Patricia Finneran was named Festival Director of SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival in 2003. SILVERDOCS is a six-day international documentary film festival presented by AFI in alliance with the Discovery Channel. Finneran has presided over the growth of the festival from 5 days and 60 films at its inception to encompass a 6-day event, featuring 89 films representing 42 countries and attendance topping 15,000. The 2005 festival explored themes of freedom of expression with programs on democracy, and a selection of comedic documentaries that posed the question of how comedy can challenge the limits of acceptable speech and also launched a music documentary award. The Silverdocs International Documentary Conference which launched in 2004, hosted 450 film and television professionals over three days for more than 20 panels, workshops and individual networking meetings.
She previously served as Artistic Director of the IFP Market, at IFP/New York the largest and longest-running US Market for independent documentary and narrative filmmakers, overseeing selection of 200 projects – scripts and works-in-progress - from nearly 2,000 submissions for presentation and connecting filmmakers with industry executives.
As a producer / writer, she created multi-media coverage of independent film for internet start-up iCAST.com. Finneran produced internationally distributed programs for USIA (United States Information Agency) and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) focusing on economic development in transitional democracies and emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia, shooting on location throughout the US and in Russia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Finneran attended the AFI Conservatory Producers Program in Los Angeles. She subsequently became a Development Executive for producer Dale Pollock’s Peak Productions, a feature film production company.
She is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University with a B.A. in French and Art History.