Lifetime Members

NMWIF would like to honor our Lifetime members. These members have been with the organization for over five years and have demonstrated a dedication to NMWIF’s mission, vision, and values.

Susan Baker-Dillingham

Susan enjoyed a 20 year long career in professional dancer. Upon retirement she founded the New Mexico Dance Theater School and Performance Company (NMDT-PC) in Los Alamos, NM. Susan directed and operated NMDT-PC between January 2004 and October 2016. During that time she created numerous original full length productions and many original short ballets. Several of her former students are now working and performing in the professional realm of dance, theater and music. After a life on the stage, and sharing her knowledge with students, Susan is now focusing her energies and talents toward a professional career in acting for the camera.

Jo Edna Boldin

Jo Edna Boldin won the 2008-2009 Artios award for outstanding casting, Studio Feature, location casting for No Country for Old Men. In 2006, Jo Edna was nominated for an Emmy for casting on Into the West. Dallas Women in Film awarded Jo Edna the Lifetime achievement award in 2003. Jo Edna was on the founding board of New Mexico Women in Film. Ms.Boldin is a current member of the Casting Society of America, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and New Mexico Women in Film. Jo Edna was the recipient 2013/2014 New Mexico Women in Film SAGE award.

Janet Davidson

Following a successful career as both an EQUITY and SAG actor, Ms. Davidson segued into producing and directing commercials before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an Assistant Director and then Director, in prime-time TV. Known as one of the first steadily working female Assistant Directors in both episodic and movies for television, Ms. Davidson is credited First AD in over 200 episodic and 20 telefilms. Before moving from Los Angeles to New Mexico she was a full time Director in series television, Ms. Davidson has directed EARTH 2, CAGNEY & LACEY, SOUL FOOD, JUDGING AMY, and multiple episodes of ANY DAY NOW, which has earned an Image Award nomination from the NAACP based on Ms. Davidson’s work on the episode “Lighten Up Rene.”

Ms. Davidson is a founding member of New Mexico Women in Film and served as its President for almost four years. She is currently Vice Chair of Women in Film and Television International. She has produced the WIFTI International Short Film Showcase for the last 4 years.

Karen Koch

Karen Koch’s career in the film business began at the New Mexico Film Commission in 1978 but soon took her to Los Angeles.  With a degree in Art History from the University of Colorado and a love of “Art” films, she gravitated toward auteur filmmakers. 

Ms. Koch worked her way up the filmmaking food chain in her 20 plus years in the business, focusing on independent or independently minded films with budgets ranging from $200,000 to $30,000,000.  She is a producer who knows the nuts and bolts of filmmaking process, serving as production manager and/or line producer on most of her projects.  She is known for her ability to create a budget and stick to it, as well as an ability to manage personnel and the endless details of the filmmaking process with calm grace.  Highlights of her career include Wim Wender's “Paris, Texas,” John Water's “Crybaby,” Jim Jarmusch's “Deadman” and Spike Jonze's “Adaptation.” 

Currently in demand for her unique familiarity with New Mexico, Ms. Koch has consulted on numerous New Mexico feasibility studies for 20th Century Fox, Lion's Gate Films, Disney, HBO and TNT.

She is a longtime member of the Director's Guild of America, founding member of the College of Santa Fe's Girl's Film School, and founding member of New Mexico chapter of Women In Film.

Sheri Mann

Sheri began her acting and singing career in a repertory company on the London stage and with the Edinburgh Festival of the Arts in Scotland. She performed in over 40 repertory company plays and musicals, costarring with actor John Ritter. She then went on to act and sing in European films and in television for the BBC and London Weekend Television. Hollywood roles followed her acting studies, which led to numerous performances in theater, cable TV, film, and network TV for many years in California and abroad.

Assisting her husband, film director Daniel Mann, Sheri worked as a dialogue coach. She was eventually asked to start a coaching studio called the Actor’s Place in Hollywood where she trained actors and coached them for auditions. She has conducted many popular seminars and classes at colleges and universities, and was a founding member of New Mexico Women in Film.

Kaaren Ochoa

Kaaren F. Ochoa (First Assistant Director) joined the DGA in 1986 and has worked as an assistant director on such films as Milagro Beanfield War and A River Runs Through It, both with Robert Redford directing; Gettysburg; Selena with Greg Nava directing; Introducing Dorothy Dandridge with Martha Coolidge; and White Oleander.  She was Unit Production Manager in Ecuador on Proof of Life, directed by Taylor Hackford.  Kaaren has over 30 years experience in the film industry, starting as a writer, co-producer and director on documentaries and children's films for ABC, NBC and PBS.  Two of these documentaries were nominated for the Peabody Award in 1979 as part of the La Raza Series for ABC.  Kaaren's recent work as 1st A.D. includes Appaloosa, directed by Ed Harris, Crazy Heart, directed by Scott Cooper, and Georgia O'Keeffe, directed by Bob Balaban. She is an associate member of the WGA and a past President of New Mexico Women in Film.

Susan Pfeifer

Susan Pfeifer is a hair and makeup artist known for her work on Legion, The War Boy, Naked Fear, The Hitcher, The Longest Yard, and Elvis Has Left the Building. She was a founding board member of New Mexico Women in Film.

Robyn Reede

Robyn Reede was the Founding Board Secretary for NMWIF and the chair of the Membership Committee; she also served as the Treasurer for the New Mexico branch of SAG. She has been an actor for over 35 years, having started her studies at RADA in London. She has appeared on-stage in Los Angeles and Santa Fe. She was a company member of Shakespeare in Santa Fe. Recent film work includes Priceless, Bare, Jackie with Holly Hunter, The Flock with Richard Gere, Tennessee with Mariah Carey, Elvis Has Left The Building with Kim Bassinger and the locally made Naked Fear with Joe Montegna.

Anne Stirling

NMWIF Board member 2016 to present, current Vice President; Anne Stirling, award winning documentary filmmaker, has produced shorts, feature length films, and factual entertainment television programming both in Canada and the USA. Her first feature documentary Why Get Married? was distributed internationally including USA, Canada, New Zealand. Stirling founded Friends of Film and Video Arts in NM 2004, based on a cooperative model of filmmakers helping one another to complete projects.

Cynthia Straus

Cynthia Straus‘ early introduction to the entertainment industry was as a casting intern in New York for “Elissa Myers Casting.” After finishing at Oberlin College and then The Neighborhood Playhouse she went on to a position as assistant to Tony Award winning Broadway Producer Louise Westergaard (Sophisticated Ladies, Say Goodnight Gracie). She went back and forth from behind the camera, working in several production offices, while continuing to develop her work as an actress. Cynthia was a founding Board Member and founding Vice President of New Mexico Women In Film. During her six years with New Mexico Women In Film Cynthia founded the NMWIF PSA program, producing their first PSA for the local Rape Crisis and Trauma Treatment Center, with Ali MacGraw as spokesperson. The spot ran for two years on local networks. She also created the New Mexico Women in Film Sage Award, which has been awarded to Shirley MacLaine and Ali MacGraw.

Cynthia is currently a member of The League of Professional Theatre Woman (LPTW), New York Women In Film and Television (NYWIFT), as well as being an honorary Lifetime Member of New Mexico Women In Film (NMWIF).