Film Festival Alliance

2021 Proposed Board of Directors Slate

Below is the list of nominees who make up the 2021 proposed Board of Directors slate. Each director serves a three year (3) term and may run again one time for a consecutive three year (3) term. Please return to Election Runner to cast your vote.

New Nominees:

Bears Rebecca Fonté: Bears Rebecca Fonté founded Other Worlds in 2014 after two years as the Director of Programming for AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL. In 2020 Other Worlds was named one of the World’s 50 Best Genre Fest by MovieMaker Magazine. Her SciFi shorts ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE, PRENATAL, and THE SECRET KEEPER have played 150+ festivals including Fantasia, SciFi London, Boston SciFi, FilmQuest, Austin Film Festival and Dances With Films. Her LGBTQ Horror short CONVERSION THERAPIST made is world premiere at Inside Out in Toronto and US Premiere at aGLIFF. Her feature thriller iCRIME, which she wrote and directed, was released on DVD, VOD and streaming by Breaking Glass/Vicious Circle Films in 2011. Bears Rebecca also was one of the producers on the Sundance Jury-Award Winning short THE PROCEDURE. Prior to arriving in Austin, she self-produced two web-series which were been seen by a combined ten million viewers, wrote coverage for independent producers and coverage services in LA. She has served on the aGLIFF (the All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival) for four years, taught for their Queer Youth Media Project and in 2020, helped guide the virtual pivot as Technical Director. She also represents Northwest Austin on the City of Austin Arts Commission.

Leslie Raymond: Media artist and educator Leslie Raymond joined the Ann Arbor Film Festival as its executive director in August 2013. Before that, she founded a New Media Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio and served as assistant professor of art in digital video and new media art at Oakland University, where she was recognized with an Innovations in Teaching award. Raymond excels at organizing special projects that bring together practitioners to advance the conversation around contemporary cinema practice.

tt stern-enzi: Having spent 20 years as a freelance writer and film critic in the Greater Cincinnati region (covering the film industry & film festivals with the alt-weekly Cincinnati CityBeat and television affiliate Fox19, while earning distinction as an accredited critic on Rotten Tomatoes and membership in the Critics Choice Association), tt stern-enzi began curating film programs at the Mini Microcinema and other regional venues, serving on the advisory board for the University of Cincinnati Center for Film & Media Studies, and developing an educational curriculum for his WatchWriteNow initiative. These efforts have paved the way for tt to step into the role of lead programmer/curator for the rebranded Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival during its first two years before settling into the position of Artistic Director for the 2021 edition.

Returning Board Members:

Rachel Morgan: Creative director and lead programmer for the Sidewalk Film Festival and the Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema. Instructor of Media Production, Lawson State Community College. Former co-instructor of documentary film, University of Alabama (2006-2018). Co-host of the film/cinema related podcast SideTalks. Former contributor to Film Threat magazine. Bachelor Of Fine Arts – Savannah College Of Art and Design / Master Of Arts, film critical studies, University Of Alabama. Filmmaker and enthusiast.

Cara Ogburn: Dr. Cara Ogburn is the Artistic Director at Milwaukee Film, which hosts an annual, 15-day film festival that in 2019 boasted attendance over 87,000 for over 300 films (shorts and features). Cara began working for the Milwaukee Film Festival seasonally in 2011, curating and planning panels, workshops, and other programming for filmmakers and general audiences to extend the films onscreen. With twelve years of experience teaching at the college level, Cara later joined Milwaukee Film’s year-round staff, overseeing the Education department’s programs for youth, filmmakers, and general audiences. Cara currently sits on the leadership team and oversees the process for programming films, education, artist services, and outreach across the organization year-round.

Patrick Shepherd: Patrick Shepherd (he/him/his) recently wrapped up his 22nd year working for the Cleveland International Film Festival and has served as the organization’s Associate Director since 2006. He previously worked at the American Red Cross, where he won the American Red Cross Tiffany Award for Employee Excellence in 1999. A lifelong Ohio resident and 2020 graduate of Leadership Cleveland, Patrick has served as a Board of Directors member for nonprofits such as the Film Festival Alliance and LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland. He was the 2007 recipient of the Human Rights Campaign Equality Award in recognition of his work on behalf of the LGBTQIA+ community. Patrick earned a B.A. in History and Political Science from Bowling Green State University.

Ryan Watt: Ryan Watt is the outgoing Executive Director of Indie Memphis, creating community through independent film and supporting the development of filmmakers. Ryan is the producer of narrative feature films that have premiered at SXSW (PILGRIM SONG), Locarno International and Los Angeles FF (FORTY YEARS FROM YESTERDAY), and an Associate Producer of FREE IN DEED, Best Film Winner at Venice Film Festival Orizzonti Competition and nominated for four 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Before transitioning into film and media production, Ryan served as the Director of Marketing for the technology services firm Securas Consulting Group from 2006 – 2008 after they acquired his data backup company Metro Backup. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Tennessee – Knoxville with a major in Marketing.