Santhosh Daniel is Director of Programs.  Prior to his work at the Initiative, Mr. Daniel was a creative consultant in the arts, entertainment and technology sectors, and also worked extensively in academic publishing and as a writer and editor for arts and culture publications, independent literary and film projects, and collaborative works with writers, visual artists and filmmakers in the United States, India and Mexico.  Mr. Daniel is current Board President of the Puerto Rico Film Society and a Board member of the Ninth Street Independent Film Center, and has sat on a variety funding panels for independent and creative media, and presented on film funding and distribution at festivals and conferences worldwide. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of Washington and a M.F.A. in English from the University of Iowa.

Hilary Lawson, Marketing & Publicity ManagerHilary Lawson, Marketing and Publicity Manager, began her marketing career at City Lights Publishers, where she coordinated media relations and promotional campaigns for contemporary literature and nonfiction releases. Before coming to the Global Film Initiative, Ms. Lawson also handled marketing and communications for VolunteerMatch, the web’s leading resource for matching volunteers with service opportunities. She brings with her an extensive background in writing and editing, and has worked in the editorial department of travel-oriented Afar Magazine, as well as Mass Appeal Magazine, where she wrote lifestyle articles on urban artists and musicians. Ms. Lawson holds a B.A. in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston.

Jeremy Quist Global Lens Series Manager, began his career in the film industry as an intern for New Yorker Films. Before joining the Global Film Initiative, Mr. Quist produced retail DVDs for Film Movement, a New York-based contemporary foreign and independent film distributor, in addition to serving as their Print Traffic and Acquisitions Coordinator. He has written film notes for the Brattle Theatre in Boston and for the San Francisco International Film Festival. Mr. Quist has a B.A. in Film Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and an M.A. in Cinema Studies from New York University.

Angelica Dongallo, Distribution and Granting Coordinator,  joined the Global Film Initiative staff after gaining extensive experience coordinating the Acquisitions Program. She has also worked closely with the Granting, Distribution and Education Programs, and most recently managed the organization’s World Cinema Week program. Prior to her work at the Initiative, Ms. Dongallo reported on local Bay Area news as a staff writer and editor at The Daily Californian student newspaper, and also spent time in the rural Philippines documenting the lives of microfinance borrowers. Ms. Dongallo holds a B.A. in Mass Communications and a minor in Global Poverty and Practice from the University of California at Berkeley.


Susan Weeks Coulter, Founder and Board Chair of the Global Film Initiative, is an accomplished corporate marketing executive, community organizer and long-time public educator. A former Peace Corps volunteer, she began her public sector work as Executive Director of Queen’s Bench Foundation, a criminal justice education foundation, and in the development and production of Who Do You Tell?, an award-winning educational film. During her fifteen subsequent years in the financial services industry, she has continued her involvement in media-based education and research.

Igor Kirman is a Board Member of the Global Film Initiative and partner in the law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. His writing has been published in the Christian Science Monitor and various professional publications, and he is a previous recipient of the Scribes Law Review Writing Award. Igor was born in the Ukraine and currently lives in New York, New York.



Noah Cowan is the artistic director of TIFF Bell Lightbox, home of the Toronto International Film Festival. Mr. Cowan co-founded Cowboy Productions and Code Red Films, and was a co-founder of the Global Film Initiative, before rejoining the Film Festival in Toronto, where he started his career in film more than 15 years ago.



Rob Avila is a San Francisco-based arts writer and a regular contributor to the San Francisco Bay Guardian and, among other publications. His coverage of film has emphasized the cinema of the Global South, including the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America. In addition to arts journalism, he has worked as a teacher and as a historical editor. For the past several years he has worked with the Global Film Initiative on a range of projects, including the production of GFI educational materials, such as film discussion guides, that are designed to enrich and facilitate discussion of Global Lens films in the classroom. He holds degrees in history from the University of California, Berkeley.

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