AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL STAFF
Barbara Morgan co-founded Austin Film Festival in 1993 and has served as the sole Executive Director since 1999. As a filmmaker, Morgan developed and produced the film NATURAL SELECTION, which has been on Showtime and the Sci-fi channel, and was released internationally, and co-produced the feature documentary ANTONE’S: HOME OF THE BLUES, released internationally as well. Most recently, Morgan produced the documentary feature, PORTRAIT OF WALLY, now screening in selected theatres throughout the country, and the narrative feature SPRING EDDY, soon to be relased. She developed and produces the TV series “On Story: Presented by Austin Film Festival”, currently airing on Austin’s KLRU and other PBS stations across the country. In 2010, Morgan produced a reading of Bud Shrake’s play “A Friend of Carlos Monson” with director Jeff Nichols. Morgan serves on the Board of Directors for a number of organizations, including International Film Festival Summit and The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University.
Matt attended the University of Texas at Austin and received a Bachelor of Science in Radio/TV/Film in 2005. During his time there, he served as the Co-Director for the University Filmmakers’ Alliance Film Conference and first worked for Austin Film Festival as an intern for the Screenplay Competition Department. After his internship, Matt continued working for AFF by helping evaluate First Round scripts as a reader for the Screenplay Competition and eventually was hired as the organization’s Office Manager. After two years in that position, he assumed the role of Screenplay Competition Director, where he helped facilitate over 4400 screenplay entries in 2010. This is his second year as the Director of the Competition. Matt has also written several short and feature screenplays and a stage play that was performed at FronteraFest in Austin.
When Ryan’s step-dad introduced him to John Carpenter’s sprawling kung fu epic, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, he instantly became enamored with the art of film. Originally from Austin, by way of Lafayette, LA, he attended the University of North Texas where he earned a BA in Radio, TV and Film. In 2010, Ryan moved back to Austin to get involved with the local film community. There he directed a slew of short films and music videos and served as the co-founder/executive director of Cinema41 (a community organization dedicated to screening overlooked independent films) for two years. He joined AFF in 2012 as the Film Department Director.
Bears Fonte joins the staff of AFF after 7 years as a reader for the screenplay competition. A writer/director, Bears returned to Austin to finish post-production on his first feature, “iCrime,” which was released by Vicious Circle Films in 2011. His two self-produced web-series have been seen by a combined ten million viewers. Bears has won or been a finalist in numerous screenwriting competitions including Screenwriter’s Expo, Final Draft Big Break, Page International, and Story Pros. He received his MFA in Directing from Indiana University and has directed for a number of theaters in Austin including the Austin Shakespeare Festival, Teatro Humanidad, and the Texas premiere and award-nominated production of Corpus Christi at the Hideout. During graduate school, he founded and served as the artistic director for the late-night “Dark Alley” series at Bloomington Playwrights Project, creating the long running Sex/Death evening of shorts, now in its tenth year. Bears also writes musical theatre and has had his plays produced in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Texas.
Erin Hallagan is the Conference Director for the Austin Film Festival. She oversees all programming of the Conference, including guest speakers, honorees, panels, and workshops, as well as planning the year-round Conversations in Film series. She originally joined AFF as their Film Programmer, stepping in as Conference Director in the summer of 2012. Hailing from the East Coast, she studied Film, Theatre and Media Arts at Temple University where she graduated with honors. Prior to moving to Austin, Erin taught screenwriting courses at the Graduate School of Washington, DC, while also managing the programs and riding school at a high-volume equestrian center. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, yoga, theatre, live music and dabbling in graphic design.
Originally from Houston, Texas, Celina graduated from the University of Dallas with a BA in Art History. After trying her hand in Houston’s Political campaign arena, she moved to Chicago, Illinois and earned an MA in Art History, Theory and Criticism and an MA in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. While earning her Master’s degrees she worked for the Art Institute of Chicago and served on SAIC’s Enrichment Fund Board. Upon graduating, she moved to Austin and began to work for Austin Film Festival as the 2012 Registration Director. In 2013 she became AFF’s Director of Marketing. In her free time, Celina enjoys writing, cooking, hiking and is an avid supporter of the arts.
Allison is originally from Mission Viejo, CA. She moved to Austin in 2005 to attend the University of Texas at Austin and received a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations in 2009. She began working for Austin Film Festival in 2008 as a Conference Department Intern. During her last year at UT, she became the Assistant to the Executive Director till 2010 when she moved to the Hospitality Coordinator position for 2 years. During that time Allison planned the Festival parties and was Event Coordinator for AFF’s Young Filmmakers Program fundraising party- Film & Food. She recently took over as Development Director in December 2012. In her time outside of the office, she enjoys reading, shopping, wine tasting and spending time with her fiancé, Joey, and their dog, Briggs- the Regal Beagle.
Sonia Onescu first joined the AFF team in 2011 interning under the Executive Director. She earned a B.A in Electronic Media from Texas State University. During her time at Texas State, Sonia served as Assistant News Director of the college radio station KTSW 89.9, winning several awards for radio documentaries she wrote, produced and edited. Sonia returned to AFF in 2012 to manage several different projects including the ON STORY show and book series. Sonia also oversees all of the AFF archives and is currently working to transfer and store nearly 20 years of material. Originally from Madrid, Spain, Sonia coincidentally moved to Austin the same year of AFF’s inception-something she believes was meant to be. Besides multi-tasking on a daily basis, Sonia enjoys live music, photography, reading, and spending time outdoors.
Kristen attended Texas State University and received a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in December 2012. She’s been a part of Austin Film Festival since the summer of 2011 when she started as a marketing intern. From there she went on to assist as an Events Coordinator at the beginning of 2012. She was also our Summer Film Camp Coordinator and Film Marketing Coordinator in 2012.
Originally from Houston, Texas, Linzy graduated from The University of Texas at Austin this past May with two degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Hispanic Studies. She began interning at Austin Film Festival in the conference department in the fall and is excited to join the staff researching for On Story and assisting Barb with all of her reasonable demands. In her spare time, Linzy enjoys watching what her friends call “pretentious television shows” and practicing improv comedy with a local troupe.
Elizabeth Mims grew up in Austin, Texas and graduated with a BFA from CalArts in 2010. Her 2012 feature ONLY THE YOUNG was theatrically released by Oscilloscope and won numerous awards including the Silverdoc’s Sterling Silver Award for best US documentary, American Film Institute Audience Award, and the 2012 National Board of Review top five documentaries of the year.