2013 Judge Bios
LISA CORTES (Best Fiction Film)
Lisa Cortés is a veteran of both the film and music industries. Most recently, she was Executive Producer of the film PRECIOUS. In 2010, the film won two Academy Awards (Best Actress in a Supporting Role) and (Best Adapted Screenplay), five Independent Spirit Awards and five NAACP Image Awards. Additional producer credits include THE WOODSMAN, SHADOWBOXER, TENNESSEE and SANGAM. In late 2009, Cortés started her own production company, Cortés Films. Her prior experience producing and working closely with other filmmakers and talent has already attracted several projects currently in development.
RASHAAD ERNESTO GREEN (Best Undregraduate Film)
Rashaad Ernesto Green holds a BFA from Dartmouth College and an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Film Program. He was one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2010 and is the recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation Award and NYU’s Spike Lee Fellowship. His short films have screened on HBO, BET, Sundance and won accolades at festivals internationally. His work has been supported by HBO, NBC, Time Warner, Sundance, Tribeca Film Institute and IFP. Rashaad’s first feature GUN HILL ROAD premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition
BRENT GREEN (Best Animation Film)
Working in the Appalachian hills of rural Pennsylvania, Brent Green is a visual artist, filmmaker and storyteller. Green’s films have often screened with live musical accompaniment, in film and art settings alike at venues such as MoMA, The J. Paul Getty Museum, The Walker Art Center, The Rotterdam Film Festival, The Sundance Film Festival and even extending to rooftops, warehouses and galleries throughout the globe. Often, his sculptural work and large-scale installations are displayed alongside his animated films. He recently had solo exhibitions at Art Without Walls, Diverseworks Houston and the Berkeley Art Museum. Green has crafted his rickety folk punk style into everything from a feature film (GRAVITY WAS EVERYWHERE BACK THEN, 2010) to a hacked lcd and steel animation machine (TO MANY MEN STRANGE FATES ARE GIVEN, 2012) to even his newest feature film endeavors in live action and photography collage (in progress). He is a 2005 Creative Capital grantee. Green’s work is in several permanent collections including the Progressive Collection and MoMA.
SABINE HOFFMAN (Best Editing)
Sabine Hoffman has edited and consulted on narrative films and documentaries for 20 years. Credits include Rebecca Miller’s filmsPERSONAL VELOCITY, THE BALLAD OF JACK AND ROSE, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, and THE PRIVATE LIVES OF PIPPA LEE, starring Robin Wright and Blake Lively. She edited Morgan J. Freeman’s filmHURRICANE STREETS, BROTHER TO BROTHER by Rodney Evans andTHE DRY LAND by Ryan Piers Williams. She recently completed editing on MAY IN THE SUMMER by Cherien Dabis which was the Opening Night Film Selection for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Sabine also serves as a mentor for Reelworks, a Brooklyn-based youth filmmaking program, and is on the Advisory Board of the Woodstock Film Festival.
NADIA HALLGREN (Best Cinematography)
Nadia Hallgren works as a cinematographer and a director. She has worked with directors such as Michael Moore on FAHRENHEIT 9/11 and Tia Lessin and Carl Deal on the Academy Award-nominated documentary TROUBLE THE WATER. Nadia is a Cinereach fellow and her most recent film as director, LOVE LOCKDOWN, premiered at the SXSW film festival and won best short film at HBO’s Urbanworld Film Festival. Her other film SANZA HANZA, a documentary about teenage train surfers in Soweto, South Africa was acquired by PBS.
TORY LENOSKY (Best First Film)
Tory Lenosky was an executive producer on Cam Archer’s second feature film SHIT YEAR which premiered in 2010 in the Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. She line produced Ira Sachs’ KEEP THE LIGHTS ON which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Dramatic Competition and was nominated for 4 Independent Spirit Awards including best feature. In 2012, she was awarded a Sundance Producing Fellowship as a Mark Silverman honoree with producing partner Lucas Joaquin for their project BRIGHT AS DAY. She is currently set to produce WHY NOW?! starring Marisa Tomei and Sam Rockwell, Sarah Daggar-Nickson’s first feature FROM THE SHADOWS IT WILL COME, and will co-produce acclaimed actor Ben Foster’s directorial debut ANGELHEAD.
YORUBA RICHEN (Best Non-Fiction Film)
Yoruba Richen is a documentary filmmaker who has directed and produced films in the U.S. and abroad in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. Her latest film THE NEW BLACK has received widespread support and will air on PBS in 2014. Yoruba’s previous film PROMISED LAND, received a Diverse Voices Co-Production fund award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and was broadcast on the Emmy-Award winning program POV in 2010. Yoruba is a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow.
SHELLY SILVER (Best Experimental Film)
Shelly Silver is a New York based artist utilizing video, film and photography. Her work explores contested territories between public and private, narrative and documentary. She has been exhibited widely throughout the US, Europe and Asia at venues such as MoMA, the ICP, MoCA, The Yokohama Museum, The Pompidou Center, The Kyoto Museum, the London ICA, and the London, Singapore, New York, Moscow and Berlin Film Festivals. Silver has received numerous fellowships and grants from organizations such as the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, NYSCA, NYFA, and the Jerome Foundation. Broadcasts include BBC/England, PBS/USA, Arte/Germany, RTE/Ireland and SWR/Germany. Her latest feature TOUCH premiered at the 2013 International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Silver is an associate professor in Visual Arts at Columbia University.
RON SIMONS (Best Graduate Film)
Ron Simons is a Tony Award-winning producer and actor. He is the founder and president of SimonSays Entertainment which produced the critically acclaimed films NIGHT CATCHES US, GUN HILL ROAD, BLUE CAPRICE and MOTHER OF GEORGE (all premiering at the Sundance Film Festival). He also produced the hit shows PORGY & BESS (Tony Award winner), A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, RADIO GOLF and VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE. As an actor, Mr. Simons has appeared on stage and in film and television. He and fellow cast members won the London Stage Award for Acting Excellence for the play BOY STEALS TRAIN which he co-developed. He holds a BA from Columbia College, an MBA from Columbia Business School and an MFA from the University of Washington’s Professional Actor Training Program.
KEN URBAN (Best Short form Screenplay)
Ken Urban’s plays have been produced and developed at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Summer Plays Festival @ The Public, Donmar Warehouse (London), The Flea, Studio 42, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Playwrights Horizons, Irish Rep, Primary Stages, and The Huntington. His play THE CORRESPONDENT will be produced as part of Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre’s 2013-14 season. Awards include the Weissberger Playwriting Award, Huntington Playwriting Fellowship, Dramatist Guild Fellowship, MacDowell Colony Fellowships and SPF/Donmar Warehouse Residency. His feature film adaptation of his play THE HAPPY SAD, directed by Rodney Evans, will premiere at film festivals in the summer of 2013. Ken has taught writing at Harvard University, Tufts University, Rutgers University, Bucknell University and the Einhorn School of Performing Arts at Primary Stages.