Meet our smashing lineup of experienced female powerhouses.
LAURA ANNALORA, PRESIDENT
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.
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 email@example.com.
FELICIA VÁSQUEZ, TREASURER
Felicia Vásquez is a multifaceted analyst developing her knowledge as a financial authority in film. After graduating from UTEP, she worked as a banking professional. A government contractor role brought her to Austin in 2017.
The pandemic’s silver-lining helped her realize a passion for storytelling & collaboration. As she continues a producer's 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, sewing, DIY home projects, and loves family movie night!
Contact Felicia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EVELYN CASTELLANO ESCAMILLA, SECRETARY
Evelyn Castellano Escamilla is an Emmy nominated producer and owner of Verve Media LLC, a production company she created specializing in Corporate ID videos and Legal Video documentaries. She works/has worked as a freelance producer for Discovery in Espanol and the Emmys en Espanol Awards, as well as network news crews covering immigrations issues on the Texas/Mexico border where she spent almost a decade as a TV News Reporter for KRGV-TV ABC News. (Previous positions also include Video Journalist/CNN, Station Manager/Director, Edinburg Cable Network.)
Evelyn has extensive Board experience serving on the Board of Directors for the Palmer Drug Abuse Program and more recently, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (The Emmys!) as the Awards Chair for the Lone Star Emmy Chapter, as well as serving as one of Texas's representatives on the National Board of Trustees for the TV Academy. She's been appointed to various positions on the national board including Emmy Brand Committee Chair.
Evelyn recently moved back to Austin after nearly two decades on the Texas/Mexico border to be more central and available for her clients around the country as well as to be closer to her family in her hometown of Santa Fe, NM.
Contact Evelyn at email@example.com.
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.
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 projects include working at the Austin Film Society in Events & Rentals, managing Marketing for Fusebox Festival, and producing events 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 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 Miller is a production assistant and social media/screenwriting assistant for Lake Travis Film Festival. She holds a BA in Communication Studies from Southwestern University where she received the Laura Kuykendall Communication Student of the Year Award, and an MA from Texas State University in the same field.
As a production assistant, she has worked on multiple films including those created by Fox Adrift Productions and Abrilio Films. Tori also volunteers with All Entertainment Business under Jennifer Hutchins. In past non-profit roles, she worked as a Marketing Intern with Austin Film Festival and The Williamson Museum as a Visitor Services Coordinator/Social Media Intern.
Tori also continues to work in academic research currently studying presenteeism (working while sick) and intersectionality in media studies.
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 onExplore 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.
Chantelle Jamesis 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 email@example.com.
TERESA SEALE, PROGRAMS 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.