Monika Navarro is Firelight Media's Senior Director of Artist Programs. Monika comes to Firelight from the Tribeca Film Institute, where she oversaw documentary, scripted, education, shorts, and interactive programs. Prior to that, she was at the Independent Television Service (ITVS), where she managed content and funding initiatives.
At ITVS, Monika managed development and co-production funding initiatives, overseeing a development portfolio and was a consulting producer on LAS SANDINISTAS (SXSW 2018), COUNCILWOMAN (America ReFramed), THE FIRST RAINBOW COALITION (Independent Lens) and A WOMAN’S WORK:THE NFL’S CHEERLEADER PROBLEM (Tribeca 2019).
Monika has more than a decade of experience producing for public media, from directing her debut film Lost Souls (Animas Perdidas) which premiered on Independent Lens, to producing for World Channel, American Documentary and the Peabody-award winning PBS series Latino Americans.
She is a member of the Brown Girls Doc Mafia, National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), has served as an advisory board member for Firelight Media, and as a mentor for CAAM, Points North Institute, Big Sky Native Filmmaker Initiative and the 4th World Media Lab. She attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University.
Stanley Nelson is among the premier documentary filmmakers working today. His feature-length films combine compelling narratives with rich and deeply researched historical detail, shining new light on both familiar and under-explored aspects of the American past.
Marcia Smith is president and co-founder of Firelight Media, which produces documentary films, provides artistic and financial support to emerging filmmakers of color, and builds impact campaigns to connect documentaries to audiences and social justice advocates.
Rafiah Vitalis is Firelight’s Director of Finance and Operations. Rafiah has decades-long experience as a finance and nonprofit professional, deeply committed to work that creates transformative change in underserved and historically oppressed communities.
Kandace Fuller is a graduate of Columbia University, where she received her B.A. in English Literature. During her studies, she developed a passion for amplifying marginalized voices and developing narratives that animate and affirm people of color.
Loira Limbal currently serves as a consultant for Firelight Media. Limbal is an Afro-Dominican filmmaker and DJ interested in the creation of art that is nuanced and revelatory for communities of color.
Chloë Walters-Wallace is the director of regional initiatives for Firelight Media.
Justin Sherwood recently joined Firelight Media as Communications Director to support Firelight’s mission of “changing the story.”
Patricia Marte is an Afro-Latinx Hip-Hop Artist, writer, and community engagement specialist. She is interested in using her talents and skills to amplify the Afro-Latinx community and to advocate for and empower people from marginalized communities to reach their highest potential.
Ximena Amescua Cuenca is the Artist Programs Coordinator at Firelight Media, fellowship programs that provide mentorship, funding, and access to first and second time filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities.
Noel is Firelight’s Office Manager and the glue that makes everything stick at our Hamilton Heights location. He has extensive experience in financial services and facilities operations.
Jonathan Kitt is excited to join Firelight Media as Director of Development. In this role, he leads the organization’s fundraising strategy and operations, helping to articulate Firelight’s mission and vision to existing and prospective donors.