Festival Team

Director

Consuelo Alba -­ Watsonville Film Festival Director & co-founder. She has extensive experience as a bilingual filmmaker, journalist, educator and cultural activist in Mexico and the US. Her documentary film El Andalón / The Healer screened in more than 30 film festivals around the world, received numerous awards and was broadcast on Mexican public television.

WFF Board & Production Team

Katie Roper: Board President & WFF Founding Board Member. Managing Director of UCSC's Everett Program, and dedicated to using digital tools for social justice. She has also worked in grant­ writing, community organizing and documentary filmmaking including the films "Xmas without China" and "Countdown to Zero," as well as the PBS series "The Calling."

John Speyer: ­ Watsonville Film Festival co-founder, former educator & small­ business owner. He is an award-winning documentary film producer at Veremos Productions, a film production company based in Watsonville, which focuses on sharing the stories of Latino community.

Jacob Martinez: ­ Community leader, and co-founder of the Watsonville Film Festival. Jacob is the founder and executive director of the Digital NEST which is a 21st century workforce development center for youth ages 15­-24 located in Watsonville.

Joann Godoy: A dedicated community volunteer, Joann serves as Fox Theater Project Manager for the WFF, as well as treasurer/bookkeeper at Pájaro Valley Loaves & Fishes Kitchen & Pantry. She retired after a 32-year career in Public Health & Community Nutrition program administration and grants management. She lives in Aptos with her husband Marc.

Alan Hicks: ­ Longtime political & community activist. He is the Chair of the Watsonville Peace & Unity Coalition and President of the Springfield Grange in nearby Las Lomas. Alan is a recipient of the 2015 California State Assembly Peace Award for his work in the community.

Huve Rivas: ­ Photography and Video Production instructor for 35 years, and former director of the Watsonville High School Video Academy. He is currently a realtor at Monterey Bay Properties.

Sibley Verbeck Simon: Sibley is President of New Way Homes, a non-profit working to fund new housing for residents of the Monterey Bay region.  Over the last twenty years, Sibley co-founded and helped lead two technology companies as well as the 180/2020 Initiative to end veteran and chronic homelessness in Santa Cruz County.

Alex Santana, Jr.: ­ Graduate of Watsonville High & UCSC. In addition to his work with WFF programming & outreach, Alex Santana Jr works as the Youth Program Co-Coordinator, and Communications Coordinator, for the Diversity Center of Santa Cruz County — the only LGBTQ resource center on the Central Coast.

Gabriel Medina: ­ Watsonville native, UCLA alum, Film Institute Coordinator, content creator for marketing and advertising, Film Producer. Currently, Gabriel is the Talent Coordinator for the Digital NEST, working with young adults to create films in the Watsonville area.

Frank "Pancho" Rodriguez: ­ Artist, Educator and Producer for 50 years. Former board director of the Santa Cruz Arts Council & founding principal of Pajaro Valley High School. Worked as sound designer, line producer, and actor with El Teatro Campesino & Paradigm Films. Founding member of the band Flor del Pueblo and the arts group Los Californios.

Programming Team: Consuelo Alba, John Speyer, Brenda Avila-Hanna, Alex Santana, Jr., Marissa Hicks-Alcaraz, Huve Rivas, Dana Forsberg.