Please scroll down to the learn more about the slate of nominees who are up for election/re-election to the Film Festival Alliance Board of Directors. Acting FFA members may vote through January, 13, 2020. Results will be shared at the FFA Annual Meeting, on Thursday, January 23 during the Art House Convergence. Those nominees with an asterix beside their name are seeking a second term of board service.
*Beth Barrett, SIFF
Beth Barrett is the Artistic Director of SIFF (organizers of the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF Cinema, and SIFF Education) and has been working with SIFF programming since 2003. An aficionado of short films, she secured SIFF’s status as an Academy Award® qualifying festival in 2008. Responsible for all aspects of SIFF programming, Beth has been in Seattle for 23 years and holds an MA in Northern Renaissance Art History. She has served on the Film Festival Alliance Board of Directors since 2017.
*Dan Brawley, Cucalorus Festival
Dan Brawley is the Chief Instigating Officer of the Cucalorus Festival, an international celebration of filmmaking, performance and technology in Wilmington, North Carolina founded in 1994 by Twinkle Doon. Cucalorus screens more than 300 films with a range of multi-disciplinary programs focusing on dance, social justice, cocktails, entrepreneurship, and performance. Cucalorus was one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World, 2017” according to MovieMaker Magazine. The Cucalorus Film Foundation also hosts the Lumbee Film Festival, showcasing films made by American Indians as well as the Surfalorus Film Festival held on NC’s Outer Banks. Brawley graduated cum laude from Duke University, where he was an Academic All-American on the varsity golf team. He is also active as a performing artist and community organizer. He has served on the Film Festival Alliance Board of Directors and as the Board President since 2017.
*Mark Fishkin, Mill Valley Film Festival
Mark Fishkin is the Founder and Executive Director of the California Film Institute, and the Founder and Director of the Mill Valley Film Festival. Since founding the Mill Valley Film Festival in 1977, Mark has shepherded the once small, three-day showcase into an 11-day, internationally acclaimed event. He has served on numerous boards of directors, including the Film Arts Foundation, and the Art House Convergence. Mark was appointed and served as a San Francisco Film Commissioner from 2013-2019. In 2017, CFI Releasing acquired US theatrical distribution to LIFE AND NOTHING MORE, which won the John Cassavetes Award at the Film Independent Spirit Awards in 2018. He has served on the Film Festival Alliance Board of Directors since 2017.
*Judy Laster, Woods Hole Film Festival
Judith Laster is the Founder and Director of the 26 year-old Woods Hole Film Festival, the oldest film festival on Cape Cod and the Islands and one of the oldest in Massachusetts. The Festival is an eight day festival of independent film that takes place each summer. Over the eight days, the festival screens approximately 130 films selected from submissions from around the world. The festival is dedicated to presenting the work of emerging independent filmmakers. In addition, the Festival presents 2 year round films series and collaborates with other arts organizations both on and off Cape Cod to program films for their venues. She participated in the founding of the Film Festival Alliance and is an attorney with more than two decades of experience working in the Massachusetts legislature. Judy has served on the Film Festival Alliance Board of Directors since 2017.
Ben McCarthy, Consultant
Ben McCarthy is Principal Consultant and Owner of McArts Consulting, LLC based out of Charlotte, NC. From leading fundraising efforts for the largest film festival in the country, the Seattle International Film Festival, to serving as Executive Director of Three Dollar Bill Cinema (producer of the Seattle Queer Film Festival and Seattle Transgender Film Festival), Ben has extensive experience in the programming, operations, and funding of film festivals. In addition to film festivals, he has worked with many different types of nonprofit organizations to assist in their overall success in fundraising, community engagement, and leadership and organizational development. He holds an MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University and a BA in Theatre from Greensboro College in Greensboro, NC
*Andrew Rodgers, Consultant
Andrew Rodgers is a writer, filmmaker, programmer, and arts executive, based in Denver, Colorado. He led the Denver Film Society from 2016-19 and the RiverRun International Film Festival from 2005-16. Previously, he was a staff writer for the Chicago Tribune and a publicist for the Sundance Film Festival. He received a master’s degree in business administration from Wake Forest University and a bachelor’s in journalism from Eastern Illinois University. Andrew has served on the Film Festival Alliance Board of Directors as Vice President since 2017.
Kathryn Spitz Cohan, Film Pittsburgh
Kathryn has been executive director of Film Pittsburgh since 2001 overseeing programs including Pittsburgh Shorts, the JFilm Festival and ReelAbilities Pittsburgh. Previously, she was the Artistic and Education Director of Shakespeare-in-the-Schools, at the University of Pittsburgh, where she also taught for the Katz School of Business, Film Studies program, and the department of Theatre Arts. Before that, she served as the Assistant Director of Administration for the Three Rivers Arts Festival and was the Artistic Director of the Theater Department at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. Kathryn was named as one of Pittsburgh’s top 50 cultural forces in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and has received an Opal Award from Women in Film and Media–Pittsburgh for exemplary professional achievement and contributions to the economic and cultural development of the region. Kathryn started the Pittsburgh Film Presenters Network to encourage dialogue, collaboration and the sharing of resources among Pittsburgh film presenters. She has served as a board member of Women in Film and Media-Pittsburgh and the Hollywood Theater, as well as a panelist for the Heinz Endowments Small Arts Initiative. Kathryn is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Communications.