project, Steve helped finance dozens of award winning documentaries as a member of Impact Partners, including HELL AND BACK AGAIN, THE ISLAND PRESIDENT, HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE, INEQUALITY FOR ALL. As a co-founder of CMP and co-manager of the CMP Invest/Impact Fund, Steve has overseen more than 2 million dollars of grant and equity funding for numerous documentaries including, NOTES ON BLINDNESS, THE EAGLE HUNTRESS and AUDRIE & DAISY and most recently, TROPHY, ICARUS, DINA and STEP.
Steve is also a member of the Gamechanger film fund, whose mission is to finance and produce women-directed feature films. Gamechanger financed films include LAND HO!, THE INVITATION, FRESNO and LOVESONG, which premiered at Sundance 2016.
Steve also serves on the boards of a several academic and non-profit organizations, including Beloit College, Saybrook University, TCS Educational System and the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation
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