2019 JURY

Narrative Features Competition
Denise Grayson
Denise Grayson
A multi-disciplined actor/producer and attorney, headed West in search of a more creative life after a successful career on Wall Street. After meeting David Fincher's casting director, it was a natural segue for her to be cast as Andrew Garfield's lawyer in the Academy Award-winning film, The Social Network. Her television work includes roles in Showtime's Shameless, as well as several Hallmark and Lifetime movies. As a producer, under the Denise Grayson Productions banner, she has developed and led several projects. A member of the Advisory Board of Celebration Theatre and an acting coach, Grayson divides her time between New York and Los Angeles.

Gary Springer
Gary Springer
Gary Springer is an entertainment publicist representing film, theatre and events. His company represents independent and foreign films at festivals in the US and abroad, and for release in NY and nationally as well as serving as sales, distribution and awards consultant. Gary has represented over 25 Broadway shows, and numerous off-Broadway productions and companies. Gary's first career was as an actor with film appearances including Dog Day Afternoon, Jaws 2, Small Circle of Friends and Law and Disorder. Gary is the international press consultant to the Monaco based International Emerging Film Talent Association. He was a founding member of The Creative Coalition and is a voting member for the Academy Awards.

Alan Ssali Hofmanis
Alan Ssali Hofmanis
Originally from New York, now lives in Uganda with the burgeoning action movie studio Wakaliwood. A producer and former program director for Lake Placid Film Forum, he is currently on tour serving as Wakaliwood Ambassador for their latest action film, the award-winning Bad Black.

Documentary Competition
Prof. Dalit Katz
Prof. Dalit Katz
The founding director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Wesleyan Universitywhere she teaches courses about the Hebrew language and Israeli culture. She has initiated and curated the annual Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival since 2002. She is also the Chair of the Film Committee of the Association for Jewish Studies which organizes an annual film festival at the association annual meeting.

Dorin Razam-Grunfeld
Dorin Razam-Grunfeld
The Vice President of Production at Ark Media, an Emmy and Peabody winning nonfiction production company based in Downtown Brooklyn. At Ark Media, Dorin has overseen production management on a number of Ark's acclaimed projects, including the recent films Slay the Dragon (Participant Media) and Woodstock (PBS), both of which premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Dorin has had a long career in production management, working on Michael Moore's Where to Invade Next and Fahrenheit 11/9, the hit series Chopped and Kitchen Boss, and in the production department at Viacom.

Rudy Valdez
Rudy Valdez
A Michigan-raised, Brooklyn-based filmmaker committed to making cinematic, meaningful documentary films about social, cultural and political issues. A 2018 Critics Choice Documentary Awards Nominee for Best New Director, Rudy got his start as a camera operator on the Peabody Award-winning, Sundance series Brick City, and other credits include: Cinematographer for Academy Award-nominated Director Sebastian Junger's film The Last Patrol (HBO); Director of Photography for Whoopi Goldberg presents Moms Mabley: I Got Something To Tell You. And, a true passion project, The Sentence, a documentary about mandatory minimums and sentencing reform that Valdez has shot and directed over the course of a decade, premiered and won the US Documentary Audience Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by HBO.

Shorts Competition
Christine Caro
Christine Caro
Half French and half American, Christine started really young in 2012 as a model agent both in New York and France. In 2017 Christine met with French director Germain Le Carpentier while traveling in France and it led her to the path of film production. She is now the owner and one of the Producers of Arsonist's Films and has been working on 7 first time director feature films and one tv series - including Beast Beast and Watch Me Drown - 2 movies in the top 50 of the most anticipated movies of 2019 by filmmaker magazine.

Alece Oxendine
Alece Oxendine
Alece has dedicated her career to ensuring filmmakers find their way in a tough, but rewarding industry--a goal she's actively pursued at festivals like New York Film Festival, Athena Film Festival, and Rooftop Films; art house theaters like BAMcinématek and Film Society of Lincoln Center; streaming platform Fandor; and distribution companies like Distribber and Good Deed Entertainment. She is a proud graduate of Columbia University School of the Arts where she is currently their Director of Industry and Festival Outreach, a role that allows her to mentor emerging filmmakers. Alece is originally from Durham, NC and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and gladly calls New York City home.

Adam Schartoff
Adam Schartoff
Founder of Brooklyn-based Filmwax Film Series which birthed the Filmwax Radio podcast - a show made up of intimate and nuanced conversations with people from the entire film industry spectrum (Past guests include Brian De Palma, Liv Ulmann, Michel Gondry, Mike Leigh Roger Corman, et al). Schartoff also services on the screening committee for the New York Film Festival and various juries over the years. He is shooting a short film in 2019 and completing the screenplay for his first dramatic feature. Additionally, Schartoff is a burgeoning film historian, a life-long musician and, most importantly of all, Dad to Jacob.

Jennifer Bryceland Snyder Award
Paula Froehle
Paula Froehle
A producer, director, visual artist, educator and entrepreneur based in Chicago, Paula is the Co-Founder and CEO of Chicago Media Project (CMP) - the innovative multifaceted philanthropic community of documentary film lovers who believe in the power of media to bring about social change. Within CMP, Paula guides over 50 members in the philanthropic support of social impact films and filmmaker sustainability. She also co-manages CMP's equity fund Chicago Media Project Invest/Impact (CMP I/I) that invests in commercially viable documentaries.

Matthew Soraci
Matthew Soraci
Chief Operating Officer of the Lagralane Group, bringing nearly two decades of strategic experience to the role. Matthew directs the day to day operations involving business development, finance, marketing and human resources. Along with acting as COO, Matthew has garnered individual credits on Lagralane titles, acting as executive producer on The Blood Is At The Doorstep, The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open and as associate producer on Harry Dean Stanton's Lucky. Under the Lagralane company credit, Matthew also co-executive produced the 2018 Academy Award winning documentary Icarus, which premiered at Sundance in 2017 and Voyeur, Netflix original. Alongside his film credits, his penchant for creative storytelling has led to a lifelong involvement in the arts. Matthew serves on the board of Los Angeles-based Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble.