Our Team / Board of Directors

Our Team

Lloyd Komesar – Producer

Jay Craven – Artistic Director

Phoebe Lewis – Press/Publicity/Social Media Manager

Ceila Watson – Festival Intern

MNFF Board of Directors

Lloyd Komesar – Chair

Lloyd Komesar spent nearly 30 years as a sales, research and distribution exec in the film and television programming industry, first at Blair Television in New York, then, for the next 25 years, at the Walt Disney Company in New York and Los Angeles. Having acquired extensive knowledge of the distribution models of film and television over his rewarding career, he brings a considerable amount of perspective and insight to the MNFF endeavor.


Nathan Williams Pearson, Jr. – Treasurer

Bill Pearson is Managing Director of Gallup Hill, LLC, a strategy and organizational consultancy that works closely with senior executives and private equity investors to achieve material, lasting performance improvements at a wide variety of companies. Over a long and highly successful career, Bill’s clients have included businesses in media, marketing services, industrial supplies and beverages, as well as numerous venture capital firms. He has also been an operating executive, serving as co-CEO and CFO of a publicly held media company and CEO of a technology firm spun out of Motorola.


Jay Craven

Jay Craven is an award-winning director, writer, and producer whose narrative films include High Water (1989); Where the Rivers Flow North (1993); A Stranger in the Kingdom (1997); In Jest (1999); The Year That Trembled (2003), Disappearances (2006), Northern Borders (2012), and Peter and John (2015).  Jay also directed, produced, and co-wrote the 2005 Emmy Award-winning public television comedy series, Windy Acres—and the Queen City Radio Hour, a 2009 comedy and music variety show performed before a live audience and broadcast over Vermont Public Radio. His documentaries include After the Fog: Interviews with Combat Veterans (2006), Dawn of the People (1984) and Gayleen (1985).


Jay Parini

Jay Parini is an acclaimed multi-hyphenate: poet, novelist, biographer, critic, screenwriter and Professor of English at Middlebury College.  His five books of poetry include The Art of Subtraction: New and Selected Poems. He has written eight novels, including Benjamin’s Crossing, The Apprentice Lover, The Passages of H.M. and The Last Station – which, utilizing Jay’s screenplay, was made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer.  Jay has written biographies of John Steinbeck, Robert Frost, William Faulkner and Gore Vidal.  His non-fiction works include Jesus: The Human Face of God and Promised Land:  Thirteen Books that Changed America.

Jay Parini

Gerianne Smart

Gerianne Smart is a producer, promoter and public relations professional and as such has made her mark in the cultural scene in Vermont.  She is the current President of the Vergennes Opera House, a remarkable organization that has revitalized a gem of a building and created a notable cultural presence in Vergennes.  Here she produces several shows a year as well as manages the 118-year-old theater. Gerianne serves on the Board of the Vermont Arts Council, a prominent organization that actively supports and promotes the arts throughout the state.  She produced and co-wrote the award-winning film, “The Summer of Walter Hacks”, which premiered in 2010 to critical acclaim. She has also written and produced award-winning TV and radio commercials for notable clients such as Amtrak and other businesses.  And she just wrapped up a four year stint at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center at the Leahy Center in Burlington.  Serving as ECHO’s Director of Marketing and Communications during this span, Gerianne produced, directed and/or project managed six wildlife movie shorts, among many other projects she undertook. Currently, Gerianne is the principal at Smart Communication, LLC, a communication consulting firm.