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    Gita Pullapilly, 34
    Film Producer & CEO
    Sunny Side Up Films

    Gita Pullapilly of Bar Harbor produced the Emmy-nominated independent 2009 documentary “The Way We Get By,” about the troop greeters of Maine at Bangor International Airport. Pullapilly’s is also the voice of the multiple-awardwinning film, written and directed by Aron Gaudet, also a Forty Under 40 award winner.

    A native of South Bend, Ind., Pullapilly majored in finance at Notre Dame and has a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern. She notes that both the business and reporting skills are mainstays of her film-producing career. Working with Harvard Business School for a case study on “The Way We Get By,” Pullapilly helped create a financial model for independent filmmakers to release their work. The model is used by filmmakers nationally and internationally.

    An award-winning television journalist and film producer, Pullapilly has produced stories in the United States, India, and Jordan (she was the first filmmaker selected as a Fulbright Senior Scholar to Jordan). Her stories have aired on CBS, CNN, and ABC; she has received project grants from ITVS, CPB, POV, the MacArthur Foundation, Fulbright, and Fledgling Fund. In 2007, she was chosen as a WGBH Filmmaker in Residence; the following year, she received a Kaiser Mini-Fellowship for Global Health Reporting and was inducted into the Royal Society of the Arts.

    In addition to producing “Blue Potato,” a feature filming this year in Aroostook County and scheduled for release in early 2013, Pullapilly is executive producer on the PBS television project “Lifecasters,” stories of Americans living outside the mainstream.

    “This is probably the biggest film of our career,” she says of “Blue Potato.” ... “We’ve had a lot of support from Hollywood, and next year should see a huge distribution campaign. We’re hoping the next project will be a larger, studio film.”

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