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AVFilm Team

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Mary-Madison Baldo

AVFest Intern
Madison joined AVFilm in March 2022.
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Will Carruthers

Event Crew
Will Carruthers (he/him) joined the AV Film team last year to help produce outdoor film events. He is a Sonoma County native who studied journalism at San Francisco State University. Will has helped film and edit short movies in the past. He currently serves as news editor of the North Bay Bohemian.
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Morgan Hamilton-Lee

Event Tech Lead & Teaching Assistant
Morgan (he/him) joined AVFilm as part of the outdoor movie crew and assisted on AVFilm's after-school documentary workshop in Windsor. Morgan has been making movies for 10 years. He received his Digital Filmmaking certificate from the Santa Rosa Junior College in 2021 and was voted Best Indy Filmmaker in Sonoma County by the Bohemian in 2018 and 2019. He loves making and watching movies and has judged for Film Fest Petaluma two years in a row. He is very excited to be working with AVFilm and eager to see what the future holds.
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Kathryn Hecht

Founder and Executive Director
Kathryn (she/her) is responsible for the AVFilm's overall strategic, financial, management, fundraising, and operational health. Working closely with the founding Board, Kathryn designed and developed the year-round cultural and educational programming for AVFilm and continues to serve as the Executive Producer of the annual AVFest. A seasoned entrepreneur, executive leader, and community builder, Kathryn built and led communications departments for nonprofits in New York and San Francisco before founding AVFilm. She currently serves as the Chair of the Economic Development Board of Sonoma County. She was selected by the Press Democrat in 2016 as one of 30 Women to Watch in Sonoma County. Kathryn received the 2018 Boho Award from The Bohemian and the 2018 Spirit of Sonoma Award from the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce. Writer and activist Virgie Tovar also featured her as a "lady boss" in Forbes.
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Finn HIggins

Event Crew
Finn Higgins (he/him) is an event tech lead who loves to interact with the community. In joining the AVFilm outdoor movie crew he hopes to give back and share his love for film with his neighbors and friends. Receiving his Associates Degree in Digital Filmmaking in May of 2022, Finn has worked as a production assistant on numerous productions in the Santa Rosa Junior College, specializing in the post-production side of the project. Always enjoying documenting his adventures on his motorcycle, Finn can't wait to see where AVFilm takes him.
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Chelsea Kurnick

Community Lead & Festival Programmer
Chelsea (she/her) is a writer, artist and community organizer. She is Chair of the Board of Directors of Positive Images, an LGBTQIA+ Center of Sonoma County. Kurnick received a 2019 Discovered Award for Emerging Writers from Creative Sonoma. Her poetry was featured at the Museum of Sonoma County. In 2018, she co-organized the Bay Area Arts Fest, a film festival about sex workers’ rights. In 2019, she created Father’s Gay: a queer music festival. She joined AVFilm as a Film Programmer in 2021 after participating in panels during the 2020 festival.
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Tess McHaffie

Education & Engagement Manager
Tess (she/her) is a San Francisco State alum with a major in Cinema. Tess has had a deep love for film since she was a little girl and looks forward to passing on that same love to the youth in our community through AVFilm. She brings extensive experience in event planning and private childcare. Tess has lived in Healdsburg since 2016 and loves being a part of Sonoma County’s active and vibrant community.
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Heather Murray

Teaching Artist
Heather (she/her) is a videographer who worked as an art history college instructor, a museum director, and an art curator before shifting to video production and editing. She has created promotional videos for many Sonoma County nonprofits, businesses, and visual artists, and has collaborated with several local bands on music videos. Her first documentary short focused on the unhoused community in Santa Rosa, and she is currently working on her second documentary short film. She is excited to bring all of her experiences together with her passion for teaching to the Teaching Artist program at AVFilm.

Rafael Perez

Bilingual/Bicultural Access Coordinator
Details about team member
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Elias Torres

Event Crew
Elias is a writer, director, actor, and musician hailing from Rohnert Park, CA. He is currently an SRJC student, and is on his way to receiving Associates Degrees in both digital filmmaking, and digital audio production. This is his first year with AVFilm, and he can't wait to help bring the magic of cinema to venues throughout the county.
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Connie White

Film Booker & Consulting Programmer
After falling in love with film while living in Paris on a student visa, Connie (she/her) returned to Massachusetts and applied for a job at Harvard Square’s historic Brattle Theatre. Over the next three decades, she managed theaters, launched film festivals, worked in distribution, and finally settled into film buying. A founding member and sustaining contributor to the Art House Convergence, she stays abreast of all things germane to independent cinema exhibition, and above all, remains an advocate for bringing people together through film.
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Califa Witsch

Teaching Artist
Califa is a Sonoma County native who grew up in the Healdsburg countryside. In her teen years she learned video fundamentals and loved acting in the Healdsburg High School drama department. Califa majored in “Social Documentary” at UC Santa Cruz, where she studied documentary film in theory and practice. During this time she got her feet wet as a post-production assistant for the harrowing Peabody winning HBO documentary ‘Baghdad ER’ (Alpert 2006). Califa worked for Access Healdsburg TV teaching the community how to use cameras to create their own media, programming and creating local content, including sports events, as well as managing the station for a time. She produced and edited the feature documentary ‘Straight White Male’ (Erlendson 2012) which tells the story of two young transgender men and their journey across the gender spectrum. She also enjoys teaching filmmaking to Sonoma County youth. Califa specializes in creating meaningful content that educates, inspires and entertains.