Stacy Thiele and Erin Prather Stafford Also Join WTxFF’s Board
The Women Texas Film Festival Presented by Studio Movie Grill announced today that former Wells Fargo executive Kim Cousin has taken the reins as the film festival’s new Executive Director. WTxFF also announced that Stacy Thiele and Erin Prather Stafford have joined the organization’s Board of Directors.
As WTxFF’s 3rd edition of the popular Dallas-based female-focused film festival prepares to roll out the announcement of this year’s line-up of films, growth is already a key theme. The organization has added a dynamic presence from the business community in Kim Cousin to be the film festival’s new Executive Director. WTxFF also has added two more leaders from the worlds of business and film production, in Thiele, formerly an executive at AMS Pictures, and Prather Stafford, a film producer and writer, to its board membership. Thiele and Prather Stafford join Lisa Normand, Audrey Palmer, and John Wildman on the board. WTxFF also announced film festival and film production veteran Alex Mena as this year’s Festival Producer, with Melinda Guravich recently brought on as WTxFF’s Marketing Director, and Divina Peñaloza as the Director of Development.
WTxFF Founder and Artistic Director Justina Walford said, “It’s very exciting to add new dynamic people to the team that share our vision for what the Women Texas Film Festival stands for, and strives to be as we continue to grow. This film festival was created because there was a void in the state of Texas when it came to celebrating and promoting the outstanding creativity and work of women behind the camera. Kim, Stacy, and Erin, each bring amazing experience, enthusiasm, and a fervent desire to help WTxFF not simply fill that void, but place an emphatic stamp here in Dallas that will not just benefit female filmmakers in our state, but will resonate along with all of the other wonderful female-focused film festivals across the country.”
Newly installed Executive Director Cousin added, “Filmmakers create films and go through all of the challenges and difficulties to make them because they have a message, they have a voice, and they seek to entertain in a way that only they can. Well, if you are a woman, oftentimes all of those hurdles and hardships on your way to finishing that film are frequently twice as difficult with less support than your male counterparts receive. An organization and a film festival like WTxFF is vital in providing that support, recognizing the achievement of making a great film, and encouraging female filmmakers to continue to do what they do. I’m looking forward to helping our festival continue growing and succeeding and establishing itself as one more place in this state where women see the rewards for their unique vision and ability to tell their stories.”
Women Texas Film Festival also announced the return of Studio Movie Grill as the film festival’s Presenting Sponsor.
Walford said, “We’re thrilled that Studio Movie Grill is on board once again as WTxFF’s Presenting Sponsor. Being aligned with an organization that combines a love of film with a desire to take real action to make a positive impact in the communities surrounding their theaters is as good and perfect as it can get. SMG clearly doesn’t just talk the talk, their support of this film festival is walking the walk in a major way, and we could not be more grateful.”
WTxFF also announced that the Selig Polyscope Company has returned as a major sponsor, and the AC Galleria comes on board as the film festival’s first official hotel sponsor, housing a number of attending filmmakers and special WTxFF events during the course of WTxFF. Audi McKinney, Bell Nunnally, Peterson Ray, and Civitas Capital Group are also new additions to the bourgeoning group of businesses and organizations offering sponsorship and support to the female-focused film festival.
The impressive sponsorship list also placing their support behind female filmmakers includes Accurate Signs, ArtsOnePass-Mobile Schedule, Jackson Walker, Kinetigraf, MediaTech, MPS Studios, Prekindle, RED ID, the Dallas Film Commission, and the Dallas Producers Association. WTxFF is also supported by generous grants from the Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Dallas Women’s Foundation.
Kim Cousin was with Wells Fargo for almost 20 years holding titles during that span of Manager of Corporate Recruiting, Director of California Local Government Relations, and Strategic Planning Manager for the Wells Fargo Government Relations Department. In that role she was responsible for leading the departmental effort to increase team member civic engagement activities, managing the Wells Fargo Employee Political Action Committee (PAC) membership drive, and overseeing government relations communications efforts with team members. In her final role at Wells Fargo, Cousin was the Senior Vice-President who led the Office of the President, for the Auto Dealer Services Group. In that role, she led large operations teams charged with providing resolutions to escalated customer complaints received from regulators, attorneys and directly from customers. Cousin also served several years as the Chair of the Wells Fargo Dallas-Ft. Worth Black/African-American Connection Team Member Network.
Prior to Wells Fargo, Cousin held roles at the Monsanto Corporation, St. Louis 2004 Not-for-Profit, the City of Minneapolis, MN, the Minnesota House of Representatives, and the City of Oklahoma City. Cousin has also served on the board of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County, the local PTA and is a proud supporter of Hope Park. Kim has been a public speaker at women’s networking events across the DFW market. Since 1987, Kim has been a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated – a public service sorority.
With over 15 years of video, film and media experience, Stacy Thiele has a way to make things happen. She ascended to the thrones of executive management at AMS Pictures, responsible for building up, managing and strategically leading various departments within the company including Human Resources, Accounting, Client Service, IT/Engineering, Post, Production, and Interactive. Since leaving AMS Pictures in the fall of 2013, Stacy has worked in a multitude of business markets with a strong expertise in the operations and HR. With a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Iowa State University and minors in German and History, Thiele also received her Associate of Applied Science, Video Production from The Art Institute of Dallas.
ERIN PRATHER STAFFORD
As a writer, speaker, and conversation starter, Prather Stafford understands how storytelling can start a powerful domino effect. She is the Executive Producer of WONDER WOMEN! THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN SUPERHEROINES, an award-winning documentary that tells the story of Wonder Woman’s creation, explores her enduring popularity, and examines how the portrayal of female action heroes in mass media has shifted from decade to decade, depending on developments in broader American society. The film also encourages girls and women to be the creators of their own media.
Prather Stafford has also done substantial work for UT Southwestern Medical Center, including researching and writing a historical book about their radiology department. Her writing has been recognized with several awards, including a Barbara Jordan Media Award. Prather Stafford is currently creating a body of work that explores life transitions and how personal choices transform identity.
ABOUT WOMEN TEXAS FILM FESTIVAL
Women Texas Film Festival (WTxFF) promotes established and emerging female storytellers in film, TV, and VR, celebrating the grit and range of women’s voices. WTxFF screens qualified films that have women in at least one key creative role: Writer, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer. WTxFF also organizes a host of activities during the film festival as well as year-round focused on the craft and artistry of filmmaking, including moderated Q&As with filmmakers, panel discussions, networking events, and a gala night with filmmakers featured on the red carpet. For more information about Women Texas Film Festival,