Special Guests

Check back often for announcements on which filmmakers will be attending the festival!
Please note that guest appearances are subject to change.

PROGRAM 1 | Heartland
Maura Anderson | Director
Maura Anderson has worked in independent film production since 2006. She production managed academy award nominated Winter's Bone, On The Ice, and Ceremony among others. She has produced numerous features and digital series. Heartland is her feature directorial debut. The film premiered at Cinequest 2016, winning the audience award and has gone on to play festivals around the world.

PROGRAM 8 | Suicide Kale
Brittani Nichols | Writer/Producer/Actor
Brittani Nichols is a comedian and actor from Chicago. Words With Girls, a comedy pilot (based on the webseries of the same name) which she wrote and starred, was produced as part of Issa Rae's Color Creative TV and premiered at HBO/BET's Urbanworld Film Festival in 2014. Brittani is a recurring character on Season 2 of Transparent. She has two podcasts: Brand New Podcast with fellow comedian and feelings-haver, Ariana Lenarsky, and Hamilton the Podcast with the Burr to her Hamilton, Khalehla Rixon. Suicide Kale, the award-winning feature that she produced, wrote, and starred is currently on the festival circuit. When not performing in Los Angeles, she enjoys playing basketball, frequenting diners other people look down on, and eating over-priced ice cream.

PROGRAM 14 | Quick Licks
Becky Lane | Writer/Director | Tenders
Writer/director Becky Lane is an independent filmmaker and founder of Nice Girl Films, a small woman-centered production company with footprints in both Ithaca, NY and New York City. Her short films, Hens & Chicks, Poker Face, and Happy Hour have collectively screened at over 80 film festivals worldwide, garnering great acclaim and awards, including Best Short Film Audience Award in Rochester, Barcelona, London, and Durham. Lane holds a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. As a sociologist and filmmaker, Lane's distinctive projects entertain while exploring provocative cultural complexities.

April Maxey | Writer/Director | This Is You And Me
April Maxey is a San Antonio, Texas native who graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY with a BFA in Film/Video. Her writing & directing credits include three short films, Girl Scouting, Polaroid Girl, and This Is You And Me, which have collectively screened at 45 festivals and won 6 awards. The screenplay for This Is You And Me, which she co-wrote with Summer Czajak, was 1 of 9 projects in the Berlinale Talents Short Film Station in 2015. April also works as a freelance director of photography and editor. April is a member of the NYC Short Film chapter of Film Fatales.

PROGRAM 32 | Bear City 3
Greg Gunter | Actor
Greg Gunter developed characters, comedy, pathos & heart for Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life, Emperor’s New Groove, Disney’s Tarzan, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., The Tigger Movie, Treasure Planet, Atlantis, Lilo & Stitch, Mulan, Dinosaur as well as other animated films. Greg Gunter worked on Jonathan Larson’s musical RENT as well as hundreds of plays & musicals. He taught playwriting, screenwriting & story development at UCSD & at Harvard University. Greg returned to acting in his late 40s on Louie, Law & Order: SVU as well as numerous Onion films/tv projects for Comedy Central with the luckiest being Michael in the BearCity trilogy.