Meet Our Staff!Bringing writers, filmmakers, and the community together. Want to work with us? Volunteer, Intern, or check out our job opportunities! Click on the staff image to view their bio! Barbara Morgan - Executive Director Barbara Morgan co-founded Austin Film Festival in 1993 and has served as the sole Executive Director since 1999. As a filmmaker, Morgan developed and produced the film Natural Selection, which has aired on Showtime, the Sci-fi channel, and was released internationally. Morgan also co-produced the feature documentary Antone’s: Home of the Blues, which as also released internationally. Most recently, Morgan produced the documentary feature, Portrait of Wally(2012), and the narrative feature Spring Eddy(2012). She developed and produces the TV/Radio/Podcast series On Story, currently airing on PBS and PRI stations across the country. In 2010, Morgan produced a reading of Bud Shrake’s play “A Friend of Carlos Monson” with director Jeff Nichols. In 2013 Morgan co-edited “On Story: Screenwriters and Their Craft”, which was published by UT Press. Morgan serves on the Board of Directors for a number of organizations, including International Film Festival Summit and The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University. Barb@austinfilmfestival.com Close Barbara Morgan Executive Director email Barb Rob Gonzalez - Film Competition Director Rob hails from the Rocky Mountains of Idaho where he grew up white water rafting, skiing, and re-watching Jurassic Park regularly. He originally joined Austin Film Festival immediately upon moving to Austin in 2016 in order to intern in the AFF Film Department. Since then he served as the Volunteer Manager for three consecutive festivals and is now managing over five thousand film submissions as the Film Competition Director. In his free time Rob enjoys being outside in the hills and on the water, drawing, watching action movies, and the art of fermentation and brewing. Close Rob Gonzalez Film Competition Director email Rob Casey Baron - Senior Film Program Director Born and raised in the small island of Dominica located in the West Indies, Casey Baron moved to Austin after graduating from Florida State University with a degree in English – Editing, Writing, and Media. While attending FSU, Casey worked for The Torchlight Program. During his time there, he was the Team Leader and Personal Assistant to film industry veteran Paul Cohen, the program’s Executive Director. Beyond that creative venture, Casey has also been an editor on a handful of literary magazines, including FSU’s The Kudzu Review and Miami Dade College’s AXIS Creative Arts Magazine. Casey has been a part of the Austin Film Festival family for three years running; starting off as an intern before climbing the ladder to become the festival’s Shorts Programmer for its 25th anniversary. He’s excited to jump into his new role as the Senior Film Program Director, and continuing the organizational and personal mission of championing storytellers. When he’s not racing to find interesting stories, Casey spends his spare time watching basketball and soccer, listening to music, and playing with his dog Niobe. Close Casey Baron Senior Film Program Director email Casey Alexandra Mitchell - Shorts Programmer Alexandra “Alex” Mitchell was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduating from Washington University with a B.A. in Film & Media Studies, she made the trek down ‘south’ with the dream of working at Austin Film Festival. She made it! After serving as a Conference intern, Registration Director, and recently the Project Manager, Alex is honored to serve as the Shorts Programmer in the Film Department. When Alex is not watching films and reading up on the industry, she is eating brunch and playing board games. Close Alexandra Mitchell Shorts Programmer email Alex Steven Debose - Director of Script Competitions Steven DeBose has worked with AFF for the last four years in various capacities. DeBose is a screenwriter from Austin, TX who has written several shorts, web series, teleplays, and feature screenplays. DeBose is a fixture in the Austin film community working as an advisor for the Austin Youth Film Festival and GTX Film Conference. In this role, DeBose will oversee the selection process of submissions, recruit industry professionals to judge scripts, and promote the year’s top writers through unique opportunities at the annual Festival and Conference and beyond. Steven@austinfilmfestival.com Close Steven Debose Director of Script Competitions email Steven Gabbi Lindgren - Script Competitions Manager Originally from Eagan, Minnesota, Gabbi moved to Austin in December of 2014. Since her move she has filled a number of roles within AFF from Membership Coordinator to Registration Director before transitioning to her role as the Script Competitions Manager in 2016. She is also the Director of AFF’s Fiction Podcast Script Competition. Gabbi is a writer and improv, standup, and sketch comedian. firstname.lastname@example.org Close Gabbi Lindgren Script Competitions Manager email Gabbi Colin Hyer - Conference Director Originally from Wisconsin, Colin moved to Austin after graduating from Columbia College Chicago. For five years he taught film to youth through organizations such as Austin School of Film, Creative Action and Austin Film Festival’s Young Filmmakers Program. Colin is thrilled to continue his work educating and inspiring filmmakers as AFF’s Conference Director where he programs the annual Writers Conference and the year-round Conversations in Film series. Outside of the office, Colin enjoys reading Stephen King novels and playing with his dog Mayo. Colin@austinfilmfestival.com Close Colin Hyer Conference Director email Colin Samantha Johnson - Conference Coordinator Born and raised in Texas, Samantha graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in English. Her passion for writing and storytelling led her to Austin Film Festival where she began as an intern in the Conference Department before taking on the role of Film Marketing & Events Coordinator. Since then, she has served as AFF’s Office Manager and Executive Administrator before making her way back to the Conference Department as the Festival’s Conference Coordinator. Out of the office, you can find Sam enjoying live music or binge-watching movies over wine and tacos. Close Samantha Johnson Conference Coordinator email Samantha Sonia McCarter - On Story, Executive Producer Sonia McCarter first joined the AFF team in 2011 interning under the Executive Director. She earned a B.A in Electronic Media from Texas State University. During her time at Texas State, Sonia served as Assistant News Director of the college radio station KTSW 89.9, winning several awards for radio documentaries she wrote, produced and edited. Sonia returned to AFF in 2012 to manage several different projects including the overall On Story® brand. Sonia currently serves as a producer for Austin Film Festival’s PBS-affiliated television show, On Story as well as associate producer of the On Story radio show component currently airing through Public Radio International. Sonia also oversees all of the AFF archives and is currently working to transfer and store over 20 years of material. Originally from Madrid, Spain, Sonia coincidentally moved to Austin the same year of AFF’s inception-something she believes was meant to be. Besides multi-tasking on a daily basis, Sonia enjoys live music, photography, reading, and spending time outdoors. Sonia@austinfilmfestival.com Close Sonia McCarter On Story, Executive Producer email Sonia Samantha Levine - Marketing Director Originally from Chicago, Samantha attended the University of Texas at Austin and has stayed in the city ever since; she received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance with a concentration in RTF. Samantha originally joined AFF as an Office Management Intern for the 2013 Festival and has also filled the roles of Event Coordinator, Office Manager, Theater Operations Coordinator and Script Reading Coordinator. Samantha is looking forward to furthering the mission of AFF through marketing efforts. In her spare time, Samantha enjoys yoga, going to see live music and theatre, performing and sleeping. Marketing@austinfilmfestival.com Close Samantha Levine Marketing Director email Samantha Joe Choe - Community Outreach Coordinator Joe Choe joined the AFF team in 2019 as the Community Outreach Coordinator. In this role, Joe works with both the Development and Marketing departments, helping AFF with marketing needs, grants, and partnerships. Joe graduated from the University of Texas in 2009 with his Bachelor’s Degree in Radio, Television, and Film. After a brief stint in the video game industry, Joe worked with the small business community in Austin, working in both software and photography. In his previous roles, Joe worked with the Multi-Ethnic Chamber Alliance, and various other partners like the City of Austin, to plan and promote community events for local minority business owners. In his free time, Joe likes to write and plans to have his first fiction novel finished before 2020. Close Joe Choe Community Outreach Coordinator email Joe Olivia Riordan - Young Filmmakers Program Director After graduating from Baylor University with a degree in Film and Digital Media, Olivia accepted an internship in the Conference Department at Austin Film Festival, where her love of story and passion for people intersected. Excited by the opportunity to continue to foster community amongst writers, she stepped into the role of Conference Coordinator the following year. Now directing the Young Filmmakers Program, she’s thrilled for the opportunity to engage and encourage emerging young writers. Outside the office, you can find Olivia making/drinking/dreaming about coffee and/or binging procedurals. Close Olivia Riordan Director, Young Filmmakers Program email Olivia Sage Kosiorek - Project Manager After a deep love for film developed in college, Sage felt he needed to learn about how the industry worked. He moved to Austin, Texas in 2016 and began working in various capacities with Austin Film Festival. Eventually, he worked as the Events Coordinator in 2018, and joined full-time as the Project Manager in 2019. His passion for the arts, particularly writing and film, and getting the opportunity to connect with people in these fields is what keeps him going. Close Sage Kosiorek Project Manager email Sage Brittany Falk - Executive Administrator Close Brittany Falk Executive Administrator email Brittany Jordan Whitaker - Development Assistant Close Jordan Whitaker Development Assistant email Jordan Lyndsie Beesley - Development Events Coordinator Lyndsie Beesley interned with the Conference Department at the Austin Film Festival in 2017 and 2018. In 2019 she joined the staff as the Development Event Coordinator where she oversees the planning of the festival’s many parties. Close Lyndsie Beesley Development Events Coordinator email Lyndsie Elizabeth Davis - Events Coordinator Close Elizabeth Davis Events Coordinator email Elizabeth Patrick McFarland - Registration Director Born and raised in New England, Patrick moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas. He graduated in 2019 with a B.A. in Radio/TV/Film and joined the AFF team right away as the Summer Film Camp Coordinator. He stayed on after camp as the Registration Director and is looking forward to the festival! After work, you can find Patrick attending concerts, learning bass, finding new places in Austin to hike, and watching as many movies as possible. Close Patrick McFarland Registration Director email Patrick Corbin Heinchon - Production Manager Born and raised in Austin, Corbin graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018 with a degree in Radio-Television-Film. In school, he produced, edited, directed, and acted in short films and discovered his love for post-production and film festivals. Corbin Heinchon became the Production Manager for Austin Film Festival in 2019 after 4 years of involvement with the Festival. Corbin has volunteered, interned for the Youth Film Program, and taught at the AFF Summer Camp before taking on his current role. In his free time, Corbin likes to watch movies, go hiking, play trivia, and play with his dog, Scooby. Close Corbin Heinchon Production Manager email Corbin Marissa Padden - Theater Operations Manager Marissa first joined the Austin Film Festival in 2018 as an intern in the film department. She fell in love with the behind-the-scenes experience of the festival and set her heart on joining the team as a staff member- and seven months later she did just that! Currently, she serves as the Theater Operations Manager and oversees front-of-house operations to ensure a great screening experience for filmmakers and attendees alike. Originally from Lincoln, Nebraska she attended Nebraska Wesleyan University where she studied Communication. She enjoys all aspects of filmmaking, especially acting and directing. In her free time she likes to act, write, and eat all the food. Close Marissa Padden Theater Operations Manager email Marissa Megan Bernovich - Film Marketing Coordinator Megan is a graduate from the University of Washington Seattle with degrees in Communication and Cinema Studies. Before taking on the role of Film Marketing Coordinator as AFF, Megan served as an independent film unit publicist and is a published film essayist. She has worked for the Seattle International Film Festival, North Bend Film Festival, the Washington State film commission office, and a global marketing firm as a studio representative. Megan has a serious penchant for the Avant-doc and early-80s sci-fi, but when she isn’t watching film, she runs half marathons and plays Dungeons and Dragons. Close Megan Bernovich Film Marketing Coordinator email Megan Michael DeWhatley - Film Marketing Coordinator Michael DeWhatley is joining the AFF team for the first time in 2019. He comes to Austin from Louisville, Kentucky, where he served as the associate production manager at Actors Theatre of Louisville and serves on the board of Theatre . He has previously worked as the Production Manager at the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, and was on the board of Centerstage at the Jewish Community Center. He has published articles with HowlRound Theatre Commons and Theatreartlife.com on organizational culture, accessibility, and safety issues. He has a B.A. in Theatre from Wake Forest University and has a dog and cat who live in relative harmony. Close Michael DeWhatley Venue Logistics Coordinator email Michael Roy Morgan - Canine Relations If you visit, you’re likely to run into Roy Morgan. He’s a big fan of head pats, belly scratches, and great filmic storytelling. Follow us on social media — especially instagram — to get more updates from this cool canine. Close Roy Morgan Director of Canine Relations You? Join us! There are numerous Volunteer and Internship Opportunities The folks [at AFF] share our passion…Which is, of course, why they are so damn adept at crafting a conference that manages to satisfy the needs and desires of all of us attending.” -Scott Rosenberg, screenwriter Connect With Us!