About the Festival

The Northwoods Film Festival aims to showcase some of the latest and groundbreaking work in independent cinema for the Northern Wisconsin community. This non-for-profit festival will provide local audiences the opportunity to see films not typically screened in the local market, and also encourage audiences to embrace cinema as originally intended: in a shared space with other community members.

Festival Team


Bess Donoghue, Executive Director

Bess Donoghue is currently a Publicist at FRANK PR a film and entertainment agency in New York. While with the company she has worked on numerous accounts including IFP Gotham Awards, Variety’s Power of Women, and regional film festivals in the Hamptons, Montclair, Nantucket, and Sarasota, along with films at studios including Focus Features, HBO Documentary Films, Lionsgate, and Netflix. Previously she worked with Scott Rudin Productions, The Broadway League, American Players Theatre, and the Wisconsin Union Directorate Film Committee. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned her Master’s Degree from New York University in Public Relations. Her favorite film is Singin’ in the Rain.

Maddie Donoghue, Finance Officer

Maddie Donoghue is currently an Associate at THL Credit, an alternative credit investment manager that invests across the capital structure through public and private vehicles, commingled funds and separately managed accounts. Prior to THL Credit, Maddie worked as an Analyst in J.P. Morgan's Leveraged Finance group and Morgan Stanley's Mergers & Acquisitions group. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and was the Valedictorian of the Marshall School of Business. Her favorite film is My Best Friend's Wedding.


Advisory Board of Directors

Larisa Apan Too many to choose from!

Clare Anne Darragh Cinema Paradiso

Stephanie Davidson Speed

Margaret DeJesus The Empire Strikes Back

Dan Donoghue The Godfather

Meg Donoghue Dangerous Liaisons

Charles Hayes Finding Nemo

Ben Meyer Spotlight

Joe Neumaier North by Northwest

Lina Catalfamo Plath The Godfather