Shine Board Member Profile: Al Cattabiani


As part of an ongoing series, we want to introduce you to the Shine Global family and especially our outstanding and hard working board members who help move Shine forward.

Name: Al Cattabiani
Joined Shine Board of Directors: November 2013
Title: Entrepreneur and advisor in media distribution, Co-Founder/Editor Culture Sonar, Co-founder/CEO, Wellspring Media. Co-founder, iThentic
Current Role at Shine: Member of the Board of Directors, Member of the Marketing Committee

Al Cattabiani is in the middle of a happy career as a media entrepreneur. His companies have generally focused on the arts, indie/foreign film and holistic living. Over the years, he has released well over 1,000 titles, including many Oscar, Grammy and Emmy winners. Al also publishes CultureSonar, an arts/entertainment blog for grownups. It suggests cool stuff to see, hear, read and do for folks who have jobs, families and other real-life obligations, but who are still open and curious about new things. Although playing guitar has never been his Day Job, quite rightly, he’s been gigging steadily for years — and is an avid fan.

Why did you join Shine’s board?

Susan and Albie’s passion is contagious — and they have a unique vision for Shine. Many social-issue documentaries, however noble, can be hard to watch. It’s a bit like taking your medicine: you know you should do it, but don’t look forward to it. Shine, on the other hand, brings genuine cinematic and entertainment values to its work. Shine films are crisp and very well made. Furthermore, they are hopeful. They find the rays of light in daunting situations.

What’s a favorite Shine moment for you?

Meeting the filmmakers is always a great moment. More often than not, they are relatively early in their careers and have had to climb some pretty steep hills to get where they are. Being associated with Shine is usually a pretty big “win” for them, so it’s particularly gratifying to help bring this talent — as well as these terrific stories — to the world.

How do you use your specific skill set in your work as a Shine board member?

I’m often the grimy Distribution Guy who thinks about how these films might be pitched, promoted and sold in the commercial marketplace. I spent a good portion of my career in indie film/tv distribution and think in terms of how a film will “play” in a crowded market. Shine’s films reach other markets, too, but it can be useful to think in commercial terms, since every piece of media is competing for finite consumer attention.

What are the key challenges that Shine tackles that you want supporters to know about?

For any non-profit, it comes down to funding. The good news is Shine’s films have a very long lifespan. They keep moving audiences year after year. Supporting Shine is a great way give a gift that literally keeps on giving.

See the full list of Shine’s Board of Directors Members and Board of Governors Members here and read the first four profiles of board members Dario Spina here, Keith Brown here, Kay Sarlin Wright here, and Marilyn DeLuca here.