Tim Ward, Founder and Director Emeritus Tim is one of the Festival’s founders and served in the director role until Katelyn Campbell joined the team in January 2017. He is a graduate of Marshall University and grew up in Huntington, West Virginia. Tim was raised on a healthy dose of Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Opera, & General Hospital.
Jon Matthews, Founder and Programming Director Jon grew up in a hollow, called Booger Hole, in Alum Creek, West Virginia. Before becoming a filmmaker, Jon was a civil rights attorney, practicing law for seven years. At 31, Jon enrolled in NYU’s graduate film program, where he studied under James Franco, Todd Solondz, Ira Sachs, and Spike Lee. He now splits his time between West Virginia and LA working on a new documentary about perceptions of hillbillies (when he’s not running programming for AQFF).
Carling McManus, Founder Carling grew up in Massachusetts before attending McGill University and the San Francisco Art Institute. She moved to West Virginia to co-found the start-up 84Agency with Jen in 2014. She has a soft spot for the original Star Wars trilogy and Victorian period dramas.
Jen Susman, Founder Jen is a Lewisburg, West Virginia native and co-founder of 84Agency. She returned home to West Virginia after completing her MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute. Jen is a sucker for fictions about scrappy underdogs and any film featuring a training sequence.