Ninth Street’s Board of Directors consists of representatives of our owning partner media arts organizations, as well as members of the independent film and media community. Three of the owning organizations have their own larger Boards that are reflective of the diverse communities they serve, guide and influence the decisions made by the directors in their role as stewards of the Ninth Street Independent Film Center.
STEPHEN GONG, President
Stephen is the Executive Director of the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) and Treasurer for the Board of Directors of the Ninth Street Independent Film Center. Stephen joined CAAM after working for 18 years at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, most recently as Deputy Director. Previously, he held positions at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C. He has been a lecturer in the Asian American Studies program at UC Berkeley, where he developed and taught a course on the history of Asian American media.
JACK WALSH, Treasurer
Jack Walsh possesses a life-long commitment to independent media and supporting the organizations that work on behalf of independent film and video makers. After completing film school at San Francisco State University, he worked for maverick independent filmmaker Peter Adair before taking the position as Executive Director of the legendary Collective for Living Cinema in New York. Returning to the Bay Area in the 90s, Jack became Series Producer of the innovative public television series Living Room Festival, worked as Station Manager of KTOP, Oakland’s government channel, and as an Executive Producer at public television station KQED. Jack was the Capital Campaign Manager for the 9th Street Independent Film Center and currently works as the Executive Director for the National Alliance for Media Arts + Culture (NAMAC).
An award-winning independent filmmaker and producer, Jack’s works have screened around the world at film festivals and through broadcast. His current project, Feelings Are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer is a feature length documentary about the pioneering choreographer and filmmaker.
LEXI LEBAN, Secretary
Lexi Leban is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival and brings 20 years of experience as an educator and award-winning independent filmmaker. She comes to SFJFF from the Art Institute of California – San Francisco where she was the Academic Director of the Digital Filmmaking & Video Production program. Her prior experience includes working in web operations and promotions for New Day Films, a 40-year old, filmmaker-run educational distribution company with over 230 award-winning films. Lexi also worked at the Mill Valley Film and San Francisco International Film Festivals and was a board member of the Film Arts Foundation. She has a B.A. degree from Barnard College of Columbia University and an M.F.A. in Cinema from San Francisco State University.
Frances Wallace is the Executive Director of Frameline. Frances is an arts professional originally from Australia, with over two decades of experience working with non-profits and film media. Frances also recently worked as Frameline’s East Coast representative, attending conferences and developing strategic partnerships with both non-profit, media and corporate groups within the New York City area. Frances earned a BA in English Literature from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
Rachel Caplan is the Founder and Executive Director of the San Francisco Green Film Festival, which launched in 2011. Her background in film exhibition includes work for the Edinburgh, London, and San Francisco International Film Festivals, and as Festival Director for the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival from 2007-09. The vision for the Green Film Festival grew out of this work and to fill the need for a dynamic forum for sharing diverse environmental stories in the city that’s at the forefront of both independent film and the global Green movement. Rachel has a Masters degree in Cinema & Television Studies from the British Film Institute (BFI) and served as Board Treasurer for Bay Area Women in Film & Media 2008-11.