Angie Gaffney steps down as Executive Director of IFA

Angie Gaffney
Angie Gaffney

Angie Gaffney, the Executive Director of Independent Film Alliance Chicago (IFA), has announced that she is stepping down from the position that she help to create just a few years ago — “to pursue my own storytelling dreams and focus on producing independent films.”

Gaffney, who is a life and leadership coach, film producer, writer and entrepreneur based in Chicago, headed the non-profit organization that was formed by combining the Independent Filmmaker Project with Stage 18 — as a place where all media creatives can achieve their dreams.

Named by NewCity as one of the top 50 people in Chicago’s film industry four years in a row, Gaffney has raised millions for Chicago-based independent feature films. As a producer, some of her most recent films include Killing Eleanor (Best Narrative Feature Film, SCAD Savannah Film Festival 2020), Monuments (Nashville Film Festival Audience Choice Award 2020), and Jennifer Reeder’s Signature Move (Official Selection SXSW 2017).

“I’m looking forward to potential collaborations and telling some powerful independent stories this year,” says Gaffney. “More news soon!”

Letter From Executive Director Angie Gaffney

To the Members of IFA Chicago,

It is with both excitement and a bit of sadness that I write to let you know that I will be transitioning out of the Executive Director position at IFA Chicago. It is time for me to pursue my own storytelling dreams and focus on producing independent films.

IFA Chicago has grown tremendously since its launch, and that is thanks to each of you. You have continued to show up for each other and for yourselves: attending events and screenings, providing feedback, and supporting one another. And this is only the beginning for IFA; there is so much exciting work ahead – work that will impact our community as we move towards fulfilling our mission. Chicago filmmakers have no match – in creativity, intelligence, determination and resilience. IFA was founded with that steadfast belief and I look forward to watching it, and all of you, grow and excel as the journey continues.

I have so much love and gratitude for this community, our members, and the adventures we’ve shared together over the years. Being an independent filmmaker – an entrepreneur – is both challenging and rewarding. Many times when I’ve felt lonely or burned out, it was interacting with each of you that provided me the energy, empathy and shared-experience necessary to continue.

I am so grateful to Cinespace Studios and Wintrust for their steadfast support of our mission, to Board President Michael Scott Jr., our dedicated Board of Directors, and the talented individuals who comprise our Creative Cabinet and Luminary Board. Thank you to the former president of Cinespace Chicago, Alex Pissios, who gave me a chance and believed in me before many others did.

Our dedicated staff – Natalia, Betsy, Maame, and formerly Ese – has made IFA what it is today. It has been an incredible joy to work alongside them. I must give an extra special shout out to Natalia – who has been working alongside me for many years – and whose dedication to the mission is an integral part of IFA’s success.

All of us at IFA are dedicated to finding a great new Executive Director and facilitating a smooth transition of leadership. I will remain in my position through the end of March. If you know of anyone who you feel would be a great fit, please invite them to read more about the position and apply here. Applications will be accepted through February 20th.

I won’t be going far. I plan to continue to work in Chicago, and will most certainly continue to attend IFA events. Speaking of which, please join us for our Member Mixer on February 9th and our Leadership for Creatives event on February 23rd.

Thank you all for your love and support. I look forward to seeing you again very soon.

With endless gratitude,



Everyone at the REEL wishes Angie the best of luck in her future projects.

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