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Nadia Bronson

Outspoken, tenacious former prexy of intl. marketing and distribution at U now runs her own marketing consultancy. French-born Bronson knows how to get the attention of Golden Globes voters and get buzz going from Berlin to Buenos Aires. She’s taken on pics from bigger studio-based indies, such as New Line’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and she’s helped smaller films, including Oz comedy “Danny Deckchair” and the Spanish-lingo “Valentin,” get in front of U.S. buyers. “Working with passionate filmmakers and entrepreneurial companies means less politics, less bureaucracy and less personal agendas to deal with,” she says, “which means you can solve problems more quickly.”

Geoff Gilmore

Sundance 2003 was Gilmore’s first as sole director since the departure of longtime co-head Nicole Guillemet last year. Fest provided rich hunting ground for specialty distribs, with films from new voices snagging deals, including Catherine Hardwicke’s “Thirteen” and Tom McCarthy’s “The Station Agent.” Gilmore also added a well-received international doc section. “A lot of people are talking about how tough it is (to get a film made) now,” says Gilmore. “But it’s always been tough. The films that make it through the whole process are fueled by a passion and quality that make them worth paying attention to.”

Dawn Hudson

IFP’s perky, dedicated Los Angeles exec director has upped the indie filmmaker support org’s profile considerably. Tickets to IFP’s Spirit Awards — indiedom’s equivalent to the Academy Awards, held in a tent on Santa Monica beach the day before Oscars — have become a white

hot ticket. And the IFP L.A. Film Festival, this year logging record attendance, offers filmmakers some of the best extras around: two cash prizes ($25,000 for top doc, $50,000 for top feature) and a swanky prefest directors’ retreat. “The festival completes the cycle of indie support,” says Hudson. “We give filmmakers everything from the tools to make their films, to consultations with experts and educational seminars, to having a place to exhibit the films and celebrate the films.”

Dieter Kosslick

Groucho Marx impersonator Kosslick remembers the name of everyone he’s ever met, and their favorite tipple. It’s an awesome social skill that stands him in excellent stead as head of the Berlin Film Festival. The German capital can be chilly in February, but Kosslick generates a clubby warmth. He also has given the fest back its social and political conscience by making some provocative programming choices. A key platform for Oscar contenders, Berlin also will gain from the AFM’s move to the fall.

Paula Silver

Promo dynamo behind last year’s boffo indie hit “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” was there when “the filmmakers didn’t know what they had,” she says. A former marketing prexy at Columbia TriStar, Silver now runs her own marketing strategy consultancy, Santa Monica, Ca.-based Beyond the Box. She’s currently working her magic on Dan Ireland’s “Passionada,” a Portuguese-American pic about three generations of women that could benefit from the same grassroots methods employed on “Greek Wedding.” Known for crafting whimsical merchandising and cajoling others into funding local promo efforts, Silver says, “We are all struggling to find a new way to release movies without having $25 million in our pockets.”