The AFME Foundation is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that produces the Albuquerque Film & Music Experience (AFMX). AFME Foundation formed to make a difference in our collective community during AFMX and through year-round programming.
Our purpose is to provide opportunities for future generations while increasing exposure and economic impact for the City of Albuquerque and the State of New Mexico. Each year, we bring filmmakers, musicians, artists, and visionaries together to celebrate the art of storytelling and collaborate into the future.
The foundation provides support to students and up-and-coming New Mexico filmmakers, artists, and musicians who, otherwise, may never pursue their college education or realize their artistic dreams. With so many talented students of the arts in the Land of Enchantment, our goal is to offer assistance in earning degrees in their respective fields of study, further their careers, and keep them, and their talents, right here in New Mexico.
Students are invited to volunteer at AFMX, attend educational panels, workshops, and Intimate Conversations with talent for free, and take advantage of free passes to the overall festival through our "Sponsor a Student at AFMX" program.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
IVAN WIENER – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AFMX
With over 30 years of experience in hospitality and entertainment, and 10 years serving as a film festival executive producer, Ivan has become a key resource and go-to person in New Mexico for A-list talent, producers, directors, and other clients in the film and entertainment industry. He takes great pride in providing a platform for economic growth and opportunities for students as Executive Director of the Albuquerque Film & Music Experience. He also serves as a Board member of the AFME Foundation.
Ivan owns Reel Solutions, one of the premier concierge and consulting services in New Mexico. Reel Solutions has worked with some of the biggest names in film and television as it is the only company authorized to provide airport meet and greet services at Albuquerque International Airport. These services give a great first and last impression of client experiences in the Land of Enchantment.
Ivan has been a producer on feature films, short films, television shows, documentaries, and commercials. Ivan is the former Head Concierge of the historic Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., and a former personal assistant to the late actor Dennis Hopper.
JEFF BAKER – PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD
Jeff Baker is the managing partner of The Baker Law Group. He is a former chair of the Anti-Defamation League's New Mexico region and is a member of ADL’s National Civil Rights Committee.
Jeff currently serves on the New Mexico Supreme Court Professional Conduct Committee, and he is a member of the Client Protection Fund Commission. Jeff has testified as an expert witness in matters involving attorney’s fees and attorney ethics. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America (legal malpractice). Jeff’s involvement with AFMX stems from his interest in encouraging students to use film to promote diversity, respect, and tolerance.
LARRY SCHWARTZ – PAST PRESIDENT
Larry is President of the Board and has served on the Foundation’s Board of Directors since its inception. He serves as Vice President – Investments for Wells Fargo Advisors LLC. Larry graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1985 and has been a resident of New Mexico for 37 years. As a businessman, Schwartz has sat on both sides of the table, as a corporate executive and board member of several non-profits. He is a tenor saxophone player and has a passion for bringing people together for a co-creative community.
AFMX is proud to have Larry’s experience and dedication to growth in the community as part of its program.
BRUCE MALOTT – BOARD MEMBER
Bruce F. Malott, CPA, CFF, is the founder and managing principal of O2 CPA Consulting Group. O2 CPA is a boutique consulting and tax firm that specializes in helping small businesses navigate complex tax, funding, and profitability issues and help individuals achieve their personal financial goals. Beyond tax advice and business consulting, Bruce is a nationally recognized forensic accounting expert who testifies in over 100 cases.
In 1983, Bruce started his own firm, which grew to be recognized for its innovative marketing, outstanding customer service, and high professional expertise level. By the time the firm was acquired in 2011, the firm had grown into a $10 million firm with over 70 employees. This acquisition allowed Bruce to return to his true calling, helping small businesses.
AUGUSTA MYERS – BOARD MEMBER
Augusta Myers is well-known in Albuquerque as a former Anchorwoman/Reporter for the ABC affiliate channel 7 for 16-years. She won several awards for her coverage of current events both locally and nationally.
She currently works as Communications Manager for the Mid Region Council of Governments, where much of the federal funds flow for transportation planning and workforce development in Central New Mexico. Augusta also serves as the spokesperson for the state's only commuter rail system - the New Mexico Rail Runner Express.
Augusta is passionate about her voice-over work and continues to narrate and appear in various videos a natural lover of the written and spoken word.
STEPHANIE BECKER - BOARD OF DIRECTORS
NATHAN EAST – ADVISORY BOARD
Grammy-nominated bassist Nathan East, credited on more than 2,000 recordings is recognized as one of the most recorded musicians in music. He is a founding member of contemporary jazz supergroup Fourplay with Bob James, Lee Ritenour & Harvey Mason. East has performed and collaborated with Eric Clapton, BB King, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Dave Grusin, George Harrison, Ringo, Quincy Jones, Toto & Daft Punk with Nathan's bass line driving the worldwide hit, "Get Lucky". East co-wrote "Easy Lover" with Phil Collins & Philip Bailey earning him an MTV Video Award.
In 2014, Nathan released his debut album on the Yamaha Entertainment Group label which went to #1 on the Billboard Jazz Charts and won a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. His second solo album "Reverence" (2017) also reached #1 on the Billboard Jazz & Contemporary Jazz charts.
East, a graduate of the University of California - San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music, was honored by The United States Congress with a Congressional Record for his contribution to the worldwide music community.
Nathan’s award-winning documentary “For The Record” was featured at AFME in 2016 where he received the prestigious AFME Music Award.
For more info go to: www.nathaneast.com
SIBYLLE SZAGGARS REDFORD - ADVISORY BOARD
Sibylle Szaggars Redford is a German-born multimedia environmental artist whose artwork has been exhibited throughout Europe, Monaco, Peru, Singapore, Japan, Suriname, and the United States.
Szaggars Redford is the 2016 recipient of the US State Department’s Art in Embassies Program for the US Embassy in Paramaribo, Suriname where after visiting the country's Rain Forests and Indigenous Peoples, 10 of her site-specific Pieces were placed on permanent display in the US Embassy in Paramaribo, Suriname.
Her artistry spans mediums and decades, from painted oil sketches and photographs of her Moroccan travels, expressions on canvas from her American Indian Pueblo visits, large Oil paintings where she explores “The Shape of Color“ and her recent works of watercolor abstracts shaped by the monsoon rains of Santa Fe, New Mexico, California and abroad.
Having worked as an environmental artist for almost 4 decades, her desire is to create art that transcends words, languages, cultures, and politics. Szaggars Redford creates art in order to speak to a deeper universal consciousness that’s connected to and dependent on the earth and its environments.
In order to find a stronger voice through art for the Earth, Szaggars Redford entered the world of performance art as an homage to the universal elements and an artistic medium for environmentalism in action.
In 2013 Szaggars Redford in collaboration with Icelandic Composer and Musician David Thor Jonsson, designed a concept for a staged art performance piece “The Way of the Rain” which would incorporate different art forms; music, dance, film, light, spoken word, and her first designed stage backdrop of multiple large “Rain Painting Silks” that would symbolize falling water from the heavens.
Since then Szaggars Redford has collaborated with various world-renowned composers, choreographers, and performers with presentations nationwide, including The United Emirates of Abu Dhabi, the Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, and the Opening Night of the 68th United Nations - NGO - International Conference.
In 2015 Szaggars Redford founded The Way of the Rain, Inc. a Non for Profit Organization with the specific purpose of developing, producing, and performing educational and artistic performances - themed and designed to promote public awareness to support the protection of our Earth.
In addition to presenting “The Way of the Rain” performances and developing new staged versions of “The Way of the Rain” Szaggars Redford continues to create and exhibit new art.
Beginning of March 2020 during the time of the Covid - 19 lockdown and isolation, Szaggars Redford in collaboration with Composer Tim Janis and environmental activist Robert Redford began creating “The Way of the Rain - Reflections on Earth” video series shorts - a Gift of Hope to the World and an invitation to reflect on the beauty and wonders of our Planet Earth.
“The Way of the Rain - Reflections on Earth” Ocean video series shorts have been screened around the world at the “Virtual“ Earth X Conference - April 22-27, 2020, the United Nations Oceans Day “Virtual” Earth X Oceans and National Geographic Conference - June 9-10, 2020, Earth X Australia / Oceana Conference - June 11, 2020, and the United Nations “Peace Boat” Conference on June 12, 2020.
“The Way of the Rain – Reflections on Earth” video series shorts continue to focus on the World’s Natural Environments; their delicate Ecosystems and Biodiversity which are important and necessary to maintain in order to preserve the existence of all life on Earth.
For more information: www.sibylleszaggarsredford.com
BASS REEVES - ADVISORY BOARD
When pushed, SB Reeves will reluctantly and modestly tell you that since he was 16 and for the past 55 years, he published a great number of the over 500 songs he has composed. Over the years, he is recognized as both a thinker and a doer.
In the early 1970s, he was awarded a Ford Foundation Executive Leadership Doctoral Fellowship at the age of 21 - a fellowship customarily given to more mature and seasoned professionals. When he asked why he was chosen, he was told by a member of the selection committee that he demonstrated leadership qualities way before his time and was half jokingly told that he was 21 going on 70 for the way he had conducted himself in the rigorous interview process.
In 1976 a move to Los Angeles quickly changed his life. In a simple twist of fate he was offered a job writing for Goodson/Todman produced game shows and did so for a number of years. Subsequently, his curious nature and entrepreneurial spirit involved him in a variety of engagements ranging from forming a small record label, developing film projects, promoting the Moscow Circus, and being an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist twice.
For the past 20 years, he has concentrated mainly on the process of song-writing and performing and has played everywhere form small establishments to the Kennedy Center For the Performing Arts.
He also continues to develop the Character, Dr Einstein Krinkle(R) (Santa Claus' Personal Doctor(R)) who appears when called upon to tell his tales to children of all ages.
KAREN CRISWELL - ADVISORY BOARD
As Vice-President of Operations for DreamWorks Studios Karen strategically and operationally supported the teams behind a slate of interactive games, music development deals, narrative films and television productions that occurred during her 18-yr. tenure. Her time at the studio included three “Best Picture” Oscars for "American Beauty", "Gladiator" and "A Beautiful Mind". Karen left the studio in 2014 to focus on independent production consulting and creative work in documentary, film, and emerging new media. Her client list includes: GNOMON-School of Visual Effects, Games, & Animation; Kilograph - architectural visualization company and eOne, international production company. Karen's collaboration with Frank Donner at BLKBX Creative Group spans decades, and she is currently focused on the growth of BLKBX Originals.
CHRISTOPHER SHUELER - ADVISORY BOARD
Chris Schueler has created over 100 television programs in the past 25 years that have garnered 27 Emmy® Awards and have been broadcast throughout the country and around the world. Focusing on educational and social issues, Mr. Schueler’s documentaries and video projects have raised public awareness and impacted public policy nationally and internationally with partnerships
ranging from the United Nations to the National Institute of Mental Health and the PBS network to the CBS Network Foundation as well as networks and governments worldwide.
His programs have ranged from global warming solutions to mental health stigma and included topics such as date and domestic violence, teen pregnancy prevention, AIDS, alcohol, gambling addiction and opioid abuse. Most recently, his project “Vaccination from the Misinformation Virus” has broadcast throughout the country on PBS and been an official selection in film festivals worldwide. His projects have broadcast in over 100 domestic markets as well as 35 countries in 8 different languages. In addition to the US, filming locations have included Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Russia, Central America and Africa.
Mr. Schueler includes social marketing and target audience outreach for all his projects involving extensive use of internet and social media venues to address community issues. In addition to investing target audience groups in the production and outreach efforts, each project includes partnerships with non-profit stake holders, government entities and private businesses.
These documentaries and community outreach projects many times include curriculum guides, Town Hall meetings, specialized educational videos, web site components, text messaging, social marketing development and discussion groups. The efforts create a web of community interaction for social change.
Due to the quality of his work, Mr. Schueler is on the Grand Jury for the New York Festivals and the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Rocky Mountain Chapter. Other honors include:
• The Grand Award, Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards at the New York Festivals;
• Two International Iris Awards;
• The National Education Association Award for the Advancement of Learning through Broadcasting;
• Two CBS network awards for Excellence in Community Service;
• Two Service to Children’s Television Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters; and
• The Parents’ Choice Award.
The National Broadcast Association for Community Affairs named Chris Schueler national “Innovator of the Year” for his nationally syndicated, News 101 Project training teenagers to produce news stories for local network affiliates. Schueler uses his model to train journalists around the world in creating social issue documentaries and social media outreach in Asia, the Middle East, Central America and throughout the US.
As a director, Mr. Schueler has worked with Glenn Close, Bryan Cranston, Sam Donaldson, Montel Williams, Ali MacGraw and others.
For more information and to view projects, please visit www.ChristopherProductions.org.
CYNDY MCCROSSEN - ADVISORY BOARD
Cyndy is a Raton native and a graduate of Albuquerque High School and the University of New Mexico, is the Albuquerque Film Office Film Liaision, which serves as the contact point for both productions and the community and welcoming new productions into Albuquerque. She has worked as Location Scout on many television shows such as Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, since the beginning of both shows. She has also worked on location scouting for other shows, too, such as Preacher and In Plain Sight, and most recently, Outer Range.
JOANIE GRIFFIN - ADVISORY BOARD
Joanie Griffin is the CEO and founder of Sunny505. She has over 30 years of experience in the communications and marketing field—starting Griffin & Associates in 1990. As a successful small business owner, Joanie knows the importance of creating a memorable and lasting brand for a business. Though the media world has evolved greatly, Joanie has always adapted media strategies to most effectively serve her clients’ needs. Joanie has remained at the forefront of marketing and advertising by building communications plans that integrate shared media, owned media, paid media and earned media.
KIRA SIPLER - ADVISORY BOARD
Kira Sipler is an award-winning screenwriter, producer, and director. Her love of storytelling began early in her life, writing stories about supernatural, adventure, and comedy, then acting them out for her family in their living room in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Storytelling evolved into theatre at Albuquerque High School, then to the University of New Mexico, graduating in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts. With hopes of becoming a writer and director, she continued to produce, act and direct in the Albuquerque theatre scene until relocating to Seattle in 1993. Frustrated with her creative process, Kira took a ‘hiatus’ and pursued the corporate life of dotcoms, then settled in her business career as a licensed massage therapist.
Twenty years later, and no longer able to deny her creativity, Kira returned to school and enrolled in the screenwriting certificate program at the Seattle Film Institute in 2013.
Her first short, written from a homework assignment, evolved into The Autumn Waltz. This first short film was awarded numerous film festival awards, including a nomination for best writer. It is currently available on Amazon Prime.
Kira continued her filmmaking studies with the Shoreline Community College’s Digital Filmmaking Program in 2014. She completed the Screenwriting Intensive at TheFilmSchool with Tom Skerritt and Brian McDonald in 2016.
Kira expanded into producing and directing in the Seattle film industry, eventually establishing her own production company, Jouska Road Productions. She continued her passion for advocating and supporting the local filmmaking community through the Seattle Film Summit as its Volunteer and Logistics Director.
In 2000, Kira returned to her home state to pursue work in the film industry. She works as an assistant director and producer in Albuquerque through her production company and writes short and feature films.
Kira currently volunteers as the Director of Operations for the Albuquerque Film & Music Experience, where she advocates for filmmakers and musicians.
You can learn more about Kira's filmwork at www.jouskaroad.com
DR. JAMES STONE - ADVISORY BOARD
Dr. James Stone is chair of Film and Digital Arts. He has spearheaded the transformation of the department’s curriculum to adapt to film, animation, and gaming industry opportunities. This change has resulted in explosive enrollment, a pipeline of skilled graduates finding well-paid jobs at Netflix and other major companies, and national attention for a department that is now a destination for out-of-state students eager to study and build their network at the heart of a burgeoning digital media scene.
Under Stone’s stewardship, the department instituted The Show, a large-scale real world moviemaking experience with students taking the lead and working alongside industry professionals, and The Mentor Series, an ongoing symposium in which film luminaries offer advice to students and community members on how to find success doing what they love. Stone also helped develop the UNM Sitcom Boot Camp, an immersive, six-week course in sitcom creation taught by Hollywood director Brian Levant. He co-conceived the inaugural “Film and Digital Arts Day” at the School of Engineering, a STEAM seminar bringing together moving image artists with engineering faculty and students. In 2020, he collaborated with colleagues throughout the university on the Sustainable Water Resources Grand Challenge to create animations, podcasts, and short movies explaining key water concepts. Last year, he was PI on a successful PERC grant application that has funded the construction of a state-of-the-art post-production lab at UNM.
Stone’s primary academic interests are in British cinema, American popular culture, horror film, and gender studies. His book America Through a British Lens: Cinematic Portrayals, 1930-2010, is published by McFarland.
MARTIN CHAVEZ - ADVISORY BOARD
Albuquerque native Martin Chávez earned his degree from the University of New Mexico and completed his juris doctorate at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He was the founding Director of the Workers’ Compensation Administration in 1986, and from 1989 to 1993 served in the New Mexico State Senate, where he championed legislative initiatives from early voting and election and ethics reform to urban forestry and workers compensation.
SHANE URIOSTE - ADVISORY BOARD