The New Mexico Film Foundation Board of Directors
The New Mexico Film Foundation Board of Directors
|DIRK NORRIS - Executive Director
In 2008 the film “Book of Eli” staring Denzel Washington came to the small New Mexico town of Carrizozo where Dirk was serving as president of the chamber of commerce. After that positive experience Dirk became film liaison for the town and created a county film commission to promote the area to other film productions.
For a year and a half, Dirk worked for the New Mexico State Film Office as the Outreach Programs Manager and oversaw programs such as the New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase, the New Mexico Filmmakers Experience, the Education Summit and the annual New Mexico Film and Media Industry Conference.
Dirk left the New Mexico Film Office in December 2013 in order to run the New Mexico Film Foundation full time.
|HARRY MUSSELWHITE - President
Harry Musselwhite is a filmmaker based in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area. He is the former Executive Director of The Rome International Film Festival, and he has presented, served on panels, and adjudicated in a number of nationally recognized film festivals including Santa Fe Film Festival, Macon Film Festival, Secret City Film Festival, and more.
Musselwhite is a nationally and internationally recognized singer and actor. He appears in John D. Hancock’s most recent feature film “The Looking Glass” and also in Seth Ingram’s “Blind Tiger: The Legend of Belltree Smith”. Musselwhite has performed as an operatic and concert soloist in New York City, London, Santa Fe, Atlanta, and many more locations.
Harry Musselwhite is the author of the best selling children’s illustrated music book, “Martin the Guitar” (Centerstream Publishing, Anaheim, CA).
|TRACY JORDAN - Vice-President
Tracy Jordan relocated to NM from her native New Jersey in early 2014. She has recently entered the independent film arena and has produced two independent films, written several screenplays that are in pre-production and simultaneously works as an extra throughout New Mexico. She has many years of non-profit management and grant writing experience.
In NJ, Tracy was New Jersey Citizen Journalist of the Year in 2012, won her town the designation of "Great Public Space" by the American Planning Association for her essay "The Perth Amboy Waterfront - A Truly Great Public Space" in 2013 and her essay, "Harry Pozycki - Innovator" won the NJ Governors' Service Award for Mr. Pozycki in 2014. . .
|GEORGE KLAPISCHAK – Treasurer
George has owned businesses and held executive positions in finance, business development, manufacturing, sales and marketing of established and startup companies. With a city planning and policy background, he began his career in city government and consulting in NY and NJ but, throughout the following years, continued with his interests in photography, community theater initiatives and fundraising for humanitarian and social development projects here and overseas.
George strongly supports our foundation's mission to nurture creative opportunities and to identify and develop the talents found here. He believes that our chosen medium builds bridges to improved understanding between the cultures which we touch, wherever they are.
|NATASHA CHISDES - Secretary
Natasha attended the University of Virginia where she received her B.A. in Anthropology. She chose that field because she loved learning about other cultures, especially through film. She has learned to appreciate independent film and documentaries for their ability to give voice to the voiceless and generate real social change on many issues such as prison reform, poverty and hunger. Therefore she has supported more than 100 Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Seed & Spark film projects.
Natasha has a passion for film and support of emerging filmmakers on the challenging but highly rewarding journey of bringing their stories to the big screen.
|JONATHAN CHISDES- Board Member
Jonathan Chisdes is a New Mexico based film critic who is also an actor and a strong supporter of independent films and film festivals.
Jonathan is the founder and publisher of Chizfilm Jewish Movie Reviews (www.chizfilm.com), a website dedicated Jewish film. His reviews have been read around the world and Jonathan has been interviewed on the radio about Israeli and Jewish film. He also serves as a judge for the Roswell Film Festival in New Mexico and the Aficionado Film Festival in North Carolina.
Jonathan has worked as a writer for the Virginia Film Festival, he ran the Congregation Beth Israel [Charlottesville, Virginia] Jewish Film Series, the Temple Israel [Winter Springs, Florida] Jewish Film Series, and he helped to found the Charlottesville Jewish Film Festival. In addition to his own website, Jonathan’s reviews and articles have appeared in numerous publications. His creative works include a screenplay, a stage play, a novel, and poetry.
|RICHARD BEAL - Board Member
Richard Beal is a highly respected businessman who spent 35 years in executive management positions with Silicon Valley institutions like Apple Computer, Stanford University and Netscape Communications. He also has worked for and with several non-profit organizations. Richard left that world to become a fulltime cowboy working with horses and cattle.
In 2006 he and wife Kathy moved to Lamy, New Mexico. In 2013 he started doing film background work and has been in 16 movies and 38 television episodes. He is also a Producer for the TV pilot Midnight Shanghai.
Donovan starred in lead roles early on and started directing/writing by junior high. Skills in the arts include acting, directing, producing, set design, singing, writing, graphic design, video editing, photography, amongst others.
He is author of the published book, SIN’S CURE – NO MORE PICKING FRUIT, DESTROYING THE ROOT. Notable film credits: SUBJECT 413 Short Film – Actor, CAMP Feature Film – Associate Producer & Actor, THE ROSWELL PROJECT Feature Film – Producer & Actor, TAILED Film Series – Producer, Director, Writer, Actor. He serves on the Roswell Film-Con/Sci-Fi Festival and Leadership Roswell Alumni Association boards. He has two awesome children and a wife he is madly in love with.
Writer/Director Sydney Freeland is an independent filmmaker and has worked for a number of companies including- The Food Network, Comedy Central, Office Max, Audi, National Geographic, PBS, and Walt Disney. She is also a recipient of the following awards: 2014 Time Warner Fellowship, 2010 Sundance Screenwriting Fellowship, 2010 Sundance Directing Fellowship, 2010 Eccles Directing Fellowship, 2009 Sundance Native American Lab Fellowship, 2008 Disney Fellowship semi-finalist, 2007 Disney Scholarship recipient, and is a 2004 Fulbright Scholar. Sydney currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
His love for cinema started at a young age where he took film classes in high school in hopes to going USC Film school. Quickly events turned and his life path changed. Upon a slew of different career jobs, Steffen found himself in New Mexico as a Professional Bingo Caller. Upon his stay in New Mexico, that old film flame ignited in his heart again and decided to pursue the field of filmmaking once again. Steffen is currently the Front of House Coordinator at the New Mexico Philharmonic, CO-CEO & Radio Personality at Radio World Indie, and is a Spirit Energy Healer.
Miles Wolf is a Small Business Specialist working for US Bank in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He graduated from the University of New Mexico with an Undergraduate degree in Economics and a Minor in Political Science.
Upon graduating in 2014, he brought his skills to ReCARnation, an award winning, independent automotive dealership, owned and operated in Albuquerque. Starting as the CEO’s Executive Assistant, he was quickly promoted to Finance Manager, where he successfully secured sales for over 175 clients, totaling over $1,000,000 in gross sales. After spending over two years at ReCARnation, Miles began seeking new opportunites in the banking industry, and in January 2017 joined the team at US Bank.
When he isn’t working full-time, Miles enjoys attending community events, playing guitar, watching movies, reading news on business and politics, and relaxing with friends. He is currently a member of Del Norte Rotary’s Satellite Club and volunteers his spare time to work on community and political projects.
Piar Marks is President of Santa Fe Horse Coalition, an 800+ member organization advocating for equestrians and promoting New Mexico's diverse horse culture. She hopes to bridge the movie and horse communities creating opportunities for both by supporting independent film in New Mexico.
Piar grew up in Southern California amidst the usual orange trees and sunshine but her favorite pastime was horseback riding though legendary film locations. After graduating from UCLA, Piar turned her talents to software and digital media working as a marketing executive for ADP, CAi and Cognos. Today, she produces presentation media, manages commercial and nonprofit websites and serves as official photographer for several organizations. She has traveled widely, documenting her journeys by creating one of the first travel photography websites and was featured in The Daily Telegraph and Stern Online.