Zeitgeist Film Festival

Lauren LaScala

Director of Sales and Corporate Sponsorships

 Hello There!

My name is Lauren LaScala, early on in my career I started moonlighting with several startup firms and quickly became a leader in the local event and live entertainment community. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Sports Entertainment and Event management from Johnson & Wales University of Denver, Colorado. I am also a Certified Wedding and Event Planner. Over the past decade I have worked in all aspects of the industry; for private clubs, hotels, restaurants, sports teams, tech giants (PSAV, LinkedIn Google, Twitter, Benchmark) just to name a few as well as several private employers.

Throughout my ten year I have directed numerous live events with tremendous success while building a name for myself in the market. This has granted me the opportunity to work on many elite and premier functions throughout the Bay area. Currently I am living in the North bay with my fiancé. When I am not planning fabulous events around the city, you can find me spending time with my extended family and friends, brushing up on my art skills, planning my next trip to somewhere exciting (PRE COVID) or volunteering. Additionally, I also held a seat on the board of directors for the American Marketing Association within my San Francisco Chapter as the Events Director. I am eager to pursue my career in the entertainment sector as that has always been my passion. Starting as a child watching classic films at home, visiting many of the major studios and working on student film projects over the years. These experiences have granted me an ever-growing network of talented people to work with and one-of-a-kind productions to be a part of.

Lyric Luedke

Director’s Assistant / Filmmaker Liaison

I grew up in Seattle surrounded by some of the best (if least well known) indie theaters in the country, so my love of vintage, cult, and foreign film started from a young age. I dabble in other languages, so films from Japan, Italy, or Germany always get me excited. Since moving to Orange County in 2017, I’ve completed my BA in film studies, started on an MA, and also worked in the LA immersive theater scene organizing and performing in dozens of interactive experiences.

Once I finish up with college, I’d love to take my academic knowledge into the festival industry, possibly carving out a niche for my own alternative festival somewhere in the distant future. I couldn’t care less about Hollywood’s newest releases, but I’ll consider myself a success if I can create a space for people to get together and enjoy the stranger side of cinema. Any theater where you’re allowed to yell and throw stuff at the screen is my happy place!

Jenika Mao

Events Producer

Although I am new to the industry, I have a deep appreciation for the art. I am thankful to be part of the Zeitgeist team and expand my horizons. I hope to learn more about the industry and apply my skills where it’s needed to make our festival a success. My passion is all things events and marketing simply because I strongly enjoy bringing people together to create memorable and positive experiences. 
My journey began when I was eighteen in Seattle, WA where I volunteered for fashion shows, car shows, sports events, etc. When I turned 21 I accepted a position with Dope Magazine as their event assistant where I traveled around the country to assist with cannabis cups, award ceremonies, trade shows, conferences, and business mixers. I look forward to this experience and look forward to meeting all of you at our event! 

Skylar Bridgeforth

Social Media Coordinator

How did a Junior at Cleveland State University in Ohio end up at a film festival? Well, it would be because I have great friends who give me even better opportunities. For someone who struggled finding an internship due to most internships wanting a large amount of experience, which most college students don’t have, this festival is a blessing. It is giving me the ability to perfect my knowledge outside of the classroom. It is definitely a bonus that I have the opportunity to help with Zeitgeist, especially for someone who LOVES movies. 80’s and 90’s movies in particular especially Heathers, anything with Patrick Swayze, GremlinsDrop Dead FredThe Craft… pretty much any rom-com; name an 80s or 90s movie and I have probably seen it!   As a girl born in 2000, I firmly believe that I was born in the wrong decade, I would have thrived in the culture of the 80’s.

While some people work to work, I work because I enjoy it. I love being able to see the results of a campaign that I have worked on or when a post is particularly successful. Although my favorite part of marketing/PR is that I get to do my absolute favorite thing in the world, research. Doing a deep dive into the demographics, target markets, etc of a company involves just enough psychology to make it interesting. 

I cannot wait to give my all to this film festival and see where this opportunity takes me!

Skylar is a third-year student at Cleveland State University studying promotional communication with a double minor in Spanish and marketing. She is a member of various organizations on campus including the resident newspaper The Cauldron and the CSU chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America, which she has held a seat on the executive board for the past two years. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and playing with her tabby cat Tigger. Skylar is extremely excited to show what she has to offer and to see what amazing experiences Zeitgeist Film Festival will bring!

Beth Reiners

Documentary Programmer

I am a video producer in Waterloo, Iowa with dreams to someday move far away and break into the film world. I’ve been working with Zeitgeist since 2018, screening films, planning logistics, and of course, meeting awesome people!

I have a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from Wartburg College, and am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in journalism from Harvard Extension School. I’m looking forward to another great festival in 2021! I’m a true crime documentary junkie, but live for documentaries of all types. Please no artsy fartsy films!


Agnese Krastkalne



Laura De La O

Cultural Analyst

Laura “the Brunette” De La O

Laura took my Late 20th Century American Science Fiction Film class at the University of New Mexico back in 2012 and the thrill to have a student now my colleague is indescribable…  If you want to have an epic conversation about everything from the Strand Theory, the Singularity, Quantum Mechanics …the basic time space continuum to Beavis and Butthead….look no further. Laura’s intelligence is matched only by her wit. Reunited after 7 years, Laura has offered her editing prowess and genius film reviewing savvy to our festival.

She has years of radio and television broadcast under her belt, now currently serving as the Senior Promotions Producer at KNME-TV, and I have no doubt, world domination on her horizon…


Andrew Holmes


If you were being chased through a forest late at night by a pack of hungry wolves, what would the soundtrack to that moment sound like? Well, some fast paced staccato strings would be a good start. Or… if you found yourself rushing to get ready for work after waking up five minutes before your shift- you’d probably be accompanied by some fast percussion and a litany of zany dissonance as each new stress befalls you. While music generally can create a sense of scenery, I’ve made it my life’s work to dive even deeper in finding the effects music has on film.

Examining the movies I grew up loving, and their scores, I found that each instrument is unique in creating certain tones for a scene; The oboe for eerie somberness, the trumpet for explosive action, the strings for beauty and wonder. I believe that art comes from a deeper connection to what lies beyond our ability to think and reason, accessing what we most deeply feel. Endless possibilities lie between the art that you imagine and the art that you are able to create for an audience. After all, storytelling is and always has been the most important pastime of the human experience. I have found that the place I am most able to convey my view of the world is through art, collaborating with many who aim to do the same by different facets with the sole intent of bringing stories to life.

Donna Kavanagh

Zeitgeist Alumnus and Director / Executive Producer at Dk Music & Sound


Scott Schuster

Technical Director/Production Manager


Thyra Chaney

Screening Committee

I believe that there is a thread of universally recognizable truth connecting life, history, and mythology. The goal of art is to tap into that truth and share it. The zeitgeist defines the human experience over time like a fossil record by manifesting universal human truth in time-and-place specific concretizations. I am endlessly fascinated by the human experience and its perpetuation through modern-mythmaking and pop culture. I will be studying and contributing to the legacy of film, TV, and print media for the foreseeable future and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m a Bay Area native currently studying Film and Media Arts in Cleveland, Ohio.

Kara Singleton

Screening Committee

I’m Kara, a senior film student at Cleveland State University, and I couldn’t be more humbled to be on the screening board for the 2020 Manifesto film festival. I have a predisposition for cinematography, directing, and writing, and my short film was one of ten student works selected to premiere at the 2018 Tulsa American Film Festival. I am a wedding videographer by trade, and this allows me a unique perspective: what differentiates a ‘so-so’ shot and a captivating one, and where the emotional cadence resides. I’m passionate about comprehending a fluency in filmic language, for that is the primal, rhythmic envisioning of humankind’s intimate moments. What better opportunity to grow my cinematic repertoire than digesting films from all over the world? 

Boxie van Gerrisheim

Entourage Fans’ Favorite