Sarah Escalante (she/her/hers) joined the team in 2022 as our new Executive Director. Prior to NOFS, Sarah worked with the Michigan Theater Foundation as their Director of Programming and Communications and the Festival Director of the Cinetopia Film Festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and ran the gamut of festival roles at the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and SF Sketchfest. Originally from California, Sarah’s been watching and thinking about films for as long as she can remember; and she’s always on the hunt for the best next meal or cookbook to play with.
Monika Leska (she/her/hers) has been with NOFS in various roles since 2010. Originally from Poland, she has a background in organizational management, hospitality, tourism and recreation. Monika is widely regarded as our team’s expert negotiator with an eagle-eye for organizational finances and the production savvy to make NOFF run like a well-oiled machine. She’s modest about it, but Monika is also a movie star, having walked the red carpet at Sundance for voicing a certain infamous jaguar from the Audubon Zoo in the horror short Valerio’s Day Out.
Clint Bowie (he/him/his) is the Artistic Director of the New Orleans Film Society, where he manages the curation of the organization’s year-round programming. He has served on review committees for ITVS, Creative Capital, NEA, FilmNorth, and Latino Public Broadcasting, and has spoken on panels organized by Sundance Institute, Firelight Media, Center for Asian American Media, Palm Springs International ShortFest, ArtHouse Convergence, and others. He has served on the board of directors for the Film Festival Alliance and Advisory Board for the Overlook Film Festival. He previously worked as a print journalist at publications across the country.
DIRECTOR OF DOCUMENTARY PROGRAMMING & FILMMAKER LABSEmail
Kiyoko McCrae (she/her/hers) is Director of Documentary Programming and Filmmaker Labs. Kiyoko connects Southern filmmakers to resources and relationships through NOFS labs for directors and producers and programs docs for NOFF. Outside of work, she’s an award-winning film and theater director. She is currently in development on Within, Within, a poetic documentary that combines voice-over narration, interviews, family photographs and home videos, shadow puppetry animation with original footage of her family and places three generations of women in her family who grew up in Japan.
ARTIST ENGAGEMENT & PROGRAMMING MANAGEREmail
Zandashé Brown (she/her/hers) is the Artist Engagement & Programming Manager for NOFS. A filmmaker herself and former fellow of the Emerging Voices Directors Lab, Brown now programs narrative features for NOFF, organizes the filmmaker conference, and is the beating heart behind our South Summit convening. As a filmmaker, her work raises a Black femme lens to the tradition of southern gothic horror. As a native of our fair state, she’s a devout champion for Louisiana artists. She also makes fire playlists and has a strong intuition about what’s haunted about town.
Juliana Goode (she/her/hers) joined our team as Operations Manager after supporting ticketing & membership services in various roles since 2016, and is more than likely the person on the other end of the phone when you call NOFS. Originally from New York, Juliana graduated from Loyola University with a degree in Film & Digital Media, and has worked as a video editor on several local projects. Juliana is also a charcuterie artist–– her colorful boards are the envy of all NOFS staff gatherings. Watch out Martha Stewart.
Katherine (Kat) Gutierrez (she/her/hers) joined the team in 2021 supporting ticketing & membership services for the New Orleans Film Festival and has since moved into the Development role. A born and raised New Yorker who got here as soon as she could, Katherine holds a strong background in administration and hospitality. She finds peace as a content writer for a women-of-color centered blog, connects to her community as a volunteer for Youth Run Nola, and thoroughly enjoys joining any second line she comes across. She holds very strong opinions about pizza and bagels.
Hector Cassini (he/him/his) joined the organization in 2016 as Business Manager. He works with the finance team to provide financial reports, maintain financial controls and assist with the yearly audit. Prior to NOFS, Hector spent a lifetime in the hotel industry working in various financial management roles. All he knows about the film industry he learned from the other people on this page, which he considers a five-star, five-diamond education.
Lemetria Dillon (she/her/hers) is the Staff Accountant for NOFS. She works with the finance team to maintain daily financial data. Lemetria is a Louisiana native. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in Communication Studies. Lemetria is excited to join the NOFS team because she is an artist herself. She is always looking for new intuitive ways of expression. When she’s not punching in the numbers, you may see her distance running, practicing yoga, singing or acting for film and television.
Please visit our Jobs page to see open positions.
General inquiries: email@example.com
Member specific questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Submissions and NOFF-specific inquiries: email@example.com
Press & social media inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Job and internship questions: email@example.com
You can also reach us via phone: (504) 309-6633 or visit us at our office at
1215 Prytania Street, Suite 371, New Orleans, LA 70130
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Carlos Carmona
- Michael Collins
- Monique Gougisha Doucette
- Monica Frois
- Katherine Gelderman
- Nathan Grant
- Cary M. Grant
- Jay Huffstatler
- Robin Marrouche
- Beverly Matheney
- Virginia McCollam
- Mamta Melwani
- Gina Monette
- Lori Ochsner
- W. Howard Thompson
- Jason P. Waguespack
- Susan Brennan
- Jen Coolidge
- Stephanie Durant
- Alexa Georges
- John Goodman
- Taylor Hackford
- Wendell Pierce
2022 NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL TEAM
TICKETING AND CREDENTIALS MANAGER
Juli Shipley (she/her)
VENUE OPERATIONS MANAGER
Woody Shticks (he/him)
Lynn Sylvan (she/they)
SanChavis Torns (he/him)
Elvira Castillo (she/her)
Stephanie Tell (she/they)
SOUTH PITCH COORDINATOR
Maren Scott (she/they)
Zain Hashmat (he/him)
Stacey L’Air Easiley (she/her)
Sean McCreavy (he/him)
LEAD PARTY PLANNER
Nicole Hershey (she/her)
Chanté Ward (she/her)
Maria Hinds (she/her)
NOFF 2022 PROGRAMMING TEAM
See programming team bios here.
Rachel Lin Weaver