Who We Are

Jody Kielbasa

Festival Director and UVA Vice Provost for the Arts

Jody joined the Virginia Film Festival in May of 2009 after a nationwide search for a new director. He came to us from Sarasota, Fla., where he served for 10 years as the founding executive director of the Sarasota Film Festival. Under his leadership, that festival became one of the top regional film festivals in the United States with more than 45,000 attendances in 2008. Jody was appointed vice provost for the arts at UVA in January 2013 where he has guided the launch of the President’s Speaker Series for the Arts, the Berlin Wall Symposium, The Arts magazine, and a newly designed University Arts Website.

Jenny Mays

Managing Director

Jenny supervises the Festival’s full-time and seasonal staff; oversees the UVA student internship program; directs all branding, marketing, and promotional efforts; and manages the Festival’s financial and strategic planning. She has worked for the University of Virginia in arts management and administration for over 15 years.  Former positions include Interim Managing Director of the Heritage Theatre Festival, Assistant Business Manager of the UVA Department of Drama, and Operations Manager of the Virginia Film Festival. Jenny has a B.A. in Media Studies from the University of Virginia.

Wesley Harris


Wesley is a UVA alumnus with a degree in Media Studies and Film Studies, and is a former VFF intern. He served as Associate Programmer and Production Coordinator from 2009-2012 and Operations Manager from 2012-2017.

Erica Barnes

Business Manager and Outreach Coordinator
434-982-4543 eb4va@virginia.edu

Erica manages the VFF year-round operations and fiscal needs, and oversees the planning and implementation of the VFF’s outreach programs. Erica began working with the Festival in 2013 as the Digital Media Gallery Coordinator and most recently as Filmmakers and Sponsors Lounge Coordinator. She has substantial experience working with arts organizations, previously as Assistant Director at Second Street Gallery, Programming Director at KRUI, and served on the board of Student Broadcasters, Inc. She has a B.A. in Arts Management from the University of Iowa and moved to Charlottesville in 2012.

Sarah Cain

Operations Manager

Sarah manages technical, venue, and special event operations, oversees the production team, and manages off-season programs. She is also a professional stage manager in Charlottesville and the D.C. area. Sarah graduated from UVA in 2013 with a B.A. in Music and Psychology. She joined the VFF team in August 2015 and previously served as the Production Coordinator.

Mary Kate Delaney Bray

Assistant Director of University Arts Development

Mary Kate supports several UVA Arts fundraising initiatives, including the Virginia Film Festival, Heritage Theatre Festival, and Cavalier Marching Band.  At the Virginia Film Festival, she is responsible for managing individual and corporate donors and implementing development strategies. A native New Orleanian, Mary Kate began working for UVA Advancement in May 2015. She holds a B.A. in History from Loyola University New Orleans and a M.Litt in War Studies from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

John Kelly


John Kelly is a Charlottesville-based freelance publicist and writer who has worked with the VFF since 2005. He plays a key role in a variety of messaging and marketing efforts throughout the year in addition to pitching local, regional and national media, handling all press inquiries and managing media relations during the Festival. He is also connected to the Virginia film industry through his work as Unit Publicist on Virginia-based productions including Killing Kennedy (Nat Geo Channel) and Mercy Street (PBS).

Dallas Simms

Communications Manager

Dallas is a recent graduate of UVA with a B.A. in Media Studies and Arts Administration. He works with the Festival’s marketing team, facilitates social media initiatives, and writes weekly newsletters and copy.


Kerry Reichhardt

Guest Services Coordinator

Kerry is a recent graduate of UVA with a B.A. in English and Arts Administration and a minor in Film Studies. She is responsible for guest coordination, travel and accommodations, and hospitality.

Jenny Gardiner

Volunteer Coordinator

Jenny Gardiner is an award-winning #1 Kindle bestselling author who has published nine novels, a memoir, and a collection of essays. Her work has been found in Ladies Home Journal, The Washington Post, and on National Public Radio, and she is a regular columnist for Charlottesville’s The Daily Progress, as well as an occasional essayist on regional NPR affiliate WVTF-FM. She has worked as a publicist for a United States senator, and as a freelance photographer, photographing such notable public figures as Prince Charles, Elizabeth Taylor, and the President of Uganda.

Fall 2017 Interns

Ellen Adams, Outreach + Education
Corey Cronin, Adrenaline and Outreach + Education
Katie Dudgeon, Production
Drew Friedman, Publicity and Marketing
Adam Jones, Fundraising
Rebecca Malaret, Guest Services
Sarah Ross, Adrenaline and Outreach + Education
Beth Watson, Fundraising

VFF Advisory Board

Marc Abraham
Doro Bachrach
Janet Graham Borba
Lee Caplin
Perrin Chiles
Andy Edmunds
Temple Fennell
Bob Gazzale
John Harris
Pat Hogan
Ron Hohauser
Mark Johnson, Chair
David Koplan
Julie Lynn
Rita McClenny
John Mitchell
Diane H. Naughton
Beth Rilee-Kelley
Sara Risher
Scot Safon
Sissy Spacek
Jeff Wadlow
Glenn Williamson
Ron Yerxa