Who We Are
Ben Proudfoot is the creative force behind Breakwater Studios. An award-winning short-documentary director and entrepreneur. Proudfoot was named one of Forbes Magazine’s "30 Under 30" for his leadership and innovation in the brand-funded documentary space.
Breakwater’s 2021 Academy Award® Nominated “A Concerto is a Conversation” made in collaboration with The New York Times and executive produced by Ava DuVernay, premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.
Other recent works include the Emmy-nominated series New York Times Op-Docs “Almost Famous”, a collection of short films featuring people who nearly made history
Jon Amiel is an acclaimed English director who has worked in film and television in both the UK and the US.
After receiving a BAFTA Award nomination for the BBC series The Singing Detective (1986), he went on to direct films receiving critical and commercial success, including Sommersby (1993) starring Jodie Foster and Richard Gere, Copycat (1995) starring Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter, Entrapment (1999) starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and The Core (2003) starring Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank. His most recent feature was Creation (2009) with Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly.
Barbara Vásconez is the Program Manager at New York Women in Film & Television.
Before joining NYWIFT, she was the General Manager at the Quad Cinema in New York City. She has worked for a variety of film festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival, Rooftop Films, Hamptons Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, DOC NYC, and the Nantucket Film Festival. Her spare time is spent programming panels and creating unique community engagement opportunities for the New York Latino Film Festival.
Her educational goals include working to develop film programs in New Jersey that improve film education for low-income students. She is committed to the importance of film as a means of community engagement.
K. Lorrel Manning
K. Lorrel Manning is an award-winning writer/director, actor and musician who works in both film and theatre.
He recently completed the documentary/performance film Trouble In Mind: Black American Playwrights from the 1800's to Now. His critically acclaimed play Awake, which he also directed, received its world premiere at the Barrow Group in January 2019. He is currently shooting Lost & Found, a feature-length documentary on young Cameroonian painter Ludovic Nkoth and prepping his second narrative feature film, Sheila & The Punk Rock.
Manning has an MFA in Film from Columbia University and a BFA in Drama from the University of Georgia. He currently teaches screenwriting and advanced acting at Sarah Lawrence College, and he is a resident director and instructor at the Barrow Group Theatre Company and School.
Indrani is a United Nations Women's Entrepreneurship Distinguished Fellow, and a Max Mark-Cranbrook 2019 Global Peacemaker. She co-founded and executive directs Shakti Empowerment Foundation (SEEschool.org) for women and children in India, is Co-Host of the Global People's Summit at the UN
Tribeca Film Festival 2019 award-winning director, photographer, and social justice activist Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri is known by a single name for her “Iconic imagery and storytelling” (Huffington Post) “at the crossroads of pop culture and critical acclaim”(Lincoln Center). David Bowie commissioned her first album cover and her directorial debut, exploring the mind of a mass shooter, featured in the HBO Movie The Last 5 Years, and Indrani helped launch Beyonce and Lady Gaga, photographing their solo debut album art. Her work has won 43 awards including two gold lions at Cannes Festival of Creativity,
Tom Brown is an Emmy nominated producer and an experienced television and film operations executive. He specializes in live-action and animation in the formats of scripted, non-scripted and factual/documentary.
Brown served as VP of Production and Operations at Emmy Award winning NYC studio, Little Airplane Productions where his clients included BBC, Disney and Nickelodeon. He presently serves as VP of Business Operations at Retro Report, a documentary news organization and partnerships include PBS, The New York Times, American Experience, Quartz and Frontline. Brown is a member of the NY PGA and has been recognized by the production community to conduct international production workshops in Britain, Canada, Germany, Korea, Qatar and Turkey.
American film and television director, known for the film "Dinner Rush" and music videos for Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and Pat Benatar’s "Love is a Battlefield". His production company, Giraldi Media, has Produced and Directed close to 3,000 commercials, music videos and short films. He accolades include Cannes Advertising Awards, and Clio Awards
Tianna Lawrence is an experienced film festival coordinator. She has been with New York Shorts since its inaugural year in 2012 at Landmark Sunshine Cinema.
She has performed production and operational duties with the Tribeca Film Festival and Just for Laughs comedy festival. She oversees filmmaker communication, event sponsor correspondence, volunteer management, film programming, and attendee interactions at New York Shorts International Film Festival.
Nicole Márquez Salamanca
Nicole Márquez Salamanca has been overseeing the day-to-day operations for New York Shorts International Film Festival since 2019. She also collaborates with Bogotá Short Film Festival / Festival de Cortos de Bogotá, Planet On, and MIDBO.
In addition, she has participated in numerous international film festivals as a director, cinematographer, and programmer. She believes in the importance of cinema and is working to expand Latin American films to other regions through her personal project Avi Lab.