BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Outfest’s Board of Directors is made up of leaders in their industries who advocate for LGBTQ+ representation, driving the Outfest mission forward. Through their leadership, guidance, and support, Outfest is able to deliver its mission of amplifying the voices of the LGBTQ+ community in the entertainment industry, creating visibility, and empowering storytellers.
Alan Koenigsberg is global head of new payments flows for the Visa Business Solutions team. In this role, Alan is leading all aspects of commercialization of Visa B2B Connect, a unique multilateral cross- border B2B payments network, as well as opening up new payment opportunities within accounts receivable and payables space, as well as overall account-to-account B2B payments. Prior to this role, Alan was Chief Revenue Officer for Traxpay, a payments and supply chain Fintech based in Germany. During his tenure, he grew the startup to over 100 employees, playing a key role in platform development and initial go-to-market relationship building with financial institutions. Alan is an experienced payments and treasury professional who was previously Managing Director and Corporate Banking Group Executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML). In this role, Alan worked with global corporates to provide corporate lending and treasury management solutions to them around the world. Prior to BAML, Alan held Transaction Banking leadership roles, along with product management positions, at JPMorgan in New York and London. Prior to JPMorgan, Alan held Product Management and Operations roles at American Express. Alan holds a MBA and BS and sits on two non-profits boards in New York and Los Angeles. He has been a NACHA Payments Conference Board member and Chairman. Alan currently resides in Los Angeles, with his spouse and two dogs.
Valerie Stadler started her career as a producer, co-founding Fat Chance Films, where she developed the play PREY FOR ROCK & ROLL, which was adapted into a feature film (Sundance 2003). She developed and coproduced “Cavedweller” for Showtime starring Kyra Sedgwick and Aidan Quinn (2004). Her past films include: Life of a King (LAFF 2013), Fallen Star: Finding Home, and Sunset Stories (SXSW 2011), which also marked her debut as a screenwriter. Most recently, Stadler was the Head of Production and Development for Fluency, a multi platform studio under NBCU Hispanic Enterprises, where she Executive Produced several films. She is currently a founding partner in Big Swing. Formed in winter 2017 with partners Kyra Sedgwick and Meredith Bagby, Big Swing is committed to celebrating new heroes and amplifying bold voices by focusing on stories with heart and purpose. Believing that when talent meets opportunity, magic happens and we all deserve the chance to take a BIG SWING.
Tim Kittleson works with nonprofit organizations in the areas of board governance training, board development, marketing, fund development, and executive mentoring. He was Director of the UCLA Film and Television Archive from 1999 to 2006, during which time he co-founded the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project. Prior to joining UCLA, Tim worked for 17 years at the International Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), the non-profit parent organization of the American Film Market (AFM), serving as EVP of IFTA and AFM Executive Director. He has been a member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, BAFTA and the UK Film Council, and served on the Los Angeles boards of the latter two organizations.
Tamara Woolfork is Senior Vice President of Business Affairs for Sony Picture Worldwide Acquisitions. Prior to joining SPWA, Tamara was the Senior Vice-President of Business and Legal Affairs for Universal Brand Development. Prior to that, she was Head of the Business Affairs Department supporting the licensing of digital and physical consumer products, live event productions and the acquisition of promotional and retail brand partnerships for NBCUniversal content. Tamara serves as a Board Member for Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence (SLiCE), is an Advisory Board Member for NBCU Black Employee Network, and has worked in a variety of fundraising capacities throughout her professional career. She received her BA from Harvard and her JD from Duke University, and has worked for multiple studios including Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, Warner Brothers Feature Animation, Sony Pictures Television and Metro-Vista Entertainment. In 2007, she produced the film Don’t Go which screened at Outfest Los Angeles.
Farhaad Virani is Associate General Counsel at Amazon Studios where he oversees the legal team supporting development of Amazon’s original scripted series and feature films, including Comedy, Drama, Genre, Kids and Young Adult programming, as well as local-language content for India, Japan, Europe and Latin America. Prior to joining Amazon, Farhaad was a real estate and land use attorney with Farella Braun + Martel LLP in San Francisco, where he worked primarily in the wine and clean technology industries, and at Baker Botts LLP in Houston, where he worked in commercial real estate. Farhaad has provided pro-bono legal assistance to artists and non-profits through California Lawyers for the Arts, Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts, and the Harvard Recording Artists Project. He has a J.D. from Harvard Law School, a B.A. in Economics from Rice University and a Certificate from the Professional Program in Producing at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television. Farhaad is a past Co-President of Outfest’s Board of Directors.
Member at Large
You might know Washington, D.C. native Cora Olson from some of the award-winning indie films she’s produced, including Chris Denham’s Preservation, the Sundance hit Good Dick, Jocelyn Towne’s I Am I and The Perfect Family starring Kathleen Turner. Olson ran Simon Helberg & Jocelyn Towne’s WBTV-based production company Wildline Entertainment before transitioning to management and is now representing actors and filmmakers, including Helberg and Towne, at MGMT Entertainment. Olson produced the documentary series Elvis Goes There, which aired on Epix earlier this year and was hosted by renowned film journalist and critic Elvis Mitchell featuring episodes with Ryan Coogler, Sofia Coppola, Paul Feig and Guillermo Del Toro.
Marina Rice Bader
Marina Rice Bader founded Soul Kiss Films in 2009, an independent company dedicated to producing compelling narrative features with a unique focus on the female experience. She executive produced Elena Undone and A Perfect Ending then went on to write/direct/produce Anatomy of a Love Seen, Raven’s Touch and Ava’s Impossible Things. Marina is currently developing Alien Jane at the Shangri-La, a futuristic film with an all-female cast, American Ryder, a female-driven action film, and is in active preproduction for Aubrey Goes Down, the story of just how far one woman will go to keep her dreams alive. All three projects are under the banner of her new production company Play Big Pictures, producing bold universal stories told through a female lens.
Bill Bertini oversees marketing partnerships for North America for Paramount Pictures’ theatrical releases. He previously ran global licensing for the studio and held positions at The Marketing Store (working on McDonald’s account) and Mattel and also did a previous stint at Paramount. Bil has a BA from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television and an MBA from UCLA Anderson.
Brian Cordova-Brookey is an attorney specializing in intellectual property litigation, with expertise and success on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants in patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret litigation. Brian brings creative, client-focused, cost-effective strategies to every case. At the beginning of a litigation matter, he develops clear objectives with the client. He then works toward meeting those objectives without unnecessary tactics that don’t advance the client’s cause. Brian returns client calls and e-mails promptly and keep clients informed – and he tries to be enough fun to be around that clients don’t dread the inevitable long hours traveling, sharing meals, and preparing for depositions, hearings, and trial. Brian represents a broad range of companies across numerous industries and technologies, including telecommunications, computer software, lasers, construction, apparel, lighting, medical devices, automotives, consumer products and electronic components. Brian has litigated intellectual property matters in district courts in numerous states, in U.S. Courts of Appeal, and before the International Trade Commission and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. When not working, volunteering or spending time with his family, Brian can usually be found traveling (or planning a trip), attending live theatre, visiting one of California’s many fine wineries, or, at minimal prompting, performing karaoke. Brian also is proud of his role as founder and chair of lgbTE, Tucker Ellis’s LGBTQ+ affinity group.
Shirley Davis is a seasoned film and television production executive, educator and speaker. Most recently, Shirley was consulting at Imagine Entertainment where she worked closely with Imagine Television to set up their production department. Shirley also was the Co-Producer on WU-TANG CLAN: AN AMERICAN SAGA. Prior to this, Shirley was the Executive Vice President and Head of Physical Production at Alcon Entertainment, where she was a production executive on projects such as BLADE RUNNER: 2049, POINT BREAK, PRISONERS and DOLPHIN TALE 1 and 2. Shirley is a member of the Producers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America a board member of Outfest, and was an Adjunct Professor at the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC Film School and UCLA Film School’s Master Program.
Zackary Drucker is an independent artist, cultural producer and trans woman who breaks down the way we think about gender, sexuality and seeing. She has performed and exhibited her work internationally in museums, galleries and film festivals including the Whitney Biennial 2014, MoMA PS1, Hammer Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, MCA San Diego and SF MoMA, among others. Zackary is an Emmy-nominated Producer for the docuseries This Is Me, as well as a Producer on Golden Globe and Emmy-winning series “Transparent.”
Ismail Elshareef is a seasoned tech executive responsible for delivering high-volume, profitable products in the entertainment, government and automotive industries. Ismail is experienced in managing small and large global teams with unrelenting focus on the customer needs and pain points. His passion is building and nurturing positive and expansive cultures, and building teams from the ground up, which he has done multiple times with repeated success. A passionate brand ambassador, speaker and evangelist, Ismail amplifies the mission of Upkeep on the global stage.
Alexis is a seasoned film producer and industry executive with numerous film credits to her name and a well respected reputation in her field. Having begun her career in New York City in the late 90’s, she had the great privilege of working under two of independent film’s best, Christine Vachon (Killer Films) and Ted Hope (Good Machine.) This forever set the bar for the caliber and artistic integrity of the projects she would work on in her career. Currently Alexis is the Vice President of Pride for Valence Media Group (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Spin, Vibe, Stereo Gum, MRC Film & TV and Dick Clark Productions) as well as Editor of Billboard Pride. Prior to this role, she was one of the founding editors of Condé Nast’s first online LGBTQ community, them. Her producing credits range from John Cameron Mitchell’s critically acclaimed success Shortbus, to the HBO documentary Pretty Things and the Sundance award winning feature Streets of Legend. Other credits include, The Punk Singer, Mississippi Damned and numerous award winning shorts. Earlier in her career, Alexis worked with SAGIndie (the independent arm of the Screen Actors Guild,) as Manager of Development. Prior to her work with SAGIndie, she was VP of Q Television Network (QTN). Alexis has been a selected participant in FIND’s Producer’s Lab, the Producer’s Network at the Cannes Film Festival and the Producer’s Conference at the Sundance Institute.
Terrence Franklin has practiced law for thirty years primarily handling trust and estate litigation matters. A father of two adult daughters, he came out in 2010, and has become actively engaged in the LGBT community. Lawyer by day, writer by night, he is working on “The Last Will of Lucy Sutton” a novel and screenplay about his successful search for the 1846 will by which his great-grandfather X4 freed his great-grandmother X4 and their children and grandchildren from slavery. He is also currently working to secure financing or option a screenplay he co-wrote, SICK!, about the effort to get the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses. He holds a B.S. from Northwestern University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. His husband, Jeffrey Moline, is also one of his creative collaborators. Terry is a past Co-President of Outfest’s Board of Directors.
Marissa Román Griffith
Marissa Román Griffith focuses her legal practice on media finance and entertainment transactional matters. She is recognized as an industry leader for her representation of domestic and foreign financial institutions, borrowers, distributors and others involved in various aspects of the production, financing and distribution of film, television and digital content. Her recent projects include the feature films Bad Boys For Life, Charlie’s Angels, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Knives Out, The Lovebirds, The Sponge Bob Movie: Sponge On The Run and Zombieland: Double Tap and the episodic series “The Dark Tower,” “The Great,” “The Outsider” and “Ozark.” The Hollywood Reporter has recognized Marissa as being among the “Top 100 Power Lawyers” since 2017, and as one of “Hollywood’s Top 20 Dealmakers of 2016”. She has also been named to Variety’s “Legal Impact Report” since 2013 as well as to their “Dealmakers’ Impact Report” over five times (including in 2019). In 2018 and 2020, the Los Angeles Business Journal recognized Marissa on their list of the “Most Influential Minority Attorneys”, and as one of the “Most Influential Women Attorneys” in Los Angeles in 2018. Since 2005, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business has listed Marissa as a leading California transactional attorney practicing in media and entertainment. She was honored as the 2019 Entertainment Lawyer of the Year by the Beverly Hills Bar Association, and named as the 2020 Lawyer of the Year for Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television (Los Angeles) by The Best Lawyers in America. In addition to her Outfest service, Marissa is a trustee of the Mexican American Bar Foundation and is an advisory board member of Female Executives in Media and Entertainment. She also leads Akin’s Los Angeles office inclusion council, and sits on Akin’s firmwide inclusion council. Marissa lives in Mar Vista with her husband (Peter Griffith) and their dogs.
Neil Landau is an award-winning screenwriter, producer, author and screenwriting professor. His screen credits include the cult teen comedy Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead starring Christina Applegate; “Melrose Place”, “The Magnificent Seven”, “Doogie Howser, M.D.”, “The Secret World of Alex Mack”, “Twice in a Lifetime”, “MTV’s Undressed”, “The Young & the Restless”, “Monarch Cove” and one-hour drama pilots for CBS, ABC, ABC Family (aka Freeform), Warner Bros., Disney, Lifetime and Freemantle. His animated movie projects include the global blockbuster animated feature Tad: The Lost Explorer (aka Las Adventuras de Tadeo Jones) for which he earned a Spanish Academy “Goya” Award and Cinema Writers’ Circle Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (2014); and Tad 2 (Tadeo Jones and the Secret of King Midas), from Paramount, premiered in August, 2017 (once again to record box office). Neil is working on Tad 3 for a 2022 release by Paramount. He also co-wrote the animated feature Capture the Flag (also for Paramount) and the animated movie Sheep & Wolves for Wizart Animation. He’s currently Head Writer and Co-Executive Producer on the new animated feature film Finnick for Riki Animation Studios for 2022 release; serving as Co-Executive Producer and Executive Script Consultant on Mummies for 4 Cats Pictures and Warner Bros. (also 2022 release). His other current projects in active development are “Strings” for 4 Cats Pictures; he’s also Executive Producer of the limited series “Patient Zero” for Amediateka/HBO Europe. Neil served as Executive Script Consultant for Sony Pictures Television International for several years, and as Assistant Dean of Dean’s Special Programs at UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television, including running their Cannes Storytelling Institute for the past two years, and again in Spring, 2020. Neil is also a professor and Co-Director of UCLA TFT’s world-renowned MFA Screenwriting program, Writing for Television track, in the Department of Film, Television & Digital Media. He is the author of 5 books, including the bestselling 101 Things I Learned in Film School (to be reissued by Random House/Crown later this year, and now in 12 languages), and The TV Showrunner’s Roadmap (the updated second edition coming in 2022, and now in 7 languages).
Jose Malagon currently lives in Hancock Park with his long-time husband. He is extremely active in the Hollywood / Hancock Park community and city politics. Jose and his husband have restored and currently property manage several historic buildings in the Hollywood commercial historic district. Jose was a theatre major in college and pursued careers in various aspects of the entertainment spectrum including theatre, fashion and design. He ran a very successful event company that catered to high profile celebrities and the entertainment industry. He also served as the celebrity host to many of the special events at APLA and Shanti including APLA’s Commitment to Life Event and has donated time to other causes including Project Angel Food and AIDS Health Care Foundation. His past board experience and advisory groups include: Hollywood Heights Home Owners Executive Board; Hollywood Chamber Executive Board of Directors; Hollywood Business Improvement Board of Directors; Hollywood Arts Council Board; Hollywood Farmers Market Board; Chairperson of the Hollywood Sign Overlay Committee, established by the mayor to design sign ordinance for Hollywood which was used as a city wide sign ordinance template; and EaCa Alley working committee, a Hollywood CRA and Los Angeles mayor project to transform a neglected Hollywood alley into Los Angeles’ first pedestrian alley.
Alex B. Perez
Alex is a criminal defense attorney who has a successful private practice in Orange County with his brother, the Law Offices of Perez & Perez. He is a member of the Orange County Bar Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Mexican American Bar Association and the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice. He attended Stanford University where he received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Political Science and Sociology. He then received a law degree from the University of Southern California Law School. He has been attending Outfest since the late 1990’s and has been a major donor for many years.
The breadth of Bianca Quesada’s work has been and continues to be advancing and repositioning the female, POC and LGBTQIA+ narrative within the film/tv/digital/theatrical medium. The genesis of her work began working on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Stage Management team during the year he won the Tony for IN THE HEIGHTS on Broadway. In 2011, she produced a documentary chronicling an individual who was transitioning to become a man entitled, GO.DO.BE. In 2012, a short film she co-produced and co-directed went to Cannes in the shorts section entitled, 過負荷. By 2015, she was at CAA, building a Global Development group with the partners and working with the top LATAM, APAC and NA film festivals. Off this work she signed clients who ultimately won Chile’s first Oscar, Historia De Un Oso, and signed CAA’s first Muslim female filmmaker, Lena Khan. In 2017, she made a pivot into TV and was on the network development team for Vida at Starz and started beta plans for a Virtual-Reality/ Augmented-Reality subdivision as a retention tool for the network. For the past year she has been building Live Nation Productions to hold a slate of projects with talent including Cardi B, Lizzo and Sylvester, along with a Louis Armstrong bio picture. In addition to the above, she is currently in beta for a new division of Live Nation that is experiential based.
David Regan is the head of investments for JPMorgan’s Private Bank in the Western US. David joined JPMorgan in 1999. He has worked in Philadelphia, New York, London, Denver and Los Angeles in various roles including their Strategy and Solutions team specializing in manager selection. David is responsible for developing and managing relationships with clients, focusing on addressing their investment needs. In his various roles he has worked with clients in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. David works with a team of specialists to advise clients on the full spectrum of their wealth management needs, drawing from JPMorgan’s global resources. The team’s overall mission is to provide clients with the peace of mind that comes from having a coordinated approach for meeting complex financial goals and objectives. David is a graduate of Harvard University, graduating with honors in History and Economics. Outside of the office, David has a passion for arts and education. He is part of the Hammer Circle group as part of the Hammer Museum and the John Harvard Society of Los Angeles. He lives in Los Angeles with his husband (Edgar) and their child (Enrique).
Mike Rose was the Founder and CEO of Ease Entertainment, a software/payroll services firm specializing in film/TV production, beginning with 5 employees that grew to 170+ employees in 11 offices in US and Canada. The software developed became the standard at all major studios. Ease Entertainment also designed Affordable Care Act programs to enroll thousands of previously uninsured crew members who hadn’t been able to qualify for employer-based coverage, given the transient nature of their work. Mike sold the company in 2015 to the largest competitor in the industry (Entertainment Partners) for over nine figures. He served as EP’s EVP/Chief Strategy Officer for three years. From 2000 to 2007, he was the President of Dunn-Edwards where he quadrupled the value of the company in 8 years. He is married to Ruben Rodriguez.
David Sigurani serves as the SVP – Head of Global Content at Blackpills, an insurgent global entertainment company that produces, acquires and distributes premium content across multiple platforms. David oversees the development of original series and production and is committed to cultivating diverse auteurs and amplifying unconventional voices. Blackpills, which launched as a mobile-only app in 2017, is focused on producing edgy, diverse millennial focused content available in over 30 countries around the world, and has now expanded to multiple platforms including a desktop version and Apple TV. Among David’s television projects is “Bonding,” which won the Best Episodic Series award at Outfest 2018 and will be distributed by Netflix as an original series later this year. Blackpills has also produced “Pillowtalk,” starring Patrick J. Adams (“Suits”), which debuted its second season at the Tribeca TV festival, and “Dead Women Walking,” an indie tour-de-force from Israeli writer/director Hagar Ben-Asher starring Dale Dickey, Dot-Marie Jones, Lynn Collins and Ashton Sanders. Prior to Blackpills, David was VP of Development at Turner’s Super Deluxe, Executive Producing cult hit “Magic Funhouse” and launching the longform TV studio. Previously, David was Director of Development at Televisa USA, where he oversaw such series as Lifetime’s “Devious Maids” and “Chasing Life” on ABC Family. He’s also held positions at Lionsgate, Cutler Productions (“Nashville,” “If I Stay”) and Prospect Park (“Wilfred,” “Royal Pains”). Originally hailing from Miami, David is proudly ethnically-ambiguous with an Italian last name and Cuban, Puerto Rican and Spanish roots. In addition to his position at Blackpills, David is also an Outfest Screenwriting Lab Mentor and a Crisis Counselor for at-risk youth at a national non-profit.
Sanaz Yamin is a Partner at entertainment management and production company Mainstay Entertainment. Founded in 2017 and located in Beverly Hills, Mainstay Entertainment boasts an impressive roster of clients in the acting, writing, producing and directing sectors of the industry and is a prolific producer of films and television projects. Sanaz was a litigation attorney before transitioning to talent management in 2014 by joining Levity Entertainment Group (LEG). At Mainstay Entertainment she represents top tier actors, writers, content creators, producers and directors. She is an executive producer on the in-development movie version of Trevor Noah’s autobiography BORN A CRIME. Other producing credits include Noah’s Netflix specials “Afraid of the Dark” and “Son of Patricia,” for which she was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.