Team

THE TEAM

Founder – Jon Fitzgerald

Jon has over twenty years of experience in the independent film, internet and film festival communities.  As a Co-Founder of the Slamdance Film Festival (1995), he led the event the next two seasons before being named the Festival Director for the prestigious AFI Film Festival in 1997.  After running AFI Fest for three years (1997-1999), he created a consulting business, guiding the launch of numerous film festivals (Bahamas, Lone Star, Orlando), directing several others (Santa Barbara, Topanga, Abu Dhabi and Naples), and consulting to dozens more.  In 2012, he authored  Filmmaking for Change: Make Films That Transform the world.   As a filmmaker with Cause Pictures, Jon has produced a number of award winning social impact documentaries; and as a consultant, he has guided many independent film projects through the maze of festivals and hybrid distribution models.

Program Manager – Kayla Kabbaz

Kayla attended the University of Missouri where she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Film Theory.  There, she worked for the prestigious True/False Documentary Film Festival with the Sponsorship team.  After graduating in the spring of 2013, she nailed a job at a multimedia production company in Los Angeles, so she packed up and moved to the west coast.   She has worked in the programming department at the Hollywood Film Festival, and from there, went on to become a lead organizer at the Hermosa Cinema Society, which plays host to the South Bay Film & Music Festival.  Kayla is currently the head programmer of films for the festival.

Event Producer – Meryem Dipdere

Meryem moved to the US in 2016, after an eclectic career in the art and film scenes of London and Amsterdam. She has been involved as producer or curator for some of the most pioneering art-tech-film festivals in Europe, such as Alpha-Ville London and AFX in Amsterdam. She has also worked for international acclaimed festivals, like IDFA, one of the world’s leading documentary festival and the East End Film Festival in London, a major international festival in the UK. In 2014 she founded Art No Cube, a collective of international art curators responsible for notorious pop-up art events and Pinch; the secret database of offbeat street artists.

ADVISORY BOARD

  • Martin Betz
  • Craig W. Cadwallader
  • Craig Greely
  • Rich Holtzman
  • Rick Learned
  • Maureen Ferguson Lewis
  • Kim MacMullan
  • Sheryl Main
  • Robert Rosenfeld
  • Allen Sanford
  • Renee Stauffer
  • Matt Sullivan