Staff & Volunteers

Anaïsa Visser (she/her/they/them)
Interim Executive Director

Patrycja Mila Kamska (she/her)
Events & Programs Manager

Communications Team

Joan Macbeth (she/her)
Screenplay Competition Coordinator

Board of Directors

Laura Arboleda
Elected on 2022-09-20

Laura Arboleda is a queer Colombian-Mestizo filmmaker and programmer. She holds a B.F.A. in Film Production from Simon Fraser University and is an alum of Vancouver International Film Festival’s Mentorship Program. Her previous short films have screened in festivals and venues across North America, Asia, and Europe. She continues to expand her film practice, making short documentaries and process based experimental films. Her work explores themes of shared memories and spaces. Laura is the Senior Programmer with Vancouver Short Film Festival.

Gwen Haworth, Treasurer
Project Manager
Re-elected on 2022-09-20

Gwen completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in film production at UBC, and toured internationally with her feature documentary 'She's a Boy I Knew' from 2007-09. Gwen currently works as a project manager with the Provincial Health Services Authority overseeing initiatives that use film, new media, and other learning modalities to enhance cultural competency in care providers and health literacy in British Columbians accessing care.

Shasha McArthur, Vice-President
Elected on 2022-09-20

Ą́ba wašte, my name is Shasha McArthur. I’m a Nakota and Nehiyaw filmmaker based here in Vancouver, BC on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam people. I joined the film industry to contribute to changing the under-representation and often misrepresentation of Indigenous crew, talent and creatives within the film industry. Sharing Indigenous narratives and traditional stories whether they’re fiction, or nonfiction often requires protocols and respect for the nation from which the story came. A respectful and mindful preservation of tradition is what I want to achieve with each project I undertake. I would like to say Thank You to the amazing Indigenous creatives that came before me, their tenacity and passion is what has created the path we all walk today.

“Nothing about us, without us.”

Shaelyn Johnston, Secretary
Writer and Teacher
Elected on 2022-09-20

Shaelyn Johnston is an award-winning writer from Vancouver, BC. She is a recipient of the Governor General’s History Award, was one of 30 filmmakers chosen for Telus Storyhive’s inaugural Indigenous Storytellers Edition, and has participated in the Netflix/BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative and Whistler Film Festival Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship. Her short film, The Healing Dance, has screened at numerous festivals across Canada & the US, won Best Short Film at the Weengushk International Film Festival, and recently surpassed over 11k views on YouTube.

She coordinates and co-facilitates Gender Equity in Media’s Tricksters & Writers Screenwriters Program, of which she was previously a participant; Capilano University’s Filmmakers in Indigenous Leadership Management & Business Affairs (FILMBA) Program; and is coordinator of the UBC Scripted Media Career Accelerator in the UBC School of Creative Writing, where she is currently working through her MFA as an optional-residency student.

Anaïsa Visser,

Elected on 2022-09-20

Anaïsa is a biracial (Dutch and Pakistani) filmmaker based in Vancouver, BC. She grew up all over the world, namely in Mozambique, the United States, then France, before moving to Vancouver to pursue an undergraduate degree at Emily Carr University. She graduated in 2013 with a BFA in Film, Video and Integrated Media. She then completed her Masters Degree in Film Production and Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia in 2020. Anaïsa is the founder of "Women & Gender Diverse Filmmakers of BC," which unites women, genderqueer, trans and non-binary folk working in film.

She has won numerous awards, including the 2017 Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Artist in Film & New Media, and the 2018 Women in Film and Television Spotlight Award for Newcomer. Anaïsa has made several short films, primarily on topics of mental health and immigration stories. Currently, Anaïsa is in development on two feature films and a television series. In her spare time, Anaïsa enjoys catching up on TV shows, drinking copious amounts of tea, attempting to keep her plants alive, and hanging out with her cats, River and Ollie.

Regina Leung,

Business Consultant & Campaign Producer
Re-elected on 2022-09-20

With over 15 years of experience in the software industry, she is skilled in digital branding, client development and project management. She is a managing partner of HyBird Media Group, and responsible for corporate development, investment strategies for start-up and enterprise technology companies and the implementation of digital marketing and branding strategies targeting North America and Asia.

In addition, working committees of the board and member volunteers help to carry out all of GEMS' goals and activities. For information on volunteering for a GEMS committee contact