Festival Founders & Directors

Namrata Desai Sagittarius Sign

Namrata (aka Namu) was born in Mumbai, India and grew up in northern New Jersey. She is an internationally screened filmmaker and artist, currently living in Los Angeles. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts, double-majoring in Graphic Design and Film from the Rhode Island School of Design. Subsequently she was awarded the Creative Impact Scholarship to study in Dublin, Ireland. There she received a Master of Arts in Creative Process at Uversity, National University of Ireland.

Darian Brenner Pisces Sign

Darian is an award-winning filmmaker and artist from Hell’s Kitchen, NYC. After receiving a BFA in Film & Animation from Rhode Island School of Design, she has worked on a host of films and commercials in the art, fashion and horror genres. Her work has been displayed on the Times Square Nasdaq tower and her clients include Patricia Field, Nicola Formichetti, Dover Street Market and Scooter LaForge, among many others. In her free time she creates a popular webcomic called Vampire High School. She currently lives in New Orleans and is represented by FiftyTwo45 agency.


Valerie Krulfeifer Libra Sign

A graduate of Boston University’s School of Communications, Valerie has edited seven feature films and dozens of shorts, trailers, behind-the-scenes documentaries, and music videos over the span of five years. Her focus in her feature editorial work has consistently been in horror and genre films. Her most recent feature film, Carnage Park, premiered at Sundance in 2016, and has been released theatrically by IFC Midnight. It will mark her third theatrical release in a single year as a feature editor. Valerie has also recently been named one of the top 10 exceptional female editors in
genre filmmaking.

Ryan Rigley Aquarius Sign

Ryan is a filmmaker from New York City with a passion for all things funny or terrifying. He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2012 with a BFA in screenwriting. Since then, Ryan has written and directed content for companies such as AOL, MSN, MTV News, Comic Book Resources, and High Times. He was also quoted in New York magazine once for tweeting about Terry Richardson’s penis.

Dustin Sohn Libra Sign

Dustin is a production designer and visual artist from the Pacific Northwest. He received a BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design where he led campus ghost tours and production designed student films. After a short stint as a painter in stop motion animation (The Box Trolls, Robot Chicken), Dustin moved to Los Angeles to continue pursuing live-action storytelling, most notably production designing a music video for John Legend and art directing the 2016 Sundance Select feature, Spa Night.


Howl! Happening: An Arturo Vega Project

Howl! Happening: An Arturo Vega Project is a space of untamed creativity. It curates exhibitions and stages live events that showcase the historical legacy and contemporary culture of the East Village and Lower East Side. The mix of rock and roll, social justice, art and performance, community activism, gay rights and culture, immigrants, fashion, and nightlife are even more relevant now and Howl! Happening aims to shine a light on art and social history in the heart of the community where groundbreaking creativity and influential ideas still thrive.