Maria Datch, Chair
DCIFF Director of International Relations
Maria Datch 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.
David A. Melendez, Vice-Chair
Film Producer, Founder & CEO – StonePark Productions
David A. Melendez is an entrepreneur and award-winning film producer born and raised in the greater Washington, D.C. area. Together he and his business partner Michael DeVita own and operate StonePark Productions, an entertainment studio dedicated to incorporating next-generation technologies and platforms into the filmmaking process in order to bring the most-compelling content to market.
Peter Voth, Treasurer
Peter Voth has been part of DCIFF since 2012, working mainly community and international outreach and media relations. He received an MA in international relations from American University and currently works as a data scientist in Washington DC.
John Paul Crezky, Board Member
Jean-Paul Chreky graduated at the top of his class with an MFA in Motion Picture Production from the University of Miami. He has since collaborated in a variety of roles, most frequently as a script supervisor on several acclaimed film productions. These include Oscar nominated films, Loving and Hell or High Water as well as films such as Midnight Special, Louder Than Bombs, 5 Flights Up, She’s Funny That Way, Dark Skies, Mud, The Son of No One, and Take Shelter. Jean-Paul has also instructed film production classes at the University of Miami, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, American University, and the Jacobson Sinai Academy. Today, he continues to assist in the development of a multitude of productions by primarily working behind the scenes. Among many others he has worked on: Boy Erased directed by Joel Edgerton, The Only Living Boy in New York directed by Marc Webb, and Hell or High Water by David Mackenzie.
Nicholas David Lean, Board Member
Nicholas is an award-winning film auteur, producer, director and screenwriter with over 21 years in the film industry. Working primarily from within two established UK production entities, Oceanstorm Films and 7DM Studios, he has accumulated a huge back catalogue of commercial feature script material, and been involved in a handful of commercially successful features that straddle genre and present fresh narratives in unusual settings. Despite an obvious familial connection to the late, great Sir David Lean, he subscribes to vigorously pushing his own brand of exceptional filmmaking – one that continues a family tradition of beautifully crafted films. Coming late into the business from a military, civil police, and ‘close protection’ background, his life experiences inspired and informed his immersion initially as a screenwriter, and subsequently in production and direction. Latterly his entrepreneurial spirit and driving commitment to the independent sector of UK film has seen the creation and development of a new ‘Production Services’ concept which will herald a significant shift in the traditional studio landscape from 2019. In between various production commitments, and by invitation, he is an occasional lecturer and motivational speaker as well as seminar presenter at national and international film festivals on subjects as wide ranging as “Script to Screen: The Producer’s Journey”, and the ever popular “Screenwriter’s 101 : A Guide to Genre”.
Jorge Saralegui, Board Member
CEO, Material Film Production Company
A former novelist and executive vice-president of production at 20th Century Fox, Jorge Saralegui now runs his own production company, Material. Saralegui’s producing credits include Queen of the Damned, The Time Machine, Showtime, for which he also wrote the story, and Red Planet. Born in Cuba, Saralegui emigrated to Bronxville, New York with his family when he was seven. He began writing short stories in high school and went on to earn a degree in creative writing from Ohio’s Antioch College in 1976. In 1985 Putnam Berkley published Saralegui’s first novel, Last Rites, followed by Shadow Stalker in 1987. Prior to the 1990 release of his third book Looker, Saralegui relocated to Los Angeles and became a script reader for Universal. He then segued to Fox, where his passion for compelling narrative helped him rise from creative executive to executive vice president in just five years.
Dr. Deirdre Evans Pritchard, Ex Officio
DCIFF Executive Director & Programmer
Deirdre Evans-Pritchard spent many years integrating digital media and arts into higher education and working in international cultural exchange. Projects have included: 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 the program editor for the Anthropos Documentary Film Festival at the AFI in Los Angeles. Previously DCIFF’s director of the “Filmmakers on the Hill” Forum, 2011 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.