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Meet the Team

Board of Directors

A dedicated group of professionals ensuring the future of SEEfest.

Vera Mijojlić

Founder of SEEfest

Vera Mijojlić is a cultural producer who founded the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles in 2006. She has curated major film retrospectives for the UCLA Film Archive and Austin Film Society, and initiated a national tour of landmark short films with the Los Angeles FilmForum, with select films screening at the Pacific Film Archive, Harvard Film Archive, National Gallery of Art, and MoMA. In addition to the 2018 Women in Leadership Award from the City of West Hollywood, she has received multiple recognitions from the State of California, as well as the County and City of Los Angeles.

In demand as a creative adviser for independent filmmakers, she also dedicates her time as a guest-lecturer at universities, and produces scores of industry events, workshops, festival trailers, and conference panels. Vera began her career as a cultural reporter and film critic in Sarajevo, and received a degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade.

Jacob Segal

Investors Research Group

Jacob Segal, Principal of Investors Research Group (IRG) is an active investor/advisor to Southern California-based companies with sales in the $ 3- 20 million dollar range. His investment experience includes transactions with companies in the airport concessions business, financial service marketing, wire and cable manufacturing, radio programming distribution, medical devices and bakery equipment. Additionally, Mr. Segal participated in the acquisition, management, and disposition of over $250 million in real estate investments, including apartment buildings, shopping centers, and office buildings. Mr. Segal received his Bachelor’s in economics and statistics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Selma Selmanagić

S2 Components

Selma Selmanagić – Born in former Yugoslavia, Selma Selmanagić emigrated to the United States during the wars that ripped apart her country in the 1990s. Over the course of nearly twenty-five years in California, Selma has worked in the computer components industry and established her own company, S2 Components. For Selma, SEEFest is an outlet for marrying her passion for the culture of Southeast Europe with her desire to propagate that culture in her adopted country. Further, in bringing the region’s unique perspectives, storytelling traditions, and visual sensibilities to the greater Los Angeles community the films in SEEFest add to our region’s rich mix of cultures and contribute to its dialogue on our common humanity.

Robert S. Spich

UCLA Anderson (ret.)

Robert S. Spich is professor emeritus, Global Economics and Management at UCLA Anderson School of Management where he served as faculty director for the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).   The success of that program led to the launch of the Center for Global Management. Spich co-founded, in partnership with the USC CIBER, the Asia Society and the Urban Land Institute, the Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative. He has worked with the Brookings Institution, the Los Angeles Chamber and the Mayor’s Office to develop the Los Angeles Regional Export Council, as well as a consultant for companies that include Hughes Space and Communications, Northrop-Grumman, ENEL of Italy, CCMC of Chile, Amgen, Akzo-Nobel, Disney, Isabella Fiore, Sierra Systems and the Getty Conservation Institute. He had served in the Peace Corps in Chile and at the Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C. He completed both his MBA and Ph.D. at the University of Washington, D.C.

Debra Fink

The Hollywood Reporter

Debra Fink is the Managing Director, Entertainment in the Advertising Department of The Hollywood Reporter. She previously served as executive director of independent film and talent, and international sales. Her strong industry and advertiser relationships stem from her many years as executive vice president of Screen International. Debra continues to be involved with many entertainment organizations and trade group such as BritWeek, and BAFTA, and international arthouse and independent film distributors, filmmakers, and film festivals. She holds a degree in Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin.

Hipolito Munoz

Board of Directors

Hipolito Munoz is the Co-Founder, with Jessica Just, of Creating Creators, school-based media training program for students in school districts across California. His diverse activities include: managing editor/publisher of the Latino Weekly Review, Latinos-At-Sundance, and Landscape-Latino online portals. He champions cross-cultural collaboration between the Latino community and multi-cultural organizations like SEEfest, as a way to develop a more integrated cultural community of diverse ethnic groups that exist in Southern California.

He is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach.

Joachim Zell

Board of Directors

Joachim Zell is the Head of HDR Content Workflow for BARCO, Hollywood. His expertise is in production and post-production workflows, ACES, and Imaging
Science. For 12 years, he served as the vice president of Technology at EFILM/Deluxe, where he designed and monitored production workflows from on- set production until the movie release. Previously, he was the VP of Advanced Technology at Technicolor Thomson, Burbank, CA, and before that he was a marketing manager Americas at Grass Valley Thomson. During his time in London, he worked as a product manager of digital film systems for Pandora Int. He supports SMPTE as Hollywood Section Manager and serves on the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Technology Committee team that defined the ASC CDL standard and holds the position of ACES Project Vice Chair at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. In February 2020, he became a board member of the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA). He holds a master’s degree in film and television engineering from “Fachhochschule Wiesbaden” Germany, and was a co- writer on 4× image processing patents.

Michael Tosti

Board of Directors

Michael Tosti is a production engineering expert who spent 32 years in the theatrical, broadcast, and streaming digital post production industry. He is currently working as the Director of Production Engineering at IDC-LA for the past 3 years. Before that, Mike spent 18 years as the Manager of Production Technology at Technicolor Creative Services, and prior to that as the Director of Technology at Cinesite Visual Effects. Mike started his post production career as a Software Engineer and customer support engineer on the Cineon Digital Film System at Eastman Kodak. He is a long-term member of SMTPE and Visual Effects Society.

Rosanna Marino

Board of Directors

Rosanna Marino serves as Chief Operating Officer of the International Digital Centre. She oversees the day-to-day operations, sales, and marketing of IDC LA and is based in the International Digital Centre’s new state-of-the-art Los Angeles facility. In this role, she brings over 20 years of media & entertainment experience with a focus on post-production in features and television. During this time she has grown her relationships and reputation for creative excellence within the Hollywood community. Prior to joining IDC Rosanna served as Senior Vice President, Sales and marketing for Fotokem where she was responsible for business development and establishing accounts with CBS, MTV/Nickelodeon, Fremantle Media, VIACOM, Disney, and Disney ABC. Rosanna’s expertise in traditional formats as well as her experience in driving the transition to file-based formats for Theatrical, Home Entertainment, International Distribution, and VOD has allowed her to provide unique support for clients like NETFLIX, I-Tunes, Amazon, In Demand, HULU, Google Plus and Crackle as they navigate the Theatrical and Home Entertainment space. Rosanna’s career has spanned leading post-production facilities including Laser Pacific, Modern Video Film and Ascent Media where she has led Sales and Marketing and helped drive the success of emerging Theatrical and Home Entertainment media services for Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Viacom, CBS, Nickelodeon, MTV, Vudu, Saban Brands and Marvel Entertainment. Focused on superior service and creative excellence, Rosanna is an active committee member of the Hollywood Professional Alliance Awards (HPA), Hollywood Professional Alliance Women in Post, and Young Entertainment Professionals (YEP). She is a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), a supporter of Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA), Advisory Board of Women In Technology Hollywood (WITH), and Women in Localization where she continues to pursue innovation and excellence within the industry.

Program Advisors

The talented group responsible for the wonderful array of programming for each festival.

Rada Šešić

Guest Programmer, Narrative Documentaries

Rada Šešić works as a festival programmer, film lecturer, and film director. Born in former Yugoslavia, she lives in The Netherlands. She is the Head of the Documentary Competition of the Sarajevo Film Festival, competition committee member at IDFA, program advisor of IFF Rotterdam, a participant in the project selection for the Hubert Bals Fund and DOHA fund. She is a lecturer at the Amsterdam Master of Film program, mentor at various documentary workshops in Europe and Asia, as well as Artistic Director of Eastern Neighbours FF in The Hague that started in 2009. 11 years ago Rada established Docu Rough Cut Boutique which she co-chairs. Additionally, she leads the Last Stop Trieste platform for projects in the final cut stage. As a director, she made several documentaries and dance films in Yugoslavia and in The Netherlands (Room without a view, 1997, IDFA a.o., Soske, 2001, MoMA a.o. , In whitest solitude, 2002 – IFFR a.o. On the way to school.). As a critic, she wrote articles for many film magazines, Dox, Sineast, Croatian Film Annual, Dutch Skrien, and UK Variety as well as for the Encyclopedia of the Documentary film (Routledge), Animation world magazine (issue3.7.1998), The Cinema of the Balkans, (book by Dina Iordanova), participated in the books on Mani Kaul and Girish Kasaravalli…

Chantal Chauzy

Program Advisor

Chantal Chauzy served for 10 years as Vice President of Acquisitions and Homevideo at Strand Releasing, one of the leading independent film distributors in the U.S. She is now VP of Sales and Acquisitions for All Rights Entertainment. She holds an M.A. in film studies and a B.A. in English from the Sorbonne University in Paris.

Darko Lungulov

Program Advisor

Darko Lungulov directed his debut feature Here & There, winner of the Tribeca award for Best NY Narrative, while he was living in New York and directing documentaries for Spiral Pictures/Ross and teaching production courses at Long Island University. He was the Board President of BelDocs, Belgrade International Documentary Film Festival. At present, he is the President of the Serbian Film Directors Association. Currently, Darko is developing two feature films and finishing a documentary.

Margit Kleinman

Program Advisor

Margit Kleinman studied French and German linguistics and literature in Wuerzburg and Paris and holds an MA from the University of Tuebingen/Germany. From 1987 to 2012, she was the program director at the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles. In May of 2012, she assumed the directorship at Villa Aurora, an artist residency, and the Foundation for American-European Relations in Pacific Palisades. She oversaw major upgrades of the Villa Aurora, which is now part of the dual arts institution, Villa Aurora-Thomas Mann House. Since early 2020, she has taken on an advisory role for arts projects that she has championed over the years, including SEEfest.

Virgil Adumitroaie

Programmer At-Large

Virgil Adumitroaie is a Data Scientist at JPL, where he develops outer planetary environment models and radiation monitoring software for the Juno Mission. During his career, he has been involved in turbulent combustion modeling, data dimension reduction, neural networks, signaling pathways and scientific software development, as well as optimization methods and uncertainty analysis applied to decision problems. He also teaches at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering.

Lauren Brown

Associate Programmer

Lauren Brown is one of the founding members of Lumiere Cinema and has over 20 years of theatrical film management.  She is a graduate of Cal State LA with a BA in Pan African Studies and is also a paralegal.

Stefania Magidson

Chair, Romanian Program

Stefania Magidson is the Chair of the Romanian Program at SEEfest and the
founder and president of Blue Heron Foundation, one of the largest non-profit
organizations in the Romanian diaspora. She is a dedicated supporter of the UCLA
Graduate School of Education, the Oakwood School (LA), the Everychild Foundation
(LA), SEEfest (LA) and the Making Waves Romanian Film Festival (NY). She is the
co-producer of the film Omega Rose, and author of the book of essays, Searching for
the White Magician
. In 2022, through her Blue Heron Foundation she launched a
major humanitarian campaign to assist Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war. In
recognition of her work to set up critical assistance, including medical aid, for war
refugees in Romania, Moldova, and Poland, Stefania was awarded the 2022 SEEfest
Legacy Humanitarian Award.

Denny Dugally

Feature Films

Denny Dugally started as PA in the Art Department and worked her way up to
Production Designer, working on many feature films, commercials, music videos and
hundreds of hours of Primetime Television and streaming. She received an Emmy
for Art Direction for the pilot of NYPD Blue and was nominated for the pilot of
Arrested Development. Most recently she was designing the feature film, The Secret,
for director Andy Tennant, and all 3 seasons of the Netflix hit series The Kominsky
with Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin. She is currently designing her 2 nd
season of another hit series on Fox, 9-1-1 Lone Star – Ryan Murphy Television.

Imad Ftouni


Imad Ftouni worked in IT in Silicon Valley for 13 years. He then switched to studying film production, improv acting, and sketch writing. He worked in various capacities on several film productions including You Kill Me, an independent feature starring Ben Kingsley, Bonds on Bonds, an ESPN TV show on Barry Bonds, and Unflinching Triumph. He was also a literary associate for the Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco.

Michael Pardy

Associate Programmer, Docs

Michael Pardy was an actor in New York City for over twenty years. He had a second career at the Open Society Foundations (OSF), most notably working on the Arts & Humanities Initiative of the OSF Project on Death in America. Subsequently, he was the founding COO of the OSF spinoff, Institute on Medicine as a Profession at Columbia University. As well, he is an avid collector of Outsider Art and Mexican Retablos. Post-covid, he looks forward to resuming his acting career.

Amy Tofte

Associate Programmer

Amy Tofte is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who won a 2015 Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her play Righteous Among Us won the 2020 Todd McNerney Playwriting Award and was a finalist for the 2020 Woodward/NewmanPlaywriting Award. Her play Cardboard Castles Hung on Walls will be produced this fall in Waco, TX. Other recent theater productions include War by Design (The Wallis, Los Angeles), the short opera The Course We Set (Boston Opera Collaborative), and a workshop production of her play Relentless Pursuit of aLady with New Circle Theatre (NYC). She has been in residence at the Autry Museum of the American West, Brush Creek, The Kennedy Center, and Yaddo with her work produced and developed throughout the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and twice at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild. B.A., University of Iowa; MFA, CalArts. She was raised on a farm and lived her best summers on a tractor or selling sweetcorn from the back of a pick-up.

Bio on New Play Exchange

Tudor Munteanu

Associate Programmer

Tudor Munteanu is an award-winning actor and filmmaker. In 2008, he
immigrated to the U.S. from Romania to pursue acting and has appeared in a variety
of productions (The Nun, The Disaster Artist, Hawaii Five-O, Criminal Minds). His
debut short film, Other Side (writer, co-director) earned the 2016 IFS Film Festival
award for Best Independent Short. He has produced live-action and
documentary shorts and is currently producing a feature based on a Nicholl
Fellowship Awarded Screenplay. He is a member of SAG AFTRA and in 2018 he
served on the Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominating Committee.

View Profile on IMDB

SEEfest Staff

Artistic Director
Vera Mijojlić

Honorary Chair
Irina Maleeva

Program Advisors
Chantal Chauzy
Darko Lungulov
Margit Kleinman

Chair, Romanian Film Program
Stefania Magidson

Denny Dugally, Feature Films
Michael Pardy, Narrative Documentaries
Tudor Munteanu, Amy Tofte, Giannina Toaxen, T. Starren, Shorts Program
Imad Ftouni, Programmer-at-Large
Virgil Adumitroaie,Programmer-at-Large

Art Director
Elyas Beria,

Honorary MC
Hettie Lynne Hurtes

Director of Digital Marketing
Denise Wakeman,

Festival Manager
Gabrielle Adrien

Festival Coordinator
Alisa Tunik

Web Master
Michael Levy

Resident Producer
Polina Herman

Community Outreach
Lika Balenovich

Youth Program
Hipolito Muñoz
Jessica Just

Opening & Closing Visual Content
Coldea Productions
Lejla Subašić

Aaron Perez
Tshombe Sampson
Ciprian Gherman

Educational Initiative
Aida Vidan
Adnan Džumhur

Writers Group Facilitators
Ivana Strajin 

Deborah Gilels
LA Media Consultants 

Print Program Design 
SooAh Cho Cho 

Trailer & Video Editors
Harvey Carrasco

Team of Supporters
Giannina Toaxen, Arevik Sargsyan, Damir Hrnjez, Daniel Wyland, Emir Kapetanović, John Concannon, Ken and Grace Aaron, Sabra Chili, Tudor Munteanu, Amy Tofte, Tsiako Abesadze, Michael Yu, Malina Stefanovska, Alisa Tunik, Almanya Narula, Brett Pelicano, Ivana Kingston, Naomi Welikala, Klaire Harris, Shawni Burris, Thawarat Jiamjarupa

Advisory Board
Amila Oručević, DOJ Accredited Representative, Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service 
Andrei Zincã, Producer, Double4Studios
Andrea Capachietti, Humanitarian Aid Consultant and Lecturer, Los Angeles
Carol Contes, Attorney, Los Angeles
Christine La Monte, Producer, Los Angeles
Elyas Beria, Designer, Seattle
Gail Kligman, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, UCLA
Hans-Martin Liebing, Lecturer, UCLA Film School
Isabella Anikst, UCLA Extension
Jelena Erceg, Architect, Los Angeles
Ken Aaron, Social Uplift Foundation, Los Angeles
Lelei Lelaulu, Earth Council Alliance 
Liana Grancea, Executive Director, UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies
Mustafa Kapidžić, Kult B Publishing, Sarajevo
Nenad Dukić, Film Critic, Belgrade
Peter Gross, Tech Executive and Corporate Advisor, Santa Monica
Stefania Magidson, Blue Heron Foundation, Los Angeles
Raoul Marinescu, President of Digital Sales, Entertainment Studios
Thomas Blount, Architect and Arts Patron, Miami
Toni Bell, Impact Strategist, Los Angeles