About the Board

The Board for the 21st Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, May 2 – 6, 2018

As a local non-profit organization, Cine Las Americas’ programs and operations depend on the involvement of talented individuals who volunteer time and resources to fulfill its mission. The organization’s programs are supported by the invaluable work of community leaders, industry professionals, and talented artists who serve in its Executive Board of Directors and Advisory Board.

Executive Board

Lindsey Ashley
Since 2005, Lindsey Ashley has been on staff at the Texas Film Commission promoting the wide array of resources available for creative industries in Texas. As the Senior Production Consultant and Location Scout, she has worked closely with Writers, Producers, Directors, Production Designers and Cinematographers, helping to convince them that Texas is an ideal destination for film, television, commercials, music videos and still photography. Before working at the Texas Film Commission, Lindsey worked as a Location Scout on various independent features and commercials. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Radio-Television-Film.

Melinda Gonzales Boe
Melinda joined the Cine Las Americas family as a volunteer during the 2014 Festival and has served on the board since 2015. She has over 10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector as a fundraising and communications professional. Melinda is proud to have a degree in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin and enjoys getting more involved in the Austin film community through local projects.

Jimmy Cassidy
Jimmy brings a life-long love of the arts with him to the Board of Cine Las Americas. He returns for his second year of serving on the Board, heading the Programming Committee. Jimmy continues to be inspired by the talent and efforts of Cine’s staff and volunteers.

John Estrada
John Estrada is an Austin based filmmaker, having won various awards including the 2009 HBO/New York International Latino Film Festival Short Film Competition and the PBS/POV WGBH Election 2008. He currently works for the Round Rock Police Department as a Multimedia Specialist, where his Open Carry PSA went viral, and ended up on ABC World News and the Daily Show. A graduate of The University of Texas, he holds both a bachelor’s degree in Radio-Television-Film as well as Government. In his spare time, you can find him trying to break the story on a fresh idea, watching the San Antonio Spurs, or looking for a great slice of moist brisket.

Julie Freedman
Julie joined the Cine Las Americas Board in 2017. She has been a bilingual educator for more than 25 years in Central Texas school districts as well as in the private sector and abroad. Julie served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic as a health educator and she spent five years in Brazil working in international education. She has a background in Journalism and Education and she also works as a visual artist.

Francisco Garcia
Francisco Garcia has extensive experience in collaborating with nonprofit organizations, film festivals, and art exhibits. Currently he manages Nepantla, USA with Claudia Aparicio-Gamundi, an experimental space that collaborates with printmakers, designers and visual artists in striving to reflect the diversity of Austin, Texas.

David Gil
David Gil began his career working in film and television production with A SCANNER DARKLY and AMERICAN IDOL among his list of credits. He transitioned into film programming for various festivals in 2009, including for ActionFest (the world’s first film festival dedicated to action films) and Austin Film Festival (overseeing six film competitions, two of which are recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences as Academy qualifiers). Currently, David is Marketing Director / Programmer for both Violet Crown Cinemas and Sky Cinemas. He holds a BA in Mass Communication from Texas State University and an MS in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University.

AJ Johnson
AJ Johnson is the head of public services and the Caribbean Studies librarian at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection at the University of Texas at Austin. He curates the library’s collection of over 2500 movies, documentaries, TV shows, news clips and more from or about Latin America and U.S. Latin@s, including the Cine Las Americas archive.

Emmanuel Loo
Emmanuel Loo is a business strategist who earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from St. Edwards University in Austin Texas. He is also a Fellow in Entrepreneurship from Stanford University in California. Emmanuel currently focuses on mentoring to new companies and entrepreneurs in various key areas such as Marketing, Management, fund raising, Restructuring and Business Plan Development. He is currently President of the Austin Chapter of the Mexican Entrepreneurs Association (AEM) AEM-AUSTIN.

Jonathan de la Luz
Jonathan de la Luz has been in the motion picture industry over 35 years as a feature writer-producer-director and production/financial consultant working with various studios and independent production companies. Jonathan is also a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Los Angeles, Austin Film Society, Austin Film Festival, National Association of Latino Independent Producers and member of the Board of Directors for Cine Las Americas International Film Festival.

Denise Garza Steusloff
Denise Steusloff is a certified meeting professional with over ten years of experience in the meetings & event industry. She received her bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from St. Edward’s University. She has been involved with Cine Las Americas as a volunteer, long time staff member, and now serves on the board.

Patricia Vonne
Patricia Vonne has proven herself a truly ascendant and transcendent musical artist.  The San Antonio, Texas native singer, songwriter, actress, activist, and animator is about to release her 7th studio album “Top of the Mountain” in May 2018. Vonne continues her trailblazing ride along the borderland where Castillian & Mexican infusions of flamenco and fiery gypsy guitar meet all-American rock ‘n’ roll. Her award winning animation videos, shot and edited by Vonne, feature her original illustrations for her songs. “El Marinero y La Sirena” won the Audience Award at Cine Las Americas in 2015. Vonne’s latest homage to Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca “Huerta de San Vicente” won Best Animation at Madrid International Film Festival 2017.

Katie Warner

Advisory Board
Sergio Alcocer, Senior Advisor
Cynthia Benitez, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
Charles Ramirez Berg, The University of Texas at Austin
Jason Borge, The University of Texas at Austin
Marcy Garriott, La Sonrisa Productions
Chale Nafus, Austin Film Society (ret.)
Daniel Northway-Frank, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
Gabriel Ornelas, St. Edward’s University
Tracy Rector, Longhouse Media/Clearwater Film
David Rice, Author, Lecturer, Film Producer
Stephen E. Jackson, Blue 62 Entertainment