Andrew Peterson, Executive Director
Reilly Tillman, Deputy Director/Education Director
Max Becker, Director of Technical and Facilities Operations
Bethany Gladhill, Business Director
Mackenzie Lofgren, AmeriCorps CTEP Member, Youth Instructor
Eric Mueller, McKnight Program Administrator
Nancy Paul, Development Director
Merit Thursday, Youth Programs Director
Deacon Warner, FilmNorth Academy
Max Becker is FilmNorth’s Director of Technical and Facilities Operations and has been with the organization since 2008. He studied Filmmaking at The Minneapolis College of Art & Design and co-founded Northern Outpost Media, a production company that started as an online web series focusing on the Twin Cities music scene and expanded to produce numerous music videos for local and national artists. Outside of his work in film, Max is an avid cyclist, musician, and home remodeler.
Bethany Gladhill joined FilmNorth as the Interim Business Director in 2012…and at some point noticed that the word “Interim” had fallen off of her title. She joined FilmNorth after almost 20 years in theater management (including at Theatre de la Jeune Lune, the Jungles and Nautilus Music Theater) and several years of consulting. She has her BA in Drama and English from Tufts University, and her MA in Historic Preservation from Goucher College. Bethany handles FilmNorth’s finance and HR needs, as well as the Fiscal Sponsorship program, which currently has over fifty active projects. A part-time employee, she also consults with a number of other organizations (ranging from circuses to labor unions, think tanks to theaters) in nonprofit management, as well as in evaluation, strategic planning, and access — all skillsets that come to play in her work with the FilmNorth team. That said, she has especially enjoyed learning about the unique complexities of the film world, and hopes to never stop learning!
Mackenzie Lofgren received her Bachelor of Arts in Screenwriting from DePaul University. She has worked at Safehouse Pictures and Parkes/MacDonald Image Nation in Los Angeles, writing coverage and evaluating script submissions, and she has also worked as a script reader and story analyst for the Atlanta Film Festival, Script2Screen, and The Writer’s Lab. Previously, while living in Chicago, ML worked as a Production Assistant and Associate Producer at NBC Television and at the Chicago International Film Festival. 2021 marks her first year serving as a judge for the PAGE Awards.
Eric Mueller oversees the McKnight Fellowships for Media Artists program at FilmNorth. He has worked in the Twin Cities as a filmmaker, producer, and photographer for 30 years. As a filmmaker he has received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Film Institute, the Bush Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. His 1993 feature film, World and Time Enough, won Best Picture at Frameline’s San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and is distributed by Strand Releasing. As a producer, he worked at Motion504, Splice, Gasket Studios, and HDMG; he was also director of production for the Minnesota Film Board from 1999-2001. As a photographer, his work has shown in multiple group shows, including the Plains Art Museum, The Midwest Center for Photography, Head On Photo Festival, and the Columbus Museum of Art. His first photography book, Family Resemblance, will be published by Daylight Books in May of 2020.
Nancy Paul has served as FilmNorth’s Development Director since 2014. Working with the Board of Directors and staff, Nancy oversees fundraising and grant management for the organization, including researching new funding prospects, identifying sustainable programming, and grant writing and reporting. She has 20 years of experience in nonprofit development and administration. Former positions include the Volunteer Coordinator for the Minnesota AIDS Project (now Justus Health) and the Program and Development Associate for the Mental Health Association of Minnesota (now Mental Health Minnesota). Nancy has a background in theatre as an actress, director, playwright, and former Board Member of Four Humors Theater in Minneapolis. She holds a BA in Theatre (Acting and Directing) from the College of Fine Arts at Illinois State University in Normal, IL.
Andrew Peterson is the Executive Director of FilmNorth, the leading filmmaker support organization in the Upper Midwest. He also serves as Director of Programming for the Provincetown International Film Festival, a position he’s held since 2006. From 2008-2012 Andrew served as Vice President of Production for Werc Werk Works, an independent film production and finance company, where he co-produced the feature films Howl (Sundance Opening Night 2010), Life During Wartime (Venice, Toronto, New York 2009), Thin Ice (Sundance 2011), and Darling Companion (Sony Pictures Classics, 2011). His other producing credits include World and Time Enough, Older Than America and the segment “This Car Up” for Boys Life 4: Four Play. Andrew holds an MFA from New York University Graduate Film School, where he was named Best Director and Best Screenwriter, and has taught filmmaking at Macalester and Middlebury Colleges. He regularly consults independent films and film festivals.
Merit Thursday (they/them) is a filmmaker, educator, and curator. They are passionate about offering accessible media literacy, about building community through artistic collaboration, and about celebrating beginners at every stage! When they’re not making movies or talking about movies, Merit is biking or hanging out with their little dog.
Reilly Tillman has served as FilmNorth’s Education Director since 2002, coordinating up to 100 classes and workshops annually in screenwriting, film production, editing, animation, and photography. He also administers a variety of innovative educational programs for FilmNorth including Stories 55 (a filmmaking program for older adults), film production classes for persons with disabilities (in collaboration with the Courage Kenny Institute), and a film arts learning series for underrepresented communities, funded by the Minnesota State Arts Board. He also helps coordinate FilmNorth’s annual Forum, the region’s premier filmmaking conference. In 2012 Reilly began serving as FilmNorth’s Deputy Director, continuing to serve as Education Director. He holds a BA in Communications (Radio-TV-Film) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a documentary filmmaker. A lifelong musician, Reilly has performed for many years as a member of the Minnesota Chorale and Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps.
Valérie Déus (Programmer) Valérie Déus is a poet and film curator. Her work has been featured in The Brooklyn Rail, Midway, Aforementioned Productions, the St. Paul Almanac, and most recently in The BeZine. Her chapbook, Skull-Filled Sun, is available on Amazon. When she’s not writing, she hosts Project 35, a local low-fi radio show featuring music from all over the diaspora and poetry. She curates FilmNorth’s Cinema Lounge and is the Shorts Programmer for the Provincetown International Film Festival.
Merit Thursday (Host) (they/them) is a filmmaker, educator, and curator. They are passionate about offering accessible media literacy, about building community through artistic collaboration, and about celebrating beginners at every stage! When they’re not making movies or talking about movies, Merit is biking or hanging out with their little dog.
Board of Directors
Bethany Whitehead, Owner, Artichoke Consulting LLC, President
Bianca Rhodes, Production & Sponsorship Coordinator, Saint Paul Neighborhood Network; Associate Producer, WCCO’s Urban Perspectives; Owner, BLovely Productions and LeMae Photography, Vice President
Steve Anseth, Nonprofit Partner, Abdo, Eick & Meyers, LLP, Treasurer
Warren Harmon, Owner, City Lights Media, Secretary
Vera Allen, Marketing Consultant
Kellan Anderson, Business Affairs for Target Creative, Target
Chris Barry, Senior Director/Creative Director, Yellow Tag Productions, Best Buy
Mark Bennett, CEO and Founder, Microgigantic
Sam Burnham, Audit Associate for Not-For-Profit Group, Abdo, Eick & Meyers, LLP
Valérie Déus, Writer, Film Curator, Professor
Tim Grady, President/Owner, Adopt Films
Deirdre Haj, Director, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Naomi Ko, Filmmaker, Writer, Actor, Comedian, Cultural Producer
David Weiser, Business Attorney
Missy Whiteman, Writer, Director, Producer, and Multimedia Artist
Jeremy Wilker, Owner, Filmmaker, and Cinematographer, TWEAK Digital
Aaron Young, Entertainment Attorney, Young Entertainment Law
FilmNorth Advisory Board
Herman Milligan, Jr., Co-Chair, The Fulton Group, LLC
Dan Satorius, Co-Chair, Satorius Law Firm
Tom DeBiaso, Minneapolis College of Art & Design
Laura Gabbert, Laura Gabbert Films
Sheryl Mousley, Walker Art Center
Elizabeth Redleaf, Werc Werk Works
Craig Rice, Cartouche Entertainment
Robyne Robinson, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Foundation
Hugh Wronski, Landmark Theaters