Wearing hats as diverse as Freelance Producer, Development Consultant and Talent Manager, Laura Annalora has almost two decades of film and television experience, and her work has aired on multiple platforms in over 170 countries.
Annalora has a sixth sense for developing original content that sells. She currently runs her own production company, Queens’ Suite, working with clients like Harper Collins and WebMD to create commercial and branded content. She also freelances as Head of Production for Cannon Lady Pictures, a new independent production company producing scripted and unscripted content. Prior to that, Annalora was at Bat Bridge Entertainment. There she managed a team of development producers and oversaw exclusive network development deals that produced original content seen in 100 million U.S. homes, with two billion viewers digitally. Her strong guidance as Head of Development at Bat Bridge Entertainment led to the successful creation of the Emmy-nominated series, High Profits for CNN, and then went on to develop the Emmy-winning documentary, Disgraced, for SHOWTIME. Prior to Bat Bridge, she was Director of Global Development & Production for National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild, working with over 150 production companies and agencies worldwide to develop original content. Annalora fielded, reviewed, and green-lit innovative TV pilots, one-offs, and series. During her stint as Development Producer and Consultant in Washington, D.C. Annalora made global impact by advancing unique content for independent production companies worldwide, and pitched and sold original ideas to networks, digital platforms, and corporate clients with budgets ranging from $50k-$750k per hour.
Annalora takes a hands-on approach working with field crews, editors and pitch executives to transition ideas into compelling pitch packages. She is accomplished at sourcing strong on-camera talent and crafting pitches for concepts that have included Emmy and Gemini award-winning documentaries, as well as BANFF World Television Award winners. Her unscripted programs have been picked up by major cable networks including National Geographic Channel, CNN, and Showtime.
Annalora brings a fresh perspective and creative ingenuity to quality entertainment.
Contact Laura at email@example.com.
CHIARA MCCARTY, VICE PRESIDENT
Chiara (Russi) McCarty is an actress with a strong desire to tell stories that inspire, that open people's minds to different perspectives, that give hope, that shine a light in dark places, and that give a voice to the voiceless.
Chiara received extensive training in Los Angeles, attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in Hollywood and the Theatre Academy at Los Angeles City College (LACC), a three year acting conservatory focused in theatre, where she earned a Certificate of Advanced Acting in Theatre, as well as an Associates of Arts in Theatre. She continues to studying the craft of acting at Crash Acting Studio under the guidance of Benjamin Mathes, who has transformed her work by helping her create from a more truthful and vulnerable place.
Some of her most recent roles on the stage include Nora in the world premiere of Trade With Klan (Southwest Theatre Productions), Sister James in Doubt (Hill Country Community Theatre), and various characters in Askew Theatre Company's Out of the Box Play Reading Festival, a virtual production featuring 12 amazing 10-minute plays written by 12 award-winning playwrights from around the U.S. Her most recent film roles include Molly in the indie feature film What About Molly? and Vivían in the indie short film Vivían. You can also catch her on Amazon Prime as Cleo in the filmed stage performance of Kill All Politicians, and as the Schoolteacher in the short independent film Spindletop: The Beginning.
Chiara is also Director of Free Listening for Urban Confessional: A Free Listening Project, a grassroots movement determined to challenge the status quo and whose mission is to spread the message of non-judgmental, compassionate listening to the world.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature from UCLA. She moved to Austin in 2018 with her loving and incredibly supportive husband. She believes there is great power in storytelling.
Contact Chiara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FELICIA VÁSQUEZ, TREASURER
Felicia Vásquez is a multifaceted analyst developing as a financial figure in film. After graduating from UTEP, she was working as a banking professional when a government contract brought her to Austin in 2017.
The pandemic helped her realize a passion for storytelling & collaboration. While on her journey, Felicia looks forward to working with fellow film creatives and their projects, bringing enthusiasm to each challenge.
Leisurely, she spends time at swimming holes, reading sci-fi/fantasy, improving her sewing skills, and loves family movie night!
Contact Felicia at email@example.com.
KELLI HORAN, SECRETARY
Kelli Horan is an independent filmmaker and artist in Austin, TX. Since moving from Tucson, AZ, she has written, directed, and produced feature and short films that have been featured in festivals such as Boston SciFi Film Festival, SXSW, Other Worlds Film Festival, Arizona International Film Festival, and more.
Active in the filmmaking community, Kelli was previously the Screenwriting Co-Director and Programmer at Other Worlds Film Festival (2020), a member of Women Communicators of Austin, and Marketing Chair for Women in Film & Television Austin (2019). She loves to support fellow independent filmmakers to make their visions come to life in the best way possible.
Along with filmmaking, she enjoys creating artwork primarily in the medium of pyrography. Her work has been shown at Art for the People, Cherry Cola Dog, Black Lagoon Gallery, and more. You can view her current artwork here.
Contact Evelyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANDEE KINZY, COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS CHAIR
Andee Kinzy is the founder and director of ImprovEd Arts, which includes the ImprovEd Shakespeare Co., the Global Hamlet project, and the Girl Improved Film & Television Festival (GIFT Fest). Since 2011, she has written, produced, and directed over twenty ImprovEd Shakespeare productions and has worked with hundreds of students through the program. She has led workshops on Shakespeare for Kids at the Texas Nonprofit Theaters Youth Conference, as well as in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Berlin, Bangalore, and Melbourne.
In addition, she creates multiple graphics and videos for the web that document and market the process of educating and empowering youth in the creative arts. In 2018, she developed and created the first annual GIFT Fest, giving youth the opportunity to challenge gender inequality in entertainment. And between 2018-2019, she created the worldwide production ImprovEd Shakespeare’s Global Hamlet, a film featuring young performers from ten different countries.
In 2020, she began writing screenplays. Her feature, Dolores and Howard Kick the Bucket was a quarter finalist in the 2021 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards.
Contact Andee at email@example.com.
HOLLY AUTRY JURBERGS, DEVELOPMENT CHAIR
Holly Autry Jurbergs is passionate about science, music, and writing. She began her career as a senior scientist in pharmaceutical and agricultural chemical companies after completing a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997. She entered full-time motherhood in 2009 and focused on volunteer work at Hill Elementary and working part-time positions as an instructor for Mad Science of Austin and school outreach at BookPeople.
Writing has always been a creative passion, and she dived into screenwriting in 2017. Her second screenplay, Three Graves, reached the quarterfinal round in the Age Inclusion in Media Silver Bullet screenplay contest in 2021. She is currently developing Three Graves as a six-episode crime drama podcast.
She enjoys playing keys and rhythm guitar for the Girl Guitar Blues Band, and spending time with her husband and two teenage boys in her free time.
Contact Holly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHLOÉ CARCAMO, EVENTS CHAIR
Chloé Carcamo is a creative committed to harnessing the tools of film, arts, and entertainment to curate spaces and create community dialogue. With a background in film & media communications and a Masters in Cinema Studies from NYU, Chloé concentrates her efforts in non-profit work.
Working in and around the media & arts landscape, her current positions include Director of Marketing & Outreach for Fusebox Festival, and Events & Experiences Producer for Art Island ATX. Prior to these positions, Chloé served as the Director of Operations at Esquina Tango where she shared her love of dance connection and cultural education, as well as supporting the film ecosystem through managing events for Austin Film Society.
As an all around arts advocate, dancer, and film lover, empowering audiences to seek fresh perspectives beyond the realm of a single cultural narrative and to share their stories with the world is her continuing objective. Her inbox is always open to percolate ideas, please feel free to reach out and suggest new events or collaborations!
Contact Chloé at email@example.com.
TORI MILLER, MARKETING CHAIR
Tori Rose primarily works as a production and art assistant on commercials, television, music videos, and feature films around Austin, TX. She also enjoys volunteering for other film related organizations. Some production companies she worked with include Toldright Pictures, Chisel Pixel Productions, The Cortez Brothers, She's So Corporate, Abrilio Films, Girl Culture Films, Guffman Films, VOYAGER, and Synthetic Pictures.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Southwestern University with a minor in Philosophy where she received the Laura Kuykendall Communication Student of the Year Award. In 2017, Tori achieved a Master of Arts from Texas State University in the same field with a focus on Qualitative and Rhetorical research in Critical Media Studies. At both universities she worked in critical media studies, which furthered her love and passion for narrative and lived experiences in media as important for representation and beyond. Tori also continues to work in academic research currently studying presenteeism (working while sick) and intersectionality in media.
Several film media organizations Tori is involved with around Austin include Austin Entertainment Business, Lake Travis Film Festival, and The Dinner Detective Theater. She also worked on the Marketing team for Austin Film Festival in the 2018 season and enjoys picking up gigs to help with other types of production around Austin for various venues. Some other activities Tori enjoys in her life include hula hooping, running, playing video games, hanging out with her pets, traveling to new places, finding different music venues and discovering new hobbies to try.
Contact Tori at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DANA WING LAU, MEMBERSHIP CHAIR
Dana Wing Lau is a Chinese-American actor, writer, producer, across stage, commercial, VO and TV/film. She recently expanded her storytelling skills to the world of audiobooks. Currently, she is working on pitching a docu-series focused on the experiences of First-Generation Americans (her co-producer is Laura Annalora, the esteemed WIFT Austin President - they met at a WIFT Austin function!).
Dana loves inspiring others to work on their creative dream and craft, and lends her time coaching and mentoring. She is a member of Actors' Equity and serves on the Advisory Committee of ATXTheatre.org, and the B. Iden Payne Committee Council. She is an equal opportunity eater with a voracious appetite and demonstrates this on Explore Vegan ATX, a food series where she gives her epicurious take on all things plant-based. She loves practicing yoga, early 2000s hip hop, baking, and being in house Hufflepuff.
Contact Dana at email@example.com.
CHANTELLE JAMES, PODCAST CHAIR
Chantelle James is an award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter & actress with 15 years of industry experience. After three years of full-time training at the Actors Center Australia, Chantelle moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and TV. She landed jobs as an actress in film, TV, and new media projects and made her first short film, Ordinary, discovering her love and passion for film-making.
She moved to Austin in 2019 and launched production company Lady Alchemist Films in 2020, whose mission is to create stories written by female-identifying folk that offer the audience a less-explored point of view in the hope of raising awareness and encouraging positive change.
Her film projects Ordinary, At The Edge of Night, and Her Mind in Pieces, have screened and won awards at film festivals including St Kilda Film Festival, Golden State Film Festival, Venice Shorts, Melbourne Indie Film Festival, Prague International Film Festival, Global Impact Film Festival & San Antonio Film Festival.
Contact Chantelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASHLEY FLORES, PROGRAMS CHAIR
Ashley Flores believes that powerful storytelling has the profound capability to enact a more just, equitable and compassionate world. She is a versatile writer-producer and educational consultant who applies her expertise in research, media-development and curricular design to develop entertaining content that has an enduring impact. In 2021, she was Segment Producer for Blippi’s Treehouse, a new live-action series for preschoolers, currently streaming on Amazon Kids+. This same year, a short film she produced For Rosa premiered on HBO Max; the feature is in development. Her production experience spans a decade, as co-owner of Texas Made Productions, she produced, wrote, directed, edited commercials for notable clients including; American Heart Association, Lexus of Austin and Foster Angels. Most recently, Ashley and her producing partner, were one of 10 producing teams selected for the Producer’s Guild Inaugural PGA Create Program, and are recipients of a $50K Google grant that will support production of their short film.
Ashley’s expertise is in creating and delivering high-impact learning experiences through transformative curriculum and innovative pedagogy. Most recently, Ashley worked for USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program, where she advised students, coached faculty and served on the DEI council for School of Cinematic Arts. She is also a USC guest lecturer.
Ashley earned her MFA from the USC Peter Stark Producing program in 2020, while in the Stark program she worked for companies including; Hello Sunshine, Nickelodeon and Devon Franklin Entertainment. Ashley is also a proud graduate of Texas State University, where she received her BFA in Mass Communication and Master’s degree in Education.
Contact Ashley at email@example.com.
KIRTANA BANSKOTA, WIFT LIAISON CHAIR
Kirtana Banskota is a first-generation Nepali American filmmaker based in Austin, Texas. A producer, writer, director, and actor, Banskota wears multiple hats when it comes to the entertainment world. She is the founder of Banskota Productions, an international production house based in Austin as well as Kathmandu Nepal that celebrates storytelling from all across the globe. Banskota wrote and co-produced the very first audience interactive Bollywood Theatrical Production called The Big Fat Indian Wedding in Austin, TX.
Banskota is also the co-founder of the Nepal America Film Society and the Nepal America International Film Festival, both based in Maryland. In the year 2020 during the global pandemic, she co-produced the Coalition of South Asian Film Festivals with six other international South Asian festivals making it the largest virtual South Asian festival. Banskota recently co-founded the Austin South Asian Film Festival, which will see the red carpet for the first time in March 2022.
Her documentary short, Nepal Snehi Kaakha, was an award winner at the 2018 Filmaka competition. Her recent film produced during COVID, Ghar Aau (Come Home), has been selected to screen in numerous film festivals across the globe. Banskota is also the co-author and co-producer of For Love, a film that competed and won several awards at the 48 Hour Film Festival in San Antonio. She is also the Executive Producer of the archeological show A World Beneath, who's pilot episode is currently being pitched to various network channels.
Banskota looks forward to bringing a fresh and diverse perspective to WIFT Austin. With strong roots in South Asia and the US, her goal is to build bridges between cultures through cinema and entertainment.
Contact Kirtana at firstname.lastname@example.org.