Noah and Lauren Doyle - Festival Founders
Jerry Foley - Artistic Director
Jerry Foley is an American Director and Producer formerly with The Late Show with David Letterman. He is an Executive Producer and Director of the Live on Letterman concert series. In June 1995, he succeeded Hal Gurnee as Director of the Late Show. Foley was named Supervising Producer in May 2003. He has 8 DGA Award nominations and 21 Emmy nominations—a record for a single person working on a variety series. Foley is a graduate of the University of Southern California. Prior to moving to CBS, he spent thirteen years at NBCworking in a variety of functions on NBC News Overnight, NBC News at Sunrise, Today (U.S. TV program), Saturday Night Live, Tomorrow (TV series) with Tom Snyder, Late Night with David Letterman, Later (talk show) with Bob Costas, Friday Night Videos, NBC Nightly News, WNBC News 4 New York, Live at Five (WNBC TV series), NFL Live, NBC Game of the Week, and Another World (TV series). Foley has directed over 3900 hours of late night television. He has worked with film, television, and music talent in numerous single camera comedy segments. He has produced and directed all 72 episodes of Live on Letterman including concerts with The Black Keys, The Killers, Adele, Phoenix (band), Taylor Swift, and Tim McGraw. Foley has produced and directed over 40 Broadway performances for The Late Show including Wicked, Pippin, The Adams Family, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hair, Young Frankenstein, and Cinderella. He is also the Executive Producer and Director of CBS News: 50 Years Later, Civil Rights and The Beatles 50 Years Later: How CBS is Remembering the Fab Four.
Bill Persky - Festival Chairman
Bill Persky is a 5 time Emmy Award winning writer, director and producer for shows such as the Dick Van Dyke Show, That Girl, Sid Caesar, Bill Cosby and Kate And Allie.
After graduating from Syracuse University, class of '52, Bill started his career at WNEW radio. He then moved to California and wrote for a variety of shows including, The Steve Allan Show, The Andy Williams Show and the Julie Andrews Show, until he found a home with Carl Reiner on The Dick Van Dyke Show. 3 years and 2 Emmys later, Bill and his partner Sam Denoff, created That Girl, for Marlo Thomas.
In the mid '70s, the successful partnership ended amicably, as Bill went on a new path as a Director, specializing in Television pilots. From 1975 to '82 he directed 22 pilots, 16 of which were put on the air as series, the most memorable being Who’s The Boss?. There were also 5 television films, and the Paramount feature, Serial, before he moved to New York to produce and direct 100 episodes of the series, Kate And Allie, winning an Emmy for directing.
Of late he has compiled a memoir of stories, both professional and personal, which he performs as a one-man show, based on his memoir, My Life is a Situation Comedy, and is a contributing writer to USA Today. In addition, Bill is a guest lecturer at NYU Film School and Yale University, and teaches comedy writing at The New York Film Academy and The University of New Haven where in 2015, he was the commencement speaker and received a doctorate of Human Letters in addition to a Giants of Television award from the radio and television executive society.
Jonathan Shafter - Festival Co-Founder
Jonathan Shafter is a Co-Founder of the North Forth Television Festival and the Founder of Red Avengers - a television production company. He is an investor in the financial services sector.
Seth Unger - Festival Producer
A 3rd generation event producer by trade, Seth and his production company, Food Films America, have produced hundreds of events and tv shows around the country. From eclectic music concerts to broadcast episodics, Seth's work has led him around the world of entertainment. Born in Miami Beach, Florida, he worked his 1st event in at the age of 5, serving beer from the side of an 18-wheeler at a massive beach party. He majored in jazz drumming at New World School of the Arts. After graduating from Columbia University in 1997, he's been a part of many successful operations in food, tv and music, including Messenger Records, the Red Hot Organization as well as NYC TV 25, which he created for New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Seth lives on a small farm with his wife and twins, who join him on endless Ramen and Doughnut crawls.
Michaela joined the world of TV as a teen actress. She saw the world of independent pilots first hand, working with production companies including Emrys Entertainment and Silvergirl Productions and with producer Jeff Apple on The Gift of Fear based on Gavin de Becker's novel. Michaela then turned to behind the scenes, working at IW Group, WME-IMG, and Loveless Productions. Her involvement has been connected to a number of shows and films including AMC's Into the Badland's, and the feature adaptation of Share. Michaela is quite familiar with the world of film festivals having been the producer, AD or UPM on a number of shorts, some of which are still in the festival circuit. In 2018, Michaela will graduate with a degree in Film and concentrations in Business Management and Psychology from Columbia University.
Rhys is new to the world of television festivals, but has experience as a professional binge-watcher and TV enthusiast. Prior to working for North Fork, Rhys worked as a media consultant, and then tried her hand at men's fashion at Esquire Magazine. Rhys is quite involved in independent production, as she is currently serving as the co-President of the Columbia University Sketch Show, which produces comedic shorts. In 2019, Rhys will graduate with a degree in English and a concentration in Film Studies from Barnard College.