SouthSide Film Institute

Board of Directors

248896_10150223905527057_3660043_n Benjamin Bertalan – Film Wrangler
Ben has always had an interest in film. He has gone from writing term papers on the history of the Academy Awards to writing film criticism for The Allentown Times. He has been on the film selection jury since the very first year. This librarian always enjoys hearing good book and music recommendations. It is always hard for Ben to choose his favorite movies, but here are some of his top picks: Ed Wood, Ghost World, The Girl on the Bridge, The Big Lebowski, Nights of Cabiria, The Guatemalan Handshake, The Lady Vanishes, Swingers, Double Indemnity, Shaun of the Dead, American Splendor, Sunrise and Two Family House.
  Jennifer Cotto
Jenn is a native of the Pocono Mountains, but her career in healthcare brought her to the Lehigh Valley 15 years ago and she’s been enamored with it ever since. She enjoys cooking, baking and entertaining for family, coworkers and friends – her Oscar party is a must! Other hobbies include reading, swimming and going for hikes in local parks. The spare time she has is spent enjoying local festivals, restaurants, events and yes; seeing movies with friends. Jenn has been a member of the SouthSide Film Festivals jury and a volunteer for four years. 2017 was her first year as a board member. She enjoys all types of movies – drama, action, independent, even animated family films. favorites include JAWS, Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, the original Star Wars Trilogy and the Princess Bride.
Carol J. Gilmore Carol J. Gilmore
SSFF Jury Committee and Board member Carol J. Gilmore is crazy about photography, museums and movies. As movies go, she’s especially fond of indie, foreign, and documentary films and loves visiting independent/art house cinemas throughout the region and New York City. A Lehigh Valley resident since the late 80’s, Carol has a soft spot for non-profit arts and social service organizations and has served on several other area boards including the former AIDS Services Center; Godfrey Daniels; and the Lehigh Valley Photography Club, where she has served as president for several years. Carol is employed as an editor for Cadient, a Malvern, PA-based ad agency.
Ann Knerr – Board Secretary
5135_113490327056_4722939_n Glenn Koehler – Director
Glenn is a Hellertown native and a lover of all things Lehigh Valley. In his spare time he visits various valley restaurants, festivals, and enjoys nightlife and concerts in the area. Glenn’s interest in film first began in high school after watching a series of documentaries and indie films at recommendation from his astrophysics teacher. Glenn is also a volunteer fireman, involved heavily in the Pennsylvania Wing Civil Air Patrol, and on the Disaster Action Team with the Red Cross. Some of his favorite films include School Ties, Pulp Fiction, Trainspotting, Requiem for a Dream, Rushmore, Un Chien Andalou, and Blue Velvet.
0008-1 Gary Krall – Board Treasurer
Gary, a native of Bethlehem, is an accountant having worked in manufacturing and government for over 30 years in and around the Lehigh Valley. He enjoys a variety of musical genres such as rock, jazz and folk but is especially fond of progressive rock music His music collection of cds, vinyl and concert videos numbers in the thousands and he estimates that he has attended over 200 concerts over the years. He is also a home theater enthusiast and enjoys science fiction and comedy films as well as his favorite sport ice hockey in his man cave. Among his favorite films are Blade Runner, the Alien franchise, Local Hero, Moonstruck, Star Trek First Contact, all of the Marx brothers films as well as the Sherlock Holmes films with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Gary holds degrees from Moravian College and Penn State and lives with his wife Pattie and their 4 cats Demi, Fletcher, Mimi and Harold who are also film buffs.
Lorraine M. Pasquali – Volunteer Coordinator
Lorraine has had an interest in film and photography since childhood. Her first camera was the Kodak X-15 Instamatic. (It’s still in her collection!) “I think I get it from my dad, he was always taking slides and movies.” Although she has mostly worked with still photography, she developed a renewed interest in film-making via the SouthSide Film Festival Documentary Workshop. Today, she rarely leaves the house without her digital camera, a point and shoot model with video capability. How any of that translates into BA in Political Science, nobody knows. Film fave raves: “I love what I call ‘Going to the movies’ movies. You grab a big bucket of popcorn, sit back and enjoy the ride.” Examples: LOTR series, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter.  Her portfolio can be viewed here:
Jeff Vaclavik – Board President
Jeff has been the owner and operator of Deja Brew Coffeehouse and Deli in South Bethlehem since 1995. During his years in business, Jeff has been involved in many community events and committees. Jeff is an avid reader and music listener with a particular love of The Beatles. His primary hobby is following Penn State football. He’s also been known to watch a film or two. Three of his favorite ‘overlooked’ films are My Favorite Year, Wrestling With Ernest Hemingway and Nobody’s Fool. Jeff and his wife Georgeann welcomed a son, Brady, in October, 2004. “Out of all the events in which I’ve been involved, the SouthSide Film Festival has been, by far, the most work but the most rewarding.”