Occupation: Joy works in freelance film and video production.
What else do you do outside of work? I consider the work that I do fun. I take a lot of photos and experiment with them. I also love to cook. I have made Thanksgiving dinners for 20+ in our small Fresno kitchen. I like to travel; working on my “bucket list” of places, 20+ countries on three continents. Much more to see. Thousands of miles of road trips and many more miles to go.
What’s one of your favorite movies of all time, and why? That is such an unfair question! How can you pick just one? I could make a list of 1,000 favorites.
How long have you volunteered with Filmworks, and how did you first get involved? I started volunteering and joined the board of directors in 2007. My husband and I had just moved to Fresno from upstate New York. While driving around looking for a place to live, we passed by the Tower Theatre and I saw FRESNO FILMWORKS on the marquee. I immediately looked it up and thought, “I need to get in touch with these people.” CineCulture founder Denni Blum turned out to be one of our neighbors, and she was on the board. We became friends, I volunteered, and I joined the board. Board member Sasha Khokha asked me to join the festival programming committee. I was hooked.
Your husband, Peter McDonald, also volunteers often. How did he first get involved? We moved here for Peter’s work as the dean of the Henry Madden Library at Fresno State. Peter encouraged me to join the Filmworks board. Then I made him pay up whenever we were short on volunteers. He is a good sport and fully supports Filmworks, even when I am running late and ask him to fill the water coolers.
Of the multiple roles you’ve served on the board, which one is your favorite and why? I think Festival Director was the most fun (and most demanding). I liked working with visiting filmmakers from around the world and festival short film judges. Participating in the festival program committee has been a rewarding role. I have also enjoyed being the volunteer coordinator. Our volunteers are so enthusiastic and I like getting to know them during the brief time we have together getting ready for a show.
What is your typical volunteer job on screening nights, and what do you like most about it? I have played house manager, ticket seller, volunteer coordinator, and many other roles. Lately, I have enjoyed welcoming the volunteers and helping them get situated in positions they like. It is always a little tricky, but keeping our volunteers happy goes a long way in keeping our audience happy.
What’s your favorite film you’ve seen with Filmworks? I think of Filmworks as more about the experience of enjoying a film with an involved audience. I loved showing Nerakhoon at the Fresno Film Festival in 2008. The Hmong and Lao communities came out and we had an interesting discussion after the film. I also really enjoyed I Am Not Your Negro. The theatre was sold-out and there was a lot of interaction and discussion. Neruda was a great one with guest speaker Juan Felipe Herrera, the U.S. Poet Laureate and a charming gentleman.
What types of movies would you like Filmworks to show more of? I think we should keep doing what we do — providing a variety of indie and international films.
Why is it important to you to continue to serve the organization and help bring independent cinema to Fresno? Before I landed in Fresno, I lived in cities where independent films were available every night of the week. (San Francisco, NYC, LA, and even little Ithaca, NY.) I think Filmworks provides a vital service to the community. We need to see these films on the big screen, and we need to see them together and talk about them.
Filmworks thanks our March 2018 volunteers: Teule Bell, Nené Casares, Jol Devitro, Neal Howard, Richard Markley, Peter McDonald, Conde McGowan, Steve Ohanesian, Gene Richards, Roque Rodriguez, Lorraine Tomerlin
Filmworks thanks our April 2018 volunteers: Gloria Burrola, Nené Casares, Jol Devitro, John Dunning, Rebecca Horwitz, Richard Markley, Peter McDonald, Steve Ohanesian, Gene Richards, Roque Rodriguez, Betsy Temple
Filmworks thanks our May 2018 volunteers: Gloria Burrola, Nené Casares, Jol Devitro, John Dunning, Rebecca Horwitz, Richard Markley, Ann McGowan, Conde McGowan, Luis Ojeda, Gene Richards, Roque Rodriguez, Betsy Temple, Lorraine Tomerlin
To meet our past volunteers in the spotlight and to find out how you can volunteer with Filmworks, visit our volunteer page.