Get to know the individuals that volunteer their time, expertise and love of Asian cinema to put together the festival every year!
 

CECILIA LAI
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Cecilia is the Executive Director of AFFD. She has been involved with AFFD since 2009 and enjoys sharing the experience of Asian films with a local audience that appreciates the art, culture, film, and music offered in Dallas. Currently, she is a Business Immigration attorney at Berry, Appleman, & Leiden. From 2008 until 2012, Cecilia practiced Entertainment Law.

ALICIA CHANG
SPONSOR LIAISON

Alicia Chang is a sponsor liaison for AFFD. She previously served as executive director of AFFD from 2010-2015. She is a real estate investor and agent.  A former musician, she is passionate about expanding the arts community in Dallas and is proud to be part of AFFD.

DAVID GIBSON
PROGRAMMING, OPERATIONS

David Gibson is the Director of Operations and Programmer for the Asian Film Festival of Dallas.  He joined the festival in 2004 as a volunteer, and has been a part of the Board of Directors since 2010.  He has worked in various roles within the festival such as Membership Director and Short Film Programmer.   When David is not directing AFFD, he is working full time as the Director of National Account at McKesson Corp, the largest Pharmaceutical Wholesaler in the world.  David has been with McKesson since 2000 and his current role involves managing supply agreement compliance for $27 billion in Group Purchasing Organizations. 

DEV SHAPIRO
PROJECTION, FESTIVAL SECURITY, PRINT TRAFFIC

 

ERIN PARISI
DEVELOPMENT, FUNDRAISING, MEMBERSHIP

 

FRANKEY DEY
JURY, INDUSTRY LIAISON

Frankey Dey is an award-winning producer, director, and cinematographer with a colossal affection for evocative visuals and inspirational stories. His work spans from compelling videos and publications to broadcast commercials and distinguished feature films. He is a member of the Dallas Producers Association, Film Independent, and The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror Films. In addition to his endeavors- he is also a consultant, photographer, avid cook, and enjoys philanthropic endeavors & motivational speaking.

JENNY SKINNER
SPONSOR LIAISON

Jenny has always loved film and how it can connect people from all backgrounds.  She has always had a fondness for foreign/cultural films and how they can educate and resonate with people's' perceptions about each other.  Her passion for sharing the many aspects of the film industry evolved when she was in college serving on the executive board for the Texas Film Festival, the largest student-run independent film festival in the U.S.

She hopes to use her passion and energy for film to continue building the foundation of the organization and bringing people together.  A Dallas local, she hopes to help develop AFFD into a long standing community icon.

JUSTINA WALFORD
MARKETING

Justina Walford is a critically acclaimed writer, producer, director, and performer of various types of storytelling on screen, stage and print. Walford was formerly the Artistic Director of Split.Id Stage Performances in Hollywood. During that time, she produced a dozen full-length productions and countless one-night shows, many of which were her original work.

Justina left Los Angeles for New York City and began creating with husband John Wildman, including writing and producing the horror thriller, The LADIES OF THE HOUSE, shot in Dallas and available on VOD. A past board member for Sunday Assembly NYC and Women in Film Dallas, and current Artistic Director of Women Texas Film Festival, Walford has built a reputation for bringing people together and celebrating diversity and creativity.

KATIE GIMENEZ
SECRETARY, FILMMAKER LIAISON, SPONSOR LIAISON

The daughter of an avid film fan with little regard for the concept of "kid-friendly", Katie developed a love of independent and foreign film at an early age. She has fond memories of family movie nights featuring films like Shall We Dance - no, not the one with Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere! Katie's favorite time of year is the week of AFFD, aka Family Movie Week, where she gets to spend countless hours watching great Asian films with her dad and sister. 

Katie caught the film festival bug through positions with Dallas Video Festival and USA Film Festival. By day, she serves as Director of Marketing and Communications for the Plano Chamber of Commerce. Katie is also an active volunteer with Junior League of Collin County and Plano Children's Theatre.

NICHOLAS GANGLOFF
PROGRAMMING, EDUCATION OUTREACH, IT

Nicholas started as Tommy’s student at Garland High School where he was introduced to “A Better Tomorrow” by John Woo. From there, Nicholas had volunteered at the festival since 2009. After Garland High, Nicholas received as Bachelors and Masters in Computer Science at Southern Methodist University. He now works full time at the AT&T headquarters in Downtown Dallas as a software developer.

At the festival, Nicholas is in charge of helping choose the films for the short blocks and some of the feature films. He also reaches out to Universities and High Schools for gathering student submissions to the festival. Lastly, Nicholas aids Shawn in the website development and user interface.

PAUL THEISS
PROGRAMMING – ASSOCIATE

Long a fan of cinema in general, Paul fell in love with Asian cinema with the films of Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujirō Ozu. He moved from there to contemporary films by the likes of Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Wong Kar-wai. More than a decade later he's still trying to figure out what happened in The Puppetmaster.

Attending a rare screening of Mizoguchi's The Water Magician still ranks as one of Paul's favorite film experiences. So he's excited to be selecting AFFD’s repertory screenings of classic Asian films.

During business hours, Paul works as a lawyer for AT&T. He has a lovely wife, daughter, and son.

THOMAS SCHUBERT
FESTIVAL LIAISON, THEATRE MANAGER, VOLUNTEERS

Tommy will never forget the day he wandered into the back of that comic book store in college.  He didn’t really know why the store had a huge collection of anime and kung fu movies and he sure as heck wasn’t going to question why they rented for only $2 for a whole weekend.  Imagine the look you might see on a kid’s face who’s experiencing Christmas for the first time.  The same look would grace his face for the next four years every time he entered that store. There was just something about Asian cinema.  Something that spoke to him.  When he got the opportunity to work as a board member for the biggest Asian film festival in the southwest he couldn’t say anything but “yes”.  Enthusiastically.

During the festival he wears a lot of hats.  He’s the Festival Liaison.  That means he’s all over the city making sure AFFD has a good relationship with the other festivals in town.  He’s the Volunteer Coordinator.  That means he’s out looking for and organizing all the wonderful people that help us out during the festival and make us look so good.  He’s the Education Coordinator.  That means he’s communicating with other film educators all over town and making sure their students get the opportunity to be a part of AFFD each year.  And finally he’s the On-Site Operations Director.  That means he’s the guy to go to if you have any problem at the festival itself.  He’ll be at the table.  Like always.

In his real life he has been working at Garland High School as the film teacher for the last decade plus years.  Since he’s been at GHS he’s done everything in his power to get more and more opportunities for his kids and to get them experience in the Dallas film community at large.  It’s one of those jobs that’s a bit all-consuming.

When he’s not wrangling children, critiquing student films or answering volunteer emails he can usually be found at home.  It’s here he’s created his own nerd-mecca.  Reading comics, watching movies, playing video games, and enjoying Dungeons and Dragons with his friends are just some of the things on his list of favorite activities.  Rule of thumb: If it’s nerdy in any way, he probably does it with some regularity.

SHAWN SREEDHARAN
FINANCE, IT

Hello there. I'm Shawn!
Associated with the festival since its second year.
Recommended by 10 out of 10 AFFD board members.
Makes sure films are paid, gets to the theatre, and playing on the screen.
Stunt double for any shadow.
Through AFFD, lending a hand to any filmmaker, actor/actress to help realize their dream.
Likes photography but trying to find the creative mode.
Always spreading the word about AFFD!
Nice guy to boot.
To be continued...