Joanne Parsont is a media education consultant, writer, editor, project manager, and film festival programmer with more than 20 years of experience in educational outreach, audience engagement, curriculum development, youth media, and children’s and documentary film. She is the Education Director at the California Film Institute (CFI), overseeing and developing programs that offer youth and community members the opportunity to learn about the world through film through year-round programs and the annual Mill Valley Film Festival. She is also a consultant with Big Picture Educational Consulting (BPEC), a leader in the field of film and media literacy, specializing in resource development and educational outreach services for films of all kinds.
Prior to joining CFI and BPEC, Joanne was the Director of Education for the San Francisco Film Society, where she developed and managed a wide range of programs that served more than 10,000 K-college students and teachers each year, cultivating media literacy, global awareness, filmmaking skills, and cinema appreciation. As a freelance programmer and consultant, she ran the Mill Valley Film Festival’s Children’s FilmFest and the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Schools at the Festival program; curated children’s programs for the Pacific Film Archive and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; served on the Board of Advisors for LUNAFEST, developed hands-on filmmaking workshops for elementary, middle and high school students; and provided educational outreach services to independent filmmakers.
With a BA in Russian and Political Science from Duke University and an MA in Mass Communication Studies from the University of Michigan, Joanne began her career in Washington, DC working for both the Public Broadcasting Service and The Learning Channel. She joined the NAMLE Board of Directors in January 2015.