Thank-you to some special people among FilmFest judges
The U.S. International Film & Video Festival depends upon the talents of many judges for each competition. This year, the festival recognizes several judges who have supported the competition year after year, some of whom also serve as special advisors or as board members of the festival.
The festival could not be successful without the judges – those featured here and many others – who willingly give of valuable time to view entries. We thank them all.
Michael Marshall is an independent television and film producer who began his career with the BBC and then set up Cinécosse production house based in Scotland. He has been associated with Filmfest since 1987.
Members of his judging team included:
Jean Hodge, a television production administrator, also BBC-trained and with much hands-on experience of broadcast and corporate program-making; Ian Fraser, who was a producer and production Manager for BBC and head of production at the European Film College, Denmark, and a media professor at the Concordia University, Estonia; Fiona Cumming, a long established drama producer /director with BBC Television and ITV and senior lecturer in Acting and Directing at the European Film College, Denmark. Learn more at www.cinecosse.co.uk.
Peter Waury is a director of film, theater and television and a professor for film at the Ruhruniversitaet Bochum and at the Film Academy in Baden-Wuerttemberg (both in Germany). He is public relations director for the German Industrial company Henkel Inc. He is the president of the German Film Forum and of the German Industrial Film Festival. Waury serves as a board member for several organisations including AVK, ITVA, DFD and DFZ, prestigious German Film Associations. Waury, of Breathing Space Productions, is also a member of the Filmfest board.
Neil Curry, originator and producer, in collaboration with Oxford Scientific Films, of “The Elephant, The Emperor and The Butterfly Tree,” which won the Golden Panda at Wildscreen in 2004, now works in “retirement” in Africa. He moved to Africa (from England) as a director-cameraman with the Central African Film Unit in what was then Rhodesia, and then to South Africa, to the newly created National Film Board. Later, with his own production company in South Africa, Insight Films (Pty) Ltd, he made films about the gold and diamond mining industries, farming, exports, the arts, and wildlife.
For eight years, Curry was film consultant/producer to the South African National Parks Board, before moving on to make more broadly-based conservation films for local and international television markets. In 1995, he started the International Environmental Film Festival in Pretoria and ran it until he and his wife moved to the Western Cape in 2000. Over the next couple of years, he researched and wrote the shooting treatments for a series on South Africa’s major biomes, for a television company in Holland – and later, wrote the preliminary outline and treatment for the film that was to become the acclaimed “The Elephant, the Emperor and the Butterfly Tree,” which portrays the complex ecosystem that exists around Africa's Mopane woodland. Curry is a board member of the festival.
Ed Swanson, executive vice president and co-owner of Video Placement Worldwide, has spent the last 35+ years developing promotional programs and distribution systems for corporate-sponsored film and video programs intended for public audiences.
Ed is Senior Advisor to the U.S. International Film and Video Festival and the 2001 winner of the Festival’s coveted “Lifetime Achievement Award.” The award recognizes his “…many years of outstanding contributions to the audio visual industry worldwide” and specifically work in his specialty of “bringing the corporation into the classroom – to the benefit of both.” He is a recognized expert on the placement and utilization of corporate-sponsored video programs in the classroom. His company’s website is www.vpw.com.
Judging with Swanson was Pat Cannon, who as manager of the Public Relations and Communications Division at Lions Clubs International for more than 20 years was responsible for two magazines, association publications and website, video production and distribution and graphic design and printing. He left that to pursue an interest in writing about architecture. He moved to Oak Park, Illinois, in 1974, just as the fledgling Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio was looking for volunteers to interpret the architect's first home and studio. In addition to tours there, he also gives tours at Wright's famous Robie House in Hyde Park (www.hydeparkhistory.org/Robie.html).
Some Filmfest Judging took place in the Philadelphia NBC-TV 10, Studio Ten facilities. Judges included (from left) chairman Joe Ball, president, American Advertising Services; Victoria Gates, professional model and actress; Mary Davis, owner, Quintco Imprints; Michelle Faustin, growth strategy executive; Larry Donato, COO, First Priority Bank; and Daryl Evans of NBC-TV 10.