Ethan van Thillo, Executive Director/Founder

Ethan van Thillo is Founder and Executive Director of the Media Arts Center San Diego (MACSD). Since 1989, Ethan’s worked in media arts, 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 hundreds 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 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 nonprofit Media Arts Center San Diego in 1999. Under the umbrella of MACSD, Ethan has developed and continues to create innovative community media programs such as the California 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 Digital Gym community technology center and CINEMA.

Ethan has served on various funding panels including San Diego’s 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. He’s spoken at the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, National Association of Latino Arts & Culture, and National Alliance of Media Arts & Culture.



Ryan Kuratomi, Director of Video Production

Ryan joined MACSD in 2009, where he leads the Video Production team in producing content for the  YMCA, San Diego Natural History Museum, KPBS, and SDG&E, and others. His extensive background in all aspects of the production process comes from years of working directly with clients from ideation to final delivery in video projects.




Moisés Esparza, Exhibitions Manager

Moisés is Exhibitions Manager for MACSD where he is responsible for the curation of film-related initiatives, including the San Diego Latino Film Festival and the Digital Gym CINEMA. He graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies with a concentration in Psychology. 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 other companies, where he assisted development and acquisitions departments with a multitude of tasks.




Juan Lopez, Exhibitions Coordinator

Juan is MACSD’s Exhibition Coordinator. He attended The Los Angeles Film School where he participated with film crews working on various short films and TV shows. Juan returned to San Diego upon graduating, joining MACSD as a marketing and PR Program Associate for the Digital Gym CINEMA. Juan is responsible for managing our Digital Gym CINEMA as well as curating all of the short films for the annual San Diego Latino Film Festival.



Mark Madero, Cinema Manager

Mark Madero is the newest member of the team and has over 23 years of managing movies theatres both here in San Diego and Los Angeles. He has a long history with the former Mann Theatre chain which managed the world famous Grauman’s ChineseTheatre in Hollywood.
He also was the Area Manager for the onetime CinemaStar Theatres in San Diego and Riverside County.  Mark has a 12-year history with San Diego Theatres, Inc., beginning as the Assistant Front of House Manager and then shortly promoted to a new department in Programming as Contract & Client Service Manager.  Mark’s responsibilities include the day-to-day management of the cinema and concessions, including the cinema staff and patron services.  A University of Redlands graduate, with a BA in Business Management.



Amanda Barcena, Operations Manager

Amanda has been a full charge bookkeeper for 12 years. She has over 15 years of bookkeeping experience, with the last 7 years performing day-to-day financial operations at MACSD. Her previous experience includes financial management for the San Diego Muscular Dystrophy chapter as well as a local post-secondary vocational school. She’s served Presidents, Executive Directors, Senior Accountants, and CPAs during her career. Amanda recently graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University.



Shanna Trenholm, Consultant/Grant Writer

Shanna is a writer, consultant, and creative strategist who has worked closely with MACSD since 2010. A San Diego native, Shanna understands the needs of our community and our organization. She assists us with prospect research, fundraising strategy, writing, and grant writing.



Larry Da Silveira, Education Coordinator

Larry is a veteran educator and avid cinephile. He holds a BA in Social Science from San Diego State University and an MA min Education from Point Loma Nazarene University. Before joining MACSD, Larry taught high school for twelve years before seeking a better work-life balance to care for his son with autism spectrum disorder. Coordinating the Youth Media programs at MACSD combines his love for education with his passion for cinema.








Carly Lujan, Teaching Assistant

Carly Lujan is an artist and SoCal native. She attended CSU Monterey Bay to study film production and graduated with a BA in Cinematic Arts and Technology. Starting off her career, she spent a number of years in the Los Angeles film industry, enjoying her role as  Prop Master and Set Decorator.

Here in San Diego she has broadened her portfolio as a Visual Merchandiser, Mixed Media Artist and Summer Camp Director.  Carly is still active on film projects but is enjoying more time to explore teaching and other creative opportunities, such as joining the MACSD team.


Mizar Martin, Teaching Artist & Community Producer

Mizar is a Visual Artist from Mexico. She incorporates hints of Latin American culture, social justice into her paintings, cartoons, photography, and tattoos. Mizar has worked in the Arts and Social Justice field since 2012, when she worked as leader of the Communications team in a shelter in the Mexican border. In 2015 and 2016 Mizar worked as an art educator with refugee youth for the International Organization for Migration, a United Nations agency that provides services to migrants. Between 2016 and 2017, Mizar has worked in various projects such as creating designs for the web content of the Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, write articles for Infobaja, and focus on her painting and sculpting projects that can be seen in her website. Mizar has been part of the Media Arts Center team since October 2018.


Anjalika Sharma, Teaching Artist

Anjalika studied film at the Satyajit Ray Film & TV Institute in Kolkatta, India. Her thesis film, Meena Jha, received the National Award for the Best Debut of a Director at the Indian National Awards in 2001. She received a scholarship to attend HFF at Potsdam, Germany to direct a short film, Fourth World, for the German Festival of India in Berlin. Since moving to the US in 2001 she has made both narrative and documentary films including two documentaries for PBS and 6 shorts for the U.S. Air Force. Her most recent short film “Mae,” about two estranged sisters, was on Amazon Prime. When she’s not on a film set she is taking pictures and writing. She is currently working on a children’s book series on contemporary social-emotional themes. She is passionate about the Arts and South Asian representation in mainstream American media. She lives in San Diego with her husband, two children, two cats, and a dog. You can find her at, @indienari on Instagram and @indienari on Twitter. Also check out Shoutout SoCal’s write up about Anjalika.

Edwin Cruz, Teaching Artist & Community Producer

Edwin is a film producer and editor based in San Diego, California. He holds a BA in Visual Arts: Media from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). In 2014, he co-founded the Buenpaso Collective, a group of filmmakers who sought to address social issues. Alongside this collective, Edwin produced the feature length documentary, Letters from Our Elders, which addressed topics surrounding immigration. He also produced “Del Manantial Del Corazon,” (From the Spring of the Heart) an adaptation of a stage play that documents women’s issues in Yucatan, Mexico. Edwin is currently the creative director of a digital marketing agency and he continues to support the production of content that brings awareness of pressing social issues in his communities.






Alara Jones, Teaching Artist
Alara Jones is a filmmaker, editor, artist, and dancer originally from Vancouver, WA. She graduated from Montana State University with a BA in Film Production, a minor in psychology and a business and entrepreneurship certificate. She was a production assistant on a handful of sets in Montana for companies such as Wrangler and Marlboro. The short horror film “Do Not Develop” she wrote and directed her senior year, won First Best Time Director and Best Dark Comedy at the Hollywood Blood Horror Festival, as well as being selected in 5 other festivals. She then worked in Montana as a video editor and producer for a year before starting her own business- Alara’s Editing & Productions, and moving to San Diego in the summer of 2022. She is passionate about empowering and supporting other women in film to tell stories that matter. After arriving, she was welcomed into the MACSD teaching family! She is so excited to step into the role of teacher and expand her knowledge as she continues to learn and work with so many other talented teaching artists. Check out some of my work here!:








Natalie Kaczorowski, Teaching Artist

Natalie Kaczorowski is an award-winning producer, director, editor, and storyteller. She graduated with honors from the University of Texas in her hometown of Tyler, Texas, and earned a B.S. in Journalism and Communication. In San Diego, she honed her skills on and off camera by starring as “Comic Connie,” a recurring satirical character on the indie late-night TV talk show “Tonight in San Diego.” Natalie retired from the show as Executive Producer and Director after overseeing over 70 episodes and moved to Washington, D.C. to work with a creative agency. Her impressive portfolio includes collaborations with major brands like SYFY Channel, Nickelodeon, Lowe’s, and The CW, earning her 4 Silver Telly awards. She also achieved success as a filmmaker, winning 6 awards in the 2019 Washington, D.C. 48 Hour Film Project, as well as 2 awards in the 2021 San Diego Film Project and Four Points Film Project. Natalie has shared her insights on the impact of fandom and pursuing dreams on stage at a TEDx San Diego talk.



Kellen Stanley, Teaching Artist

Kellen Stanley is an internationally-exhibited artist and art teacher. She is an experimental filmmaker, performance artist, scent designer, director, and collaborator. In a nutshell, she tells stories with the senses. Kellen’s in her eighth year of teaching K-12 and college-level art and media classes. She mentored two groups of students at the All American High School Film Festival’s Complete Film Invitational Experience, a 36-hour film festival in New York City. Her students’ films have been featured at South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival and on exhibition at The McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas. Kellen studied photography and sculpture at Texas State University and received a Masters of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts & Media at Columbia College Chicago. She’s excited to work with young artists and storytellers at the Media Arts Center. More info about Kellen:


Need to contact us? Please contact: 619-230-1938 x 101 / / 2039 29th Street, San Diego, CA 92104.