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2015 JURY


Gary Mairs is Associate Dean of the School of Film/Video at CalArts, where he has taught since 1997. He teaches courses in Film History, Editing, The Western, Comedy, Realism and Rock & Roll Movies. From 2005 to 2013 he was co-chair of the graduate program in Film Directing. His film ALL THAT SHE SURVEYS premiered at the 2012 International Film Festival Rotterdam.


Anastas Michos , ASC, Director of Photography, has collaborated with directors as varied in style as Milos Forman (MAN IN THE MOON), Edward Norton (KEEPING THE FAITH), Danny DeVito (DEATH TO SMOOCHY), Mike Newell (MONA LISA SMILE), James Foley (PERFECT STRANGER) and Kasi Lemmons (BLACK NATIVITY). From dramas to comedies to thrillers and musicals, he effortlessly moves from one genre to the next. Before he became Director of Photography, Michos worked for more than a decade as one of the industry’s most respected and sought after camera and Steadicam operators. He is an active member of the American Society of Cinematographers, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and the Society of Operating Cameraman. He is a frequent lecturer at various universities and workshops in the US and Europe.


John Sideropoulos has over 30 years of production and marketing experience in the Film and TV industry. As founder of 3 Ring Circus, a global creative agency, Sideropoulos has played many roles, including producer, director, and creative director, in serving major entertainment brands across the globe, including: ABC, Showtime, HBO, FOX, CNN, Discovery Networks, DIRECTV, SONY, MGM, RTL, MEGA and Antenna in Greece. He has also become a successful filmmaker and producer of independent art-house feature films (DREAM WITH THE FISHES, ONE, CHERISH). He is most passionate about telling stories, which enlighten and offer hope.


Mark Roybal] is Executive Vice President of Production at 20th Century Fox, where he has overseen Matt Reeves’ DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES and David Fincher’s GONE GIRL. From 2010 to 2013, Roybal was the President of Production at Indian Paintbrush, where he produced Wes Anderson’s MOONRISE KINGDOM, Danny Boyle’s TRANCE, and Drake Doremus’ LIKE CRAZY. Prior to joining Indian Paintbrush, Roybal was the President of Scott Rudin Productions, where he worked with the Academy Award-winning producer from 1996 to 2010. He was an executive producer on Joel and Ethan Coen’s Academy Award winning NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Roybal also produced Kim Peirce’s STOP-LOSS and John Patrick Shanley’s DOUBT. Originally from San Francisco, Roybal currently resides in Los Angeles with his family.


Parvesh Cheena is a native of Naperville, Illinois, and a musical theater graduate from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in Downtown Chicago, Parvesh is best known for playing Gupta on NBC’s sitcom Outsourced. He is also the voice of the Transformer Blades in The Hub Network’s Transformers: Rescue Bots airing Saturday mornings. Cheena made his film debut as “Samir” in BARBERSHOP, and reprised his role in the sequel, BARBERSHOP 2: BACK IN BUSINESS. His most recent work includes NBC’s A To Z and the newest season of Arrested Development. Cheena currently resides in Los Angeles, where he regularly performs long form improvisation with his South Asian team, Browtown. He is also a Los Angeles Local Board Member of SAG/AFTRA and a board member of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.


David Heuring has been writing about the art and technology of cinematography for 29 years. He is the former editor of American Cinematographer Magazine and spent 17 years as a major contributor to Kodak’s In Camera Magazine. Today, Heuring provides wordsmithing services to Kodak’s On Film ad campaign, and writes Parallax View, a weekly column for the American Society of Cinematographers website that reveals the personalities behind the camera. A longtime contributor to Variety, British Cinematographer, ICG Magazine and many other industry publications and websites, Heuring also writes and consults on strategic communications for a range of corporate clients in the cinematography field. He is also a veteran moderator of countless industry panel discussions, and he served on the main competition jury at the 2013 Milwaukee Film Festival.


As a development specialist, Ben Umstead has worked on projects with producers of the Sundance-winning FISHING WITHOUT NETS and FRUITVALE STATION as well as Paul Solet, the writer/director of the horror film GRACE. As a producer, Umstead’s ongoing collaboration with writer/director Paul D. Hart and actor/producer Virginia Newcomb has resulted in the short film THREE FINGERS, which will have it’s premiere on the festival circuit in 2015. In addition, he is prepping the feature film TORMENTING THE HEN, a metaphysical thriller, with filmmaker Theodore Collatos, to be shot in the Berkshires. He lives in Los Angeles where he is the US Editor for TwtichFilm.com, the leading voice in global cinema coverage.