Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project

Staff

Executive/Artistic Director

 Madeleine Lim is an award-winning filmmaker with 25 years of experience as a producer, director, cinematographer and editor. Her films have screened at sold-out theaters at international film festivals around the world, including the Vancouver International Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, and Amsterdam Amnesty International Film Festival. Her work has been featured at universities and museums like the de Young, and Asian Art in San Francisco, and Crocker Art in Sacramento, and broadcast to millions on PBS.

Lim’s films have received awards from the prestigious and highly competitive Paul Robeson Independent Media Fund, as well as the Frameline Film Completion Fund. She received the 1997 Award of Excellence from the San Jose Film & Video Commission’s Joey Awards and won the 1998 National Educational Media Network Bronze Apple Award. From 2000 to 2003, she was a California Arts Council Artist-in-Residence. The Featured Filmmaker at the 2006 APAture Asian American Arts Festival, Lim has thrice been awarded the San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Commission for her films. She received grants from the Community Story Fund from Cal Humanities and the San Francisco Foundation Bay Area Documentary Fund for her film, The Worlds of Bernice Bing (2013), which won the Audience Award at the 2013 Queer Women of Color Film Festival. She holds a BA in Cinema from San Francisco State University, where she was awarded Outstanding Cinema Student of the Year. Since 2004, she has been an Adjunct Professor in the Film/Media Studies Department at the University of San Francisco.

At the age of 23, Lim escaped persecution by the Singaporean government for her organizing work as a young lesbian artist-activist. Ten years later, she created the award-winning documentary Sambal Belacan in San Francisco (1997), a film that is still banned in Singapore for its exploration of race, sexuality and nationality. As one of a small number of queer women of color filmmakers on the international film festival circuit, she saw that only queer women of color would tell their own authentic stories. QWOCMAP is the result of her vision and she founded the organization in 2000 with the belief that a community of artist-activist filmmakers could change the face of filmmaking and the social justice movement.

Under Lim’s leadership, QWOCMAP’s Filmmaker Training Program was awarded 2003 Best Video Program by San Francisco Community Media. In 2005, Lim received the LGBT Local Hero Award from KQED-TV in recognition of her leadership of QWOCMAP and her dedicated service to the queer women of color community. She was awarded the 2007 DreamSpeaker Award from Purple Moon Dance Project and the 2010 Phoenix Award from APIQWTC for her outstanding, sustained and pioneering contributions to the Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women & Transgender Community. She received the 2011 Bayard Rustin Civil Rights Award from the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club for her leadership in advancing justice and equality for the LGBT community. She was honored with the 2013 State Farm Good Neighbor Award presented by Equality California for her extraordinary commitment to her work and the LGBT community.  In 2015, she won the Queer LifeSpace Artist On The Ground award in recognition for her work contributing to positive mental health for LBTQ women of color. Throughout the past 16 years, her leadership has been recognized by members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the California State Senate and California State Assembly, and the SF Board of Supervisors.

Managing Director

Kebo Drew, CFRE, directs capacity building, organizational development and strategic thinking, and is responsible for collaborations and audience engagement for QWOCMAP programs and projects. She joined QWOCMAP as its second staff member in 2007 as a Horizons Foundation Rickey Williams Leader Fellow, when she developed and expanded the QWOCMAP Community Partner program. She also conceived QWOCMAP’s signature presentation “Reels of Resistance: Film IS Social Justice Activism.” She is responsible for building and expanding artistic collaborations and activist partnerships on local, national and international levels. She was a national 2012 Arts & Culture Fellow of the Rockwood Institute and a 2011 Next Generation Leaders of Color Fellow at CompassPoint. Drew has professionally managed development, operations and events for corporations, community, arts and nonprofit organizations for over 20 years. She formerly served on the Board of Directors of Frameline (SF International LGBT Film Festival). She holds a B.P.A. in Nonprofit Management from the University of San Francisco.

She is a filmmaker, writer and dancer, she is the writer, producer and director of Ain’t I A Woman? which has screened at the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival and Translations: the Seattle Transgender Film Festival, among many others around the world. She is a member of the QWOCMAP Productions Team responsible for story development. She has also produced numerous films, which include Don’t Fence Me In: Major Mary and the Karen Refugees from Burma, which won the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary from the 2006 Washington D.C. Independent Film Festival and the Director’s Citation Award from the 2006 Black Maria Film Festival. She got her start in the 2001 QWOCMAP screenwriting workshop, where she wrote two feature-length screenplays. She has performed in the U.S., Latin America and Europe as a poet and dancer. She is a Cave Canem Poetry Fellow and won the Audre Lorde/Pat Parker Award and the Astraea Emerging Lesbian Writers Award. She also won the Irene Weed Dance Award and Robert Kuykendall Dance Scholarship.

Program Manager

Cosmo M. Soltani is a filmmaker, educator & youth organizer. Soltani completed an MFA in Film & TV Production from USC in 2014. As a queer Iranian-American war child, Soltani believes that telling their stories and those of their communities is a revolutionary act of survival and a powerful tool to weave ourselves into the future.

Board of Directors

Leisette Rodriguez
Immigration Attorney, Photographer, Filmmaker
Two Spirit Apache Chicana Stud
She uses her law degree and her passion for justice to represent undocumented children before U.S. Immigration court. She is a proud alumna of QWOCMAP’s introductory and intermediate screenwriters workshops and director workshop. In the last 20 years, she has worked with award-winning independent filmmakers and artists as a photographer, script supervisor and assistant director.
Manal Dia
Tech Entrepreneur, Filmmaker – Director, Catalina
Gay Arab Middle-Eastern Muslim Atheist woman
Lawyer, engineer, and entrepreneur, she works at the intersection of law and technology, advocating for increased access, and accountability. A Stanford Law graduate with BS and MS degrees in computer science and engineering from MIT, her affiliations include the SFSPCA, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and American University of Beirut. Born and raised in Lebanon, she co-founded rabbitproto, a 3D printing startup, and is working on her next legal tech project.
Marta Martinez
Communications Coordinator, Filmmaker – Director, Mi Casa Es Mi Casa
Queer Chicana Femme
Formerly staff at the San Francisco Foundation, and now with the LA County Arts Commission, she has worked with arts organizations focusing on program management and communications. A Mellon Mays Fellow with a BA from Wesleyan University, she holds a MA in Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts. Born and bred in San Francisco, she writes about queer art and media.
Tracy Nguyen
Freelance Videographer, Filmmaker – Director, Possibly; Journey to the Nail Salon
Queer Vietnamese American Woman
Graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Media Studies and Ethnic studies, and formerly worked as a Campaign Organizer conducting Vietnamese-language trainings for Community Health for Asian Americans and API Equality – Northern California. Born and raised in San Jose, she grew up in a refugee household and loves graphic facilitation.
Lynn Sugihara
California State Registered Dental Hygienist, Filmmaker – Director, Jasmine’s Jubilee
Queer Japanese/Chinese American woman
With 37 years in the dental field, she is also a long-time community activist who has volunteered for APIQWTC, Asian Women’s Shelter, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach. She is a 3rd generation Asian American, born in Berkeley, raised in Richmond.

Advisory Board

Aarin Burch
Independent Filmmaker, AARIN BURCH PRODUCTIONS
Director, The Art of Laurel Burch; My People Are… Youth Pride in Mixed Heritage; Michigan Fever; Reflections Unseen 
Cheryl Dunye
Independent Filmmaker
Director, Black is Blue; My Baby’s Daddy; Watermelon Woman; Stranger Inside; She Don’t Fade
Cassandra Falby
Former Asset Manager, PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS
Director, Texture of Honesty
Mary Guzmán
Independent Filmmaker, ONE OF 9 CUBANITOS FILMS
Director, Do The Math; Mind If I Call You Sir?; Desi’s Looking For A New Girl
Pratibha Parmar
Independent Filmmaker, KALI FILMS
Director, American Masters: Alice Walker; Nina’s Heavenly Delights; Warrior Marks; Khush; Double The Trouble, Twice The Fun 
Jennifer Phang
Independent Filmmaker, AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE ALUMNI
Director, Advantageous; Half Life; Target Audience 9.1; Love Limited
Desi del Valle
Independent Filmmaker, Actor, Media Consultant
Director, Cruel, Back to Life Actor; Desi’s Looking for a New Girl; Costa Brava; Mod-Fuck Explosion; Some Prefer Cake; Drift 
Yvonne Welbon
Independent Filmmaker, AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE ALUMNI
Chair, Journalism and Media Studies Department, Bennett College for Women.
Director, Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis @ 100; Sisters in Cinema; The Taste of Dirt; Remembering Wei Yi Fang, Remembering Myself; Sisters in the Life: First Love; Missing Relations; The Cinematic Jazz of Julie Dash; Monique 

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