Our executive leadership team oversees all of the LAPIFF efforts. The committee meets regularly to ensure that all of our teams perform efficiently and to facilitate cross-functional connections.
Founder | Chairman of the Board
Abe Pagtama, started taking acting classes, in the early 1970’s after he served in the U.S. Air Force, using his GI Bill, he Attended Theater Of Arts, and Strasberg Acting Academy in LA. After that, he started doing Small Theater, in LA, during that time, he also started doing atmosphere work, during the Black Exploitation Movies. He even worked in Roger Corman Movies. After that he went back to the Service, this time the U.S. Army.
He did not get back into acting until early 1980’s this time again doing extra work, with Central Casting, he was a regular extra, in General Hospital, Cagney and Lacy, Hunter and also was a casted and finally able to join AFTRA and SAG, when he was on the The Gary Shandling Show where he was sent a script, to be a principal in a TV show.
Again he quit acting for 10 years, until he was casted in a feature movie called, “The Flip Side” Directed by Rod Pulido,1999, the 1st Filipino American movie that was accepted in to theSundance Film Festival. He was also cast in the movie “Debut”, directed by Gene Cajayon. Since then he stayed in the acting business, doing mostly commercials, he was cast in a Super Bowl Pepsi commercial in 2006, upstaged by Janet Jackson’s braziers malfunction.
Lately he has been acting regularly in commercials and feature movies in Hollywood and in the Philippines, he also has started producing movies.
In 2016, he was casted in the commercial entitled “Tech Teddy”, on Spectrum Cable TV, working along side Saturday Night Live star, Kevin Nealon. He has also just finish shooting a feature length movie called “Stateside” and “Unlovable”
As well as a member of FilAm Creative.
Founder | Board Member
Founder | Board Member
Founder | Co-Chair | Trustee
Gabe Pagtama was born in Shape, Belgium and grew up in Los Angeles, California. He attended Saint Monica’s Catholic high school in Santa Monica, California and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Loyola Marymount University where he had an emphasis in Information Systems and Quantitative Management. His initial fascination with film came at a very early age realizing that stories could be told on camera. In addition his friends and family were in the entertainment industry. Two of the major influences were his father (a lifelong actor that has been on the Conan O’Brien Show and has worked with Actor’s such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Keanu Reeves, Kim Basinger and the list goes on) and his sister who has been a career producer (her two latest projects were both Emmy Nominated “Project Runway” and “Top Chef”).
Gabe Pagtama has worked in front of the camera as well as behind the camera. He has worked as an actor, writer, producer, director, and editor, which have offered multiple perspectives of the industry. His career started off at the tender age of 7 working with renowned Actor, Producer, and Director Kevin Costner in the motion picture “No Way Out”. Immediately following that he was featured on a number of television series from “Highway to Heaven,” “Max Headroom,” “Crossing Jordan”, “Monk”, NBC Series “Las Vegas”, CBS Series “How I Met Your Mother”, and the ABC Series “Castle”. He has also been on the “Conan O’Brien Show” as well as acted in numerous independent films. Amongst his many projects, he is also an Alumni of Visual Communications Armed With a Camera Fellowship for his documentary movie (Hooptown International 2006).
Gabe Pagtama’s experience behind the camera started at the age of 8 where at which time he was using a VHS camera and was taught how to clip and edit the footage from his dad. Following that he continued to learn from his father about film all the way up until high school. In high school, with saved money from his first job, he purchased a HI-8 3 CHIP camera and enrolled in various editing classes and workshops and was able to produced his first documentary film on landlord tenant laws for business law class.
Gabe Pagtama has marketed some of the worlds top major brands and once was fortunate to be on the promotion teams for the top radio stations in Southern California like KKBT 92.3 The Beat and 102.7 KIIS FM, he is an entrepreneur in the industries of Real Estate, Solar Panel Energy Systems, Digital Media, Social Media, Marketing, Digital Publishing, Development, Entertainment Business, Distribution, also an Educator of Finance, Retirement Planner, and a Licensed Life, Health and Accident Insurance Professional Advisor.
Since then he has further continued his education, skills and experience having hundreds of projects under his belt. Throughout the evolution of our ever-changing technology Mr. Pagtama has upgraded his camera equipment and softwares. Throughout his career he has received numerous acknowledgements and awards. The most recent being the “Golden Halo Award” for New Digital Media & Social Media Marketing presented to him by the Film Advisor Board and the Southern California Motion Picture Council, established in 1936. The same award given in the past to the great John Wayne.
Sweeney Mae Montinola
Board Member | Vice President of Marketing
Marc Anthony Nicolas
Marc Anthony Nicolas is ranked #1 in the list of the “75 Most Influential Filipino-Americans of 2016.” He is an Emmy award-winning producer on “The Talk” on CBS. He began his career as a booking producer on “The Tyra Banks Show” and a casting producer for “MTV Network.” He was recently named “TV Producer of the Year” by the Filipino Press Club of California.
Atty. Abraham Lim
Dr. Lora Bofill
A native of West Virginia, Lora’s foray into acting started in theatre. From her first role as a tree at the age of 6, she went on to do summer stock, college, community, and professional theatre. Settling into Washington DC, she booked her first on-camera role on a national commercial for AOL. Numerous other commercials, industrial videos, voiceover, independent film, and TV roles soon followed.
She was a film critic and television co-host for the local DC cable TV entertainment show “Eclipse Magazine,” and she continued to work in theatre, performing with Woolly Mammoth Theatre/Young Playwright’s Theatre, Education and Entertainment Foundation in DC, Asian Stories In America Theatre and QBD Ink Theatre, along with other theaters in the Midwest, including Gallery Players in Columbus, Ohio.
Lora decided to move to Los Angeles to focus on film and television. In 2012, she was selected as a best performer for the online web site StarCast Auditions which seeks up and coming talent in Hollywood. She continues to perform as a company member of the Ruskin Theatre Group in Santa Monica, CA, where she has both acted and directed. She has also reunited with Eclipse Magazine as their LA correspondent where she interviews producers, show runners, directors, and celebrities for the online version of Eclipse Magazine.
Aside from acting, she has recently crossed over into producing. Using her experience as a film critic and filmmaking classes at the New York Film Academy in LA, CA, she makes her producer debut on the comedic short film “Game Of Scones”.
Dr. Tita Pambid
TITA PAMBID has more than 25 years of theater, television and film experience. She started her acting career in the Philippines when she trained under the Philippine Educational Theater Association-Central Institute of Theater Arts in Southeast Asia in 1972. In 1991-1992, she took a year-long full-time program in theater arts at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in Los Angeles.
From 1979-1989, she did various roles for the yearly season and national tours of Bulwagang Gantimpala (Hall of Winners), theater arm of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). Her productions include: I Want a Wife (1990) First Sino-American International Women’s Conference, Beijing, China; Bakwet (Evacuation) (1991), Los Angeles Children’s Museum, Ramona Reyes of Forbes Park (1991) Asian Pacific Museum, Pasadena, California. Mainstay in Roberta, a daily soap opera, and To Each His Own, a weekly TV sitcom in the Philippines; Co-Writer, director, actor, “Voices of Immigrant Workers.” MIWON VIGIL (Multi-Ethnic Immigrant Working Organizing Network) (2002); actor, “Flipzoids,” (2005) at the Marilyn Monroe Performance Space, Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, LA. Her work in film includes Ianfu, a 15-minute feature film on Filipino comfort women during World War II, as actor, associate director, researcher, co-writer. It won first prize in the 1993 CCP Award for Alternative Film and Video and a Special Jury Award for Short Narrative at the 37th San Francisco International Film Festival (1994). Her other awards and recognition include the following: nominated in the 1983 Aliw Awards (Entertainment) for best supporting performer for stage for her role in Sandaang Panaginip (A Hundred Dreams), CCP’s entry to the Asian Theatre Festival and Conference in Manila; Best Director, Virgo Awards 1997 for‑”Grandma’s Diary,” Manila Actors Studio and the City of Carson, Cal State Dominguez Hills (1996), Best Director, Virgo Awards 1998 for “Gabi ng mga Bayani” (Night of Heroes), Puro Arte Gallery & Performance Space, Los Angeles (1997); 2013 PAA Royal Morales Community Achievement Award from the Pilipino Alumni Association (PAA) of UCLA; Community Arts Award given by Association for the Advancement of Filipino American Arts and Culture (FilAm ARTS) (2014).
She teaches Filipino language and culture at UCLA. She also gives drama and art-therapy workshops for battered and sexually-abused women for healing and empowerment during summers in the Philippines sponsored by University of the Philippines, Gender Office.