2021  JUDGES

VETERAN FILMMAKERS RAISE THE BAR ON AN EVEN PLAYING FIELD

2021 Judges to be announced.

FRANK Calo

FRANK Calo

 

Frank is an independent producer and director whose film THE BELIEVER, starring Ryan Gosling and Billy Zane, won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. That film won all the festivals that year, including The Berlin Film Festival. It was shown nationwide and had a great box office run. His film HERE & THERE with Cyndi Lauper and David Thornton won the Best NY Narrative In World Competition 2009 at Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival in NYC and had its official New York premier played to audiences domestically and overseas. Frank has worked with Robert De Niro (Godsend), Demi Moore, Mike Myers, Shelly Winters, Marlon Brando, and many more. His film THE COOKOUT, distributed by Lions Gate Films, with Queen Latifah also had a great box office run. He also worked for two years with The Motion Picture Bond Company under Robert Bordiga, as a producer working on films throughout the tri-state area. He was one of the few and only directors who studied privately under Mr. Elia Kazan.

 

KEVIN Bernhardt

KEVIN Bernhardt

 

Kevin has worked on more than 30 very different screenplays, resulting in produced films. They range from commercial action to critically and spiritually acclaimed. As a writer, he has had four films with budgets up to $30 million in just the past five years, and with casts including Michael Caine, Orlando Bloom, Michael Shannon, Alex Pettyfer, Patti LuPone, Christopher Plummer, and Ben Foster. Kevin has worked on films that have included Academy Award winners and nominees, such as Donald Sutherland, John Lithgow, Nick Nolte, Djimon Hounsou, Sylvester Stallone, and Dennis Hopper. Other prestigious notables include Kevin Bacon, Patrick Swayze, Chris Rock, Charlie Sheen, Dolph Lundgren, Peter Weller, Jennifer Beals, Tom Berenger, Daryl Hannah, Amy Smart, Matthew Goode, and Wesley Snipes. While building a career as a writer, Kevin supported himself as an actor, with multi-year contract roles on GENERAL HOSPITAL and DYNASTY, followed by numerous lead roles in films such as Clive Barker’s HELLRAISER. He returned to acting with a lead role opposite Amy Redford in HATE CRIME, which won awards at 17 film festivals, including TRIFF. He has followed that with a major supporting role opposite Michael Caine and Ben Foster in MEDIEVAL to be released in 2022.

 

PATTI D'Arbanville

PATTI D'Arbanville

 

Patti acted in her first film in 1960 — Tuesday and Blue Silk — at age eight. It was a student film about a New York University student and her cat. Andy Warhol discovered her during a gig as a club disc jockey when she was 13, and three years later at 16 cast her in his film FLESH (1968). After FLESH, Patti performed in Warhol’s L’Amour (1973), and as the title character in the David Hamilton film Bilitis (1977). After her unabashedly risqué performances in her youth, Patti worked steadily in film and television in the United States and France. In 1987, she won a Drama-Logue Award as Best Actress for her stage performance in Italian American Reconciliation (1987). She was well known for her role as Lt. Virginia Cooper on the FOX series New York Undercover.

 

JOHNATHAN Brownlee

JOHNATHAN Brownlee

 

Johnathan is an award-winning Canadian-American director, producer, writer, and actor with a diverse and international body of work spanning more than 20 years. His feature films, documentaries, scripted and unscripted broadcast television, and digital content have been viewed in theaters and on television in more than 100 countries in 14 languages and appeared on every major network and many specialty channels in the United States and Canada. He has produced in 20-plus countries and worked with Academy Award-, Golden Globe-, and Emmy Award-winning talent, including Helen Hunt, Angelina Jolie, Jerry Seinfeld, Luciano Pavarotti, Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Rashida Jones, Dan Aykroyd, Richard Gere, Aaron Paul, and William H. Macy. He has produced, written or co-written, and directed award-winning films, including The Standoff at Sparrow Creek, Decoding Annie Parker with Helen Hunt, and Three Days in August with Barry Bostwick, Meg Foster, and Mariette Hartley.  Johnathan has several feature-length films in development or production, including The Eyes of Jefferson, The Only Jewels I Need, and The Devil’s Country. He owns and operates two production companies: Torfoot Films and Ubiquimedia. He currently serves as CEO and President of Dallas Film, which produces the internationally recognized Dallas International Film Festival and the new North Texas Film Festival. He recently created the Veterans Institute for Film & Media (VIFM), a training program for military veterans.

 

GREGG Jamback & JAMIE Huss

GREGG Jamback & JAMIE Huss

 

Gregg is a film and video professional. For more than 30 years his work has been seen on broadcast outlets, such as NatGeo, Animal Planet, ESPN, public television, and others. His clients have included corporations, such as IBM, Amex, Pitney Bowes, Deloitte & Touche, and many others. Institutional clients include numerous foundations, such as the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, the Winston-Salem Foundation, Save the Children, and non-profits. As a filmmaker Gregg has produced independent projects, including Discover Yourself with the EnneagramThe Little Americas Cup ChallengePeelers, Busters, & Soft Shell Crabs (broadcast on UNC-TV), The Real Cost of Coal, and Greg Taylor Ghost. Awards include Best of the Fest at Down East Flick Fest, Judges Choice at Eastern North Carolina Film Festival, and Best Documentary at Rugged Phoenix Underground Film Festival. 

Jamie has worked as a producing partner at Swiftwater Media on three independent productions: Discover Yourself with the Enneagram (2001), The Real Cost of Coal (2010), and Greg Taylor Ghost (2014). She has consulted on many others. With 11 years experience in a Fortune 500 corporate position involving communications, presentations, and training sessions (spanning all levels of employees and executives), she is comfortable with organizing materials for comprehension and meeting new people — skills critical to a film festival. With 30 years of experience as a partner or a sole-proprietor of healthcare-related practices, she is able to oversee every aspect of a project. She has honed interview skills used when dealing with confidential, traumatic, or emotional subjects. A longstanding commitment to social justice issues led her to devote four years to a local foundation where she focused her energies on donor development, re-branding, and creating marketing materials (producing three annual fundraising testimonial videos).

 

STEVEN Esteb

STEVEN Esteb

 

Steven is a versatile filmmaker who has worked as an actor and a Hollywood screenwriter and director of commercials, music videos, documentaries, and features. His film Hate Crime won both Best Feature and Human Right & Dignity categories in the 2016 Tryon International Film Festival. Other films include DIRTY POLITICS, a dark comedy starring Judd Nelson, Beau Bridges and Howard Hesseman; and BALLER BLOCKIN, a rap film for Universal starring Lil Wayne that hit #1 on the Billboard charts in DVD and video sales eventually going quadruple platinum. Steven’s been represented by top agencies like ICM and Paradigm as a screenwriter and has worked as a script doctor, coach, and screenwriting teacher. He is currently teaching film and screenwriting at Loyola University in New Orleans. He lived and worked at an AIDS hospice for two years while making the feature length documentary LIVING WITH… A FILM ABOUT LOVE AND AIDS. It premiered at the Santa Barbara Film Festival and traveled the world, contributing to the opening of new AIDS hospices, his proudest accomplishment. Steven studied film production in the graduate program at Boston University and has a degree in political science. He now lives in rural Louisiana, his adopted home, with his wife and two kids.

 

HOMAYRA Sellier

HOMAYRA Sellier

 

Homayra is the founder of Innocence In Danger (IID), is an international child protection organization, operating in nine countries (France, United Kingdom, Colombia, Germany, Switzerland, United States of America, Austria, Iran, and Morocco). Since Homayra is multilingual — fluent in Spanish, French, English, and Farsi — she selected all films submitted to TRIFF’s Human Rights and Dignity category. Homayra has devoted her life to human rights issues, thus she is well suited for the task. Throughout the years, Homayra’s organization has utilized television documentaries, billboard campaigns, and other media platforms to help raise awareness on human abuse. A number of the French, Swiss, and German films and visual works that Homayra and her offices have been involved with have been nominated for the Prix Olivier Debouzy, one of France’s most prestigious awards, and short films/spots at Cannes Film Festival. Homayra was also the primary inspiration for Illegitimate Advantage, a 2016 novel written by Kirk Gollwitzer, the cofounder of TRIFF. Homayra and Kirk are actively working together to adapt the novel into a major motion picture.

 

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