Festival Director Jennifer Fischer is a writer, film producer, editor, and the co-founder of Think Ten Media Group. Her latest multi-award winning film, “Smuggled,” saw her tackling distribution, successfully securing theatrical screening events at universities, colleges and community organizations throughout the United States and abroad. She fell in love with filmmaking while at Harvard getting her MA in Middle Eastern Studies as she discovered the power of media to explore difficult topics. Her first short film, “Songs of Palestine,” was presented in conjunction with her Masters Thesis and premiered at a Quaker International Relations Conference. Jennifer also founded and ran the Santa Clarita Valley Film Festival for 7 years. She curates various film-related boards on Pinterest; her Film Articles and Resources Pinboard was recognized by Indiewire as one of the Top 10 Pinboards for Independent Filmmakers to follow. She also curates short films for the City of Santa Clarita’s 10×10 Variety Show Night and moderates and organizes panels for the city’s New Heights Artist Development Series.
Creative Director Mary Anne Kochenderfer has degrees in Music and Education from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Medicine from the University of Edinburgh, where she studied the use of therapeutic music programs in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. She puts all three degrees to use on a daily basis, albeit unconventionally, as a freelance writer and photographer who blogs at Mama Smiles – Joyful Parenting. Mary Anne was named on The Edvocate’s List of 20 Must-Follow Parenting Twitter Feeds, and her blog is one of Hi Five Baby’s 100 Top Family Blogs. Her four children are big stop motion fans.