NWFF Team


Christopher Day

Christopher Day

Managing Director
chris (at) nwfilmforum.org

pronouns: he/him

As Managing Director, Christopher Day is responsible for overseeing finances, systems and our Fiscal Sponsorship program. He was likely the face you saw on a nightly basis as House Manager, and will now see actually sitting inside our theaters once again. Chris graduated with a B.A. in Film from the University of North Texas in 2007, and relocated to Seattle in 2009, inspired by its vibrant film and arts scene. He has worked on various short film projects, both as director and editor, and has written extensively on film theory/appreciation for an online film journal he maintained for years. He recently edited the feature film The Life of Flowers. Chris began volunteering with the Northwest Film Forum in 2010, before coming on board as House Manager in 2012.

Photograph by Derek Edamura

Derek Edamura

Derek Edamura

Interim Executive Director
derek (at) nwfilmforum.org

pronouns: he/him

Derek Edamura is a documentary editor, teaching artist, and community organizer who focuses on creating meaningful partnerships that empower emerging artists to tell the stories that are important to them in the way that is most representative of their authentic experience. Over the past 13 years, he has worked for corporate clients, non-profits, short independent films, and feature-length documentaries. He has also worked as a teaching artist for secondary schools, community centers, and various summer programs. Currently, he is the Digital Storyteller for the Port of Seattle focused on expanding the video program and integrating community storytelling into our narratives. His work aims to create meaningful relationships that allow communities to collaborate and create art through equity, imagination, and joy. derekedamura.com

River Vicco Naylor

River Vicco Naylor

Youth Education Manager
education (at) nwfilmforum.org

pronouns: they/them

River Vicco Naylor is a multi-disciplinary artist who has studied creative writing, filmmaking, music, and comics. They began at the Northwest Film Forum as the Education Intern in 2019, and soon began supporting front of house operations as the Assistant House Manager. Now, you will find them working in the education programs as the Youth Education Manager.

River has been teaching arts and writing to students K-12 since 2015. Teaching is one of the true joys of their life, and they love sharing their passions and facilitating arts programs. They believe in education that centers students and encourages them to express their truest self. Facilitating an equitable learning environment is essential to these goals.

They believe community is essential to art-making. You can find River around Seattle collaborating in bands or on short films such as MANGO, a short film they made with their friend and colleague Ananya Garg which screened at the 2020 Cadence Film Festival.

Mikayla Nicholson

Mikayla Nicholson

Grants Manager & Artist Services Support Lead
mikayla (at) nwfilmforum.org

pronouns: she/her

Mikayla is an art-house cinema enthusiast and coordinator extraordinaire. Before stepping into her role as Grants Manager & Artist Services Support Lead, she served as the Education Outreach Manager at Pickford Film Center. She has a background in film studies, film education, and journalism. Other previous odd jobs include video store clerk, projectionist, and music video festival director.

Her favorite filmmakers are Agnès Varda, Nora Ephron, and Greta Gerwig. She is particularly interested in essay films, home movies, and all things related to memory on film.

Photograph by Derek Edamura

Jake Renn

Jake Renn

Social Media Specialist
jake (at) nwfilmforum.org

pronouns: he/him

Jake Renn is a multifaceted artist, aspiring filmmaker, and senior at the University of Washington, studying Cinema and Media Studies and Political Science. In addition to being our Social Media Specialist, he writes reviews and commentary for The Daily of the University of Washington, creates electronic music as Xamilc, and hosts the Arts & Trauma podcast with Isa Lewis.

In his free time, he enjoys consuming the works of Steve McQueen, David Lynch, Sidney Lumet, and Lynne Ramsay, listening to the latest rap album, and playing old video games with his friends.

Photograph by Derek Edamura

Rana San

Rana San

Artistic Director
rana (at) nwfilmforum.org

pronouns: she/her

Rana San is an intermedia artist, curator, and producer who, prior to stepping into her role as Artistic Director, served as the Community Programmer at NWFF, co-creating programming driven by and for the community. Rana co-directs the annual Cadence: Video Poetry Festival, the only video poetry festival in the PNW.

Drawing on her background in performing arts and cultural management, she has curated and produced cultural festivals, museum programs, and intimate creative salons in Seattle, Istanbul, and Barcelona. Her creative practice melds dreamwork, written word, body in motion, video poetry, and analog photography. She’s interested in the ways we relate to ourselves, each other, our surroundings, the unknown, and the new meanings that are made in spaces where artistic mediums meet.

Rana’s first stop motion animation short disarmed screened at Local Sightings in 2016!

Photograph by Derek Edamura

Aurora San Miguel

Aurora San Miguel

Print Traffic Coordinator
aurora (at) nwfilmforum.org

pronouns: she/her

Aurora San Miguel is a writer, artist, and filmmaker working in Seattle.

Photograph by Derek Edamura

Kendra Ann Sherrill

Kendra Ann Sherrill

Festival Director - Children's Film Festival Seattle
kendra (at) nwfilmforum.org

pronouns: she/her

Kendra Ann Sherrill is passionate about all things children’s films! As a filmmaker, she enjoys creating whimsical stories including her short film A Dreamer’s Melody, which screened at over 20 children’s film festivals around the world. She is also the Editor of the award-winning local children’s television series Look, Listen, and Learn. Kendra’s extensive experience with film festivals and arts organizations include being the Director of the Spokane International Film Festival, serving on the Industry Advisory Board for the National Film Festival for Talent Youth (NFFTY), and being a founding board member for the Spokane Film Project. Kendra is giddy with excitement to join the Northwest Film Forum team as the new Director of the Children’s Film Festival Seattle, where she hopes to continues its legacy with a little bit of sparkle!

Photograph by Derek Edamura

Paul Siple

Paul Siple

Communications Manager & Content Editor
paul (at) nwfilmforum.org

pronouns: he/him

Since Paul’s introduction to Northwest Film Forum in 2011 as a Children’s Film Festival Seattle intern, he has been a seasonal assistant to Liz Shepherd, co-curator of the Film Forum’s inestimably popular semi-annual You’re Lookin’ At Country program, and a devoted Forum volunteer. In 2016 he joined the Forum as Saelyx Finna’s Programs Assistant and now spends his days keeping the website, Facebook, and Twitter current, as well as providing support to Programming, Marketing, and Facilities as needed. When out of the office, he is an illustrator, video artist, and the Communications Manager and Audiovisual Technician for Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound.

Photograph by Derek Edamura

Cris Vázquez de Mercado

Cris Vázquez de Mercado

Cinema Programmer
cris (at) nwfilmforum.org

pronouns: they/them

Cris is a filmmaker and artist who moved to Seattle in 2011 to study film and creative writing. Cris is passionate about fostering community through the arts and media and participates in Seattle’s thriving DIY community. They have written for Screen Queens, a blog focusing on women filmmakers and the LGBTQ+ film community. While at Seattle University, they interned at TheFilmSchool and The Vera Project. Also, Cris co-wrote, cast, and art directed the short Out of Print, which won 1st place and the “Audience Choice Award” at Seattle University’s 2014 Film Festival, as well as the “Audience Choice Award” at NFFTY.

They first became involved at NWFF in 2014 when they interned as the Gala Coordinator. Afterwards, they continued studying film through NWFF’s workshops and classes because of NWFF’s commitment to accessibility.

You will find Cris helping to make your night at a NWFF screening as enjoyable as possible as the Patron Services Manager.

Photograph by Derek Edamura

 

Cole Wilder

Cole Wilder

Technical Director
cole (at) nwfilmforum.org

pronouns: he/him

Cole Wilder is a film lover and coffee enthusiast. Before joining Northwest Film Forum, he received his Masters in Media Studies from UT Austin. His thesis examined independent film exhibitors in Austin and how they define and create local filmgoing communities through programming, advertising, and use of space, both historically and presently.

Since leaving academia, he has worked in various capacities for Wicked Queer: Boston’s LGBTQ Film Festival, SXSW, and True/False Film Festival, all with the hopes of fostering sustainable and inclusive exhibition spaces with attention to community-oriented service and support.

He also likes riding his bike, especially when drivers are paying attention to him.

 

María Zamora

María Zamora

Patron Services Manager
maria (at) nwfilmforum.org

pronouns: she/her

María is an Interdisciplinary Visual Artist who received her BA with Honors from University of Washington in 2020. María finds joy experimenting with different mediums such as screen printing, painting, and design, collaging together different subjects, elements, and textures into colorful pieces. While expanding her practice in arts, María explored the world of textile design as a screen printing apprentice at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia.

Primarily using 2D art forms to celebrate her cultural background and the natural world, María also uses her art to raise viewers’ awareness about the ongoing crisis in her home country Venezuela. Her appreciation for the power the arts has to tell stories, educate and call for reflection awoke her interest in film and led her to connect with Northwest Film Forum, where she began working as the Patron Services Assistant.

María believes that art needs to be easily accessible to the members of our community. Now María is excited to welcome you during NWFF screenings as the Patron Services Manager or you can find her teaching Screen Printing to youth at Coyote Central.


Board of Directors

Northwest Film Forum is overseen by a volunteer board of directors. The role of the board is to advance the mission and ensure the organization’s long-term health. The board is composed of community members ranging from filmmakers to business professionals. MEET THE BOARD


Recent Contributors

Anastasia Babenko

Anastasia Babenko

Programming Assistant / Gala Producer

pronouns: she/her

Anastasia Babenko is a Programming Assistant and 2020 Gala Producer at Northwest Film Forum. Before switching to film and moving to Seattle, she used to work as a news reporter in Ukraine, Germany, and Washington D.C. Her first curatorial experience at the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle inspired her to become more actively involved with film programming. Besides her work at NWFF, Anastasia is also a part of Seattle International Film Festival’s 2020 programming team.

Brenan Chambers

Brenan Chambers

Technical Director
brenan (at) nwfilmforum.org

pronouns: he/him

Brenan oversees projection, sound, lighting and other tech needs as our Technical Director. He has worked as a projectionist since the age of 16 and has worked extensively with the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle International Film Festival, and several other theaters around the northwest. Brenan became a volunteer projectionist at the Northwest Film Forum after moving to Seattle from eastern Washington in 2009. When not spending most of his time in windowless booths, he has a passion for electronics, music production and video art, synthesizers and all things hands-on & DIY.

Photograph by Oguz Uygur

Hanan Diriye

Hanan Diriye

Education Assistant

pronouns: she/her

As an educational assistant on the Education and Artist Services Management, Hanan assists with adult workshops and programming setup. She coordinates with instructors to schedule class dates, collects promotional material from instructors and assists with material setup. Hanan is also a filmmaker, organizer and poet.

L Fried

L Fried

Graphic Designer

pronouns: she/her/they/them

L is a contributing designer and filmmaker behind the curtain for NWFF’s marketing goodies. Last year, L wrote/directed her first short film, I Know How You Like Your Coffee. When she’s not here at the Film Forum, she can be found either at the downtown library or freelancing elsewhere around Seattle. Whether it’s on-set work, video editing, print or education, L has been involved with CUT, The Future is 0, The Stranger, Seattle Art Museum and the Frye Art Museum.

instagram / website / I Know How You Like Your Coffee

Photograph by Sofi Lee

Zach Frimmel

Zach Frimmel

Grants Manager

pronouns: he/they

Zach Frimmel joined the Forum as a contractor managing NWFF’s Collective Power Fund for the Warhol Foundation’s Regional Regranting Program, which provides emergency relief funds for visual-based artists in King Co. 

Zach is a self-taught and active musician (as riife), conceptual artist, and journalist. He’s lived in Seattle since 2012, held a six-year tenure as the Program Coordinator at Artist Trust, and hustled as a short-list writer for KEXP and The Stranger for several years.

His solo project’s debut topics of cancer (in-progress) is a multi-concept album that addresses soft boi magik, colonialism, neurodiversity, and dark souling through tension-melodic riffs, midcult references, and literary devices. topics of cancer plays on the constellation of metaphorical cancers that gut him inside, which Venn-diagrams with a caricature case study on himself as a darkly emotional cancer sign.

As an unconventional friend-maker, Zach enjoys connecting social dots to create a more socially responsible big-picture and championing nontraditional leadership.

bandcamp // instagram // website

Cara Mia Harris

Cara Mia Harris

Executive Director

pronouns: she/her

For over 25 years, Cara Mia has worked at renowned creative institutions to hone her focus on film and music. With a background in film production, music and sound design, her career has touched down in several major arts hubs. In Los Angeles, her early career was spent in production and music editorial. During three years at the Sundance Institute, she programmed for the Sundance Film Festival and coordinated the Film Music program. In New York, Cara Mia took up key roles at Tribeca Institute, Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions and the arts funding organization Creative Capital, applying her aptitude for high-level logistical coordination of films, events, and artist-serving programs at each. After managing an international residency and conference program for the Rockefeller Foundation, Cara Mia concluded 16 years of work in New York to return to Seattle, ready for a new challenge.

Photograph by Derek Edamura

Vivian Hua 華婷婷

Vivian Hua 華婷婷

Executive Director

pronouns: they/she

Vivian Hua is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer who worked with NWFF in various capacities before stepping into their role as Executive Director in October 2018. Vivian first came to the organization as the Co-Founder of the national film and civil rights discussion series, The Seventh Art Stand, and then as the organization’s Design Lead, where she led rebranding efforts. Vivian has been the Editor-in-Chief of the socially conscious arts publication, REDEFINE, since 2004, and much of her work unifies her interest in the metaphysical with her belief that art can positively transform the self and society.

In 2017, Vivian released their narrative short film, Searching Skies – which touches on the controversial topic of Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States – and in December 2021, will begin production on Reckless Spirits, a BIPOC-led metaphysically-minded comedic series.

Vivian is passionate about cultural spaces, sustainable practices, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They regularly share stories of observations through the storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!

instagramvimeowebsite

Photograph by Auriza Ugalino for The Future Ancient

Carl Lawrence

Carl Lawrence

Children's Film Festival Seattle Associate Producer

pronouns: he/him

Carl Lawrence is a Seattle-based artist, director, and organizer whose work oscillates between performance, installation, and visual art. Within his work, he wields theatre, club culture, and visual art as experiential strategies to locate meaning and solidarity in the contemporary world. He frequently collaborates with untrained performers, performers with disabilities, children, and machines alongside DJs and more traditionally trained artists to break down notions of otherness and democratize the field of storytelling in art. He has presented work locally and nationally at venues such as The Watermill Center, On The Boards, ITINERANT Performance Art Festival, Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA), Olson Kundig, and Base: Experimental Arts + Space. His most recent work entitled ✞aaaa✞, which premiered in March 2019, was called a “spectacular demonstration of multidisciplinary work” by Seattle Dances. He is also the Co-Director and Co-Founder of festival:festival, a free visual and performing arts festival that presents and supports underrepresented artists and cultural workers in Seattle. Through festival:festival, Lawrence advocates for economic justice for artists and cultural workers with the intention of building a more vibrant and sustainable arts economy in Seattle.

Photograph by Jacob Rosen.

Jonah Kozlowski

Jonah Kozlowski

Education Manager

pronouns: he/him

Jonah Kozlowski manages our education and artist services programs and teaches youth and adult filmmaking workshops. He works to grow community partnerships and new programs that will benefit and inspire youth and adult filmmakers and help them connect to resources in the filmmaking community. Jonah has volunteered and taught at NWFF since 2014. He has been working in media education since 2005, is a teaching artist with Coyote Central and Blanket Fort Films, and has taught with Path with Art, and 4th World Media Lab. Jonah works in traditional and VR filmmaking, helping to put on SIFFX in 2015, and VR exhibitions at Local Sightings and Children’s Film Festival Seattle. He currently serves on the boards of Seattle Documentary Association and  ChangeStream Media.

Photograph by Oguz Uygur

Cara Nguyen

Cara Nguyen

Graphic Design & Social Media Associate

pronouns: they/them

Cara Nguyen is on the team doing creative digital marketing and design for the Forum. They produce illustrations, graphics, and social media content for various NWFF programs, grants, and events. Cara is a writer, visual artist, and researcher who has worked primarily in the realm of cultural arts and education programming. Their work, as seen in the Wing Luke Museum, the Little Saigon Creative Space, and various publications, is about preserving local histories, digging into ancestral memories, and cultivating a new world.

Hana Peoples

Hana Peoples

Cinema Programmer

pronouns: she/her

Hana is a film curator and researcher born and raised on the traditional land of the Duwamish people. Prior to joining Northwest Film Forum, she studied Cinema and Media Studies at UCLA, with her research focusing on non-English language film distribution and consumption in the United States and the representation of multiracial people throughout Hollywood history.

Hana has served as a festival screener for the Hawai’i International Film Festival and the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. She enjoys attending film festivals of all sizes when she travels around the world. She is passionate about film appreciation and discussion, especially with youth audiences. As a proud alum of TeenTix, Hana especially looks forward to welcoming young people to the Forum to see, create and experience films from around the world and their own backyard.

Photograph by Derek Edamura

Louie Romo

Louie Romo

House Manager

pronouns: he/him

Louie Romo oversees lobby, box office and audience support facilities, concessions standards and staff. He also coordinates venue rentals, runs the box office, ticketing, and nightly deposits. He oversees, schedules, and trains Box Office staff and Front of House interns with focus on customer relations.

Amanda Salazar

Amanda Salazar

Film Programmer

pronouns: she/her

Amanda Salazar is the co-Director of the Camera Obscura Film Society, a curated film event that takes place in various locations throughout the Bay Area, primarily in Petaluma, CA. Previously, she was a Programmer with the SFFILM Festival and the Vice President of Film Acquisitions at Fandor and Program Director of the Newport Beach Film Festival and Orange County Film Society. She is also a classically trained violinist and continues to perform when there is time between watching films!

Elizabeth Shepherd

Elizabeth Shepherd

Youth Programs Director

pronouns: she/her

Elizabeth Shepherd oversees all youth programs at Northwest Film Forum, including film presentations, workshops, and summer camps. She has spent more than 20 years in joyous work for film arts enterprises, engaging young people in events, exhibits, educational forums and performances that celebrate global culture. Her work for NWFF includes directing the annual Children’s Film Festival Seattle, the West Coast’s largest annual competitive festival of its kind. She also oversees touring programs of the festival, which travel annually to such locations as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater, the Honolulu Museum of Art, International House Philadelphia and many other prestigious venues. Her contribution to a highly specialized field has been recognized through numerous invitations to participate as a speaker, juror or panel member at festivals, symposiums and summits throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East. Before arriving in Seattle, she was the director of the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.

Photograph by Oguz Uygur

Andy Stark

Andy Stark

Local Sightings Film Programmer

pronouns: he/him

Andy performs many duties at Northwest Film Forum, including writing film descriptions and assisting with programming. He is a member of the Programming Team for Local Sightings Film Festival, the Guest Programmer of the 2019 Short Cuts Film Festival in Olympia, WA, and is a contributor to the Tacoma Film Festival. He reminds you to please dispose of your garbage as you exit the theater.

Elise Walker

Elise Walker

Marketing & Outreach Specialist

pronouns: she/her

Elise is an artist and dance film enthusiast who joined the Northwest Film Forum team as the Marketing and Outreach Specialist. She is also creating dance films in the Greater Seattle Area.

Photograph by Olivia Thomas

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629


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