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Meet BIFF's Team


Kurt Patino

President/Festival Director

Kurt Patino grew up in Burbank, CA and runs Patino Management Company, a full-service Talent Management firm representing Film/TV actors. He produced the action-comedy feature film, “Double Threat,” starring Matthew Lawrence and Dawn Olivieri, which premiered in summer 2022. “Double Threat" was the sole indie feature amongst Hollywood blockbusters listed in the Amazon Prime “Top 10 in the US” category. He co-wrote & co-produced the comedy-adventure movie, "Tin Holiday," which was shot in London/Los Angeles and can now be viewed on Amazon Prime. He accepted an invitation to speak in Canada where he presented a TEDx talk on “How Fear Can Be A Four Letter Word For Success.” Kurt began his career as a Talent Agent and rose through the ranks to eventually become co-founder of the very successful Defining Artists Talent Agency. In his over twenty-year career as a Talent Representative, Kurt has guided the careers of well-known performers such as Rami Malek, America Ferrera, Kelly Stables, Nichole Sakura, Ayesha Curry, Molly Hagan, Barbara Niven, Kenneth Choi and former Oscar® nominee Patty McCormack. He’s a diehard sports fan and voracious reader who enjoys traveling with his wife and two sons.

Lana Ford

Lana Ford blends her experiences of civic, corporate and artistic talent to join the impressive team of BIFF Board Members. Following a ten year career with Fortune 50 company BellSouth Communications, Lana moved to LA to continue adding to her list of adventures, such as marketing manager for the Falcon Theatre (now the GARRY MARSHALL THEATRE) in Burbank, as an elected official serving 6 years on the Studio City Neighborhood Council, President of Phi Mu Alumnae-LA, President Southern California Council of Phi Mu Fraternity, Adviser to Phi Mu Sorority-CSUN, all while sprinkling area Theatres with performances in various roles, including KING ALFONSO in “The Tempest” and AMANDA in “For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls.” She currently works with independent casting director Aaron Griffith, is a Talent Executive for The Saturn Awards and served on the 2017 SAG Nominating Committee. She has written a civil war epic based on a true story.

Board Member

Michele Frances Ortmann

Michele Frances Ortmann began working with the Burbank International Film Festival in 2019 and joined the Board of Directors as Secretary in 2020. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA., Michele earned her Bachelors of Science in Business Management degree from Carlow University. Michele then moved to Los Angeles in 2001 to pursue a career in television and film production. Her passion for film and television led her to Hollywood to work as a producer. Michele has worked as an administrator for Disney Studios in the television programming department as well an executive assistant in the Business Affairs department for Warner Bros. in Burbank. Michele’s extensive business background has made her invaluable to producers who rely on her strong project management and organizational skills. Michele is the second Vice-President for the American Legion Post 43 Auxiliary in Los Angeles. In her spare time, Michele is a very talented dancer, experienced in a variety of dancing styles including jazz, salsa, swing, waltz, tango, Hawaiian and tap.

Board Member

Stephanie Garvin

Stephanie Garvin is a producer and founder of ETM Pictures hailing from Lafayette Louisiana. Her many life experiences lend unique perspectives to her screenwriting and storytelling. She has extensive business experience as both a Financial Advisor and entrepreneur, running six separate businesses. Her work with ETM Pictures focuses on inspirational projects that inspire human emotional growth. “I am always looking for a way to make the world a kinder place. I live here too!” Stephanie contributed to the highly acclaimed film "The Trial of the Chicago 7" as a Co-Executive Producer. ETM Pictures next project in post-production is "Holiday Twist," a family-friendly Christmas-themed film written & directed by Stephanie.

Anna Maybury


Anna Grace McNiven is BIFF's Social Media strategist. She began her career in the performing arts as a dancer which developed into theater and then working in the film and television industry in both Australia and the US. She has been an on-camera host for several music, entertainment and health channels. Companies Anna's worked with include Sony, Ghostly, and Universal Music. Anna has been a film director and producer for a range of insomniac and live nation music festivals and events since 2018. Her love for storytelling and music progressed to further expanding her career into photography, writing, directing and producing. Anna is well-versed in a variety of social media platforms which not only promotes the festival internationally, but creates unique social engagement with the filmmakers, sponsors, advertisers and attendees.

Larry Thornton


Larry Thornton is an Alumnus of UCLA’s Doctor of Business Administration. Dr. Larry Thornton is currently CEO of the Accounting and Business Consulting Firm, Thornton and Associates and was a consultant and contracted with the Department of Energy, Department of Labor and the Department of Justice, in both Los Angeles and Washington DC. He has provided services for the Mayor of Los Angeles and currently consults for the LA City Council regarding veteran housing and drug and alcohol treatment centers. In addition, he sits on several business and non-profit boards and is CFO of Ridgeview Ranch Treatment Center, a drug and alcohol treatment facility on Altadena Ca and Pasadena California. Larry has received many awards and accolades from the Governor and Mayor’s office and was honored as businessman of the year in the San Fernando Valley. He is a Buffalo Soldier and National Treasurer for the organization overseeing financials for 45 chapters throughout 38 states. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, skeet and trap shooting, riding his horse throughout the San Fernando Valley and participating in the annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade.

Kambra Potter

Kambra Potter is a TV, film & commercial actress, screenwriter, host and emcee who has been proudly involved with multiple facets of the Burbank International Film Festival since 2018. Kambra first pursued her passion for performance through pageantry, and was named Miss Oklahoma Teen and later, Miss Oklahoma. 


Most recently, Kambra portrayed the supporting-lead role of Sorority President, Steph in the Lifetime thriller "Sisters for Life.” She also played a pivotal role as the wife of a U.S. Marine with PTSD in the dramatic feature film "86 Melrose Ave," which found success in the festival circuit & is now available on a variety of VOD platforms. Kambra has also been selected as a contestant on “Let’s Make A Deal” with Wayne Brady. 


Holding a BA in Broadcast Journalism, Kambra has served as the on-camera host for dozens of celebrity red-carpet interviews and as the official Emcee for over 200 pageants across the U.S. She has also worked as an international event coordinator for high-profile corporations, and has garnered over $1.5 Million in revenue as a motivational speaker for a youth confidence organization. In 2023, Kambra began screenwriting and currently has several projects slated for development. 

Board Member


Tony Muscio

Advisory Board Member

Tony Muscio is a Los Angeles based writer. His TV series, HOTEL HORROR, is in development with Blumhouse Television, while another of his TV series, WALDORF ASTORIA, has Alfred Molina attached. Film credits include producer on ALL I WISH (Sharon Stone and Tony Goldwyn), and theater credits include, WORDS, produced at Actor’s Co-Op Hollywood and published in the U.K. by The Playwrights Publishing Co. Tony is a graduate of Cornell University where he studied hotel administration and playwriting.

Michelle Alexandria

Advisory Board Member

An LA native, Michelle Alexandria, began her career working in finance with high-net-worth individuals and major banks. After many years as a finance director, she began studying at the prestigious Beverly Hills Playhouse where she remained for several years. Within time she naturally gravitated towards the business side of the film industry. She has been a regular attendee at the major film festivals and markets since 2002, including the Cannes, AFM, Berlin, and Paris working in distribution and acquisitions for established film distribution companies. Michelle continues to represent film investors and filmmakers, working with them to obtain strong content according to the current market. Michelle's producing credits include feature family film First Dog starring Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight) and Priscilla Barnes (Three’s Company, Jane the Virgin), successfully remaining #1 on Redbox for several weeks. More recently she produced romantic comedy, Ask Me To Dance starring Briana Evigan of STEP UP 2. 

Selah Victor 

Advisory Board Member

Selah Victor is best known for her work portraying the role of 'Chloe Bourgeois' on the hit Disney Plus animated series MIRACULOUS LADYBUG. She can also be seen on your favorite TV and Film comedies and performs stand-up comedy all over Los Angeles. She produced the feature film ALL I WISH, now on Netflix, starring Sharon Stone and Tony Goldwyn. Selah enjoys entertaining her audience with her “mom comedy” on Instagram and TikTok which you can find on her page: @selahvictor and

Katie Keane

Advisory Board Member

Originally from Kansas, Katie Amanda Keane received her BFA and MFA in acting. After graduation, she appeared regularly with Shakespeare Orange County, starring in The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, and Measure for Measure to name a few. Soon after making the transition from stage to screen, she landed the series regular role of “Audie Gallagher” on ABC Family’s, Ruby and the Rockits.. A working actor for over fifteen years, she has recurred and guest starred on many TV shows including: How I Met Your Mother, Agents of SHIELD, Criminal Minds, See Dad Run, Notes From the Underbelly, The Exes, NCIS, and Without a Trace. Most recently she appeared in the Blumhouse feature The Manor, opposite Barbara Hershey, on Amazon. While shooting a pilot with Tom Lennon and Ben Garant, she discovered her talent and passion for writing. She has since developed projects with Tom Lennon, Ben Garant, Eric Tannenbaum/CBS Studios, Nat Bernstein, William Shatner, Tom Bergeron, and Linda Wallem. Her feature, Rosé All Day, starring Jenna Ushkowitz, Briana Cuoco, and directed by Marla Sokoloff, recently won “Best Comedy” at the Sunscreen Film Festival, and has received distribution through Vertical Entertainment. Her feature, Pony Up, is set to start pre-production with Red Bud Studios (EP Tom Brady). Currently she is co-writing a feature with Marla Sokoloff for Village Road Show, produced by Shatner, Bergeron, and Bernstein.

Eric Conner

Advisory Board Member

Eric is thrilled to be joining the Burbank International Film Festival Advisory Board. He has taught hundreds of aspiring storytellers at the New York Film Academy (LA), the Writer’s Store, the Animation Guild and Starcoach – China. At NYFA, he’s interviewed dozens of entertainment professionals including Django Unchained producer Reginald Hudlin and John Wick director

Chad Stahelski.


He recently produced the feature length documentary Other Voices (Aswat Acherim), available on Amazon. His work has also been featured on the Howard Stern Show, On Demand Cable, Entertainment Tonight and Eric is the current chair of the Burbank Cultural Arts

Commission, first appointed to BCAC by the City Council in 2019.


You may have seen Eric appear regularly on a Geekscape podcast, perform as plant victim Mr. Mushnik in Conundrum’s Little Shop of Horrors or share his true tale of being a woefully underprepared Santa Claus at JAM Creative’s Jingle Tales (the Colony Theatre). He’s also

worked with HollyShorts for several years as a film judge and moderated multiple panels / Q&As at their annual festival.


A rare native Delawarean, Eric lives in Burbank with his wife Lauren, sons Alex & Judah and their chaotic canines Fezzik and Iggy Pup.

Dionisio Tafoya

Advisory Board Member

Dionisio Tafoya is a multi-disciplined media visionary working in traditional cinema and developing digital immersive experiences for entertainment, educational and enterprise applications. He is the founder and President of Dionysus Creative, LLC, a creative media solutions company, co-founding board member of the Alliance of Entertainment Designers & Artists; Board Member, Trustee and Chair of Professional Development for the Art Director’s Guild, I.A.T.S.E. Local 800. He also sits on the advisory boards of the Burbank International Film Festival; California Department of Education’s Animation, Media and Entertainment Board; as well as the San Gabriel Valley K-12 Education Development Consortium.


Brad Bucklin

Director of Submissions and Programming

Brad M. Bucklin received a bachelor's degree in English and Theatre from Windham College where he studied with John Irving (World According to Garp). After moving to Los Angeles at 25, he worked as an actor on such notable shows as One Day At A Time, Waverly Wonders, Wavelength and Jurassic Park. He became a member of Theatre West in the early 80s where he co-produced "The Dodo Bird" and reactivated the writer's workshop. He was Production Stage Manager for the West Coast Premiere of David Mamet's play "A Life in The Theatre" at the Matrix Theatre, starring Bruce Davison, directed by David Birney and produced by Joe Stern. Brad was a Partner at the Empty Stage Theatre, where he produced the play "Three," which he co-wrote with former Groundling Director Stan Wells and turned into the hilarious screenplay "Sex and the Modern Marriage."  He directed the original one acts "The Eros Thanatos Class" and "Twins" (featuring Kristin Wigg) for the Award-Winning Can Festival I & II. His play "Mrs. Christmas" was made into an Award-Winning short film and he has since made over 17 shorts. He was Production Manager on the documentary "Supporting Actors." Currently (2024), he is working on a Documentary about Improv group the Trans4merZ featuring Lisa Kudrow and Cynthia Stevenson. He is a Director, Editor on the nationally broadcast show Pat Pattison's Best of California. His editing experience includes both long form media (Films: After Ever After, El Gran Concierto Mariachi) and short form, including Music Videos , sizzle reals, trailers, YouTube videos.  For nine years he taught editing Aesthetics and Story at the Postproduction School Video Symphony.

Dustin Richardson

Director of Web Media Services

Dustin Richardson is an award-winning screenwriter, video editor, and online interviewer. His screenplays have placed in many screenwriting contests, film festivals, and industry lists, including the Red List, Launch Pad, PAGE, and Final Draft's Big Break. He is passionate about creating new stories that reflect society today and invoke discussion on what it means to be human.


He has a BA in Communications and Media Studies. He began working at BIFF in 2022 and loves helping, celebrating, and connecting with other filmmakers and writers on their journeys. He hosts, produces, and edits BIFF's original online interview series, Reel Conversations, and co-hosts and edits Beyond the Frame.

Dustin had the honor of working on Bumblebee (2018) and Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020). He loves the feeling of being on set and a part of a production.

McKensie Lane

Director of Marketing

McKensie Lane is an LA-based actress, host, and writer from small-town Hale, Missouri. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Laine, and they are the proud parents of four rescue pets.


After completing her degree in journalism and studying film acting for a summer at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, McKensie won the title of Miss Missouri. She went on to compete in the Miss America Competition, where she performed a jazz en pointe dance for her talent piece. She is the only woman from Missouri to hold the title of Miss Missouri and Miss Missouri Teen.


She was among 90 students selected worldwide to attend Oxford and study with the British American Drama Academy in association with the Yale School of Drama. She is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory and Upright Citizens Brigade improv programs. You can catch her in the newly released Lifetime film “Secret Life of the Pastor’s Wife” and follow her on Instagram @kensielane.


Cait Smith

Cait Smith is a writer and filmmaker from Portland, Oregon. Cait is a senior at the University of Oregon, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in film and business. Her larger career goal is to create more honest, hearty, and compelling lesbian-identified characters for film and television. She is delighted to be a part of the 2024 Burbank International Film Festival as a marketing intern. When not studying film, she works on creative projects such as “Where You Lead” (2023) and “Jo & Matilda” (2023). During pre and post studying, she assists a U of O professor in research for an upcoming book covering hair design in television and music videos. If none of the above applies, you might find her hiking, thrifting, or cooking for loved ones.


Connect with Cait on IG: @itscaitsmith and LinkedIn:

Roya Mohammad

Roya Mohammad recently graduated from UCLA with an English degree. In college, she was active in the Los Medanos Associated Student Government and was elected as a Senator. As Senator, she solved student problems in order to make her campus a welcoming and better place for everyone. Roya also served as President of Los Medanos Rotary International, where she oversaw the organization's events and charity.


In her professional endeavors, Roya worked as a journalist, where she published pieces about social and student issues for 9,000 students and staff. She also worked as a fellow at NewDEAL, where she collaborated with state and local politicians to identify policy trends that promote pro-growth policies.

Roya hopes to continue her journey of effecting real change in her community and beyond, leveraging her diverse experiences and passion for having a positive impact.

Amber Zhu

Tingyi (Amber) Zhu is a current student in the BA of Film & Media Studies Program at Dodge College of
Film and Media Art at Chapman University. Her academic pursuits are rooted in an enthusiasm for Women’s Cinema, East Asian Cinema, and Italian Cinema. She is one of the students on the Provost List on Campus due to her academic excellence and high-quality articles on film analysis and criticism.


With a love for film, Tingyi gained expertise in film festival programming and execution, including participation in the FIRST International Film Festival and the Filmarathon Nonprofit Organization in China. As a bilingual international student now residing in Orange, CA, she brings a multicultural perspective to her creative works in film and media. Her skills span photography, video editing, and content creation, where she makes independent shorts and explores innovative storytelling approaches.

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