Jacques Paisner, Artistic Director - Jacques received a BA degree in Philosophy in 2003 from the University of New Mexico. He was born in Minneapolis in 1980, grew up in Oregon, Navajo Nation and Santa Fe. He is a 1998 graduate of Santa Fe High School. He is the author of Albuquerque Blues 2007, and was writer and director of the 2009 feature film, Rejection. Jacques is the former Director of Programming at Jean Cocteau Cinema. Jacques currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation, is a member of the Santa Fe Film Commission, and on the advisory Board for California American Indian Film Festival.
In 2016 he was asked to serve on the City of Santa Fe's Film and Digital Media Commission.
Liesette Paisner Bailey, Executive Director - Liesette Paisner Bailey is a native Santa Fean and received her BA at University of New Mexico in 2012, honors summa cum laude in History. Liesette was the New Mexico coordinator of Martin Luther King III's Realizing the Dream Poverty Initiative in America. She has worked for Recursos de Santa Fe and Royal Roads Tours. Liesette is the former Director of Marketing/Programmer at Jean Cocteau Cinema. She directed the Southwest Literary Center's Women Writers' Conference, as well as working with the planning and development of the First Annual UNESCO International Conference on Creative Tourism.
Jena Braziel, Submission Coordinator & Guest Service Director - Jena Braziel graduated from the University of New Mexico, with a BA in Media Arts in 2014. She was born in Steamboat Springs, CO and moved to Santa Fe, NM in 7th grade with her family. She hopes to one day become a creative director or producer. Jena has been with the festival for six years as submissions coordinator and guest service director.
Derek Horne, Shorts Programmer - Derek Horne has worked for the Sundance Film Festival and programmed for several other festivals coast to coast from Newport, R.I. to Newport Beach, Ca. He worked in acquisitions for leading short film distributors Atom Films, iCast, and Shortbuzz, wrote articles for IndieWIRE, and was the founding editor of Kodak's Campus Beat student magazine for five years. He has worked as the programmer for DC shorts and is currently short film programmer for Hotsprings Documentary Film Festival, Annapolis Film Festival, and Santa Fe Independent Film Festival.
Stephanie Love, Office Manager - Stephanie Love graduated from the Penny Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan, honors magna cum laude in Studio Arts. Stephanie has lived in Santa Fe since 2013, pursuing a passion in the arts that has attracted her to work in local galleries, as well as at the Canyon Road and Santa Fean Magazines before joining the ranks at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival.
Castle Searcy, Festival Dailies - Based in Colorado with time spent in San Francisco and the Deep South, Castle is the co-founder and owner of Denver's award-winning Tootsies the Nail Shoppe, a freelance design/branding expert and documentary film producer. Searcy serves as the Festival Dailies Manager for the Denver Film Society, Design Chair for Denver Startup Week. Searcy received her MBA from the University of Denver and BA in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Denver.
Dawn Hoffman, Event Coordinator - Dawn has 20 years experience in non-profit community organization. She holds a dual degree in Women's Studies & World Literature and is a certified Life Coach and Organizational & Relationship Systems Team Facilitator. A trained Montessori teacher, she wrote an indigenous arts curriculum to foster cross-cultural understanding.
Dawn's event coordination business, Hoffman Designs, has produced projects for: UNESCO-Creative Cities Network, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Taliesan (The Frank Lloyd Wright Association), Recursos de Santa Fe (archeological museum tours throughout the Southwest), New Mexico Federation of Labor, City of Santa Fe, City of Los Alamos-The Next Big Idea Innovation Festival, etc.
Blake Lewis, Box Office Manager - Blake was born a Southern "peach" in rural South-Eastern Georgia but raised in Northern New Mexico for the majority of her life. As a graduate of the University of New Mexico, Blake has built her community and network throughout the state and throughout the country by participating, volunteering, and producing various events and functions.
Blake has also been involved in film and photography for over 10 years; from being in front of the camera, as well as behind it. Learning her way around sets by first becoming an extra/stand-in, she then worked her way in to various projects from documentaries, feature films, independent films, music videos and advertising photography as a producer, casting assistant, stylist, and set dresser.
Her interests range from offering teachings in wellness and Yoga, nutrition, modeling and photography, event production and organizing, crafting and art, sustainable practices, and building conscious and mindful networks of people.
Eileen O'Brien, Moderator - Eileen O'Brien has over twenty years of professional experience in directing membership programs, film festivals, as well as work in production on independent and studio films, network and cable television programs. She has also written, directed and produced marketing videos, television pilots and programs, live events, theater productions and consulted on independent film marketing and distribution. She has also directed, programmed, managed, coordinated and consulted on major film festivals including Cannes, Sundance, Savannah and Denver International. She is currently a membership consultant, festival programmer and guest speaker/interviewer. She is currently an executive board member and secretary for the Colorado Film and Video Association and served as Membership Chair for the last two years. Also, she is a membership consultant to the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival and their year-round art house theater, The Jean Cocteau, owned by George R.R. Martin.
Chris Bredenberg, Tech Director - Chris Bredenberg was born and raised in Santa Fe and has been with the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival since 2017. Since 2013, Chris has been a projectionist for Telluride, Stanley, Palm Springs, Hawaii, and Denver. In addition, he provides technical services for Hawaii, True/False, Telluride, Sundance, and Santa Fe Independent Film Festival.
Deb French, Venue Coordinator - Deb is a retired, graphic designer. Her careers spanned over 30 years in stage theatre management, entertainment production, and promotion and publishing. This is Deb?s fifth year with SFIFF now serving as Venue Coordinator after 4 years as a Festival volunteer. She loves to travel, is involved in environmental conservation, and designs metal sculpture for fun. Deb and her husband retired to Santa Fe after searching the USA for an inspiring location to call home in retirement.
Allie Salazar, Graphic Designer - Allie Salazar is a Santa Fe/Albuquerque based Graphic Designer who creates works for local and out of state businesses and personal requests. When not designing you can find her traveling to far away lands, listening to music, attending local events, or tucked away in her studio working on personal projects.
Sage Paisner, Photographer - Sage Paisner earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico in 2006, Honors summa cum laude in Art Studio-focus in Photography, cum laude University Honors and a Masters of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts in 2010 in the Photography and Media department. Sage was born in Oregon on October 7, 1982, grew up in Navajo Nation and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Sage has extensive training and experience in photography, sculpture, metalwork, glass design, video, installation art, new media and printmaking. Paisner studied with Patrick Nagatani and Joyce Neimanas at UNM and was mentored by Harry Gamboa Jr, Andrew Freeman, Allan Sekula, Joanne Callis, Charles Gaines and others at CalArts. Sage was recruited to be the first photographer in the Oppressionist Art Movement spearheaded by American Indian Leader Russell Means in South Dakota in 2006. Sage Paisner is a curator and exhibit designer known for the annual Mentor's Alchemy exhibits at the ASA Gallery at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and has exhibition installation experience at the Santa Fe Art Institute. His photographs have been widely published including in The Magazine, Southwest Art and many scholarly publications and catalogs. Sage is based in California and New Mexico.
Gary Farmer, Chair - Gary Farmer was born in Ohsweken, Ontario into the Cayuga Nation. He attended Syracuse University and Ryerson Polytechnic University, where he studied photography and film production. Gary is best known for his role as spiritual Native American guide, Nobody, in Dead Man.Gary reprised the role for a cameo in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. He was also the publisher of Aboriginal Voices magazine, and one of the Founders of the Aboriginal Voices radio network. He was nominated for Independent Spirit Awards for his roles in the movies Powwow Highway, Dead Man, and Smoke Signals.Gary also played the role of Fagin in Twist,the 2003 independent adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic. He also played Deputy Bob in Demon Knight. Two of his latest major roles were Henry Colville, with Kris Kristofferson, in Disappearances(2006) and Jack in Jimmy P (2013). Gary has been Chair of the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival since its inception in 2009.
Chris Eyre - Chris Eyre, the nation's most celebrated American Indian film director, was born in Oregon. An enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, Chris graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in media arts. He also attended New York University's graduate film program. Chris gained national attention in 1998 with his first film, Smoke Signals, which won the Audience Award and Filmmaker's Trophy at Sundance Film Festival and became the first nationally distributed feature film that was directed, written, co-produced, and featured American Indian actors. People Magazine called him "the preeminent Native American filmmaker of his time."
Chris later directed Skins, Skinwalkers, Edge of America, Thief of Time, A Thousand Roads, Taming the Wild West: The Legend of Jedediah Smith, and Hideaway along with commercials and television episodes of Law and Orderand Friday Night Lights. Chris is currently head of Native Networkers, which consulted for the Scott Cooper film Hostiles.
Kirk Ellis - Kirk Ellis won two Emmys, a Golden Globe, a WGA Award, a Peabody and the Humanitas Prize for his work on the HBO miniseries John Adams. The miniseries won a record-breaking 13 Primetime Emmys in total, as well as four Golden Globe awards. Previously, Ellis received an Emmy nomination and won the WGA Award and Humanitas Prize for the ABC miniseries Anne Frank, which he wrote and co-produced. Miniseries on which he has served as writer and producer, including Into the West, and Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows have received more than 50 Emmy nominations.
Kirk Ellis won two Emmys, a Golden Globe, a WGA Award, a Peabody and the Humanitas Prize for his work on the HBO miniseries John Adams. The miniseries won a record-breaking 13 Primetime Emmys in total, as well as four Golden Globe awards. Previously, Ellis received an Emmy nomination and won the WGA Award and Humanitas Prize for the ABC miniseries Anne Frank, which he wrote and co-produced. Miniseries on which he has served as writer and producer, including Into the West, and Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows have received more than 50 Emmy nominations. Upcoming feature projects include a biography of the Marquis de Lafayette for director Jean-Francois Richet (Mesrine) and Oscar-nominated Why Not Productions. For HBO, Ellis is writing The Day the Laughter Stopped, an account of the Fatty Arbuckle trials of the 1920s, set to star Eric Stonestreet and to be directed by Barry Levinson. He is currently collaborating with L.A. Confidential author James Ellroy on the contemporary police drama Throwdown Gun for FX. A graduate of the University of Southern California's School of Cinema and Television, Ellis began his professional career as a film critic for The Hollywood Reporter, and at age 24 served as the magazine's international editor. In 1992 he formed Shadow Catcher Productions, an independent production banner under which Ellis develops his own indie features and documentaries. In addition to serving as a Television Academy governor, Ellis is chairman of the Santa Fe, New Mexico, Arts Commission. He is a former board member of the Western Writers of America, and sits on the advisory board of James River Writers.
David Sontag -David Sontag is the Chairman Emeritus of the Board of EarthEcho International a leading environmental, educational non-profit founded by Philippe, Alexandra and Janice Cousteau, He is Professor Emeritus of the Communications Studies Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was, until 2011, the Wesley Wallace Distinguished Professor of Communication Studies and the Director of the Writing for the Screen and Stage Program in the College of Arts a degree program that he created for the University. He is an award-winning writer and producer and has written for Columbia Pictures, Universal, MGM, and Hollywood Pictures among others as well as CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox. Mr. Sontag has held important creative and executive positions at 20 Century Fox, NBC, CBS Films and ABC.
Mr. Sontag is on the National Advisory Board of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and is the past President of the Board of the Festival. He is also a past member of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and is currently on the Advisory Council. Mr. Sontag is a Trustee of the North Carolina Symphony and in the past was the Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Symphony and a member of the Executive, Strategic Planning and Program Committees of the Symphony. He is on the Advisory Council of the Carolina PlayMakers Repertory Company. Mr. Sontag was the Founder of the Native Americas International Film Exposition and has been on the Advisory Board for the College of Santa Fe's Greer Garson Studios as well as a past Trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the Aspen Music Festival and School. Mr. Sontag, a nominee for both the Writers' Guild and Humanitas awards, is listed in Who's Who in Entertainment, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in the World.
Alexandria Bombach - Alexandria Bombach is an award-winning director, cinematographer, and editor from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her recent work has focused on exploring ethics in journalism and advocacy, and challenging misperceptions of the refugee crisis. Her feature-length documentary, On Her Shoulders (2018), won Best Directing in the US Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for two Film Independent Spirit Awards, and was shortlisted for the Academy Awards for Best Documentary Feature. Her first feature-length documentary, Frame by Frame (2015) premiered at SXSW and went on to win over 25 film festival awards. Alexandria is the founder of the Santa Fe Editing & Writing Residency, a 2019 Sundance Institute Momentum Fellow, and a 2019 Chicken & Egg Award Fellow.
Nicole Guillemet - Guillemet has worked in key positions in the film industry for thirty years. For over fifteen years she served as Vice-President of the Sundance Institute and Co-Director of the Sundance Film Festival. At the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, she launched the Documentary Film Program and its "House of Docs" to provide support to documentary filmmakers. She also initiated the Gen-Y Studio, a program designed to nurture young student filmmakers. In 2002, she founded the Utah Film Center bringing the world of film to local audience, emphasizing social content and artistic excellence.
From 2002 - 2007, Guillemet was the Director of the Miami International Film Festival, showcasing the most important selection of Ibero-American Cinema in North America. She led the Festival through an astounding five-year period of growth including the creation of Miami Encuentros, a program to help emerging Ibero-American producers.
In the last ten years Guillemet has worked as an executive consultant for various international festivals including the Dominican Republic Global Film Festival , the Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi, the Bahamas International Film Festival, and ESAV, the Marrakech School of Film and Design supporting new Arabic cinema. Over the years Guillemet has assisted many documentary filmmakers during their creative process and in the various production phases of their films, as well as in their distribution strategies. She is an Executive Producer of the Dhamma Brothers (2008) by Jenny Philips, Circus Without Border by Susan Grey, and Oscars nominated The Square (2013) by Jehane Noujaim.
She is currently the programming Director of the Costa Rica International Film Festival and is consulting with the newly created El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt.
Throughout her career, Guillemet has been a dedicated arts activist. She serves on national boards of a number of arts organizations including Women Make Movies and Indie Collect. She has also served on funding panel for the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rolex Foundation, and as a juror and panelist for many international festivals. In 2005 she was awarded the Chevalier de l' Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Minister of Culture.
Alton Walpole - Alton Walpole is an eclectic filmmaker with more than 30 years of experience as an editor, cinematographer and producer. For the past ten years he has been working primarily as a Unit Production Manager.
As an editor he translated archetypal and contemporary images into the cinema experiences of "Koyaanisqatsi" and "Powaqqatsi". In the 1990's he was the supervising producer of "Baraka" and coordinated the international travel and location access.
He also was the supervising producer on "Passion in the Desert" working with leopards and "Hand of Fate", a feature-length documentary about clairvoyants around the globe.
Alton co-produced the independent feature "The Tao of Steve" with Good Machine and produced the feature film "Soundman". His credits as a UPM include "Blind Horizon", "Unspeakable", "Rx", The Horror Chronicles ("Buried Alive", "Organizm" and "Undead or Alive"), "Intervention", "Afterwards" and "The Burrowers".
Recently he was the Unit Production Manager on "The Spirit", "Crazy Heart" and "The Book of Eli". Alton Walpole is a member of the Directors Guild of America and resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he is the owner of Mountainair Films Inc.
Beth Caldarello - Beth Caldarello recently moved to Santa Fe from Los Angeles. There she was the Manager of Operations and special projects for AFI FEST. Beth's experience has ranged from working in the television industry for such shows as ER and Nip/Tuck, managing a fine art photography gallery, to producing films. She co-produced the short film AASHPORDHA (Audacity) that played the festival circuit winning the Audience Award at Indian Film Festival Los Angeles and assoc. produced the documentary film SEMBENE! that was in International Competition at Sundance. Currently, she is working as a freelance consultant for Film Festivals and Movies.
Kimi Ginoza Green - Kimi Green's professional career includes 23 years of philanthropic and community development leadership and management. Her commitment to effective, creative community solutions addressing systems-change for social and environmental benefit has resulted in innovative advancements for local and global communities.
Green's management expertise spans the full range of operational functions critical to advancing social change including program development, management and evaluation, advancement of both permanent and non-permanent financial resources, marketing, campaign management and advocacy. She has served as Program Director for New Cycle Foundation and Director, Development and Community Sustainability for New Mexico Community Foundation. Green is a Consultant for non-profit development, serves as a Board Director for numerous social and environmental justice non-profit organizations, foundations and funder associations, and is a principal with ReGenStem, LLC.
Xavier Horan - Xavier has worked in the post sound industry for the past 10 years with some of the leading directors, producers, and studios in the industry. As a former sound supervisor at Sound Delux for 10 years, Xavier has worked as a sound supervisor, sound editor and ADR supervisor were he has helped build the creative sound elements for some of the most memorable top box office movies. Some of Xavier's former accomplishments within sound started in music were he has worked with some of the biggest bands in the world including The Rolling Stones. Upon completing the Bigger Bang album, Xavier moved into Post Sound, working for Sound Delux where he became widely known as one of the top and youngest sound supervisors due to his ambition and leadership when pushing his creative teams to excel within their creative aspect of post sound.
Xavier worked on many blockbuster movies including Fast 5, Fast and Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Bourne Ultimatum (Oscar Winner), Blood Diamond, Its Complicated and American Gangster.
Paul Langland - Paul Langland is a New York based choreographer, dancer and teacher who for the last 38 years has been an innovator of many developments in performance. He has preserved and developed the legacy of the late dancer Allan Wayne through an ongoing system of teachings and performances. He has named this system Allan Wayne Work, which he has taught since 1979. His choreography has been presented in New York and world-wide. He was a Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble and Company member from 1974-1985,has been a teacher and practitioner of contact improvisation since 1973, and has worked with many wonderful directors and choreographers. He is delighted to have just purchased a house in Santa Fe with his husband, painter Colin Cochran.
Marissa Juarez - Marissa grew up in New Mexico and has lived here most of her life. She holds a BA and MA in English from the University of New Mexico and a PhD in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English from the University of Arizona. She teaches writing at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque.