Festival Team

Executive 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 Team


Katie Roper: Current 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."

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 is the WFF Treasurer/Bookkeeper. She served as Fox Theater Project Manager for the WFF in 2016, and is the Board President of 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 former President of the Springfield Grange in Las Lomas. Alan was a 2015 California State Assembly Peace Award recipient 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.

Ron Sandidge: A retired educator and committed community volunteer, Ron served in the Peace Corps in Venezuela and worked for PVUSD from 1979 to 2010. He is past-president of the Rotary Club of Freedom, coordinator for the Watsonville Ivy League Project and board member of MAIA [Migration and Adaptation In the Americas] Foundation in the Pájaro Valley. 


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

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 Education Coordinator for the Digital NEST, working with young adults on film production and production in the Watsonville area.

Edwardo "Buffalo" Rojas: Music promoter, musician, printer, tech specialist. Founding member of the Watsonville-based band Pop Bottle Rockets. Promotor and events manager at Appleton Grill Event Lounge & Ballroom.

Frank "Pancho" Rodriguez: ­ Artist, Educator and Producer for 50 years. Former board director of the Santa Cruz Arts Council & founding principal of Pájaro Valley High School. Pancho 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.


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