ABOUT US

Our Mission

To expand minds, open hearts, and entertain people through worldwide independent cinema.

Our VISION

Provide a year-round destination for international independent cinema, promoting diversity, understanding, education, and inclusion through engaging storytelling.  Our world-class annual festival in San Luis Obispo County, along with events throughout the year, provide a venue for international and local filmmakers, exposing an ever-expanding range of audiences to new ideas and experiences.

Located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, surrounded by lush vineyards, ranch land and a 100-mile coastline, the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (SLO Film Fest) is headquartered in the quaint, sophisticated downtown of San Luis Obispo on the spectacular Central Coast of California. As a premiere 6-day annual event, the SLO Film Fest showcases contemporary and classic film screenings in a wide variety of venues, from the city’s classic art deco Fremont Theatre, to the popular independent Palm Theatre, with a variety of unexpected venues from the wine country of Paso Robles to the seaside town of Morro Bay.

What makes the SLO Film Fest Special?

Our Team

Skye McLennan

Executive Director

Grace Tucker

Associate Director

Chelsea Baumberger

Development Director

ADDITIONAL STAFF:

FESTIVAL PROGRAMMER AND ASSISTANT: Cindy Kitagawa
GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Elizabeth Kurrels
PHOTOGRAPHY: Brittany App, Riley Grim
BOARD MEETING VENUE: Hotel San Luis Obispo

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Paul Metchik is an attorney in San Luis Obispo, specializing in real estate and business transactions and tax planning. He loves film and has supported the performing arts in SLO County for many years, through his family’s involvement. Sons Aaron and Asher have performed in numerous plays, and his wife Robyn is the former drama teacher at Paulding and Mesa Middle Schools and Nipomo High School in south county. Paul has done everything from promoting the shows, to loading scenery, to buying pizza for the cast. Paul also experienced the ‘art of filmmaking’ as the Executive Producer of 10 YEARS LATER, an independent feature film, written and directed by Aaron, which was shot entirely on the Central Coast of California.

Sandra Duerr has just joined the SLO Film Fest board after recently retiring from a very successful 19-year tenure as Executive Editor and Vice-President of The Tribune. Under her leadership, The Tribune was recognized for its public service journalism, including its in-depth reporting on a number of important Central Coast issues. During this time, The Tribune won more than 300 state, regional and national awards, including three McClatchy President’s Awards, the company’s top honor.

Duerr, who was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University in 1989-90, was president of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 1991-92, where she established the Gary L. Klott Journalism Ethics Fund in 2003 in memory of her late husband. She has been a Pulitzer Prize juror three times and was given the Knight Ridder General Excellence Award in 2000 for her accomplishments at The Tribune. She is an adjunct journalism professor at Cal Poly and is a member of the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Before moving here in 1998, Duerr was a reporter and editor at newspapers in Wisconsin, New Jersey and Kentucky. Duerr is very excited to join the SLO Film Fest board to assist with its growth and development in future years.

Janice Rohn is an executive leader and expert in high tech and a pioneer in the field of User Experience.  She began her career at Stanford University, working on artificial intelligence, before joining Apple to design products and to help to create the Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines.  She then moved into building and leading teams responsible for designing digital interfaces for AT&T, Experian, and many other companies.  Janice has contributed to many design standards and holds design patents.  She teaches courses worldwide, and is known for her expertise on a variety of topics, including design, product management, and organizational strategies.

Janice has been a resident of the Central Coast for almost 20 years.  She has been attending the SLO Film Fest for over 10 years, and has also studied film production.  Janice is excited to be joining the talented team of Board members and staff.

For the past 20 years, Tom has worked as a writer, producer and director on numerous internationally distributed documentary and educational films. His most recent, the award-winning “Botso”, became the Critics Pick of the New York Times. After graduating from Cal Poly, he received additional training at the Sony Institute and at the American Film Institute in Hollywood.  In 2014, Walters was awarded an Artist In Residence position at the Napa Valley Film Festival. Tom enjoys playing music with The Taproots

Maria has applied her collaboration and networking skills to all aspects of education, corporate branding, government affairs and community relations. She has been responsible for building capacity through community engagement, promoting sustainability and strengthening strategic relationships for both public and private organizations. Building community and solving problems are core to her approach. Maria holds an MS in management and leadership from Pepperdine University, a certification in paralegal studies from Cal Poly SLO and a BS from Oregon State University.

David Hardberger’s career has spanned several decades starting in the Universal Studios Optical Department. He’s worked on visual effects for such films as CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, BLADERUNNER(1982), STAR TREK – THE MOTION PICTURE, SPACEBALLS, STAR TREK – WRATH OF KHAN and the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. His other work includes camera technician for the ShowScan filming process, a unit manager for two small features and a live action cameraman and second unit DP on several feature films. David is a voting member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences. More recently, he has written and directed two short films that were filmed in the San Luis Obispo area using many local crew members and talent. He lives in Los Osos with his wife, Maggie Means who is a production accountant on independent films, and their two cats.

Kyle Plummer is an award-winning independent filmmaker based in the beautiful Central Coast of California. His first short documentary Korea Remembered, made at the age of 16, was honored by the Department of Defense in 2013 and was made a permanent addition to their historical records. More recently, amongst many other short and feature length projects, Kyle edited and produced the multi-award-winning short documentary Becoming Rich (2018). He earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication with an emphasis in Digital Film and has returned to SLO to pursue independent production work in both film and video through SuperImage, Ltd.

Erin McCall has experience in working with nonprofits as well as marketing and the performing arts. She has always enjoyed cinema and live performances. In the past she was the Administrative Manager for the Central Coast Children’s Choir, Executive Director for Canzona Women’s Ensemble and most recently, the Communications and Program Associate at The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County. She currently serves as the Executive Assistant to the CEO and executive team at Twin Cities Community Hospital where she uses her organizational skills to support operations. She has lived in San Luis Obispo County since 1994 with her husband and two daughters.