Justin Barrett (2014)
Justin began working professionally in the entertainment industry at the age of 12 in commercials, print and the theatre. Later, he attended two years of the Professional Acting training program at USC before transferring to Boston College to broaden his academic record. After a brief stint as a free-lance voice-over artist and copy-writer for radio station, Mix 98.5 in Boston, he was offered commercial Voice-Over and On-Camera representation in New York and quickly found himself back on stage in the New York City premiere of Quentin Tarantino’s "Reservoir Dogs" as Marvin Nash with the Empire Theatre Company.
By November of 2000, Justin was working steadily as a voice-over artist in television and radio commercials, promos and narrations. Making a living in New York VO gave him confidence and resources to nurture other artistic endeavors. He continued working as an actor in off-broadway theatrical productions and appeared in the award winning Infliction of Cruelty at the 2006 NYC International Fringe Festival. He also began producing more in the early 2000s. In 2005 he developed, produced and starred in the award winning feature film Montclair. Shortly thereafter he was an executive producer and narrator for the award-winning documentary "The Anatomy of Hate". Over the years he has worked for: CNN, HBO, Bloomberg News, VH1, Nickelodeon, MTV, BBC America, NBC Sports, Versus, FOX, ABC. He has voiced entire campaigns for Dunkin Donuts, American Express, Listerine, Diet Dr. Pepper, AOL, Hotels.com, Monster.com, Toyota. He has done hundreds of narrations for Biography on A&E, Discovery, HGTV and TLC among others. He is currently the voice of AT&T's retail campaign and the cable network TVLAND and also has spots running for Subway Restaurants, Dr. Scholl's and Californication on Showtime.
Justin continues to actively develop film projects and has co-written two screenplays. He is married and has three children. He is very excited to be a part of Reality Bites and would like to thank the festival planners for inviting him to attend.
Robert Katz (2013)
Robert Katz (NIU alum 1987) has more than 23 years experience in worldwide film production, development and finance and substantial access into the motion picture executive and creative community. Mr. Katz’s track record includes working on more than 25 motion pictures alongside highly accomplished writers, directors, actors and crews - with 13 Academy Award nominations and 3 wins and more than $850,000,000 in world wide revenues. Mr. Katz’s feature film credits include; "Law Abiding Citizen", which grossed over $126 million globally, Academy Award-winning "Crash", "The Illusionist", "The Painted Veil", "One Hour Photo", "Seabiscuit" and the experimental film "Slipstream" written, directed and starring Anthony Hopkins. Benefiting from a detailed insight into all aspects of film development, production, marketing and distribution, and long term relationships with talent, talent representation, production crews and key distribution players, Mr. Katz is dedicated to delivering major success while also employing strict cost controls.
Katz was President of Production for The Film Department, a film financing/production company, where he oversaw the acquisitions, development and production of the company’s slate of scripts, hired and managed a staff of 10 creative and physical production employees and interfaced on a daily basis with the legal and finance departments. During that time, he produced the commercial hit "Law-Abiding Citizen", a thriller starring Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx, "The Rebound", a romantic comedy starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and "A Little Bit of Heaven", a dramatic comedy starring Kate Hudson, Gael Garcia Bernal and Kathy Bates.
Prior to that, Katz served as the Executive Vice President of production at the Yari Film Group, a film financing/production and international sales company, where he oversaw the production of 20 films over a period of 2 ½ years, including the 2006 Academy Award wining best picture, "Crash".