Judges Profiles


All of the judges at [STARTFEST] are current industry professionals ready to help aspiring student filmmakers achieve their goals.

 

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Fred J. Brown

Fred joined the United States Army in January of 2010 and became a Broadcast Journalist. After finishing his Advanced Individual Training (AIT), he was stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany working for the American Forces Network (AFN). Since then, he has produced 30+ stories and 5 commercials while serving in Germany and have hosted both the morning and afternoon radio shows. After getting married to his wife, Elizabeth, he was deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan in December of 2011. While working for AFN Bagram, he has produced 40+ television products ranging from joint patrols with the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, and Coalition Forces to Korean PRT programs.


Joe Bannister

Writer and Director for Coffee Pot Films. Currently stage manage and freelance as a PA and Grip/Electric in Dallas, TX. I have worked on commercials, movies, reality TV, and live television.

 

 

 

 

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Kavan Cardoza

Jr Kc is an Independent Music Video Director specializing in Hip-Hop. He has worked with such artists as Sketchy Waze, Fred Durst (of Limp Bizkit), Hard Target, Nova Rockafeller, Pleasantville Killerz, Silver Medallion, Murphy Lee, along with many others!

 

 

 

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Nina Corrado

As one of Los Angeles’ most promising young female filmmakers Nina has a vast knowledge of independent and studio produced motion pictures and television. Nina’s played part in launching some of Hollywood’s heaviest hitters directorial careers such as Courteney Cox, Demi Moore, and Kate Hudson to name a few. Having produced critically acclaimed independent films, featured in highly respected film festivals across the globe, she is a force to be reckoned with among young filmmakers. After spending the past few years perfecting her craft as a producer, she has stepped out of the realm of producing and is making her directorial debut in Mindfield. Nina is also currently the president of development for Scallie FilmWorks, Inc. which is in the midst of pre-production for a feature film entitled Ding Dong Ditch scheduled to start principle photography in the spring of 2013. She is also a Co-Producer on CBS’ number one hit show The Mentalist.

 

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Evan Curtis

Known for his stop motion animation and short experimental films, Evans films have played at SXSW 2011 and the 2012 People’s Pixel Project.

 

 

 

 

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Mike Cutler

Mike is currently working as an Automotive Photographer and Filmmaker. He graduated film school in 2009 and continues working everyday!

 

 

 

 

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Victor De Leon

Victor specializes in action sport film and photography as well as e-commerce and social media marketing. He’s been using his expertise to help businesses expand their marketing reach with rich SEO media.

 

 

 

 

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Pierre Drummond

Pierre is a freelance editor cinematographer with a bachelors degree in film, an associates in graphic design, with specialty certifications in music business and post (editing). In the past he’s worked at some capacity on: National commercials, reality TV, and feature films. He’s currently contracted by Voli Vodka Co., and (2) music labels to produce, shoot, and/or edit promotional media, music videos, documentaries, etc. for high profile music artists, such as: Pitbull Fergie from the Blackeyed Peas.

 


Adam Douglass

Adam is currently a production sound mixer in Los Angeles California, Adam has worked in the film and television industry since 2006.

 

 

 

 


Linnda Durre’, Ph.D.

Linnda has been admitted to WGA, SAG-AFTRA, and ASCAP. She served on WGA’s Women’s Committee for several years and on a joint Women’s Panel with DGA and SAG. She was a judge for two Best Writing categories for cable TV’s ACE Awards for two years. She is an award winning filmmaker, acting coach, actor, film and TV writer, film reviewer and a celebrity interviewer. She sold a TV series to Aaron Spelling when she was 22, and has written and hosted for Disney.

 

 


Montague Fendt

At TVC’s in China, Monty has been a Director, DP, and 1st AD for Cadillac, Land Rover, The city of Harbin, Budweiser, Li Ning, Porsche, and VW since 2005. He has also been the Writer, 1st AD, Line Producer and Camera Operator on several feature films.

 

 


Robert Fredricks

Robert has been a performing musician, a theater tech for both sound light, a live studio sound engineer, a video editor, a compositor, a motion graphic artist, a camera operator, a focus puller, a director of photography over the last 15 years or so. I guess you could say he’s been around the block a couple times before. Robert is currently a camera operator for the hit TV series CSI Miami.

 

 


Erik Kenehan

Erik is currently working in television in Los Angeles as an Assistant Editor. Past shows include Hell’s Kitchen and The Voice.

 

 

 

 


João Loff

Since 2002, João has directed 8 short films and has been working in all areas of video production since a young age. Recently, his latest short, a mockumentary called “The Unstoppables”, won 8 awards at the 48 hour film project and gave him the opportunity to present it in Hollywood, at Filmapalooza 2013.

 

 

 

 


Ken Lowrie

Ken has been producing video and short film projects since 2000, and is always looking at getting involved with new and innovative projects. His production company, Cloudy Logic, has been making short films since 2004, although their focus nowadays is on producing product promos, video training, commercials, music videos and demo reels, as well as providing marketing support for artists. He enjoys entering insomniac film festivals, and has participated in a number of them, including Filmerica, the Orlando 24 Hour film festival and the Orlando 48 Hour Film Project. In addition, Ken produced the Orlando 48 Hour Film Project in 2010.

 

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Jon Manthei

Jon began working in film as a production assistant in 2005. After gaining experience Jon started to Grip on feature films and Commercials. Then in 2010 he co-founded Campfire Pictures, a independent film company. As of 2013 they have completed 3 short films and are currently in pre-production on their first full length feature.

 

 

 

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Anthony Milton

Anthony co-founded a comedy group called Coffee Pot Films. They currently make comedy shorts on shoe string budgets. For a living, he freelances as a Grip and a Production Assistant. He mostly works on commercials with some episodic television and was a key set P.A. on an indie feature starring Danny Glover. I am also a stage manager at a local studio.

 

 

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James Moore

James Moore is a freelance photographer and a writer. James founded his company J.C. Moore Pictures in 2006 while attending Full Sail University. He focuses on nature and landscape photography, and has multilple feature length screenplays and television pilots in the works.

 

 

 

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Megan Nelson

Born and raised in southwest Florida, Megan received her degree in Film Video Production. Since 2004, she has been working at WINK-TV, a CBS affiliate in Fort Myers, where she is now a Director of their quick paced, evening newscasts. Megan has also continued to work on independent film projects on the side from work, carrying all positions from P.A., to 1st A.D. In her spare time, she continues to write and sell screenplays, and she is currently developing a few of her scripts into a book series.

 

 


Kristin Bella Reeves

Kristin Bella Reeves currently works at ACI Technologies, a scientific research corporation, making short promotional documentaries for the Office of Naval Research ManTech program. Prior to her work with ACI, Kristin founded and ran a video production company specializing in live event promotions for the Electronic Dance Music industry. In her spare time, she enjoys producing videos for non-profit organizations, such as PeaceBoat US, where she can contribute to good causes, flex her creative muscles, and expand her professional network.

 

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Nicholas Ruff

Nick is co-owner of Reflection Pictures, based in Los Angeles. Growing up on a horse farm in Westminster, Maryland granted me a lot of space for adventure and imagination. While in high school, at the age of 17, he directed and produced my first self-financed feature film, “September Destination.” Thus beginning his never-ending passion for cinema and storytelling.

While attending college, he directed his first documentary, “Dust and Mud,” a short film following professional bull rider, BJ Carter. “Dust and Mud” premiered in the Enzian Film Slam and was featured on the T.V. series “Indie Cinema Showcase.” Since then, he’s worked on everything from feature and short films, to music videos, commercials, and documentaries. Some of his most recent work includes editing the feature film “The Sleeping Bear,” which premiered Dec. 2011, in Michigan. You can check out the trailer here. He’s also just completed directing the EPK (Electronic Press Kit) for the feature film “Crush” starring Lucas Till and Crystal Reed, due for a 2012 release. Nick currently resides in Los Angeles and works coast to coast as a freelance filmmaker. He’s always looking to work on exciting new projects.

 

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Tom Ribeiro

Tom is currently the lead camera/editor for a company that he helped co-found called RealCoolTV. He has been working on the business side of video communications as well as the technical side providing our clients with almost anything from the video spectrum.

 

 

 

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Kristin Justin Schaak

Justin and Kristin Schaack have been making films and commercials together since middle school. (Anyone for some Hi-8 in-camera editing?) They both went to film school in Southern California, and stayed in Los Angeles to work in television. In 2006, they moved back to their home state of Minnesota and quickly acquired corporate positions in the media departments of Target Best Buy. However, it’s on the nights and weekends that they have the most fun. In the last five years, they‘ve produced over 10 short films and endless online videos commercials through their production company, Above-the-Line Entertainment. Many people tell them they could never imagine working side-by-side with their spouse, but for Justin and Kristin they could never imagine NOT working side-by-side. From concept to edit, the two collaborate with their amazing casts and crews to produce fun, entertaining, and (mostly) family friendly films.

 

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Richard Schall

Richard Schall is a native New Yorker who produces, directs, and edits all of his work. He is recently won the New York 48 Hour Film Project with his latest film The Last Prank. Richie also produces the video sketches for a monthly show at Carolines on Broadway in Times Square. His family is a big support in creating the magical worlds in all of his films. Richard is also a 1st grade special education teacher in NYC (hence all the puppets).

 

 

 


Ryan Sebastyan

Ryan is a young video editor and motion designer from Canada currently living in Tampa, FL working at a production company.

 

 

 

 


Laila Silva

Laila Silva is a graduate from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in Radio/television and a Minor in Film. Born and Raised in Mexico City she always dreamed of an opportunity of working in the Media industry. When her parents decided to move to the United States she saw it as her chance to make her dreams come true. She joined her High School TV Production program and went on to be chosen as a recipient for the Prestigious Emma Bowen Foundation, for Minority Students Interested in Media. The program provided her with a 5 year internship at Brighthouse Networks in Orlando Florida. Interning in the Advertising Sales department, Laila found her calling and knew she wanted to become a Commercial/Producer for Television commercials. After her 5 year internship was finished she was offered a job as a Media Specialist and later being promoted as a Producer/Editor. She has worked with some of the top clients in Orlando including Attorneys Bogin Munns and Munns, Orlando Kia, Gold’s Gym, Appliance Direct as well as creating many PSA’s for Fiesta Medina, African American Male Summit, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and many more. In her spare time she enjoys editing weddings, fashion blogging and traveling as much as possible


Alex Shields

Alex grew up in Milwaukee and at the age of 19 he decided to move to Orlando, FL to pursue a degree in Film Making. In 2008, he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Film Production. Immediately after graduation he moved to Chicago to pursue his career. Alex has worked in all aspects of the industry to further his knowledge about film making. He has worked as a PA on Reality TV shows, a Sound Mixer and most recently began working as a Grip on features and reality television. He has also been an editor for a sketch comedy troupe as well as for a small web design company.

 


Mahmoud Shoolizadeh

Mahmoud is an Irianian film director and screenwriter. He has been the recipient of several awards, including Best Film for, Noora, at the 49th International Film Festival of Taormina, Italy in June 2003. He received a B.A degree in Film Production (Directing) and an M.A. degree in Cultural Affairs Management.He has been a film director in Iranian television for over 25 years. His major activities include directing documentaries, short films and movies. Beside directing, producing and editing films, he also undertakes writing scripts and researching his films. Shoolizadeh has played the leading roles in movies such as The Lover of Koochak and The Puppet Bride. Shoolizadeh was part of the directing team for the movie Anjelika Ship; and has written several movie scenarios including Poet of Life and Love (2009), My Homeland (2008), Forgotten (2007), The Migration of Love (2004), and Noora (2001).

 

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Katharine Steele

Kat found her passion for film on her first project, as crew on an indie feature film in 1997 shot in Lexington, Kentucky. In addition to working in new media consulting, specifically in web development/design and social media domains, she’s produced indie short projects, is the Cincinnati City Producer for the 48 Hour Film Project, and is the Executive Director of the Cincinnati Film Festival, an international independent fest coming into its fourth year. Kat works extensively in the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana tri-state region, promoting the craft of filmmaking and the artisans of the regional filmmaking community.

 

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Thorin Thompson

Thorin is the owner of Nosfilmatu Productions, an indie production company. He Produced/Directed a feature film called ‘Portrait for Hell.’ He is currently working with actor James Hong on a ‘web-series’ I’ll be co-producing.

 

 

 

 

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Terilynn Troxell

After graduating from college, Terilynn made a short move back to her home state of Michigan. There she was the Production Manager for a few independent short films. Most of which were in the horror genre. In 2010, she moved to Los Angeles and worked as a Production Coordinator for reality television. In 2011 she started her career in the commercial industry as the Head of Production for Looking Glass Films. Recently she has started producing with LGF and her first PSA for the NKLA campaign went viral on April 16th 2012.

 

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Franklin Whitlatch

Franklin Whitlatch hails from Seattle, Washington and spent his younger years acquiring different skills that would help him grow into who he is today. He has worked in a variety of industries ranging from construction to silk-screening shirts to crab fishing in Alaska. Regardless of the diversity of his professional background, he has always been working to improve his work ethic and to be better and more efficient at every job he does. He takes the time to ensure that his clients always get the best out of any project that he takes on, no matter what he is hired to do. Franklin is primarily a videographer with an ever-growing knowledge of and passion for all aspects of film production. He is experienced in multiple areas from being a Director of Photography, camera operator, jib operator, audio operator, grip/lighting technician, post-production, and many more. If problems arise, he solves them. It is always his objective to work as efficiently as possible and exceed the client’s expectations, paying close attention to detail yet working quickly to finish the task at hand. He has worked in a wide range of environments from single person ENG shoots to vast studio production shoots. He is a problem solver and uses his creativity and practicality to find effective ways to overcome any obstacles that may come about prior, during, or after a production.

 

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Leonard Wilkes

Leonard got bit by the entertainment industry bug when he was eight years old, and never looked back. He made movies in his spare time from grade school to high school, throughout film school and grad school for his Masters in Entertainment Business (working beyond school assignments on projects outside of class). Leonard jumped straight onto a film set in Chicago after school. He absolutely loves what he does and can’t get enough of it!

 

 

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Enrique Zarate

Enrique began studying multimedia graphics back in 2000 but by 2004 he began stretching his abilities over to the big screen. Starting off working with ENG DVCAM cameras and on-site patch boards, he got his first real look and feel with editing non-linear on an AVID NT. After a couple of years working for HotSpot Footage Productions he left the Texas area in 2007 and moved across the country to Florida to continue his education in the arts. Only two months passed until he was hired by punkrockvids.com to be one of their camera operators in the Orlando leg for shooting BIG live concerts that toured through the area. Enrique worked with a number of bands including: Against Me, Tilly and the Wall, Man’s Man, Jet Lag Gemini, Cut///Copy, Neon Indian, Big D and the Kids Table, George Strait and many more. On top of his quick success, CineVeliz Inc. in San Antonio, Texas called and hired him on as Script Supervisor on their 2008 feature film, “The Boys of Ghost Town” in San Antonio, Texas. In December 2008, Enrique co-directed his first 16mm film, “Trial and Error” that was filmed on the Full Sail Studios sound stages in Orlando Florida. It was there where his abilities began to grow. While in Orlando, Enrique established a strong base with the local film makers and began working with them on many outside projects – (“Into the Forest,” “The Ghost of St. Martin’s” and “Zellwood” all filmed in 2009 to name a few.) Upon graduating film school, Enrique already had 3 feature films under his belt. Graduating with an Instructors Award for lighting for film and video, Enrique was well on his way into the world of film making. Knowing he wanted to explore the art of live music, Enrique set off to Austin, Texas to explore the Live Music Capital of the World.

Once moving back to Texas, Enrique started up his own company and worked with local talent in the music industry. Specializing in music videos, live concerts, band press kits and commercials, he found himself making a mark in the Live Music Capital of the World! In 2010 Enrique was hired out by A-Town Productions to work as their Concept Director, Producer and 1st AD on the MTV viewed music video “Felt Right” by Big Sid feat. Bryan Angel from Day26.

 

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Jonathan Zuck

Award winning photographer, filmmaker and digital artist, with studios in DC and Brussels, Jonathan’s work has appeared in local and national ad campaigns, festivals, exhibitions and in homes and businesses around the world. Jonathan’s editorial work, has appeared in multiple publications including the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, On Tap and several websites.

 

 

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