What The Fest!? is produced by the core team behind IFC Center’s successful DOC NYC and Split Screens festivals, in collaboration with Creative Director Maria Reinup.
What The Fest!? Creative Director
What the Fest!? is programmed by Maria Reinup, a veteran film programmer who believes that festivals are at their best when giving audiences an experience they can’t find anywhere else. Working in the film industry for the past decade, Reinup began with festival event management and shorts programming and has now served as Director of the Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, the only genre film festival in the Baltics, for seven years. She also programs the Black Nights Film Festival, the only A-list art house festival in Northern Europe. Over the years, she has also worked for notable film festivals like Fantasia and SXSW and has produced and directed short films and music videos.
What The Fest!? Executive Director
Raphaela Neihausen is Executive Director of DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary festival (now in its ninth year), Split Screens Festival (now in its second year) and Pure Nonfiction at IFC Center, a weekly series at IFC Center (now in its fourteenth year). From 2011 – 2014, she launched the Montclair Film Festival, as Executive Director. Prior to that, she worked for seven years at Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman), advising Fortune 100 companies on strategic growth. Neihausen co-hosts WNYC’s “Doc of the Week” and executive produces the podcast Pure Nonfiction. She also produced the feature documentary Miss Gulag and the 2017 Oscar® nominated short film Joe’s Violin. She holds a BSFS/MA from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
What The Fest!? Partnerships Director
Deborah Rudolph has been with DOC NYC for the past four years as Director of Sponsorship and Producer of DOC NYC PRO and also oversees partnerships at Split Screens Festival. She is also Assistant Programmer at the Tribeca Film Festival and Programming Coordinator at the Montclair Film Festival. She served as Producer of Points North at the Camden International Film Festival, and for many years as Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at HBO. She is a large-scale event producer for both for-profit and non-profit organizations, as well as a film evaluator for POV, Catapult Film Fund, and Chicken & Egg Pictures. She holds a Masters in Communication from Columbia University.
Senior Vice President and General Manager, IFC Center
Through his leadership roles in film distribution and exhibition over the last 15 years, John Vanco has strived to connect great works of cinema with appreciative audiences. Greenwich Village’s IFC Center, led by Vanco since its 2005 opening, is the bricks and mortar home of IFC Entertainment and serves as a focal point for the independent film community. As one of the founders of Cowboy Pictures, Vanco led the distribution efforts on behalf of dozens of foreign language, documentary and American fiction features, including works by Lynne Ramsay, David Gordon Green, Catherine Breillat, and Shohei Imamura. Cowboy also programmed an innovative film calendar at a Manhattan cinema and managed the theatrical libraries of Janus Films and Pennebaker/Hegedus films. Previously, Vanco served in various capacities at Miramax, New Yorker Films and Fine Line Features.
Vice President, Programs and Promotions, IFC Center
Harris Dew has worked in film programming and publicity for over 15 years, holding positions at New Yorker Films, the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Museum of Modern Art and Film Forum. He has a BA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University and an MA in Film History from NYU.
What The Fest!? Marketing Manager
Dor Dotson runs Genuine Article, a boutique consultancy offering crowdfunding and social media strategy in the entertainment space. Before opening up her own shop, Dor worked for 10 years in market research, helping studios and filmmakers craft effective marketing messages.
What The Fest!? Director of Operations
Dana Krieger has spent the past 15+ years producing and creating large scale, high profile events. Dana has played an integral roll in several festivals from DOC NYC and Split Screens Festival as Director of Operations, to Program Manager for the Montclair Film Festival to the Event Director for Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint. Dana completed her undergraduate studies at Georgetown University and earned a Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University.
What The Fest!? Program Manager
A fan of the arts and expression, Sarah has enjoyed working in the festival world. Besides managing the WTF!? program, she also helps run DOC NYC, Split Screens TV Festival and Pure Nonfiction at IFC Center. Previously, Sarah worked at the Montclair Film Festival and Argot Pictures. She holds a BA from Montclair State University in Television and Digital Media.
What The Fest!? Programmer
Matthew is a longtime genre industry insider who also serves as Brand Manager for the Fantasia International Film Festival and Senior Programmer at the Lighthouse International Film Festival.