Filmmaker Advisory Committee


Austin-based filmmaker Miguel Alvarez has received awards from the Directors’ Guild of America, Panavision’s Emerging Filmmaker program, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, and the Texas Filmmakers Production Fund for his previous short films, TADPOLES, VETERANS, KID, and MNEMOSYNE RISING. He was selected as a Screenwriting Fellow for the 2013 Latino Screenwriting Project sponsored by Cinefestival and Sundance for his feature screenplay, LA PERDIDA. His most recent project, the short film ATLANTIC CITY, was recently chosen for the inaugural Kodak + Kickstarter Film Initiative and his short documentary, THE SLEEPING GIANT, will premiere on PBS and the Washington Post this summer. He also serves as Executive Producer for Austin Film Festival’s award-winning television show, On Story. Miguel holds both a BS in Mechanical Engineering and MFA in Film Production from the University of Texas at Austin where he continues to lecture today.


Recently lauded at the Sundance Film Festival and South by Southwest Film Festival, RICHARD LINKLATER – DREAM IS DESTINY is about to be distributed nationally by IFC Films and Hulu, with overseas distribution by the sales agent, Dogwoof. More information on the documentary and its screenings at

2015 also saw the release of a Galan Inc. documentary that Karen Bernstein co-produced with Latino Public Broadcasting, CHILDREN OF GIANT. In her role as a series producer for American Masters and producer of Ella Fitzgerald – SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR (1999), Bernstein received a national Emmy award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series. For producing LOU REED – ROCK AND ROLL HEART (1998), she received a Grammy award. In 2000 she co-produced AMERICAN MASTERS/ JUILLIARD (2002) and AMERICAN MASTERS/ CLINT EASTWOOD. Her work has been screened at over 100 international film festivals including Sundance and Berlin. BODY OF WAR was produced with Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro, toured film festivals around the world, and was shortlisted for an Academy award in 2008. The ITVS funded film, TROOP 1500, also did an extensive tour around film festivals both in this country and abroad and was broadcast on Independent Lens in 2006. Both ARE THE KIDS ALRIGHT? and PRODUCING LIGHT have won Emmys in Texas. Her web video for on the craft movement in Marfa conjured over 250,000 hits on the Etsy website and was re-tweeted on BoingBoing and Huffington Post in 2010. Current projects include the documentary feature, I’M GOING TO MAKE YOU LOVE ME, and LA VIE EN ROSE, part of the Patina project. transFIGURATION, a documentary program for PBS on a collaboration between the photographer, Rino Pizzi, and 12 Texas-based artists, was broadcast in May, 2014, and exists as a permanent KLRU web link. With the high definition satellite TV series, Gallery HD, she produced two documentaries about two Texas artists and groups, Julie Speed and the innovative gallery, Ballroom Marfa. Her short film on Elizabeth Streb (PopACTION), dancer and choreographer, was awarded a New York State Council on the Arts grant.


Bob Byington is most noted for his films RSO [Registered Sex Offender] (2008) and HARMONY AND ME (2009). He recently completed filming on a new comedy about babies that don’t age, called INFINITY BABY, which stars Kieran Culkin and Nick Offerman. His most recent film, 7 CHINESE BROTHERS, starring Jason Schwartzman, premiered at SXSW last year.


Kat Candler’s award winning films have screened at Sundance, SXSW, Los Angeles Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Houston Museum of Modern Art, The National Institutes of Health and on PBS. Her feature, HELLION starring Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis, played in competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was released through IFC Films. HELLION was a Sundance Creative Producing Lab participant and San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Foundation Grant recipient. Candler was a 2015 Sundance Institute Women’s Initiative Fellow and second time San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Foundation Grant recipient for her upcoming UNTITLED METAL PROJECT. In 2015 she wrote and directed the short film THE RUSTED for Ron Howard and Canon’s Project Imagination starring Josh Hutcherson and Jena Malone. Candler recently wrapped BAD MOMS as 2nd Unit Director and recently directed two episodes of Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey’s QUEEN SUGAR for Harpo Productions.


Jason Cortlund studied film and writing at University of Oregon, holds a Master’s in screenwriting from University of Texas, and was a postgraduate fellow at the James Michener Center for Writers. Jason wrote and co-directed (with Julia Halperin) the feature NOW, FORAGER (2012), which premiered at IFF Rotterdam and New Directors/New Films. The film sold for distribution in the US, Australia, and across Europe. It received “Two Thumbs Up” from Roger Ebert, a vote for Best Screenplay of 2012 in the Indiewire Critics Poll, and an IFP Gotham Award nomination for “Breakthrough Director”. His next feature, BARRACUDA (2017)—starring Allison Tolman (FARGO), JoBeth Williams (POLTERGEIST), and Sophie Reid—was developed with support from Venice Biennale College-Cinema, IFP, Austin Film Society, CineMart, and a Yaddo residency.


Sam Wainwright Douglas is a director and editor working in Austin, TX. Recently, Sam edited and co-produced NO NO: A DOCKUMENTARY, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, screened theatrically in 35 cities and was broadcast on Showtime throughout December 2014. Sam also edited and produced the PBS documentary LADONNA HARRIS: INDIAN 101, which was executive produced by Johnny Depp and screened throughout November 2014 on PBS. INDIAN 101 was selected for the U.S. State Department’s American Film Showcase and will be shown in developing countries worldwide through screenings organized by embassies. Sam will be the cultural envoy for the film. He last directed CITIZEN ARCHITECT: SAMUEL MOCKBEE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RURAL STUDIO, which was broadcast nationwide on PBS in 2010.  He co-directed music documentary THE HOLY MODAL ROUNDERS… BOUND TO LOSE (2006) and has edited and produced other feature documentaries such as ALONG CAME KINKY: TEXAS JEWBOY FOR GOVERNOR, which had its premiere at South By Southwest in 2009. As an editor he has cut countless hours of television for PBS, HBO, A&E, The Discovery Channel, The History Channel and The Food Network.


Chris Eska was raised in the village of Ottine, Texas (pop. 98). He studied sociology and art at Rice University before attending UCLA’s MFA film directing program. His short films have screened on PBS, at the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker’s Competition, the Texas Filmmaker’s Showcase, and at film festivals worldwide. DOKI-DOKI, his UCLA master’s thesis film, premiered on the national PBS series Independent Lens with an introduction by Susan Sarandon. Chris’ first feature, AUGUST EVENING, won the $50,000 Target Filmmaker Award and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards, where it took home the John Cassavetes Award. His second feature, THE RETRIEVAL, received a Special Jury Prize at SXSW and garnered him a nomination for “Someone To Watch” at the Independent Spirit Awards.


Megan is an Emmy-winning and Independent Spirit Award nominated producer of narrative and documentary films. Her credits include HABIBI, SUNSHINE, THE FICKLE, and Bryan Poyser’s LOVERS OF HATE, which premiered in the US Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival and was distributed by IFC. The film was nominated for the Film Independent Sprit John Cassavettes Award in 2011. Collaborators for nearly a decade, Megan produced Poyser’s SXSW World Premiere comedy, THE BOUNCEBACK and is developing his next film, SAN MIGUEL.

Megan co-produced Heather Courtney’s Emmy and Film Independent Spirit award-winning documentary, WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM. The film screened at numerous festivals worldwide and aired on PBS in a special Veteran’s Day edition of the acclaimed series POV. Senator Carl Levin and National Guard Chief of Staff Craig McKinley presented the film on Capitol Hill and it continues to tour the US promoting the discussion of veterans’ experiences and issues. Megan received a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from The College of William and Mary and an MFA in Film Production from the University of Texas.


Ivete Lucas was born in Brazil and started her filmmaking career in Mexico. At age 23 she received a grant from the Mexican Film Institute to direct her first short film ASMA, which was shortlisted for the Mexican Academy Awards and released nationally in select movie theaters. Since then she has written and directed award winning short films and documentaries, which have screened in festivals, museums and on PBS. She holds an MFA in Film Production from the University of Texas at Austin. Ivete also works as a video artist and is currently producing a feature film for the artist Keren Cytter. Her first feature documentary ONE BIG MISUNDERSTANDING, co-directed with Patrick Bresnan, is slated to be finished in 2016. Their latest short film THE SEND-OFF will premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2016.


Ben Steinbauer is a filmmaker whose first feature, WINNEBAGO MAN, was released theatrically by Kino Lorber. Michael Moore called it “One of the funniest documentaries ever made!” and Roger Ebert named it one of his favorite documentaries of 2010. Steinbauer was named by Texas Monthly as one of Texas’ directors to watch, holds a masters degree from the University of Texas and is co-owner of the Austin based, Emmy award-winning production company, The Bear.


Monique Walton is an Austin-based filmmaker hailing from Long Island, NY.  She produced the short film SKUNK (written & directed by Annie Silverstein), which won the first prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival – Cinéfondation section and has continued to win awards and screen at festivals internationally.  Her work includes original web videos and interstitials for Nickelodeon, short documentaries for Doing Innovation, an interactive ethnographic website commissioned by the Macarthur Foundation, and a web series for The Fit Cycle and the American Heart Association. Monique leads youth media workshops for students of color with the Black Media Council at the University of Texas – Austin, where she earned her MFA in Film. She received a BA in Latin American Studies from Yale. Monique is an alumni of the Berlinale Talents program and received an Austin Film Society grant for her short documentary, WE WILL ALWAYS BE HERE. She is currently in development on Annie Silverstein’s debut feature entitled BULL.


Kelly Williams is a 2012 Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellow and a 2015 Sundance Institute Catalyst Forum Fellow. Along with his producing partner, Jonathan Duffy, they formed Ten Acre Films. Their first project together was Yen Tan’s feature PIT STOP, which premiered at Sundance in 2013 and was nominated for the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards’ John Cassavetes Award. They then produced Kat Candler’s 2014 Sundance Film Festival selection HELLION starring Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis distributed by IFC Films. Recently, they produced Brad Besser’s Sundance 2015 documentary BEAVER TRILOGY PART IV narrated by Bill Hader, as well as the Netflix acquired, 2015 SXSW competition feature 6 YEARS directed by Hannah Fidell and executive produced by Mark and Jay Duplass. Additionally, the documentary short they co-produced, THE SEND-OFF, premiered at Sundance 2016 and won jury awards at SXSW 2016 and the 2016 San Francisco International Film Festival. They are also 2016 Film Independent Fellows with Yen Tan’s latest project ALL THAT WE LOVE. He also produced the indie features CINEMA SIX and PICTURES OF SUPERHEROES as well as Kat Candler’s previous short films HELLION (Sundance 2012) and BLACK METAL (Sundance 2013).  Prior to a producing, Williams worked as a film programmer for various film festivals for over a decade.  While at the Austin Film Festival, he was awarded the 2007 International Film Festival Summit Excellence Award.

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