About Us

Impact Partners is dedicated to funding independent documentary storytelling that entertains audiences, engages with pressing social issues, and propels the art of cinema forward.

OUR WORK

For the past 10 years, Impact Partners has helped to introduce audiences to a rich world of real-life subjects and their stories. From the remote and rugged mountains of Mongolia, to the booming oil fields of North Dakota, to the streets of Chicago’s south side, from deep in the archives of forgotten moments in history, to contemporary battles of young activists fighting for change, Impact Partners films have dazzled the eye, touched hearts and minds, and inspired social action.

When we fund a project, we also become advisors to the filmmakers and advocates for the film. We provide the creative mentorship to help make films the strongest they can be, and the strategic guidance to achieve the widest possible audience for each film. Our films have premiered at the top film festivals in the world - Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, Berlin - and received the film industry’s highest honors and awards - Academy Awards, Emmys, Peabody Awards. Many of our films have also had impressive outreach and engagement campaigns, reaching grassroots audiences around the world and igniting impact and social change. Explore all of the films we have supported here. 

OUR MODEL

At Impact Partners, we have introduced a unique model of equity investing into the documentary film community - pioneering a system where filmmakers and investors work together to achieve mutually beneficial goals of telling powerful stories, raising awareness about critical issues facing our world today, reaching mass audiences on a global scale, and creating revenue for our films. By bringing together filmmakers and investors who are passionate about their work, Impact Partners has forged a sustainable fund that is committed to supporting documentary filmmakers in particular and the documentary industry at large.

To learn more about how we work with documentary filmmakers, visit our Submissions page.

If you’re interested in learning more about investing through Impact Partners, please contact us here

SUPPORTING THE DOCUMENTARY COMMUNITY

In addition to our work with filmmakers, Impact Partners is committed to supporting the wider documentary community. We believe in organizations that champion documentary storytellers, and are proud supporters of the Sundance Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Good Pitch and DOC NYC. We also work closely with other funders, production companies, festivals, and distributors to help maintain a thriving independent documentary industry. Learn more about our friends in the field here.

In 2015, we took this commitment to the documentary community a step further: after years of working closely with documentary producers on a wide variety of projects, we noticed a vacuum of support and mentorship for emerging producers in the field. To help young producers grow and prosper, we have launched two initiatives of our own: the Impact Partners Emerging Documentary Producers Fellowship and Impact Partners Producers Salon. For more information on these initiatives, visit our Producer’s Resources page. 

Founders

Dan Cogan

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Dan Cogan is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Impact Partners, a fund and advisory service for investors and philanthropists who seek to promote social change through film.

+ Full Bio

Geralyn Dreyfous

Co-Founder

Geralyn Dreyfous has a wide, distinguished background in the arts, extensive experience in consulting in the philanthropic sector, and participates on numerous boards and initiatives. 

 

+ Full Bio

Founding Members

Diana Barrett

Founding Member

Diana Barrett is President of The Fledgling Fund, a New York based private foundation that supports films and other creative media, primarily through finishing funds and community engagement programs.

+ Full Bio

Jim Swartz

Founding Member

Jim Swartz is a Partner and Founder of Accel Partners, a prominent global technology venture capital firm with offices in Palo Alto, CA, London, England, and Bangalore, India.

+ Full Bio

Susan Swartz

Founding Member

Susan Swartz is a landscape painter inspired by the natural world and its intersection with spirituality. She explores this union through potent colors and richly layered large abstract canvases.  

+ Full Bio

Staff

  • Amy Augustino

    Vice President of Operations

    Amy is an Operations & Communications specialist who has worked in a wide variety of industries over the past 10 years.

    + Full Bio

  • Rachelle Broida

    Executive Assistant

    Rachelle Broida has worked in various areas of the film and theater industries.

    + Full Bio

  • Kelsey Koenig

    Director of Development

    As the Director of Development at Impact Partners, Kelsey researches and reviews potential projects to finance, oversees the open rolling submissions process, and manages IP's web presence.

    + Full Bio

  • Jenny Raskin

    Vice President for Development & Filmmaker Relations

    Jenny is a documentary producer and director. Her work has been broadcast on PBS, The National Geographic Channel, The Sundance Channel and The Discovery Channel, among others.

     

    + Full Bio

Dan Cogan

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Dan Cogan is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Impact Partners, a fund and advisory service for investors and philanthropists who seek to promote social change through film.  Since its inception in 2007, Impact Partners has been involved in the financing of more than 80 films, including The Cove, which won the 2010 Academy Award® for Documentary Feature; How to Survive A Plague, which was nominated for the Academy Award® for Documentary Feature in 2013; The Hunting Ground; The Queen of Versailles, which won the U.S. Directing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival; Detropia, which won the Editing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival; Freeheld, which won the 2008 Academy Award® for Documentary Short Film; The Garden, which was nominated for the Academy Award® for Documentary Feature in 2009 and Hell and Back Again, which won the Documentary Grand Jury Prize and Cinematography Awards at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award® for Documentary Feature.

Cogan co-founded Gamechanger Films, which launched in September 2013. Gamechanger Films is the first for-profit film fund dedicated exclusively to financing narrative features directed by women. Gamechanger's first film, Land Ho!, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics.

Cogan received his B.A. from Harvard University, Magna Cum Laude, and attended the Film Division at Columbia University's Graduate School of the Arts. In 2014, he was awarded the Leading Light Award at DOC NYC alongside filmmakers Albert Maysles and D.A. Pennebaker, as well as the America Abroad Media Award in Washington, D.C.

Geralyn Dreyfous

Co-Founder

Geralyn Dreyfous has a wide, distinguished background in the arts, extensive experience in consulting in the philanthropic sector, and participates on numerous boards and initiatives. She spent an early part of her career at the Philanthropic Initiative in Boston, which guides families of wealth in strategic giving opportunities, and taught Documentary and Narrative writing with Dr. Robert Coles at Harvard University. Geralyn is the Founder and Board Chair of the Utah Film Center, a non-profit that curates free screenings and outreach programs for communities throughout Utah. 

In 2007, she co-founded Impact Partners Film Fund with Dan Cogan, bringing together financiers and filmmakers so that they can create great films that entertain audiences, enrich lives, and ignite social change. Since its inception, IP has been involved in the financing of over 70 films, including: THE COVE (2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature); THE GARDEN (2009 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature); FREEHELD (2008 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Film); and HELL AND BACK AGAIN (2012 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature) and multiple film festival award winning films such as E-TEAM (2014 Sundance Film Festival Cinematography Award, US Documentary), THE OVERNIGHTERS (2014 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize), and ALIVE INSIDE: A STORY OF MUSIC & MEMORY (2014 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award, US Documentary). In 2013, Geralyn became a founding member of Gamechanger, the first for-profit film fund dedicated exclusively to financing narrative features directed by women. Their first film, LAND HO!, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Geralyn's independent executive producing and producing credits include the Academy Award winning BORN INTO BROTHELS; Emmy nominated THE DAY MY GOD DIED, Academy Award nominated and Emmy Award winning THE SQUARE, Academy Award nominated and Peabody Award winning THE INVISIBLE WAR, and multiple film festival winners such as MISS REPRESENTATION, MEET THE PATELS, ANITA, IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST, THE HUNTING GROUND, DREAMCATCHER AND ALIVE INSIDE. Her works in production include: WAIT FOR ME and BE NATURAL. Geralyn was honored by the International Documentary Association with the Amicus Award in 2013 for her significant contribution to documentary filmmaking. Variety recognized Geralyn in their 2014 Women’s Impact Report highlighting her work in the entertainment industry.

 

Diana Barrett

Founding Member

Diana Barrett is President of The Fledgling Fund, a New York based private foundation that supports films and other creative media, primarily through finishing funds and community engagement  programs. She co-financed the 2004 Academy  Award-winning documentary BORN INTO  BROTHELS and recently served as Executive Producer for Rory Kennedy's HBO documentary, THE GHOSTS OF ABU GHRAIB. She supported the 2007 Sundance Special Jury Prize-winning film FREEHELD, in addition to A WALK TO BEAUTIFUL and THE GREATEST SILENCE: RAPE IN THE  CONGO. She was the Executive Producer of DEATH  BY DESIGN, a current IP film. Diana was on the Faculty at Harvard University for many years, where  she taught at the School of Public Health and the  Harvard Business School. Her special areas of interests were Public-Private Partnerships around  complex global issues such as HIV/AIDS and poverty reduction. She received her M.B.A. and Doctoral Degrees from Harvard Business School. She is particularly interested in innovative forms of storytelling, including virtual reality, photography, short form web based work in addition to long form documentary film.

Jim Swartz

Founding Member

Jim Swartz is a Partner and Founder of Accel Partners, a prominent global technology venture capital firm with offices in Palo Alto, CA, London, England, and Bangalore, India. Entering a fifth decade in venture capital, he has been closely involved as lead investor with the emergence of numerous industry pioneering technology companies. A long time industry leader, Jim is former Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association and a 2007 recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award.  He is a graduate of Harvard University with a concentration in Engineering Sciences and Applied Physics and holds a M.S. in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University, where he is Chairman of the President's Global Advisory Council and the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship

He is Chairman of the Swartz Foundation and the Christian Center of Park City, Director Emeritus of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Foundation (where he established the Borgen-Swartz Education Endowment), Trustee of the Sundance Institute and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and a member of the Board of Advisors of Tepper School of Business.   Jim led the establishment of the Deer Valley Music Festival as a Founder and the YMCA of Martha's Vineyard as Chairman of the Capital Campaign.  From 1999 to 2002, he served on the Management Committee of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Winter Olympics of 2002.  He is the recipient of a Merit Award from Carnegie Mellon University, the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from its Tepper School of Business, and an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Carnegie Mellon University and the Western Governors University.  Jim is also an accomplished Grand Prix sailboat skipper. 

Together with his wife Susan, Jim founded Impact Partners, a financing and advisory firm advancing independent cinema that addresses pressing social needs including Academy Award Winners Born Into Brothels (2005) and The Cove (2010) and numerous Academy Award Nominees and Sundance Award Winners.

Susan Swartz

Founding Member

Susan Swartz is a landscape painter inspired by the natural world and its intersection with spirituality. She explores this union through potent colors and richly layered large abstract canvases.

Swartz has been recognized with solo exhibitions most recently with her Personal Path retrospective that covered all three floors at the Ludwig Museum in Koblenz in the summer of 2015.  Other solo shows include June-July 2014 at the Kollegienkirche in Salzburg, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C in 2011; the Springville Museum of Art in Springville, Utah in 2010; and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2008. Her works are in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Women in the Arts; the Springville Museum of Art; the Utah Museum of Fine Arts; and the International Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. 

In 2005, Swartz was published in the Gibbs Smith collectors book Painters of the Wasatch Mountains alongside Wasatch Mountain School artists Maynard Dixon, Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran. The same year she was honored by the Harvard Divinity School for a career that continues to blend artistry and faith. Swartz was the Official Olympic Environmental Artist for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Her commissioned painting Soldier Hollow was featured in the fall 2013 exhibition Painters of the Wasatch Mountains at the Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah.

Swartz’s decade long struggle with mercury poisoning and Lyme disease transformed her as an artist and as a citizen. She actively supports environmental campaigns that advocate for clean water and air. Swartz also supports the vision and production of documentary films through Impact Partners.  

Swartz serves on the National Advisory Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Dean's Council of the Harvard Divinity School and is the co-founder of charity-based The Christian Center of Park City. She is a co-Founder of Impact Partners and is on the board of the Utah Film Center. 

Swartz paints from studios in Park City, Utah and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. She exhibits regularly in London, New York, Palm Beach and throughout Europe.  In January 2016 she opened her first direct gallery at 260 Main Street in Park City.   www.susanswartz.com 

Amy Augustino

Vice President of Operations

Amy is an Operations & Communications specialist who has worked in a wide variety of industries over the past 10 years. She has led process improvement, policy & procedure, and initiatives at Blue Man Group, The Children's Place, and Citigroup. Amy received her B.A. in English from Duke University where she was actively involved in the theater department as a writer, stage manager, and actor. She is currently pursuing an MBA at NYU Stern Business School with a concentration in Marketing and Entertainment, Media & Technology.

Rachelle Broida

Executive Assistant

Rachelle Broida has worked in various areas of the film and theater industries. Her experience includes internships in Development and Acquisitions at Focus Features, Programming at The New York Musical Theatre Festival, and, recently, Production at Process Media. Rachelle graduated cum laude from The College of William and Mary in 2014, with a degree in English and Film and Media Studies.

Kelsey Koenig

Director of Development

As the Director of Development at Impact Partners, Kelsey researches and reviews potential projects to finance, oversees the open rolling submissions process, and manages IP's web presence. Prior to her role in development, Kelsey was the Executive Assistant for the company. Before coming to Impact Partners, Kelsey worked as an Assistant Editor on Breakthru Films' KNUCKLEBALL!, a Contributing Writer for FilmBuff.com, and an Acquisitions Intern at Sony Pictures Classics. Kelsey graduated cum laude from Duke University with a B.A. in English, and a Certificate in Documentary Studies.

Jenny Raskin

Vice President for Development & Filmmaker Relations

Jenny is a documentary producer and director. Her work has been broadcast on PBS, The National Geographic Channel, The Sundance Channel and The Discovery Channel, among others. Her first feature documentary, ON HOSTILE GROUND, was released theatrically to critical acclaim and broadcast on The Sundance Channel. She produced the featured documentary MOTHERLAND AFGHANISTAN for PBS/Independent Lens. Most recently, she produced and directed the feature documentary HERE COME THE VIDEOFREEX. Jenny has also worked as a story consultant, writer, and executive producer for many documentary films and television series. She received her B.A. from Barnard College and a masters degree from the Culture and Media Program at New York University.