Maggie Mackay (she/her), Vidiots Executive Director/Vidiots Board Member, developed her interest in film as a child at her local NYC video store, Rare Bird Video, and independent movie theaters including Film Forum and The Quad. For thirteen years she served as Senior Programmer of the Los Angeles Film Festival and Director of Nominations for the Independent Spirit Awards. She has held positions at Sundance Institute, AFI Fest, and Aspen Film, among other arts organizations, advocating for filmmakers and connecting audiences to cinema. Mackay returned to her video store roots when she joined Vidiots in 2016 as its first Executive Director.
Robbie McCluskey (he/him), Video Store Lead. What Robbie has is a very particular set of skills, skills acquired working behind the Vidiots counter since 2013, skills that make him very helpful at finding the perfect recommendation for people like you. He was put on this planet for one reason, to watch movies (and quote them). Hailing from the state of Maine, a graduate of Cal State LA, Robbie is also the co-creator and host of Vidiots Movie Trivia and has worked as operations manager and coordinator of events all over the greater LA area, including TCM Classic Film Festival, Outfest LA, Primetime Emmy Awards, AFI Fest, and Film Independent Spirit Awards.
Barbara Twist (she/her), Director of Partnerships, is an L.A.-based filmmaker and exhibition consultant who has been involved in the independent exhibition sector for over a decade. In addition to her work with Vidiots, she is the Executive Director of Film Festival Alliance. She previously worked with Art House Convergence as Managing Director until 2017, and in recent years has consulted for organizations including Europa Cinemas, Europa International, and IndieCollect. Barbara holds an MFA in Creative Producing from Columbia University and has produced several award-winning short films. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America.
VIDIOTS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Patty Polinger, Vidiots Founder/Vice Board Chair, established Vidiots in 1985 with Cathy, her childhood friend, with a mission to open a different kind of video store: a cultural and community film hub offering a unique and diverse library.
Cathy Tauber, Vidiots Founder/Vice Board Chair, opened Vidiots in 1985, after she and her childhood friend Patty saw a need to make available for rent more interesting, independent, foreign, cult, and documentary films, which were not available anywhere at the time.
Mary Rohlich, Vidiots Board Chair is a film, television and documentary film producer. Rohlic is Head of Film and TV at Purple Pebble Pictures, and she serves as an Executive Producer on the acclaimed Netflix series Atypical. Rohlich has produced hit comedies including Four Christmases, Horrible Bosses, and Identity Thief, and several notable and award-winning documentary features, including Gleason and Print the Legend.
Susan Garbett, Vidiots Board Treasurer, is an arts and entertainment leader with experience in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, she has held positions at the L.A. Film Festival, Outfest and the American Film Institute. From 2014-2019, Garbett led the Theatre at Ace Hotel, developing standard operation procedures for the new venue and programming initiatives with partners such as CAP UCLA, The David Lynch Foundation, and Goldenvoice. In December of 2019, she joined Meow Wolf as the General Manager of The House of Eternal Return.
Claudia Puig, Vidiots Board Secretary, is President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, a longtime critic on NPR’s Film Week and a nationally recognized film journalist. She is currently Program Director for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and for the CASCADIA International Women’s Festival. Claudia has a film consulting business specializing in cultural consulting and teaches a college class on Diversity in the Media.
Norma Manzanares is a marketing executive and longtime Vidiot. Her client roster has included: The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Focus Features, FX, STARZ, ABC, PBS and Nickelodeon, among others. Norma has also held marketing and strategy roles at FUSE, G4/NBC Universal and DreamWorks.
Lela Meadow-Conner is the founder of mamafilm, a non-profit arts organization at the crossroads of art & advocacy – where storytellers, changemakers and nurturers come together to champion humanity through a maternal gaze. mama.film centers stories that foster empathy and connection to women, identity and human experience. She is a co-founder of the rePRO Film series (a program of mama.film), dedicated to showcasing reproductive healthcare, and is currently producing several projects.
Rachel O’Connor is the President of Film and Television at Pascal Pictures, a production company based at Universal Studios. O’Connor is a Producer on the upcoming film, Challengers (Directed by Luca Guadagnino, Starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist), as well as an Executive Producer on Spider-Man: No Way Home, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and a Co-Producer on Spider-Man: Homecoming. O’Connor was a Co-Producer on Steven Spielberg’s Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated, The Post, and was an Executive Producer of Greta Gerwig’s reimagining of the beloved American classic, Little Women. Before making the move to Pascal Pictures, O’Connor worked as an executive for Sony for over 15 years. O’Connor was raised in Los Angeles where she currently resides with her husband and son.
Naomi Ramsey, is an Experiential Marketing Consultant with over twenty years of experience at national and international branding companies, advertising agencies and non-profits. Ramsey has served as Experiential Brand Marketer at Moët Hennessy, Director of Events and Experiences at the Shryne Group in LA, and she has crafted promotional product focused advertising, events and sponsorships for Bacardi Rum, Stella Artois, Waterford Crystal and Volkswagen. Ramsey has traveled extensively, she attended the historical Black College, Virginia Union in Richmond, and is trained as a crisis hotline worker for women facing domestic violence.
VIDIOTS ADVISORY COUNCIL
Yemi Adegbonmire, General Council, The Bail Project
Tara Aquino, Creative Strategist + Writer/Producer
Joel Arquillos, Education, arts, and nonprofit leader
Dilcia Barrera, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Simon Barrett, Filmmaker + Writer
Winona Bechtel, Director of Development, Bob Baker Marionette Theater
Bret Berg, Theatrical Sales Director, AGFA
Emily Kelleher-Best, CEO + Founder, Seed & Spark
Claire Brooks, Writer + Executive Producer
Keith Calder, Snoot Entertainment
Jess Wu Calder, Snoot Entertainment
Jordan Chadsey Divecha, Tech Entrepreneur + Consultant
Henry Cheung, Senior Project Designer, Bestor Architecture
Mike Dougherty, Director of Festival Programming, Outfest
Joshua Adam Fu, Marketing Consultant
Pete Galindo, Business Owner/Arts Consultant
Jess Graham, Graphic Designer
Shipra Gupta, Publicist, A24 Films
Kate Hagen, Director of Community, The Black List
Maori Holmes, Director, BlackStar
Marcus Hunter, African American Studies, UCLA
Jenny Jacobi, Cross-functional Leader + Strategic Facilitator
Divya Kaushik Kohli, Corporate Partnerships, Sundance Institute
Justin LaLiberty, Film Archivist, Vinegar Syndrome
Christy Lamb, Director of Development, Sidney Poitier New American Film School
Franklin Leonard, CEO + Founder, The Black List
Katie Manley, Executive Producer + Brand Strategist
Tess Ornstein, Director of Publicity, Magnolia Pictures
Caumera Parhm, Social Media + Community Manager
Jason Paul, Creative Technologist, JMPaul Development LLC
Leonora Pitts, Filmmaker + Actor
Maria Prieto, Writer + Director
Mark Putnam Jr., Brand Marketing Consultant
Dayna Richards, Entertainment Attorney
Sav Rodgers, Filmmaker + Founder, Transgender Film Center
Rachel Rosen, Independent Film Programmer + Consultant
Anam Syed, Creative Producer
Anjelica Triola, Brand Marketing + Creative Consultant
Rachel Walker, Film + Special Events Programmer
April Wolfe, Filmmaker + Writer
Kim Yutani, Director of Programming, Sundance Film Festival