The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It was formed in 1998 under the name The Friends of the Rome Theater, Inc., to create a cultural arts institution focused on film. It was renamed Jacob Burns Film Center, Inc., in April 1999 to commemorate a leadership gift from the Jacob Burns Foundation.

The organization is led by Executive Director Stephen Apkon, who reports to the Board of Directors.

2012 Annual Report (2 MB pdf file)

Staff List

Board of Directors Industry Advisory Committee

David Swope, Chairman
Janet Maslin, President
Brian Ackerman, ex officio
David Alexander
Stephen Apkon
David Barber
Janet Benton
Joseph P. Carlucci 
Jonathan Demme
Robert Goldberg
Anita-Agnes O. Hassell
Ron Howard
Gary E. Knell
Nancy S. Kohlberg
Damian Kozlowski
Hugh Price
Art Samberg, Chairman Emeritus
Jeff Samberg
Barry Shenkman
Brian Skarstad
Lynn Sobel
Steven Spielberg

Directors Emeriti
Lisa Hertz Apkon
Sabrina Coughlin

Richard Abramowitz
William Baldwin
Michael Barker
Glenn Close
Robert Conte
Pat Eisemann
Frederick Elmes
Terry George
Richard Gere
Robert Harris
Arliss Howard
Mary Beth Hurt
Stephen Lang
Ang Lee
Dan Lindau
Liam Neeson

Chazz Palminteri
John Pierson
Lisa Post
Bingham Ray*
Tim Robbins
Susan Sarandon
Simon Schama
Paul Schrader
Martin Scorsese
Stanley Tucci
Chris Wedge
Bob Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein
Vanessa Williams
Debra Winger
Andrew Young

*in memoriam


Stephen Apkon. Founder & Executive Director

As Founder and Executive Director of the Jacob Burns Film Center, Stephen Apkon has combined a lifelong passion for film with his desire to create community and dialogue through shared cultural experiences. Mr. Apkon has brought vision, direction, and leadership to this burgeoning arts organization whose mission is to bring a diversity of film and educational programs to Westchester County and its surrounding communities.

A native of Framingham, MA, Mr. Apkon graduated from Georgetown University in 1983. In 1986, he received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he graduated with distinction. From 1992 to 1999, Mr. Apkon was a General Partner in Crossroads Partners, EEC, a private merchant banking partnership based in Westchester. Before then, from 1988 to 1992, he was a Principal at Odyssey Partners, LP, a private Manhattan-based investment partnership primarily involved in management buyouts in industries as diverse as technology and retailing. From 1986 to 1988, he was an Associate in the Merger and Acquisitions Department of Goldman Sachs & Co. in Manhattan. In 1998, Mr. Apkon formed the Friends of the Rome Theater, now known as the Jacob Burns Film Center, Inc.

In addition to his position at the JBFC, Mr. Apkon serves on the boards of the World Cinema Foundation and Advancing Human Rights, and is a member of the Sundance Art House Convergence Leadership Team and the Creative Coalition Entertainment Industry’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Education. He is an Advisory Board member of Teatown Lake Reservation and World Hunger Year. Mr. Apkon is also the author of the upcoming book The Age of the Image: A Call to Redefine Literacy in a Visually Driven World, to be published by Farrar, Strauss & Giroux in 2012. Mr. Apkon, his wife Lisa Hertz Apkon, and their three children live in Pleasantville, NY.