RFA Education Director
Erin Hale is a filmmaker and educator, holding a BA in Women’s Studies from CSU, Long Beach and an MFA in Digital filmmaking from the University of Montana. Erin is committed to creating social change by helping people empower themselves to tell their own stories. As an educator, Erin focuses on helping people transition from passive media consumer, to intentional media creator, and believes that this shift will ripple outward toward individual and community healing.
In her own work, Erin uses both narrative and experimental modes, often focusing on the identity of a given character, and how the character’s race, class, gender, sexuality and socioeconomic status influence the way they experience the world around them. This often leads to asking questions about power, both on a societal level, and on an an interpersonal level. Erin believes that filmmaking is one of the most impactful storytelling modalities and is happy to be making films, and sharing filmmaking skills here at the Roxy.
RFA Teaching Artist
Erin Esse is a Sonic Artist and a Sound Healer. She graduated from the University of Montana in 2014 with a BFA in Media Arts. She has worked on multiple films recording sound, acting, and working with the sound in post-production. As a vocal artist she loves writing, producing, and performing music and playing with unique sound. She is a big proponent of Deep Listening and taking time to connect with the subtle complexities of the world. Erin is hugely inspired by kids and loves sharing in learning with them.
RFA Teaching Artist
Ken Grinde is a video editor and animator from the Flathead Valley. After graduating from Middlebury College in 2011 with a BA in Film, he spent five years in Los Angeles working as a director, cameraman, editor, educator, and punk drummer. He has taught and tutored video production, writing, and performance for ten years to students of all ages, and doesn’t feel like he fully understands anything until he teaches it. Now based in Missoula, he produces the cel animation series Dirk Champagne and freelances as a videomaker from above the Roxy Theater.
Patrick Kirkley RFA Teaching Artist
Patrick Kirkley is an integrated digital artist, animator, musician and family man, originally from Dillon, Montana. Patrick graduated with a BFA in integrated digital art from the University of Montana’s Media Arts program in 2015, and has since bombarded the Missoula music scene with his animations, multimedia videos, graphic design, projection work, and incredibly loud drumming. He embraces the idea of utilizing the entire spectrum of digital and analog mediums to communicate his stories because it reflects his perspective that art is a limitless rabbit hole of creativity in communication. Patrick enjoys his free time with his daughter, his wife, and their three dogs, exploring Montana’s endless beauty and bounty, all while watching this absurd and beautiful life unfold.
RFA Teaching Artist
Ian Carstens is a multimedia artist from Iowa. After graduating from Luther College in 2014 with an Interdisciplinary BA degree in Art Theory and Criticism, he managed the Digital Media Center at Luther College, where he also co-taught a class combing Film and Poetry. While in Iowa, he also worked on collaborative projects with local dancers, jazz musicians and microbiologists and is really looking forward to many more great media adventures with the Roxy Theater.
RFA Teaching Artist
Marshall Granger is a filmmaker, originally from Billings, MT, who graduated from the University of Montana with studies in both English and Film. He joined the team at The Roxy Theater when the theater re-opened as a regular arthouse cinema in 2013, and has since made a life in Missoula around the community and creativity radiating from the theater. As the Roxy’s Media Manager, Marshall edits and designs much of the in-house material in print and on screen. He also co-runs a small production company called Big White Moon Pictures, and is currently working on adapting his own performance art piece into a narrative short film.
Roxy Theater Executive Director
Mike Steinberg is the Executive Director of the IWFF & The Roxy. For ten years Steinberg was the director of Webster University Film Series, an internationally recognized, year-round film series which showcases the best in foreign, experimental, classic and American independent cinema. He directed and programmed Big Sky Documentary Film Festival from 2008-2013. Steinberg has also worked with numerous film festivals as a programmer and consultant. His own films have earned placement in national film festivals including AFI Docs (formerly SilverDOCS), The Independent Film Festival, Hardacre Film Festival, Big Muddy Film Festival, and St Louis International. He has taught and lectured at University of Montana, Webster University, St. Louis Community College, the Center of Contemporary Arts and at the College of Languages in Lodz, Poland.
RFA Education Coordinator – January 2015-January 2016 Production Intensive Producer – October – November 2015
Lily Gladstone holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre with an Acting focus, as well as a minor in Native American Studies from the University of Montana. Since graduating, she has worked professionally as an actress on stages and film sets around the United States.
A member of both Screen Actor’s Guild and Actor’s Equity Association, Lily is often away from Missoula, pretending to be someone else. She has nationally toured with The Montana Repertory Theatre, as well as the Seattle based company Living Voices. Film credits include the Montana-made features Certain Women, Winter in the Blood, Subterranea, Lone Tree Bench and The Thin Line.
When she isn’t pretending to be someone else, she prefers to be in Missoula, teaching and facilitating fun things for kids to do.
Production Intensive Producer – May 2015
Jeri Rafter is a Producer who has worked on feature films and television projects such as Winter in the Blood (Alex & Andrew Smith), Winter Light (Julian Higgins) . . . . And So It Goes (Rob Reiner). She is currently the producer of the Roxy’s International Wildlife Film Festival for the upcoming 40th Annual. Her first documentary film, Kendra, about Native American adoption will air on PBS in 2018. Her latest feature film project, Bella Vista, premiered at the International Rotterdam Film Festival in 2014. In 2015 she was invited to be part of the Sundance Producer’s Lab and participated in the Sundance + Women in Film Female Filmmakers Initiative. She is currently a freelance producer living in Potomac, MT working on feature films and for networks such as Fox News, History, HGTV and the Travel Channel. Jeri is a fifth generation Montanan with an MFA in Media Arts from the University of Montana.
Youth and Production Intensive Mentor 2014-2015
After graduating with a BA in Film/Television from MSU Bozeman in 2002, Dan Molloy moved to Los Angeles working as an intern, script reader and assistant for Fox Studios, Davis Film works, Flower Films, Mindless Entertainment and the Gameshow Network.
Daniel came back to Missoula and got his MFA in filmmaking. His thesis film, Closed Door Open,was put on the honorable mention list at the SaMo Indie Film Festival in Santa Monica.
He is currently in Missoula freelance editing and gearing up production on his next short film Not Yet Traveled.
SKYE GRACE BENNETT
Production Intensive Producer – June 2015
Skye Grace Bennett is a film producer and costumer and the owner of Montana Mafia Productions. Born and raised in northwestern Montana, Skye received her Liberal Arts Degree from the University of Montana and works between Montana, LA, and NYC in film and theatre, including a two year stint as a star dresser at the Manhattan Theatre Club on Broadway. She has worked for film groups such as Broad Green Pictures and Film Science and recently worked on the ‘Untitled’ Kelly Reichardt project that was shot in Livingston, Montana this winter. Skye is based out of Missoula, Montana.
Andrew Smith is a filmmaker, screenwriter, poet and Associate Professor in the School of Media Arts at the University of Montana. With his twin brother Alex Smith, he has directed two widely-acclaimed feature films, The Slaughter Rule (2003) and Winter in the Blood (2013). He has made several short films, including the keening and Career Opportunities in Poetry, both of which have screened widely at national film festivals.
Program Assistant 2015
Griffin Johnson is a writer and filmmaker from Michigan. His short Mineralogy (2013) played at the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and his nonfiction writing has won the Samuel Strauss Prize for Humor twice. He is currently working on an Italian-language short and a feature screenplay.
JOHN D. NILLES
Youth Mentor 2015
John D. Nilles is a 5th generation Montanan. In 1874, his great-great-great-grandfather and grandmother moved their family from Illinois to homestead in the Bitterroot Valley. John was raised in the Bitterroot by his single mother and was heavily influenced by his grandfathers’ love of the Western genre and tales from the old West. He first discovered the magic and mystery of cinema in 1988 when the Hollywood production of Disorganized Crime came to his hometown. A decade later, he began making movies himself. He studied film at Montana State University in Bozeman and later moved to Los Angeles. Choosing to make Westerns in Montana over a life in Los Angeles; he returned to the treasure state. John then wrote, produced, directed, photographed, and edited two westerns; LITTLE and Cowboy Reckoning. John currently resides in Missoula and makes a living as a commercial and corporate video director. Never short on ambition or the fortitude required to complete projects, he set out to make the multi-genre epic, Saving For The Day. He also co-wrote and directed a short Western entitled, Bleach Bone. Both of these films are in post production and will be completed in 2016.