March 28, 2023
Behind the Scenes
Origins and Academic Background:
1) Where were you born, and where do you currently call home?
I was born in Ottawa, Canada, but I now reside in Oswego, NY.
2) Did you go to college? What major did you pursue?
I graduated from SUNY Oswego with my Bachelor’s Degree in Cinema & Screen Studies. Go
As Adirondack Film's Outreach Coordinator:
3) Please tell us: what does an Outreach Coordinator do?
As Outreach Coordinator, my primary role is to develop and promote Adirondack Film’s Student
Initiatives - those specifically aimed at college professors and their undergraduate students.
These focus on three initiatives: 1) Educational seminars and workshops offered at the Festival
by leading filmmakers and industry professionals, 2) The “Your Shorts are Showing” Student
category and 3) the inaugural Lake Placid Film Festival Student Summit).
4) Can you elaborate on the three initiatives?
I would love to!
Adirondack Film has always been committed to using their funding and resources to be an
educational haven for film professionals. As such, the Lake Placid Film Festival (Adirondack
Film’s flagship event), is packed with informative workshops and seminars for filmmakers to
grow their craft. Our educational events include everything from learning the latest film
techniques, to utilizing local resources and grants for funding, to how to pitch one’s project to the
big streaming companies like Netflix. Learning opportunities like these are the backbone of
Adirondack Film’s mission and are an essential element of our Educational Initiatives.
The Student category in our annual LPFF “Your Shorts Are Showing” allows young filmmakers
to submit their short films at a highly discounted rate. Once at the festival, these students will
then be able to network with a host of other acclaimed filmmakers, learn from industry leaders,
and potentially see their short on the big screen! It’s a great opportunity for students to have
their work seen outside the classroom and forge a host of new connections in the industry.
Finally, The Lake Placid Film Festival Student Summit is a scholarship program awarded to
select 8-12 undergraduate and recent college graduates to experience a film festival firsthand.
Students will build on their formal classroom training through exposure to a breadth of
workshops and seminars, as well as exclusive screenings of new international and independent
films. This program is the ideal opportunity to network with like-minded students and industry
professionals from around the country.
5) As Outreach Director, what will you bring to the table at Adirondack Film?
I was the former director of the SUNYWide Film Festival, which celebrates student filmmaking
from across New York State’s public university system. As such, I have built a rapport with a
host of students and professors from across the state who will be thrilled to learn more about
Adirondack Film’s student focused programs. I am also an incredibly motivated individual who is
dedicated to helping filmmakers of all ages continue to succeed in the industry, so I fit right in
with the Adirondack Film’s committed and passionate team.
6) What do you hope the Student Initiatives will do for aspiring filmmakers in our area and
The overall goal of Adirondack Film’s Student Initiatives is to allow interested and passionate
students the ability to network with industry experts and learn from the leaders in the field. I
hope that this program/initiative helps cultivate the next generation of filmmakers and further
develop the filmmaking presence in the Adirondacks and Upstate New York in general.
7) How do you like working for Adirondack Film so far?
I absolutely love working for Adirondack Film so far! It is so incredibly rare to be a part of an
organization where every individual is immensely passionate about their work. Everyone at
Adirondack Film goes above and beyond in all areas to ensure that the cinema arts are
celebrated and represented in the region, and I am honored to join their efforts.
8) What is your favorite film, and why?
My all time favorite film would have to be Paul Thomas Anderson’s 50s set costume drama
Phantom Thread. The character dynamics and conflicts are so thematically rich that the film
unlocks new meanings based on the viewer’s current emotional state: It can be hilarious and
witty, depressing and tragic, or sensual and beautiful. Phantom Thread is the cinematic
equivalent of a mood ring.
9) Who is your favorite film director?
My favorite film director would have to be Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Can You
Ever Forgive Me?, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood). Heller has an impeccable ability to
create complex and nuanced portrayals of protagonists who would be considered one-note in
other hands. I also love Chloe Zhao (Nomadland), Alfred Hitchcock (Rope), and Paul Thomas
Anderson (There Will Be Blood).
10) Favorite actor and actress?
While this changes constantly, my current favorite actor is Ryan Gosling (The Nice Guys, Blade
Runner 2049, Crazy Stupid Love) and my favorite actress is Saoirse Ronan (Little Women,
Brooklyn, Lady Bird). Both have such a strong grasp on the wide spectrum of human emotion
and bring that complexity to each of their roles.
11) Favorite musical artist/band?
My favorite musical artist at the moment is Leonard Cohen. Each of his songs are lyrical poems
that are hauntingly beautiful. As for bands, I was recently introduced to the work of The Strokes
by my girlfriend, and I love the energy they bring to each of their songs.
12) Favorite TV show?
My favorite would have to be Parks and Recreation because I never ceased to be entertained
and amused with their well-intentioned antics no matter how many times I’ve rewatched the
13) Who is your most profound creative inspiration, and why?
My most profound creative inspiration would have to be my family and girlfriend. They are all
immensely talented artists and writers who have encouraged and motivated me to find my own
creative voice and develop my passion for cinema. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them,
everything I do is for and because of Melina, Richard, Ben, and Jenny.
14) What is your preferred way to unwind after a long day at work?
After a long day, I love to get in the kitchen and try a new recipe before sitting down to watch an
episode of cooking reality television (i.e. Masterchef, Hell’s Kitchen, Top Chef).
15) What advice would you give to aspiring creative professionals who are about to enter the
My biggest piece of advice to newly graduated creative professionals is to use your personal
contacts as much as possible. While it might not seem like it at first, your classmates in high
school and college are your professional peers as well and can help you open new doors
careerwise. For instance, I wouldn’t be in my current position with Adirondack Film if I hadn’t
stayed in contact with my film professor & mentor, Amy Shore, and former SUNY Oswego &
LPFF alum, Derrick Benton (Wasted Talent).
See all insights »
October 24, 2023