David Hatkoff

Executive Director

David joined NewFest as Executive Director in August 2019. He has spent his career amplifying and elevating the mission and programming efforts of non-profit arts organizations, serving for 11 years in a senior leadership role at NYC’s Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre. He was an integral part of Signature’s transition to its permanent home, the 75,000 square foot, Frank Gehry-designed Pershing Square Signature Center, and the growth of the company, which more than tripled its budget, staff and programming during his time with the organization. David studied in the MA program at New York University’s Gallatin School, with a focus in LGTBQ Studies. He has a deep passion for queer culture and a strong desire to create spaces for queer storytelling.

Nick McCarthy

Director of Programming

Having been with NewFest since 2016, Nick curates and manages the annual New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival in addition to NewFest’s year-round programming. Nick previously served as the Film Curator at The Tank and worked in academic publishing & international media, serving as a Production Coordinator of the MENA-region talk show NIDA’A. Nick received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing and Visual Arts / Media Studies from Emerson College. Nick has written about film & media for publications including Slant Magazine, Time Out New York, NBC News, and the Boston Phoenix, and has served on multiple domestic and international film festival juries, including GAZE in Dublin, Columbia University’s CUFF in New York City, and Inside Out in Toronto.

Gina Hsu

Development Manager

Gina (they/she) is the Development Manager and works on partnerships, sponsorships, individual giving, and membership at NewFest. They hold a BA in English and Computer Science from Cornell, where they received the M.H. Abrams Thesis Prize for work in critical theory and film. Prior to NewFest, they worked in development and events at the artist residency MacDowell. They are passionate about providing resources to artists, both to support the creative process and to elevate completed work. They are also a community organizer, a writer, and a dabbler in many/any arts and crafts. They live in Brooklyn with a little black cat.

Arieta Palevic

Marketing and Communications Manager

Arieta (she/they) joined NewFest as a Marketing and Communications Associate in early 2022 and was promoted to Manager in January 2023. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with minors in Film, Photography, and English from St. John’s University. She’s currently pursuing an MS in Information Experience Design from Pratt Institute. She has previously worked as a photographer at New York Film Festival, Film at Lincoln Center, and the New York Asian Film Festival. Prior to NewFest, she has worked at a number of non-profits including International Center of Photography, The Door, Educational Video Center, as well as for-profits like Quickframe. One of her short stories was published in Spaces We Have Known, an anthology of queer writers. She lives in Queens with her two cats.

Rachel Malia Newkirk

Social Media Manager

Rachel (she/her) joined NewFest as a Social Media Manager in 2021 for NewFest33. Rachel has played various roles across marketing and screening departments during her festival work, including the Seattle Queer Film Festival, North Bend Film Festival, SeriesFest, and recently the Nantucket Film Festival. She received a BA in Sociology and Film Studies from Western Washington University, and made the cross-country move to New York in 2022. If Letterboxd ever asks, her top four favorite films are (probably) A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE (1974), MAMMA MIA! (2008), MAGIC MIKE XXL (2015), and ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED (2022). She loves living in Brooklyn with her partner and their orange cat, Leon.

Monisha Gandhi

Festival Producer

Monisha Gandhi joined NewFest in 2019 as Festival Producer. With a background in event production, film distribution, and public programming, Monisha has supported programming initiatives within the film, media, arts, and entertainment industry for over 15+ years. She has contributed to the success of 30+ festivals including the Tribeca Festival (formerly Tribeca Film Festival), World Science Festival, Doha International Film Festival, CAAMFest, and Nantucket Film Festival, to name a few. She has worked on the delivery and exhibition of 300+ films including Oscar nominated theatrical releases Cartel Land, Life Animated, and The Music of Strangers along with Box Office Hits such as What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Finally, she has played a central role in curating and producing a wide variety of programmatic events serving NYC’s media arts community including IFP Week (now Gotham Week), The Mile Long Opera, AMP NYC, LIFT Labs: Lift Your Story, and co-produces The Moving Image Awards, in partnership with Museum of the Moving Image.

Jen Jacoby

Audience Services Manager

Jen (she/her) joined the NewFest crew as Audience Services Manager in September 2022. Originally from Florida, she holds a BA in Arts & Humanities from Florida Atlantic University and is now somewhat of a professional nomad, city-hopping between NY, Ithaca, Birmingham, London, LA, etc. She also serves as Internal Ticketing Manager for Tribeca Festival, handles all film team ticketing for Sundance FF, and is on the pre-screening committee for Nashville FF. Passionate about sharing indie filmmakers’ stories, she’s thrilled to be a part of such a special team and organization!