Plus, check out our new STAFF page!
Hello Fantastic Fest Badgeholders!
We are pleased to announce the Fantastic Fest Board of Directors. The Festival Board is made up of: Kristen Bell (Chair), Elijah Wood, Kier-la Janisse, Peter Kuplowsky and Suki-Rose Simakis.
The board of directors’ goal is to further enhance and refine the experience of the festival and to provide the best, most open and inclusive environment for our family of film-loving fanatics. The first meeting is under our belts and we will be in touch soon with some of the steps the festival will be taking in response to the survey and festival feedback we have received as we plan out the 2018 edition. As part of our first year’s strategic plan we will be working together to identify additional board members to diversify and bolster the board even further to meet the goals of our growth mission. We appreciate your patience as we sift through all the comments and work within this new infrastructure.
“Developing a Board of Directors for Fantastic Fest has been a longtime goal of mine and I'm incredibly excited to see it realized. Moreover, I am honored and humbled to have such an esteemed and accomplished group of folks join me in embracing this opportunity to grow and change the festival with their unique perspectives, ideas and experiences. Our shared passion for incredible genre cinema and our collective dedication to building an even more awesome, more inclusive Fantastic Fest will lead the way as we set our sights on the future. Many sincere thanks to Elijah, Kier-la, Suki-Rose and Peter for joining me on this journey.” - Kristen Bell
“I am incredibly honored and excited to be joining the newly formed board of Fantastic Fest. What I saw and experienced while in Austin this past fall was difficult yet encouraging, a first of many needed steps to make Fantastic Fest better for everyone and to dismantle any toxicity within our culture as film fans. I consider joining this board to be a serious responsibility, a responsibility to the community that holds Fantastic Fest up and is the core of its spirit. I am looking forward to doing the difficult work and to propelling the festival forward. I can't wait to see what we can accomplish together as a board, staff, fans, filmmakers, community and all. Let's make it Fantastic.” - Suki-Rose Simakis
Additionally, we are pleased to launch the new Fantastic Staff page which is live HERE! With this page, we’re hoping that our audience will be able to better appreciate some of the people whose enormously hard work makes this festival happen as well as be able to identify any necessary contacts. Alongside the staff page, we are also in the process of updating our Mission Statement to define Fantastic Fest and its creative approach to curation in order to enable better understanding of our festival.
ABOUT THE BOARD MEMBERS:
Kristen Bell has been a part of the Alamo Drafthouse team since 2003 and Fantastic Fest since its inception in 2005. During this time she has held multiple leadership roles including General Manager of Alamo South Lamar (2005-2011), Director of Large Events (2011-2012), Director of National Programming (2011-2013), Fantastic Fest Director (2007-2017), Senior Project Manager (2016-current) and Fantastic Fest Executive Director (2017-current). Prior to her work in the film and event production industry, she worked in the medical field as a Manager and Accountant for multiple pediatric clinics around Austin, and from 2001-2002 assisted in the opening of two new pediatric clinics in Austin.
With a career spanning 26 years, Elijah Wood has evolved his body of work with notable films and television programs including Grand Piano, The Lord of The Rings trilogy, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Ice Storm, Wilfred, and Cartoon Network’s miniseries Over the Garden Wall. He can most recently be seen in Macon Blair’s I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore, and BBC America’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. In 2010, with partners Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller, Wood founded SpectreVision, a film production company with an aim to tell character-driven stories tackling emotional and human experiences that test the boundaries of the genre space. SpectreVision films include the comedy/horror film Cooties, The Greasy Strangler, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, and The Boy. At the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, SpectreVision’s parent entity, Company X, premiered their first production, Bitch.
Kier-La Janisse has been a film writer and programmer since 1997. She is the owner/Artistic Director of Spectacular Optical Publications, founder of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies and a programmer for Motel X in Lisbon. She is the author of A Violent Professional: The Films of Luciano Rossi (2007), House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films (2012) and co-editor of Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s, as well as contributing to and co-editing various other publications. She is currently writing a book about Monte Hellman’s Cockfighter and developing a narrative television series based on her book House of Psychotic Women with Rook Films.
Peter Kuplowsky is a film curator, producer, writer and hat enthusiast based in Toronto. Since 2005, he has established a career championing genre cinema and outsider art at various international film festivals, including Toronto After Dark, Fantastic Fest, and the Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness program. Over the past few years, Kuplowsky has helped develop and produce a number of critically acclaimed short and feature films with emerging filmmakers that he supported on the festival circuit as a programmer. His credits as a producer include Manborg (2011), the concluding segment Z is for Zygote in the anthology film The ABCs of Death Part 2 (2014), The Interior (2015), The Void (2016), and the short film adaptation of Dave Eggers’ short story Your Mother and I (2016). He also co-hosts The Laser Blast Film Society, a monthly eccentric film series at The Royal Cinema that culminates annually with a contemporary outsider cinema program entitled What The Film Festival.
Suki-Rose Simakis grew up in the arid deserts of Tucson, Arizona, where she escaped the excessive heat at the local video store, indie movie theater and drive-in. She cut her teeth in LA working in repertory exhibition which transitioned into production and development. As a Creative Executive for SpectreVision Films, she honed her instinct for standout material and developed the relationships that would support her eventual decision to go independent as a producer, developing an exciting slate of features. She is terrified of the dark yet has a deep affection for the things that dwell within it.