Ms. Levine is uniquely qualified in the film industry: After working as a film's acquisitions executive for several years, in 1988 Ms. Levine and her partner created FilmFinders, the first database of worldwide features that became an industry standard for organizing and tracking the rights-buying activities.
Sydney Levine and her partner worked together with their company FilmFinders until it was first adapted by the Cannes Marché until it became Cinando.com. In 2008, it was sold to IMDb, an Amazon Company.
After that, Sydney continued to serve the independent, international film community under her company's new name, SydneysBuzz. It can be read at blogs.SydneysBuzz.com and her services continue to supply the industry with reports and the young filmmakers with consulting, workshops and her blogs.
Ms. Levine's educational background includes a Master's degree in Education from the University of Southern California, a License from the Sorbonne University of Paris and a BFA from the University of California. She speaks French, German, Spanish and English, and used to be fluent in Dutch.
She is currently Director of the Women in Cinema Conference of the Dhaka International Film Festival. She consults and educates with producers, national and international film organizations, Berlin Talents, Cannes, Toronto, Sundance, Chapman University, UCLA, etc. on the national and international film business.
Her company, SydneysBuzz Inc., has both a blog about the international film business and a website. It offers reports relevant to the film business, educational and training presentations, interviews with filmmakers, and services such as moderating and organizing panels or bringing together other relevant groups. SydneysBuzz is still an official news partner of IMDb and IMDbPro.
FilmFinder was launched in 1988 by Sydney Levine and Peter Belsito. Today’s services of FilmFinders are a natural growth from the former FilmFinders, founded by Sydney and Peter.
FilmFinders’ pioneer database contained comprehensive data of all independent features from around the world and generated reports for acquisitions and programming executives in the international independent film business.
During its twenty-two-year life span, FilmFinders created an industry standard for organizing and tracking the rights buying and selling part of the film business. It listed rights availabilities for 60 territories, advance notice of screenings, specific contact information, story summary, cast and crew, and was issued before, during and after major markets and festivals.
In July 2006, FilmFinders merged with Withoutabox to develop new digital services for filmmakers. In January 2008, FilmFinders and Withoutabox were sold to IMDb, an Amazon company. After 18 months of integrating FilmFinders into IMDbPro, Levine and Belsito amicably left IMDb in April 2009 to pursue activities as educators and consultants.
FilmFinders’ database was adopted by the Cannes Marché in 1996 and developed into today’s Cinando, the database website used by Cannes, the Berlinale, Ventana Sur, Toronto International Film Festival and others. It is available to individual professionals through the Cannes Marché.