llana Lapid is a filmmaker and educator who tells stories of healing, transformation, and social impact. She holds a BA from Yale, and an MFA from the University of Southern California. Ilana received a Fulbright Fellowship to work with Roma children in Romania, and was an Artist in Residence at Slifka Center at Yale. She has directed multiple award-winning short films, including Jabez, Red Mesa, and La Catrina. Her short film Yochi was shot in Belize and deals with the illegal wildlife trade. It played film festivals around the world, including the Plaza Classic Film Festival. Lapid is an Associate Professor at the Creative Media Institute of New Mexico State University, where she teaches directing, environmental filmmaking, and social impact filmmaking. In 2022, she co-created the Gila Film School with the U.S. Forest Service — NMSU students spent 13 days in the Gila making films to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the designation of the Gila as the nation’s first protected wilderness area. She is currently completing a short documentary about choosing love in the face of death, called Parlez-Moi D’Amour. She joins the Plaza Classic Film Festival as a member of the Local Flavor judging panel.