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Founder/Executive Artistic Director/ Board Chair

Joanne is a playwright, director and filmmaker whose plays have been commissioned, developed and produced by Huntington Theatre Co., Boston Playwrights Theatre, HERE Arts Center, The Tank, The Marsh, Thrown Stone, East River Commedia, SIPA (School of International Public Affairs at Columbia University), Keeler Tavern Museum, Iceland Fulbright, Vestmannaeyjar Iceland Library and others. As a Fulbright Scholar in creative writing, she traveled to Iceland to write a play about a scientist who loses her ethics and finds her humanity, “unbidden,” now included in the literature of the Westmann Islands. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University School of the Arts. Joanne founded RIFF in 2015 in order to be around filmmakers and learn the craft of filmmaking, and in the hopes of making the world a more compassionate place through the sharing of stories through cinema.


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Board Member

We are currently seeking a board member to complete our small working board. Board Members are an integral part of putting on our annual film festival from raising funds to making connections with businesses and media, to working the festival in person. Board members also help and advise the festival on finances, law and best practices regarding non-profits. Board positions are unpaid. If you have an interest in independent film and in making the world a more compassionate place through the sharing of stories from around the globe, we invite you to join us. Board terms are generally 2 years with a chance to be reelected twice. Bring your skills, bring your passion.



Director of Development & Community Impact

Joanna James is a multi-award-winning filmmaker, women's rights activist who founded the non-profit MAPP, and wife and mother of three little girls. Joanna has a passion for storytelling, as the filmmaker of Vanity Fair's Best Documentary by a first-time filmmaker and PBS National Broadcast A Fine Line, which explores why less than 7% of head chefs and restaurateurs are women. Also an award-winning journalist, she started at The Boston Globe, later covered the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, and was awarded Best Environmental Reporting by the New England Press Association. She has written guest columns in Food & Wine and Thrive Global, and has spoken about women leadership, equity, and inclusion at Harvard University, Google, and PepsiCo. Joanna has been featured for her work in Oprah Magazine, Forbes & The James Beard Foundation.

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Moderator/Volunteer Coordinator/Board Member

Lisa Cambridge-Mitchell founded Persist in Joy, a Personal Development and Leadership Coaching and Consultancy after 20+ years of heading publicity, artist development, and marketing for household names like TLC, P!NK, Usher, OutKast, Ciara, Toni Braxton, Snoop Dogg, CeeLo Green, Miguel, G-Eazy, Chris Brown, Tinashe and countless more. While building an accomplished and rewarding career as a senior music executive, Lisa found herself discouraged by the glass ceiling and patriarchal corporate politics. Asking, “Is this it?” she began re-evaluating her career. A long-term career as a senior executive in the music business is especially rare for women. Feeling underutilized and frustrated with the lack of clear advancement, in 2016, Lisa turned her frustration into an opportunity to serve by becoming a change agent for others that she had not experienced as a career professional. Boldly channeling her artist development talent, she formed Persist in Joy, LLC, determined to further her work of collaborating with exceptionally talented creative people and supporting their success. Lisa, a graduate of the University of Virginia and a certified iPEC Leadership Index Master Practitioner. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, young son, and very aloof rescue dog, Steph Curry. Other accomplishments rounding out her life include board membership and volunteering in the refugee resettlement space.



Director of Filmmaker Hospitality

Charles moved to Ridgefield 3 years ago with his family from NYC. Charles worked at Corcoran Group, one of the top real estate firms in the country,  where he had multi million dollar sales and still holds his sales license in CT, NY, and FL. Previously, Charles worked in Manhattan in the menswear industry becoming the number one personal shopper for the J Crew Men's Shop on Madison Avenue and advanced in his career for the next decade working in leadership and corporate roles for various iconic American brands, including Steven Alan and Woolrich. Recently Charles embarked on getting back to his true passion and doing something he’s always dreamed of, opening his very own boutique mens and women’s clothing store, combined with another passion of his: coffee. If he’s not watching films, chasing his daughters around or playing basketball, you’ll find him at Ridgefield Vintage and Coffee.

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Board Treasurer

Danielle is a certified Daily Money Manager with a background in the arts. She spent 25 years as a working actress in New York City, best known for her role on "The Sopranos" as Barbara Soprano, Tony's (other) sister. Danielle lives in Fairfield County with her practice based in Stratford, and brings her many talents and contacts to share with the festival. 

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Board Secretary

​Pamme previously served as event coordinator and served on the artistic advisory board of RIFF, before joining the board as Secretary in 2022.  Pamme has been Executive Director of the Ridgefield Theater Barn since 2017.  Prior to being Executive Director, her service to the RTB included two years as President of the board of directors and two years as the box office manager. Her transition from a career in flowers and wedding/event planning into theater full time was natural.  As a lifelong performer, the marriage of flowers and theater as a profession was a rare blessing where two passions could be served. Pamme took a 16-year break from both her career and performing to be home in Ridgefield with her husband, raising their three children.  She is an appointed member of Ridgefield Arts Council, where she serves as co-chair of Make Music Day Ridgefield.  She is an active member of the Western Connecticut Cultural Alliance and was named to Ridgefield Magazine’s “Ridgefield’s Top 25 in 2019.” Her commitment to the arts grows as an extension of her fierce belief that being able to incubate spaces where tolerance, inclusion, education and growth are fostered through participation in all art forms. To be able to do this in our culturally rich and idyllic town of Ridgefield, CT is icing on the cake.

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