Kayla Thomas, 1991 - 2016

Last week, we lost someone very special to us. Kayla Thomas, our charming, kind, unshakable, Theatre Manager passed away in November of 2016. 

Kayla, like everyone on our team, was an integral part of our family. She started managing the theatre at our NYC festivals in October of 2014. She loved film and food and worked so incredibly hard - always with a smile on her face and without ever once complaining. When none of us had slept in days and showed up bleary-eyed in our jeans and sneakers to work, she was always put together and had fierce style. She laughed a lot and made us all laugh too. She loved pastries and hugs and was always right there with a kind thing to say.

For future events we’ll find someone to do her job, sure, but we’ll never be able to replace the spirit, joy, creativity, and quiet efficiency she brought to every day of each event. 

After a week of mourning her loss, celebrating her life, and ruminating on what comes next, I can't help but feel so much gratitude for having known her. She was walking inspiration, love, and goodness, and all of us who were touched by her presence will carry that with us forever. 

Rooftop Films has created a Filmmaking Grant in Kayla's honor. It will be awarded to one filmmaker each year to help complete a project that communicate the power of hope, collaboration and togetherness to make positive change. More information and contributions can be made here

We miss you, Kayla.

- Sydney Rey & The Food Film Festival Family