Lisa deSouza – Founder & Executive Director (Leadership)

After graduating from the prestigious boarding school, Deerfield Academy, Lisa moved to New York where she attended Columbia University. Always an artist at heart, Lisa’s practical side gave way to her independent spirit, and she enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and The School for Film and Television. While working in the fashion industry, she started her career as an actor in the off-Broadway theater scene of New York City. However, she soon learned that her passion (and strength) was in writing and directing.

After 25 productions…some of which won local awards…Lisa soon found herself drawn to a new medium, the internet. She moved to Los Angeles where she started producing and creating web content. Her work with many San Francisco Bay Area companies led her to take a seven-year hiatus from the “industry” while she pursued a successful career in the tech space. However, her heart always yearned to return to the arts. After selling her company and buying a ranch in Santa Clarita, CA Lisa found herself inspired to write again while taking long hikes with her dogs or riding her horses (literally) into the sunset. As with her days on stage, writing soon led to directing. She has written and directed several short films and is in pre-production with two features. She currently serves as the Founder & Executive Director of the Santa Clarita International Film Festival and, ever the entrepreneur, is spinning up two small businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley.