Film Awards and Juries
2018 Narrative Feature Jury Members
Lisa was appointed as Queer Screen’s Festival Director at the end of May 2017 after having served on it’s Board of Directors for four and half years, as President, Vice-President and Membership Director. Queer Screen is a Sydney-based organisation that was founded in 1993 and produces Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival each February and Queer Screen Film Fest in September; as well as supporting Australian LGBTIQ filmmakers with industry initiatives such as the Queer Screen Completion Fund and Queer Screen Pitch Off. An eager film buff, Lisa comes from a sales, service and marketing background and is a passionate believer in giving voice to all forms of queer entertainment, Lisa is focused on showcasing and championing diversity.
Victor Gimenez is the Executive Director of the OUTshine Film Festival. He has been involved with the Festival over the past seven years and has successfully led it through its rebranding as OUTshine, expansion of both the Miami Edition (11-days) and Fort Lauderdale Edition (8-days), and increased year-after-year attendance. Victor is an avid movie fan and believes in the mission to inspire, entertain, and educate through film.
2018 Documentary Feature Jury Members
Craig Hardesty serves as the board chair of Out on Film, the Atlanta LGBT Film Festival. He works at McGuireWoods as the human resources manager and has several years in management and business in both the private and public sectors. His nonprofit experience includes work with the Georgia Law Center for the Homeless and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, where he organized the first Nonprofit Day at the Capitol. He started his career in higher education in student services working on LGBT issues and student violence prevention. He is the co-author of the first “Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Student’s Guide to Colleges, Universities, and Graduate Schools” published in 1994. He has a master’s degree in public administration from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Towson State University.
Karen (Ren) VanMeenen is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and the longtime Editor of Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts & Cultural Criticism. She has worked as a programmer on several film festivals in Rochester and New York.
2018 Short Film Jury Members
Award-winning independent filmmaker Faraz Arif Ansari has worked on some of the most celebrated Indian films in the last ten years as director, writer, and producer. Faraz’s work is always tapping into gloomy corners of human emotions, finding the light and addressing the themes of justice, transformation, and healing through celebration of diversity, inclusion, and love by powerful cinematic storytelling and bringing queer characters and stories of the LGBTQIA+ community into mainstream cinema using real life portrayals of myriad characters that are seldom seen in Indian cinema. His film Sisak, India’s first silent LGBTQ love story has become the first-ever Indian film to have won 45 international awards (including one from ImageOut 2017) – a milestone for Indian cinema set by a silent queer film. His first feature film Sabr will be bringing the story of a transgender woman into mainstream Indian cinema through a universal tale about love, family, acceptance, and closures. When not working behind camera, Faraz runs a charitable initiative called “Gift A Meal” that provides home-cooked meals to underprivileged children & their families.
Matt DeTurck is an award-winning filmmaker, graphic designer, and creative director from Rochester, NY. His interest in diverse visual-narratives have allowed him to work in industries as varied as news journalism, artisan chocolate, multidisciplinary arts festivals, public service, and esports. With a passion for storytelling, equality, autumn, ghosts, and the perfect tortilla chip, Matt can be found on Twitter @dalboz17.