Co-Founder, Executive Director
Laura, a Mexican-born singer and award-winning actress, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the prestigious New World School of the Arts. She has produced and performed for countless independent film projects and has been directing children’s theater at the High School level since 2007, encouraging young talents to find their confidence and pursue their dreams.
Co-Founder, Director of Film Coordination & Technology
Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Frank is an independent filmmaker and screenwriter with a B.A. in English from Florida International University. Frank writes, directs, and produces his own work alongside his wife Laura. He is also the Training and Development Manager at the historical Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables and enjoys encouraging others to become the best version of themselves.
Nicknamed “the Godfather of the JP2IFF,” Rafael holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work from Florida State University. He is a full-time Social Worker in a dialysis clinic and helps serve as a mental/behavioral health therapist to children, adolescents, and adults. Born in Miami, FL, Rafael attended parochial school and Catholic High School while growing up. He now lives with his wife Barbara, three beautiful girls, a son, and a fifth little miracle on the way.
Montse joined the Becket Fund For Religious Liberty in the Fall of 2009. She was elevated to her current position as Director of Operations in 2010, and leads initiatives in development, communications, and management. Montse has a B.A. in Political Science from Florida International University and a Master’s degree from the George Washington University’s School of Political Management concentrating in Advocacy Politics. She is the current editor of AltFem Magazine, a platform for women of faith, was appointed to the Montgomery County Commission for Women in July 2011 and is a former member of the Board of Directors for Shepherd’s Table, a homeless shelter in Silver Spring, MD. Montse has been featured as a Spanish and English-language spokesperson for Becket on Univision’s Despierta America, Fox Business’ Stossel, EWTN’s The World Over with Raymond Arroyo, as well as other networks. She is fluent is French and is a competitive jazz and classical vocalist.
Film Coordinator, Panelist
Mario Xavier is a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild and Director’s Guild of America. He hosts a popular YouTube channel where he produces short movies and comedy skits and has served on the production staff of such movies as Captain America: Civil War, Iron Man 3, Ride Along 2 and Dolphin Tale 2. Mario lives with his beautiful wife, Jennifer, and his three-year-old son, Logan.
Isabella Michelle Lopez is a Miami Native and has been working with the JP2IFF since it’s inauguration in 2009. She is currently working towards her B.F.A in Musical Theater from New World School of the Arts. Isabella has had the great pleasure of working in the community as an actress, singer, collaborator, performer and artist.
Director of Hospitality
Karen is a Miami native raised in Quito, Ecuador. She returned to Miami at 21-years old and earned a B.A. in International Business from Florida International University. Through her work in the last two years, Karen has visited ten countries across the globe including Turkey, Vienna, Germany, and China as a Project Manager and Hospitality Consultant. She joined the JP2IFF Team in 2010 as Director of Hospitality and has since realized that serving and evangelizing to people through the cinematic arts brings her closer to her passion for faith, life and God.
Born in Nicaragua, Karla has resided in Miami since the age of seven. She was raised Catholic and has been involved in her local parish throughout her life as a singer, choir director, and coordinator of her parish’s young adult group. She attended St. Thomas University (Miami, FL.) and earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Management. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Communication Arts. She has a passion for music and film, in particular, those that convey positive and inspirational messages. Karla served as a volunteer in the 2012 JP2IFF and is proud to now be a part of the organizational team.
Working in Graphic design for the past 18 years, she has helped develop concepts and ideas for many companies and events. Her love for the arts has paved her way throughout life, and can be seen in her work and dedication.
ANA MARGARITA JONES (Annie), Grant Writer, Panelist – Annie Jones donates her time and knowledge of grant writing and other funding opportunities to the JP2IFF. Her past working experience with Miami Book Fair International and Miami International Film Festival inspired her to support the John Paul II Inter-Faith Film Festival. With an MBA in international business and a professional career in finance and freelance writing, she enjoys offering her talents to the JP2IFF anyway she can. A mother of two incredible boys, Annie finds spare time to serve as an actress and board member for Miami Acting Company Community Theater. Along with her sons, she also performs in films for local student filmmakers.
Born and raised in Miami, Lauren is currently attending her third year of undergraduate studies at Tennessee Technological University where she will obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing. Alumnae of Archbishop Coleman Carroll High School class of 2013. Lauren started as a volunteer for the JP2IFF in 2012. So inspired by the festival’s work, she decided to continue her internship with the film festival through college. She has a passion for the theatrical arts, film, and art history and uses her talents to express herself in her Catholic faith.
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