San Diego Latino Film Festival
Staff
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Thank you to all of the MEDIA ARTS staff that work tirelessly year-round to make our annual San Diego Latino Film Festival a success!

Ethan van Thillo, Executive Director / Founder – Media Arts Center San Diego
Ethan van Thillo is Founder and Executive Director of the Media Arts Center San Diego. Since 1989, he has been working in media arts field programming Latino film festivals for the University of California, Santa Cruz, Cine Acción in San Francisco, Cine Estudiantil at the University of California San Diego, and the National Latino Communications Center in Los Angeles. Ethan has curated 100s of programs at festivals and/or special events in 45 libraries across California, Mexico City, Morelia, Las Cruces, Nuevo Laredo, San Antonio, Tijuana, Sacramento, and San Diego. In 1995, Ethan transformed the Cine Estudiantil into the San Diego Latino Film Festival. In 1999, to broaden the scope of the festival following four successful years, Ethan established the non-profit Media Arts Center San Diego in 1999. Under the umbrella of MACSD Ethan has developed & created innovative new community based media programs such as the California state-wide Digital Story Station initiative, Teen Producers Project, Youth Media & Tech Camps, Mobile Stories, Speak City Heights, The People’s Post, Video Production Services Department, and the new Digital Gym community technology center and movie theater. Ethan has served on various funding panels including San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture, Latino Public Broadcasting, Rockefeller Foundation’s 2004 Film and Video Fellowships, California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts’ funding panel for Media Arts. Mr. van Thillo has also been asked to speak at such national conferences as National Association of Latino Independent Producers, National Association of Latino Arts & Culture, and National Alliance of Media Arts & Culture. ethan@mediaartscenter.org

Moisés Esparza, Exhibitions Manager
Moises Graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies with a concentration in Psychology. Currently, he is a Master of Arts candidate in the Television, Film, and New Media Department at San Diego State University. His past professional experience includes internships at Summit Entertainment and The Weinstein Company, where he assisted the heads of development and acquisitions departments with a multitude of tasks. moises@mediaartscenter.org

Juan Lopez, Program Coordinator
As a San Diego native, Juan Lopez was fascinated by film at a very young age. The under-representation and portrayals of Latinos in film drove him to ameliorate the conventional. He attended The Los Angeles Film School, where he was able to take part in crews of various short films and TV shows. When he returned to San Diego upon graduating, Juan joined Media Arts Center as a marketing and PR Program Associate for the Digital Gym CINEMA. Currently Mr. Lopez coordinates PR efforts and the Community Partners program for the 21st Annual San Diego Film Festival. juan@mediaartscenter.org

Larissa Vega, Talent Coordinator
Born in Sonora Mexico, Ms. Vega has extensive film curation, marketing, and film festival planning experience.. In 2005 she started was introduced into the world of Cinema, with a position at the San Diego Latino Film Festival. As a Special Guest Coordinator and Film Curator, this position allowed her to get involved in the film industry and she developed a strong passion for films. Then, after 10 years in the San Diego – Tijuana area, Ms. Vega went back to Hermosillo in 2010 where she founded her own film festival called, The Sonora International Film Festival. Ms. Vega recently moved to Mexico City where she was asked by Mexico’s prestigious IMCINE to work on their new on-line movie streaming service, FilminLatino. larissa@mediaartscenter.org

Saul Silva, Sonido Latino Coordinator
saul@mediaartscenter.org
Saul graduated from San Diego State University with Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He is a San Diego/Tijuana native and as a musician has performed with bands on both sides of the border. Saul is a locally renowned percussionist and well respected member of the local musician community. He has studied Afro-Cuban and Brazilian percussion both in Havana and in Rio de Janeiro. Saul was raised in the City of Chula Vista, a burgeoning town, home of some of San Diego best musicians. As a musician he has performed and shared the stage with such bands as Jarabe De Palo, Ana Barbara, Elefante, Enanitos Verdes, B-Side Players, Jenny and the Mexicats, Monsieur Perine and many more. Saul has also curated various events and festivals as Musical Director and Promoter, such as the San Diego Latino Film Festival and the Sherman Heights Music Festival. He is also a member of the local Arts Scene working close with The Roots Factory San Diego and Barrio Network (Barrio Logan). He currently works for the County of San Diego in the Health and Human Services Agency.

Kania Hayes, Education & Membership Coordinator
Kania earned her B.A in Organizational Studies from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. She honed her fluency in Spanish while studying abroad in Costa Rica; yet her passion for writing led her to work as a freelance writer covering performances by world-famous DJ’s, fashion shows and upscale events throughout San Diego and Los Angeles. Always eager to learn, it was after taking a marketing course through the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School that she decided to test her skills as an intern marketing films for the Digital Gym CINEMA. Since interning, she coordinated the SDLFF’s very first CREATIVE CAREERS EXPO in 2015 and has remained on staff ever since as MACSD Membership & Filmmaker Workshop Coordinator. kania@mediaartscenter.org

Paola Hernández-Jiao, Ambassador & Host, San Diego Latino Film Festival
Paola Hernández-Jiao is editor of Latina Life And Style, a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and motherhood blog. Prior to launching Latina Life And Style, Paola spent more than ten years working in media, and was a television producer and host for Azteca San Diego and ABC Channel 10. Her career has included management positions in politics, the private industry, and regional non-profit organizations, as well as newspaper columnist. She has received multiple Emmy Award nominations for her work, as well as regional and statewide awards and recognitions for her commitment to serve the community. Paola is bi-cultural and bilingual (English/Spanish) and enjoys using her skills to contribute to non-profit organizations. She has volunteered on multiple Boards of Directors. Currently, she volunteers on the Salvation Army’s Public Relations Board, Mana de San Diego’s Latina Success Conference, and the San Diego Latino Film Festival. She has a bachelor’s degree in International Business and a Master of Business Administration degree. Paola lives in San Diego with her husband and their daughter. paola@mediaartscenter.org

Ryan Kuratomi, Media Director
Ryan Kuratomi is a graduate of UC San Diego’s Film and Video program and has worked on productions in the San Diego and Los Angeles regions in both production and post-production departments. While at Media Arts Center, Ryan has lead instruction with the Teen Producers Project at local high schools and currently leads the Video Production Services department. The video production team specializes in documentary style video production for various non-profit, corporate and government clients such as the San Diego Natural History Museum, Environmental Health Coalition, KPBS, MCRD San Diego and SDGE. programs@mediaartscenter.org

Amanda Barcena, Operations Manager
Amanda graduated from SDSU with a Bachelors in Psychology. Amanda worked at the Muscular Dystrophy Association as the right hand to the Executive Director managing all financial aspects of the San Diego Chapter of this non-profit organization, as well as assisting the Health Care Director with weekly clinic visits to their Muscle Disease clinic. Prior to this position, she worked at a post-secondary vocational training facility providing accounting assistance to the Senior Accountant, as well as assist the President and Vice President of the training facility with day to day operations. operations@mediaartscenter.org

Brian Myers, Community Videographer & Producer
Brian Myers, Community Videographer with the Media Arts Center San Diego, works with under-served communities to document the voice of local community members for the Speak City Heights multimedia collaborative. As a digital commander he works on a variety of independent media projects for community groups, such as Enero Zapatista, and other organizations focused on social justice. Brian has studied the media arts, graphic design, and information technology, served as an AmeriCorps volunteer, and web designer and developer for a local e-commerce web site. brian@mediaartscenter.org

Shanna Trenholm, Consultant/Grant Writer
Shanna is a writer, coach, and consultant who has worked closely with MACSD since 2010. A San Diego native, Shanna understands the needs of our community and assists us with prospect research, fund raising development, and grant writing.

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    • 2921 El Cajon Blvd San Diego, CA 92104
    • info@mediaartscenter.org
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