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2016 Jury

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Jon Lindstrom, Filmmaker

As an award-winning, Emmy nominated actor, director and screenwriter, Jon has crossed all mediums and worked with many of today’s major names.  He was one of 5 finalists in the prestigious New Filmmakers Forum Emerging Director Competition (along with Equity director, Meera Menon) at the 2013 St. Louis Int’l. Film Festival for his debut feature, How We Got Away With It.  He and the film received awards and nominations in the Director, Best Of and Audience Choice categories. All of his short subjects have all been official selections to multiple film festivals.

As a screenwriter he co-authored (among others) the aforementioned How We Got Away With It and The Hard Easy, starring Vera Farmiga, Bruce Dern and Peter Weller.

Primarily known for his acting career, he was recently seen throughout HBO’s True Detective and the recent God’s Not Dead 2. He’s been honored with numerous acting accolades, including the Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series and won the Angel Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast at the Monaco Int’l. Film Festival.

He is currently shopping a primetime TV series he co-created while deciding on his next directing project.


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Cynthia Canty, Host of “Stateside”

Cynthia Canty is the host of Stateside, the public radio talk show focused on Michigan news and policy issues as well as culture and lifestyle stories. Stateside airs on Michigan Radio (91.7 FM Ann Arbor/Detroit/91.1 FM Flint/104.1FM West Michigan) Monday-Friday from 3–4 pm (10-11pm repeat). Cynthia is a veteran Detroit radio personality and Emmy Award winning news anchor. She served as a news anchor and morning show personality with Jim Harper at WNIC-100.3 FM, WDTX-99.5 FM and WMGC-105.1 FM from 1980-2011. She’s also hosted public affairs programs at WKBD-TV, and was a reporter and anchor on WKBD’s “Ten O’Clock News.” Her reporting and writing have earned her many awards, including an Emmy and honors from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the Associated Press and the Detroit Press Club.[bg_faq_end][/two_third_last]


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Aaron Milan Wertheimer, Filmmaker

Aaron’s debut feature was the 2015 offbeat comedy Wedgerino, which he wrote, directed and starred in. Currently he is prepping his second feature, Skippers. He works as an assistant director and production manager on indie films and commercials, and was formerly a production coordinator at the TV network Viceland. Also spending time as a freelance writer, he won a 2011 Lisagor Award for Best Arts Reporting & Criticism for an article on Henry Miller. Aaron recently relocated from Brooklyn to Evanston, Illinois. [bg_faq_end][/two_third_last]


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Russell Sheaffer, Filmmaker

One of Variety magazine’s “110 Students to Watch,” Russell Sheaffer is an experimental film and documentary filmmaker who received a Master’s Degree from NYU’s Department of Cinema Studies and is currently working on his PhD in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University. Most recently, his short experimental documentary “Acetate Diary” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was named one of the “12 best shorts” of Tribeca by Film School Rejects. His experimental work has screened at numerous venues and festivals including MoMA, Inside Out, Anthology Film Archives, MIX NYC, and Queer Lisboa. In addition to his own experimental work, he has worked as a producer for documentary and fiction films, including Josephine Decker’s “Thou Wast Mild and Lovely,” which premiered in Forum at Berlinale in 2014, and ESPN’s “The Diplomat,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2013.  [bg_faq_end][/two_third_last]


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Jess Levandoski, Producer/Director

Jess Levandoski is an independent film producer and commercial director with over 75+ short films and commercial projects under her belt. She is currently in development on the all-female helmed project, ‘Flower Girls’, which is slated to start production in St. Petersburg, Florida late fall of 2016,  after that she begins on directorial debut of the western she wrote, ‘La Plata’, starring Krisha Fairchild. Jess is also the director of the Middle Coast Film Festival, programs for the the Adirondack Film Festival and sits as a Juried Panel Member at The Sparrow Film Project in Queens, NY.  She’s got 2 great little humans she raises in Chicago with her Cinematographer husband, Matthew Levandoski.


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Tom Hall, Executive Director of the Montclair Film Festival

Previously, Hall held the position of Director, Artistic Director and Director of Programming at the Sarasota Film Festival (2005- 2014) and Programming Director at newportFILM in Newport, RI (2009-2011). In addition, Hall was Programmer for The Nantucket Film Festival in Nantucket, MA (2002-2005) as well as a former Director of New Media for Bravo/The Independent Film Channel (1997-2000). He has also worked in the Industry and Guest Services Offices at The Hamptons International Film Festival (2002-2003). In January of 2010, Tom was named one of Spring Board Media’s 20 under 40 in Film. Tom has directed short films for Bob Mould’s Carnival of Light and Sound Tour and was an inaugural member of the indieWIRE blogging community with his blog The Back Row Manifesto, which is now a standalone website. A graduate of the University of Michigan (’94), Hall resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and two sons. [bg_faq_end][/two_third_last]

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2015 Jury

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Leslie Raymond, Executive Director of the Ann Arbor Film Festival

Leslie Raymond has served as Ann Arbor Film Festival as Executive Director for the past two years. Prior to that, she was a teaching media artist for 14 years and founded a New Media Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio as an Assistant Professor of Art. Raymond has also promoted contemporary expanded cinema practice through special projects such as the Live Cinema Summit at Columbia College in Chicago in 2010. As an expanded cinema artist, she has performed as Potter-Belmar Labs for the Aurora Picture Show Media Archeology Festival (Houston TX), SUNY Brockport Visual Studies Workshop (Rochester NY), San Antonio Museum of Art (San Antonio TX), Sheldon Memorial Museum (Lincoln NE), Artpace (San Antonio TX), the McDonough Museum, (Youngstown OH), and many other venues.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text] [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text] [bg_faq_end] [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”4671″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_separator][vc_column_text] [bg_faq_start]

Mark Covino, Filmmaker

Originally from Queens, New York, where he fell in love with film at an early age. By the time he was a student at Eastern Suffolk B.O.C.E.S., he was honing the skills he would need to make the leap from high school student to filmmaker. Soon after, Mark moved to Vermont to attend college, earning a BA in Cinema Studies and Film Production in 2006. While Mark was working towards his undergraduate degree, he became heavily active in the Vermont filmmaking community. He worked on several productions such as “Unless a Death Occurs: Hazing Examined” for PBS, “Rally-Nation” (a pilot optioned for ESPN 2), as well as the highly acclaimed Black Panther documentary, “What We Want, What We Believe.” In 2012, Mark’s first feature film, “A Band Called Death,” premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and subsequently won the Audience Award at South by Southwest 2013. The film was acquired by Drafthouse Films shortly thereafter and was released to rave reviews around the world. It currently has a 95% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text] [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text] [bg_faq_end] [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”4674″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_separator][vc_column_text] [bg_faq_start]

Michael Dunaway, Filmmaker

Produced and directed the New York Times Critics Pick 21 YEARS: RICHARD LINKLATER, starring Matthew McConaughey, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Zac Efron, Jack Black, and many others. He also produced and directed the PBS documentary THE MAN WHO ATE NEW ORLEANS. He is the Movies Editor of Paste Magazine (5 million monthly readers), the Creative Director of the Sarasota Film Festival (one of the ten largest in the US), and the host of The Work podcast. He is currently in post-production on his first scripted feature, 6 LOVE STORIES, starring Peter Bogdanovich, Carrie Preston, Alicia Witt, Matthew Lillard, Stephen Tobolowsky, and others.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text] [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text] [bg_faq_end] [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”4654″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_separator][vc_column_text] [bg_faq_start]

Joel Potrykus, Filmmaker

The american writer/director resides in Grand Rapids, MI USA where he continues to work with his filmmaking band, Sob Noisse. BUZZARD (SXSW, 2014) is the final installment in his Animal Trilogy, following the 2012 feature film APE (winner of Best Emerging Director, Locarno Film Festival) and the 2010 Super 8 short COYOTE. Along with production, Potrykus teaches screenwriting at Grand Valley State University and writes for an annual film criticism publication


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Jeff Meyers, Filmmaker

An Ann Arbor-based screenwriter, director, filmmaker and journalist. He has been a film critic at Detroit’s Metro Times since 2004 and penned nearly a thousand reviews, can be found on Rotten Tomatoes, and won the Excellence In Journalism: Criticism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists (2009, 2010, 2011). Jeff is also a founding member of the Detroit Film Critic’s Society and served as its president from 2011-2013. He is also a contributing writer at Moviemaker Magazine. Jeff’s latest short film, The Blood Of Love, has been an official selection of over 30 film festivals and has won several awards.

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2014 Jury

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Geoff Marslett, Filmmaker

A Texan who took a circuitous path to filmmaking, studying mathematics, philosophy, art, science, and languages at St. John’s College (1996) before returning home to pursue an MFA in filmmaking at UT (2001). In addition to making films, Geoff teaches in the RTF Department at The University of Texas at Austin.

He is probably best known for directing the two feature film, “MARS” (2010) and “Loves Her Gun” (2013), but he is also a producer on the award winning documentary “Yakona” (2014), director of a dozen short films including the classic “Monkey vs. Robot” (2000), and an actor in Josephine Decker’s festival hit “Thou Wast Mild and Lovely” (2014).

Geoff was recently named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine and received the Board of Regents Outstanding Undergraduate Instructor Award for his teaching at the University of Texas at Austin. His films have garnered great press from Time Out London, The New York Times, Variety, The Village Voice, The Austin Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, Indiewire, Wired, Hollywood Reporter, Think Progress and many more national publications.


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Rider Strong, Actor

An actor and director, known for Boy Meets World (1993), Cabin Fever (2002) and Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009). He has been married to Alexandra Barreto.

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Joey Kern, Actor

Studied at New York University where he earned a BFA in Drama. He then went on to train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. His professional acting career began on stage with various companies including the Atlantic Theater Company, New Group Theater and Theatre for a New Audience, where he played the title role of “Troilus” in William Shakespeare‘s “Troilus and Cressida”.

He then made his feature film debut in the indie flick The Virgin (1999), followed by a guest appearance in the HBO television series Sex and the City (1998). Next, he played a college boy in the feature film Super Troopers (2001), then landed small roles in three more indie films: Love the Hard Way (2001) starring Adrien Brody, XX/XY (2002) and Garmento (2002). His career took off when he landed lead roles in two films given wide release: Grind (2003) and Cabin Fever (2002). Kern has also appeared on ABC’s Wonderland (2000).

Joey Kern attended Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival in 2012 with his film Alter Egos where he starred as super hero C-Thru.

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W.A.W. Parker, Filmmaker

Adam grew up in Montana and studied film at Harvard University with Robb Moss, Alfred Guzzetti, and Ross McElwee. Adam worked in the editorial department of “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench” (directed by 2013 HHM Jury member Damien Chazelle), “Maria My Love” (directed by 2013 HHM Jury member Jasmine McGlade), “For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism” (directed by Gerald Peary), and the web series “Turbo Dates” (directed by Jocelyn Stamat, Terry Rossio, Paul Hernandez, and Bill Marsilii). Currently, Adam lives in Los Angeles and is the assistant to Jocelyn Stamat (Turbo Dates) and Terry Rossio (Aladdin, Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean).

Adam also sings with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, can be heard singing backup on the title track of Weezer’s next album, and volunteers for the Opera League of Los Angeles.


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2013 Jury

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Adam Schartoff, Founder of Filmwax

Founded Filmwax, a Brooklyn-based film series that shows independent films throughout locations in NYC. Filmwax Radio, hosted by Adam, consists of “Filmwax Interviews with sundry folks from the indie film scene in Brooklyn, NY and beyond. With Filmwax Radio, each 30-minute episode includes an interview with a personality from the indie film scene.”

Adam also contributes to blogs tribecafilm.com, pov.org, hammertonail.com and his own blogwax (blog.filmwax.com). As his bio on Filmwax Radio says, “Most importantly, Adam is Dad to Jacob.”

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Jasmine Chazelle, Filmmaker

In 2011, Jasmine wrote and directed her first feature film, “Maria My Love,” which screened at HHM 2011 as our opening night film. “Maria My Love” stars Independent Spirit Award nominee Judy Marte (“Raising Victor Vargas) and Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee Karen Black (“Five Easy Pieces”).

After growing up in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and England, Jasmine went to Harvard University (graduated in 2007) where she produced the feature-length musical “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench,” which premiered at Tribeca in 2009, won the Special Jury Prize at the Torino Film Festival, was nominated for a Gotham Award, and was released in theaters the next year. The Village Voice, Film Comment, Time Out New York, and The Boston Phoneix named it one of the ten best films of the year and one of the best thirty by The New York Times and The Boston Globe.

Recently, Jasmine was selected as an Artist-in-Residence at the inaugural Napa Valley Film Festival. She also was invited to participate in Film Independent’s Directors Lab with “The Fencer,” a film she wrote and will direct, inspired by Jasmine’s personal experiences as a national champion fencer. She is currently working on a feature film called “Storm Cloud Blue” and currently lives in Venice, California with her husband Damien Chazelle.

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Damien Chazelle, Filmmaker

Married to Jasmine, Damien Chazelle wrote and directed his first feature, “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench,” at Harvard University, the film which Jasmine produced while also attending school there. “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench” premiered at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, was released in theaters in 2010, and was named one of the best films of the year by many publications.

Chazelle appeared in the 2010 Black List for his screenplay “The Claim” and in 2012 with his script “Whiplash.” His short film, also titled “Whiplash,” won the Short Film Jury Prize for U.S. Fiction at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. He also wrote the screenplay for “The Last Exorcism Part II” Currently, he is developing the feature-length version of “Whiplash” with producers Jason Reitman and Jason Blum.

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Adam Busch, Actor

Adam Busch is known best, perhaps, for his role in the ’90s hit show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as Warren Meers, part of “The Trio” in Season 6, and for his role for the new show “Men at Work” as Neal, one of the four feature characters. Film festival goers may recognize him from one of the lead roles in the short film “The Dungeon Master,” which screened in 2011 at HHM and was written and directed by brothers Rider Strong and Shiloh Strong.

Adam also sings in a folk rock band called Common Rotation. The members include Eric Kufs (singer/guitarist), Adam (harmonica, vocals) and Jordan Katz (trumpet, banjo, bass). The band plays all around Los Angeles, New York, and the UK. The band’s latest album “Keep an Open Gallery” was released Fall 2011.

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