Alexander Payne, Board Member
Alexander Payne is an internationally respected film director, screenwriter and producer, known for his biting satire and sharply drawn characters. His films include Citizen Ruth (1996), Election (1999), About Schmidt (2002), Sideways (2004), The Descendants (2011), Nebraska (2013) and Downsizing (2017).
Allison Anders, Board Member
Allison Anders is a world renowned independent film director whose films include Gas Food Lodging (1992), Mi Vida Loca (1993), Grace of My Heart (1996) and Things Behind the Sun (2001). She has been awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant as well as a Peabody Award. In 2003, Anders became a Distinguished Professor at the University of California Santa Barbara, where she teaches in the Film And Media Studies Department one quarter each year.
Alek Lev, Board Member
Alek Lev is a director, writer, producer, editor, podcaster, and nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter. He wrote, directed, and edited the film WHAT?, a black-and-white silent feature-length comedy with a Deaf cast, Deaf cinematographer, Deaf crew, Deaf investors, and of course, a Deaf caterer. The film had its World Premiere in 2021 at Dances With Films in Los Angeles and played in 23 film festival across 9 countries, winning 20 awards, including: 4 for Best Picture, 4 for Best Actor, 3 for Best Director (Lev), and 3 Audience Awards. Alek previously served as the New Media Director for the CBS hit television series, How I Met Your Mother. There, he produced dozens of behind-the-scenes features for the annual DVD releases.
Andrew Schwartz, Board Member
Andrew Schwartz, who now practices law in Los Angeles, has been an Administrative Judge and a trial attorney for the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. He has had many years of experience in the nonprofit sector. He is a board member and past president of Hollywood Heritage, and a board member of Cinecon. He is the president of Piano Spheres, which puts on piano concerts in Los Angeles, and president of the board at Beyond Baroque, the poetry center in Venice, California. He has had a lifelong passion for rare books as well as early cinema, and has been a prolific collector of early movie memorabilia for many years.
Barbara Zicka Smith, Board Member
Barbara Zicka Smith co-founded the nonprofit American Cinematheque, a non-profit cultural institution dedicated to the exhibition of the moving image in all its forms and served as the organization’s Executive Director from 1992 to 2018. Under her leadership, the Cinematheque acquired two permanent, historic homes in Graumann’s Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, California and the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, California, and came to be regarded as one of the premiere organizations of its kind.
David Slaughter, Board Member
David Slaughter is a digital imaging specialist who is also a silent film collector and former manager of Los Angeles’ Silent Movie Theatre. He was a film line up editor on Technicolor’s recent restoration of Orson Welles’ final film, The Other Side of the Wind.
Dino Everett, Board Member
Dino Everett, an active advocate for the public exhibition of archived films, has published numerous articles on the history of the moving image. Formerly an acquisitions agent for the UCLA Film Archive, Dino is currently archivist of the Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive at the University of Southern California.
Iain Kennedy, Board Member
Iain Kennedy is an Emmy-nominated producer, writer and editor, known for his work on diverse projects, including television’s Biography series and documentary films including Citizen Stan (2004) and Shout Gladi Gladi (2015). In 2010, he was the producer, writer and director of Palace of Silents, a definitive history of Hollywood’s fabled Silent Movie Theater.
Kevin Jones, Board Member
Kevin Jones is Chair of Graduate Programs at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University. His background includes many years as a Development and Production Executive at Paramount, Warner Brothers and Columbia Studios. He is a former Head of Creative Mentors at the American Film Institute Conservatory and former Chair of the University of South Carolina Filmmaking Graduate Program.
Steven K. Hill, Board Member
Steven K. Hill is the Motion Picture Archivist at the UCLA Film & Television Archive, and co-founder of The Silent Treatment e-digest and screening series in Los Angeles, established to promote the pictorial grandeur and modern relevance of the silent moviegoing experience. He is also a co-founder of the internationally celebrated Silent Movie Day, dedicated to bringing awareness of silent cinema through worldwide virtual and theatrical screenings. He is a graduate of the UCLA Moving Image Archive Studies (MIAS) MA degree program, and has previously worked at Sony Pictures and Universal Television. Two of his great-uncles worked in silent Hollywood — one as cinematographer for screen cowboy star Tom Mix and Fox Film; the other for Keystone and Mack Sennett Comedies.
Cliff Retallick, Board Member and Musical Director
Resident accompanist for the UCLA Film and Television Archive, the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre, the Silent Movie Theatre and Retroformat, Cliff has an MFA from UNC School Of The Arts in film music composition, and composes for film, television and the web. His score for For The Love Of Their Brother, a 2016 documentary about events of 9/11 which premiered on National Public Television, won a silver Tele Award for original music. Cliff is the creator of a live music Cabaret experience for LA audiences called Babylon Cabaret, now in its 3rd year and enjoying a monthly residency at El CID nightclub. Cliff has had a long career in the music industry, arranging and playing on tracks for Alice Cooper, Haley Rhinehart, Cat Stevens), Smokey Robinson, Wanda Jackson, Billy Joel, Kiss, Sammy Hagar, Toots Hibbert, Sly and Robbie, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Garth Brooks, Dion and many others.
Thomas Barnes, Founder & Board President
Thomas Barnes began publicly presenting silent films under the series name "Retroformat" in 2009 for the Los Angeles nonprofit American Cinematheque in historic Grauman's Egyptian Theater of Hollywood. He incorporated Retroformat Silent Films in 2018 and secured nonprofit status for the organization in 2019.
Tracey Goessel is both a physician and an entrepreneur, but her true passion is silent film history. In 2015, she published The First King of Hollywood, a biography of Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., dubbed by The New York Times “a buoyant handspring of a book … one of the most delightful Hollywood biographies to slide down the mast in years.” The book came out in paperback in 2018.
In addition, she founded the nonprofit Film Preservation Society (FPS), (www.filmpreservationsociety.org) which has recovered and restored several silent films formerly thought to be lost or unavailable for viewing, including Fairbanks’ “Mr. Fixit,” “The Good Bad Man,” “The Halfbreed,” “Too Many Kisses” and “Double Trouble.” FPS also funded the software that enables the Library of Congress to scan original paper prints of silent films from the first decade of the 1900s. Currently FPS’ goal is to restore all 460 D.W. Griffith Biograph films made between 1908 and 1913.
Margot Gerber works in film marketing and publicity. She spent 28 years working with the non-profit theatrical exhibition organization the American Cinematheque. She is the president of the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles, and a member of the board and preservation committee of Hollywood Heritage.
Lokke Heiss is an award-winning writer, medical doctor and a film historian, with a medical degree from the University of Illinois and a MFA from University of Southern California in Film and Television. He has published articles on The Oz Film Manufacturing Company and on the history of fantasy and science fiction in early film. Dr. Heiss worked with David Shepard and Film Preservation Associates and narrated a commentary track for Kino's restored version of F.W. Murnau's “Nosferatu."
Dr. Heiss also writes film reviews and reports on the Pordenone Film Festival for Nitrateville and Silent Era. These festival reviews may be found here:
Karie Lynn Bible
Karie Lynn Bible was a member of our founding Board of Directors, and served as our Vice President until August 2019. A well known expert in Hollywood history, Karie co-authored the books Location Filming in Los Angeles (Images of America) (with Marc Wanamaker) and Hollywood Celebrates the Holidays: 1920 - 1970 (with Mary Mallory), and created the weekly online newsletter FilmRadar.com. She has been an official tour guide for Hollywood Forever Cemetery for many years and has appeared on Turner Classic Movies, CNN and the History Channel.
Carley Michelle Hildebrand
Carley Hildebrand is a former Board of Directors member and was Retroformat's Social Media Director from December 2019 through June 2021. Carley is a social media specialist who has led social campaigns for major studios such as Warner Bros. and Lionsgate. Her nonprofit background includes PR for Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, as well communications for the Directors Guild of America. As a classic film enthusiast, she has been a script writer for Turner Classic Movies and is currently working on a new biography on actor Montgomery Clift.
Jeffery Masino is a producer at the forefront in presenting both original content and cinema classics for new audiences to discover and enjoy. Jeff has always been motivated by a fascination with film history and a desire to share this remarkable art form with others through his company Flicker Alley.
Strategically picking projects that are historically and artistically interesting, and creating unique, quality presentations are two factors leading to his company’s success and differentiation in the industry over the past fifteen years. Flicker Alley is known for projects that are the culmination of hundreds of hours of research, production oversight and the shared passion of many talented collaborators. From bringing back silent films not seen since their initial release in the late 1920s, to funding reconstructions and film restorations like “The Young Rajah” (1922), and Abel Gance’s celebrated anti-war film, “J’Accuse” (1919) (with co-producers David Shepard and Serge Bromberg), Jeff has produced dozens of broadcast presentations in partnership with Turner Entertainment Networks (Turner Classic Movies).
Jeff’s latest work, as part of the team at Digital Bedrock (www.digitalbedrock.com), is focused on establishing the digital archive of the future. The company is a secure digital preservation service that protects and keeps digital assets evergreen, which in the world of film means that new audiences will always have access to cinema classics to enjoy.
Sean P. Malone
Sean P. Malone is both a director of photography and a film professor with a keen interest in cinema origins, currently teaching at Vanguard University. His work on international pop star Ivo Mozart’s video, Se Namorar, has been seen more than three million times on YouTube. His cinematography has won awards at film festivals from Los Angeles to Miami. He co-founded Waterfoot Films, an independent film company, and is directing the upcoming sports documentary, Wild About ‘88.
Anthony Slide is the author or editor of more than 200 books on the history of popular entertainment, a former resident film historian of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and an associate archivist of the American Film Institute. Among his most prominent works are Nitrate Won’t Wait: A History of Film Preservation in the United States (1992), and Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses (2002). He was the first writer to document the prominence of women directors in the American silent film industry with Early Women Directors (1977), which was revised and rewritten as The Silent Feminists (1996).
Later this year, he will be publishing The Truth at 24 Frames Per Second, which gathers together articles and essays he has written since the 1960s. Also upcoming is his 21st audio commentary for a Blu Ray release, the Marion Davies vehicle, “The Lights of Old Broadway.”
In 1990, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Bowling Green University, at which time he was hailed by Lillian Gish as “our pre-eminent historian of the silent film.” His friendship with Lillian Gish is a reminder of the many hundreds of interviews with silent and early sound film personalities he has conducted through the years, and his close friendships with such silent stars as Viola Dana and Blanche Sweet, both of whom are the subjects of documentaries he has made. He is consulting producer and participant in the 2019 feature, “Be Natural,” which looks at the career of the world’s first female director, Alice Guy Blache, whom Slide rediscovered and whose memoirs he edited.