Don Hessell | Made in Michigan Juror
Don is currently the Film Program Manager for the Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival in Bay City where he’s been actively involved for the last 6 years. Prior to joining the Hell’s Half Mile team, he spent 3 years as an organizer with the Made-in-Michigan Film Festival, and has been a supporter of Michigan filmmaking ever since. “Having attended Vidlings & Tapeheads Film Festival last year, I love the spirit of the fest, and I’m very excited to take part on the Jury for Michigan films.”
Chelsey Knapp | Made in Michigan Juror | VTFF2017 Filmmaker Alum
Chelsey’s love for filmmaking began when she was 8 years old. What started as a bunch of 2nd graders ‘making art’ with their parents’ 90s camcorders quickly evolved into a lifestyle of filming everything. Since 2012, she has traveled the world working with M-1 Studios as a Sr. Director & Editor while also creating her own films. In her latest award-winning short film, Lemon Eyes (2017), Knapp uses striking imagery to explore a reluctant housewife’s experience of the 1920s. The film has screened at over 15 film festivals worldwide and has also received several honors along the way. Of all the experiences Chelsey has had along this film festival rollercoaster, Vidlings & Tapeheads holds a very special place in her heart. To be involved with this year’s judging is a true honor.
Summre Garber | Documentary Juror | VTFF2018 Programmer Alum
Summre Garber is a producer and programmer of films. Besides producing four short films and directing one about a podcast that helps put people to sleep, Summre was the Director of Operations at Slamdance for four years until 2013 when she became the Co-Captain of the Documentary Programming Committee and has maintained that role ever since. She has also been a Senior Programmer for the Bentonville Film Festival for the last two years, in addition to screening and consulting for a number of other festivals, including AFI and IFFLA. She is happy to let anyone know who asks that in 2017 she watched over 500 film festival submissions. Summre received an MA in Film Theory from San Francisco State University.
Morrisa Maltz | Documentary Juror
Morrisa Maltz is an artist and filmmaker. Maltz holds a BA from Columbia University where she studied visual art. Her work is cross-disciplinary between art and film. Her art work has been shown at MOCA and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara. In 2012, Maltz created Mofones, an art product for iphones that was sold in Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom and MOCA stores. Her first short film, THE CARETAKER, won Best Live Action Short at the 2013 LES Film Festival and her second short film, ODYSSEA, premiered at Slamdance Film Festival 2014. Maltz’s feature documentary, INGRID, premiered at Slamdance 2018 and she is currently working on a documentary/narrative hybrid feature, THE UNKNOWN COUNTRY.
www.morrisamaltz.com | www.maltzstudio.com | www.mofones.com
Anne Hu | Fiction Juror | VTFF2017 Filmmaker Alum, Best of Fest Winner
Anne Hu is a Taiwanese American, award-winning director, writer, editor, and actress who is currently a Senior Producer and Editor at HBO.
She has edited trailers for films and television shows including The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and more.
She has also directed promos and award-winning short films. “Balloon,” her hand-drawn animated short placed Top 16 in the Campus MovieFest Northeast Regional Competition. Her latest short “Cake" has been accepted into 31 festivals and has earned 9 awards, including Best Writer/Director. The Washington Post also wrote an article on “Cake” for its satire on the objectification of Asian women in mainstream media.
Hu has volunteered and co-led two NYC filmmakers collectives, Film Fatales NYC Shorts (a female director’s collective) and The Filmshop.
Her upcoming projects include two films about her experiences growing up Asian American in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio: “Lunchbox” (a dramatic short) and “Mother” (a supernatural horror feature film). Additionally, she is in development for “Dating Patterns” (a dark comedic digital series).
Her mission is to create honest and visual stories about minorities. In particular, Hu is passionate about relationship and Asian American themes. She often writes from personal experience, and she creates provocative work that not only tests boundaries but also possesses purpose. Hu hopes to impact audiences through profound and poignant stories, so they may see the world through a different lens.
www.annehu.com | www.cakethefilm.com
Ryan Moser | Fiction Juror | VTFF2017 Filmmaker Alum
Born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains of Arizona. Ryan began his filmmaking career while still in high school, producing short films on a VHS camcorder that was owned by his parents. This amateur hobby quickly transcended into a passion for film style and technique. Ryan took his first steps into the professional realm of cinema by attending The Zaki Gordon Institute for Independent Filmmaking in Sedona, Arizona; graduating with a degree in Digital Film Production. Upon graduation, he went on to direct numerous commercial spots, short films, and the narrative feature Turning Point. His most recent feature film titled Farm Days is in post-production and will be coming soon.
Raymond Carr | Animation Juror
Raymond Carr has been a filmmaker, theatrical director, designer and Puppeteer for more than fifteen years. His award-winning films have been accepted into Oscar-qualifying film festivals all over the world such as San Diago Comic Con, Dragon Con, London Sci-Fi Festival, Slamdance Film Festival and many more. His highly stylized films specialize in the sci-fi/fantasy genres. He has designed, and puppeteered for The Jim Henson Company, Nick Jr’s, Walking with Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular Tour, various projects for Cartoon Network & Adult Swim, IFC, BBC and Bento Box Entertainment.
Renee Zhan | Animation Juror | VTFF2017 Filmmaker Alum
Renee Zhan is a Chinese American director and animator from Houston, Texas. She is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies. Her films have screened at international film festivals including Locarno, SXSW, Telluride, and won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Animated Short at Slamdance. In her work she is primarily interested in exploring the joy in movement, texture, and birds. Renee likes wearing pretty dresses and making ugly films.
Jerry White Jr. | Festival Director & Programmer
Jerry first got involved with film by making home movies as a teenager in the suburbs of Metro Detroit. His ’90s public access TV show, “30 Minutes of Madness”, spawned a feature documentary that received great reviews and extensive coverage in MovieMaker Magazine, Hollywood Reporter, and dozens of other major media outlets before getting picked up by STARZ. After study & work stints in Germany and Japan, Jerry earned his M.F.A. in Film & Television Production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in 2013. As an actor, director, and producer, he has screened films at over a hundred film festivals worldwide, winning numerous awards as well as securing international distribution. Since 2015, he’s been a programmer for the Slamdance Film Festival, served as a juror for FilmQuest and the Oak Cliff Film Festival in 2016, and added programming duties for FilmQuest in 2017. Jerry founded the Vidlings & Tapeheads Film Festival to help promote unconventional narrative filmmaking and bring progressive and eclectic voices together. His other passion projects include making music, writing weird fiction, and lucid daydreaming.
www.vidlingsandtapeheads.com | www.jerrywhitejr.com | www.30mom.com
Favorite Unconventional Narrative Film: Brazil (1985) Directed by Terry Gilliam
I love so much about this movie. The performances, the look of it—how it confounds expectations of the hero’s journey and has a damsel in distress that’s far tougher and more resourceful than man who (literally) dreams of rescuing her. It is so alive and full of ideas that you get the sense Gilliam thought this might be the last movie he’d ever make, so best make it count. The cast is incredible. Jonathan Pryce does so much with a protagonist who is rather unexceptional and only dimly aware that he’s been an unwitting career villain; a functionary of a cruel system. “Brazil” rewards multiple viewings and many of the supporting characters seem to be starring in tandem movies of their own (DeNiro!). Michael Palin as the cheerful face of absurd fascism is both funny and horrifying. Like many of the characters in this film, he proves that sometimes the most terrible thing you can possibly do is your job well.
Seraphine Collective | Music Curator
Since 2013, Seraphine Collective has grown and changed dramatically. The collective now includes many who work tirelessly to advance a supportive and collaborative community of feminist musicians and artists in Detroit. We do this in part by providing opportunities for individuals to connect through music appreciation and expression. We regularly curate shows, festivals, and workshops that feature local and touring musicians, and we continue to feature emerging and established musicians on seraphinecollective.org and social media outlets. The ultimate goal of the Collective is to open a space in the city of Detroit where the diverse community of women, femmes, queer, transgender, and POC adult and youth artists, patrons, and residents can support and foster visibility of this community in a music scene dominated by patriarchal and institutionally racist cultural norms.
Inspired by feminist ethos, our collective aims to be accessible to those who may typically feel excluded from or underrepresented in Detroit’s independent music scenes, and encourages the honest expression of both feminist unity and differences.
www.seraphinecollective.org | www.facebook.com/seraphinecollective
Alana Carlson | Art Coordinator
Alana is a bunny rabbit that’s been hanging around the periphery of the Vidlings & Tapeheads crew for a number of years. She adores vegetables, grains and fruits and has recently expanded her diet to include “cat food” (fish). She keeps her warren tidy and her hair long. Her Bachelor of Fine Arts (2003, Concentration: Painting) hails from Kendall College of Art & Design, which is a good school if you’re into that kind of thing.
Favorite Unconventional Narrative Film: True Stories (1986) Directed by David Byrne
David Byrne acts as host/narrator to an interwoven series of tales inspired by tabloid headlines and set in fictional Virgil, Texas as they prepare for their “Celebration of Special-Ness.” Combining musical, art and comedy genres, this film is full of oddly delivered asides from Byrne, as well as quirky, out-there, yet somehow still relatable dialogue from the rest of the cast (including Spalding Gray, John Goodman, and Swoosie Kurtz). Plus, it’s got a great soundtrack!
Andy Menko | Sponsorship & Media Coordinator
Andy spends his days editing videos and writing computer programs. He graduated from The Motion Picture Institute of Michigan in 2005 and co-founded the Metro Shorts Film Festival that same year. In his spare time, Andy enjoys playing classic and modern video games, watching movies, and spending time with his wife and three kids.
Favorite Unconventional Narrative Film: Pi (1998) Directed by Darren Aronofsky
“Pi” was unlike anything I’d seen when it came out. Low-budget, but it didn’t feel like it. Gritty black and white without it coming off like a gimmick. And a great soundtrack! Bold framing choices and extreme angles centering around the main character force you to follow his descent into madness and self-discovery.
Claire S. Callow | Programmer
Claire graduated summa cum laude from the Wayne State University Film Studies program in 1998. An avid and self-described movie freak, her favorite genre is sci-fi. Favorite directors are P.T. Anderson, Jane Campion, and Howard Hawks, but she’s more likely to be found binge-watching “The Mindy Project” or “Star Trek” reruns. Her senior thesis title was “The Monstrous Mother,” exploring all manner of mama in sci-fi films. This has been very fitting and helpful in her current career as a stay-at-home mother of two.
Favorite Unconventional Narrative Film: Moon (2009) Directed by Duncan Jones
Jones’ “Moon” presents a dark and austere view of space with moralistic questions and a deeply affecting, emotional and humorous performance by Sam Rockwell. A modern sci-fi classic, it examines themes of isolation, technology, and bureaucracy.
Diana Chao | Programmer
Diana is a Taiwanese filmmaker, who earned her BA in English Literature & Linguistics from National Chengchi University & MFA in Film Production at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts by concentrating in writing & directing. In 2012, she directed a US-China collaboration feature “Finding Mr. Right in NYC.” In 2014, she worked with the “Kung Fu Panda 3” team as interpreter at Dreamworks. Dedicated to independent filmmaking, she joined the team of the Vidlings & Tapeheads Film Festival as their programmer. “The Restoration” and “Match” are her first two independent shorts after graduation. Currently, she’s working on her next short film “Big Little Man” and developing her first feature project.
Favorite Unconventional Narrative Film: 3-Iron (2004) Directed by Kim Ki-duk
A young drifter and a girl he rescued in his journey wander from one and another empty houses to fill them with love and life. Compared to the silent couple—not a single word is exchanged between the two of them throughout the whole film—everyone else around them is loud, argumentative and talkative without much meaning expressed. It’s an absolutely cinematic and poetic piece that explores the relationship between silence and voice, home and dwelling, and more importantly, between emptiness and existence. Oh, by the way, this amazing film was shot in 13 days.
Diane Hodson | Programmer
Diane is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and educator. Her work has screened at festivals around the globe, including SXSW, Hamptons International, and DokuFest. She was recently a contributing producer on the hit podcast, Missing Richard Simmons, and teaches filmmaking and storytelling at New York University and the Jacob Burns Film Center.
Favorite Unconventional Narrative Film: The Dazzling Light of Sunset (2016) Directed by Salomé Jashi
Highlighting the absurd and the poetic through static wide shots and an eye for beautiful compositions, Salomé Jashi invites viewers into her native country of Georgia to question the very nature of what it means to film and be filmed.
Lo Lankford | Programmer
Lo is a southern native, NYU film grad, and current L.A. dweller. An early graduate of “The Big 3” (Hearst – Cosmopolitan, Time Inc. – Entertainment Weekly, Conde Nast – Jane) they have also written, produced and edited for NBC, Paste Magazine, MTV and several others. Lo has traveled all over the world covering film festivals as a critic and is a screener for AFI and SXSW.
Favorite Unconventional Narrative Film: Un Chien Andalou (1929) Directed by Luis Buñuel
This early film-era silent surrealist film is one snobby pick, I know, but it’s a favorite amongst many cinema studies students for good reason. A collaboration between celebrated Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel and artist Salvador Dali, it was Buñuel’s first film and ran for eight months in Paris upon its release. Picasso was at the premiere! With no conventional plot, the chronology is disjointed, jumping from “once upon a time” to “eight years later” without events or characters changing much. It uses dream logic — or Freudian free association, if you please. 17 minutes of black and white art house pleasure!
Geoff Marschall | Programmer
Geoff is a freelance cinematographer. Originally from Pennsylvania, he received his BA in Film from Vassar College and MFA in Film Production from USC. He has shot films, music videos, and documentaries all over the world. His most recent project is a documentary about aboriginal groups in Taiwan.
Favorite Unconventional Narrative Film: Yaji and Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims (2005) Directed by Kankurô Kudô
A bizarre road film following a gay couple in Edo period Japan on their quest to get clean from heroin. They encounter strange samurai, unusual animals, and even death as they travel across Japan. Anachronistic cultural references abound in this comedy ending with a beautiful message about love.
Sarey Martin | Programmer
Sarey began her career with assistant gigs at Maverick Films and E! Entertainment, before beginning a decade-long partnership at boutique management firm Spectacle Entertainment Group. At SEG, she primarily oversaw the careers of various rock stars, and became right-hand to producer/manager Andy Gould and long-time client, Rob Zombie. She amicably departed Spectacle in 2016 to pursue her own writing and producing projects. www.sarey.biz
Favorite Unconventional Narrative Film: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) Directed by Terry Gilliam
The third in Gilliam’s “Imagination Trilogy” is a delightful telling of The Baron’s fantastical adventures, wherein his only real enemy is old-age and Death itself. Whether the tales are true matters not, for their power and meaning prevails!
Parisa Rezvani | Programmer
Parisa is a DIT and Colorist for commercials, TV shows, and films, based in Los Angeles, CA. In her spare time, she explores and creates projects as a Visual Anthropologist. But really, in a majority of her spare time, she is a television/film addict, who loves and is inspired by all forms and structures of audio/visual storytelling.
Favorite Unconventional Narrative Film: Sans Soleil (1983) Directed by Chris Marker
In this “documentary,” Marker meditatively plays with the concept of memory as un/real, and as personal perception compounded by/to social consciousness. Layering multicultural imagery with a soft feminine narration, he gently asks his audience to rethink time and place as shaped from recollection.
Jesseca Ynez Simmons | Programmer
Jesseca is a filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist based in Chicago, IL. Originally from the Bay Area, she received her BA in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, followed by an MFA in Documentary Media from Northwestern University. Jesseca was a finalist for the 2016 American Society of Cinematographer’s Vilmos Zsigmond Award and a 2015 Southern Exposure Film Fellow for the Southern Environmental Law Center in Birmingham, AL. In addition to directing, Jesseca works as a cinematographer and her images have been screened at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), Hot Docs Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, DocLisboa, Sidewalk Film Festival as well as on National Geographic. Jesseca currently holds the Filmmaker in Residence position at Northwestern University. In addition to filmmaking, Jesseca works in crafting stained glass windows, painting and poetry.
Favorite Unconventional Narrative Film: The Illinois Parables (2016) Directed by Deborah Stratman
The Illinois Parables is a historical film like no other. Told in 11 vignettes, we travel through time, like ghosts, in order to explore our all too human nature. Feeling more like a seance than a didactic regurgitation, the audience is compelled to come fourth and think about our own relationship to the way we understand the past. This experimental documentary moves though geographical, ideological and abstract boundaries to create haunting juxtapositions of faith, power and violence. Deborah Stratman’s structure enables one to grapple with moments of Illinois’ past without losing them to damnable textbook histories while also breaking through the illusion of the distance of time.