Ethan van Thillo, Executive Director / Founder – Media Arts Center San Diego,

Ethan van Thillo is Founder and Executive Director of the Media Arts Center San Diego. Since 1989, he has been working in media arts field programming Latino film festivals for the University of California, Santa Cruz, Cine Acción in San Francisco, Cine Estudiantil at the University of California San Diego, and the National Latino Communications Center in Los Angeles. Ethan has curated 100s of programs at festivals and/or special events in 45 libraries across California, Mexico City, Morelia, Las Cruces, Nuevo Laredo, San Antonio, Tijuana, Sacramento, and San Diego. In 1995, Ethan transformed the Cine Estudiantil into the San Diego Latino Film Festival. In 1999, to broaden the scope of the festival following four successful years, Ethan established the non-profit Media Arts Center San Diego in 1999. Under the umbrella of MACSD Ethan has developed & created innovative new community based media programs such as the California state-wide Digital Story Station initiative, Teen Producers Project, Youth Media & Tech Camps, Mobile Stories, Speak City Heights, The People’s Post, Video Production Services Department, and the new Digital Gym community technology center and movie theater. Ethan has served on various funding panels including San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture, Latino Public Broadcasting, Rockefeller Foundation’s 2004 Film and Video Fellowships, California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts’ funding panel for Media Arts. Mr. van Thillo has also been asked to speak at such national conferences as National Association of Latino Independent Producers, National Association of Latino Arts & Culture, and National Alliance of Media Arts & Culture.



Ryan Kuratomi, Media Director,

Ryan Kuratomi is a graduate of UC San Diego’s Film and Video program and has worked on productions in the San Diego and Los Angeles regions in both production and post-production departments. While at Media Arts Center, Ryan has lead instruction with the Teen Producers Project at local high schools and currently leads the Video Production Services department. The video production team specializes in documentary style video production for various non-profit, corporate and government clients such as the YMCA, KPBS, San Diego Natural History Museum, United Way and SDG&E.



Moisés Esparza, Exhibitions Manager,

Moises Graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies with a concentration in Psychology. Currently, he is a Master of Arts candidate in the Television, Film, and New Media Department at San Diego State University. His past professional experience includes internships at Summit Entertainment and The Weinstein Company, where he assisted the heads of development and acquisitions departments with a multitude of tasks.


Amanda Barcena, Operations Associate,

Amanda graduated from SDSU with a Bachelors in Psychology. Amanda worked at the Muscular Dystrophy Association as the right hand to the Executive Director managing all financial aspects of the San Diego Chapter of this non-profit organization, as well as assisting the Health Care Director with weekly clinic visits to their Muscle Disease clinic. Prior to this position, she worked at a post-secondary vocational training facility providing accounting assistance to the Senior Accountant, as well as assist the President and Vice President of the training facility with day to day operations.



Kania Hayes, Camp & Teen Producers Coordinator,

Kania earned her B.A in Organizational Studies from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. She honed her fluency in Spanish while studying abroad in Costa Rica; yet her passion for writing led her to work as a freelance writer covering performances by world-famous DJ’s, fashion shows and upscale events throughout San Diego and Los Angeles. Always eager to learn, it was after taking a marketing course through the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School that she decided to test her skills as an intern marketing films for the Digital Gym CINEMA. Since interning, she coordinated the SDLFF’s very first CREATIVE CAREERS EXPO in 2015 and has remained on staff ever since as MACSD Membership & Filmmaker Workshop Coordinator.


Larry Silveira, Education & Outreach Coordinator,

Larry Silveira earned an Associate of Arts in Video Production from Mt. Hood Community College in 1995 in Gresham, Oregon. After briefly working in film and video production in San Diego, he pursued a career as an educator. He graduated from San Diego State University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and later earned a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2007. After ten years teaching high school social science, Larry is looking forward to his role as Youth Media & Outreach Coordinator because it is an opportunity to combine his interests in education and cinema.



Brian Myers, Production Coordinator,

Brian Myers, Production and Programs Manager with Media Arts Center San Diego, has an educational background in both the creative and technical sides of technology. Serving as a multimedia journalist for the Speak City Heights media collaborative, Brian focuses on issues of community health and social justice. The San Diego Society of Professional Journalists awarded Brian for his contribution to Second Opinion, a multimedia series about the affects the Affordable Care Act would have on a diversity of San Diegans. Brian’s vision of a location based interactive multimedia project examining communities relationships to local food systems and documenting urban agriculture activity was completed with support from California Humanities. His experience with managing video projects has assisted the growth of MACSD’s video production social enterprise that specializes in video production services for government agencies, community organizations, and regional businesses.



Juan Lopez, Exhibitions Coordinator,

As a San Diego native, Juan Lopez was fascinated by film at a very young age. The under-representation and portrayals of Latinos in film drove him to ameliorate the conventional. He attended The Los Angeles Film School, where he was able to take part in crews of various short films and TV shows. When he returned to San Diego upon graduating, Juan joined Media Arts Center as a marketing and PR Program Associate for the Digital Gym CINEMA. Mr. Lopez also coordinates PR efforts and the Community Partners program for the San Diego Latino Film Festival.




Marco Chavez, Cinema Associate,





Kristian Perez-Franco, Cinema Associate,




Rosana Marques, Marketing/PR Coordinator,




Christopher Simon (Simon), Media Arts Instructor

With a passion for creativity, Simon pursued an Associates of Arts degree in Multimedia Design from Stark State Collage of Technology located in his home town of Canton, Ohio. During his studies at Stark State while taking this one particular video class he realized he had a natural talent and understanding of video production. Upon completion of his degree he was driven to pursue another direction with filmmaking and ended up moving from Ohio to Hollywood, CA, where he attended The Los Angeles Film School receiving a professional 1yr immersion certificate in Directing with a double minor in Cinematography and Editing. While attending film school Simon wrote, produced, and directed his own short film entitled ‘Ben’, loosely based on events that occurred in his life. Simon has since worked on numerous projects in Los Angeles over the past 10 years in film and television (reality TV, award shows, indie films, low budget films, student films, commercials, and documentaries). Simon started as a volunteer at The Media Arts Center assisting with graphic design and light administrative work. Eager to help any way he could, he started taking on many more tasks such as one on one tutoring for video editing workflow and DSLR camera basics, teaching high school youth photoshop and video production basics, assisting with marking movies at our Digital Gym CINEMA by creating film banners for our Facebook page and Digital Gym website, updating movie database, and even assisting with the marketing of the 23rd San Diego Latino Film Festival!  This eventually opened up another door for him when he was asked to teach one of our Youth Media and Tech Camps. Since then Simon has been part of the MACSD crew and has been hired as the lead Media Arts Instructor at William Porter Elementary, teaching the 5th grade class video production basics.



Shanna Trenholm, Consultant/Grant Writer

Shanna is a writer, coach, and consultant who has worked closely with MACSD since 2010. A San Diego native, Shanna understands the needs of our community and assists us with prospect research, fund raising development, and grant writing.



Jodi Cilley, Youth Instructor

Jodi Cilley is a long time filmmaker, entrepreneur and educator. She has  over 11 years of experience teaching video production and teaches video  and editing at San Diego City College, UC San Diego Extension’s Digital  Arts Center, Platt College and the Media Arts Center San Diego. She has  led students in the production of over 40 short documentaries, 30 short  films, and a variety of PSA’s, commercials, live event videos and music  videos. She has produced over a hundred of her own projects including  short films, documentaries and commercial projects and is producing Film  Indiego, a 6-Part TV Series for KPBS and PBS SoCal. She has a BS in  Sociology from Boston College and an MBA with specializations in  entrepreneurship and management from San Diego State University. As a  founder and current president of the Film Consortium San Diego and the  founder and producer of the annual San Diego Film Awards, she is working  to build a strong local film industry and to increase exhibition,  distribution, funding and employment opportunities for local up and  coming film talent.



Anna Rebek, Media Arts Instructor – Youth Media & Tech Camps
Anna Rebek is an actor, director and filmmaker. Anna studied drama and fine arts at Yale University and has been acting professionally both on stage and on film since then. She produced and starred in her first feature film La Sierva in 2012, and afterwards wanted to explore what’s behind the camera. Beginning with music videos, Anna worked her way through learning the many aspects of filmmaking. She recently finished post-production on her second feature film Longview,TX, which she wrote, directed and edited. Anna has found that through helping students tell their stories, her passion for filmmaking is contagious!

Paulina Castro, Media Arts Instructor – Teen Producers Project
Paulina Castro was born in the city of San Diego, California. She studied film and digital media with an emphasis in production at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). She has made several short documentaries. In 2005 she got an honorable mention from CCCSAT with her short documentary ‘Trapeze’ and in 2009 she won best documentary from the Santa Cruz Television (SCTV) with her project ‘Between Drinks’. In 2009 she worked as a teacher assistant at the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in San Diego. From 2010 to 2012 she worked as a full time professor for the film department at the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC) in Mexicali. Later in 2013, she won the jury prize from BORDOCS/ DOCS DF festival with her short documentary ‘Ruta 40’. That same year, she won a year of free plane tickets from Volaris Airline by winning their short video competition with the short ‘Typical Sister’. In 2015 she finished her first documentary feature ‘Bougainvillea Avenue’. She now works as a TV producer for Entravision and as a teen producers project teacher at the Media Arts in San Diego.

Horacio Jones, Media Arts Instructor – Adult Digital Media Workshops
Horacio Jones is a multi-faceted Video Producer, Director, and Editor. He is self-trained, utilizing techniques he acquired though working with top video professionals in San Diego. Mr. Jones also studied classical guitar and composition at the University of North Texas College of Music and uses his musical skills to complement his work in the visual realm.

James Mann, Media Arts Instructor – Youth Media Instructor
James Mann is a photojournalist for CBS news in San Diego. He has been working as a news cameraman in the television news industry for 13 years. Growing up in Richmond, Virginia, he attended Virginia Commonwealth University and graduated with a degree in Mass Communications. “I always have had a passion for storytelling and news. Having the ability to be a part of current events and change, and having an impact on someone’s life is the best job I could ever imagine.” James spent 5 years in Albuquerque at the ABC affiliate before moving to San Diego in 2007 to work for ABC news. He is now with CBS and wouldn’t change living here for the world. “We live in such a unique and beautiful community. There are so many stories and events here in San Diego, it’s rather incredible.” James won an Emmy Award for best local feature story in 2013, and currently lives in Southpark.