OUR TEAM & BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Lloyd Komesar – Producer
Jay Craven – Artistic Director
Phoebe Lewis – Associate Producer
Isabel Merrell – Festival Intern
Munya Munyati – 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 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 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.
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. As Board President and volunteer, she produces several shows a year and manages the 118-year-old theater with the help of a stellar all-volunteer team and an engaged board of directors. Gerianne is also a film producer who co-wrote the award-winning film, “The Summer of Walter Hacks”, which premiered in 2010 to critical acclaim. She has written and produced award-winning TV and radio commercials for notable clients such as Amtrak and other businesses while managing her former ad agency, Smart Communications. She had her hand in producing, writing and/or coordinating several short nature films for ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington, including a 15 minute short about the famous Champ photo by Sandra Mansi. She continues to produce multiple TV and radio commercials for Rutland Regional Medical Center where she has served as Marketing and Public Relations Manager since 2015.