Nancy Rosenthal

Founder & Executive Director

Filmmaker, passionate conservationist, avid sailor and scuba diver, Nancy Rosenthal made a variety of award-winning films about the natural world for National Geographic before exploring contemporary issues and the performing arts as subjects. The independent feature film Last Dance Nancy worked on was shortlisted for an Academy Award.

Her talent for discovering films that tell powerful stories in new ways, combined with her keen eye for up-and-coming filmmakers, makes her a frequent juror for film festivals around the world. A kindred spirit with all adventurers, Nancy strongly believes in the power of film to engage New Yorkers in exploration, conservation and environmental advocacy, hence the founding of the New York WILD Film Festival.

She is an active member of the Explorers Club, Co-Chairing the Explorers Club Annual Dinner (ECAD) in 2016. She joined a flagged expedition to Papua New Guinea for a documentary film project, HeadHunt Revisited. Nancy is also a proud Trustee of Egan Maritime Institute in Nantucket, MA.

Brianna Rowe

Festival Director

Brianna Rowe is an environmental educator and digital storyteller. She has traveled on academic and filmmaking expeditions in East Africa, Central and South America, the Caribbean, the Arctic, and Southeast Asia. She has filmed live volcanos, explored underwater in a submarine, interviewed local communities, crossed glaciers, and researched wildlife. She developed two conservation impact programs: Disappearing Ice and Disappearing Elephants. Brianna holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Development from McGill University and a Master’s degree in Human Rights Media from The New School University.

Brianna joins New York WILD with experience at the global education non-profit Reach the World and the WWF-Hong Kong. She leads filmmaking expeditions for youth at National Geographic Student Expeditions and serves on The Explorers Club Board of Directors. Her work has been featured in Teen VogueVICE, and The New York Times.

Gillian Coyne

Festival Coordinator

Gillian joins the team as a recent graduate of King’s College London, where she completed her Master’s dissertation on the effects of film festival digitalization due to the pandemic. Driven by a love of travel and passion for connecting with others, Gillian has worked with migrant communities in Morocco, studied documentary filmmaking in Rwanda during her undergraduate at Bates College, and taught English in Luxembourg with the Fulbright Program.

Gillian has worked for film festivals in Europe, the U.K., and the U.S., and currently serves as an Advisory Board member for the Bates College Film Festival. In joining the New York WILD community, she is excited to move back to New York City and help bring the 2023 festival to life!

Darren Peterson

Audio Visual Manager

Darren Gunnar Peterson is an artist, animator and storyteller. His artistic pursuits include life sculpture, stop-motion animation and 3D animation. He brings his artistic background to film as a director of photography through his eye for composition and light.  His work has been featured in network commercials, YouTube campaigns that have garnered over 30 million views, and digital modeling and animation for major franchises that have earned industry accolades. Darren is an avid world traveler and lover of the outdoors. He has a deep love for animals and it is one of his dreams to open an animal sanctuary.

This is Darren’s fourth year managing AV for the festival. His eye for film and problem solving allows him to manage the technical aspects of the festival and ensure that everything runs smoothly. He created the New York WILD logo animation and the 5th anniversary video “Five WILD Years.”

Special Thanks to our WILD Volunteers 2019!

Aditya Jain
Alexis Segal
Bonnie Wyper
Charlotte Cailliarec
Constance Bruce
Jackie Swensen
Jay Bauer

Julie Harris
Karen Gibbs
Kate Grady
Kate Mikuliak
Kimberly Cionca
Laura McFarlane
Leanne Spaulding

Lisa Cueman
Liz Grady
Nancy Moon
Natasha Milne
Nickole Brown
Nik Makharadze
Nofar Hamrany

Sandra Krasovec
Stacia Carrington
Suzanne Urich
Tessa Cafritz
Trish Dorsey