The Independent Editorial & Writing Team

Lead Editor Evan Crean is a film critic in Boston co-chair of the Boston Online Film Critics Association (BOFCA). He is co-author of the book Your ‘80s Movie Guide to Better Living and co-host of the weekly movie podcast Spoilerpiece Theatre. Evan has written as a Contributing Editor for and contributed hundreds of movie reviews and celebrity interviews to He has a B.S. in broadcast journalism from Emerson College and an M.S. in advertising from Boston University. You can learn more about him and his work at Reach him at

Editor Emeritus Rachel Boccio is Assistant Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. She has served as editor of The Independent since 2017.

Editor Emeritus Erin Trahan’s background in film includes producing, programming, and multi-platform film journalism. She served as Editor of The Independent from 2009-17. In addition, she has written about film for WBUR—Boston’s NPR News Station, The Boston Globe,, and several other publications. Erin has served as series moderator for The DocYard and led film discussions for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston Public Library, and several film festivals. She oversaw distribution of the documentary Love and Other Anxieties and recently finished her fourth Frommer’s Guide to Montréal and Quebec City. 

Film Studies Guest Editor Emeritus Jayson Baker produces The Global Screen series for The Independent. Jayson thinks, writes, teaches, and develops curricula across the humanities and arts with special attention to American cultural studies in different eras of internationalization.  Jayson’s work explores themes of community, citizenship, and identity in film, literature, and popular culture with the aim of intervening and interpreting representations of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality and voices of mis/under-represented groups. He currently serves as Honors Program Director at Curry College (Milton, MA).

Senior Producer Maddy Kadish manages and directs the 10 Filmmakers to Watch series at The Independent. In addition, as both writer and producer, she contributes to MovieMaker MagazineIndieWire, and No Film School, profiling festivals, filmmakers, and new technologies. She worked as a consultant for the Boston Jewish Film Festival and Glovebox Short Film & Animation Festival. Maddy spent 10 years as a film, video, and multimedia producer in NYC, Boston, and London, specializing in educational media. She currently works in Washington DC developing instructional media for George Washington University. She holds a B.S. from Cornell and an Ed.M. from Harvard. Reach her at

Senior Film Critic Kurt Brokaw reviews New York’s six major film festivals plus individual features and shorts of merit.  He’s taught film noir, early lesbian fiction, plus Jewish-themed dramas and docs at The 92nd Street Y for 15 years. Kurt was a “Mad Man” on Madison Avenue from the 60s-90s and was an advertising and literature professor at The New School for 33 years. On nice weekends he becomes Manhattan’s one sidewalk vendor of rare vintage paperbacks and pulp magazines. Reach him at

Staff Writer Neil Kendricks is a San Diego-based artist and filmmaker. His short films, Memory Lines and Suspension, are on the film-festival circuit. He is currently in production on his feature-length documentary, Comics Are Everywhere! Reach him at

Staff Writer Rebecca Reynolds is a partner in the Michigan-based indie film company 8180 Films, along with husband/fellow producer Jim Carpenter and long time writing/producing partner Larry Brand. The company’s fourth feature is the performance documentary Beyond Glory starring Stephen Lang. Other 8180 Films features include the noir mystery The Girl on the Train, the post World War II drama and the comedy documentary, The Coexist Comedy Tour. Reynolds was a writer/producer for Robert Wuhl’s HBO comedy series Arli$$, as well as for his two HBO comedy specials, Assume the Position with Mr. Wuhl (for which she received a Writers Guild of America nomination) and Assume the Position 201 with Mr. Wuhl. Screenwriting credits include the psychological thrillers Backfire and Overexposed, both co-written with Brand. She can be reached at Reach her at

Staff Writer Mike Sullivan is a documentary editor and writer based in Massachusetts, and a frequent contributor to The Independent. Reach him at

Writer Courtney Sheehan is a film programmer, writer, and business strategist. Most recently, she served as executive director for Northwest Film Forum, the independent film nonprofit in Seattle. She is a frequent contributor to The Independent.

Kerry McElroy writes the Bette, Marilyn, and #MeToo series for The Independent. She is a feminist film historian and doctoral candidate at Concordia University, Montreal. Her thesis, entitled Class Acts: A Socio-Cultural History of Women, Labour, and Migration in Hollywood, focuses on the actress as working class subject and includes fieldwork interviews she conducted with women in Hollywood across professions. Her latest publication is an upcoming book chapter focused on the actress as activist that examines Louise Brooks, Amber Tamblyn, and the Bill Cosby accusers. She holds master’s degrees from Columbia and Carnegie Mellon Universities.

Lauren Sowa writes and produces the Women in Film Portraits series for The Independent. In 2016, Lauren founded Form & Pressure Films, with Tim Eliot, to tell stories that inspire and provoke thought, while encouraging diversity and equality on set and on screen. As an actor, Lauren has been featured in the films 42 Seconds of Happiness, Café Artist, The Rainbow Experiment, and The Devil’s Well. Lauren has a BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity and SAG-AFTRA.

Magazine Contributors: See a complete list

Independent Media Publications Board Members

Publisher/Board President Michele Meek pioneered the development of, the online magazine and resource for filmmakers, and led the transition of the 30-year-old film magazine The Independent to the nonprofit Independent Media Publications. Her entrepreneurial successes have been lauded in Inc. Magazine, National Public Radio, and The Boston Globe, and she has spoken on numerous panels including the National Alliance for Media Arts & Culture, Convergence at Tribeca, and Scriptbiz. She has served on numerous juries including the Coolidge Award, Rhode Island International Film Festival, and New Hampshire Film Festival. She co-edited The Independent’s Guide to Film Distribution (2014) and has written on film in publications including MovieMaker Magazine, The Independent, and Indiewire. She also has directed several short narrative and documentary films, and is in post-production on her latest film Imagine Kolle 37. She has taught at Boston College, Emerson College, Massachusetts College of Art and University of Rhode Island. For more information, visit her website at

Board Member Amy Elliott is a documentary filmmaker and photographer based in New York City. She has been shooting motion and still editorial assignments for twenty years, with a particular focus on regional American culture. She directed and shot the feature documentary Wicker Kittens (2014) and co-directed and shot World’s Largest (2010). She was awarded the American Society of Media Photographer’s Best of 2012 honors for The War Within, a major multimedia project for The American Legion, focusing on post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times,American Road Magazine and Artforum and on broadcast outlets such as IFC.  She is a graduate of Princeton University.

Board Member Elizabeth Donius makes documentaries, videos for artists and nonprofit organizations, and works as the Community Engagement Manager at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, CT.  She is the co-producer/director of the documentary World’s Largest, which premiered at SXSW Film Festival and screened nationwide at numerous festivals and as part of the South Arts ‘Southern Circuit’ Tour. From 2004-2008, she served as the Executive Director of the IFP/Chicago, an organization serving independent filmmakers in the Midwest.

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