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2023 Grand Jury


Bill Farmer - Chairman of the Board

Bill Farmer is an award winning voice actor, comedian and impressionist. He is best known for being the voice of Disney’s Goofy since 1987. In addition, Bill has voiced the characters of Pluto, Horace Horsecollar, Practical Pig, and Sleepy as well as numerous other character voices in tv shows, video games and feature films including Space Jam, Toy Story, Beauty and the Beast, A Bug's Life and A Goofy Movie.


Bill was named a “Disney Legend” in 2009, and is the on-camera host of the Disney+ original series, It’s a Dog’s Life with Bill Farmer.

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Jeff Arch

Jeff Arch is the writer of a quirky romantic comedy where the two lovers don’t even meet until the very last page, and “Sleepless in Seattle” became a surprise megahit worldwide.

For his screenplay Jeff was nominated for an Oscar, as well as for Writers Guild and BAFTA Awards, among others. His other credits include the Disney adventure film Iron Will, New Line’s romantic comedy Sealed With a Kiss, and the independent comedy Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys.


Jeff’s script for Saving Milly, based on Mort Kondracke’s searing memoir, earned the 2005 Humanitas Nomination, an honor Jeff treasures.

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Jasmeet Baduwalia

Now known as the Blue Power Ranger from Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Jasmeet Baduwalia is someone that knew from a very young age wanted to be an entertainer, he started acting and modeling when he was 13 years old with Take 2 Performers Studio in Reno, NV.


In 2013, Jasmeet signed with Momentum Talent Agency and when he turned 16 , he decided to make the move to LA to pursue his dreams. In LA he's trained with Anthony Meindl, Howard Fine, and Marnie Cooper and landed roles in Werewolf World, Capture Narcos, Black Eyes, Hero and Power Rangers Beast Morphers, as well as the story mode voice for Madden 21 Face of Franchise. He has also been featured in a commercial for Nike and co-starred in Days of our Lives.

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Dawn Gilliam

Dawn is a 33-year Script Supervisor in the entertainment business. Her first movie, Boyz In The Hood, was the catalyst that launched her career.


Her credits includes an iconic list of movies and television shows, such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Hunger Games, Lost, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Dawn also penned an online course, The Art of Continuity| Filmmaking as a Script Supervisor. It is in its 10th year.


Favorite Dawnism: "A closed mouth, don't get fed. Speak up!"

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Marco Henry

Marco Henry is a line producer and DGA UPM with over two decades’ experience in feature film and TV production. Born and educated in the UK, Marco was a derivatives trader before leaving the financial industry in 2003 to pursue a career in film production. Starting as an intern at a small independent New York production company, Marco rapidly worked his way up the production ladder and was soon producing projects across the US and overseas. With his strong financial, legal, and analytical background, Marco quickly developed a reputation for producing movies on time, on budget and on vision.


Leveraging his deep expertise in production management, budgeting, scheduling, technology, tax incentives and union agreements, Marco’s first priority is always to maximize a project’s logistical & financial resources to best support the creative goals vision.

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Adam Karm

Adam is a co-founder of AKA Prod Co, a new Reno based production company. He’s held various positions within the independent film space and has extensive experience in development, production, post-finishing, marketing and distribution.

In his capacity as storyteller, he’s produced a variety of commercials, short form content, unscripted and scripted TV as well as feature films. In his most recent stint with MarVista Entertainment he oversaw a pipeline of 250+ films from greenlight through final delivery.


Adam is particularly drawn to stories that inspire hope and change.

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Philip Kruener

Producer/writer Philip Kruener began his television career working behind the scenes at HBO on a series of comedy documentaries and specials, including the Emmy-nominated A Comedy Salute to Andy Kaufman. A crossover to scripted led to stints as VP Development/Production for multiple TV production companies, working in both one-hour drama and long-form.

As a Show Runner, Kruener has made multiple two-hour holiday-themed rom-coms for FreeForm; overseen a live-broadcast from Easter Island for Nat Geo; exec-produced and written a 10-hour series on The Kennedys; and show-run a two-hour documentary special on the once-silent family of polygamist Warren Jeffs. His most recent credit is as Executive Producer of It’s A Dog’s Life, with Bill Farmer, for Disney+.

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Edd Lukas

Edd launched his career in the camera department on high profile films such as Casino Royale and Atonement.

With now more than two decades of experience as a Cinematographer, Edd currently splits his time between London and Los Angeles. His credits include more than 35 Feature Films (Nancy Drew, The Gallows, The Party's Just Beginning), Documentaries (David Crosby: Remember My Name), Short Films (Whiplash, Triggered), Music Videos and Commercials (Budweiser, Chrysler, Newsweek, GQ).


Edd has filmed on all 7 continents, including being the first DP to film a major Motion Picture in Antarctica.

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Bilali Mack

Bilali Mack is a Filmmaker and VFX Supervisor based in NYC. Born in Accra, Ghana, and based in Brooklyn, Bilali has spent the better part of the last decade honing his craft at visual effects.


Bilali is best known for his work as the overall VFX Supervisor for Lionsgate’s Power Book III: Raising Kanan and Power Book II: Ghost. Bilali has had an extensive and varying career working in commercials, episodic, and film. His most recent work was with Darren Aronofsky on the Oscar award-winning film, The Whale with Brendan Fraser.


In his spare time, he produces the Legends of VFX podcast and is passionately directing films and commercials.

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Kristoffer Polaha

Actor, writer, producer, author and Reno, Nevada native, Kristoffer Polaha earned a degree from the esteemed NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and quickly transitioned to professional theater in New York.


Kristoffer moved to Los Angeles and made a name for himself in TV, starring in Life Unexpected, North Shore, Backstrom and Ringer. He's appeared in more than 25 network and cable shows including Mad Men, Ballers, Designated Survivor, Get Shorty and the limited series Condor. Kris remains a backbone of the Hallmark Channel, appearing in numerous Christmas movies and the Hallmark Mystery 101 series.


Kris' feature film work includes Where Hope Grows, The Devil's Knot, Wonder Woman 1984 and Jurassic World: Dominion.

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Greg Sorvig

Greg is the Artistic Director for Heartland Film and its Academy Award®-qualifying Indy Shorts and Heartland Film Festival events in Indianapolis, and is also Senior Associate Programmer for the Tribeca Festival shorts team.


Greg recently served as a 2021 International Documentary Association IDA+XRM Media Incubator Grant Reviewer and 2023 National Endowment for the Arts American Rescue Plan Media Arts Reader.


Greg also regularly serves as a jury member at international film festivals and top 20 film school student festivals, including USC and DePaul University.

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Wes Studi

Born in Nofire, Oklahoma, Wes is a Cherokee American actor and film producer who has won critical acclaim and countless awards. Hehas 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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Ben Wagner

Ben Wagner is a co-founder of AKA Prod. Co., a production company setting up shop in the Reno/Sparks area. Wagner is a writer, director, and producer with extensive experience in movies, TV, interactive storytelling, and comics.


He recently completed a four-year run at MarVista Entertainment, where he oversaw the production and post-production of nearly 50 feature films.

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Kelly Ward

Kelly Ward is a past V.P. at Metro Goldwyn Mayer and Universal Studios. He has a Humanitas Prize for writing children’s animation and a Daytime Emmy for directing. He co-authored the animated feature films Once Upon a Forest, and All Dogs Go To Heaven 2, the latter of which he co-produced.


Ward began his career as an actor, co-starring in the movies Grease, Samuel Fuller’s The Big Red One, and Luis Valdez’s Zoot Suit. Ward currently writes for film and television, and directs voiceover for Disney Television Animation, among others. For more than 20 years, Ward was a part-time faculty member of the USC School of Dramatic Arts, where he directed and choreographed dozens of stage productions ranging from Shakespeare to Sondheim.

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