FESTIVAL JURORS | 2019

NARRATIVE FEATURES (U.S. CINEMA) JURY

DORIS CASAP
SVP, Film Programming, HBO

Doris Casap is senior vice president, Film Programming, for HBO, responsible for managing the Film Programming group and for the following film acquisition activities: major studio output, library deals and independent film acquisition for HBO and Cinemax.  She also oversees all content acquisitions for HBO Latino.  Casap joined HBO in 1991 as a management associate in the Film Programming area, where she acquired films and other television programming for HBO’s international services in Hungary, Latin America and Asia.  She was promoted to manager in 1992, expanding her work in the international sector where she worked on the planning and launch of new ventures.  In 1994, as director, Film Programming, Casap’s acquisition focus shifted to the domestic licensing of programs for exhibition on the HBO and Cinemax services including identification and acquisition of world premieres in finished and script forms.  She also oversaw the development, production and delivery of late-night series for Cinemax.  In 1998, she was promoted to vice president and her duties expanded to a greater focus on major studio deals for HBO.


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TILANE JONES
President, ARRAY

Tilane Jones has worked with award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay for over ten years. Beginning with public relations and promotional company The DuVernay Agency, as well as production entity Forward Movement and most recently leading DuVernay's grass-roots film distribution collective ARRAY as President. ARRAY has distributed eighteen feature films since 2011, including Andrew Dosunmu's RESTLESS CITY and Haile Gerima's ASHES AND EMBERS. Working as Manager of Production for Forward Movement, Jones has served as a producer for all of the company’s visual product. Her film credits include: Oscar nominated and four-time EMMY winner 13TH, MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, THIS IS THE LIFE, I WILL FOLLOW, AUGUST 28: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PEOPLE, FAMILY FEUD and Oscar nominated SELMA, as well as acclaimed fashion and beauty films for Prada and Fashion Fair, THE DOOR and SAY YES, respectively. Her television credits include: BET's “Black Girls Rock,” “My Mic Sounds Nice,” “John Legend Interludes Live,” “Essence Music Festival 2010,” and ESPN Films' “Venus Vs.”


ELLENE MILES
SVP, Intersectional Marketing, Sony Motion Pictures

Ellene V. Miles currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Intersectional Marketing at Sony Pictures Entertainment. In this role, Miles crafts broad, 360-degree inclusion-focused marketing strategies that inform all facets of Sony’s film campaigns including publicity, creative, digital, media, research, and promotions. Her team ensures alignment within all marketing disciplines and aims to achieve maximum exposure to the widest possible audiences. She also intersects and develops initiatives in conjunction with the Diversity and Inclusion division at the studio. Miles has nearly two decades of experience in the entertainment industry, most recently having served as Vice President of Terry Hines and Associates’ (THA) targeted marketing division, the MRKT, and as principal and founder of EV Miles Media, a specialized media relations agency. Recent projects include the short film Hair Love, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, along with A Wrinkle in Time, Roman J. Israel, television series Underground, Wonder, Love, Simon, the Harry Potter and Hunger Games franchises, Arrival, Dear White People, and upcoming titles such as Bad Boys For Life, Charlie’s Angels, Jumanji: The Next Level and Fatherhood.


NARRATIVE FEATURES (WORLD CINEMA) JURY

ADRIANA AMBRIZ
VP, Content, One Community

Adriana Ambriz has experience working in various areas of the film industry. Beginning her film career as part of an elite Agent Trainee program at Creative Artists Agency, she spent formative years learning the ins and outs of Hollywood from the best agents in the industry. Moving onto 20th  Century Fox as an executive, she worked on a multitude of tent-pole films. As an independent producer and film consultant, she has been part of the development of features and documentaries alike. Adriana was the Head of Development Los Angeles for the German company, Construction Film GmbH. Their slate included films with filmmakers such as Werner Herzog, Marc Forster, and Tony Kaye, to name a few. In 2015, she was recruited to join BET Networks. Adriana was responsible for overseeing the development and production of key network shows. She joined Scott Budnick at One Community in 2018, where she will continue to develop and produce feature films with a focus on social impact messaging.


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NNAMDI ASOMUGHA
Actor + Producer

Nnamdi Asomugha is an award-winning actor, producer, and former All-Pro NFL Player.  Following a successful 11-year career in the NFL, Asomugha channeled his passion for film and television into a career in the entertainment industry.  He received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Carl King in the Amazon Studios film, Crown Heights. He was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor and an NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actor. Variety named him one of the seven breakout performers of 2017. He founded iAm21 Entertainment, a production company whose mission is to create entertainment that illuminates important social issues, and influences social change. Three of his recent projects premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, with “Crown Heights,” the film he costarred in and produced earning the festival’s coveted U.S. Dramatic Audience Award.  His producing credits include “Beasts of No Nation” (2015), “Crown Heights” (2017), “Harriet” (2019) an upcoming Harriet Tubman biopic, “The Banker” (2019), and “Sylvie” (2020). 


CHIKA CHUKUDEBELU
VP, Development, Universal Content Productions, NBC Universal

Chika Chukudebelu is VP of Development at NBCUniversal’s Universal Content Productions where she is responsible for the development and current process for cable and streaming television series. Chukudebelu actively engages writing, directing and acting talent to mine potential collaboration opportunities for the boutique studio and portfolio of networks, which include USA, Syfy, Netflix and Quibi.  Prior to that she spent 7 years at BET Networks where she was responsible for shaping creative content for the network’s slate of scripted television series. Her keen sense of story was used in crafting creative for shows including Being Mary Jane, Madiba, and The Game.  Prior to BET, Chukudebelu was the Creative Executive at Starbucks Entertainment, overseeing the company’s film and publishing endeavors. There she used the footprint of over 2000 Starbucks coffeehouses as a promotional tool to launch a number of film and literary properties including The Kite Runner. She started her entertainment career in New York working in film development at Killer Films and business development at New Line Cinema. 


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JOE MORTON
Actor + Director

Joe Morton is an Emmy® Award winner and recipient of multiple NAACP Image Awards for his role as Rowan/Eli Pope in Shonda Rhimes’ critically-acclaimed series SCANDAL. Morton is widely known for his title role in John Sayle’s THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET, and as the ill-fated scientist, Miles Dyson, in TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY. Among his many other film credits, Morton was last seen as Cyborg’s dad, Dr. Silas Stone, in JUSTICE LEAGUE. Morton’s directing credits include, CBS’s GOD FRIENDED ME, ABC’s SCANDAL, SyFy’s EUREKA (for which he received an NAACP nomination), FOX’s TRIBECA, and the independent feature SUNDAY ON THE ROCKS. Currently, Morton can be seen as Arthur Finer in the CBS hit, GOD FRIENDED ME, which begins its second season on September 29th.


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FRIDA TORRESBLANCO
Producer

Frida Torresblanco is an award-winning producer based in New York. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, the European Film Academy and the Producers Guild of America. After studying Film and Literature in Madrid, she produced many prestigious projects, including THE DANCER UPSTAIRS (directed by John Malkovich), THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON (starring Sean Penn) and PAN’S LABYRINTH (directed by Guillermo del Toro and winner of three Oscars). She was partnered with Alfonso Cuaron for 8 years. In 2007, The Hollywood Reporter named her one of the 50 most powerful Latinos in Hollywood. Her production company, Braven Films, recently produced DISOBEDIENCE, starring Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, and Alessandro Nivola, which premiered at TIFF in 2017 to excellent reviews and was distributed by Bleecker Street.  In development is a slate of films including JULIUS WINSOME written and directed by Sam Gold acclaimed Theater Director, CROOKED HEART in partnership with Rachel Weisz and Visceral, a thriller directed by Frederic Jardin. In pre- production is ALJEANDRO ORTIZ directed by Joe Sange and starring Robert Sheehan, Ron Perlman, and Sofia Boutella.


DOCUMENTARY JURY

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JACKIE GLOVER
SVP, HBO Documentary Films, HBO

Jacqueline Glover is senior vice president, HBO Documentary Films, for Home Box Office, responsible for overseeing the development and production of documentary films. Most recently Glover executive produced Alternate Endings: Six New Ways to Die in America and True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality, Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age, John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls, and King in the Wilderness, a portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final years. Glover also served as executive producer for the Emmy Award® winner Jim: The James Foley Story. Other recent projects include the Oscar®-winning documentary short Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1; the Academy Award®-nominated short Redemption; the Emmy Award®-nominated Gloria: In Her Own Words; the Peabody Award-winning If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise and the Emmy Award® winning When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts from Spike Lee; the Academy Award®-nominated films China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province and The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306; and the Emmy Award®-winning Teddy: In His Own Words.


SHOLA LYNCH
Award-Winning Filmmaker | Curator, Moving Image & Recorded Sound, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Shola Lynch is an award-winning American filmmaker best known for the feature documentary Free Angela & All Political Prisoners and the Peabody Award winning CHISHOLM ’72: Unbought & Unbossed.  Her independent film work and other collaborative projects feed her passion to bring history alive with captivating stories of people, places and events. Since 2013 she has also served as the Curator of the Moving Image & Recorded Sound division of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. In 2016, Shola became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences


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RACHEL WATANABE-BATTON
Producer | Founder, Contradiction and Struggle

Rachel Watanabe-Batton is founder of Contradiction and Struggle, a production and consulting company dedicated to telling authentic stories that reframe historical and cultural narratives.  Watanabe-Batton is Chair of Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) and co-founder of Women Independent Producers (WIP). She serves on the Board of Directors of New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) and Board of Representatives of the Producers Guild of America East (PGA). She has been honored with the MADE IN NY Award by Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Cynthia Lopez for her contributions as Chair of PGA East Diversity (2008-2018) and founding co-chair of PGA Women's Impact Network (2014-2018).


NARRATIVE SHORTS JURY

Award Presented by HBO COLLABS

HBO collabs

BRENDA GILBERT
Co-Founder + President, BRON Media Corp. 

Brenda Gilbert is the Co-Founder & President of BRON Media Corp., and the President of BRON Animation.  She has been active in film and media initiatives for more than 20 years.  Gilbert has produced and executive produced a number of animated and live action productions including MIGHTY MIGHTY MONSTERS, HENCHMEN, THE WILLOUGHBYS, I SAW THE LIGHT, THE BIRTH OF A NATION, ALL RISE, BREATIZ AT DINNER, THE NIGHTINGALE, and ASSINATION NATION.   Gilbert is instrumental in facilitating team development and leads BRON Animation with strategic corporate and operational planning. 


DIONNE HARMON
VP, Development, Jesse Collins Entertainment

Dionne Harmon is a 3-time NAACP Image Award-winning producer who is currently VP of development at Jesse Collins Entertainment (JCE). After launching her career at MTV and OWN networks, she joined JCE, where she built the development department from the ground up and plays an integral role in producing all of the company’s scripted and unscripted projects. During her tenure, she helped bring The New Edition Story to life as well as developed and co-executive produced The Bobby Brown Story and the series American Soul on BET, now in its 2nd season. She is currently developing the Uptown mini-series, which tells the story of Andre Harrell’s infamous record label and is slated to shoot in 2020.


JOHN MURCHISON
VP, HBO Miniseries, HBO

John Murchison is vice president, HBO Miniseries, for Home Box Office, Inc. During his 20 years with the company, he has served in various development roles, including overseeing the creative development and production of miniseries for the HBO network.   Murchison worked on Emmy® and Golden Globe® -winning HBO miniseries John Adams, starring Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney; Emmy® winner  Generation Kill, executive produced and co-written by David Simon and Ed Burns; and Emmy® winner The Pacific, executive produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.  Additional past projects include the Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning miniseries Elizabeth I and Band of Brothers; Emmy® winner The Corner; Tsunami, The Aftermath; Five Days and House of Saddam as well as the Emmy®-winning series Rome.


TALITHA WATKINS
Motion Picture Agent, Creative Artist Agency

Talitha Watkins is a Motion Picture Agent and Cultural Executive at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Watkins is based in the Los Angeles office and represents many of the world’s leading producers, directors and actors. In addition, Watkins helps build out the agency’s multicultural business and capabilities and creates enterprise opportunities around diverse talent. Watkins also provides insights on multicultural audiences and markets to CAA’s motion picture, music, marketing, and television clients. Watkins began her career at CAA after six years as Vice President of Multicultural Marketing at Universal Pictures, where she worked across all marketing divisions, including publicity, media, digital, creative, research, and partnerships, to maximize the studio’s outreach efforts to African-American audiences. While at Universal, she worked on numerous films, including the multicultural blockbusters FAST & FURIOUS 6, FURIOUS 7, and the record-breaking STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON. She was also instrumental in supporting the success of African-American films, such as the box-office hits THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY and RIDE ALONG.


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YOUNG CREATORS JURY

AWARD PRESENTED BY NBC UNIVERSAL

SHARESE BULLOCK-BAILEY
Chief Strategy + Partnership Officer, Ghetto Film School

Sharese Bullock-Bailey is the Chief Strategy and Partnership Officer at Ghetto Film School.  Sharese has funded, distributed, and curated independent media globally for the past 16 years. She has led service and international education programs in over 20 countries, including filmmaking exchanges for young producers and educators throughout the US, UK and India. She is an Emmy-nominated producer, founder of Overstand - a global strategic consultancy.  Sharese recently served as Director of Tribeca Teaches, a filmmaking residency at Tribeca Film Institute, and was selected by the Ford Foundation as a 2015 Rockwood JustFilms Fellow and as a 2016 New York Community Trust Leadership Fellow. Sharese is an Executive Board Member of ITVS (Independent Television Service)..


DIANE HOUSLIN
Producer

Diane Houslin is a New York City based TV/Film producer, director and showrunner.  Diane has worked with several broadcast and cable networks, including; HBO, MTV, ESPN, PBS, BET and NBC.  In the narrative space, Diane's work has premiered at renowned film festivals; Sundance, SXSW, Berlinale and more. Diane was selected by the prestigious Sundance Institute as a Fellow in the inaugural class of the Creative Producing Lab.  She is also an alumn of Trans Atlantic Partners (TAP), an international producing program; only four American producers are selected each year.  In 2010, Diane partnered with bestselling novelist, Walter Mosley, to form their production company, B.O.B. Filmhouse, Inc.  The company's projects are based on Mosley’s many literary works.  Diane is also an Executive Producer/Director for the popular online educational platform, MasterClass (www.masterclass.com), where the best of the best teach their craft.  Diane is a member of New York Women in Film and Television and the Producers Guild of America (PGA) where she is a Board Member and Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee. 


TAMIR MUHAMMAD
Producer | Founder, Populace

Tamir Muhammad is a Producer Of Film & Television and Founder of Populace. Current credits includes the critically acclaimed HBO series Random Acts of Flyness, as well as the graphic novel The New World, which he’s developing as a feature with Warner Bros. Pictures.  Muhammad previously oversaw OneFifty at Warner Media (formerly Time Warner Inc.), including developing & producing the original slate. Under his direction, OneFifty incubated several boundary-pushing projects before positioning them in the company’s divisions (Warner Bros., HBO, & Turner). Prior to joining Warner Media, Muhammad was VP, Content Development, for Tribeca Enterprise's Digital Studios, overseeing development. He also previously served as VP of Film, TV and Online Programming at the Tribeca Film Institute, overseeing funding and development.


MATTHEW THURM
Producer

Matthew Thurm has produced six feature films, which have played festivals such as Venice, Sundance, and Berlin, and have garnered three Independent Spirit Award Nominations. Thurm co-produced CROWN HEIGHTS by Matt Ruskin, which won the Audience Award at Sundance and was released nationwide by Amazon Studios. He is currently in post-production on SYLVIE by Eugene Ashe, starring Tessa Thompson, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Eva Longoria.


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WEB ORIGINALS JURY

AWARD PRESENTED BY WARNER MEDIA

JANINE SHERMAN BARROIS
Award-Winning Writer | Producer | Showrunner

Janine Sherman Barrois is an award-winning writer/producer, under an exclusive multi-year overall deal with Warner Bros. to create and develop new series. She is currently the Creator and Showrunner of the new drama series, Crime Farm on WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, with Nicole Kidman attached to executive produce. She is also the Showrunner/Executive Producer on the TNT hit dramedy Claws, starring Niecy Nash and Carrie Preston, and Executive Producer/Co-Showrunner of Madam CJ Walker, a Netflix limited series starring Octavia Spencer. Additionally, Barrois has recently made her directorial debut with French Fries, a short she wrote as part of Refinery29’s Shatterbox Anthology series, in conjunction with TNT and with support from the Women at Sundance program.  Previously, Barrois spent five years as an Executive Producer on the CBS hit series Criminal Minds. Prior to that, she was an Executive Producer on ER and worked on the final four seasons of the show. Before ER, Barrois spent five seasons on Third Watch, rising from Story Editor to Co-Executive Producer. She has also written on Eddie Murphy's The PJs and The Jamie Foxx Show. In addition, Barrois is a graduate of the Warner Bros. Writers Workshop.

 

CORNELL BROWN
General Manager, Complex Media

Cornell Brown is the GM of Complex Media, leading a team of over 60 editors, producers, and creatives with the goal of creating content for millennials in their own unique voice across multiple mediums. Prior to helming Complex’s ventures, Cornell joined as TV Bureau Chief for Complex News, a digital channel with over 2 million subscribers, followed by serving as GM of Video, leading a video production team to build an audience of over 10 million loyal YouTube subscribers. His expertise across platforms and understanding of the culture played a key part in helping launch Complex Networks, where he continues to find ways to expand Complex’s distinctive brand in innovative ways.

 

KESILA CHILDERS
VP, Development, Powderkeg

Kesila Childers is Vice President of Development for Paul Feig’s Powderkeg. Before that, she was Director of Content Development for Vimeo. And before that, she was Vice President of Digital Media for Bunim/Murray Productions. There, she developed, produced and delivered original productions for emerging platforms. And before all THAT, Childers graduated from Ithaca College and began her career at Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. She is a member of the PGA, Television Academy, and on the board of directors for the non-profits Hollywood Heart and birdbrain. And before EVERYTHING, she was a baby. A tiny tiny baby with big Hollywood dreams.


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IMRAN SIDDIQ
Executive, Warner Media’s OneFifty

Imran Siddiq currently oversees WarnerMedia’s 150 initiative. An independent film producer, Imran was previously Vice President of Production at Josephson Entertainment and a Manager of Content Production at Paramount’s Digital Entertainment Division.


JERON SMITH
Co-Founder + CEO, Unanimous Media

Jeron Smith is CEO of Unanimous Media, a company he co-founded with business partner Stephen Curry that develops and produces television, film and digital content. Unanimous launched in April 2018 in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment across its film, television, and worldwide partnerships operations.  Smith is a seasoned leader in brand management, helping spearhead the launch of Stephen Curry 30 Inc. as Chief Marketing Officer, and overseeing Curry’s holistic brand strategy and partnership portfolio. In his role at Stephen Curry 30 Inc., Smith developed an industry-leading benchmark formula for player marketing and engineered unprecedented partnership deals with Facebook, Sony, Youtube, Rakuten and Tencent. Prior to teaming up with Curry, Smith worked at the White House Office of Digital Strategy under President Obama, where he developed and implemented a comprehensive digital strategy for the Executive Office of the President including digital content, media partners, whitehouse.gov, as well as @whitehouse and @POTUS social media channels for specific policy initiatives.  


Music Video Jury

NAIMA COCHRANE
Founder, This is cltr.

Naima Cochrane spent 20 years rising in the ranks of the music industry through groundbreaking labels Bad Boy and Arista and legacy majors Columbia and Epic. During her career as a marketer, she helped actualize the visions and build the careers and brand stories for acts including John Legend, Beyoncé, Maxwell, Odd Future, Ciara, Jidenna and more. After some time on the artist management side, she’s utilizing her depth of music knowledge and storycrafting on a broader level as the creator of the popular #MusicSermon Twitter series, as a music and culture writer, and as the founder of This is cltr., a multi-functional agency that works with brands, organizations, and public-facing figures to shape stories in authentic ways.


RICHELLE CROSS
CEO, Class and Sass Promotions

Since 1992, Class and Sass Promotions, Inc. has promoted nearly 5000 music videos and executed the visual marketing strategies for a number of A-list recording artists including: Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj, DJ Khaled, Akon, Notorious B.I.G., Diddy, Janet Jackson, Sade, Babyface, Lenny Kravitz, Madonna, and Justin Timberlake, to name a few.  As CEO, Richelle Cross has built a successful boutique firm that has remained relevant after 25 years by listening to the client’s needs and crafting campaigns that not only cater to the artist’s strengths, but also broaden their audience.  Cross has booked her clients to appear, perform, or host on a number of shows ranging from the BET Awards, VMAs, EMAs, ESPN, People’s Choice Awards, NBA Awards to Watch What Happens Live on Bravo.  During the last year, Cross has expanded her duties by serving as the music supervisor and producer for a handful of independent films that will air over the next few months on cable television.


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STEPHEN G. HILL
CEO, Tricpelvis Productions, LLC

Stephen G. Hill is the current owner and CEO of tricpelvis productions, LLC; a multiplatform content creation company.  Hill is the former President of Programming for BET Networks, where he spent 18 years developing and creating programs for the leading provider of entertainment for the African-American audience and consumers of Black culture globally.  Under Hill’s leadership, the BET team built a noteworthy catalog of quality programming including “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” “The New Edition Story,” ”Being Mary Jane,” and “The Quad”.  Hill is best known for heading the team that developed and implemented the Award winning tentpole shows on BET including the BET Hip Hop Awards, Black Girls Rock!, BET Honors and the show with the largest African-American viewership for many years running, The BET Awards.  During his tenure, he supervised the growth and popularity of the network’s music shows and live events, creating not only unforgettable content and some of the most talked about moments in television, but iconic franchises including “106 & Park,” and “Rap City: Tha Basement.” 


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KEDAR MASSENBURG
Co-Founder, Akonik Label Group

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Massenburg is known for coining the term “neo soul” which inspired a cultural revolution launching the careers of D’Angelo and Erykah Badu.. As the former CEO and President of Motown, Kedar discovered new talent such as India Arie, Damien Marley, Stephen Marley, KEM, Damien Marley and others; and shephered the releases of legacy talent including Stevie Wonder and The Temptations. Kedar sold over 75 million albums that he executive produced during in his career and has won over 30 awards including 8 Grammys for artists under his tenure.  Massenburg is currently co-founder of the Akonik Label Group with the multi-platinum selling, Grammy nominated artist, AKON. This is the first time ever an artist has established a multi-national, multi-cultural label group.


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SCREENPLAYs JURY

AWARD PRESENTED BY BET NETWORKS

TY BRISTOL
Manager, Scripted Programming, BET Networks

Ty Bristol is a Television Executive currently serving as Manager of Scripted Programming for BET Networks. With a record of developing high end and commercially successful content, Bristol understands that the value of media lies not only in its ability to entertain, but also in its authentic efforts to tell modern and diverse stories.

Bristol joined BET’s Original Programming team in 2015 where he quickly ascended the ranks after supporting a number of scripted and unscripted projects. Today, he is a Creative Executive in both development and current scripted series for BET’s Original Programming slate. Notable projects include The New Edition StoryThe Bobby Brown StoryThe QuadGames People Play, and the forthcoming Will Packer comedy, Bigger – BET’s first original series for its SVOD platform BET+. 

The Howard University grad hails from the Washington D.C. area and holds a B.A. in Radio, TV, & Film. Previous experience includes time with Disney/ABC, Smithsonian Channel, and PBS.


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JEREMY PIKSER
VP, Writer’s Guild of America East | Award-Winning Writer

Jeremy is the co-writer of the film Bulworth, for which he won the L.A. Critics Award, as well as Oscar, Golden Globe, and Writers Guild nominations for best screenplay. His War Inc. premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008 and he also wrote The Lemon Sisters and worked on the script and production of Reds (1981). He has recently completed a screenplay co-written with Walter Bernstein about the collaboration of US Intelligence and Communist partisans in 1943 Italy and is about to begin a project with director Sebastian Cordero set in the Galapagos Islands.  He also works as a script consultant for numerous film projects around the world. He has been Vice-President of the Writers Guild of America East for 8 years and teaches a screenwriting workshop at Johns Hopkins University where he is also Artistic Director of the Saul Zaentz Fund Baltimore Screenplay Lab. 


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PAIGE SIMPSON
Manager, Scripted TV, Will Packer Media

Paige Simpson is the Manager of Scripted Television and Production at Will Packer Media (WPM). Prior to her post at WPM, Paige worked at Showtime Networks in Original Programming, working specifically on The Affair, Billions, SMILF, Black Monday, Masters of Sex, Dice and numerous other projects. Before that, she worked for Viola Davis in many different facets. Paige attended Spelman College, majoring in Biology but found her true passion in storytelling while interning at BET with Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd and Michelle Adams. During her internship, she assisted in casting Being Mary Jane, The Start Up, Fruitvale Station and Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B. Currently, Paige is diligently working to bring amazing, diverse content to networks, cable outlets and streaming.