Founding Director of Film Programming
Brian joined the JBFC as the Founding Programming Director in 2001, which followed several years in an advisory capacity assisting the planning and development of the theaters. He designed the programming template that presents over 400 films annually to include special events, new releases, documentary, foreign-language, retrospective films, as well as thematic series, under one roof. He has worked for over 30 years in the New York cinema arts scene—building, programming, and operating art houses. He also serves on juries at film festivals including SXSW and Full Frame. He is partially deaf and a classically trained pianist.
Executive Assistant to the Executive Director and General Manager
Customer Service Manager
Tara began her time with the JBFC as House Manager in 2012 and joined the Membership team in 2016. She earned a BFA from SUNY Purchase, where she studied opera. Tara has also worked as Director of Ticketing Services at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. In her spare time she tries to attend as many live concerts as she can and being a connoisseur of music she is constantly striving to make the best mix playlist.
Education Program Coordinator
Christine joined the JBFC in 2017 as Assistant to the Executive Director. She holds a B.A in English with a minor in Journalism from Mercy College. Prior to joining the JBFC, Christine worked as an Assistant Bank Manager. Christine enjoys writing and owes her love of cinema to her Dad’s own film obsession, and also to the awesome kids movies of the 80’s. She’s a horror fan, but holds an exclusive place in her heart for Wong Kar-Wai’s Chungking Express.
After earning his B.A. in cinema studies from SUNY Purchase, Ed worked as a freelance blogger for a couple years before he found his way into the theater business in 2015. Before joining the Jacob Burns, Ed worked as a projectionist for The Downing Film Center in Newburgh, New York and at iPic Theaters in Dobbs Ferry. Ed is an occasional podcaster who loves to talk about horror movies, pro-wrestling, and his obsession with basketball.
Institutional Giving and Government Relations Manager
Kendra has worked with the Jacob Burns Film Center Theater Staff since 2008. Prior to joining the JBFC, Kendra worked Off-Broadway with Playwrights Horizons and with ABC Television in the East Coast Primetime Casting Office. Kendra holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama from Syracuse University, and a Professional Certificate in Arts Management from SUNY Purchase. In her free time, she enjoys live theater and music, traveling, being outdoors, and cooking at home.
Director of Development
Judy joined the JBFC as Director of Development in December 2001. Prior to this, she raised money for a number of nonprofits, including New York City Ballet, Caramoor, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Judy holds a B.A. in Communications from The College of Wooster. A Pleasantville resident, Judy loves books, crossword puzzles, film, and theater. Judy and her husband, Tom, have two daughters and a four-legged son (a black lab).
Lead House Manager
Charlotte started working at the JBFC as a member of the House Staff in 2008 and is very happy to return as a House Manager. She graduated with a B.A. in Theater Arts at Hunter College, and is currently getting her M.S.Ed in Educational Theatre at City College of New York. She is a stage manager, and also works as the Office Coordinator at Broadway Training Center of Westchester. She loves theatre and dogs!
Film Programming Coordinator
Before relocating to the East Coast and joining the JBFC in 2018, Adrienne worked for a variety of Midwestern film festivals and art house theaters as a programmer, educator, and event manager. She’s studied film as both an undergrad and grad student and works and volunteers at film festivals in her spare time. When she’s not working, she dabbles in filmmaking, rewatches The Twilight Zone for the umpteenth time, and makes strange little art.
Donor Engagement & Special Events Manager
Allison joined the JBFC’s development department in 2016. She holds a BA from Bard College in Art History and Classical Studies; before coming to the Burns, she worked for German performance artist Nadja Marcin and collaborative art duo ChanSchatz. When she’s not at work, you can find Allison googling cute pictures of Danny DeVito.
Elizabeth joined the startup staff at the JBFC before the theater opened in June of 2001. Prior to joining the JBFC, she worked at a variety of places including Eileen Fisher, Otowi Trading Company, and WW Norton. Elizabeth has a BA in comparative literature from Harvard. She enjoys working for a nonprofit—combining a love of the arts and helping foster shared experiences. She has fond memories of seeing movies at the old Rome theater!
Director of Website and Digital Services
Alex Gorski joined the Jacob Burns Film Center in September, 2018. Prior to joining the JBFC, Alex developed software and digital products for the American Museum of Natural History and 8to18 Media. Alex is an alumni of Johns Hopkins University and the Flatiron School.
Paige Grand Pré
Paige is a writer and filmmaker with a background in international relations and nonprofit work. She graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in Political Science and received a Certificate in Screenwriting from NYU’s School of Professional Studies. Paige has written both feature and short films, served as everything from Executive Producer to production assistant on shorts and web series, and maintains a film criticism and analysis blog entitled Not Suitable for All Audiences.
Manager of Theater Operations
Chris grew up in the UK, graduating with a BA (Hons) in Drama from the University of Hull, the same course as Oscar winning director Anthony Minghella. He’s worked as an actor, a theatre educator, an events host, and most recently as a radio DJ and producer for BBC and Gaydio. Chris runs marathons, and lives in Mt. Kisco with his American husband and his French dog. He’s thrilled to be working back in the arts at JBFC.
Senior Film Programmer
Since joining the JBFC in 2006 Andrew has been a film print coordinator, projectionist, and now curates several series as the senior film programmer. He holds a B.A. in Cinema Studies from Purchase College, where he wrote his senior thesis on the American horror film. He also hosts We Hate Movies, the long-running comedy podcast that has been on the air since 2010 and also tours the country performing live. He has produced two feature films with his comedy arts collective, Private Cabin. And he even once sold a Snickers bar to Gene Shalit before a private screening of the film Stealth.
Susan joined the JBFC in 2002 as its first in-house designer. She was assigned an old desk and sent off to buy the company’s first Apple computer. Susan graduated as a design major from UCLA and worked in a tiny advertising agency in California. She happily moved back East for a job at Harper’s Bazaar. Susan continued in publishing, designing for Ms. and Sassy, eventually running a design firm with a childhood friend.
Projectionist, AV Coordinator
Jesse started his career at the Jacobs Burns Film Center as a member of the house staff in 2007, before finally moving to the Burns projection booth in 2012. A proud graduate of The School of Visual Arts, he has been a film projectionist and camera operator/assistant on feature films and documentaries for the last decade. When he’s not working, he loves traveling, podcasts, making hot sauce, and collecting extreme horror films.
Ian grew up coming to the Burns and is ecstatic to be a part of the JBFC team! He is a classically trained actor who received a BFA with Honors from NYU Tisch School of the Arts in 2020. In addition to loving movies (particularly those directed by Claire Denis), Ian enjoys reading, traveling, watching US Senate proceedings on C-SPAN, and performing Shakespeare.
Tim joined the Jacob Burns Film Center as a projectionist in March of 2016. Tim has worked in the theater business since 2010 after graduating from Providence College with a minor in film studies. In his free time Tim enjoys hiking, music, video games, and poker, and is currently on a quest to becoming a master Pokemon trainer.
Kervin joined the JBFC Production and Equipment team in 2012. After receiving his degree in Digital Filmmaking he worked with renowned director Jonathan Demme, which increased his passion for the field. Kervin's work has since expanded from music videos to short films and even art installations.
Director of Theater Operations
Jesse has been working in the cinema exhibition industry since 1996, literally growing up in the business. Since joining the JBFC team in 2007 Jesse has worked as a projectionist, house manager, media coordinator, booth manager, and technical director. As Director of Theater Operations, Jesse oversees all aspects of daily activities, ensuring high-quality cinema presentation, stellar customer service, engaging events, and of course, delicious popcorn! Jesse and the talented theater team make it their priority to ensure everyone’s experience at the JBFC is a memorable one and are continuously looking for new ways to dazzle our audiences.
Creative Culture Program Manager
Arno Mokros is a New York-based arts organizer, dedicated to supporting emerging filmmakers and other artists working across disciplines. In previous roles, he supported artists and small arts organizations at Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit arts service organization, and coordinated an interdisciplinary fellowship program for doctoral students at the Social Science Research Council. He graduated from Smith College with a degree in environmental studies, and is passionate about mental health, cooking, and queer community.
Office Manager/Human Resources Coordinator
Claudia has always been particularly interested in highlighting stories from a variety of cultures and celebrating inclusiveness. She is a fervent believer that giving voice to people who are often overlooked leads to a more accepting and just society. As a co-founder of Cup of Joe Film, she produces narrative films and tv series with directors from diverse backgrounds. Most recently, she has completed production of the feature film Sora. Claudia supports BAFTA North America as a reviewer for the GSA Student Awards and the Newcomers Program, and she screens narrative-feature films for Dances With Films in West-Hollywood.
Education Program Manager/JBFC Kids Curator
Owing her early passion for watching films to the Jacob Burns, Emily’s appetite for film stuck during college, leading her to a B.A. in Cinema Studies at SUNY Purchase. In 2018, Emily received her Masters in Educational Studies from Manhattanville College allowing her to continue finding innovative ways to effectively teach young people the power of film. Since 2010, she has been a JBFC educator who loves teaching, filmmaking, and exposing young viewers to films they never would have seen. And somehow, Emily still finds time to do yoga!
Film & Media Manager/Booth Supervisor
After working for the Cable Car Cinema in Providence, RI for seven years, Andrew began working for the JBFC in 2009. His interest in film can find its origins in his love for literature and physics, and how both employ the use of narrative to convey a compelling idea. He can sometimes be seen at the theater teaching the trade to his four year old son, who has begun to refer to himself as “Daddy’s Projectionist.”
Saidah joined the JBFC programming department in 2015. Before starting with the Burns she was a Projects Manager for a small independent documentary production company. She got her start volunteering with local film festivals in her (majestic) home state of Delaware and subsequently earned a degree in Media Culture and Communications from NYU. Outside of her work, she continues to volunteer and staff festivals in her free time.
Inger joined JBFC’s accounting team in 2018. A native of Sweden, she previously worked for a Swedish government agency in New York City, as well as the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations. She’s also had accounting experience at two CPA firms in Westchester. Inger holds a degree in business administration from Sweden’s University of Gothenburg. A Bedford resident, she loves travel, music, and the great outdoors. Inger and her American husband, Roger, have one daughter— she speaks both English and Swedish.
Education Program Manager
Brandon graduated Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. in Electronic Media, Arts and Communication. While attending RPI he interned at IBM in the Software Division. He has also designed and scored independent video games as well as being an accomplished freelance writer. He teaches various Courses @ the Lab.
Manager of Theater Systems and Administration
Sara joined the JBFC’s house management team in 2010. Prior to that she was a volunteer for the JBFC’s Minds in Motion program, as well as a teaching assistant for various classes held at the Media Arts Lab. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation from the School of Visual Arts. Sara is a classically trained pianist who enjoys creating motion graphics and watching movies in her spare time.
Director of Marketing and Communications
Denise, a public relations and marketing professional with more than 25 years experience in various industries/sectors including nonprofit, publishing, and entertainment, joined the JBFC in 2004 as Marketing Director. Previously, Denise worked for The Vitamin Shoppe, Scholastic Inc., and MTV Networks’ Nickelodeon. A classic movie fan, her DVR is set record every Montgomery Clift, Bette Davis, and Cary Grant film that airs.
Sam Van Der Meer
Director of Programs, Media Arts Lab
As Director of Programs, Media Arts Lab, Sean leads the growth, overall strategic vision, and wildly talented staff of the education program and Creative Culture–an artist support program for emerging and established filmmakers guided by a philosophy of inclusion and collaboration. Since 2016, Creative Culture’s fellowship program has produced short films steadily selected at film festivals like Sundance, Berlinale, SXSW with acquisitions by Criterion, Fox Searchlight, POV, and other reputable outlets. In support of feature films, Creative Culture’s residency program is curated in partnership with sister organizations like Black Public Media, Chicken & Egg Pictures, and Sundance Institute.
Mary Jo Ziesel