LA Harbor International Film Festival
"To create a cinematic bridge between the people of the region and the people of the world"
Betsy A. McLane, PH.D | Festival Advisor
With a strong background in the nonprofit media arts organizations and
events, Betsy A. McLane knows and is known by the film world in its many
forms; independent, Hollywood, domestic, international, fiction,
documentary, feature and short.
Betsy held the position of Executive Director of the International
Documentary Association (IDA) for eight years as it grew from a regional
media arts organization, to become a key part of the world film scene.
At IDA she founded and ran the DOCtober Film Festival, qualifying
documentary films for Academy Award consideration. She was most
recently the Executive Director of the Backyard National Children Film
Festival (BNCFF), the only festival in North America dedicated
exclusively to showing media work made by people age 18 and under. Betsy
has also been the Public Affairs Liaison for the Hollywood Film Festival
and retains the honorary title of Director Emeritus of IDA.
Dr. McLane is honored to have served continuously on the Advisory Board
of the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress since its
founding. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Hot Springs
Documentary Film Festival, and has also been a member of the
International Advisory Committee for the Hot Docs Toronto Documentary
Film Festival. She has been a juror at the Woodstock International
Documentary Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, the Hawaii
International Film Festival, the AFI Sony Video Awards, the IDA Awards
and DocuDays of Beirut, Lebanon. She has served as a review panelist
for the National Endowment for the Arts Media Arts Grants and its
Preservation Grants programs.
As a teacher and scholar, Dr. McLane has been a member of the faculties
of Loyola Marymount University, Emerson College LA, The University of
Vermont, Art Center College of Design, and the University of Southern
California. She has taught courses in documentary history, the history
of film, media literacy, the history of television, and other related
media topics. She is a Past President of the University Film and Video
Association, the first woman to be elected to that office. For the
UFVA, she has also served as Executive Vice President, Director of the
Eastman Scholars Competition, and as a juror for Next Frame Student Film
Festival. From 1994 through early 2000, Dr. McLane was the publisher of
International Documentary magazine, which she edited for several issues.
She was a founding member of the Advisory Board of Film History: An
International Quarterly and for over a decade served as an Associate
Editor of the Journal of the University Film and Video Association.
Prior to leading IDA, Dr. McLane was Vice President at Direct Cinema
Limited, a specialized film and video distribution company where she was
involved in all aspects of acquisition, marketing, advertising and
promotions. Dr. McLane has also worked on a variety of documentary
productions in capacities such as researcher and grant writer and is
presently an advisor to an NEH funded series on documentary history. She
lives in Indian Wells, California where she is working on a book on
documentary film history 1970-2002. She speaks and writes regularly on