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! 

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


I was at an event at the Oberhausen Film Festival in Germany and I hear a booming voice behind me say, “It is you I came to speak to!” I turn around and feel I am looking into the eyes of my Doppelganger. Agnese, the producer of 2ANNAS in Riga, Latvia, hunted me down to see if I wanted to collaborate. And we have …for over four years now. Let me tell you about Agnese…she came out to my festival in Amsterdam, having never been to the city and within a couple of days mastered all the roads, trains and trams and had every single person picked up from the airport without me needing to coordinate. We were all on a houseboat and thought we overslept after a late late night and had to go make an airport run…the phone rings. She was up before all of us at the crack of dawn and at the airport before we even rolled out of bed! I would trust Agnese with anything, she is one of the most reliable people I ever met…and the most fun. Unfortunately, her visa was not approved this year because of COVID…but she will always be welcome and a part of our entourage. Sending love to Latvia, it won’t be the same without you, Agnese!

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

Born and raised in New Zealand’s North Shore, Auckland, I grew up at the beach with a love for peaceful reflective spaces. Sifting my toes through the sand, listening to the birds, cicadas and crashing waves on the shoreline. The fresh salty air and the smell of summer bbq’s, fish and chips and sunscreen. Finding a space to empty my mind and watch people, imagining what stories they had to tell. I found inspiration in the simplicity of nature. This was the perfect balance after spending long hours in front of a computer manipulating midi and hours of wading through instrument patches and tinkering away on a Korg i3 and M1 in the early 90’s. I would spend Friday and Saturday nights watching movies with my parents who wouldn’t let me watch television or the radio – I lived for these moments! Film became part of my thought process and began to inspire me in new ways. The aim of composition and sound design is to connect with each project’s story to add depth and meaning with emotion. I find this form of artistic expression deeply satisfying and liberating. Weaving the textures of instruments into a world of experimental sound design to create moments of reflection and/or emotion to colour and enhance the viewer’s perspective of a story. I also thoroughly enjoy inspiring and motivating others to do the same through mentorship and running various classes and workshops on scoring and scene sonics. The Zeitgeist family are very dear to me, we share the same passion for people, connection, collaboration, art and story-telling. It is a film festival like no other – an unforgettable experience. You will discover new friends, understanding, and be truly inspired. This is one you won’t want to miss!



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

Desperately trying to claw his way into Los Angeles, ironically enough Boxie’s presence will be missed by most, if not all. This lack will be compensated by his spiritual presence – when you walk into one of the venues or parties, and suddenly you feel about 12 times cooler than you usually would, you know you’ve been blessed by the spiritual shroud of epicness that Boxie would normally bring in person. Retired musician turned actor and writer, Boxie’s been a fan favorite of this festival for the third year in a row. “Hollywood from Amsterdam”, as his nickname goes, has a specialization in watching movies and films with the perspective of a child: honest, pure, and not thinking about all hidden layers in the picture. Now also working as a casting director in Amsterdam, he has a keen eye for acting talent, and loves watching characters come to life on the silver screen. Awesome company to drink a beer with, with a weak spot for chicken wings.