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CIFF 2022 Special Jury

2022 Special Jury
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Peter Menzies Jr., ACS - Chairman of the Board

Australian Cinematographer, Peter Menzies Jr., is known for his diverse and critically acclaimed body of work spanning feature films, commercials  television movies and mini-series - including the recent HBO limited series, The Time Traveler's Wife for Director, David Nutter.


Peter's films include; Shooter, A Time to Kill, The Incredible Hulk, The General’s Daughter, Lara Croft Tomb Raider, Four Brothers, The 13th Warrior, Peter Rabbit 1 & 2, The Great Raid, Disney's The Kid, Clash of the Titans, All Eyez on Me, and Die Hard with a Vengeance.


Peter is a member of the Int'l Cinematographers Guild, the Australian Cinematographers Society and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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Tammara Billik - LGBTQIA+ Jury

Award winning Casting Director, Tammara (Tammy) Billik is one of Hollywood’s top television Casting Directors. Tammy has worked on over 500 episodes of prime time programming, including 8 seasons of “Married…with Children” and 5 seasons of the “Ellen” show including its historic coming out episode.


Tammy is the Casting Executive for A+E Television Networks - overseeing casting on series, pilots and made for television movies for A+E Studios and Lifetime, A+E and the History Channel.


Tammy is dedicated to helping the LGBTQ community through non-profit work and is former board member of the Human Rights campaign, OUTFEST and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. She holds a Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School and a B.A. from UCLA.

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Benny Boom - Music Video Jury

Director, Benny Boom exploded onto the music video scene in the mid 90's and has brought his innovative storytelling and edgy visuals to over 200 music videos for artists such as Nicki Minaj, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Ciara, Akon, Keyshia Cole, 50 Cent, John Legend and Busta Rhymes. Benny is a five time BET Award nominee.


In addition to directing music videos with more than a billion views, Benny directs commercials, TV Movies and episodic dramas including The Equalizer, City on a Hill, Black Lightning, NCIS: Los Angeles, All American, Tales, Ambitions and Empire.

Benny directed the feature films Next Day Air and the long awaited Tupac Shakur Bio-pic, All Eyez on Me.

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Barbara Chase - Female Focus Jury

Barbara Chase is Senior Director, Event Production at the Academy of Television of Arts

and Sciences. In her career spanning over 20 years, she produced Primetime Emmy Nominee Receptions for 29 peer groups and worked with the Board of Governors on peer group and diversity events, the Hall of Fame, and Television Academy Honors Presentations. Barbara was the administrator of the Daytime Emmy Awards, and produced the Creative Arts Presentations.


She produces the Networking Night Out Mixers series for Academy members; and Academy membership grew from 10k to 15k during her tenure. Barbara is also an actress with credits in features, TV and commercials, and co-hosted the talk show, Our Generations and the Mrs. America Pagents, with her mother, Actress, Florence Henderson.

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Nikki Corda - Nevada Jury

Nikki Corda is the Executive Director & Founder of the Nevada Women's Film Festival. She spent her early career in feature film development in Los Angeles, with stints at Twentieth Century Fox and Michael Douglas' company at Paramount. Nikki began producing and writing independently with the award-winning documentary, Urban Rescuers, and continues to follow her passion for nonfiction film with her business, Life-Portraits.


Nikki also teaches a variety of film and English classes at the College of Southern Nevada and Nevada State College, and is a freelance writer for Story Terrace. Nikki holds a B.S in film from Boston University and an M.F.A in creative writing from Sierra Nevada College.

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Alexandra Derbyshire - Female Focus Jury

Alex is a leading film producer based in London, UK, dedicated to diversity and equality in the film industry. As a female producer and a longstanding member of the BAFTA Film Committee, Alex supports the reshaping of BAFTA, to set a more inclusive, fair and higher standard for the UK film industry.


Accomplished over 30 years as a freelancer with creative attention to detail and a passion for storytelling, Alex’s previous credits span a wide range of genres, including a number of highly successful films such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Anna Karenina, Paddington, Paddington 2 and Jurassic World: Dominion. Alex is currently in post production for Wonka, an original musical feature for Warner Bros. Studios, due to release Christmas 2023.

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Susan Drew - Music Video Jury

Sue Drew is the former General Manager, Creative at Kobalt Music where she ran the US Creative team. Her signings include Lionel Richie, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul (La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen, The Greatest Showman), Kali Uchis, LANY, The Chicks, Why Don’t We, Evan Bogart and Michael R. Jackson (A Strange Loop). Sue previously served as SVP Membership and Vice President, Membership, Pop/Rock for ASCAP after a 20 year career in A&R as VP for Elektra, Chrysalis/EMI and Reprise and a manager and independent consultant for various labels. Sue signed artists including Phish, They Might Be Giants and Michelle Shocked.


Sue has been recognized by Variety on their Women Impact Report and was included on the 2020 Billboard Women In Music list. She currently oversees the Musical Theater roster for Kobalt, a passion of hers for many years.

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Warren Drummond - John Singleton Impact Jury

Warren Drummond was born and raised in Jamaica Queens, New York and attended the High School of Art & Design and The School of Visual Arts.


Warren's storyboard career began in the early '90s with films like Above. the Rim and 2nd Unit work on Die Hard with a Vengeance and The Devil's Own. Now based in LA, Warren is one of the industry's premier storyboard artists whose credits include A Beautiful Mind, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Nightcrawler and Ad Astra. His TV work includes NCIS: New Orleans, Marvel's Agents of Shield and Grey's Anatomy.


Warren made his directorial debut in 2018 with the short film, Unknown Caller, starring his son Josh Drummond. Warren is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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Steve Duval - Nevada Jury

Steve Duval has been in the camera department of many legendary reality television shows including the original Amazing Race, The Amazing Race Philippines, and Australia, Escape Routes, Big Brother, and Solitare.


Steve was Cinematographer for the series' K-9 Border Wars and Border Wars and the documentaries, With Lee in Virginia, Bluetopia: The LA Dodger Movie, and Homeland Security, USA.


A Nevada native, Steve is also a producer with credits including the reality documentary series, It's A Dog's Life with Bill Farmer and the feature film, Desert Shadows.

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Jake Hart - Indigenous Jury

Jake Hart is an actor, artistic educator, and producer. With a 20 year career in the arts, he has held residencies at Universities and Colleges all over the country.


Jake is a board member of Red Eagle Soaring Native Theater, a company member of Native Voices at the Autry, a regular visiting artist with the Yale Indigenous Performing Art Program , an ensemble member of the Arts in the Armed Forces Foundation, and is a member of the SAG-AFTRA National Native Americans Committee. As the Director of Indigenous Programming for Cordillera, Jake continues to advocate for the new generation of Indigenous filmmakers across Turtle Island.

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Robin Holabird - Nevada Jury

As the former Film Commissioner for the State of Nevada, Robin has assisted industry legends such as Clint Eastwood, Taylor Hackford, and PT Anderson on projects they filmed in the region.


Robin has combined her love of travel with her film expertise to author the books, Elvis,

Marilyn, and the Space Aliens and Around the World in 80 Movies. Robin has a weekly film program on Reno’s NPR affiliate, KUNR, and provides film commentary for KOH. Robin holds a journalism degree and a Masters in Public Administration and has worked as a reporter for several regional outlets.


Robin is an avid outdoor enthusiast and photographer who has finished the Boston Marathon six times.

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Alex Kalymnios - Female Focus Jury

Alex Kalymnios is an English Director, Producer and Screenwriter. Alex started her career at the BBC Director’s Academy and works Internationally.


Alex has directed episodes of Impulse, Titans, The 100, S.W.A.T., Timeless, Quantico, Once Upon a Time, The White Princess, Scott & Bailey, EastEnders, Waterloo Road, Hollyoaks, Hollyoaks Later, The Cut, Becoming Human and the TV pilot, Close Up.


Alex directed the mini-series Three Families and TV Movies, Cleveland Abduction, and Love you to Death. Recently Alex completed a spy series for Netlix starring Noah Centineo.

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Mo Marabel - Innovate Jury

Director, Producer, Maurice Marable has worked on nearly 20 series and become a go-to choice for comedy pilots. His variety of credits includes shows such as Veep, Insecure, Entourage, True Blood and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, as well as episodes of The Last O.G., Suits, The Game, Hap & Leonard, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.


Mo helmed the last three seasons of IFC’s Brockmire, and received an Emmy nomination in 2006 for his work on the Big Love main title design. Marable previously served as the VP of Creative Services at BET, helping the network launch its original scripted programming.


Mo is currently a producing director on two series, Hulu’s Woke and Peacock’s Killing It, and is attached to the reboot of 'Three Men and a Baby.' His upcoming Directing projects include Grand Grew, episodes of Hulu’s The Dropout and Washington Black plus FX’s The Old Man.

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Emma Menzies - Music Video Jury

Emma Menzies was born and raised in Sydney, Australia; the daughter of a cinematographer and producer, she grew up trick-or treating at craft services tables and finishing homework in camera trucks and makeup trailers.


Known for her bold use of color, narrative concepts and love of mixed media, Emma enjoys pushing the boundaries and working with new artists. She’s recently been focusing on documentary and narrative work in addition to her (one true love) music videos.


As well as directing, Emma works as a freelance writer, visual researcher and treatment designer for major music videos, commercials, film and television. Emma is a graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts with degrees in Film & Television Production and Screenwriting.

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Niels Mueller - Innovate Jury

Born and raised inMilwaukee, Wisconsin, Niels is an award-winning director/writer whose films have premiered at some of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.


Tadpole (Sigourney Weaver, Aaron Stanford), co-written by Niels, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The Assassination of Richard Nixon (Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Don Cheadle), co-written and directed by Niels, had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and its North American premiere at The Toronto Int’l Film Festival. His latest film, Small Town Wisconsin, won the audience prize for "Best Feature Film" at the 2021 Cordillera International Film Festival and is currently screening on digital platforms.


Niels is also an accomplished show-creator, writer and producer of network television, including the CBS series The Defenders (Jim Belushi, Jerry O'Connell). He is currently writing the pilot script for a new series, titled Bad Paper, with Pulitzer winning journalist, Jake Halpern.

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Joe Ness - Nevada Jury

Joe Ness is the Peppermill’s Executive Director of Entertainment, Electronics, and Media. A former MTV video producer, Ness turned a photography hobby into the creation of “Windows of the World” - A high-definition video of exotic lands, local scenery, nature, wildlife and fashion from around the globe which has become the signature of the Peppermill. The project spans fourteen years, over 100 countries on seven continents and a price tag of $35 million dollars.


The nine months of the year Ness isn’t traveling, he’s handling other audiovisual projects at the Peppermill properties. During these months, Ness is happy to call Reno home. One of his favorite places to take photographs still is Pyramid Lake, and Mount Rose will forever be a good place to shoot the stars.

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Kathryn Prescott - Female Focus Jury

Kathryn started her career as an actor in the British television show ‘Skins’. She has worked as an actor in the UK and USA for the past 9 years.


Her first narrative short, Jane, centred on a young woman suffering from heroin addiction and living in one of downtown Los Angeles’ many residential hotels. The film starred Gayle Rankin (GLOW, Perry Mason, The Climb) and screened at Palm Springs, Austin, Short Shorts, LA Shorts and HollyShorts film festivals.


Kathryn recently completed post on a short documentary, Gina, made in association with Homeless Health Care Los Angeles, about an animal rights activist living on Skid Row with her rescue animals. Kathryn lives in Brooklyn.

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Dan Sasaki - Innovate Joy

Dan Sasaki, Panavision’s Senior Vice President of Optical Engineering and Lens Strategy, is revered as a top industry expert in the development of advanced motion picture lens systems. His groundbreaking work includes the creation of the AWZ2 anamorphic zoom lens, the T Series anamorphic lens system, and the redevelopment of the Ultra Panatar lenses. Having trained under his father as well as Panavision legend Tak Miyagishima, Sasaki has spent more than three decades at Panavision evolving the craft and artistry of lens design. Sasaki’s work, which strikes a fine balance between art and science, is fueled by his curiosity and passion for the art of cinematography.


An associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers, Sasaki is based at Panavision’s world headquarters in Woodland Hills, CA, where he continues to evolve his craft to deliver filmmakers the widest available array of advanced motion picture optics.

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Maasai Singleton - John Singleton Impact Jury

Maasai Singleton was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. As the son of a writer and director, he spent his summers rifling through his father's library of DVDs, jumping between decades and genres to pass the time.


Through those experiences, he discovered a love for animation and a deep appreciation for the complex stories that have been birthed out of the Japanese anime industry. He graduated from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts with a BFA in Writing for the Screen and Television in 2016 and has since written for numerous shows, including HBO Max's “Gen:Lock, Hasbro’s “Transformers Cyberverse”, and the joint Nickelodeon-Hasbro project "Transformers: Earthspark".


Maasai brings to his work a deep appreciation for the craftspeople that preceded him and optimism for the future.

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DeLanna Studi - Indigenous Jury

DeLanna Studi (Cherokee) is an actor/playwright and social justice & youth advocate. TV credits include Dreamkeeper, Edge of America, Shameless, General Hospital, Z Nation, Goliath. Theater credits include the First National Broadway Tour of August: Osage County, Off-Broadway's Informed Consent, and Gloria: A Life.


DeLanna retraced her family's footsteps along the Trail of Tears with her father and wrote her play And So We Walked which is currently on tour. DeLanna's work in her Native communities includes multiple touring mentorship and playwriting workshops, the Alliance Against Racial Mascots, Challenge to Say No Tribal Tours, and the Cante Sica Foundation where she collected testimonials of survivors of the American Indian Boarding Schools. She is the Chair of SAG-AFTRA's National Native Americans Committee, and the Artistic Director of Native Voices at the Autry.

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Wes Studi - Indigenous Jury

Born in Nofire, Oklahoma, Wes is a Cherokee American actor and film producer who has won critical acclaim and countless awards. Wes has appeared in Academy Award-winning films, such as Dances with Wolves and The Last of the Mohicans, and in the Academy Award-nominated films Geronimo: An American Legend and The New World. He has also appeared in the films Hostiles, Heat, Mystery Men, Avatar, A Million Ways to Die in the West, and in the television series Penny Dreadful.


An Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences member, Wes received an Academy Honorary Award in 2020, becoming the first Native American and the second North American Indigenous person to be honored by the Academy.

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Meredith Tanzer - LGBTQIA+ Jury

Meredith Tanzer has been a community builder for over 20 years. Her interest with at-risk youth began while owning a business in downtown Reno and volunteering with youth agencies. Meredith is the event organizer of the Youth Point In Time Count that raises awareness about youth services in Washoe County.


A resident artist at Reno Art Works, Meredith teaches workshops in collage, and painting and runs a free art program in her studio. For many years Meredith directed Reno's La Bussola Arts Boutique, HeartSPOT Gallery, and Center Gallery. She produced The Artist Coloring Book and Artsy & Fartsy's Colorful Journey. Meredith sits on the Artown Board and was recognized with the prestigious Reno City Super Hero Award. Meredith is Vice President of Our Center and helped guide the opening of the LGBTQ Community Center.

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Danette Tull - Nevada Jury

Danette Tull is the Film Resource Coordinator for the Nevada Film Office, a division of the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED), which markets the state's diverse locations and promotes Nevada as a premier destination for filming.


She works closely with Nevada student filmmakers and advocates for more equitable representation of women in film. Danette founded the Nevada Film Group on Facebook and created the office’s FILManthropy charitable giving initiative. Danette received a Masters degree in Library Science from the University of California, Riverside. She is fluent in Spanish, Italian, Japanese and English and has lived and traveled abroad.

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Connie Wray - Music Video Jury

Nevada Broadcast Hall of Famer, Connie Wray has worked in the media industry for over 20 years. She is currently the Morning Radio Show Host of “Connie Wray and Friends” on Reno’s Fun 100.9 and previously hosted the Bill and Connie Morning Show on Alice 106.5, which was the longest-running local morning show in Reno, Nevada.


A graduate of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Connie has always had an interest in radio, film and television and runs her own Media/ Production Company, A Story Media. Connie was inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2012. She hosted Reno's Fox 11 shows "What Women Want'' and "Living Local" from 2012 to 2018 and most recently hosts The Next Stage - an online docu-series Reno's Fox 11 Morning News. Connie believes in giving back. She sits on the Sierra Art Board and works to raise funds for Renown Children's Hospital and other community charities.

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Eric Wycoff - John Singleton Impact Jury

Cinematographer, Eric Wycoff was born in Texas and moved to Southern California as a teen. He received a football scholarship to the University of Illinois and signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers after graduation.


Eric started as a Production Asst. and quickly moved into the lighting and camera departments and has worked on over 30 feature films under the mentorship of some of the top Lighting Directors and Cinematographers in Hollywood including Robert Richardson, Peter Menzies, Jr., Robert Elsworth and Steven Soderbergh.


Eric is a member of the International Guild of Cinematographers. Eric has filmed more than 100 music videos and is known for his commercial work for clients such as McDonalds Ford, NBA and MTV. Eric recently completed filming a series of three feature adaptations of Carl Weber's novels. The Man in 3B, the Choir Director and The Preacher's Son.

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