Meet the Staff
Jon Vickers is the founding director of the Indiana University Cinema. He works both independently and in collaboration with IU faculty to schedule film screenings, retrospectives, festivals, traveling exhibits, topical programs, and guest lectures.
He previously served as managing director of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame, home to Indiana’s first THX® Certified cinema, as well as four live performance spaces. He also co-owned and operated the Vickers Theatre, an independent, single-screen arthouse in Three Oaks, Michigan, with his wife Jennifer. You can email Jon Vickers here.
Brittany D. Friesner is the Cinema’s Associate Director and a double Indiana University alumna with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in arts administration. As associate director, Brittany manages logistics for the Cinema’s various events, researches and develops programming, and supervises the Cinema’s house management staff, while also contributing to marketing, development, and audience and community-engagement efforts. Since 2008, she has served in theater operations each January at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Brittany has also worked for the Tribeca Film Festival, the CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival, the Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival, and the Seattle and Indianapolis international film festivals. You can email Brittany Friesner here.
Manny Knowles has been exhibiting films since he was a teenager in the Bahamas. His BA is from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. While at USC, he worked as a projectionist for AMC Theatres and as an editorial intern for several feature films. Upon leaving USC, he became a Projection Manager for a cinema chain in the Bahamas. He returned to USC for continued studies in film production, and worked as Assistant Manager of USC’s Cinema Sound Department and projectionist at USC’s Norris Theatre while working on his MFA. At the IU Cinema, Manny is responsible for all technical aspects of public presentations, and for keeping the Cinema’s technology functioning well. You can email Manny Knowles here.
Carla Cowden, a graduate of IU and a long time employee of the university, is the Cinema’s Business Manager. She assists the director in building and maintaining the necessary relationships with studios, film distributors, filmmakers, and other industry professionals outside of IU, as well as stewarding relationships with IU partners and offices critical to the mission of the IU Cinema. As an enthusiastic lover of film, her tastes run from the Hollywood classics to the James Bond series. And yes, she admitted to seeing all of the Twilight films. You can email Carla Cowden here.
Jessica Davis, Events and Operations Manager, has over a decade of arts administration experience working with groups such as the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Tanglewood Festival, and most recently served as the executive director of the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra. Jessica continues to focus on developing and implementing ways to help people gain a deeper understanding and enjoyment of the arts. You can email Jessica Davis here.
The balance of the Cinema’s staff includes a team of part-time staff, volunteers and interns that includes Graduate Assistant Projectionists, Student House Managers, and a variety of Interns. The Cinema also has dozens of exceptional volunteers that offer their time each semester as ushers, designers, and outreach coordinators. This team is critical to the success of the Cinema. We are so appreciative of our staff, volunteers and interns We thank them all!