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2019 FILMS

Leadeship Team
Selection Team
Support Team



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Leadership Team  Selection Team  Support Team 

We don't do this alone! There is a dedicated circle of talented filmmakers, community members, industry professionals, neighbors and friends who help us with every detail of the festival!

   ELLIOT COWAN - Poster Design
Elliot Cowan is an award winning animator, painter and sculptor whose work and films have played all over the world. Originally from Australia, Elliot now lives in Queens, The Worlds Borough. He is not only our Animation Juror, he is the genius behind our poster design.

   KATHRYN FORTUNO - Marketing
Kathryn is a Marketing Ninja and a St. John's University Computer Science graduate. She is an artist at heart and loves old skool film photography and Adobe CS. She enjoys Stephen King novels, Pixar animations and is sad that Game of Thrones is ending on 2019 (goes to a corner and weeps).

   MARIJA SAJKAS - Community Relations and Press
Marija Šajkaš (pronounced as Maria Shay-kash) is a U.S. based writer, media expert and political analyst, and founder of 4 Better Media. Her most recent appearances and projects include work for the Freedom of the Press, Freedom House (2017), High-Level OSCE Chairmanship Conference “Freedom of the Media in the Western Balkans” in co-operation with the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (2017), Mayor’s Office of immigrant Affairs in New York City (2016), Global Freedom of Expression Initiative at Columbia University (2016), CORO- Immigrant Civic Leadership Program (2015). Marija holds an M.S. in International Affairs, with a concentration in Culture and Media Studies, from The New School University in New York, and a BS in Serbian Language and Literature from the University of Belgrade. She is the author of the novel Esther Jovanovich's Scrapbook (Klett, 2013) and co-author of the TV documentary “Missing- the Right to Know”. (2003) -

   DAVID ARCHER, CEO DAAssociatesPR - Publicist
DAAssociatesPR is a full service PR/Marketing/Events Agency serving Media, Festivals, NPO's and Hospitality industries for 20+ years. DAAssociatesPR has provided PR Services to the Queens World Film Festival since 2016. David has deep Queens roots serving as the Marketing/PR/Sponsorship Director of the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York since 2000.

   EMMA LEAVY - Filmmaker Mentor, Editor, Camera
Emma began her film-making and photography career as a film and media major at Frank Sinatra High School of the Arts where she fell in love with storytelling. Currently a sophomore at SUNY Oswego she built her resume with internships at Kaufman Astoria Studios, the Creative Services Department of NYPD and with the Queens World Film Festival. Now six years later she is an Editor and Filmmaker Mentor with the festival. She has worked on award winning independent films as sound technician, camera and production Most recently she has become in demand as an artistic director, editor, and camera operator on several student enjoys editing on Adobe premiere, Final Cut, uses Lightroom for her photography.

   SAM BERLAND Lead Projectionist
Sam Berland has worked with QWFF since the start of the festival and is the lead projectionist. He is a quality control expert on AV equipment and has worked in the film/video and broadcasting industry for many years. . He builds all film playlists and is the one to call if you want your film to look and sound the way you intended! Sam's newest venture is working as a Freelance TD/Projectionist on David Krakauer's Big Picture tour, traveling around the US and Europe and works a Freelance Video Projectionist on the Tribeca Film Festival. He is the Co-Owner of Play It Again Sam’s Video Productions. Sam also works as a part time Imax/3D Digital Projectionist at The American Museum of Natural History. As an artist, Sam’s artwork has appeared in both fiction and non-fiction books, and he has often been commissioned to create caricatures of TV newscasters and sports personalities. His work has also appeared on children’s clothing, album covers, as well as prominent public murals.

   PATTI LOWENHAUPT - Filmmaker Mentor
Patti Lowenhaupt is a life long resident of Jackson Heights, born and raised. Having attended P.S. 69 as a youngster, Patti is thrilled to be back in the school mentoring students in the QWFF Young Filmmakers Program. Learning by doing is the best way to learn. The experience the students have making a video as an art form and as a form of expression is priceless. The kids have a wonderful time learning with this type of program. Patti is retired from 30 years of teaching in the New York City public schools (as an art teacher), and she truly enjoy her involvement in the QWFF. This complex networking activity is a cultural boost for our borough of Queens and for our neighborhoods of Jackson Heights and Long Island City and she is proud to be a part of it.

   ANITA RASWANT - Venue Manager, Festival Associate Manager
Anita grew up in Rome, Italy but has been a loyal Queens resident after graduating with a B.A. in Sociology from St. John's University. She currently slings cakes and manages events but is interested in telling stories of minorities and having their voices heard through film. As a self-appointed mac& cheese connoisseur, she prides herself on her love for all things food, music and of course, movies. She has film-festival hopped for several years, with stints at Tribeca Film Festival, Hamptons International Film Festival, Nantucket Film Festival and more. She loves all aspects of film-making, including talking about herself in the third person. She is currently pursing work as an Assistant Director. This is her fourth year with QWFF and she is excited to screen films from all over the world, including her own neighborhood! She thanks the Cato's for all their hard work and commitment to the craft of film making.

   ALEX COMA - Editor, Filmmaker mentor
Alex Coma is a lifelong resident of Queens, with a B.A. in Media Communications & Visual Arts from Pace University where he helped make a documentary about the conservation of coral reefs in Curaçao. He has directed and produced video content for the MTA and currently, he is a Media Technician for the Queens World Film Festival where he edits video, manages film drives, and archival materials. In addition, Alex is also a Filmmaker Mentor for the QWFF Young Filmmakers Program where he uses film-making to educate young people about the thrills of telling stories through the moving image..

   EVAN ANGGONO - Media Technician, Editor
Born in Indonesia, he moved to Queens, New York in 2012 and currently is a junior in Queens College. He found his passion for editing, filmmaking and animation when he enrolled in the video program at Information Technology High School. Evan attended a QWFF Encore Screening in 2015 and signed up to volunteer and now he is a QWFF Media Technician and Editor working closely with Don Cato (QWFF Artistic Director) tracking the festival media elements, multiple drives and screening programs. He also works closely with the QWFF Projectionists to prepare the accepted films for their festival screening. Evan also assists with other editing duties on sizzle reels, PSA's, promotional videos and the films created in the Young Filmmakers Program.

   ERICK MIRANDA - Jr. Accountant
Erick Miranda is a Salvadorian immigrant who is studying Public Accounting at Brooklyn College. After moving to NY in 2002, he and his family took residence in Jamaica, Queens where they have lived for over a decade. He identifies heavily with Queens, and takes pride in the Hispanic and Latino diversity throughout the borough. He made his start at Queens World Film Festival as an accounting intern mid-2018, when the internship concluded he was invited to remain as a consultant to help manage fiscal and contract compliance. Although his passions lie within accounting, Erick enjoys photography in his free time.

Leadership Team  Selection Team  Support Team 



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Queens World Film Festival, Inc.
Screening Challenging and Exciting Film From Around the World and Around the Corner.