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CIFF 2023 Special Jury

2023 Grand Jury
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Nikki Corda - Female Focus

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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Roni Jo Draper - Indigenous

Roni Jo Draper, Ph.D. (Yurok | she.her) is a member of the Yurok tribe, from the village of Weitchpec on the Klamath River. She is an emerita professor from Brigham Young University, where she taught courses in education and women’s studies.


Roni co-directed and wrote Fire Tender, a short film that explores Yurok fire and land stewardship practices. She is now directing a feature length film on Yurok lands about fire sovereignty. Roni was also a producer on Scenes from the Glittering World, which aired on Independent Lens.


Her experience as a queer Yurok woman has influenced her work as a teacher, scholar, artist, and activist.

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Steve Duval - Nevada

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, 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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Dawn Gilliam - Impact Award

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, and 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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Tom Gordon - Music Video

Reno native, Tom Gordon, is a record producer, engineer, and educator. His client list includes: Ozzy Osbourne, Dr. Dre, The Beach Boys, Whitesnake, Boyz II Men, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Collective Soul, Doug E Fresh, and even Milli Vanilli's come-back album where they actually sang.


TV and film work includes Role Models (WB), Behind the Music (VH1), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and The Naked Gun (Fox).


Gordon has been making records for over 30 years with five Platinum and two Gold-selling albums, one Emmy, one 3M Visionary Award and over 250 independent CDs of local and regional artists to his credit. He currently runs Imirage Sound Lab.

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Jake Hart - Innovate & Indigenous

Jake Hart voices everything. He is in constant production for it all, from cartoons and video games to national commercials. As a continuing producer, and development coordinator, he assists filmmakers whenever and wherever he can. Currently, Jake is a SAG-AFTRA Native Americans Committee member, advisor to multiple organizations around the country on inclusion and representation, and has a long history of artistic residencies at Universities and colleges across the country.


He has been a part of multiple animated shows, video games, and scripted podcasts coming soon to screens near you. Prayers up to his family for dealing with him. Wado y Gracias.

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Robin Holabird - Female Focus & Nevada

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 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-AM. 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.


JLynn - Music Video

JLynn is currently on 96.5 Alice as part of the Bill and JLynn morning show from 6am-10am Monday through Saturday! You can also hear her on Alice Monday through Friday from 10am-2pm and on Ten Country at 97.3 from 3pm-7pm Monday through Friday as well.

As a former Division 1 basketball player who grew up in the Bay Area JLynn has loved exploring Nevada and all that Northern Nevada has to offer!


JLynn loves to travel and is a huge fan of the arts in Northern Nevada-she loves catching all the local plays at the theatres and supporting all things local.

This is JLynns second year attending the Cordillera International Film Festival and she could not be more excited to attend again!

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Bilali Mack - Impact Award

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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Kalani Queypo - Indigenous

Kalani Queypo is a multi-disciplinary artist who grew up in Hawaii, studied in New York City & is currently based in LA. He is an award-winning screenwriter, producer and director with Ancestor Eyes, a short film that won 14 awards at 40 festivals, as well as short films Whispered Fall and Power Point. He is developing the episodic comedy, When You Miss Aloha, a feature length drama, Stored and Safe, and a musical, The Mainlander - all showcasing his birthplace and culture as the backdrop in his character driven projects.


As an actor, Kalani can be seen in the Oscar-nominated, Terrence Malick film, The New World, Steven Spielberg’s Emmy-winning Into the West and Slow West (Sundance GRAND JURY PRIZE). Television credits include Jamestown, Fear the Walking Dead, Mad Men, Hawaii Five-0, Nurse Jackie & Bones. Kalani currently stars in the new CW series, Trickster, for which his performance was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award.

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Sofia Sanchez - Innovate

Sofia Sanchez is a Ukrainian American teenage actress, model, advocate and influencer known for her viral video Down Syndrome Is Not Scary. She had her acting debut in the TV series Switched at Birth and has also appeared in the films For Paloma and later this year Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.


You may also recognize her in print ads and commercials for legacy retail brands like Old Navy, Amazon and Target. She recently helped launch the first Barbie with Down Syndrome. Additionally, her adoption story has inspired several picture books with Scholastic, including You Are Enough and You Are Loved.


Sofia lives in Northern California with her parents, three older brothers, two labradoodles and an orange cat.

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Bill Shulz - Music Video

Long-time Nevada radio talent, and half of the Alice 96.5 Morning Show, Bill Schulz is a Wisconsin native who now calls Northern Nevada home.


Yes, he’s a diehard Green Bay Packers fan. CHEESE HEAD!


He also enjoys meeting new people in the community, spending time in the outdoors, the Wolf Pack, and he can often be found eating ribs at the Nugget Rib Cook-Off. He LOVES everything Nevada.

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Meredith Tanzer - LGBTQIA+

Meredith Tanzer has been a community builder for more than 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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Casey Thomas Brown - LGBTQIA+

Casey Thomas Brown is an actor and comedian who has recently starred in the Duplass Brothers film, I'll Show You Mine; Season 11 of American Horror Story: NYC; and the remake of Father of the Bride; in addition to Netflix’s The Kominsky Method and Paramount Plus’ At Midnight.


His stage credits include Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s world premiere of East of Eden and Manhattan Theatre Company’s Tales of Red Vienna.

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Danette Tull - Nevada July

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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