The Team

Deirdre Evans-Pritchard / Executive Director and Programmer spent many years integrating digital media and arts into higher education. Recent projects include: Kidding Around: The Child in Film and Media Conference & Festival (2009), DC Meets Delhi Film Festival (2007), documentaries for A&E and The Learning Channel, and programming for Channel 98.  Years ago she was editor for the Anthropos Documentary Film Festival at the AFI in Los Angeles. Previously DCIFF’s director of the “Filmmakers on the Hill” Forum, 2012 was her first year as festival director. A Senior Fulbright Scholar in Communications to Lebanon, visiting faculty at the University of Southern California’s Center for Visual Anthropology and adjunct faculty at the USC Cinema School, she describes herself as a translator: between cultures, mediums and creative spaces.  For questions please get in touch at:

Stana Benesova Kimball / Director of Education is a filmmaker/attorney who splits her time between Washington, D.C. and Prague, Czech Republic. Currently, her Prague-based production company Shining Pictures is shooting two documentaries in Afghanistan. Stana previously worked on several independent films by another Prague-based production company Jacket Bros., including the feature-length documentary Heaven Hell which had its U.S. premiere at the 2011 South by Southwest festival in Austin, TX. In Washington, D.C., Stana recently produced a short documentary about the indigenous Mexican punk band Hamac Cazíim.

Kara Coffee / Festival Manager & Volunteer Coordinator has worked with eight film festivals over the last four years, both in the US and England. She attended Kingston University in London and the University of Kansas, with a focus on Film, Television, and Fine Art. She was formerly a Post-Production Coordinator and Bookings Manager in London. She now lives in the D.C. area, which she enjoys, as there are considerably fewer tornadoes than in her home state of Kansas.

Maria Datch / Director of Press & International Relations is a DC native, with degrees in the performing arts, literature and visual media. Over the last 20 years, she has held directorial positions in PR and Development for arts organizations such as Chicago’s ERC and Organic Theatre and Baltimore’s Theatre Project, in production for the NFL Baltimore Ravens, PBS, and independent and studio film/video productions in the mid atlantic and Chicago, and has freelanced in casting, production management, publicity, fundraising and special events. She is thrilled to be a part of DCIFF 2012.

Alison Dooley / Director of Submissions is from the Isle of Wight in England and came to Washington, DC in 2011. She volunteered at DCIFF in 2013 and joined the Submissions team in 2014.  She has worked on several local film productions in various capacities and is a current film student in Maryland.  She previously worked in Dublin, Ireland creating software for film production companies.

Kristin Dyak / Social Media & Blogging. After graduating from the School of Media Arts & Design at James Madison University, Kristin spent five years enjoying the Los Angeles sunshine while working in the entertainment industry. She returned to her east coast roots in 2013, and is currently a freelance marketing and social media consultant around the D.C. area. Kristin holds a special place for independent film and enjoys being involved with this inspiring community!

Rachel Ederer / High School Competition Coordinator.  Rachel  is a senior at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD who makes short films and is the executive sports cinematographer for Blair’s football team. She’s been volunteering at DCIFF since 2013 and is excited for 2015’s High School entries!

Jenny Gan / Assistant Website & Design is a student at the University of Maryland, College Park, studying Marketing and Graphic Design. Born and raised in the area, she is enamored by Washington, D.C. and all of its people, history, and culture. Although half of her studies are business-related, she has an enormous passion for and interest in the arts. She’s grateful for this opportunity to support filmmakers, and excited to help spread word about DCIFF!

Matthew Harmelin / Director of Social Media  Since coming to DC in 2005 to study Film and Video at American University, Matt has accumulated professional media production experience, starting as an intern at the 2008 SILVERDOCS Documentary Festival (PR, press, outreach, programming and sponsorship).  Next he worked in post production with such organizations as NAHB Production Group, Durrin Productions and American Abroad Media. More recently Matthew has been a freelance production assistant, assistant camera and assistant grip on local feature films, television shows, music videos and webisode series: including America’s Got Talent, MasterChef, Nickelodeon’s Day of Play, BBQ Pitmasters and Plugged In for Ford Motor Company.

Caroline Jacobs / Filmmaker Relations is new to the D.C. area, working as a business analyst at a management consulting firm by day and creating photographs and films in her spare time. She has directed and produced numerous short films and spent three months creating documentaries about internally displaced families in post-guerilla warefare rural Colombia. She is a recent graduate of Duke University, where she received a degree in Public Policy and certificates in Arts of the Moving Image and Markets and Management. Caroline hopes to bring her business skills and passion for entertainment together as a coordinator for DCIFF!

Hannah Jayanti / Website & Design is a Brooklyn based documentary filmmaker, editor and photographer. She recently directed/edited
her first feature documentary that premiered at the 2013 New Yorker Festival, and is currently in production on two features and a short. She teaches video production in Brooklyn and freelances as an independent video producer creating short form videos from development, production to post-production through her company Freckless Productions. For less words and more visuals, visit:

Michael Kamel / Press and Publicity is a local film student who fell in love with the DCIFF after volunteering in 2014.  He’s excited to expand his experience in the PR aspect of the film industry and can’t wait to grow with the DCIFF team!

Karin Longren / Balloting, Awards  and VIP relations. Newly relocated to Washington D.C, Karin Londgren brings with her nearly 10 years of experience managing audience voting for nearly 150 features and shorts for the Los Angeles Film Festival. She rounds out her experience in the entertainment industry having worked for both Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox; as a producer for E! Entertainment Television; as assistant to a feature film producer and two network television producer/directors; and for a live music and events venue in the heart of Hollywood.

Sasha Sibley / High School Competition Coordinator  is a high school student filmmaker whose film ‘Water’ was screened at last year’s DCIFF 2014.  Now a reviewer for the High School Competition, he looks forward to this year’s festival.

Maya Solis / Filmmaker Relations  Director Before joining DCIFF, Maya served as an intern for the Sundance Institute Native and Indigenous Program and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  Currently based in Washington D.C., she is a graduate of the University of California Los Angeles with degrees in History and Film, and she received her Master of Arts degree from UCLA’s Moving Image Archive Studies program. Her interests include film preservation and cultivating Indigenous narrative perspectives through cinema.