Kristal is a film festival programmer and curator specializing in Latinx cinema and documentary.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Miikka Skaffari

(Photo by Karl Bussen)

True/False Film Festival

Festival Programmer | September 2022 – Present
  • Work with the programming team to select the True/False film lineup. Contribute ideas for other repertory programs as part of the film program.
Presenting the 65th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival lineup at a Preview Press Conference.

San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM)

Festival Programmer, Feature Films & Cine Latino | November 2021 – Present

  • Screen and evaluate films for SIFF 2022 and identify promising titles for programmatic consideration.
  • Support curation of New Visions, Midnight, New Directors, International and Domestic features and shorts.
  • Participate in weekly Programming department video conference calls to discuss content.
37th Annual IDA Documentary Awards Ceremony

International Documentary Association

IDA Awards Competition Manager | June 2021 – January 2023
  • Oversee all elements of the IDA Awards submissions, review, and nomination process, from the call for entries through awards night, including managing all steps in the judging and voting process.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for submitters with high-level questions and a point of contact and escalation for those with technical issues.
  • Finalize criteria guidelines for pre-screeners and committees and identify, recruit, and train pre-screener and committee judges as needed.
  • Coordinate with committee chairs about forming screening committees, troubleshoot any problems, and ensure committees are created on schedule needed to meet review deadlines
  • Act as primary liaison between IDA awards competition team and awards production teams and contractors as well as with nominees once nominations and notifications have been made.
Hosting the 2019 Philadelphia Latino Film Festival Opening Night.

Philadelphia Latino Film Festival

Programming Director & Year Round Social Media Manager | December 2019 – July 2022
Festival Programming Coordinator | June 2018 – December 2019
  • Curate and manage the annual process of programming over 100 short and feature films (narrative, documentary, music videos, etc) as well as new media projects (AR, VR, 360 video, etc) and LOLA Award winners for the weeklong film festival program.
  • Maintain the FilmFreeway call-for-entries, film screening process, juried awards strategy, filmmaker notification procedure, negotiations and agreements with distributors, file procurement and projection, and the programming budget.
  • Establish and maintain a full three-day series of filmmaker panels and workshops that serve filmmakers with special guests and presentations.
  • Co-found and administer the Luz Incubator program and Work-In-Progress Lab coordinating with selected alumni filmmakers and invited industry members.
  • Develop a yearly master film screening schedule to best fulfill the festival’s mission and programming theme.
  • Administer a database of over 350 short and feature films from current and past festival seasons.
  • Execute the distribution of festival passes and comped tickets for filmmakers, press, and industry members.
  • Outreach to filmmaking organizations, distributors, and collectives to double festivals submissions each year.
  • Liaise with filmmakers to provide assistance with submissions, wavers, acquisition, and during the festival weekend.
  • Recruit, train, and supervise the Screening Committee (over 20 members) as well as seasonal festival staff such as the Programming Coordinator and the internship program.
  • Compose the festival fact sheet, wrap-up, evaluation, and screening analytics to be used for sponsorship, grant-writing, and fundraising efforts.
  • Scout films from national and internationally recognized film festivals, grants, and organizations to maintain a list of films in-production to track for acquisition.
  • Represent PHLAFF at local and national events, panels, and film festivals (Sundance, TIFF, SXSW, Tribeca, etc).
  • Cultivate relationships with key industry members, distributors, representatives, and groups in the independent film industry.
  • Collaborate with the Communications Team on marketing, publication, and press regarding the festival programming and act as the main contact for the Programming Team.
  • Work with Operations and Tech Team on a timely delivery of the festival program, film presentation, and operational needs.
  • Develop and engage diverse audiences to expand income sources and build national recognition for PHLAFF.
  • Write and submit grants to support year-round festival programming and initiatives.
  • Prepare engaging film introductions and professionally moderate film Q&A and panel sessions.
  • Stay up-to-date on trends and issues within the independent film industry.
Tri-Co Film Festival 2021 virtual awards ceremony.

Tri-Co Film Festival

Co-Juror/Co-Curator | February 2021 – May 2021

The Tri-Co Film Festival showcases exemplary film and media work by students at Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore Colleges. The 10th annual festival programs screened virtually at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute. It was co-juried/co-curated with Set Hernandez Rongkilyo, co-founder of the Undocumented Filmmakers Collective.

• Co-curated 3, 30-minute programs of 12 narrative and documentary student short films.
• Co-juried the selection of 3 award winners and 2 special mentions from a pool of short films.
• Moderated a filmmaker Q&A and co-presented the awards during the live virtual ceremony.
• Worked with Festival Director and staff to coordinate the pivot to virtual programming and tech considerations.

POV | American Documentary Reception


Production & Programming Intern | September 2017 – May 2018
Screener, Programming & Production | May 2018 – October 2019
  • Managed the open call-for-entries and acquisitions database and liaise with filmmakers and distributors.
  • Maintained and reviewed over 100 feature-length and short documentaries to aid in curating seasons 31, 32, and the first season of POV Shorts.
  • Aided with hosting the Editorial Committee to review film selections for Season 31.
  • Maintained relationships with filmmakers, PBS programmers, and industry members.
  • Edited and established the style for Season 30 and 31 filmmaker interview videos that were used for TV broadcast and social media.
  • Assistant produced the very first POV Facebook Live broadcast with Bill Nye to promote the screening of the documentary “Bill Nye: Science Guy.”
  • Established the setup procedures for Facebook Live external webcam broadcasts utilizing a Canon 5D Mark III camera, lavalier mics, sound mixer, and Open Broadcast Software (OBS). Managed Facebook feed, interacting with viewers and selecting questions for the Q&A.
  • Collaborated with the development of digital interactive storytelling projects in different phases of production. Mixed audio levels for the “West 4th Street” app as part of Bayeté Ross Smith’s exhibit.

Additional Curatorial Experience

New Orleans Film Festival
Short Documentary Jury (Academy Award Qualifying Category) | November 2022

New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival (NewFest)
Feature Documentary Jury | October 2022

aluCine Latin Film+Media Arts Festival
Festival Jury | August – September 2021

Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival (aGLIFF)
Documentary Feature Jury | August 2021

Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
Jury Committee, Narrative and Documentary Shorts | November 2020

The Gotham Week (Formerly IFP Week)
Screener, Spotlight on Documentaries | May 2020 – June 2020
Screener, Spotlight on Documentaries | May 2019 – June 2019

Philadelphia Film Festival
Screener, Festival Programming | June 2018 – October 2018

Camden International Film Festival
Screener, Festival Programming | March 2018 – September 2018

Funding Panel Experience

United States Artists Fellowship Program
Panelist | 2022

Independence Public Media Foundation
Filmmaker Nominations Coordinator | May 2022 – July 2022

Sundance Institute Documentary Edit & Story Lab
Application Screener | 2022

Fatales Forward: Trans Stories Fellowship
Fellowship Nominator | 2022

NewFest & Netflix New Voices Filmmaker Grant
Grant Evaluator | 2022

IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund
Application Reviewer | 2021

Independence Public Media Foundation
Grant Nominator | 2020

IDA Screening Series
Selection Committee | 2020

Philadelphia Independent Media Fund administered by Scribe Video Center
Finishing/Next Level Grant Panelist | 2020

Bryn Mawr College Film Series Committee

Committee Co-Head | August 2015 – May 2017
  • Led 5 committee members to coordinate over 40 on-campus film screenings a year, including 2 larger end-of-semester screenings while managing a club budget of over $1,000 per semester.
  • Established the Film Series listserv and blog, managed the Film Series Facebook page, and organized on-campus advertising, doubling attendance at screenings.
  • Organized 15 Bryn Mawr student volunteers at the “Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival” working with the “Asian American Students Association” at Bryn Mawr College.
  • Taught committee members to screen films using the equipment installed in projection rooms.
  • Partner with other Bryn Mawr College clubs, organizations, and departments to host film events to promote advocacy.

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