Austin Film Society Announces New Board Members
(L–R: Greg Canally, Mike Jackson, and Evan Smith)
Three Leaders in the City Government, Film/Television, and Journalism Industries Join the AFS Board of Directors
September 2022–August 2025
December 13, 2022, AUSTIN, TX—The Austin Film Society (AFS) is proud to announce the election of three new members to its Board of Directors: Greg Canally, Mike Jackson, and Evan Smith. Each will contribute their breadth of knowledge and experience in city government, finance, television/film production, and journalism to the existing board’s expertise. Together, they will help lead AFS through its long-term, institutional goals for supporting film and filmmakers in Texas. They began their tenures in September of 2022.
“Increasing access to capital for Texas filmmakers is foremost in AFS’s latest strategic plan. We want to build on the success of the AFS Grant and make sure that equitably distributed funding is there for emerging and mid-career artists so they can make Texas their career-long home,” says AFS CEO Rebecca Campbell. “With the return of Evan Smith to the AFS board, and the addition of producer Mike Jackson and economist Greg Canally, the newest class of board members will be instrumental in positioning us for success.”
The Board of Directors is an integral part of the Austin Film Society, serving in a governance role and supporting AFS’s mission to create life-changing opportunities for filmmakers, catalyze Austin and Texas as a creative hub, and bring the community together around great film. Their leadership includes forging connections in the community and providing valuable resources and knowledge to further advance the organization. Board member terms last three years.
Bios for the new AFS Board members are below. Photos can be found here.
Greg Canally was appointed Executive Director by the Austin Transit Partnership Board of Directors and began serving in the role in May 2022. Previously, Greg served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Development Officer for ATP. With more than 20 years’ experience in public sector service, he has executed numerous large-scale projects and overseen financial portfolios to help guide Austin’s growth and economic vitality. Greg held several leadership positions at the City of Austin, including Interim Chief Financial Officer, Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Budget Officer. In these roles, Greg developed and executed financial strategies to advance capital project delivery initiatives related to transportation, economic development, housing and long-range public facilities planning. He led several major initiatives for the Austin community, including working to bring Major League Soccer (Austin FC) to Austin, a $100 million+ partnership with Waterloo Greenway for the development of Waller Creek, public-private partnerships for the redevelopment of the 700-acre former airport and other downtown developments. He has worked as a project manager/economist consulting with professionals at all levels of government to implement Water Planning solutions in Texas.
Mike Jackson is an Emmy® and Tony® Award-winning film, theater, and television producer. As co-founder and managing partner of Get Lifted Film Co., a production company which has developed projects with major networks including ABC, NBC, FOX, HBO, Showtime, Netflix and FX, Jackson harnesses his Philly hustle and unparalleled tenacity to bring elevated multicultural content to global audiences alongside Ty Stiklorius and EGOT-winner John Legend. Jackson’s current projects include Loudmouth, a documentary about Reverend Al Sharpton, which was the closing night film at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, and the latest season of the comedy series Sherman’s Showcase, which recently returned to IFC. Jackson’s upcoming projects include The Black Cyclone, a feature drama film about cycling champion Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor; the film The Long Way Down based on Jason Reynolds’ award-winning novel; and the film adaptation of S.A. Cosby’s novel Blacktop Wasteland. Aside from film, TV and theatre, Jackson and Get Lifted have partnered with Zando to form Get Lifted Books, which builds upon Get Lifted Film Co.’s mission of spotlighting stories from dynamic creatives. Jackson also hosts a regular speaker series entitled “Why Not Me? Diversity in Media” at the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin where he also serves as a Fellow and Professional in Residence.
Evan Smith is the CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, a pioneering nonprofit, nonpartisan digital news organization whose deep coverage of Texas politics and public policy can be found at its website, texastribune.org, and in newspapers and on TV and radio stations across the state. Since its launch in 2009, the Tribune has won international acclaim and numerous honors, including a Peabody Award, 23 national Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association and three general excellence awards from the Online News Association. Evan is also the host of Overheard with Evan Smith, a weekly half-hour interview program that airs on PBS stations around the country. A native of New York, he’s a graduate of Hamilton College and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
ABOUT AUSTIN FILM SOCIETY
Founded in 1985 by filmmaker Richard Linklater, AFS creates life-changing opportunities for filmmakers, catalyzes Austin and Texas as a creative hub, and brings the community together around great film. AFS is committed to racial equity and inclusion, with an objective to deliver programs that actively dismantle the structural racism, sexism and other bias in the screen industries. AFS supports filmmakers from all backgrounds towards career leaps, encouraging exceptional artistic projects with grants and support services. AFS operates Austin Studios, a 20-acre production facility, to attract and grow the creative media ecosystem. Austin Public, a space for our city’s diverse mediamakers to train and collaborate, provides many points of access to filmmaking and film careers. The AFS Cinema is an ambitiously programmed repertory and first run arthouse with broad community engagement. By hosting premieres, local and international industry events, and the Texas Film Awards, AFS shines the national spotlight on Texas filmmakers while connecting Austin and Texas to the wider film community. AFS is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.