Alicia Eastes, Co-President
Alicia Eastes is an editor, screenwriter, producer, and documentary filmmaker who’s lived and worked in the Austin Indie Film scene since completing her B.S. in RTF at the University of Texas in 2006. She’s edited commercial work, TV shows, music videos, informational videos, documentary films, short films, and more.
Alicia shifted over to her true artistic passion in storytelling when she completed her MFA in Screenwriting at her Alma Mater, UT RTF. After an internship at Detour in 2015 during post production of Everybody Wants Some, she apprenticed under Karen Bernstein, Louis Black, and Susanne Mason on the American Masters documentary feature, Linklater: Dream is Destiny. She’s worked in radio production for NPR with Two Guys on Your Head, alongside her producing mentor, Rebecca McInroy.
Her first feature documentary project, Liminal Space, is in early production with her mentor for founding Women in Film, Betty Buckley, as Creative Producer. Three of her feature screenplay drafts have placed in contests in Austin and New Orleans, and her short environmental documentary, Groundwater, won third place in the 2017 Water Texas Film Festival.
Contact Alicia at email@example.com.
Elizabeth V. Newman, Co-President
Elizabeth V. Newman is a native New Yorker who has directed and produced critically-acclaimed theatre and film projects in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Austin. She graduated with honors from Yale University with dual B.A. degrees in History of Art and Theater Studies. She earned her M.F.A. in Film Production at Boston University.
Her film directing credits include the feature film, Child of Light, as well as numerous short films. Her feature script, Shattering, was included in IFP's Emerging Narrative (IFP Independent Film Week); her short script, In Cold Pursuit, was a Second Rounder at The Austin Film Festival.
Her stage directing credits include the Austin, Los Angeles/West Coast and/or World Premieres of: 100 PLANES by Lila Rose Kaplan (World Premiere, Austin/West Coast Premiere, LA); A DELICATE SHIP by Anna Ziegler (Austin Premiere); TRIO by Sheila Cowley (World Premiere, Austin); ANY NIGHT by Daniel Arnold & Medina Hahn (West Coast Premiere & Austin Premiere - nominated for four B. Iden Payne Awards, including Outstanding Direction of a Drama); BODY OF WORK by Christine Hoang (World Premiere, Austin); MOCHA by Eleanor Burgess (World Premiere, Austin).
She is a member of Directors Lab: North, a directing lab based in Toronto, and has twice served as a panelist at The Austin Film Festival.
She is founding co-president of Women In Film and Television Austin. She is the producing Artistic Director of The Filigree Theatre, the critically-acclaimed, Austin-based theatre company. She is also the founder of EVN Productions, an independent production company with the goal of creating innovative projects through championing new voices and emerging talent in film and theatre.
Contact Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kristin Benitez, Vice President
Kristin Benitez is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and television production manager. She's been "sweating the details" since she was 8 years old, when she took over all research, planning, and logistics for her family’s summer vacations! Since then, Kristin has produced several noted documentaries with premieres at festivals including the Tribeca Film Festival, Florida Film Festival, and Galway Film Fleadh.
Kristin has also served as a project manager in a variety of settings, producing for film, television, and the Web, coordinating social media outreach, national events, websites, and nonprofit programs. Her work mentoring young people in the media arts in Austin, New York, and Chicago reflects her dedication to empowerment through technology and community storytelling.
She holds a BFA in Film and Television Production from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and an MA in Mass Communication from The Documentary Institute at the University of Florida.
Contact Kristin at email@example.com.
Sonia Anguiano, Treasurer
Sonia Anguiano is a line producer and production manager dedicated to bringing innovative ideas to life from concept to delivery.
Her 20+ years of experience includes a track record of successful projects such as commercials and corporate videos for Fortune 500 companies, TV content for Animal Planet, PBS and Longhorn Network, and award-winning documentaries and PSAs.
Contact Sonia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teresa Y. Roberson, Secretary
Author, spoken word poet, and producer of The Austin Writers Roulette (2012-2019), Teresa Y. Roberson writes based on her survival skills honed through teaching and traveling globally, cooking and eating ethnic food, doing yoga and dancing, and challenging society’s preconceived ideas about minority women. Her latest adventure is bringing her podcast, CBD & Poetry, to life.
Contact Teresa at email@example.com.
Giselle De La Rosa, Community Partnerships Co-Chair
Giselle de la Rosa is an award-winning stage and on-camera performer. A proud daughter of immigrants, she was born to Colombian parents and raised in Southern California to a family of artists. It’s where and how she developed her undeniable love of art in its many fascinating forms.
She comes from a dance background and her experience includes filmmaking, producing short films, fashion styling (personal, print, film, stage) with an extra love for still photography, film editing, acting in the theatre, and volunteer work ranging from assisting the elderly, feeding the homeless, animal welfare, environmental conservation, working with various arts communities and political work.
A Cal State Fullerton graduate with a BA in Entertainment Studies and a minor in Comparative Religion, she later went on to study theatre and film at the Tom Todoroff Acting Conservatory in New York City.
Currently, she provides photography for the Black community within the greater Austin area and is in the development stages of two projects - Poderosa, where Latinidad and storytelling meet, and Mama Magic, celebrating mama makers worldwide.
Giselle is Co-Founder of Austin Arthouse Film Festival, a member of SAG-AFTRA, and a board member of In the Dew of Little Things, a 501(c)(3) designed to provide, promote or enhance services for the underserved through art and stewardship for the purpose of friendship and solidarity.
Contact Giselle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kirtana Banskota, Community Partnerships Co-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.
A newly elected board member of the Women in Film and Television Austin chapter, Banskota looks forward to bringing a fresh and diverse perspective to the organization. With strong roots in South Asia and the US, her goal is to build bridges between cultures through cinema and entertainment.
Contact Kirtana at email@example.com.
Chloé Carcamo, Development Co-Chair
Chloé Carcamo is a creative committed to harnessing the powerful 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.
She currently works at the Austin Film Society in Events, Studio Rentals, and Marketing, and is an Associate Producer for the yearly Fusebox Festival. Prior to her work at AFS, Chloé served as the Director of Operations at Esquina Tango where she shared her love of dance connection and cultural education.
She brings her planning and fundraising skills to WIFT Austin in her role of Development Co-Chair.
Contact Chloé at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelly Coffee, Events Co-Chair
A native Texan, Kelly Coffee is an independent writer and producer who started her film career as a writer for a comedy sketch pilot. Since then, she has produced short films and a few music videos for independent music artists which led to her screenwriting an independently released feature comedy film.
Currently, she is in development for a feature comedy drama she screen wrote and plans to produce. In conjunction with a short documentary, she has recently moved into producing and hosting a series of podcasts.
Contact Kelly at email@example.com.
Chiara McCarty, Marketing Co-Chair
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. She studied at Crash Acting Studio for five years under the guidance of Benjamin Mathes, who has transformed her work by helping her create from a more truthful and vulnerable place. She has booked dozens of film and theatre roles, and is currently represented by Erin Franklin at Agence Talent.
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. As Director of Free Listening, she is in charge of organizing all volunteers, as well as creating email and social media marketing materials for the movement.
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.
Heather Mansfield Jernigan, Membership Co-Chair
Heather Mansfield Jernigan is a television developer and corporate video producer. She cut her teeth in LA working on high profile series like Dr. Phil, The Doctors, and Storage Wars. She also has extensive experience in TV development and has sold series to Animal Planet, TLC, A&E, and others.
She is currently a Senior Producer and Head of Unscripted at Castleview, a video agency.
Contact Heather at email@example.com.
Laura Annalora, Programs Co-Chair
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teresa Seale, Programs Co-Chair
Teresa Seale is a freelance filmmaker as well as a classically trained actor with a BA and an MA in the field. Her credits behind-the-scenes span the indie film scene with Texas features such a Doonby to documentary work like Terrence Malick's Voyage of Time to national docu-reality shows like My 600-lb Life and Skin Tight. Because of her attention to detail and unwavering dedication to each project, Teresa is regularly called upon to work in the indie scene most often as an AD, script supervisor, or producer, and is doing increasing amounts of work as a writer and director.
In addition to her behind-the-scenes work, Teresa has studied acting both on stage and on camera, and has starred in features such as Child of Light, directed by Elizabeth Newman, as well as played a principal role on Travel Channel’s UFO: The Lost Evidence, among other credits. Teresa's craft focuses on relaxation and being truly present in the moment of the scene.
Contact Teresa at email@example.com.