Film Festival Guests

Filmmakers and special guests who will be speaking at the              2020 ClexaCon Film Festival

Support Our Artists!

More than ever, LGBTQ+ artists need support to create the art we all want to see in the world. If you’d like to support the filmmakers and creators who are part of the festival, please follow their social media accounts, watch their content and consider supporting them through their Ko-Fi accounts (linked from their bios on our website).  Please help support these talented filmmakers!

Alex Vatour

Alex Vatour

Actor, Italian 102

Alex Vautour is an actor whose purpose is to inspire change. She’s a storyteller who thrives on collaborations that tell buried stories. 

Her favourite movie is the Wizard of Oz and was dazzled and influenced by Judy Garland as a child. She studied journalism at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Upon graduation, she started a brief but successful freelance career and wrote articles for publications including Maclean’s Magazine and BuzzFeed. After a few months, she realized it wasn’t for her. She moved to Toronto with no job or plan. A week later, she decided to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an actor. It was one of the best decisions she’s ever made. 

Alexis Hillyard

Alexis Hillyard

Panelist, Where am I on Screen? Being Neuroatypical, Disabled, and Queer

Alexis Hillyard (she/her) is a queer and disabled YouTube Creator, self-taught vegan chef, and entrepreneur. Born without her left hand, Alexis uses her stump as a kitchen tool – from spatula to juicer – while expanding the vocabulary of what’s possible in the kitchen each week on her show ‘Stump Kitchen.’ Stump Kitchen is a YouTube series that celebrates body diversity, gluten free vegan cooking, and the amazing, unique ways we move through the world. 
In 2016 & 2018, Stump Kitchen won Best Food Blog in VUE Magazine’s Best of Edmonton, Canada. In 2017 Alexis was named the first Canadian Ambassador to the Lucky Fin Project, an organization dedicated to limb difference awareness, education, and celebration.
Ally Johnson

Ally Johnson

Writer, Producer, Actor , Butch Pal for the Straight Gal

Ally Johnson is an LA-based comedian, radio host, voice actor and writer. She is best known for co-hosting the top-rated morning show Kevin Klein Live on KITS LIVE105.3 in San Francisco. Over four years the show gave KITS their highest ratings in over a decade and their podcast received over two million downloads. Ally has interviewed and worked with the likes of Dave Grohl, Chris Martin, Nikki Glaser, Bono, Bob Saget, Green Day, Florence & The Machine and many more. She currently hosts Drop The Subject on Channel Q, the world’s first nationally syndicated LGBTQ+ radio station. She has also guest-hosted for KFI AM640, Loveline, NASCAR XFinity Series, and she hosted her own podcast on Playboy Radio called The Real Ally Show. Ally also works regularly in the voiceover industry, working with the likes of Pixar, Telltale Games, Ubisoft and Disney Character Voices just to name a few. Most recently Ally can be heard voicing Elastigirl for Disneyland Parks, Disney on Ice, and The Incredibles LEGO Video Game

Allison Graham

Allison Graham

Producer/1st Assistant Director , Synchronicity

Amanda Holland

Amanda Holland

Panelist, Shut Up and Take My Money: How to Empower Queer Creators

Amanda Holland is a comedy writer based in Los Angeles. She’s an award winning filmmaker who will get drunk and watch lesbian movies on the internet. She created Girl Ship TV, a youtube channel created for queer women by queer women and when she’s not writing, she’s often wondering… Do baby pigeons exist? Like, have you ever seen one?

Anna Feder

Anna Feder

Panel: Meet the Programmers!

Anna Feder has been working in cinema exhibition in various capacities for over two decades. She served as a programmer at Wicked Queer: the Boston LGBT Film Festival for four years. She also served as the Networking Program Manager for the Creative Mind Group advising students and setting opportunities for them at the Cannes film festival. Previous to this, she served as associate director of the Northampton Independent Film Festival and was the director of the Boston Underground Film Festival for seven years.

She currently serves as the Director of Programming in the Visual Media Arts department at Emerson College and curates the Bright Lights film series in the Bright Family Screening Room. She is affiliated faculty teaching a course she designed, Behind the Screens: the Mechanics of Cinema Exhibition. Additionally, Anna offers her services as a freelance consultant to emerging filmmakers looking for assistance in audience building and festival strategy, with film festivals looking to partner with academic institutions and filmmakers looking to exhibit in academic settings.

Annie Segarra

Annie Segarra

Panelist, Where am I on screen? Being Neuroatypical, Disabled, and Queer

Annie Segarra, also known as Annie Elainey, is an American YouTuber, artist, and activist for LGBT and disability rights.

Ariana Farina

Ariana Farina

Panel: Meet the Programmers!

Ariana Farina is the Chair for Narrative Features Programming, Co-Chair for Unleashed! Programming and Senior Producer at Dances with Films Festival. Ariana has also been involved in programming for other Los Angeles film festivals. In addition to festival programming, Ariana is a Film Competition Judge for prominent film competitions in Los Angeles and a Jury Member to festivals worldwide. Currently Ariana is touring the U.S. presenting on Film Festival Submission Strategy for Filmmakers, including speaking engagements at Film Independent, USC School of Cinematic Arts, and Women in Film Chicago.

Ariel Abrego Gaitan

Ariel Abrego Gaitan

Writer/Producer, Somos

Ariel Abrego Gaitan is a young Canadian and Latina screenwriter. She has worked on various projects including music videos, short films and Youtube channels, in both the production and post-production phases. In 2016, she began working for the film production company Chaska Films where she co-produced and wrote her first project, the web serie Exiliados.

Ashe Walker

Ashe Walker

Panelist, Where am I on Screen? Being Neuroatypical, Disabled, and Queer

Ashe Walker is an artist who finds inspiration in their experiences with autism, disability, sexuality, gender, mindfulness, and every existential predicament under the sun. They/Them.
Ashlei Shyne

Ashlei Shyne

Moderator, Tuesday Night Shorts Q&A

Ashlei Shyne is an American Actress, Improviser,
Writer, and Filmmaker who was born in Dayton, Ohio. She is best known for her roles in “Dyke Central” and
“Johnson’s Family Dinner”. Ashlei has appeared in several national commercials and print ads. She has studied at Upright Citizen’s Brigade, IO West and Second City.

After recognizing the lack of LGBTQ+ representation within the comedy community, Ashlei decided to create Rainbow Bright Comedy, an LGBTQ+ improv troupe, in order to give Queer POC’s a platform. Ashlei has performed in and written for countless improv/sketch shows and competitions.

As an Out & Proud Black Bisexual woman, Ashlei continues to use her unique voice and perspective to fight racism, bi-eraser and biphobia in all communities. She continues this conversation with her new comedy series #TMI.

Assad Yacoub

Assad Yacoub

Director, Butch Pal for the Straight Gal

Assaad Yacoub is a filmmaker know for his debut feature film Cherry Pop that was bought by Netflix for worldwide distribution in 2017. His work has been featured in major publications including Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, Nylon and Paper Magazine. Assaad has had the opportunity to direct over 20 RuPaul’s Drag Race Queens for their music videos totaling in over 14 million views in less than a year of the released date.

Bex Taylor-Klaus

Bex Taylor-Klaus

Panelist, Trans & Non-Binary Representation in Media

Bex is a queer Jewish actor and a goofball showing up primarily as queer TV characters in shows you may or may not have seen. They live under that wonderful Non-Binary umbrella and have had the distinct honor of playing the first non-binary coming out storyline on network television as of February 2020. Unfortunately, the groundbreaking show Deputy that provided that coming out arc for Fox TV has already been cancelled. Yay Hollywood! Let’s chat representation in media, shall we??

Brighid Wheeler

Brighid Wheeler

Panelist, Meet the Programmers

Brighid Wheeler has been (willingly) held captive in the film festival world for most of her adult life. Having run the gamut from volunteer to THE ‘Queen B’ (nickname earned as Festival Coordinator), she currently serves as the Senior Programmer and Director of Operations for the Indie Memphis Film Festival. Outside of the festival, you’ll most likely find her mentoring, guiding and encouraging the filmmakers in Memphis. She often attributes this as her main source of inspiration and what continues to drive her work at Indie Memphis. Brighid has served on countless juries at festivals across the country, and considers each jury experience an honor as it allows her the opportunity to support our current and next generation of storytellers  

Caitlin Combe

Caitlin Combe

Panelist, Working With Producers

Caitlin Combe is from Ireland but was brought up in South East Asia. She graduated from Emerson College in December 2016 with a B.A. in Film Production. She works best when she is surrounded by creatives who are equally driven and invested as she is. She has previously spent time at Annapurna Pictures, FilmNation Entertainment, Management 360 and WeWork. She has spent the past three years producing one of the worlds largest LGBTQ web series. With two seasons under her belt, a streamy award nomination, over 10 million views, and over 60,000 subscribers, this hit LGBT comedy has been described as “brutally honest and relatable” by Pride.com and “diverse and incredibly binge-worthy ” by Into. Outside of freelance producing she works on creating creative deliverables for clients in and out of the film industry.

Cassie Brighter

Cassie Brighter

Panelist, Trans & Non-Binary Representation in the Media

Cassie Brighter is a writer and public speaker focusing on female sexuality, intersectionality, and trans representation. As a trans advocate, she’s the founder of EmpoweredTransWoman.com, a web magazine and growing online community. She manages an online support group for parents of trans kids, an online support group for spouses of trans parents, and a local on-grounds support group for imprisoned trans women. You can find her writing at CassieBrighter.com

Cassandra Williams

Cassandra Williams

Actor, Italian 102

Cassandra Williams, a Toronto based actor from Barrie, Ontario, an activist for mental health, assault survivors, disability arts and the LGBTQ community.  Since completing the York University Conservatory Acting program in 2017, Cassandra has started in several TV shows, queer films and traveled to the Edinburgh Fringe festival as an actor in, You’ve got to be Kidney Me, directed by Alexandra Cap.

Chanel Glover

Chanel Glover

Writer, Actor, Executive Producer, Sex is a God Thing

Chanel Glover is a former lawyer and special education teacher, and holds an MFA in playwriting from Ohio University. Chanel was a featured playwright in terraNOVA Collective’s Groundbreakers Playwrights Group in 2015. She’s screenwriter for the SEX IS A GOD THING (2014) viral short, and for the digital series, which premiered at the Black Harvest Film Festival in August 2019, and at the Pan African Film Festival in February 2020. Chanel most recently was a playwright fellow at Lambda Literary’s Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices of 2019, and semi-finalist for the Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop.

Charlie David

Charlie David

Producer, Avocado Toast the series

Charlie David has hundreds of hours of television to his credit predominantly exploring the LGBTQI2S experience. He has been selected as the Canadian Filmmaker in Focus by the Kashish Film Festival in Mumbai, India, an invited guest of the Canadian embassy in South Africa to share his documentary on HIV+ youth, executive produced Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride, a global look at pride celebrations and winner of multiple awards including the HBO Best Doc award at the Miami International LGBT Film Festival.

Dalila Ali Rajah

Dalila Ali Rajah

Panelist, QPOC Representation in Media

Powerhouse storyteller, Dalila Ali Rajah is a wonderful mixture of sandalwood, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Whether she is lighting up the stage with her critically acclaimed acting skills, or her mesmerizing dance moves she is simply a joy to watch. She is a dynamic multi-hyphenate griot; actress, writer, and producer.
  
This well-known lauded activist and content creator was selected as one of The Advocate Magazine’s Entertainers of the Year. She Co-Created Cherry Bomb!, which ran 5 seasons on Canada’s OutTV, and is rebooting as a podcast.  Her award winning short film Secrets & Toys  which she wrote, produced, and stars in is now available online.

She’s toured in the Tony Award winning production of The Trip to Bountiful with Cecily Tyson, Blair Underwood, and Vanessa Williams; and has appeared in such shows as How to Get Away with Murder, Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS and Criminal Minds. Dalila also won Best Actress for her leading role in the feature drama Quiet As Kept. 

Dani Williamson

Dani Williamson

Director, LoneWolf

Dani is an American visual artist and occasional noise maker who creates digital and celluloid experimental works, which explore the tensions between virtual and physical space and how those places are experienced by others.

Another aspect of her work is performing in drag as a means to explore masculinity and queer spaces. She has collaborated with musicians, composers, and other digital artists in the US and Israel to make films, small art galleries and other happenings. Currently resides in Tel Aviv.

Support Dani’s work on Ko-Fi!

Deborah Espect

Deborah Espect

Panelist, Meet the Programmers

Deborah Espect is a Writer, Director and Producer based in Brighton, UK. Her films, web series and music videos have been screened in over 50 international festivals and in 2018 her short The World Can Wait won the Audience Award at ClexaCon. Deborah is currently developing two commissioned lesbian features and a number of her own projects. She also seeks to elevate fellow queer filmmakers as the Festival Programmer of FilmPride, Brighton & Hove Pride’s official LGBTQ+ film festival, now in its second year.

Eboné F. Bell

Eboné F. Bell

Moderator, QPOC Representation in Media

Eboné F. Bell is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Tagg Magazine and Tagg Communication LLC. After seeing a lack of queer women represented in local publications (around DMV), she decided to start a magazine and website to tell stories, provide resources and create events. Eboné was recently featured in Forbes Magazine as an “Inspiring Black Entrepreneur Changing Our World.”

She has produced such events as the annual Capital Queer Prom giving the older LGBTQ community a second-chance prom, Capital Pride Women’s Events, Pride in the Sky, and Put on the Gloves Fashion Show benefitting The Trevor Project, just to name a few. These events have raised over $50,000 for LGBTQ non-profit organizations.

This year Tagg Magazine will celebrate eight years of telling thousands of stories, creating safe-spaces for the queer women, and providing important resources for the LGBTQ community. Over the past three years, Tagg Magazine has been named “Top 25 LGBTQ-Owned Companies” by the Washington Business Journal.

Last year, Eboné founded the Tagg Scholarship Fund—a scholarship created specifically for young queer woman of color who can’t afford to attend school. After realizing that only 23% of Black LGBTQ college students graduate, she wanted to make a difference within marginalized communities.

Ellie Brigida

Ellie Brigida

Moderator, Shut Up and Take My Money: How to Empower Queer Creators

Ellie Brigida is a musician, producer and podcaster from Boston. She is the co-host of Lez Hang Out, an LGBTQ podcast about positive representation in the media.

Elizabeth Manning

Elizabeth Manning

Actor, Out in Love

Actor, creator, photographer. Grew up on the east coast performing in local theater before making my way to Los Angeles to pursue film and television acting. Passionate for storytelling, queer film representation, and collaboration in the arts.

Emer Kinsella

Emer Kinsella

Composer, In Orbit

Known for creating poignant soundscapes, award-winning composer Emer Kinsella has scored critically-acclaimed international films, television series and live performances. Having played violin since the age of two, her scores often combine introspective strings with electronic sounds and ambient vocals. In 2017, she won an award at Soundtrack Cologne’s European Talent Competition for Film Scoring and in 2020 won Best Score for In Orbit at the South Film and Arts Festival in Chile.
Emer’s credits include working with Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated composer Johnny Klimek on the hit Netflix series “Sense 8” (written by “The Matrix” creators The Wachowskis); as well as the drama thriller “Jungle”; starring Daniel Radcliffe; and working with Hans Zimmer’s Bleeding Fingers Music on various projects for Netflix, as well as with composers Benjamin Wallfisch and Dan Romer.

Emily Gutierrez

Emily Gutierrez

Writer/Director, Italian 102

Emily Gutierrez is a Toronto-born filmmaker whose work showcases the diverse stories of queer women.

Growing up, Emily loved watching movies and television, but when she got older she realized that there was something missing — she never saw herself represented. This inspired her to get into film and change that. She combined her talents, took several film courses, and created her first short film. Her production company, Tabby Cat Productions, centres around a whole host of films that shed light on queer women.

Emily works as a successful web designer at a well-respected university in Toronto. Her other interests include martial arts, cats, and the television show, Wynonna Earp.

Support Emily on Ko-Fi! 

Faridah Gbadamosi

Faridah Gbadamosi

Panelist, Meet the Programmers

Fardah is a pop culture obsessed lover of film working towards making the space more inclusive. She is currently the Director of Programming for Coven Film Festival, a festival that showcases the work of women and nonbinary filmmakers and Lead Programmer of OUTstream Film Festival, an online queer film festival. Outside of her work at Coven and OUTstream, Faridah works for many film festivals around the country.

Gabby Rivera

Gabby Rivera

Panelist, Shut Up and Take My Money: How to Empower Queer Creators

She’s the first Latina to write for Marvel Comics, penning the solo series America about America Chavez, a portal-punching queer Latina powerhouse. Rivera’s critically acclaimed debut novel Juliet Takes a Breath was called “f*cking outstanding” by Roxane Gay and was re-published in September 2019 by Penguin Random House. Currently, Gabby is the writer and creator of b.b. free, a new original comic series with BOOM! Studios. Her podcast joy revolution is out now.  When not writing, Gabby speaks on her experiences as a queer Puerto Rican from the Bronx, an LGBTQ youth advocate, and the importance of prioritizing joy in QTPOC communities at events across the country. Gabby makes magic on both coasts, currently residing in California. She writes for all the sweet baby queers, and her mom.

Giovannie Espiritu

Giovannie Espiritu

QPOC Representation Panel

Actress and filmmaker Giovannie Espiritu was nominated alongside Academy Award Nominees Alfre Woodard and Amy Irving for Best Supporting Actress at MethodFest for the Mynah Films feature film Fiona’s Script. Her primetime credits include a recurring role on ER (NBC), Bones (FOX), Gilmore Girls (ABC), and Trauma (NBC). She can be seen as the lead in the Amazon series, “Dyke Central,” which was featured in After Ellen, BuzzFeed, Bust Magazine and Curve Magazine as a top LGBTQ series to watch. She just finished filming, “There Will Always Be Christmas,” alongside Eileen Davidson and can be seen in the horror/thriller, “D-Railed” with Lance Henriksen.

As a filmmaker, she was featured in Elizabeth Banks’ WhoHaHa Media for her parody song, “An Introvert’s World,” and her storytelling has been featured in Ms. Magazine. A three-time Outfest Fusion Filmmaker, she was awarded an Honorable Mention for her short film, “Ultra-Feminist.” Her new film, “ALLY 3000,” will be included at the BraveMaker Film Festival and was shown at the California Women’s Film Fest as an intro to the NAACP award-nominated documentary Pushout. It received an Honorable Mention at the LatinX21 Film Festival and a Best Screenplay award at the Culture and Diversity Film festival which praised ALLY 3000 as a “smart, inventive comedy.”

Gretchen Wylder

Gretchen Wylder

Creator/Writer/Actress, THESE THEMS

Gretchen Wylder is the creator/writer/star of “These Thems,” an award-winning queer comedy series. A recent LA transplant, Gretchen has spent the last decade gracing the stages of NYC and beyond.

Support Gretchen on Ko-Fi! 

Helena Sardinha

Helena Sardinha

Producer, Butch Pal for the Straight Gal

Helena Sardinha is a creative TV and film producer with extended experience in film, television, theater and performance. With a degree in Filmmaking at the New York Film Academy, in Los Angeles, Helena has worked in narrative films, music videos, commercials and documentaries. Sardinha started her film career at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) where she produced short films, including Nuvem that won a State Cultural Fund for its development and production. After moving to Los Angeles, Helena produced 10+ short films, with 40+ awards and nominations. Currently, she’s the co-founder of Driven Equation, an entertainment company located between Los Angeles and São Paulo. At the company, Helena is the producer for the upcoming genre-mixing film MORENITA; the pilot of Butch Pal for the Straight Gal, featuring Dot Jones; the short film Próprio and the feature film In the Blue of the Blue Sky. In the past year, Helena has worked with clients such as Future and Max Hershenow. Besides working with production, Helena also teaches film nationally and internationally. She’s currently a faculty member of the Sitka Arts Fine Camp, in Sitka, Alaska.

Heidi Lynch

Heidi Lynch

Creator, Actor, Producer, Avocado Toast the Series

Heidi Lynch is a Canadian/Swiss actor, writer, and producer residing in London, England. In the past twelve months she has received funding for her web series called Avocado Toast the series from several Canadian granting bodies and OUTtvGO. The ability to create, produce and sell works that include the kind of representation she feels is lacking in the world of media content has quickly become the most important thing she has done creatively to date and has sparked a new found love for the business of film making. You may have seen her in the first queer love scene on the CW’s Reign and also in Netlifx’s Spinning Out!

Jaclyn Chessen

Jaclyn Chessen

Panelist, Working With Producers

Jaclyn Chessen is a filmmaker, artist, and owner of To-Enfro Productions based out of the Los Angeles area. Originally from the Bay Area where she got her first taste of indie filmmaking, her work in the industry spans almost 20 years, from her beginnings in publicity for Miramax to years of making indie magic. She has previously been on panels for Clexacon and San Diego Comic Con. Jaclyn has worked on a breadth of projects including music videos, documentaries, shorts and feature-length films. She wrote and directed the feature film “Shock Attack” (Worldwide Film Entertainment), and the shorts “Deprivation”,  “Dark Hole”, and “POV: In the Shadows”. She was editor on “Season of Love”, and Cinematographer/Editor for “The Bra Mitzvah” and “Passage”.  Her next feature film is a female werewolf movie.

Jade Winters

Jade Winters

Director and Writer, The Postie

Jade Winters is an author who also became a filmmaker in 2018. To date she has written screenplays for six short films which were produced through her production company Wicked Winters Films. Last year she adapted her novel ‘143’ into a feature film which she also directed.

Jane Clark

Jane Clark

Director/Producer, Dinner For 4/ Panelist, I Made My Project, Now What?

Jane has made 8 shorts and 2 features, earning numerous awards and nominations on the festival circuit by envisioning strong characters in visceral environments. Her feature career began as producer of the iconic lesbian romance ELENA UNDONE. Through her award-winning features, METH HEAD and CRAZY BITCHES Jane has worked with actors such as Lukas Haas, David Arquette, Tom Sizemore, Candis Cayne, Necar Zadegan and Wilson Cruz, as well as Emmy-winning sound wizard, Andy Addario (Mozart in the Jungle), Emmy-winning DP Per Larsson (The Amazing Race) and composer Curt Smith (co-founder – Tears for Fears).

Her experience has recently extended into VR with a horror short based on her feature script DON’T COME OVER, written with Guinevere Turner (AMERICAN PSYCHO, CHARLIE SAYS) and the digital series medium with a spin-off of her CRAZY BITCHES franchise, CRAZY BITCHES \\ DIGITAL Seasons 1 & 2 (available on itunes, google play and vimeo). 

Jennifer Pogue

Jennifer Pogue

Prodicer, We're Not Talking About This

Jennifer Pogue is a Toronto based Actor & Producer.

On Screen Credits include Endlings (CBC Family), How to Buy a Baby (CBC Comedy), Odd Squad(TVO/PBS), Backstage(Disney/Fresh TV), Reign (CW Network), Beauty and the Beast(CW), Chasing Valentine (Amazon) and the multi-award winning feature The Masked Saint (Ridgerock Productions).  

As a Producer, Jen has worked on numerous films and music videos both independently and as a contributing member to the Film Production Collective Filmcoop Inc. Films currently traveling the festival circuits include Time Out (winner of “Best World Short Film”at ARFF), Orchid (Toronto ACTRA Women’s Committee Grant Award Recipient), Jessica Jessica (multi-award winning, released on CBC Canadian Reflection Program), Shut Up (recently premiered at St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival) and the upcoming feature film Things I Do For Money (Shoot Good Films Inc., Federgreen Ent. & Filmcoop Inc). Jen is an Associate Producer for Women on Screen and co-creator/host of their new podcast series “Women on Screen Out Loud”, and has served the last four years as the Industry Series Producer for The Canadian Film Fest (CFF) – a festival dedicated to celebrating Independent Canadian films and Filmmakers. In between her many film endeavours, Jen works as a Production Coordinator for numerous Hulu/Family Channel/PBS/Nickelodeon television shows. Jen thrives on working alongside passionate & dedicated teams to bring compelling stories to screen.

Jett Garrison

Jett Garrison

Director, These Thems / Moderator, Trans/NB Representation in Media

Jett Garrison is an award-winning transgender director, producer and writer whose work has shown in over 100 film festivals worldwide.  His awards include a College EMMY and a nomination for an Academy Award.  As a Trans identified storyteller, Jett is driven to represent strong, unconventional characters within society and shares his storytelling experience within his community as a continuing mentor to young filmmakers through Outfest’s OutSet Young Filmmaker program.

June Kim

June Kim

Panelist, Shut Up and Take My Money: How to Empower Queer Creators

After finishing an undergraduate program at the School of Visual Arts, June Kim became proficient in cartooning in both American and Japanese/Korean styles.  Since releasing her first graphic novel, 12 days(Tokyopo, 2016), June collaborated with filmmaker Angela Robinson on graphic novel Girltrash!. She self-published her food comic series titled Sporks! and Egg Show, and currently working on a narrative nonfiction about her family. June lives in Brooklyn with her partner of 10 years, working as an illustrator and teaching cartooning at SVA.
Kacy C. Boccumini

Kacy C. Boccumini

Moderator, Friday Night Q&A

Kacy Boccumini has her B.F.A and MA in critical film theory, focused on representations of gender, race, sexuality, and identity in films, television, and digital media. She is a 12-year veteran executive at Sony Pictures working in digital distribution and operations. In 2011, Kacy was featured on seasons 2 and 3 of Showtime’s unscripted series, The Real L Word. In 2018, she stepped behind the camera to produce Take One Thing Off, a 22-episode digital series. The series made its festival premiere at Outfest, is nominated for a 2019 Streamy award for “Best Indie series, and will now screen at Slam Dance 2020. In 2019, she started My Best Guy Productions, where she writes, directs and produces independent content focused on LGBTQI storytelling. She also released YouTube vlog series entitled “Butch Girl’s Guide to Becoming a Womxn,” a personal narrative on gender identity and self-healing. She is currently working on a podcast of the same name as well as, Highly Problematic, a podcast about representations in film and TV. Look for it in 2020.

Kari Alison Hodge

Kari Alison Hodge

Writer, Producer, Actor, Dinner for 4

Kari Alison Hodge is an actress (Good Kisser, Cut and Chop, Crazy Bitches, Dinner for 4) and writer (Dinner for 4, Love in Mexico). She also loves camping, scuba diving, rock climbing, and is a thrift store fashion genius. This is her second Clexacon, and she is happy to be coming with a film she made!

Katie McNeice

Katie McNeice

Director/Writer/Producer, In Orbit

Katie is an Irish Writer/Director who made her debut with arthouse short film, In Orbit. She also made her feature screenwriting debut last year as co-writer of LGBT project ‘Lily’, which is currently in post production. She just won funding for her second short film Focail, Baile, Croí (Words, Home, Heart) from the Irish language pitching competition Comórtas Fisín last week. She’s also aiming to shoot Lambing in Ireland next year, an emotive rural drama based on a new Dad’s experience of learning his baby is intersex. She’s also a full-time Producer of children’s educational content with Learning Company HMH. Katie wrote her Film MA thesis on poetic language and desire in lesbian film, based on the classic 1931 Maedchen in Uniform, its 1958 remake, Katherine Brooks’ 2006 indie film Loving Annabelle and Jordan Scott’s Cracks starring Eva Green. 

Hank Kilgore

Hank Kilgore

Producer, Out in Love

Hank is a producer, editor and writer from Louisiana currently living in Los Angeles. He has worked for multiple production companies and produces a variety of independent projects from podcasts to short films and web series
Kelley Zincone

Kelley Zincone

Producer, I Put the Bi in Bitter

In 2014, Kelley graduated from the University of Colorado with a BA in Communications, majoring in Digital Filmmaking and minoring in Creative Writing Non-Fiction. After a few years in the “real world”, Kelley decided to enroll at Colorado Film School where she received a certificate in Screenwriting & Producing in 2019. During film school, Kelley worked full-time as the Marketing & Web Manager for a local business, as well as a freelance writer, producer, assistant director, and production manager. She is also a stand-up comedian, performing at local comedy venues, colleges, and Fine Art Centers. In 2015, Kelley did a small stint as a substitute teacher, but she doesn’t like to talk about those dark times! Kelley’s goal in life is to make an impact through art, specifically on the LGBTQ+ community, in the same way indie movies and some tv shows (The L Word) impacted her growing up without role models or accurate representation in mainstream media.

Lagueria Davis

Lagueria Davis

Panelist, Working With Producers

Lagueria Davis graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2007 with a BFA in Media Art. Since graduating, Davis has established herself as an award-winning filmmaker. MAID OF DISHONOR a feature she co-wrote was a 2016 Nicholls Fellowship Quarter-Finalist and was a quarter finalist in the 2015 WeScreenplay Competitions. In addition, in 2013 THIS IS NOT A LOVE STORY, a feature script and in 2016 LIGHT IN DARK PLACES a short script placed in the Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition. In 2018, she shot LIGHT IN DARK PLACES, which won best film at 2019 Clexacon Film Festival and can be streamed on Amazon Prime. In most recent news, Davis was selected as a 2019 BAVC Media Maker Fellow with her current project in development, BLACK BARBIE: A DOCUMENTARY.  

Currently, Davis resides in LA where she’s on the board of the Alliance of Women Directors.

Leigh Holmes Foster

Leigh Holmes Foster

Moderator, Shut Up and Take My Money: How to Empower Queer Creators

Leigh is the co-creator and co-host of the hit queer podcast Lez Hang Out! She lives in the Bay Area with her wife, two kids, and dog.

Lisa Rose

Lisa Rose

Panelist, Meet the Programmers

Lisa Rose was appointed as Queer Screen’s Festival Director at the end of May 2017 after having served on it’s Board of Directors for four and half years, as President, Vice-President and Membership Director.  

Queer Screen is based Sydney, Australia and is a not for profit charity that was founded in 1993 and produces Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival each February and Queer Screen Film Fest each September; as well as supporting Australian LGBTIQ+ filmmakers with industry initiatives such as Queer Screen Completion Fund, Queer Screen Pitch-Off and My Queer Career. 

An eager film buff, Lisa comes from a sales, service and marketing background and is a passionate believer in giving voice to all forms of queer entertainment, Lisa is focused on showcasing and championing diversity.

Mandahla Rose

Mandahla Rose

Actress, Butch Pal for the Straight Girl and Syncronicity

An Australian native, Rose has been seen in a string of Aussie films and is known for her iconic role as E in the lesbian hit, All About E. After making the jump across the great Pacific pond and planting her feet in Los Angeles, she has continued following her dreams. Short films: August in the City, Lowland, Don’t Come Over (VR Short) Syncronicity, Landed. Feature films: Forever Not Maybe, For The Love Of Jessee. Series: Butch Pal for the Straight Gal, Crazy Bitches, BIFL, Passage, Venice and Alice & Iza.

Mariscela Mendez

Mariscela Mendez

Director of Photography, Out in Love

Mariscela Beatríz Méndez was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas where her passion for visual arts brought her to Los Angeles to pursue cinematography. Since attending AFI, Mariscela has shot numerous forms of media that have aired and screened for Slamdance and Amazon Prime. She regularly shoots for Conde Nast Entertainment (Vanity Fair, Allure, Self) where she most recently shot BeBe Rexha and Lucy Hale. Mariscela has been recognized by her contemporaries, shooting for the prestigious Project Involve for Film Independent and in 2019 she was selected to participate in The American Society of Cinematographers Vision Mentor Program. Ms. Méndez was also selected as one of 18 filmmakers to participate in the Women in Film 2020 INSIGHT Fellowship Program. Mariscela wrapped principle photography on Season 2 of the web series ADULTING (Amazon Prime), as well as a several commercials for GOOGLE and THE CLOROX COMPANY.

Mariscela is based in Los Angeles, but works throughout the United States.

Marin Lepore

Marin Lepore

Director/ Writer, I Put the Bi in Bitter

Marin Lepore is a screenwriter who aspires to work on TV shows for kids and teens. After studying at the Colorado Film School, she is now completing a Film/TV BFA at the University of Colorado, Denver. As a gay woman of color, Marin is passionate about minority representation in film, and her stories often highlight LGBT and POC communities. She’s co-founder of Sad Girl Productions, a film production company that creates diverse, inclusive, female-centric films; her award-winning, multi-season, comedy webseries “I Put the Bi in Bitter” being one of them.

Mav Viola

Mav Viola

Actress, Butch Pal for the Straight Gal, Synchronicity

Mav Viola is an LA based comedian, writer and actor.  Mav recently featured on a nation-wide tour for Whitney Cummings (HBO, Netflix) and has featured for many other popular comics such as Ian Harvie (Amazon) and Margaret Cho (HBO).  Mav has appeared on “A Little Late with Lilly Singh” and you can catch her in the pilot for “Butch Pal for the Straight Gal” as well as co-starring alongside Margaret Cho and Iliza Shlesinger in Shlesinger’s new film “Play It As It Lies.”  Mav is a graduate of The Second City Conservatory Program and holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from CSULA.  

Nick Park

Nick Park

Actor, These Thems

A New York based performer, Nick has originated multiple roles Off-Broadway and has been seen on stages all over the country. Favorite credits include Bedbugs: The Musical, First Date (Henry Award Nomination: Best Supporting Actor in a Musical), and the original cast of James and the Giant Peach (music and lyrics by Oscar, Grammy, and Tony Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul). An artist through and through, Nick is also a ceramicist and spends his free time creating pottery (@nickparkpottery). Proud husband and dog dad! Follow his adventures @nickparkactor on Instagram and Twitter and at nickparkactor.com. 

Nicole Conn

Nicole Conn

Panelist, Shut Up and Take My Money & Working With Producers

Nicole Conn has achieved world-wide industry recognition with her films, cult classic Claire of the Moon, Elena Undone, (which boasts the LONGEST KISS IN CINEMA HISTORY) A Perfect Ending and little man. Winner of many film awards, she was was a finalist in the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.

She has currently finished her eighth film, More Beautiful for Having Been Broken, inspired by her son, Nicholas, who is very special needs and her daughter, Gabrielle, who makes her film debut in what LesFlicks describes as a “heart-breakingly beautiful love story.” She is also finalizing her epic tome, Descending Thirds, which is in development for the big screen.

Pedro Figueroa

Pedro Figueroa

Actor, Out in Love

Pedro Figueroa is an American actor and model. Raised north of Boston, MA in the small town of Andover. In 2017, Pedro started taking acting classes and working on student and independent projects. To date he has been seen in over 50 projects.  He has gained over 700 million views with his work with Facebook’s & YouTube’s “Dhar Mann” cinematic shorts.  He was casted in a new series “Cocaine Sisters” in a supporting role as “Salvador”, which is in post production. Another series titled “Losing Hope” as the lead characters’ love interest “Donnie” which is in production.

Perrie Voss

Perrie Voss

Creator, Actor, Producer and Editor, Avocado Toast the Series

Perrie is an actor, producer, writer and picture editor. She is the co-creator and one of the leads of ‘Avocado Toast the Series’ which is set to launch in June 2020 on OUTtvGO

Rafael Thomaseto

Rafael Thomaseto

Producer, Butch Pal for the Straight Gal

Rafael Thomaseto is a film and TV producer and director. He has also worked as a sales agent at boutique film sales and finance company Celsius entertainment in London. He now owns Driven Equation, a multidisciplinary entertainment company based between in Los Angeles and São Paulo.

Rashida KhanBey Miller

Rashida KhanBey Miller

Actress & Producer, Sex is a God Thing

Rashida KhanBey Miller (Rashi)  is an Artist, Educator Speaker, Creator & Executive Producer of “Sex Is A God Thing”, Creator of The Messy Movement Lab, Co-Host of Podcast Queer & Married and Co-Owner of The Lingerie Boutique The Temptress’ Boudoir. Over the last decade Rashi has inspired people worldwide to talk about their relationship to self-love, sensuality and healing sexual shame/trauma as an integral part of our spiritual recovery and thriving. Her work has been featured in: Pan African Film Festival, ClexaCon Film Festival, Gene Siskel Film Center, Sisters in Cinema, OpenTV, AfroPunk, ForHarriet, Unfit Christian, The Sexually Liberated Woman Podcast, Elephant Journal, BlackDoctors.org and more. She is currently spending her days in The Pacific Northwest co-creating in life and business with her Spouse, Miller.

Ross Goodman

Ross Goodman

Director/Writer/Producer, DRAG KING

Ms. Goodman is an award-winning, internationally recognized director whose work streams on Netflix, Hulu, Sundance TV and PBS. Ms. Goodman is an active member of Alliance of Women Directors, Film Fatales, GreenLight Women, 50 Women Can Change Hollywood, SeeJane.org, The Producers Guild of America Women’s Impact Network and Glass Elevator.  

Sabrina Spilotoro

Sabrina Spilotoro

Director of Photography, We're Not Talking About It

Sabrina Spilotro is a cinematographer and gaffer who has worked on many shorts, tv shows, features, and music videos in the Toronto and Hamilton area. She continues to work on projects that feature women, both in front of and behind the camera. She always has a cup of coffee in hand, and her most recent short film “Plush” is premiering at the Canadian Film Festival (CFF) this year.

Sarah-Eve Boivin

Sarah-Eve Boivin

Actress, Somos

Sarah-Eve Boivin will study film at the St-Laurent College in Montreal next year and she has been an actress in her free time for several years. She is also passionate about music, writing and directing short films.

Sarah Kinlen

Sarah Kinlen

Actress, In Orbit

Sarah is an accomplished actor, artist and musician. Recent Film work includes OWNED directed by Phyllida Loyd (director of MAMMA MIA and THE IRON LADY), LILY a new Irish feature by Graham Cantwell and Katie McNeice (co-writer), THE CURED directed by David Freyne for Tilted Pictures, CATCALLS by Kate Dolan (an Irish Film Board short) which won the YDA (Young Directors Award) and doing the world festival circuit, also more recently doing the festival circuit is IN ORBIT by Katie McNeice, for which Sarah won best supporting actor in the North Europe International film awards at Fusion festival in London in February. She has since been nominated again in the South Europe International film festival. Music videos with Kate Dolan include PILLOW QUEENS ‘Gaygirls’, Bitch Falcon’s ‘Of Heart’ – nominated for a YDA.

Shaan Dasani

Shaan Dasani

Actor, These Thems

Shaan Dasani (SAG-AFTRA, D.G.A.) is an actor and filmmaker driven by a passion to merge art with social impact. Being an Indian-American who grew up in North Carolina, Shaan gravitated towards storytelling as a way of carving out his own path. But it wasn’t until later in life when he came to embrace his identity as a transgender man that Shaan was able to integrate all facets of himself to add a complexity and depth to his work as an artist. With an MFA in Film Production, he has produced over 30 commercials, shorts and music videos. Acting credits include CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS, Netflix’s EAT YOUR WORDS, award winning digital series THESE THEMS and RAZOR TONGUE, and commercials for GOOGLE, WELLS FARGO, and BONOBOS.

Shirin Papillon

Shirin Papillon

Panelist, I Made My Project, Now What?

Shirin Papillon is an entrepreneur, advisor and LGBTQI warrior. She started OML in 2009 as a means to provide access to, and visibility for, lesbian video content. What started as a database of aggregated videos now serves as a distribution and promotional platform for many of today’s best content and content creators. OML’s YT channel to date has garnered over 240,000,000 views with 505,000+ subscribers.

Stephanie Neroes

Stephanie Neroes

Director/Writer/Producer, Synchronicity

Sophia Clark is a Harlem-based digital content producer and director. Best known for their New York Emmy nominated series, First Person, and festival award winning series Giving Me Life in the Land of the Deadass, Sophia’s work is grounded in the celebration of Black and queer lives and narratives.

Teresa Lee

Teresa Lee

Actor, Butch Pal for the Straight Gal

Teresa Lee is a standup comedian and writer. She was semi-finalist in Standup NBC and has played in festivals including Limestone Comedy Festival, Laughing Skull Comedy Festival, Women in Comedy Festival, and more. She co-wrote and co-stars in the short film, I Think She Likes You, which was featured on Out Magazine as a queer film to watch.

Valeria Lopez

Valeria Lopez

Panelist, Working With Producers

Valeria Lopez is a Los Angeles-based producer, DGA UPM, and location manager. For the past decade, she has spearheaded various successful independent features, TV series, commercials, shorts, and new media projects. Recent credits include producing an upcoming feature film starring Jacqueline Bisset (currently in post-production), production managing comedy specials for HBO and Netflix, working on the producing team of Sundance 2020’s “Wander Darkly” starring Diego Luna and Sienna Miller, co-producing for TV’s Stephen Basilone on the upcoming feature “The Long Weekend,” and line producing Madeleine Olnek’s “Wild Nights with Emily,” a feature starring Molly Shannon as Emily Dickinson (SXSW 2018). 

A world traveler, Lopez aspires to broaden cultural perspectives and experiences through film and media. She received her M.F.A. from Tufts University and her B.A. in Political Science from Yale University.

Vico Ortiz

Vico Ortiz

Actor, These Thems and Misdirection

Vico Ortiz ( They/Him/She) is your charismatic gender-fluid Latinx actor hailing from the gorgeous island of Puerto Rico. Their focus has been creating visibility for Latinx Queers on Stage, Film and TV. Recently you’ve seen them on “Vida”, “Jane the Virgin”, “American Horror Story:1984”, “These Thems”, “Everything’s gonna be Okay”, “Indebted”, “Misdirection” and “Vámonos”. Coming soon you’ll see them in a new Amazon Prime TV series.

Winny Clarke

Winny Clarke

Writer, Producer, Actor, We're Not Talking About It

Winny is an actor based in Toronto Canada. She’s had the privilege of working on over 12 feature films in the past 6 years as well as a handful on television series. She started creating her own shorts two years ago and is so happy to be a part of ClexaCon’s festival this year!

Zarinah Ali

Zarinah Ali

Director, Sex is a God Thing

Zarinah Ali is an LA based artist from Chicago with a background in theatre. She has been directing, producing, and developing episodics and short films since 2014. Since 2017, she has also been working in television production on shows including “Queen of The South”, “The Passage”, and “The Orville”.