Jeffrey Sharp Named Independent Filmmaker Project's Executive Director

Courtesy of IFP
Jeffrey Sharp

He succeeds Joana Vincente as head of the New York-based organization that supports indie filmmakers.

The Independent Filmmaker Project, the New York-based organization supporting independent filmmakers, has named film and TV producer Jeffrey Sharp as its new executive director. He succeeds Joana Vincente, who spent nearly nine years as head of the organization, until her departure last August to take up a new role as executive director and co-head of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Sharp has produced such movies as Boys Don’t Cry, You Can Count on Me, Evening and The Yellow Birds and is a co-founder of the digital publisher Open Road Integrated Media, which has published works by such authors as William Styron, Pat Conroy and Pearl Buck. 

IFP’s year-round programs include Independent Film 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. During its 40-year history, IFP has supported more than 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.

Along with John N. Hart Jr., Sharp formed Hart Sharp Entertainment in 1996, which in addition to Boys Don’t Cry and You Can Count on Me produced such films as Nicholas Nickleby and Proof. They were also partners in Hart Sharp Video, releasing documentaries like Super Size Me. In 2009, Sharp co-founded 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, producing TV’s Outlander as well as feature films like The Yellow Birds and the upcoming The Fence. His Sharp Independent Pictures, formed in partnership with GEM Pictures in 2016  to develop, finance and produce feature films and TV shows for the U.S. and China, has turned out the films My Other Home and Crazy Alien and the TV show Wonderful Life for Tianyi Film & TV Co.

"We are delighted to have Jeff join IFP as its leader.  His credentials and background are a perfect fit with our organization. He has developed and produced prestigious independent films. He has extensive nonprofit experience as a co-founder and Chair of the Hamptons International Film Festival Advisory Board. He has experience in related fields such as publishing and digital innovation. He has built successful companies. He has broad contacts across foundations, arts organizations and government," IFP co-chairs Anthony Bregman and Jim Janowitz said in announcing Sharp’s appointment.

Commented Sharp, "IFP has had an enormous impact on the independent film industry in New York and around the world for the past 40 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."