There’s a film festival for everything, but what about the romantic comedy? Especially nowadays, we all need something uplifting to escape to. Routinely dismissed by film critics as a lesser genre artistically, romantic comedies aren’t simply traditionally beloved, but also a true art form which has produced some of the most classic and enduring films we know today. These films should receive the recognition they deserve along with an experience to bring together a community of film fans that flock to them. Thus, we created Rom Com Fest.
Rom Com Fest is founded by Miraya Berke, female entrepreneur - founder of Pop Productions event boutique studio and co-founder of Dessert Goals, the popular dessert festival in New York and Los Angeles. With a background in events and partnership and a personal love of romantic comedies, she is passionate about the romantic comedy genre and its legitimization in the eyes of film fans, filmmakers, and critics, in addition to the pure enjoyment of the films themselves.
Founder and CEO of Create & Cultivate and Author of WorkParty
Jaclyn Johnson created her career. A powerhouse entrepreneur, by the time she was 28, Johnson had sold her first business, (No Subject), invested in one of the country’s top female owned startups, Away, and launched her second multimillion dollar company, Create & Cultivate.
Johnson recognized a gap in conversations, resources, events and community for female millennial entrepreneurs and responded with a solution, Create & Cultivate, the wildly popular media platform and nationwide conference. In the process, Jaclyn’s own work-life philosophy, built on the cornerstones of female empowerment, hustling-hard and innovation have propelled her voice to the forefront of the discussion on workplace equality, a new thought-leader for millennial women and GenZ-ers on the career come up.
Known for her powerful messaging and often imitated never duplicated style of digital and experiential marketing shrouded in millennial pink, Johnson is reshaping attitudes on female entrepreneurialism, work culture and the gig economy for women all over the world.
On August 21, 2018 Jaclyn released her first book, WorkParty, via Simon & Schuster, which offers a rallying cry for women in the workplace, First We Leaned In, Now We Stand Up. WorkParty is Johnson’s career manifesto sharing her story as well as advice on how she turned distrust into determination, frustration into fuel, and heartache into hard work—and how the reader can too. WorkParty has an accompanying podcast which has featured guests like Kristen Bell, Sophia Bush, Kendra Scott and Shark Tanks Barbara Corcoran.
A graduate of NYU, Johnson’s trajectory has been skyrocketing since she founded (No Subject) in 2010. With the launch of Create & Cultivate in 2012 she gained global visibility. Six years later, Create & Cultivate is bigger than ever, with hundreds of thousands of followers and attendees, and over 75 events to date. The conference, which is completely self-funded, has landed in major cities around the country and boasts sponsors that include top Fortune 500 companies like Amazon, LinkedIn, QuickBooks and Microsoft to the buzziest brand names like Laura Mercier, LaCroix, Clinique, Chandon, Urban Outfitters and more. Past speakers and panelist include the biggest celebs and CEO’s like Kim Kardashian West, Chelsea Handler, Jessica Alba, Chrissy Teigen, Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler of SoulCycle, Gloria Steinem, Issa Rae, Nicole Richie and more front-runners in fashion, technology, design and business.
Named a Forbes 30 Under 30, an Adweek Disruptor and profiled in Fast Company, the LA Times, Entrepreneur and more, Johnson has earned her way to the frontlines of a workplace revolution at a time when change-agents and disruptors are flexing real influence. With the entirety of her career devoted to building up female entrepreneurs and women in the workplace, 2018 is poised to be Johnson’s biggest year yet. The launch of WorkParty will only help her fuel a new generation of women who with Jaclyn’s help, are redefining the meaning of on work on their own terms.
Programmer & Producer
Mara Webster is a film & television festival programmer and panel & conference producer. She currently works as the Program Manager in New York for SAG AFTRA Foundation programming screenings and conversations. She previously programmed and produced panels, conferences and special events for Tribeca Film Festival where she grew this segment of the program into a highly regarded and recognized series of talks. She was the event producer for the first TIME'S UP conference which saw over seventy five women across entertainment and other industries come together in a celebration of feminism and equality. Mara has worked for film festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, Nantucket, Hamptons, First Time Fest, Abu Dhabi and more. She is currently a programming associate for Sundance in features and episodic and recently consulted for the programming team for Vulture Festival LA. As part of many roles she has also moderated numerous panel conversations with actors, filmmakers and other notable talent in entertainment. Additionally she works as a consulting event producer for The New York Times as part of their subscriber events team. Originally from England she has lived in New York for over a decade and is an unabashed cheese enthusiast.
Executive Director, Film Festival Alliance
Lela Meadow-Conner serves as the Executive Director of the Film Festival Alliance, a position she has held since April 2017. Prior to that, she served as the Executive Director of the Tallgrass Film Festival for 15 years, and has served in consulting roles for the Woods Hole Film Festival and Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival. Before joining the film festival community, Lela spent several years working in various facets of the film industry, including feature film marketing, production and entertainment publicity. She is a recipient of both “40 Under 40” and “Women in Business” honors from the Wichita Business Journal, has served on many film festival juries and is a frequent panelist on film festival and women in business related topics. Lela has amassed a deep understanding of the cultural significance that cinematic arts organizations bring to a community, and is passionate about arts advocacy. She is currently piloting her film series mamafilm, which celebrates the global village of nurturers through the power and accessibility of visual storytelling.