Staff Overview

Courtney Sheehan - Artistic Director

Courtney Sheehan leads Northwest Film Forum's year-round film exhibition and special events programs, and has curated film programs and produced events for theaters and festivals on three continents. On a year-long Watson Fellowship, Courtney investigated the organizational structures, community roles, and programming strategies of twenty film festivals and media centers in India, Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia. As a journalist, Courtney has covered film events ranging from the world’s largest documentary festival (IDFA in Amsterdam) to South America’s largest animation festival (Anima Mundi in Rio de Janeiro) and her publications include Bitch Magazine, Senses of Cinema, The Independent, and NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies. She co-founded Cine Migratorio, a migration-themed film festival in Santander, Spain. Courtney first worked at Northwest Film Forum in 2009 as a programming and Children's Film Festival Seattle intern. She holds a degree in Visual Culture from Grinnell College.

Email Courtney at: courtney at


Christopher Day - Director of Operations

As Director of Operations, Christopher Day is responsible for overseeing finances, systems and our Fiscal Sponsorship program. He was likely the face you saw on a nightly basis as House Manager, and will now see actually sitting inside our theaters once again. Chris graduated with a B.A. in Film from the University of North Texas in 2007, and relocated to Seattle in 2009, inspired by its vibrant film and arts scene. He has worked on various short film projects, both as director and editor, and has written extensively on film theory/appreciation for an online film journal he maintained for years.  He recently edited the feature film 'The Life of Flowers'.  Chris began volunteering with the Northwest Film Forum in 2010, before coming on board as House Manager in 2012.

Email Chris at: chris at


Briaan L. Barron - Marketing & Development Manager

As Marketing & Development Manager, Briaan is responsible for the Northwest Film Forum's communications across digital and traditional media platforms. She also assists in managing relationships with press, members and donors. In 2013, Briaan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in American Studies and Media Arts from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. She went on to attend Boston University to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film & Television Studies. There, she also worked as a teaching assistant for COM CO101: The World of Communication, where she instructed a class of 20 undergraduate students. Her experience interning with entertainment powerhouses MTV Networks and Ruff Ryders Entertainment informs her scholarship, which uses popular culture as an entry point to understanding how industry and culture intersect.

Email Briaan at: [email protected] 


Brenan Chambers - Technical Director

Brenan oversees projection, sound, lighting and other tech needs as our Technical Director. He has worked as a projectionist since the age of 16 and has worked extensively with the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle International Film Festival, and several other theaters around the northwest. Brenan became a volunteer projectionist at the Northwest Film Forum after moving to Seattle from eastern Washington in 2009. When not spending most of his time in windowless booths, he has a passion for electronics, music production and video art, synthesizers and all things hands-on & DIY.

Email Brenan at: brenan at


Craig Downing - Education Manager

Craig is the education manager at Northwest Film Forum, responsible for overseeing our growing film education programs. Craig has a Masters in Education and has both taught film and produced film in Seattle, Haiti and Iceland. In Haiti, Craig was the senior media educator at the Haitian School of Journalism, while also producing documentaries for NGOs in the area. In Iceland, Craig was the camera and grip department head at Saga Film, assisting with international features and commercials. Craig also serves as the festival director for Couch Fest Films, and contributes reviews to Short of the Week.

Email Craig at: craig at


Liz Shepherd - Youth Programs Director


Liz Shepherd curates year-round family film programs at Northwest Film Forum and is the director the annual Children's Film Festival Seattle, the Northwest's largest annual competitive festival of its kind. She is also the curator of REDCAT International Children's Film Festival, which is held annually at Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theatre in Los Angeles, and she has also curated programs for Asia Society Texas, The New Museum (New York), Asheville International Children's Film Festival (North Carolina), the August Wilson Center for African American Culture (Pennsylvania), ArtsEmerson (Massachusetts) and many other prestigious venues in the United States. Before arriving in Seattle, she was the director of Chicago International Children's Film Festival.  She has served on the juries and panels of children's film festivals in Brazil, China, Korea, Russia, India, and Egypt.

Email Liz at: liz at


Cinema portrait photography on this page by Elisa Huerta-Enochian and Emanja Alleyne.