The Independent Editorial Team

General Editor Rachel Boccio is an educator, writer, and literary scholar. She teaches English and American literature at John R. Manson Youth Institution in Connecticut (a facility for incarcerated adolescents) and literature and composition at Middlesex Community College. She is currently working with English students on a new series for the magazine and looks forward to its launch in spring. When not teaching, Rachel writes for scholarly and non-academic publications on nineteenth-century literature and culture and on incarceration, education, and social justice. Rachel has a BA from the University of Delaware, an MA (in Education) from Saint Joseph College, an MA (in English) from Trinity College, Hartford, and a PhD from the University of Rhode Island. Reach her at

Contributing Editor Erin Trahan’s background in film includes producing, programming, and multi-platform film journalism. In addition to editing The Independent since 2009, she has written about film for WBUR – Boston’s NPR News Station, The Boston Globe,, and several other publications. Erin has served as series moderator for The DocYard and led film discussions for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston Public Library, and several film festivals. She oversaw distribution of the documentary Love and Other Anxieties and recently finished her fourth Frommer’s Guide to Montréal and Quebec City. Reach her at

Senior Producer Maddy Kadish is a writer and producer. In addition to The Independent, she has contributed articles to MovieMaker MagazineIndieWire, and No Film School, profiling festivals, filmmakers, and new technologies. She worked as a consultant for the Boston Jewish Film Festival and Glovebox Short Film & Animation Festival. Maddy spent 10 years as a film, video, and multimedia producer in NYC, Boston, and London, specializing in educational media. She currently works in Washington DC developing instructional media for George Washington University. She holds a B.S. from Cornell and an Ed.M. from Harvard. Reach her at

Senior Film Critic Kurt Brokaw reviews the annual New York Film Festival, The New York Jewish Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, Rendezvous w/French Cinema, NYC DOC fest plus individual feature films and shorts of merit. He is associate teaching professor at The New School where he’s created advertising and literature courses for 32 years; he also teaches at the 92nd Street Y, including “Killer Movies: Lost Films Noir”and “The Jewish Close-Up.” Kurt started as an original “Mad Man” on Madison Avenue in 1961 and was a creative head at three major advertising agencies, plus creative director at RCA Records. Reach him at

Staff Writer Maud Dillingham is a videographer and editor specializing in promotional videos for small businesses. Currently editing an independent documentary, she studied filmmaking at the Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University and worked as an assistant editor for several PBS productions. Maud has written for, The Christian Science Monitor, The Miami Herald and E/The Environmental Magazine. For more information about Maud, see: Reach her at

Staff Writer Neil Kendricks is a San Diego-based artist and filmmaker. His short films, Memory Lines and Suspension, are on the film-festival circuit. He is currently in production on his feature-length documentary, Comics Are Everywhere! Reach him at

Staff Writer Patrick Pearce is a Canadian filmmaker, communications consultant and writer currently based in Montreal and editing a documentary on the life and times of Factory 798, a Mao-era Beijing military electronics complex turned contemporary arts district. He can be reached at

Staff Writer Rebecca Reynolds is a partner in the Michigan-based indie film company 8180 Films, along with husband/fellow producer Jim Carpenter and long time writing/producing partner Larry Brand. The company’s fourth feature is the performance documentary Beyond Glory starring Stephen Lang. Other 8180 Films features include the noir mystery The Girl on the Train, the post World War II drama and the comedy documentary, The Coexist Comedy Tour. Reynolds was a writer/producer for Robert Wuhl’s HBO comedy series Arli$$, as well as for his two HBO comedy specials, Assume the Position with Mr. Wuhl (for which she received a Writers Guild of America nomination) and Assume the Position 201 with Mr. Wuhl. Screenwriting credits include the psychological thrillers Backfire and Overexposed, both co-written with Brand. She can be reached at She can be reached at

Staff Writer Minhae Shim contributes to The Independent from the vantage point of a filmmaker, interdisciplinary artist, and writer. She is an active blogger, and is particularly interested in exploring and extending the traditions of avant-garde cinema and conceptual art. She recently completed and exhibited a video installation, Video Sassoon. Minhae also co-edited The Independent’s Guide to Film Distribution, Second Edition. She can be reached at

Staff Writer Evan Crean is a film critic in Boston and a founding member of the Boston Online Film Critics Association (BOFCA). He is co-author of the book Your ‘80s Movie Guide to Better Living and co-host of the weekly movie podcast Spoilerpiece Theatre. Evan is Contributing Editor for and Marketing Director for Boston Reel, a site dedicated to Boston’s independent film culture. He has also contributed hundreds of movie reviews and celebrity interviews to Evan has a B.S. in broadcast journalism from Emerson College and an M.S. in advertising from Boston University. You can learn more about him and his work at Evan can be reached at

Staff Writer Mike Sullivan is a documentary editor and writer based in Massachusetts. Mike can be reached at

Filmmaker Lauren Sowa writes and produces the Women in Film Portraits series for The Independent.  In 2016, Lauren founded Form & Pressure Films, with Tim Eliot, to tell stories that inspire and provoke thought, while encouraging diversity and equality on set and on screen. As an actor, Lauren has been featured in the films 42 Seconds of Happiness, Café Artist, The Rainbow Experiment, and The Devil’s Well. Lauren has a BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity and SAG-AFTRA.

Magazine Contributors: See a complete list

Independent Media Publications Board Members

Publisher/Board President Michele Meek pioneered the development of, the online magazine and resource for filmmakers, and led the transition of the 30-year-old film magazine The Independent to the nonprofit Independent Media Publications. Her entrepreneurial successes have been lauded in Inc. Magazine, National Public Radio, and The Boston Globe, and she has spoken on numerous panels including the National Alliance for Media Arts & Culture, Convergence at Tribeca, and Scriptbiz. She has served on numerous juries including the Coolidge Award, Rhode Island International Film Festival, and New Hampshire Film Festival. She co-edited The Independent’s Guide to Film Distribution (2014) and has written on film in publications including MovieMaker Magazine, The Independent, and Indiewire. She also has directed several short narrative and documentary films, and is in post-production on her latest film Imagine Kolle 37. She has taught at Boston College, Emerson College, Massachusetts College of Art and University of Rhode Island. For more information, visit her website at

Board Member Amy Elliott is a documentary filmmaker and photographer based in New York City. She has been shooting motion and still editorial assignments for twenty years, with a particular focus on regional American culture. She directed and shot the feature documentary Wicker Kittens (2014) and co-directed and shot World’s Largest (2010). She was awarded the American Society of Media Photographer’s Best of 2012 honors for The War Within, a major multimedia project for The American Legion, focusing on post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times,American Road Magazine and Artforum and on broadcast outlets such as IFC.  She is a graduate of Princeton University.

Board Member Elizabeth Donius makes documentaries, videos for artists and nonprofit organizations, and works as the Community Engagement Manager at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, CT.  She is the co-producer/director of the documentary World’s Largest, which premiered at SXSW Film Festival and screened nationwide at numerous festivals and as part of the South Arts ‘Southern Circuit’ Tour. From 2004-2008, she served as the Executive Director of the IFP/Chicago, an organization serving independent filmmakers in the Midwest.

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