Jon Gann


Public bio

Jon Gann is the Director of Programming for the Film Festival Alliance, the first non-profit organization formed to professionalize festival organizers. He is also the shorts programmer for both the SF Indie Fest and the Port Townsend Film Festival.

Jon is the Founder of DC Shorts, a non-profit organization championing short filmmaking, and the creator of the DC Shorts Film Festival, one of the country’s premier short film showcases. He has also served as the Executive Director of CINE, a 58-year old organization that honors the best in film, TV and digital media with the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award.

Through his Reel Plan consulting firm, Jon has bridged the communication gap between competing film festivals, so all can share film information, sponsor strategies and filmmaker data. He also works with dozens of filmmakers on festival strategies and niche marketing.

Published in 2012, his book “Behind the Screens: Programmers Reveal How Film Festivals Really Work’ examines how 16 programmers and organizers curate, collect, watch and select films for their festivals. The frank insights reveal the inner-workings of an industry that is often misunderstood. Published in 2015, his book “So You Wanna Start a Film Festival,” he interviews 16 festival creators from international events (Tribeca, SXSW) to niche events (Citizen Jane, Reel Shorts) about the process and trials of starting a film event.

Jon has presented at over 120 universities, film organizations and film festivals worldwide, and has spoken at the International Film Festival Summit, Art House Convergence, and TEDxWDC. He is a founding Board Member of the Film Festival Alliance, the first organization to normalize the festival space, and sits on the Advisory Board at George Mason University’s School of Film & Video Studies.

As a filmmaker, Jon’s notable past projects include: “Cyberslut,” the first gay-themed short film to screen at over 50 festivals and broadcasts worldwide; “Signs,” a national 48 Hour Film Project award winner, and “Offline,” a modern dating parable.