MARIA DATCH, Chair, 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.
PETER VOTH, Treasurer has been a part of DCIFF since 2011, and has been on DCIFF’s Board of Directors since 2103. He has participated in almost all aspects of the organization, including setting up DCIFF’s electronic infrastructure, planning international outreach campaigns, coordinating balloting and filmmaker awards, and serving as Festival Manager. He has worked as a data scientist, policy analyst, web programmer, and systems adminisrator for both the Federal government and non-profit organizations for more than two decades, after receiving a Master’s Degree in US Foreign Policy from American University. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, children, a chihuahua, and an ever-changing number of chinchillas, and he enjoys reading voraciously and using his obsessive podcast listening to bore whatever family members are unfortunate enough to be trapped in the car with him.
SANA SONI, Director of Sales at Giant Pictures, specializes in independent film, currently Director of Sales. She has an extensive background in film and TV sales from multiple studios and independents in both Los Angeles and London, including Signature Entertainment, Discovery, Warner Bros, NBC Universal, National Geographic, 1091 Pictures and Walden Media. A UCLA and New York Film Academy graduate, she brings market expertise to features in development and those looking for distribution. During the pandemic she executive produced a short-form series which was shot entirely remotely, called The Myth of Control, leading up a team of just under 80 across 8 countries. The series is now complete and seeking distribution. Sana has spoken at the DC Independent Film Festival and Raindance Film Festival, judged for the Brooklyn Film Festival and been a reader for Killer Shorts horror short script competition, and is in the advisory groups for Film Hub Wales and the UK Asian Film Festival. Basically she just loves all things film/entertainment.
ANTHONY ANDERSON (Director, Producer, Actor) created the web series in ANACOSTIA in 2009 which follows the lives of the residents of a small community in southeast Washington, D.C. as they navigate love, lies, vices, and murder. The Emmy® Award-winning drama has also received 54 INDIE SERIES AWARDS nominations, and is a SIX time DAYTIME Emmy® nominee, winning in 2015 for Outstanding Performer In A New Approaches Drama Series. (Martha Byrne). With an independent spirit at its core, ANACOSTIA has grown from a passion project of a small group of filmmakers and actors looking to create the storylines and characters they wanted represented on television, into 60 episodes of groundbreaking drama. In 2020 Anthony received a Prime-time Emmy Award nomination for his work as an actor in the series.
JOHN GRAY (writer-director-producer) created the long running hit CBS series, GHOST WHISPERER, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, as well as writing and directing many award-winning and critically acclaimed movies for television, such as MARTIN AND LEWIS, starring Sean Hayes and Jeremy Northam; the Emmy® nominated A PLACE FOR ANNIE with Sissy Spacek; the Emmy® nominated mini-series HAVEN with Natasha Richardson and Anne Bancroft; HELTER SKELTER with Clea DuVall and Bruno Kirby, and many others. Gray has directed dozens of episodes of broadcast and cable series and was also the producing director of the CBS series RECKLESS. He has written and directed several studio and independent feature films, including the award winning WHITE IRISH DRINKERS, starring Stephen Lang and Karen Allen, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Gray’s acclaimed short films have played and are currently in film festivals all over the world including FRENCH KISS, which has also notched 6.3 million views to date on YouTube. His first novel, THE DESECRATED, was published in July 2022.
DEIRDRE EVANS-PRITCHARD (DCIFF Executive Director & Programmer) 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. 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. She is passionate about visual literacy and the need for everyone to be trained in digital media skills and analysis. She is currently working on her epic book/film/exhibition experience on the place of the screen in human civilization.