Lisa Dreyer

Festival Director

Lisa Dreyer is a film fanatic based in Austin, Texas. In addition to helping bring the best genre films from around the world to Fantastic Fest every September, she also is an acquisitions consultant for Drafthouse Films. She has programmed for a variety of festivals, including the Oak Cliff Film Festival and Contrast Film Festival, and previously worked for the Austin Film Society. She is passionate about supporting radical new voices and boundary-pushing projects, the weirder and wilder the better! @pro_film_freak

Annick Manhert

Director of Programming

Born in Geneva, Annick Mahnert studied film production at the NYFA and worked as a production assistant at Roger Corman’s Concorde-New Horizons. Back in Switzerland, she went on to work in distribution and programming at 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Pathé Cinémas and Frenetic Films. Early 2012 she moved to Paris to join the renowned sales agency Celluloid Dreams, handling sales and acquisitions. Since 2013, she is working as a freelance producer, acquisitions consultant and festival programmer and is an expert for film funding at the Austrian Film Institute and Eurimages. Her production Huachicolero (The Gasoline Thieves) won the Award for Best New Narrative Director at the Tribeca Film Festival in May 2019 and The Long Walk celebrated its world premiere in 2019 at Venice in the Giornati degli Autori section. Annick Mahnert is the Executive Director of the Frontières Co-production market in Montreal and is also a programmer at the Sitges and the Strasbourg film festivals. She was recently invited to join the European Film Academy as a film professional. @amahnert

Ahbra Perry

Director of Burnt Ends & Activations

Ahbra Perry serves as the Product Manager for Alamo Drafthouse’s year-round VOD platform, Alamo On Demand. The platform allows the cinema to extend its curatorial reach beyond its 38 brick-and-mortar locations to audiences across the US. During the pandemic, Ahbra led the charge with trailblazing virtual cinematic experiences, group watch events, parties, film premiers and live programming. In 2020 Ahbra jumped in to facilitate a digital alternative to an otherwise canceled Fantastic Fest, and now serves as the Director of FF@Home, Fantastic Fest's virtual offering. As a filmmaker in a past life, Ahbra is passionate about independent film and utilizing the streaming platform to support up-and-coming and lesser-known filmmakers.

Jean Anne Lauer

Director of Shorts

JEAN ANNE LAUER has promoted the development and exhibition of film and media on the festival and independent cinema circuits since 2004, specializing in Latinx, Iberoamerican, and Indigenous titles. Jean began working professionally in the field at the International Pitching Market at the Guanajuato International Film Festival (Gto, Mexico, 2004 through 2013) and as Programmer and then Festival Director at Cine Las Americas (Austin, TX, 2008 to 2022). Jean has been a member of the Fantastic Fest team since 2013 in various capacities, most recently as Short Film Programmer. Jean completed her Ph.D. in Radio-Television-Film at UT-Austin, and is a professor in the Dept. of Philosophy, Religion, and Humanities and the Dept. of Radio-Television-Film at Austin Community College.

Anna Bogutskaya

Features Programmer

Anna Bogutskaya is a writer, broadcaster and film programmer. In the past, she worked at Pedro Almodovar’s El Deseo and was the Film and Events Programmer at the BFI, where she curated many seasons and created the Woman With A Movie Camera Summit. As a writer, she has contributed to BBC Culture, Sight & Sound, Little White Lies, BFI, Tortoise, The Guardian, The Face, NME, i-D, amongst other outlets, and has just completed her first book. As a broadcaster, she is a regular contributor to Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review, The Arts Hour, Woman’s Hour, Newsnight and others. She produces and hosts The Final Girls, The Next Supremes, Hello, Sidney, Censor This podcasts and as well as being a contributor to many others. She also regularly hosts panels, Q&As and delivers talks on film, festivals and podcasts and is the Festival Director of Underwire Festival, co-founder of horror film collective The Final Girls. @annabdemented

Lori Donnelly

Features Programmer

Lori is a film programmer and programming consultant with nearly 20 years of experience in both repertory and film festival exhibition. Currently, she is the Film Program Director for the Nantucket Film Festival. She has held programming positions at cultural institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, American Film Institute, and George Eastman Museum. She has also collaborated with several festivals and cinematheques, including AFI Docs, Seattle International Film Festival, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, and Northwest Film Forum.

Austin King

Features Programmer, Head of Submissions

Austin King is a festival programmer and screener who loves intimate, domestic dramas and movies about giant monsters fighting. Austin started volunteering with aGLIFF in 2017 and took over Assistant Programmer duties in 2021. He has been active on the Fantastic Fest feature submissions team since 2019 and enjoys hosting and programming with the festival. Austin screened for the 2021 SXSW film festival, and wrote an undergraduate thesis in 2016 on The Seventh Seal and Rashomon for which he received a degree with Honors. He participated in the filming of a local Austin musician’s video, “Love Me Strange,” and video production for local drag artists. When not watching movies, Austin likes seeing live music and pretending to cast spells in tabletop roleplaying games with his partner and friends.

Varun Raman

Assistant Director, Short Film Programming

Varun is a programmer, writer and filmmaker. He is the UK Programming Lead at London Short Film Festival, and previously programmed the UK Student Competition at Encounters, the New Talents Live Action Competition at PÖFF Shorts and has screened for SXSW and Fantasia. He was also Festival Coordinator at Grimmfest and is a Script Reader for the BFI NETWORK's Short Film and Early Development Funds.

Shannon Wiedemeyer

Shorts Programmer

Shannon Wiedemeyer is a programmer, filmmaker, and film academic based in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently the Social and Community Manager for Gunpowder & Sky’s ALTER and DUST, and was previously the Senior Curator for the brands from 2018-2021. Her background studies are in Asian Horror and Exploitation, however her passions lay in all things genre. She’s an Austin native who’s collaborated with local film treasures such as Hyperreal Film Club and Alamo Drafthouse. She’s generally down with all things extreme and weird.

Conner Smith

Booking Assistant

CONNER MAKENZIE SMITH is a freelance administrative consultant in Austin, TX. With a degree in Elementary Education from UT-Austin and a year of teaching under her belt, she decided to pivot her career to her other passion, the arts. Conner started working at the Austin Film Society in 2019, serving as Development Associate. Wanting to broaden her experience in the creative industry, she began working as a freelance consultant in 2021. As a freelancer, Conner has worked with AFS, Fusebox Festival, KUT, and Fantastic Fest. At Fantastic Fest, she currently serves as the Booking Assistant for both the in-person and virtual Fest. In her free time, Conner enjoys traveling with friends, seeing movies at the AFS Cinema, and watching Charmed reruns with her cat.