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 for 2 years. For 6 years, Chris has been a projectionist for Telluride, Stanley, Palm Springs, Hawaii, Denver, and Santa Fe Film Festival. 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.