Christina is an advocate, artist, archivist, screenwriter, documentary and podcast producer. She grew up a storyteller, writing and drawing elaborate scenes, creating titles and casts of characters, and writing log lines. Her decades in advertising and graphic design brought recognition for her award-winning creative art direction work in print, radio, and broadcasting from the New Jersey Advertising Club.
University of Maryland
Christina landed a position as Creative Director for the University of Maryland Graduate School of Management & Technology (UMGSMT), Silver Spring, Maryland (1994). She provided creative services and designed ad campaigns that consistently increased student enrollment, professional development presentations for online learning, established an editorial calendar, and media buying.
She advanced her education at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, in electronic design and graduate studies in Art History and Archaeology, Late Roman and Early Christian Art. As a computer specialist for an archaeological dig at Caesarea Maritima in Haifa, Israel, she assisted in computer-generated site imagery for the site of King Herod’s palace.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Christina joined the membership-based non-profit Chesapeake Bay Foundation in 1997 and created the Visual Media Department, a senior-level position in a Public Affairs department effectively disseminating complex scientific and legal issues to the general public. She established the brand identity and managed assets, marketing, communications , and promotional strategy. Her responsibilities included long-range planning, timelines, and budget, hiring and overseeing staff, vendors. She conducted performance reviews and made recommendations for departmental improvements. Her personal bests include realizing an interstate online image library, identifying, providing credit, and paying for the works of photographers and artists. Her capstone achievement was designing and implementing a fully interactive exhibit for the opening of LEED award-winning headquarters, Philip Merrill Environmental Center.
American University School of Communication
Inspired by environmental challenges, Christina completed Master of Arts in Producing for Film and Video from American University, Washington, DC (2001). She wrote, directed, and co-produced The Oyster Wars, screenwriter for a short film, Aid to Afghanistan, and co-wrote the screenplay Soul Searching, Winner of Gold Remi at the 44th Annual WorldFest Houston International Film Festival for Dramatic Original Short. She was Writer, Line Producer, and Teacher’s Assistant for the summer session at the American University School of Communications Dramatic Film Production course and an active member of Women in Film and Video (WiFV-DC).
Producer | Video Editor
A position as Assistant Producer/Video Editor at APCO Worldwide, Washington, DC (2002) expanded her work for internal service groups. Responsibilities included crisis media training, interview shoots and integrating local, national, and international communications; creative development; budgets; scriptwriting; vendor contract negotiations and distribution licenses; editorial and production schedules; audio/video recording and editing; organizing and managing Studio APCO’s video library and award submissions. Research and script development became her forte. She developed and produced the StudioAPCO marketing CD.
Returning to the New York metropolitan area, Christina became the Managing Editor for Film Festival Reporter (2005), a quarterly print publication covering the independent and art house film circuit. She led a team of critics and industry professionals with highly effective advertorial concepts surrounding new technologies and the film industry’s future. She initiated new press/media relations in the independent film industry and created a consistently updated calendar of film festival events, their niche, and the time frame for submitting films.
Christina is the founder, writer, producer, and host of Film Festival reViews (2006-present), a podcast highlighting women in film breaking through the cracks in the celluloid ceiling. She attended regional, national, and international film festivals. She was a regular co-host on herFlix, an independent film and music-in-film site with interviews and conversations on select topics in and around the film industry.
In 2007, Christina was hired as Venue Development Executive at Emerging Pictures/Emerging Cinemas. As the new business development and account manager for the digital cinema network, she increased affiliate membership from 15 to 40 in the first year. Focusing on historical theaters, museums, and small exhibition spaces, she became a Sales Representative for Panasonic Digital Projection Systems, assessing potential screening rooms and integrating affiliates with technical teams to set up theatrical exhibition requirements. With in-depth independent and art house film acquisition knowledge and market research, she recommended new releases per regional markets, sought internal and external sources for cross-marketing promotions, and specialized in film programming.
Women in Film
A long-time member of New York Women in Film+Television (NYWiFT), Christina supported and took part in events such as being Assistant Director for the Community Connect for the Feminist Press Women Writing the World (2005) and Producer for the Documentary Committee series, Behind the Scenes: The Making of Documentaries leading discussions with directors, producers, and production team members. She was the first to implement a shared screen technology bringing an out-of-state filmmaker to the audience (2006-09). Moderating The New Reality of Virtual Reality (VR) – Opportunities at the Intersection of Content and Technology panel just as in early cinema history, pioneering women lead the way. Christina joined Women in Film & Television International (WIFTI) Board of Directors in 2012 as Secretary and Communications Chair, coordinating over forty international chapters. Her work included social media, and outreach, special event programming such as Women in the Director’s Chair at the Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT. Another focus of her NYWiFT membership was her work as a liaison with the Women’s Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) and the Fort Lee Film Commission (FLFC) on early cinema history projects and film series programming promoting Women in Film History Month, the work of first woman filmmaker Alice Guy Blache and other women’s pioneering roles in New Jersey’s film industry.
Fort Lee Film Commission
Twelve years with the Fort Lee Film Commission, Christina promoted New Jersey’s early cinema, the economic development of the New Jersey film industry, and the works of first woman filmmaker Alice Guy Blache that brought recognition of Alice Guy’s contribution by the DGA with a special directorial award presented by Martin Scorsese (2011). Christina’s efforts culminated with the New Jersey Teachers Association’s donation, afforded a new marker on Alice Guy’s gravesite, designating her as the first woman filmmaker and studio owner of Solax, where she coordinated several years of Alice’s birthday celebrations. Inspired by actual events, she has written a feature-length narrative, Alice in Movieland, and an original episodic television series, FILMTOWN. She programmed the Fort Lee Foreign Film Series, a weekly Asian American film series (2006), and Women’s Film History Month (2009-12). Moderated panel discussions and symposiums: Reel Women in Film: A Symposium on the History of Women in Film (2008); Garden State of Affairs: the Business of Filmmaking in New Jersey (2011); Reel Jersey Girls: a Century of Women in Film from Alice Guy Blache to Today, (Fort Lee, 2011) (Garden State Film Festival, Asbury Park, 2012), and presented a Historical Look at a Reel Jersey Girl, Alice Guy Blache at the Fort Lee Historical Society. Christina was the Festival Director of the Reel Jersey Film Festival (2008) and Festival Director and Juror for Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow (JFOT). She was a juror at the 2015 Montclair Film Festival.
Writer | Director | Producer
Kinderhook: Send Your Demo Here, Vol. 1 (2018), Music Video Documentary. Based on founding member Yuri Turchyn’s memoir of Kinderhook’s early successes, rehearsals, and concert performances at the Capitol Theatre, archival music footage, the story of 1970s music, and the music industry takeover. it was accepted in the Music Legacy category of the 2018 Asbury Park Music+Film Festival.
Boots of Spanish Leather (2023) Music Video. Recording of Bob Dylan’s poetic lyrics on Pat Guadagno’s CD 1964 featuring Pat Guadagno, vocals, guitar, Mary McCrink, vocals, and Yuri Turchyn, violin.
Land of the Lost Crusaders (2007), Feature Documentary. Honoring the last Khevsurian warriors who were protectors of the Georgian Kingdom in the Highlands of the Caucasus Mountains. Oversaw fund allocation and an international crew with principal photography shot on location in Tbilisi and the Caucasus Mountains regions in the Republic of Georgia. • Trip Out (2003) Feature Narrative. Responsible for a two-million-dollar budget. Supervised principal photography, film crew, talent, and third-party vendors. Post-production: wrote post-production budget, marketing, film festival strategy, negotiations for music rights and legal clearances.
Cultural | Crisis in Ukraine
Women of Maidan & the Crisis in Ukraine: An Epiphany Conversation on Google Hangout (March 17, 2014) An international conversation with documentary filmmakers Olha Onyshko and NYWiFT member Christina Kotlar hosted by documentary filmmaker and educator NYWiFT member Nicole Franklin. Topics included attacks on essential liberty and human rights, an unarmed student demonstration, and a beating of female journalist Tatiana Chornovol on Christmas morning. A young fashion design student trapped in her apartment gives an account of the Russian invasion of Crimea.
Christina was accepted as a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, NY, for the academic year 2006-07. War and Society in Eastern Europe, 1939-Present examined the Second World War and its legacies – wartime’s ongoing powerful emotional and political immediacy– as a catastrophic defining moment in the history and politics of modern Eastern Europe. Thematically, the material ranged from the everyday life of the nonmilitary populations to the history and legacy of responses within the whirlwind of occupation, deportation, ethnic cleansing, and genocide. It covered the “lands between” Germany and Russia, including Ukraine and western parts of the Soviet Union, roughly identical with the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Baltic states, and part of the former Habsburg empire (minus Austria and the empire’s Italian possessions).
Cultural | Documentary
St. Nicholas Parish: a Century of Heritage and Community (2010) Documentary. A year-long look at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church parish community’s heart and soul, then and now, with archival footage and original music. • Witness to Genocide (2009), Documentary. A survivor of the Stalinist regime, 91-year-old, Alexander Seweryn, bears witness to the 1932-33 genocide-famine Holodomor. • Sons of the Forest (2008) Documentary. Based on the memoirs of a Ukrainian resistance fighter during World War II. • Lemkivski Vechirky (2003) Documentary. A staged presentation of seasonal life in a Lemko village.
Ukrainian Film Festival
KINO-Q, a Ukrainian Film Festival at the Soyuzivka Heritage Center, Kerhonkson, NY (2007-08). Planned, programmed, and implemented a five-day film festival event, including Opening Night, daily film schedule, Q&A with filmmakers, roundtable discussion, special screenings, and Closing Night event. Designed and created all advertising, program, and marketing material, including daily film flyers and program announcements.
Audio Book Narrator
Table Read Screenplay
Grammarly Stands with Ukraine
To all of Ukraine, we stand with you and are sending aid. To everyone else, we ask you to declare your support for the people of Ukraine, who continue to resist the unprovoked Russian invasion.