The Team

Michelle Kantor, Director and Executive Producer

Michelle Kantor is the Executive Director and Co-founder of Cinefemme, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides fiscal sponsorship to women directors. Her work includes award-winning short films, music videos, and documentaries. Michelle is the youngest daughter of political refugees who fled Communist Czechoslovakia in the 1960’s, and is currently producing two projects about her family's historic escape from behind the Iron Curtain. RED STAR, her first feature film, documents her father's first return on the 50th anniversary of his escape. Her feature length screenplay, THE REBEL, is a narrative biopic screenplay based on her parents’ lives. Michelle shoots and edits live performances, including Teatro Zinzanni (San Francisco’s circus vaudeville-cabaret), bands (The Dirty Pearls and Translator), and others, such as celebrity painter Tara Savelo. She won Best Music Video at LA Femme Film Festival 2014 for Manuela Horn's debut music video "Highway to Yodel-Ay-Hee-Huuu.” Other production credits include HBO, FYI, The History Channel, Sony, Universal, and NASA. An advocate for epilepsy awareness, she has lived with the neurological condition for most of her life, and directed a groundbreaking short film told from an epileptic's perspective. Michelle's distinctions include the Goldfarb Award for Best Student Film, Thunen Memorial Scholarship from the Illuminating Engineers Society, and funding from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation for her work with Cinefemme. She holds an MFA from San Francisco State University, and BFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Michelle is a certified paralegal, mother, writer and artist. An active participant in the Los Angeles female filmmaker community, Michelle is a member of WIF, WIMPS, AWD, Film Fatatles, and a regular contributor for Ms. In the Biz.

Mayra Azanza, Producer

Mayra Azanza is a three-time Emmy award nominee for her production work in original programming for television. Her productions include Galaxy Confidencial, Historias Detrás, Momentos, and many other special features, have been shown nationally and internationally and are highly recognized in the sports community. She has also worked on independent productions, from commercials to soap operas, as well as live LA Lakers Pre and Post game shows. Mayra has worked as a reporter for the newspaper La Opinión in Spanish, and producer for Canal 22 in Los Angeles. She has a BA in Marketing from the Universidad de León in Mexico and a minor in Hispanic Journalism from UCLA.

Katrina Parks, Producer

Katrina Parks is the acclaimed producer/director of “ The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound.” an historical documentary about how over 100,000 railroad station waitresses opened up the American West and the workplace to women. The film received a nomination from the James Beard Society and has been broadcast on over a dozen PBS stations across the country. Katrina has also produced and written documentary and reality programs for networks including A&E, Discovery, Food Network, Fox, History, PBS, Planet Green, The Learning Channel and Travel Channel. She has received grants from state humanities councils, museums and foundations for her documentary projects. She has a BFA from the University of New Mexico in painting and drawing, and an MFA from San Francisco State University in Film Production. She is a board member of the non-profit Cinefemme and a member of WIF, the PGA and the IDA.

Kimby Caplan, DP

Kimby Caplan is an award-winning cinematographer whose work has aired on PBS, ABC, and NBC affiliates. Her documentaries and short films have been shown in festivals across the country and internationally. Her films, as a Director and as a Director of Photography, have won awards in all genres. Caplan has just completed principal photography on a feature documentary about Cuban Exiles in America, "CUBAMERICAN" featuring Andy Garcia which has been invited to the Miami Film Festival. She is the recipient of a 2005 Student Academy Award in the documentary category for LISTEN, which also received a Juror's First Place at the Black Maria Film Festival, and a Silver Remi Award from Houston Worldfest. Her 35mm short Song of David was invited to Cannes to screen in their shorts corner in 2008. Another 35mm short lensed by Caplan won the Best Horror Short at the 2009 Cape Fear Film Festival in North Carolina. Her current project as a Cinematographer is Transients, a short funded by the Loreen Arbus Foundation. Caplan is a graduate of the American Film Institute and resides in Los Angeles.

Colby Palmer, Technical Director

Colby Palmer is a technologist and developer, currently EVP Technology & Development at Giantsource, Inc., known for architecting high-traffic application platforms and leading technology teams. He is also a developer who works mostly with Python, Django and HTML5 web applications. His work has been featured in most major technology publications including TechCrunch, Daring Fireball, PandoDaily, and Wired.com. In 2014 he became EVP Technology and Development of Giantsource, a Los-Angeles based design and development shop focused on the entertainment industry. He joined Whalerock Industries (then called BermanBraun) as Head of Technology, managing and re-imagining their in-house publishing platform. He is the co-founder of Eventup, a marketplace for booking event venues. Eventup raised a seed round of ~$2 million and is still active today. In 2010, Colby was brought on at Myspace to build a unique in-stream advertising platform. He then went on to help create Foundry, Myspace's brand community management tool, and was instrumental in executing audition campaigns for American Idol and other national programs. As co-founder of design/development agency Skunkworks Digital, he designed and led the execution of platforms and apps used by companies like BeachMint, NowLive and the MAGIC fashion convention, as well as the upcoming social fan club network Lifee. He is the creator of iTweet.net, one of the original iPhone-dedicated Web apps for Twitter, which developed into a full-browser version currently most popular with users of the service.

Chloe Shriner, Intern