PTAFF'S 2022 JUDGES
Debra Hughes is a child of the 60's era. She started her career in film finance at Crocker National Bank. She later worked for various banks in the financial film divisions. She started in the music industry working for various Independent and major record label producers. In 1991 Debra entered the world of music Promotions as a Promoter Representative. She worked with various talent agencies, (Pyramid, William Morris, ICM, CAA, and small Boutique Agencies) working for promoters nationwide.
Eric Bear is a classically-trained film actor and award-winning producer known for his meme-generating role in "Annie Hall" and a recurring role on "Yellowstone:1883." As a kinesthetic artist, he specializes in primate motion capture and authentic, grounded expression. Bear is a former tech entrepreneur who has licensed his patented inventions to all major motion picture studios and top consumer electronics companies in the world.
Derek Johnson II
Derek Johnson II is an American screenwriter and director from Tennessee. He is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Emmys) and Academy Museum Charter Member. One of his early successes was a 37-second video about ducks that has generated 71,000 dollars in earnings and has appeared on TV and across multiple streaming platforms and to this day, still generates revenue. His first short film, “Sweating Sand” has won at 11 film festivals and has been featured in so many more. Now a development exec at Hot Pot Productions, he writes and develops projects to get them ready to be sold. He has been featured on Fox, CBS, VoyageLA, and NBC. In March 2021 became a Founding Investor of Pencilish Animation Studios and Black Sands Entertainment, a Black-owned graphic novel Publishing company.
Emily Goss received her BA in Theatre from the University of Southern California and MA in Classic Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). As an actor, she has worked in film, television, theatre, and voice-over. Emily has also written, directed, produced, and worked in casting. Her first short as a writer/director, "A Little House In Aberdeen" is a social impact piece that normalizes abortion and humanizes the people who have them. "A Little House In Aberdeen" is available to watch on Film Shortage. She deeply believes in the power of film to effect social change.
Sailaja Bandyopadhyay is an award-winning Director/Producer based in Houston, Texas. Her first short film “Inheritance” has traveled extensively to festivals around the world, winning awards for Best Short Film, Best Female Director, Best First Time Director, and also has been selected as a Finalist at festivals including the Cannes World Film Festival, Barcelona International Film Festival, Prague International Monthly Festival, Independent Shorts Awards, Varese International Film Festival, and Milan Gold Awards.
Films were not a big part of Sailaja´s childhood growing up in India, and it was not until recently that she developed an appreciation for the artistic possibilities of film to advance her feminist and philanthropic
passions. Her focus is on developing strong, honest characters and tracing their journey within a realistic yet poetic style.
Rahul Chakraborty - Actor/Writer
Perturbed by global ethnocentrism, inspired by marginalized people, and motivated by creators and mentors, Rahul collaborated to form Times & Images.
Formal training in acting and writing, a vocation in an academic institution, and extensive research experience in second language behaviors, have groomed Rahul as an actor/writer.
Rahul is based in Los Angeles, CA. He grew up in India. In 1998, he came to Purdue University, Indiana. In 2018, Rahul moved to the Los Angeles area.
Tristan Convert is a French director from Lille, France with a dozen of awarded short films. He’s an expert in Comic books “bandes-dessinees” and a published board-game inventor. Fascinated by David Lynch, Jordan Peele and Jacques Tatie wrote a book about cinema "A Grands coups de reins".
During the Covid stay-at-home days, he got certified by Harvard University in English dramaturgy and ran an online show about his reviewing 501 classic movies in 501 days, following the book “501 must-see movies”.
Noni, a DEI Ambassador with a robust background, received her MFA in Motion Pictures and Television to exhibit mental health and social issues through storytelling. Currently working in a corporate environment, Noni is an advocate for several underrepresented groups such as people with mental and physical disabilities, racial minority groups, and the LGBTQIA+ communities as an ally leader. In addition to this, she supports local arts and media foundations focusing on social impact with utmost success. Noni held her company’s very first live drag show, orchestrated DEI learning sessions, and the company’s first ever fireside chat event with a panelist full of Women Leaders. Noni currently supports a group of minority hip hop artists based in the Bay Area and recently kicked off National Hispanic Heritage Month with a live hip hop performance with an entirely Latinx entourage. As of September 2022, Noni is a Philanthropy champion for the DEI Ambassadors to support several different non-profits focusing on social justice and impact throughout the nation.
Patty Rice is a writer/producer in the Christian genre. She has worked on short films, “2020,” “The Shirt” and, “The Assignment,” which is currently in post-production. Ms. Rice has a slate of uplifting TV and film projects in development through her entertainment company, Christian Culture Entertainment. She also founded Faith-based Filmmakers, a professional networking and education organization that convenes east coast filmmakers for monthly in-person events. Ms. Rice served as a juror for the 2022 Prince George’s Film Festival.
Actor/Director/Producer/Teacher/Activist Who happens to be Jamaican has been in the entertainment industry for the past 50 years in various aspects of the business. Founder and Artistic Director of The Caribbean American Repertory Theatre, West, Jeff hails from the Broadway stages of New York, transitioning into Film and Television after relocating to California in 1986!! He curated “ Target Sundays” at the California African American Museum for 12 years, offering opportunities for upcoming local artists, many of whom are luminaries today!! Jeff is currently in Pre-Production for the Docudrama, “Justice Delayed” a project chronicling a trial that took place in Jamaica with Marcus Garvey, whose attorney Lewis Ashenheim, defended Marcus and won the case, fostering a great friendship between both Jamaican men. Talks after that trial led to the independence of the island nation of Jamaica! The project will be filmed completely on location in Jamaica. He is the unforgettable dreadlocked face on Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” video, Jeff also currently teaches at-risk gang members in the California prison system!!
Sof Puchley is a classically trained actor/singer born in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles. She graduated from one of the top drama schools in the U.K., The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, where she earned her BA (HONS) Acting degree. She also studied improv at The Second City Chicago, and advance scene study at The Acting Studio Chicago, advance scene study). Sof has performed on various stages in the U.S. from Shakespeare in the Park in Chicago to the Beauty and the Beast show at Disneyland. Sof is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and Equity UK. She has done numerous TV and film work – from national commercials to leads in multiple indie films. Along with acting, Sof is a freelance director and producer. Most recently, she directed the short thriller, "Lucky Day,” and is currently an executive producer of the fantasy film, “A Sirens Call.” Sof was just awarded best Actress at The Bridge Fest, San Fransisco Indie fest, and Aphrodite film awards!
Maddy Goshorn has been an award winning voice actor, writer, director, and producer since 2015. Maddy started her own Production Company this year of 2022, Determinal Velocity. Maddy is currently in the middle of production for a podcast partnered with iHeartMedia and Seneca Women, set to launch later this year. Maddy specializes in Comedy and her most recent pitch has been in the top 5% of comedy pitchers on Covertly since October 2021. Maddy is also in post-production for her current film project Scare Actors.
Formally an ER doctor in London, Darwin embraced his creative instinct and forged a new path by retraining as an actor. His roles in CASINO ROYALE, PROMETHEUS, MARCO POLO, PRINCE OF PERSIA, THE BIBLE SERIES, HOUSE OF CARDS, HOMELAND, and MOON KNIGHT, as well as stage work that included performing at the Royal Shakespeare Company, have deepened his insight into storytelling.
With a desire to add his voice and experience to the stories being told, and the opportunities available for people of color, he emigrated to the US eight years ago where he has been writing and producing scripted content. He set up Six Feet Films and is producing, The Antiviral Film Project. This international anthology series threads emerging voices to create a unifying, cinematic journey around the world.
An award-winning director, writer, and Emmy-nominated producer, Victoria was recently honored in Hollywood as one of StudioDaily’s “Exceptional Women” for her directing. Victoria’s films are included in the collection of the Motion Picture Academy’s Film Library and were part of a special exhibit of the Library of Congress. TV work includes dramas, comedies, docs and specials streamed on Amazon Prime and aired on ABC, A&E, Discovery, PBS, Comedy Central, Logo, and in more than 25 countries, including England’s Channel Four, France’s Canal Plus, and CCTV (China). Victoria directed and co-produced the TV pilot for Outlaugh, which starred Lea Delaria and Jason Stuart; it was picked up by Viacom and ran for years starring Margaret Cho. Victoria’s ABC drama, Saying Kaddish, was nominated for an Emmy and An Empty Bed was a New York Times Critic’s Pick. Victoria has directed and/or produced for Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony winners, as well as the stars of shows including The Walking Dead, Orange Is the New Black, Law & Order SVU, Bosch, and Seinfeld. Victoria has written and developed projects with late Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison and Talking Heads’ David Byrne, among others. Her work has taken her all over the world, from developing film projects in India to directing TV in China; her films have screened at festivals in countries as diverse as Switzerland, Nigeria, Spain and Australia.