MEET US, Bantam Cinema & Arts Center
Robert’s connection to Bantam Cinema over the past ten years looks like this-
1) Friday or Saturday night with no rehearsals, shows or work obligations?
2) Is it earlier than 7pm?
3) What’s playing at the Bantam Cinema?
A long time lover of independent, art house and foreign films, not afraid to admit his love for all things David Lynch, Robert has many fond memories of exploring small independent movie theatres in cities he’s visited, seeing films he would not have otherwise heard about (Ruby in Paradise and Come Early Morning, both starring Ashley Judd, Mike Leigh’s Life is Sweet and Gas Food Lodging for instance).
He has seen the classics of silent, experimental, foreign and art house cinema, primarily, until now, for his own education and enrichment, but has always thought running an independent movie theatre would be a terrific adventure. He used the pandemic to catch up on his film-viewing, seeing over 200 titles including works by Truffaut, Godard, Renois, Breton, Bergman, Kurosawa, and Fellini, everything Spike Lee has directed, and films from Japan, China, and Korea.
A former Arts Department Chair at Forman School and board member for the Goshen Players, Robert holds a BA in Communications, an MFA in Acting, and a Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration. He volunteered with several local arts and social service nonprofits to enhance his skillset and parlay his many years of running independent school theater programs into working with a nonprofit arts organization, and is an avid participant in and supporter of the local performing and fine arts scene.
Robert has a cousin who is an IATSE prop maker and set dresser for movies and television, another that is a First Assistant Cameraman in California, and another that is an aspiring cinematographer in France. A seasoned performing artist and director, Robert was able to check “being in a movie” off of his bucket list when he appeared as an extra in the locally-filmed Brilliant Mistakes by Paul Brighton. He next appeared for three consecutive years in the “Forman Makes a Movie” projects, spearheaded by local independent filmmaker Sean Kelly. They include The Imperfect Score, Puzzlehead, and There’s Something Wrong with Katie.
Board of Directors
Ethan J Antonucci
Ethan J. Antonucci was born in Torrington, Connecticut, six weeks after the release of the original Star Wars movie and raised across the street from the world-famous Bantam Cinema.
Ethan is currently the Executive Vice President of BLB, Inc., David Benioff & Dan Weiss’ production company, with an overall deal at Netflix. He started working with the creators of Game of Thrones on the fifth season. He spent several years in the writers’ room and is a credited writer on season eight.
He moved to Los Angeles in 1999 to work in the entertainment industry and now has two decades of Hollywood experience under his belt. Starting in The Gersh Agency mailroom he learned the business and became one of the youngest literary agents to ever work at the company.
After the birth of his son, Ethan switched gears and went to work for one of the largest entertainment law firms in the business. He parlayed these experiences into his job working with Benioff & Weiss.
All of his education was completed in the Nutmeg State and includes a double degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Connecticut. His 1999 senior year was highlighted by his Sports Editorship at the UConn Daily Campus, which enabled him to bounce around the country and cover the school’s first men’s basketball NCAA Championship. You don’t even have to ask; Ethan will tell you all about it within minutes of meeting him.
Ethan is the Co-Vice President of the Board of Directors, a member of the Internal Affairs Committee and Co-Chair of the Programming Task Force for the Bantam Cinema & Arts Center. He lives with his wife Aimee and son Cortland in West Hollywood, California.
Headshot Photo Credit: Joel Berti
Kennedy Cogan is President of the Bantam Cinema & Arts Center, Inc. She has served on the Friends Seminary Board of Trustees since 2014, as Chair of the Nominating & Governance Committee and most recently as an Assistant Chair of the Board. Additionally, she has served on the Board of Directors at the New York International Children’s Film Festival since 2014. After a career at WellsFargo and its predecessors in Commercial Banking that spanned 21 years, she opted to leave the workplace and pursue another of her interests, nonprofit governance.
Kennedy was born and raised in North Carolina and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduation she was active in community activities including leadership roles with the Junior League of Winston Salem, North Carolina. Kennedy moved to New York City in 2002 where she lives with her husband, John, and two girls, Ellie and Lucy. She and her family split their time between New York City and Morris, CT.
Lori Fineman is an independent theatrical producer with numerous projects in development for regional theaters and Broadway. From 2007-2019, Lori was the Executive Director of Transport Group, a non-profit off-Broadway theater company in New York City. During her tenure she was the producer and general manager of more than 50 productions, labs, workshops and events.
Prior to Transport Group, Lori worked in management consulting for Andersen Consulting and Capco. She serves on the board of directors for Transport Group, the National Alliance of Musical Theatre (NAMT), and on the advisory board to the Jewish Community Project (JCP) Downtown. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Lori holds a BA in Theatre Arts and a BSE in Management from the Wharton School.
Lori is married to Steve and mom to Dylan, Spencer, Nathan and a Barbet puppy, Claude. They live in Manhattan and in Washington, Connecticut.
Litchfield’s extraordinary features and character are not duplicated anywhere else in the world. Cleve, a native, only developed a deep appreciation of them, however, after spending many years in other places (boarding school: Avon Old Farms; college: Williams; travel: Europe; and business: 15 years in Asia). After returning home in mid-life, he has spent more than 40 years in real estate and volunteered for several dozen positions in professional, non-profit, and government organizations.
Involvement in Bantam Cinema’s rejuvenation brings Cleve full circle. Seeing films there as a child had a major influence on his life and more than 70 years of wonderful experiences at the theater inspired him to help make the same opportunities available to all those who might get as much reward from one of Litchfield’s irreplaceable treasures as he has. Cleve serves a co-Vice-President, member of the External Affairs and Governance Committees.
Mark Halloran was born and raised on Bantam Lake in Morris, Connecticut and has been a lifelong patron of the Bantam Cinema. After a brief period living in Torrington and Litchfield, Mark and his wife Charlene returned to Morris to raise their two children, Kyle and Katie; and now… 30 years later, they are looking forward to introducing their four grandchildren to the Bantam Cinema as well.
As Managing Director and Head of Business Development of Individual Markets at Transamerica, Mark leads the group that is responsible for Transamerica’s retail and institutional distribution relationships for Annuity and Asset Management product lines. Mark also has charge of the Industry and Regulatory Strategy team which is responsible for development and execution of Transamerica’s strategies in response to business environment and regulatory changes. In this role, Mark balances managing business development activities with developing strategic marketing plans, traveling the country to meet with key distribution cohorts, speaking on current industry topics and working within the public sector space to influence public policy and regulatory matters related to the insurance and asset management industries.
Mark currently serves as Chairman of the Morris Housing Authority, sits on the Finance Council of the St. Louis de Montfort Parish as well as the advisory council of the Susan B. Anthony Foundation.
Nadine Kim was born and raised in southern California but now considers herself an honorary Northeasterner and Brooklynite, having lived on the East Coast for the past two decades. She is currently a Partner and Managing Director at Fir Tree Capital Management, a private investment manager, which she joined in 2004. She has 20 years of financial services experience spanning the buy side, equity research and consulting.
She is an active supporter of several Brooklyn community organizations which are near and dear to her heart, including serving as a Governor of the Heights Casino, and a Board Member of the Kings County Tennis League, whose mission is to support children in Brooklyn’s underserved communities through tennis and education, and is a former member of the Advisory Board of Grace Church School. As a daughter of an artist, art has always been an important and ever-present component of her life, and she is excited to have an opportunity to help further BCAC’s unique mission. She received a BA in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
She lives in Brooklyn Heights with her husband Mikael and two children Henrik (9) and Daphne (8), and having explored Litchfield for the last ten years as a guest, is pleased to now have a permanent base in Litchfield from which to explore this incredible community.
Jamie Marcoux (Nivolo) has lived in Litchfield County her whole life. She attended Litchfield Public Schools and graduated from UCONN with a Communications Degree in 2000. She works at Klemm Real Estate as both their office manager and as a real estate agent – she has been with the firm since 1999. She currently lives in Northfield with her husband Jason. They both have a love for film and the arts and look forward to being a part of the revitalization of the historic Bantam Cinema.
Treasurer, Chair of both Operations Committee & Marketing Task Force, Serves on both Governance & Finance Committees
Ken Merz is Secretary and Treasurer of O & G Industries and the co-founder of KidsPlay Museum in Torrington, CT. He is President/CEO of the Museum’s Board and provides fiscal oversight, facilities planning, and exhibit design. He served on the Warner Theatre Board as Treasurer, Vice President, and President.
He co-chaired two capital campaigns and served on the property and finance committees during the restoration of the historic theatre. He serves as a Board Director and as Chair of the Physical Plant Task Force.
Wendy was born and educated in the UK and moved to NYC in 2009 with her husband and three children. She spent her early career working in television production at the BBC. After returning to college to sit her professional qualifications Wendy worked as an HR professional in the media industry which culminated in her establishing her own consultancy business coaching senior management teams in television, video and music across Europe.
Since moving to the US she retrained as a Landscape Designer at the NYBG and takes on bespoke plant design projects specializing in native plants. She served on the PA Board at Packer Collegiate Institute as Vice President and Merchandise Chair and most recently volunteered as the Native Plant Nursery Fellow at the Gowanus Conservancy. Wendy and her family split their time between Brooklyn and Litchfield, CT. Wendy is a Board Director and Chairs the Internal Affairs Committee.
Jodi has lived in Litchfield for nearly 20 years and loves independent films and the arts. After living overseas in China, Japan, and France, she views film and other arts as a window to the world. She and her husband, John, have enjoyed many cozy nights at the cinema especially during the New England fall and winters. Jodi is passionate about revitalizing the cinema and continuing its long history so it can be enjoyed by her two sons, Devlin and Ronan, and many generations to come. Jodi brings to the cinema her experience in organizational leadership and educational programming and her passion for serving the local community.
Jodi was the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Plymouth Public Schools and is currently the World Language Coordinator for the Region 10 Schools. She holds a B.A. from Boston College, an M.S. from SUNY Albany, and an Ed.D. from Southern Connecticut State University. She is currently on the Litchfield Board of Selectman and previously served one year on the Litchfield Board of Finance. One of Jodi’s fondest memories is watching the Green Book with her 100-year-old grandmother at a small art house cinema after driving through the vineyards of Napa Valley.
With the reopening of the cinema, she hopes others will drive through the bucolic hills of Litchfield County to see a heartwarming film at the cinema with loved ones and create beautiful memories, like her own, that will stay in their hearts forever.