Meet the Team

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Emily J. Nakada-Alm – Founder & Executive Director


In 2004, Emily Nakada-Alm enrolled in the Film and National Identity class during her freshman year at the University of Puget Sound and fell in love with cinema. The same year she was inspired by Sofia Coppola’s latest work, LOST IN TRANSLATION, and there was no question—Emily would dedicate her career to film. After graduating, she was hired by the Grand Cinema, where she worked in a variety of capacities – including Director of the Tacoma Film Festival – for six years. Her festival work continued with the Seattle International Film Festival and the Rainier Independent Film Festival. Her path has led her to her current role as the Events Coordinator for Downtown On the Go, where she is responsible for managing major events, and for developing community partnerships to support those that live, study and work in downtown Tacoma.

During her years in the film festival arena, Emily has further expanded her knowledge of festival operations by attending the International Film Festival Summit, and such festivals as: Ashland Independent Film Festival, Port Townsend Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Portland Film Festival, and the Palme d’Or of film festivals, the Cannes International Film Festival.

The Destiny City Film Festival was born from Emily’s vision of what a film festival should be about—incredible films and curating a larger audience to support the local film community.

Emily knows that DCFF will add to the promising future and vitality of filmmaking in Tacoma and the Northwest by contributing another outlet for the river of filmmaker talent flowing through Washington State. The high-quality programming expectation set by the DCFF Founder and Executive Director aims to raise the standard of independent film in the South Sound.

Favorite Movie: Lost in Translation

Guilty Pleasure Movie: Home Alone 2

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Christina Y. Nakada-Alm – Assistant Manager

Christina was born and raised in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and calls Tacoma home.  She has been active with DCFF for several years and has enjoyed seeing the vibrant festival continue to grow.

Favorite Movie: Once

Guilty Pleasure Movie: Mean Girls

Corbin Swanlund headshotCorbin Swanlund – Tech Services Manager

Corbin is a student at Clover Park Technical College studying Digital Entertainment Production with a focus on film. He has always been obsessed with a good story and an impassioned monologue. He hopes to someday travel and tell stories of his own.

Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction

Guilty pleasure movies: Starship Troopers and Independence Day



Film Pre-Screening Team

Marcus Baker – Marcus is a writer-director based on the West Coast. His short films and screenplays have been selected for Festivals around the country. A native of Bremerton, Washington, he is passionate about films from all walks, but especially those from underrepresented communities. When not working on a project, he enjoys the Seattle Seahawks, board games, and a well crafted Meatball Sub.

Favorite Movies: Rudy, In the Cut, Paddington 2

Guilty Pleasure Movie: Cats


Rhiannon Cochrane – Rhiannon is big into entertainment – anything books, music, movies, TV and entertainment news. Her husband shares her passions and one of their favorite things to do is go to film festivals and discover new media.

Favorite movies: Meet Joe Black, The Quiet Place, Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone

Guilty Pleasure Movie: Bad Moms


Mikayla Daniels – Mikayla Daniels is a PNW screenwriter and filmmaker with a BA in film and an MFA in screenwriting. She currently writes and hosts for KSPS Saturday Night Cinema out of Spokane.

Favorite Movie: Night of the Living Dead

Guilty Pleasure Movie: Clue


Taryn Graham – Taryn works full time in post production in the Seattle area and as a photographer on the side. Always looking for a new project to shoot BTS on! When she’s not behind a camera or computer, she’s running the trails with the world’s greatest red heeler.

Favorite Movie: True Romance

Guilty Pleasure Movie: Anything from the Fast & the Furious franchise


Mary Hause – Mary is a cinephile who grew up with 35 cent movies at The Blue Mouse. Journey To The Center of the Earth, The Time Machine, and all “Tammy” and Elvis films were big draws. The wicked witch from the west is the only role so far that has caused her to run out of the theater, crying.

Favorite Movie: West Side Story

Guilty Pleasure Movie: Best In Show


Spencer Millfelt – Spencer is an aspiring filmmaker. He has a huge passion for cinema, with an emphasis in horror and independent film. He spends much of his time writing and brainstorming ideas of his own, hoping to one day leave his mark in the industry.

Favorite Movies: La La Land, Halloween(1978), The Evil Dead(1981), It Follows (2014)

Guilty Pleasure Movie: The Velocipastor


Kevin Rexroat – Kevin is an experienced writer and fledgling music video producer based in Tacoma. He has been hired to write or rewrite several features and a TV pilot, and his screenplays and teleplays have finished in the finals in multiple international competitions. He has adapted several fiction and non-fiction books and recently led an adaptation workshop at the Northwest Film Forum. He is represented by Gayla Nethercott of The Nethercott Agency.

Favorite Movie: Amelie

Guilty Pleasure Movie: Better Off Dead


Alena Schoonmaker – Alena is the director of the Spokane International Film Festival. She got her degree in film from Seattle University and also studied film at NYU. Alena spends her free time volunteering at Pawsitive Outreach Spay/Neuter Advocates, singing with the Spokane Spectrum Singers, and writing and directing short films.

Favorite Movie: Jurassic Park

Guilty Pleasure Movie: Beverly Hills Cop


James Venturini – James has a BA in film and theatre and is Associate Artistic Director at Lakewood Playhouse. He also keeps himself busy writing, producing, directing, and occasionally acting in various theatre, film, and audio projects.

Favorite Movie: The Passenger

Guilty Pleasure Movie: The Driver


Trevor Williams – Trevor, a self-proclaimed, “professional amateur,” is a musician, photographer, podcast producer, poet, and an apprentice for Tacoma’s Fool’s Play Improv. Williams first became enticed with movies through film score, and got his start as a critic by participating in the Institute of Theater Journalism and Advocacy when he attended the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in 2015 and 2016.

Favorite Movie: Akira

Guilty Pleasure Movie: The Room