Jurors | 2017
NARRATIVE FEATURES (U.S. CINEMA) JURY
AWARD PRESENTED BY ARRAY
CEO, Jesse Collins Entertainment
Executive Producer, The New Edition Story
Entertainment industry veteran and multi-Image Award® winner Jesse Collins has played an integral role in producing many of television’s most memorable moments in music entertainment. Collins is the executive producer of the critically acclaimed film, The New Edition Story, a biopic on the boy band that aired as a 3-part mini-series on BET in January 2017 and posted record ratings for the network and attracted nearly 30 million viewers. Collins has also produced award-winning programming including the BET Awards, BET Honors, UNCF’s An Evening of Stars, ABFF Awards, Soul Train Awards and the BET Hip Hop Awards, is a consulting producer for the iconic GRAMMY Awards and executive producer of BET’s hit TV series, Real Husbands of Hollywood starring Kevin Hart. He is also the executive producer of VH1 shows Dear Mama and Hip Hop Squares with Ice Cube.
Partner, Get Lifted Film Co.
Mike Jackson is a partner at Get Lifted Film Co., a film and television production company based in Los Angeles, launched by award-winning recording artist and producer, John Legend. Jackson has served as executive producer on Tony-winning play “Jitney;” Oscar-winning musical “LaLa Land;” and critically acclaimed drama, “Underground." Additionally, he executive produced “Southside With You;” Neal Brennan's one-man show “3 Mics,” and audience-favorite “Turn Me Loose,” an off-Broadway one-man play about the life of iconic comedian Dick Gregory. Jackson began his career at Grey Advertising in New York as a production coordinator responsible for publicity of several Broadway shows, including “Chicago,” “Jekyll and Hyde” and “Barrymore.”
Executive Director, ARRAY
Tilane Jones is the Executive Director of ARRAY, a film distribution collaborative focused on filmmakers of color and women. ARRAY has distributed thirteen feature films since 2011 including Ava DuVernay's award winning MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, Andrew Dosunmu's RESTLESS CITY, Storm Saulter's BETTER MUS' COME, Neil Drummings' BIG WORDS, and Haile Gerima's ASHES AND EMBERS. Jones is also Manager of Production for Forward Movement, serving as a producer on all of the company’s visual product. Her film credits include: Ava DuVernay's MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, THIS IS THE LIFE, I WILL FOLLOW, 828 PROJECT, SELMA, and 13TH. Acclaimed fashion and beauty films for Prada and Fashion Fair with THE DOOR and SAY YES, respectively. Her television credits include: BET's Black Girls Rock, My Mic Sounds Nice, along with John Legend Interludes Live, Essence Music Festival 2010, and ESPN Films' Venus Vs.
Senior Vice President, Content Acquisitions, RLJ Entertainment
Angela serves as Senior Vice President, Content Acquisitions for RLJ Entertainment, overseeing the acquisition of content for the company’s urban division, as well General Manager of the company’s own proprietary subscription VOD platform UMC - Urban Movie Channel, launched by RLJ Chairman and BET founder Robert L. Johnson. The subscription channel specializes in video on demand content for African American and urban audiences. Angela joined RLJE from REVOLT TV, where she served as VP, Content Licensing & Acquisitions for the music network founded by Sean “Diddy” Combs which launched in the fall of 2013. Prior to REVOLT, Northington held previous positions at companies on the cutting edge of urban & specialty content distribution, including Codeblack Entertainment, Simmons Lathan Media Group, and Urban Entertainment (Time Warner).
Founder, The Story Company
Director, Producer, Visionary
Tim Story is one of the highest grossing African American directors in the world with his eight feature films grossing over $1 billion in revenue. In 2002, Story made his directorial debut with the hit comedy Barbershop. He followed that success in 2004, with the action comedy Taxi. Immediately after Taxi, Story went to work on the epic adventure Fantastic Four (2005); Story also helmed the 2007 sequel. In 2012, Story helmed the blockbuster romantic ensemble comedy, Think Like A Man. In 2014, Story’s directed Ride Along. Later that year, Story followed the hit with Think Like A Man Too. His most recent film, Ride Along 2, hit theaters in 2016 and grossed over $124 million. As an executive producer, Story produced the Fox television series, Standoff (2006), the urban comedy film First Sunday (2008) and most recently Showtime’s White Famous (2017) starring Jay Pharoah. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences invited Story to join its director’s branch as a member in 2013.
NARRATIVE FEATURES (WORLD CINEMA) JURY
Writer, Director, Producer
Rob Hardy and his company Rainforest Entertainment have partnered with producer Jerry Bruckheimer to produce a new series for Fox entitled, Atlanta’s Most Wanted. Hardy is also set to direct the pilot for the show. Additionally his hit BET Networks series The Quad, which was listed by the New York times as one of the Top 15 Shows to Watch in 2017, is currently in production for Season 2. Hardy, who is a 2014 NAACP Image Award nominee, broke into network television at Warner Bros. with his January 2007 directorial debut of the Emmy Award winning show ER. He continues to direct some of TV’s hottest shows including: Blindspot, Shameless, The Flash, Power, Arrow, Black-ish, How to Get Away with Murder, Empire, Criminal Minds, Step Up: Highwater, Kevin Probably Saves the World, Grey’s Anatomy, Being Mary Jane, Bones, Castle, The Vampire Diaries, and Finding Carter.
Founder & Executive Director
Moikgantsi Kgama is an audience development specialist with a reputation for excellence in her field. Her credits include: I WILL FOLLOW, Academy Award nominated TROUBLE THE WATER, KILLER SHEEP and LUMUMBA to name a few. She is also the founder of the ImageNation Cinema Foundation, a Harlem-based nonprofit media arts organization, that presents progressive media by and about people of color. Through a variety of public exhibitions and programs, ImageNation fosters media equity, media literacy, solidarity, cross-cultural exchange and highlights the humanity of Pan-African people worldwide. ImageNation is currently developing its existing Harlem-based RAW SPACE Culture Gallery into a 60-seat, boutique cinema-café dedicated to Black and Latino film, music and culture.
Producer, Director, Editor
Geeta Gandbhir has been nominated for three Emmy Awards and has won two. As editor, films have been nominated twice for the Academy Award, winning once, and have also won three Peabody Awards. Most recently, a feature documentary she produced with Perri Peltz and directed with Academy Award Winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, "A Journey of A Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers" premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. She is currently co-directing and co-producing a "Conversation" series on race with The New York Times Op-Docs, and she co-directed and edited the film, "Remembering the Artist, Robert De Niro, Sr.” with Perri Peltz for HBO. Additional notable works as an editor include, "Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown," "Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley" for HBO, which was nominated for an Emmy, "When the Levees Broke," "By the People: The Election of Barack Obama," "Music By Prudence," "Budrus," "If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise," and "God is the Bigger Elvis" which was nominated for the 2012 Academy Awards.
NARRATIVE SHORTS JURY
AWARD PRESENTED BY AT&T
Creative Executive, Stage 13
Christine Dávila is a Creative Executive at Stage 13, a new original digital-first content brand that is part of Warner Bros. Digital Networks. In 2013 she established the non-profit, Ambulante California, a traveling documentary film festival originated in Mexico by Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal. She has over twelve years of experience in film programming at various top-notch festivals like Sundance Film Festival, where she has been a Programming Associate since 2008. Dávila is also a Programmer at the Curaçao International Film Festival Rotterdam, which focuses on discovering emerging Caribbean filmmakers. She tracks American Latino films and filmmakers, and the independent film festival scene on her blog chicanafromchicago.com.
Media Entrepreneur & Producer
Founder & CEO, First World Media
Keith Clinkscales is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of First World Media, a media company founded on the belief that urban culture is the most influential force on this planet. Founded in 2017, First World Media is charting a path to provide products, services and events that celebrates the resonant culture that drives the world. Clinkscales is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Shadow League Digital, a multimedia company and digital publisher dedicated to providing journalistically sound sports and pop culture coverage through an influential cultural perspective. Clinkscales’ passion for quality journalism has earned him over 40 credits as an executive producer of films and documentaries, many of which were earned during his 8 years as a Senior Vice President at ESPN. During his time at ESPN, he co-created the award winning and critically acclaimed sports documentary series “30 for 30”. Clinkscales is also the former Chief Executive Officer of REVOLT Media & TV.
Vice President of Film Programming
Chris Grunden has been with HBO since 1991 and is Vice President of Film Programming. He is part of the team that negotiates the network’s major Hollywood studio long-term output and library deals. Grunden is also responsible for independent film acquisitions, many of which premiere on Cinemax, HBO’s sister network. In his career at HBO, Grunden has done acquisitions for HBO’s international channels and HBO Home Entertainment, has been involved in independent film pre-buy/production deals, and has acquired other programming such as documentaries, series, and short films. He produced the short film MAN ABOUT TOWN, which won Best Short at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. Grunden acted as a 2016 Creative Capital artist mentor and is on the advisory board of the newportFILM festival. He is a graduate of Bates College and has an M.A. in English and American Literature from New York University.
Executive Director, Content & Artist Development, Time Warner Inc.
As Executive Director, Content & Artist Development for Time Warner Inc., Tamir Muhammad is responsible for a new digital initiative that creates meaningful ways for today’s content creators to further engage Time Warner’s divisions (Warner Bros., HBO, and Turner Broadcasting) with the company’s longstanding focus on the development of the next generation of storytellers. Prior to joining Time Warner Inc., Tamir was the VP, Content Development for Tribeca Enterprise's Digital Studios overseeing the development of content ideas for production and distribution. Tamir also served as the VP, Film, TV, and Online Programming for several years at the Tribeca Film Institute, where he oversaw funding and development of projects by established and emerging filmmakers.
DOCUMENTARY FEATURES JURY
AWARD PRESENTED BY HBO
Executive Director, National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC)
Leslie was initially hired in 2001 to manage NBPC’s grant making activities that supported the production and development of documentary programs for PBS. By 2005, she was the Director of Programming, leading the distribution of all funded programs to public television. In 2008, with six independent titles in need of a public television broadcast, Leslie suggested NBPC create its own documentary series to highlight the variety and depth of the global black experience. AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange is now in its 9th season and is the only national public television series focused solely on stories from the black experience. In the fall of 2014, Leslie was appointed to serve as NBPC’s third Executive Director. Though she keeps the pulse on the development of program content and its distribution across public media platforms, she is focused on growing NBPC’s resources to enable it to support more stories about the black experience.
SVP, HBO Documentary Films
Jacqueline Glover is SVP, HBO Documentary Films, for Home Box Office, responsible for overseeing the development and production of documentary films. Most recently, Glover served as executive producer for the Emmy Award Winner Jim: The James Foley Storey. 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 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; the Emmy Award-winning Teddy: In His Own Words; as well as the high-profile documentary A Family Is A Family Is A Family: A Rosie O’Donnell Celebration.
Yoruba Richen is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has directed films in the U.S. and abroad, including Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. Her work has been featured on PBS, New York Times Op Doc, Frontline Digital, New York Magazine’s website, The Cut and The Atlantic. Her last feature documentary, The New Black, won multiple audience awards, won best documentary at the Urbanworld Film Festival and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a GLAAD Media Award. It was broadcast on Independent Lens. Yoruba’s previous film Promised Land, received a Diverse Voices Co-Production fund award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and won the Fledgling Fund award for social issue documentary. It aired on POV. Yoruba recently won a Clio award for her short film about the Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day. She has also won the Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access and was a Sundance Producers Fellow. Yoruba is a featured TED Speaker, a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fulbright awardee. She is a 2016 recipient of the Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Filmmaker Award. Yoruba is director of the documentary program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
AWARD PRESENTED BY BET NETWORKS
Director of Community, The Black List
Kate Hagen is a writer living in Los Angeles. Kate became Director of Community at The Black List in 2014, where she manages and fosters the Black List community on social media and via the Black List website, edits and curates the Black List Blog, and was the co-host and co-producer of The Black List Table Reads podcast on Earwolf. Kate's work has been published by Lenny Letter, xoJane, Seed & Spark, and TCM, and she's the creator of 31 Days of Feminist Horror Films, now in its third year.
Creative Network Executive
From best selling author to film and TV executive to reality show producer, Tamara Gregory has thrived in just about every facet of the entertainment industry. She is a rare executive who has corporate, indie, film, television, scripted, unscripted, on-air, and digital media experience. For the last six years, Gregory has played an instrumental role in BET’s successful launch into the original scripted arena, including oversight of the development and production of the critically acclaimed drama series, BEING MARY JANE; REBEL, a crime drama, executive produced by John Singleton; and forthcoming series IN CONTEMPT.
Screenwriter & Playwright
Jennifer Mayer is a screenwriter, a playwright and a native New Yorker. She has written several screenplays, including screenplays for Kopelson Entertainment and Summit Entertainment, and she has worked with director Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project. Jennifer is Black and Jewish, and her writing often explores race, gender and social justice. She is the cofounder of Creatives In Action, an all-volunteer collective of artists, creative professionals and activists. She received her BA from Yale University.
VP, Writer's Guild of America East / Award-Winning Writer
Jeremy Pikser is the co-writer of the film Bulworth, for which he won the LA Critics Award, as well as Oscar, Golden Globe and Writer’s Guild nominations for best screenplay. War, Inc., a satire about US policy in the Middle East, which he wrote with Mark Leyner and John Cusack, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008. He also wrote The Lemon Sisters and worked on the script and production of Reds (1981.) He is currently writing John Doe 4 with Ian Grody for Madbrook Development, and recently completed a comedy Me 2 with Mark Leyner. He is also working on a treatment for a mini series about James Baldwin in Paris. In the spring of 2016 he co-ordinated the Saul Saentz Foundation –Johns Hopkins Baltimore Screenwriter’s Lab. Currently, he is Vice President of the Writer’s Guild of America East, and teacher of graduate screenwriting at Johns Hopkins University. He taught a screenwriting workshop at NYU from 1999 to 2012 and has regularly served as a creative advisor to the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab, and the Laboratorio de Guionistas in Mexico. He has also advised at screenwriting labs in the UK, France, Italy, Brazil, Jordan, Ecuador, and Turkey.
YOUNG FILMMAKER JURY
CATEGORY PRESENTED BY REVOLT
Vice Chairman, REVOLT
Andre Harrell serves as Vice Chairman of REVOLT Media & TV. An entertainment powerhouse with credentials spanning film, television, music and branding, Harrell has helped influence and create urban and millennial culture around the world. In this role, Harrell oversees the REVOLT Music Conference (RMC), which welcomed 70 speakers and hosted 800 attendees during October 2015 in Miami Beach, FL. For four decades, Harrell has been one of the leading entertainment entre-preneurs and cultural ambassadors of our time – as a member of the early 80s pioneer rap duo Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde; a film and television producer; founder of Uptown Records; Chairman of Motown Records; and founder of Nu America advertising agency.
Eva Marcille is an actor and entrepreneur. She was selected for the third cycle of America’s Next Top Model, and went on to win the cycle and signed with Ford Models. After America’s Next Top Model, Eva made the transition into film and television. She landed a role on Taye Diggs’ Kevin Hill and was bitten by the acting bug. Eva has guest starred on several television shows including Smallville and Everybody Hates Chris and landed a recurring role on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. She also showed off her comedy chops on the first season of MTV’s Wildin’ Out. Eva made her film debut in 2007’s I Think I Love My Wife, starring Chris Rock. In 2008, Eva joined the cast of the long-running daytime drama The Young and The Restless as Tyra Hamilton. Eva continues to grow as a multifaceted talent in modeling, hosting and acting. She also has the title of producer under her belt after producing and starring in Oxygen’s Girlfriend Confidential. She has appeared in a recurring role on the popular BET comedy series, Real Husbands of Hollywood. In 2014, Eva booked a lead role in a TVOne comedy Born Again Virgin as Tara Johnson, the show is currently in its second season. In 2017 Eva is excited to release her signature eyewear line, First Ave, inspired by her free spirited and chic lifestyle.
Founder, Urbanworld / Co-Founder, Moviepass
Stacy Spikes is an entrepreneur and the Co-Founder of MoviePass® the nation’s first theatrical subscription service that allows subscribers the freedom to attend movies in theaters at a fixed monthly price. MoviePass was voted Top 25 most disruptive technology companies by Business Insider. Spikes is also the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Urbanworld® Film Festival which is the world’s largest competitive festival of its kind. In 2011 Spikes was honored by Mayor Bloomberg with the “Made In NY” Award for outstanding achievement in New York City media and entertainment industry. Spikes currently lives in Greenwich Village NYC with his wife and daughter.
Music Video Jury
EVP of Brand Partnerships & Commercial Licensing, Atlantic Records
Camille Hackney currently holds the dual title of Executive Vice President of Brand Partnerships & Commercial Licensing at Atlantic Records and Head of the Global Brand Partnerships Council for Warner Music Group headquartered in New York City. In her position, she is responsible for cultivating strategic partnerships for the company and Atlantic’s diverse roster of top-notch artists with the goal of marrying musical talent with prominent brands to create impactful campaigns and promotions. She has worked with companies including Coca-Cola, Kraft, Adidas, Verizon Wireless, Pepsi, Microsoft, Nokia, Heineken, Samsung, Apple, AT&T, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, Chrysler, Diageo, P&G, and many others. Her responsibilities also include general marketing department duties. Camille has appeared on Fox Business News network as a special music business commentator and has been quoted and profiled in numerous publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Advertising Age, Billboard, Brandweek, Adweek, The Entertainment Marketing Letter, Essence, VIBE, Spin, and others.
Shawn Peters is a cinematographer represented by the William Morris Agency. He was recently named a 2017 Sundance/Time Warner Artist Fellow and was listed as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces in Independent Film in 2016, as well as a Sundance Institute Fellow the same year. He received a 2015 Creative Capital Grant for his long-term project the The Art of Dying Young. Samples of his work can be seen at www.shawnpeters.com.
Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Soulhead.com
Ron Worthy is the founder and editor-in-chief of soulhead.com, a global music lifestyle community based on Brooklyn, New York. During his 20+ year career in finance and technology, he has lead product, marketing, business development and strategic partnerships for some of the web's leading digital brands including Match, Tinder, BlackPeopleMeet, BlackPlanet and more. He has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Essence, Ebony, Black Enterprise and on the Steve Harvey Morning Show.