Marc Smolowitz and Ron Turiello are assembling a team of accomplished and award-winning creative professionals to bring THE G WORD to life. Below is the team so far.


Marc Smolowitz is a multi-award-winning director, producer and executive producer who has been significantly involved in 50+ successful independent films wearing many hats across the film and entertainment business. The combined footprint of his works has touched 200+ film festivals and markets on 5 continents, yielding substantial worldwide sales to theatrical, television and VOD outlets, notable box office receipts, and numerous awards and nominations. His long list of credits includes films that have screened at top-tier festivals such as Sundance, Berlinale, AFI Docs, IDFA, DOC NYC, CPH: DOX, Tokyo, Melbourne, Viennale, Krakow, Jerusalem, among others.

In 2009, Marc founded 13th Gen, a San Francisco-based film company that works with a dynamic range of independent film partners globally to oversee the financing, production, post-production, marketing, sales, and distribution efforts of a vibrant portfolio of films and filmmakers. The company is known widely for being active on some 10-15 concurrent projects, both independent and inside Hollywood, and it has successfully advanced Smolowitz's career-long focus on powerful social issue films and filmmaking across all genres. In 2016, he received one of the prestigious IFP Fellowships to attend the Cannes Film Festival’s Producers Network and Marche du Film marking him as one of USA’s most influential independent film producers.

Since 2013, Marc has been the producer for legendary Black/Queer Writer/Director Cheryl Dunye. 13th Gen oversaw the 20th-anniversary restoration and re-release of her wildly influential first film THE WATERMELON WOMAN (1996), which included a special presentation at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2016, the film being acquired by the Museum of Modern Art for its permanent collection, and a worldwide screenings presence that has touched over 75 festivals. Together, they made the multi-award winning short film BLACK IS BLUE (2014), which is now slated to be expanded into a feature film. 13th Gen also recently optioned the book THE GILDA STORIES, a lesbian vampire novel by renown writer Jewelle Gomez, to be adapted into an episodic series for television with Smolowitz executive producing and Dunye serving as show runner and lead director.

As a producer, Marc's recent work includes the following widely seen and award-winning films -- PATERNAL RITES by Jules Rosskam (2018), 50 YEARS OF FABULOUS by Jethro Patalinghug (2018), THE NINE by Katy Grannan (2016), DESERT MIGRATION by Daniel Cardone (2015), BURIED ABOVE GROUND by Ben Selkow (2015), HEAVEN ADORES YOU by Nickolas Rossi (2014), among others.

As a director/producer, his 2011 film THE POWER OF TWO premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival and went on to screen at 35 festivals around the globe, winning 10 major prizes, garnering theatrical release in the USA and Japan, and selling to Hulu in the USA and Netflix in Japan. In 2019, Marc is currently in production on two feature documentaries as a director/producer — THE G WORD, a film about giftedness, intelligence, and neurodiversity, slated for 2020 completion, and THE LONELY CHILD, a film about the unexpected present day footprint of a little-known Yiddish lullaby that was written inside the Vilna Ghetto during the Holocaust. The latter has been developed, in part, through the Jewish Film Institute’s competitive Filmmaker-in-Residence programs in San Francisco.

Learn more about Marc's work and his company 13th Gen at


With over twenty years of experience in the areas of advertising, marketing, consulting, the web, and interactive multimedia, along with an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix, Arizona, Tim Kulikowski left a comfortable, yet unfulfilling, corporate life in 2005 to travel the world and seek out a new path, landing in San Francisco two years later to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a filmmaker. He believes film is a powerful medium to help bring about social change. Working with the producers of STILL AROUND (premiered at Boston LGBT Film Festival, May 2011), a feature compilation of short films about people living and thriving with HIV/AIDS in 2011 (30 years after the crisis began), he co-directed PAWS, one of the 15 shorts, and was an Associate Producer on the overall compilation. From there, Tim directed and produced his first solo film, BEYOND THE TEAM (23 min.), which screened at 21 film festivals around the world and earned him an award at the Los Angeles Sports Film Festival in the short documentary category.


Javid is a filmmaker based in San Francisco. He has received grants and fellowship awards from the Sundance Institute, the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) and the Kadist Art Foundation and is currently in post-production on his debut feature documentary film, SWING LOW. He is currently visiting faculty in the Graduate Program at the San Francisco Art Institute.


As a cinematographer, Nickolas has worked extensively in the United States & Canada, Asia, Europe, and Mexico. His work has screened in numerous film festivals across the globe, as well as PBS Independent Lens, MTV/LOGO, and Fuel TV. His feature narrative work includes "Southern Baptist Sissies" with Emmy Award winner Leslie Jordan ("Will & Grace") and Dale Dickey ("Winter's Bone"), "Do Not Disturb" with Stephen Geoffreys ("Fright Night"), and Corey Haim ("Lost Boys"), and "Breath of Hate" with Jason Mewes ("Clerks") and Ezra Buzzington ("The Hills Have Eyes"). His documentary film work includes the award winning feature documentary, "The Power of Two", the directorial debut of Academy Award® nominated producer, Marc Smolowitz. His camera work has also been featured in Lance Bangs' "Inside Portlandia", John Maloof's Oscar Nominated feature documentary,"Finding Vivian Maier", David Sington's docu-drama, "The Fear Of 13", and Jennifer Siebel Newsom's Sundance premiere, "The Mask You Live In". Nickolas' directorial debut, "Heaven Adores You," about musician Elliott Smith, made it's premiere in May 2014 and has screened at over 40 festivals across 5 continents. It found worldwide distribution with EagleRock Entertainment in 2015.

photo credit:  Jules Bianchi
photo credit: Jules Bianchi

Ron is the father of two profoundly gifted children. This film project evolved out of his wanting to tell the story of how and why he and a few other parents of gifted kids banded together to save their kids’ school when it faced insolvency. Ron grew up in the 1970s and 80s in gifted programs in a public school district outside of Syracuse, NY, and earned his undergraduate degree from the University Professors Program at Boston University, an interdisciplinary independent study program for gifted students. Ron is active in education reform efforts, serving on the Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards of various nonprofits, including: ScholarMatch founded by the novelist Dave Eggers (since 2013, board chair since 2014), New Leaders for New Schools Bay Area chapter (2009-2013), Helios New School, an independent school for gifted learners (2011-2014), and as a member of the Education Circle of Full Circle Fund. He served as the Event Director for the 2015 Profoundly Gifted Retreat in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Ron earned his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1996 (magna cum laude; Order of the Coif; Boardman Prize) where he was an Editor of the Cornell Law Review, and an Editor of the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy. He has over a decade and a half of experience in law and technology in Silicon Valley and New York, including serving as the senior IP and technology transactions attorney in the Palo Alto office of Skadden, Arps, and from 2007 until 2010 as the General Counsel and Director of Business Development for Intelligent Integration Systems, Inc., which built the national data warehouse for the Democratic National Committee. After graduating from law school at Cornell, he served as law clerk to United States District Judge Stewart Dalzell of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Ron has been active in progressive politics for over 25 years, with experience as a field organizer, campaign manager, fundraiser, and data analytics expert at the highest levels, including being one of the first organizers hired by US Senator Paul Tsongas when he began his long shot Presidential campaign in 1991. As Co-Founder of the Voter Genome Project, Ron started one of the nation’s earliest political data analytics firms, and he also has been a prominent fundraiser for multiple Presidential, US Senate, and Congressional campaigns. Ron lives with his wife Margret Caruso (also an alumna of the University Professors Program and an alumna of the Louisiana School for Math Science and the Arts, which is a statewide public boarding school for gifted high school students) and their two children in Redwood City, CA.


Unique sounds and surprising instrument choices put John Swihart on a path to creating unpredictable contemporary scores. His distinctive style can be heard in both film and television. John Swihart was raised in Bloomington, Indiana, the son of a physicist based at Indiana University. He spent a portion of his formative years in Europe and Asia, where his father would sabbatical. John studied Piano at an early age but was not deeply absorbed by music until he was eight when he found the saxophone, which he played exclusively before switching to guitar at 12. Swihart would leave Indiana to attend the renowned Berklee College of Music, where he was struck by the level of commitment of his classmates to immerse themselves in musical experimentation. This made for an amazing culture of learning.

After years of performing in numerous bands, John put a studio together. The advertising work came, but the Emerson student short films that John worked on made it clear that long form would be the least restrictive and most creatively rewarding experience. From Boston to performing in Blue Man Group Las Vegas, and then to Los Angeles to pursue film and television composition where he scored a few Independent films before his breakout project NAPOLEON DYNAMITE. He has since scored over 50 films and several TV shows including HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER.


Danielle is a veteran builder and nurturer of digital communities, for both organizations and individuals, with a current special focus on independent filmmakers. Her background in marketing and PR, with significant experience in entertainment, maker-culture, documentary film, and social causes, has allowed her to launch strong programs which have resulted in sold-out screenings at prestigious film festivals such as the Toronto International Film Festival and AFI Docs, published cover stories and features in a variety of publications including The New York Times and IndieWire, and hundreds of fruitful relationships with taste-makers and journalists world-wide.


Matt Rome is an Oakland, CA based cinematographer who focuses on documentary-style content for independent filmmakers, brands, and tech companies. His work has been featured at SFMoMA, the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Marfa Film Festival, and SXSW. his client work has taken him around the world shooting for the likes of Patagonia, Netflix, Lululemon, IGN, Pfizer, Apple, Google, Facebook, GoFundMe, AirBnb, UCSF, Shopify, Box, Visa, Square, Reuters, and the California Chamber of Commerce to name a few. He received a BS in Digital Filmmaking and Video Production from The Art Institute of San Francisco, CA in 2010.


A musician for most of his life, Shawn has always gravitated to work in the field of sound. Since 2008, he has worked on-location as a Sound Recordist, and in 2014, he travelled to Iceland as the Production Sound Mixer for the feature film Bokeh. When not on location he can be found working in the studio mixing for TV, film, and music. In his spare time, he enjoys playing drums for the recording artist Emily Neveu and fly fishing remote rivers.