Amy Hobby has 20 years of experience as an award-winning feature and documentary film producer. Her work spans feature-length dramas starring A-list Hollywood stars to documentaries, international features, television pilots and webisodes. Hobby personifies the fully diverse producer, with deep experience across a wide range of budgets and in various types of producing roles, and has a well-earned reputation for producing edgy, compelling features. She mentors emerging filmmakers worldwide and actively supports women directors through various initiatives launched through Tangerine Entertainment, which she co-founded. Her producing projects have included Secretary, Hamlet (with Ethan Hawke), Love, Marilyn and What Happened, Miss Simone?, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award and won an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award. She joined TFI as Vice President, Artist Programs in 2015.
David Earls re-joins TFI as Managing Director after four years as co-founder and managing partner of B.E. Capital Management, a private investment partnership in New York. He is in charge of TFI’s financial oversight, corporate governance, business affairs, fundraising and communications. After beginning his career as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, Mr. Earls led individual giving at TFI for nine years, its most successful period of financial growth. During this time, he co-founded TFI’s fundraising department, co-managed its first eight annual Benefits, and created and launched its Tribeca Film Festival VIP ticket package and concierge program. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mr. Earls serves as a director of the Ronald O. Perelman Center for the Performing Arts at the World Trade Center.
Monika Navarro joined TFI in 2018 as Senior Director of Programs. Monika comes to TFI from ITVS, where she managed multiple content and funding initiatives, helmed a development portfolio and acted as consulting producer on a variety of projects, including: Las Sandinistas (SXSW 2018), and Councilwoman (America Reframed). Navarro has previously directed the documentary film Lost Souls (Animas Perdidas), which premiered on PBS’ long-standing ‘Independent Lens’ strand, and has also produced content for World Channel, American Documentary, and the Peabody Award-winning PBS series Latino Americans. She is a member of the Brown Girls Doc Mafia, National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), and is an advisory board member for Firelight Media. Navarro oversees all of TFI's documentary, scripted, education and interactive programming initiatives.
José is the Director of Documentary Programs at TFI where he oversees the growth and funding for all of the documentary funds, and has led the TFI Latin America Fund’s Filmmaker Workshop series. A native of Puerto Rico, he grew up with a passion for movies that led him to Syracuse University, where he wrote a feature script and directed two shorts. After interning as an assistant to producer Amy Hobby, he settled in New York City and became a script/book reader for Overture Films while also working on commercials, short films and features (including Tze Chun’s Children of Invention and the documentary Poor Consuelo Conquers the World). Follow him on Twitter: @theJoFer
Bryce is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Theatre and Film programs. In addition to producing and writing a number of independent theater productions (including Off-Broadway’s “Triassic Parq”), she also co-founded the Brooklyn-based arts company UglyRhino. She has worked administratively at Chicago Shakespeare, The Second City, The Public Theater and Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment, as well as on a seriesof Off-Broadway productions.
Zeina Abi Assy is a writer and media artist from Lebanon. She is the Director of Interactive Programs at Tribeca Film Institute where she blends her background in graphic design, digital media and creative writing to create programs that focus on the power of incubation in emerging media. With experience in the Middle East and North America, her work moves between cultural criticism and fictional poetry to investigate the complexity of culture, technology and politics and their effects on our lived experiences. Her work has appeared in the printed anthology “Arab Women Voice New Realities.” She is a mentor at NEW INC, The New Museum’s cultural incubator.
Michelle brings her background in film studies to her role as Manager, Documentary & Scripted Programs where she participates in the programming and reviewing process for both documentary and scripted funding and workshops. Before joining TFI, Michelle worked at SnagFilms, programming and marketing the company’s site and platforms as well as working to build Indiewire’s video presence. Michelle studied film and literature at Soka University of America and went on to pursue her M.A. in Cinema Studies at New York University.
Caitlin Mae Burke is an Emmy-winning producer and proud TFI alumna. Her award-winning films have screened at Sundance, Tribeca, True/False, MoMA, Museum of the Moving Image, and in movie theaters internationally. After graduating from Vassar College with a BA in Film, focused on production, she began her career in non-fiction television, producing series for Discovery Networks, CNBC, ESPN, and YouTube Red. Her documentary feature work includes WE COULD BE KING (dir. Judd Ehrlich, Tribeca 2014, Emmy and Grand Clio awards); NUTS! (dir Penny Lane, Special Jury Prize Sundance 2016, TAA Grantee 2014); APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT (dir. Amanda Wilder, True/False 2014) nominated for Independent Spirit, Gotham Awards, and Cinema Eye Honors, and OBIT. (dir. Vanessa Gould, Tribeca 2016) named Entertainment Weekly’s “Top 10 Films of 2016.” Caitlin’s short film works as a producer are well known on the international festival circuit, garnering attention and awards at Academy-qualifying festivals. She was selected for Berlinale Talents 2018, a prestigious summit and networking platform, and is an inaugural inductee into DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40. She still runs an unofficial job posting site for filmmaking alumnae of Vassar and is often invited back to campus to mentor current students. Within a month of joining TFI in 2019, she world premiered two features in competition at Berlinale: ANBESSA, the second documentary feature by Mo Scarpelli, and FOURTEEN, directed by rep cinema stalwart Dan Sallitt and starring Tallie Medel and Norma Kuhling.
Liza Truschel is the Program Coordinator for Documentary and Scripted Programs at the Tribeca Film Institute. Prior to joining TFI, she worked as a Sales Assistant for Kodak’s Entertainment Imaging division. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, where she concentrated in film and theatre studies, serving as a producer for multiple student-led theatre companies and films. She is comic book enthusiast, an organ donor, and a fantasy football champion.
Cass Gardiner is an Anishinaabe Algonquin kwe filmmaker, curator, and writer from Kebaowek First Nation in what is now called Quebec, Canada. She joined TFI in January of 2019. Her documentary film “The Edible Indian” has met critical acclaim in classrooms and theatres internationally and was nominated for Best Documentary Short at the American Indian Film Festival. She is also a passionate arts activist within Indigenous communities and has worked as a film mentor and youth outreach worker on reserves across Canada. She is the co-founder of Matters Unsettled, a curatorial duo that creates exhibitions that articulate and challenge the dichotomies of different cultures, ethnicities, and traditions within art. A 2017 Curatorial Fellow at the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design in Asheville, North Carolina, Cass’ latest show “Forward Facing” was a featured show for 2018 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival in collaboration with Critical Distance Centre for Curators and the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective. She holds an MFA from Ryerson University and a BA from NYU Gallatin. Cass is based in Brooklyn, NY.
El-Sun is a formerly incarcerated person who has screened over 25 films in correctional spaces, creating both prescreening prompts and post screening workshops that promote media literacy. He is employed by TFI as a Restorative Justice Consultant. EL-Sun is also a curriculum writer, teaching artist, credible messenger and public speaker, making appearances at premieres, colleges, charter schools, grassroots organizations and churches.
Jill joined TFI in 2015 with nine years of experience in nonprofit development and communications. She manages TFI’s relationships with 20+ private foundations and government agencies and writes grants for TFI’s education, interactive, and artist programs. Prior to TFI, Jill spent four years at Historic Hudson Valley (HHV), a museum consortium founded by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. There she served as the head writer for all fundraising materials and helped to expand the organization’s digital and education programs, specifically related to the history of slavery in the colonial North. During her tenure at HHV, she helped to secure more than $1 million in competitive new funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (one of seven grants awarded in the US), the Brooke Astor Fund for NYC Education in The New York Community Trust (one of 17 grants awarded), the New York State Council on the Arts, Wells Fargo Foundation, Green Mountain Energy Company, and others. Previously, she spent four years at Helen Keller International (HKI), where she wrote a high volume of grants and marketing materials for HKI’s eye health programs in the US, Africa, and Asia-Pacific. Prior to joining the nonprofit world, Jill spent her early years in New York as a journalist, first interning at SPIN and forging a creative career as a freelance writer and a traveling wine buyer for a boutique in Brooklyn. Jill earned her BA in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and completed graduate coursework in international human rights at NYU. When she’s not singing TFI’s high praises, Jill is bringing up the low end as a bassist for an Upstate trio.
A native of Virginia, Katelyn Bland-Clark has been living and working in New York for the past four years in various capacities of the non-profit sector. After completing an Americorps Teaching Fellowship with Citizen Schools, serving a middle school community in East Harlem, she worked in the development department at The Center, supporting all aspects of their fundraising efforts. She is excited to continue growing within the world of non-profit fundraising in her role as the Development Associate for TFI. Prior to moving to the city, Katelyn completed her Master’s in Theological Studies at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, where she focused on gender and sexuality as they intersect with religious (and other) identities. Katelyn is also an avid traveler, having lived in both Seoul, during her master’s program, and Shanghai, directly following her undergrad tenure at Emory & Henry College. While at E&H, Katelyn majored in Religion and Mathematics and developed a love for everything outdoors. She recently completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (SoBo 2017) and is always down for new adventures.
David Driver is a Creative Services Professional who lives in New York, NY and Fosterdale, NY. His work includes performing, writing, designing, and directing. He has created visuals, packaging, identities and shortform content for clients like Estée Lauder, Johnson&Johnson, SundanceTV, and Discovery Network, has worked both on and Off-Broadway, and has released music and videos under his own name as well as with various other musical acts. He is married to Dr. Jason Tougaw.
Born and raised in Mexico City, Juan Mateo Menendez has always had a passion for the world of film. During his college years in Colorado, he worked with Emmy-Award winning producer Jerry Aronson, gaining extensive knowledge of the documentary filmmaking world. After moving to New York City he worked as a Production Coordinator for Tangerine Entertainment, a women-focused production company headed by Academy Award-nominated producer Amy Hobby. He has also been involved with HBO and Netflix headed projects with famed documentary director Amy Berg. His dream is to open a production company in Mexico City one day.
Colleen is a New Mexico-based consultant and producer, currently in post-production on her first feature.
Daniel oversees web and technology initiatives of the organization. He oversaw several award winning websites (including a Webby Awards Official Honoree). After being at TFI for more than 10 years, he started Spiral Blueprint, focusing on web, apps, and IT infrastructure. He received a Bachelor of Science from Wheaton College.