Narrative Feature Curator
Maria has a unique love for film with background in communications. In the past, Maria has worked on the theatrical release of a Canadian documentary in NYC. A native New Yorker living in Queens, she became involved with the NYC Independent Film Festival in 2015 and fell in love with the film community. Maria works on assisting all aspects in marketing and public relations as well as managing the Festival's social media team, making sure the voice of the independent filmmaker is heard. Maria became the Festival's Director and Narrative Feature Curator in 2016. She is currently the production coordinator for the documentary projects Beyond Moscow and Lost at Sea.
Sketch, Web Series and Pilot Curator
Jeff Ayars is an NYC-based filmmaker, actor and one-half of the comedy duo, Cannibal Milkshake, which he formed with Cornell classmate and standup comedian Dan Rosen. Cannibal Milkshake has been featured by The New Yorker, the Funny or Die Homepage, CollegeHumor, Splitsider, Fast Company, and Fortune Magazine. Jeff's vertical short-film comedy, The Snapstory, recently screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, and Cannibal Milkshake has been twice featured by the NYC Indie Festival, where they won best sketch for "Kinder: Tinder for Kids." Jeff is thrilled to now be curating the sketch, web series, and pilot categories for NYCIFF.
Animation and Art/Experimental Curator
Caleb Dawdy is excited to join the NYC Independent Film Festival as Curator of Animation and Art/Experimental film, after having served at the festival as preselection judge and videographer. Originally from West Michigan, Caleb traveled through D.C. and ended up in New York where he joined the festival in 2016. Outside of the festival, Caleb is an independent filmmaker, cinematographer, and writer himself. He has most recently worked as the cinematographer on the short film 45: A Love Story, and as camera operator on the upcoming Sundance Institute-supported short, Mino Bimaadiziwin. Since childhood Caleb has been in love with storytelling, and since becoming a filmmaker he has tried to connect with and support independent filmmakers in any and all genres.
Super Shorts and Music Video Curator
Ready to bring a little bit of the "french touch" to the NYC Indie Film Festival, Lucie is a parisian freelance filmmaker and journalist. She works for the international TV channel France24, as well as an assistant director on shorts and full length features. Most recently, she started writing and directing shorts and music videos, and getting involved in the wonderful world of film festivals. In 2013-2014 she worked for the Seattle International Film Festival and founded her own artistical monthly "rendez-vous" in Paris called "l'Antre deux Arts". Today she is more than happy to be a part of the NYC Indie Film Festival adventure!
Short Film Curator
Angela Hammer, previously a volunteer, is now returning for her second year working as the short film curator for the 2018 NYC Independent Film Festival. She began working as a freelance photographer/videographer back in 2011 and has continued to work on a variety of projects including but not limited to short films and promotional videos. Her favorite part about the filmmaking community is the passion everyone brings to the table, and that's exactly what excites her about being a part of the NYC Independent Film Festival: being able to help show the work of such a diverse and global group of individuals with a variety of stories to tell.
Short Script Curator
David Lally started his career as an actor, but unhappy with the roles he was getting, he switched to improv, trained at Second City, co-created and ran his own comedy group, The Oxy-Morons for 8 years. He was a featured member of The Boys in the Bathroom, one of Chicago's first gay-oriented comedy groups. He began writing plays to give himself better parts, but decided he enjoyed writing and directing more than acting. He had 6 well-received plays produced in NYC in 7 years (one an Obie Award winner), and productions of his shows were produced around the country. David moved to LA, and began working on shows such as Bunheads, Teen Wolf, and Entourage. David moved back to NYC and immediately worked on the multiple award-winning web series Stop The Bleeding! as well as working with director Doug Liman. He recently got the opportunity to contribute a piece for the NY-based The Sonnet Project and performed at the Annual Shakespeare Sonnet Slam in Central Park. He continues in both television and theatre, recently working with producer Jeff Davis (Criminal Minds) on his upcoming MTV series. He has contributed theater reviews, articles and blog entries for online websites like Indie Theater Now and General Hospital Snark.
Mark is a co-founder of REVRIE Immersive Works, a cinematic virtual reality production company dedicated to telling compelling narratives, and Cinematic VR NYC, a Meetup group dedicated to helping filmmakers transition into this new medium. Before entering the VR landscape, Mark worked in a creative capacity producing a feature film that received festival recognition, as well as taking on a variety of roles for the production of several short films and web series. He is also an Entertainment Attorney representing independent film, television and new media producers, creative talent, production companies and distributors. Mark joined the NYC Independent Film Festival team in 2016.
Gerard van den Broek
Gerard has been involved with the NYC Independent Film Festival since 2014 as curator of documentaries; that year he also ran one of the festival venues in New York. In his home country the Netherlands he organizes the annual Documentary & Television Festival INPUT, a 800+ people two day event. This festival focuses completely on current affairs and sports documentaries and is the main platform in the Netherlands for program makers and television executives of the Dutch public broadcasting network. Documentary makers pitch their new films, give workshops to colleagues and students or discuss their work with fellow professionals and broadcasting people.