Our festival is organized by our volunteer producers, who curate and organize all of our programming.
We appreciate all our many volunteers who make the festival possible.
Fay Darmawi, Founder and Executive Producer
Fay Darmawi’s unique background is a mix of finance and film. In addition to 20 years of community development finance experience including most recently managing the low-income housing tax credit investment portfolio for Silicon Valley Bank, she completed 5-years of screenwriting training culminating in a fellowship with the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. Based on her curation of the SFUFF, she was selected as one of the first Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Fellows. She is also a graduate of the European Union’s Valletta 2018 Curatorial School and most recently completed a storytelling residency with Forward/Slash Story.
Fay’s formal urbanist training is from MIT and the University of Pennsylvania but her love of cities is from growing up in the epicenter of Jakarta, Indonesia. She hopes storytelling will inspire critical and creative civic engagement to make cities better for everyone, but most urgently our most vulnerable.
Robin Abad, Program Producer
Robin is an Urban Designer and Planner with a passion for film. He has worked for over a decade in civic innovation in public space design, planning, evaluation, and policy. He is currently Senior Planner and Urban Designer with the SF Planning Department, where he leads Places for People, the first placemaking legislation of its kind in the country to streamline government processes and lower barriers for communities creating and stewarding public spaces in underutilized streets and lots. Robin managed the City’s Parklet Program during a period of intensive growth; doubling the parklet population, expanding partnerships to cultural and community institutions, and overseeing the development of an award-winning Parklet Manual. He also manages the Central-Waterfront Dogpatch Public Realm Plan, multi-agency effort setting and implementing urban design policy in one of the City’s most dynamically changing neighborhoods; and the Islais Creek Adaptation Strategy, a long-range framework for securing infrastructure and social resiliency along the southeast Bay shoreline. He has extensively developed research methods and metrics for human-use evaluation of public spaces and is co-author of the Global Public Life Data Protocol. Prior to his current role at the San Francisco Planning Department, Robin worked with LADOT People St. and the Mayor’s Great Streets Project on advocacy and performance evaluation of projects throughout Los Angeles. Before that he served for several years as a Project Manager in the Golden Gate National Parks, working on cultural landscape and visitor access projects at sites throughout Bay Area parklands.
Omeed Manocheri, Program Producer
Omeed is a first generation Iranian-American multimedia producer and entrepreneur born in California and living in San Francisco. He moved to San Francisco for its culture and to attend the Academy of Art University, which he graduated from with a BA in Multimedia Communications. His ongoing projects include; Maker City—a social-impact and advocacy firm focused on closing the skills gap in American cities, Heart of the City—a documentary film and social news platform investigating San Francisco’s socioeconomic divide in the Tenderloin neighborhood and its adjacent districts, Daily Kabob—a new digital platform on a mission to inform, entertain, and unify the MENA and DESI communities, and Giant Steps—an innovative music residency uniting musicians from across the globe to create social impact music.
Omeed is low-key obsessed with the American Dream.
Susannah Smith, Program Producer
Susannah Smith is a documentary filmmaker specializing in urban stories. In particular, she is interested in exploring the ways race and sexuality intersect with the politics of gentrification and sustainable cities. She is dedicated to creating films that are nuanced, based in social justice, and still bring a smile to your face. She was recently named a 2018 BAVC National MediaMaker Fellow. Projects include The Lexington Club Archival Project, People Live Here, and collaborating on a short film about the 2016 Women’s March, and work with the UC Critical Sustainabilities Group. For fun, she gets her buddies to collaborate on playful lo-fi animations with cardboard, spoils her nieces, makes jewelry, and posts ridiculous pics of her dog George to Instagram. In 2012 she earned her MA in Social Documentation from UC Santa Cruz.
Ronald R. Sundstrom, Humanities Advisor
Ron R. Sundstrom is a Professor and former Chair of Philosophy, member of the African American Studies and Critical Diversity Studies programs, and former Faculty Director of the Core Curriculum at the University of San Francisco. His areas of research include race theory, political and social theory, and African American philosophy. He published several essays and a book in these areas, including The Browning of America and The Evasion of Social Justice (SUNY 2008). His current book project, Just Shelter, is on race, integration, gentrification, and equality.