Mary Bacarella, Managing Director & Carl Spence, Artistic Director, Seattle International Film Festival
Mary Bacarella, Managing Director
Mary Bacarella came to SIFF after 15 years at the Space Needle LLC/Chihuly Garden and Glass, where she most recently served as the Vice President of Brand Management and Official Spokesperson. Notable achievements include being a key member of the team that spearheaded the plan to develop Chihuly Garden and Glass, a new 30-year Dale Chihuly art exhibition that opened at the Seattle Center on May 21, 2012, and is the most comprehensive collection of the artist’s work and career. Also, in 2012, Ms. Bacarella oversaw all aspects of the Space Needle’s 50th Anniversary, including promotions, design, PR, marketing, and community outreach.
In her role as a member of the executive team at the Space Needle, she was also key in developing the $24 million remodel of the Space Needle. This massive project, which began in 2000, included re-branding the icon and all of its assets, including retail, restaurant, observation deck, and corporate identities. Additionally, she worked to secure the patent in the creation of an interactive entertainment system called “SkyQ” that is located on the Space Needle observation deck.
Prior to her work at the Space Needle, Mary worked in public relations, handling accounts such as Nintendo, Radio Disney, and Wolfgang Puck.
Carl Spence, Artistic Director
Carl joined the Seattle International Film Festival/SIFF Group in 1994 as a Festival programmer and head of the Promotions and Marketing team and was promoted to Associate Director in 1998. He joined the San Francisco Film International Film Festival in 2001 as Director of Programming, returning to Seattle in 2003 to become the Director of Programming of the Seattle International Film Festival/SIFF Group.
In 2005, Carl was promoted to Artistic Director of the Seattle International Film Festival/SIFF Group. He also currently holds the position of Director of Programming at the Palm Springs International Film Festival held in January.
Carl holds a BA from the University of Washington, studied film at NYU, and is fluent in Japanese.