October 19 – 22, 2023
Middleburg, Virginia

The Festival

Who We Are

Sheila C. Johnson, Founder & Board Chair. Sheila C. Johnson, a longtime resident of Middleburg, VA, wears many hats – businesswoman, sports team owner, philanthropist, and arts patron. She is committed to promoting the arts and education. She served on the board of the Sundance Institute and is former chair of Parsons The New School for Design. She has served as Executive Producer and Producer of numerous films, including LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER.

Susan Koch, Executive Director. EMMY and Peabody award-winning filmmaker Susan Koch directs, writes, and produces documentary films for worldwide distribution and broadcast. Her films have screened at major festivals throughout the world, including the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals, and broadcast on HBO, Showtime, ABC, NBC, PBS, American Movie Classics, CNN, The Discovery Channel, MTV, and ESPN.  

Connie White, Programming Director. Connie White has been active in the independent film business for over 20 years, initially as an innovative film programmer for the historic Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. Since then, she has been programming and booking films for art house theaters and film festivals throughout the country. She is founder and owner of Balcony Releasing. Connie served on the jury for the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and is a consultant to the Sundance Institute.

Helen Huang, Programming Consultant.  Former Senior Director, Content Acquisitions director at Showtime Networks, Helen attends festivals worldwide, scouting and recommending films for the festival's line-up.

Board Members

Sherrie Beckstead is a partner in Liljenquist & Beckstead and Lenkersdorfer Fine Jewelers, which has 5 locations in the DC Metropolitan areas. She is an active philanthropist.

Matt Carson, Founder of Outsider Labs, Britches Great Outdoors, & BigTeams - based in Warrenton, VA.

Beth Erickson, CEO, Visit Loudoun.

Robert S. Foosaner is an attorney specializing in communications and former SVP for Nextel, overseeing legislative and regulatory affairs. He serves on several charitable boards in his hometown of Middleburg, VA.

Lauren E. Peterson is Exec. Director of The Peterson Family Foundation focusing on education, health care, social services, and the arts.

Karen Schaufeld, charter member & President of 100 Women Strong; Co-founder All Ages Read Together (AART), former General Counsel, NEW Customer Services Corporation; author.

Courtney Straus is Managing Director at J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Washington, D.C. 

Mary Streett is BP's senior vice president of U.S. Communications and External Affairs, overseeing all of the company’s communications, government relations and public affairs in the United States.

Sharon Virts is the founder of FCI Federal and Chairman of the Loudoun Economic Development Commission. The Sharon D. Virts Foundation support education, culture, health, and economic development. 

Debbie White is an active philanthropist and former teacher. The Cliff and Deborah White Family Foundation supports children and youth of low income families. 



Strategic Partners & Industry Advisors

Los Angeles Film Advisory Board

  • Albert Berger & Ron Yerxa, Academy award-nominated Producers. Films include Nebraska , Little Miss Sunshine, Cold Mountain, Election. Albert serves on the Academy's Board of Governors.  Ron is a member of the Academy’s Foreign Language Executive Committee, which oversees the nomination process for best foreign language film Academy award.
  • Kris Bowers is an Emmy Award-winning composer and pianist. His scores include Oscar-winning Best Picture, Green Book, When They See Us, Kobe Bryant's Muse, Dear White People, The United States vs Billie Holiday, Bridgerton and Respect .
  • Nicholas Britell is an Academy award-nominated film composer, pianist and producer.  His critically acclaimed scores are featured on Moonlight, The Big Short, and Battle of the Sexes. His music was also featured in 12 Years a Slave. 
  • Ray Costa, Founder & President, Costa Communications, a leading film music public relations firm in Hollwyood. 
  • David Gale, Executive Vice President of Gunpowder & Sky, overseeing the creative team. Co-founder & CEO of We Are The Mighty, a media, entertainment, and branding company focusing on the U.S. Military.  Former Exec.V. P., MTV New Media, Former Head, MTV Films.
  • John Horn, Arts & Entertainment Host for KPCC, Former Los Angeles Times Staff Writer.
  • Helen Huang, Former Senior Director, Content Acquisitions, Showtime Networks. Programming Consultant.
  • Jon Levin, Producer, manager and agent representing numerous filmmakers and films. Former longtime CAA agent.
  • Terilyn Shropshire, ACE. Award-winning motion picture and television editor including Eve's Bayou, Love and Basketball and The Woman King. Member of the Board of Governors, Film Editors Branch, AMPAS.
  • Pam Oas Williams, Film and Television Producer (Lee Daniels' The Butler), Co-founder, Stand Up To Cancer initiative