48 International Industry Professionals as Judges for 2020!
(listed in alphabetical order)

 

JASON ANDREOTTA (ENVIRONMENTAL PSA) 
Jason is the District Director of the Southeast District of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Prior to being promoted to District Director, he served as the Southeast District’s Assistant Director for three years, and was responsible for overseeing the Compliance Assurance Program, which includes compliance and enforcement activities for the air, waste, and water programs; and oversight of Emergency Response for pollution threats.  
Jason started with the Department in 2003 and also previously served as Program Administrator for the Environmental Resource Permitting Program, responsible for all permitting, compliance and enforcement. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Earth & Environmental Science from Lehigh University.

 

 

JACK BACKHUS (HIGH SCHOOL FEATURE/SHORT)

Jack has worked for more than a decade in television. He is an award-winning producer, director, editor and EMMY Award winning audio engineer. Since graduating from Full Sail University, he has worked on more than 500 Productions for major networks such as Fox News, NBC, CNN and ESPN. After several years of working for both The Education Network and PBS for the Palm Beaches, Jack moved to Nashville and started Brockzilla Productions where he works on video productions for Music City Eats, The Animal Planet, Coach Micheal Burt and other clients. Jack and his wife Cara are also the owners of Breathe Easy Salt Rooms in TN. www.breathesalt.com

JOYCE BELLOISE (EDUCATION PSA)
Joyce is the Vice President of Content & Community Partnerships at South Florida PBS. A third generation South Floridian, Joyce has written and produced content for public television for over 20 years. From local public affairs discussions to magazine shows, from wildlife programs to a travel series and internationally distributed documentaries, she enjoys exploring our state's unique culture, ecosystem, and attractions. For ten years, she also produced one of WPBT's signature series - Check, Please! South Florida, and just recently, she completed a new one-hour documentary, Taste the Florida Keys with Chef Michelle Bernstein.  Joyce oversees a team of producers, videographers, editors, and interactive staff at South Florida PBS who are as passionate as she is about telling the diverse stories of our community.  She has earned eight regional Emmy Awards and recently served two terms on the Board of the Suncoast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

MICHAEL BIDINGER* (ANIMATION)

Michael is Minnesota native and graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota. He is well known for his film Jinxy Jenkins and Lucky Lou (Co-Directed with Michelle Kwon) which has earned international acclaim and won numerous awards around the globe, including The Palm Beaches Student Showcase of Films. Michael is currently working as an animator at Pixar Animation studios in California.

 

*Michael is a Student Showcase of Films award winner, receiving the Animation Award in 2015 as a student at Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, Fl.

RIC BLACKWELL (EDUCATION PSA)
Ric is an anchor/reporter for the Palm Beach County School District’s Education Network. He co-hosts Spotlight on Education which airs Saturdays at 9:30 am on WXEL-TV (PBS for the Palm Beaches). His topical education stories also air every week on CBS 12. Ric and his wife Meredith have four children Taylor, Owen, Charlie and Drew. 

 

HAL CANTOR (SCREENWRITING)
Hall writes for television, film, and theatre. Sony Pictures Television optioned his comedy, To Hal & Back. He wrote on Fusion channel's acclaimed special, The Naked Truth: Dirty Little Secrets, which broke The Panama Papers story. Prior to that, his drama pilot, Mouthpiece, was bought by Fox Television Studios. He wrote The Lake Effect, a one-hour drama pilot for Showtime, developed with Emmy-winning director Scott Winant. He also sold the pilot Twilight to Sony Pictures Television. As a playwright, his produced plays include Cubicles, which he directed for Alliance Repertory Theater in Los Angeles, where it garnered seven Valley Theater League nominations including Best Play, Best Writing and Best Director. Hal 
holds an MA in Dramatic Writing from NYU, and has taught at New York Film Academy, London Film School, Met Film School: Berlin & London, Raindance: Berlin, The Academy of Visual & Performing Arts (LA), AFilm International (Barcelona) and the Northwest Film Center.

 

 

JAY CASHMERE (EDUCATION PSA)
Jay has been in South Florida for well over a decade working for WPTV as a reporter and anchor. He won multiple Associated Press awards along with several nominations for Emmy awards. He was one of the first reporters to hit the ground in Haiti after the disastrous earthquake of 2010 and was on the beaches of the Florida panhandle following the devastating Gulf oil spill. Jay covered the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005 which battered South Florida and the most personal story of his career in 2005 when he went home to help his family during Hurricane Katrina.

 

MICHAEL CHASIN* (SCREENWRITING)
Michael is a South Florida screenwriter and award winning filmmaker with experience ranging from writing, directing, editing, and producing to screenplay consulting. He has also been a film festival founder and Best Screenplay competition judge. Michael’s passion for film has also returned him to the classroom where he has led classes on screenwriting and film finance, marketing, and distribution. In addition to being a film school graduate, Michael holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. In his spare time, Michael reads widely, severely neglects his lawn (but his neighbors still love him), and exercises just enough to delude himself that he is still in black belt shape.

*Michael is the SPONSOR of the Nellie & Fred Chasin Screenwriting Award

 

SEAN COOLEY (ENVIRONMENTAL PSA)
Sean leads the Office of Communications and Public Engagement at the South Florida Water Management District. In his role as Director of Communications, Sean is responsible for connecting people to the District’s important restoration, flood protection and water supply work. He has worked in various communications leadership roles in the non-governmental and public sectors and was previously the Florida Communications Director for a national conservation organization. He has both undergraduate and graduate degrees in communications from Florida State University and also holds graduate certifications in public administration and project management. When not in the office, Sean enjoys birding and spending time exploring America’s Everglades.

 

 

JOHN C. CUMMINGS (COLLEGE FEATURE/SHORT)
John is a sought after showrunner for TV and producer in cinema production. He continues to share his knowledge with over 40 years of experience. John is highly accredited as an award winning producer, director, and equipment specialist developing and supporting several feature films, made-for-TV movies and TV series. Under his management, The Motion Picture Company incorporated in 1985, owns and/or co-owns 23 film and TV projects representing a quarterbillion dollars in potential revenues. John continues to consult broadcast entities, production companies overseeing production development and project management. Currently, development is underway for his www.MyTVLand.com, slated to launch worldwide in late 2020. John also holds a patent on the innovated camera lens shield designed to keep water, sand and other particulates off a camera lens named “Dri-I”, which will be introduced at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas.

JAMES CURRIE (ENVIROMENTAL PSA)
A life-long wildlife enthusiast and native of South Africa, James is one of the most recognizable faces in wildlife in North America. James hosts and produces the popular birding TV show, Nikon’s Birding Adventures, airing on Discovery Channel’s Destination America. He also hosted the popular action-birding show Aerial Assassins on National Geographic WILD, and appeared as himself in the reality birding show, Twitchers, that aired on the Nat Geo Channel. He has led professional wildlife and birding tours for over 15 years and his passion for birding, adventure and remote cultures has taken him to nearly every corner of the globe. James consulted for and provided footage for the Hollywood birding feature film, The Big Year, starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. James is an expert in the fields of sustainable development and environmental anagement, holding a Masters in Sustainable Environmental Management.

RON DAVIS (DOCUMENTARY)
Ron founded Docutainment Films, a Florida based documentary production company. He directed and produced the critical and box-office hit
Harry and Snowman, which tells the remarkable story of Dutch immigrant Harry deLeyer and the horse he bought off of a slaughter truck bound for the glue factory. His HBO Documentary, Miss You Can Do It, chronicled Abbey Curran, the first woman with a disability to compete at the Miss USA Pageant, and eight girls with various disabilities as they participate in the 2008 Miss You Can Do It Pageant. Ron co-directed and co-produced Pageant, a feature documentary following the lives of five female impersonators as they vie for the crown at the 34th annual Miss Gay America Pageant. This critically acclaimed film premiered on The Sundance Channel. In 2018, FilmRise released Ron’s Life In The Doghouse, about a home rescue responsible for saving over 10,000 dogs.

CEDRICK DAWSON (ANIMATION)
Cedrick’s passion is to inspire a younger generation of artists to be the future story-tellers and leaders in the field of traditional and digital arts. He received his masters in computer animation and special fx in 2006 from Digital Media Arts College. Cedrick a former teacher at G-Star School of the Arts, taught digital arts to high-schoolers for 8 years now seeks to share his passion locally and globally. He created Dawson Digital Art School a head start program that provides students with the tools they need to develop their skills and to make a career out of what they love.

 

 

FRANK EBERLING (BURT REYNOLDS SCHOLARSHIP)
Originally from New City, New York, Frank moved to Florida upon high school graduation in 1964. Since then he has taught on the high school and college levels for over twenty years. For almost forty years he traveled the state of Florida for several television stations and Florida PBS, writing, producing, directing, and filming 3,000 documentaries and television segments about the Florida environment, history, literature, and the arts. He wrote and directed two feature films in Palm Beach County, Deadly Surrender (aka Sweet Surrender), and Turkles. Along the way he has won an Emmy(R), numerous journalism, writing, and film festival awards, and written several novels and thirty screenplays.

 

 

LOURDES FERRIS* (ENVIRONMENTAL PSA)
For almost 20 years, Lourdes has been the Executive Director of Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, Inc., a non-profit, volunteer-based organization serving as Palm Beach County’s affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and Keep Florida Beautiful. Lourdes holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration and spent over 26 years in the education and public sector with such organizations as the Palm Beach and Broward County School Districts, Palm Beach State and San-Lee Community Colleges, and County and Municipal Government.

*Lourdes and Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, Inc. are the SPONSOR of the Environmental PSA Award

 

 

DAMIAN FITZSIMMONS (MUSIC VIDEO)
Damian has over twenty-five years of filmmaking experience.  H
is screenplay, The Holy Land, was developed with Ruby Films and the UK Film Council. Damian has had several commissions from the BBC, including two for its acclaimed Afternoon Plays Series, Viva Las Blackpool and The Singing Cactus both won awards.  He is the Creative Director of Brave Man Media – a boutique production company with offices in Delray Beach, Miami, and Los Angeles. Along with Brave Man Media, Damian has produced and directed films for world renowned artist and designer, Michael Singer, for painter Trevor Young and for Florida’s own Ruben Ubiera. He has directed numerous commercials with Brave Man Media. Damian and Brave Man Media directed and produced the feature film, Over Easy, shot entirely in South Florida.

JESSE FRIEDMAN (MUSIC VIDEO)
Jesse is a television editor who currently resides in Los Angeles. He graduated from A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in 1997 and worked at the Palm Beach County Film & Television Commission as an intern the following year. Since arriving in Los Angeles, Jesse has edited over 100 episodes of television on more than 25 television series. The most notable shows include Paranormal State and Barter Kings for A&E, as well as Hunting Hitler for History Channel.

SCOTT GLINSKI (POSTER DESIGN)
Scott is a native of Michigan and is the Marketing & Communications Manager for the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, overseeing marketing and advertising in national publications, in-house design and website content. Scott has been involved with events such as the USA Baseball National Team
Championships, The Honda Classic, Delray Beach Open
, and the Super Bowl

ELLEN JACOBY (COMMERCIAL PSA)
As Founder and President of Ellen Jacoby Casting International, a casting office with separate film, television, commercial and Hispanic divisions, Ellen has employed over 300,000 Florida actors, dancers, performers over the years. There isn’t a movie-goer around the world whose image of South Beach isn’t the bikini-clad women, roller skaters and pretty people of The Birdcage or the zany-ness of Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura or the unusual charisma of There’s Something About Mary or the vision of a space shuttle launch in Contact at Cape Canaveral or Harrier jets taking off from the 7 mile bridge in the Keys in True Lies. And all of these were Ellen Jacoby-cast feature films. Ellen has worked with the who’s who of Hollywood directors, including: Steven Soderbergh, Joel Schumacher, Sidney Pollack, The Farrelly Bros., Bob Zemekis, Ron Howard, Mike Nicols, Michael Bay, Randa Haines, Tom Shadyac, Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton, Garry Marshall, John Landis, James Cameron, Joe Roth, Mira Nair and Tony Scott.

CODY JOHNS (COLLEGE FEATURE/SHORT)
Cody is an actor, recording artist, and digital content creator from South Florida. He found success as not only a social media personality, but also a pioneer in digital-based Journalism and Marketing. With viral internet success in 2013, Cody was also instrumental in the creation of Niche, a startup that would eventually be acquired by Twitter. He has worked on a variety of projects in the theatrical space, including Hulu’s original Dimension 404, an adrenaline-fueled spinoff of the popular Hey USA, YouTube Red Original Alexander IRL, Maker Studios Summer Forever, and independent feature FML. Cody also acted as the host for Fox Digital’s original series Laughs and recently started delving into the music space with the recent release of singles likes There You Are, Trust Me, and Tropical Romance. Cody has created sponsored content for many brands, including the Cannes Lions Festival in France.

MICHAEL JORDAN (COMMERCIAL PSA)
Michael has worked in the industry over the past 19 years, contributing greatly to the overall success of the acclaimed series Forensic Files. Having directed over 275 episodes, he pushed creative boundaries by incorporating high-energy action and stunt sequences into the show, helping keep Forensic Files the continued leader of the true crime genre. His experience in coordinating the action of moving vehicles helped him develop into a successful Director/DP of car commercials and stunt driving sequences for film and TVHe trained with Filmotechnic’s Sci-Tech Academy Award Winning RUSSIAN ARM SYSTEM - a gyro-stabilized mobile camera crane and remote camera head, which rides atop a high-speed camera car. Michael is one of the top operators in the world, his work having taken him all over the US and Europe, shooting feature films, television shows and national commercials. His credits include Stranger Things, Bloodline, The Walking Dead, We’re the Millers, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: End Game.

JACQUELINE JOURNEY (COLLEGE FEATURE/SHORT)
Jacqueline is the President & Founder of Journey Entertainment, as well as a former COO of Carolco Pictures, Inc and VP/Executive Producer of M*E Television. She was also the Writer/Director and star of the award-winning crime thriller Hidden Assets. In addition to appearing on Friday Night Lights and several independent film projects, Jacqueline has produced, directed and hosted hundreds of hours of entertainment programming and news shows. She has interviewed scores of celebrities and hired & trained on air talent for three entertainment networks. Jacqueline is also the author of the upcoming non-fiction book titled The Diva’s in the Details…The Celebrity & CEO inspired guide to Confidence, Courage & Style.

 

 

ELAYNE "E.K." KERATSIS (BURT REYNOLDS SCHOLARSHIP)
E.K. is a film and television producer of shows such as USA Network’s hit TV show Burn Notice and most recently two 2019 Miami Film Festival independent film picks:Vandal and Huracán. Currently residing in Miami, she is a former Massachusetts resident who has been around the world with film crews and on the road directing powerboat racing and professional wrestling. Co-author of the New England true crime bestseller Citizen Somerville, she is a lifelong scribe who took her inspiration for writing and love of words from the eclectic combination of childhood favorite Harriet The Spy and the adult provocateur Charles Bukowski. She was a good friend of Burt Reynolds for three decades. E.K. lives in the darkness on the edge of town.

 

 

LOUIS LEVISION (HIGH SCHOOL FEATURE/SHORT)
Louise is a highly respected financial consultant in the entertainment industry for 30 years specializing in the creation of film business plans. Her clients have raised money for low-budget films such as The Blair Witch Project, the most profitable independent film in history, and for companies raising money slates of films. She is the author of Filmmakers & Financing: Business Plans for Independents (Routledge/Taylor & Francis). The book is the inspiration for the feature documentary Movie Money CONFIDENTIAL in which Levison is interviewed  and for which she was the technical advisor. Her corporate clients have included Danny Glover’s Louverture Films (2008 nominee for Best Documentary Academy Award Trouble the Water), The Pamplin Film Company (Hoover), Hurricane Film Partners, LLC, Gundersen Entertainment and Tokuma International Ltd. (Shall We Dance, Princess Mononoke). 

 

JOHN LOGAN PIERSON* (SCREENWRITING)
John has spent several years running features for Film 44. He is an Executive Producer on the Netflix comedy Wonderland (starring Winston Duke, Alan Arkin, Mark Wahlberg, and Iliza Shlesinger) and a co-executive producer on USA Network series Dare Me, now in post for a 2020 premiere. In earlier work for Film 44, he was an Executive Producer on Patriot’s Day, Mile 22 and American JihadJohn was also a production executive for The Weinstein Company and an assistant to producer Scott Rudin. He started out in the industry producing new media and commercial content for brands ranging from Adidas to the Emmy Awards under a production company he co-founded while still in school at NYU. John produced the forthcoming Los Ultimos Friquis - a feature documentary about a legendary Cuban rock band - and The Last of the Great Romantics - a comedy starring Kumail Nanjiani and Ben Rameaka.

 

*John is a Student Showcase of Films award winner, receiving the Burt Reynolds Scholarship in 2006 as a student as St. Andrews School in Boca Raton.

 

NEIL LONDON (COMMERCIAL PSA)
Neil has over 40 years of experience in creative media production and communications marketing. He's been a pioneer in the areas of electronic media, corporate communications entertainment, and event marketing. He is the Managing Director for Internet Channel TV 1 - the first video channel on the Internet, now celebrating 18 years promoting music, art, fashion and lifestyle from Florida, New York and Montreal. Neil is also the President and Executive Producer for Supercar Week, Inc, a premier 9-day series of auto enthusiast events held throughout Palm Beach County.

DEAN LYON (ANIMATION)
Dean has spent more than 25 years collaborating with cutting-edge directors, studios, production and post-production facilities and technology developers throughout the world. He is passionate about transforming visual storytelling through technology. Dean’s career has included roles as producer, director, visual effects supervisor and CEO, leading innovative work such as pioneering computer graphics (CGI) for film and television, serving at Boss Film Studio, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), Computer Film Company (CFC) da Vinci Systems and creating several start-up ventures. In 2000, Dean journeyed to New Zealand and for five years led the start-up of Oktobor, which made international news with its contribution to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Lyon received credits on all three films as a visual effects supervisor, and he was elected to the Visual Effects Society (VES) in Hollywood in 2004 in recognition of this and his VFX supervisor roles on Without a Paddle, Spooked and Bogeyman.

ADRIENNE MAZZONE (POSTER DESIGN)
Adrienne is the President of TransMedia Group a full service public relations firm specializing in entertainment. Her career in PR started at the age of 16 with her first PR hit, Cindy Lauper sitting on Rick Derringer’s lap in the famous RockBill Magazine, while assisting in promoting all on air personalities for NY’s #1 Rock Radio station 102.7 WNEW-FM. Adrienne’s experience quickly grew and expanded into the model and talent booking as well as casting for close to 60 independent films including starring roles, location and grip. She utilized her extensive PR/Marketing skills, contacts and background to become an agent for her own two children, Sirena and Jake (now Jake Mazzone Photography) which then landed them onto sets for various episodes in The Sopranos, Law & Order and other productions that took awards at various film festivals. Adrienne is the Director of Talent at TVTagency.com and a producer for the reality show Makeover Medicine starring Jackie Beard Robinson
.

 

OMAR MCCLINTON (ANIMATION)
Omar is a producer and head of production for animation studio Echo Bridge Pictures, based in St. Petersburg Florida. At 25 years old Omar produced and directed his first independently funded film by working three jobs. He moved to Los Angeles and began working his way up through the entertainment industry. Starting in the mailroom of Universal Studios, Omar made the acquaintance of many well established writers, producers and directors. He quickly ascended from production assistant to visual effects coordinator on a variety of popular television shows and feature films. This experience afforded him the opportunity to join Saban Entertainment/Fox Kids Network as a CGI Production Manager guiding projects for their successful Fox Kids lineup. Omar reached the pinnacle of his Visual Effects career when he and several former coworkers launched their own Visual Effects company in the fall of 2000. Since then Omar has moved on to working on film, television and internet broadcasts for Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Sony, 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios, Disney and The CW.

 

ANDY MCENTIRE (COLLEGE FEATURE/SHORT)
Andy is a filmmaker and director at Indie Atlantic Films, a company he founded in West Palm Beach, Florida in 2006 and now based in Lakeland, Florida. He started his career documenting travels all over the world as well as giving back to nonprofits through storytelling and filmmaking. He continues to direct commercials for national brands and segments for TV, and pursues narrative and documentary work with his friends and family. He's an Executive Producer for the feature documentary, Fly Like a Girl, a film created by his sister, Katie Wiatt. As well, he was a Director on the short drama, Shed, that was an official selection at the Nashville Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival and more. Andy's passion for filmmaking comes from a love for bringing awareness to social issues and for helping others dream big.

LAWNETTE MUNDY (COMMERCIAL PSA)
Lawnette is an award winning TV Preditor (Producer/Editor) with 10+ years of experience in the media industry. Originally from Philadelphia but raised in sunny South Florida, her love for production stems from attending arts schools right here in Palm Beach County. A Communications major, Lawnette attended BAK Middle School of the Arts, A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, and the University of Central Florida for her Bachelors and Masters degrees. After graduation, Lawnette joined Olympusat, Inc. and has served several integral roles throughout the years. She is currently producing & editing for Olympusat Entertainment. Their work advertising the beautiful Palm Beaches has earned them 16 (and counting) prestigious awards. The ability to create a compelling piece by taking a project from conception through post production is Lawnette's dream come true.

MARY MURRAY (POSTER DESIGN)
Mary is the executive editor at Palm Beach Media Group, where she works on Palm Beach Illustrated and Naples Illustrated magazines, as well as the company’s newest title, Fort Lauderdale Illustrated. She holds an English/Creative Writing degree from Florida State University and a Master’s in Arts Journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She has also worked at Town & Country magazine and as a contributing reporter at the Charleston Post & Courier, covering the Spoleto Arts Festival. She frequently writes personality profiles and travel articles for PBMG and also covers the arts for Palm Beach Illustrated, including managing an arts blog at palmbeachillustrated.com.

SUZANNE NIEDLAND* (BURT REYNOLDS SCHOLARSHIP/DOCUMENTARY)
Suzanne is the Managing Director of BusEye Films, LLC, based in Jupiter, Florida. In addition to serving as a Director for the Palm Beach County Film and Television Commission, she also serves on the Board for The Cultural Council. She is the Co-Chair of the Kennedy Center International Committee of Arts; a member of the National Committee for the Performing Arts at the Kennedy Center; and an Advisory Committee Member for The DeVos Institute for Arts Management. Suzanne is a current appointee, by Governor Rick Scott, to the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council (FFEAC), which serves as an advisory body to the Department of Economic Opportunity for insight and expertise related to the entertainment industry in Florida.  She is involved in developing and producing feature narratives, documentaries and theatre productions, including the revival of Children of a Lesser God which premiered on Broadway in 2018. Besides her passion and support for the arts, Suzanne devotes time to creating awareness for Breast Cancer and founded the Margaret W. Niedland Breast Center at Jupiter Medical Center. She is also a member of Go Red for Women of the American Heart Association and the Tiffany Circle of the American Red Cross.

*Suzanne is the SPONSOR of the Suzanne L. Niedland Documentary Award

MICHAEL ORLAND (MUSIC VIDEO)
Micheal was a part of the mega-hit TV show American Idol  for 16 seasons as the Pianist, Arranger, Vocal Coach and Associate Musical Director both on FOX and ABC. In between were stints as Music Director/vocal coach on Little Big Shots and Forever Young both hosted by Steve Harvey. Michael has appeared on Oprah, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and on The Ellen Show.  He accompanied the top 3 American Idol contestants to New York for appearances on Live With Kelly & Regis, CBS Early Show and concerts on the plaza for The Today Show. He has collaborated with music industry giants such as Burt Bacharach, Neil Sedaka, Diane Warren, Elton John, Dolly Parton, Harry Connick Jr, Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban. He also served as a pianist/coach for the NBC summer series America's Got Talent and a few seasons of American Juniors. He helped produce two hit singles (God Bless the USA and What the World Needs Now is Love) for American Idol, as well as the hit compilation CD from American Juniors. Michael recentled served as Associate Musical Director on the exciting NBC production of Hairspray Live starring Maddie Baillio, Harvey Feinstein, Ariana Grande, Garrett Clayton, Jennifer Hudson, Dove Cameron and Kristin Chenoweth. He is now at work on the Netflix movie version of the hit Broadway show The Prom , and is proud to have been a vocal producer on the newly released Kristin Chenoweth album For the Girls on Concord Records.

MICHELLE "M.J." PUTNIK (SCREENWRITING)
M. J. is a playwright (Viva Las Vegas and The Killer B’s), screenwriter and published novelist (Dobin and Fish Wish). She is currently writing a supernatural television series and directing and producing an original play, In the Sauce.  M.J. is also the creator of PoeArtry, WriteOn! and Screenwriting 101.

GREGORY SCOTT RATNER (HIGH SCHOOL FEATURE/SHORT)
Gregory is a producer, director, and photographer with over 20 years’ experience as director and editor of the lifestyle show Palm Beach Now. He is also the leading acclaimed photographer for Ratner Images and the online social platform Palm Beach Live Magazine. His work for Cars & Coffee Palm Beach, Supercar Week, International Polo Club, as well as popular events, venues, and celebrities from all over the country have earned him spots in publications worldwide. For the last 30 years, his busy schedule has also included the title of Director of Manufacturing for Rentar Environmental Solutions, Inc. Somehow, he still finds time to share his master photography, promotions, and special events with the world via social media, in print, and in film. His talents earned him a spot judging the next Brentwood & Pacific Palisades International Film Festival and Brentwood & Pacific Palisades International Mini Movie Film Festivals this May in Los Angeles, California and again this November in South Florida.

 

HAL ROSENFELD (MUSIC VIDEO)
Hal is a percussionist, composer, arranger, and orchestrator whose work can be heard in over 50 films, television shows, and video games. Born in South Florida, Hal got his start working for noted composer-arranger Gordon Goodwin, and under the mentorship of legendary orchestrator Ladd McIntosh and percussionist Bernie Dresel. He received his degree in Media Composition from CSU Northridge after studying orchestral and jazz percussion at Florida State University, and has gone on to apply his talents to projects for such luminaries as Elton John, Glen Ballard, Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Joseph Trapanese, Nathan Johnson, Rob Simonsen, Clipping, Daveed Diggs, Watsky, Engelbert Humperdinck, and Academy Award-winner Justin Hurwitz. As both a drummer and percussionist, Hal can be heard on projects including The Greatest Showman, The Hate U Give, Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events, ABC's The Mayor, and the Robert De Niro/Zac Efron film Dirty Grandpa. As a composer, arranger and orchestrator, he has contributed to Robin Hood, Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G., Quantico, Need for Speed Payback, and China's highest grossing film of all-time Wolf Warrior 2. Hal is the house band drummer for the Daytime Emmy Awards and lives in Los Angeles.

GREGORY ROSS (POSTER DESIGN)
Gregory's career as a photojournalist during the past 30 years has provided him with a wealth of experience within the photographic disciplines on a national and international level. His education began with Mr. Tom Hubbard, retired director of Time Life Photo Laboratories, New York, NY and Mr. George Summers photographer for United Press International. Gregory’s travel editorial work fulfills his heart passion for documenting and telling the visual stories of real life - people, issues, and unique places around the world. He has exhibited fine art and editorial photography in gallery exhibitions aligned with awareness for the preservation of world wide cultural sustainability and the environment.

KAYLA SCHWENK (DOCUMENTARY)
Kayla is the Executive Director of the Palm Beach County American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease. She leads a team of staff and volunteers who are committed to the organization’s mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. Heart disease is the number one health crisis Americans face and the nation’s leading cause of death. Kayla's team is responsible for educating the Palm Beach County community on how to eat better, stay active, recognize warning signs for heart attacks and strokes, save lives through Hands-Only CPR training, and advocate for healthier communities and workplaces. Prior to her work as Executive Director, Kayla was the Director of the Heart Walk campaign.  In this role, she worked closely with local corporations and individuals to raise funds for the lifesaving mission of the American Heart Association. Kayla earned a bachelor’s degree from University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she played Division I tennis. Currently, she resides in Delray Beach, Florida, with her husband Sebastian and two dogs, Macie and Ellie.

 

KELSEY SCOTT* (COLLEGE FEATURE/SHORT)
Two-time Emmy-nominated actress and screenwriter, Kelsey began her career in the theatre scene of her hometown of Atlanta. Best known for her role as Anne Northup in the Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave and her two-season arc as Wes Gibbins’ mother, Rose, on How to Get Away With Murder, her credits also include: Insecure, NCIS, Grey's Anatomy, True Detective, and Army Wives.
Kelsey is a 2019 Daytime Emmy nominee for her Guest Star role on Giants. And in 2017, she received a Primetime Emmy Nomination for her leading role on Fear the Walking Dead: Passage. On stage, Kelsey originated the role of Ann Madison in Pearl Cleage's political romance, What I Learned in Paris. Additional stage credits showcase her work as a vocalist - with productions like Once On This Island, Little Shop of Horrors, The Wiz and a touring company of Dreamgirls. She penned the Sony Pictures thrillers Motives and Motives 2: Retribution. Additionally,
Kelsey is a Celebrity Ambassador for Kids in the Spotlight, an organization that enlists professional filmmakers to train foster care youth to create, write, cast and star in their own short films.

*Kelsey is a Student Showcase of Films award winner receiving the College Feature/Short award in 2000 as a student at Florida State University.

 

KEVIN SHARPLEY (EDUCATION PSA)
Kevin is the president and CEO of Kijik Multimedia Inc. a full service production company with specialties in integrated, branded and convergent media and development. He is also Executive Director of CineVisun TransMedia a non-profit organization that supports the independent film, media and entertainment industry. His range of work includes films, television, documentary, commercial, music video, multi-media and event video production. In addition, he is an actor and well respected artist, having shown and performed his work in many exhibitions and shows throughout South Florida. Kevin serves as the Chairman of the Miami Dade County Film and Entertainment Advisory Board apponted by Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss, as well as the Chairman of the Committee for Community Building for the board. Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami with a dual major in motion pictures and psychology in addition to an Associates of Arts degree from Miami Dade College, and inducted into the Miami Dade College Alumni Hall of Fame in 2014.

 

BENJI STUDT (ENVIRONMENTAL PSA) 

Benji has been with the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management (ERM) since 2006. He is an Environmental Program Supervisor in ERM's Outreach Section with experience on wetland mitigation administration and designing, permitting and managing restoration projects on County natural areas. He also assists with biological monitoring and prescribed fire activities. In 2013, Benji launched an outreach program leading photography workshops for students which strives to raise awareness among the younger generation about the County’s natural areas, their native habitats, the wildlife that uses them, and the countless photographic and recreational opportunities that they provide. That program has now evolved into the Adventure Awaits series, a seasonal series of free guided events that introduce participants to our Natural Areas in many different ways. Benji is a passionate conservationist and nature photographer, aspiring to inspire others to connect with the outdoors. He received his BS in Environmental Science from the University of Florida.

 

MICHAEL VAN LAANEN (DOCUMENTARY) 
Michael is President of MVL Films, LLC. An award winning filmmaker with a MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking from MSU-Bozeman, he has written, directed and produced numerous documentaries about our natural world ranging from the Yellowstone bison conflict to the emotionally charged debate over embryonic stem cell research. Michael also works on documentary films, independent feature films and commercial projects as a freelance cinematographer, producer and director. Prior to filmmaking, Michael was an entrepreneur, business owner and inventor. He co-founded Zaras Industries, Inc., a recognition, award and gift manufacturing company. Michael also founded CIM, Inc. Focusing on precision component parts for OEM manufacturers and architectural firms, Michael was the first to bring contract abrasive water jet cutting to the Midwest and was a featured speaker and guest at FABCO conferences. CIM, Inc. grew to become a nationally renowned manufacturer whose client list included NASA, George Lucas and numerous aerospace manufacturers.

VANILLA ICE* (MUSIC VIDEO)
Vanilla Ice parlayed his love of poetry into music had a number one hit (Ice, Ice Baby) at a very young age. His career has expanded to include writing and acting with over 30 titles on IMDb, including the Adam Sandler comedies
That's My Boy and The Ridiculous Six. He has a documentary in the works in partnership with Quite Frankly Productions, International Media Services and Kvibe Productions. Vanilla Ice has had his biggest mainstream resurgence, hosting the series The Vanilla Ice Project for nine seasons on the DIY Network, and recording a debut single with Jedward, Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby), a mash-up of the two songs. At the 2011 Gathering of the Juggalos, it was announced that Vanilla Ice had signed to Psychopathic Records. His passion to inspire the next generation is evident in his longtime support of The Palm Beaches Student Showcase of Films.

*To honor his contributions to the SSOF, it was with great pride that we recognized him in 2018 by renaming the music video award The Vanilla Ice Music Video Award.

AARON WELLS (BURT REYNOLDS SCHOLARSHIP)
An award winning veteran of the film, television, and video industries, Aaron is a true multitasker who excels in many areas of production. He received his BA and MA with Honors in TV/Film Production at Michigan State University. While at MSU he studied under industry professionals including screenwriter Jim Cash (Top Gun, Legal Eagles, The Secret of My Success); director David Anspaugh (Miami Vice, Hill Street Blues, Hoosiers); and documentary filmmaker James Burke (Connections, The Day The Universe Changed, The Trigger Effect). Aaron has produced film and television projects throughout the US, Mexico, Caribbean, and Europe, and directed program content in both short and long format, single and multi-camera productions. Aaron's work has been featured on networks ranging from Showtime’s iN DEMAND to The Travel Channel, from PBS to CNBC. He’s worked with some of the best in the business including Burt Reynolds, Bill Cosby, and Bob Newhart. His work has garnered numerous national honors including Addy, Aegis, Communicator, Telly and Vision awards.

MARC & SHAWNEE ZATORSKY (HIGH SCHOOL FEATURE/SHORT)
The Zatorskys are a real power couple of film production. Marc is a writer, producer, director and acting/improv instructor. He taught for several, successful years at the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Television. Together with writer, producer and casting director, Shawnee Morell Zatorsky, they makeup See-Worthy Films.
See-Worthy Films collaborated with G-Star Studios and G-Star School of the Arts in the SAG Aftra New Media Comedic-drama, In Sanity, Florida, now streaming on Amazon Prime. Shawnee also hosts a women in the arts empowerment social media group, and conducts social media workshops for actors. 

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  • 561.233.1000
  • 2195 Southern Blvd., Suite 520
  • West Palm Beach, Florida 33406
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