Say hello to our amazing Jurors for the 19th Annual BendFilm Festival!⭐️
This fabulous group of 17, consists of filmmakers, actors, festival directors, Oscar nominees and more!
They will be voting on the best films in the fest, which will be announced at our Award Ceremony on Saturday, October 8th at the Boys and Girls Club!
Doc Feature Jurors
Jeanelle Augustin: Jeanelle Augustin is a Haitian-American film programmer and grants professional interested in redefining investment and embracing risk. Currently, Jeanelle leads the Original Voices Fellowship presented by NBCU Academy and NBC News Studios. She has programmed for CIFF, True/False, and Big Sky, led filmmaker labs and seminars for BlackStar Projects, Firelight Media, and UnionDocs, served on festival juries and funding panels for BAVC, Chicago Media Project, Creative Capital, Define American, Doc Society, Film Independent, IDA, Mezcla Media, Open City, SFFILM, Sundance Institute, and was named a 2021 DOC NYC Documentary New Leader and selected for the 2022 Rockwood Documentary Leaders Fellowship supported by Ford Foundation.
Matt Fagerholm: Matt Fagerholm is the Literary Editor at RogerEbert.com and a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association. He spent four years writing film coverage for HollywoodChicago.com and has contributed to a variety of publications including Time Out Chicago, The A.V. Club, No Film School and Magill’s Cinema Annual. His writing/editing experience includes serving as Assistant A&E Editor at the Columbia Chronicle and interviewing such icons as Betty White, Ed Asner and Judy Collins for the Woodstock Independent. He is the founder of Indie Outlook, a blog featuring exclusive interviews with some of the most exciting voices in modern independent filmmaking.
Danielle McCarthy Boles: Danielle McCarthy-Boles is the VP of Publicity at Magnolia Pictures. She has overseen publicity and promotion for independent film hits including Man On Wire, Melancholia, Shoplifters, The Square, and the Oscar-nominated documentaries I Am Not Your Negro and RBG among many others. McCarthy-Boles produced the critically acclaimed documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me which was released theatrically nationwide by Magnolia Pictures in 2013 and was released internationally by Universal Music Group in 2014. She holds a BFA in Cinema Studies from New York University and an MA in Media Studies from The New School.
Narrative Features Jurors
John Cooper: For 3 decades John Cooper was a member of the Sundance Film Festival programming team. In the early years, he moved from a programmer to the Director of Programming before eventually being named director in 2010. From 2010 to 2020 he oversaw all aspects of the annual Sundance Film Festival in addition to expanding ventures to Sundance Film Festival: London and Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong. Other work includes guest curator and juror at major festivals around the world. From 1995-1998 Cooper also served as director of Outfest held annually in Los Angeles. In 2020 he was accepted into the Academy of Motion Pictures.
Kim Kalyka: Kim Kalyka is a 20 year veteran of the independent film industry who began her career at Miramax marketing such titles as Bridget Jones’ Diary and Amelie. In 2002, she joined IFC Films working on such films as My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Boyhood, The Trip, Blue is the Warmest Color, Pina, and Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Currently an executive at NEON, she’s part of the team that released such notable titles as the Oscar nominated I, Tonya, Spencer, Flee, Worst Person in the World, Honeyland, and multi Academy-Award winning Parasite.
Emily St. James: Emily St. James is a senior correspondent at Vox, where she covers American identities. She was the first culture editor for the site and the first TV editor of The A.V. Club. Her writing has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Criterion Collection, and The Baffler. She is the co-creator of the podcast Arden and co-author of the book Monsters of the Week: The Complete Critical Companion to the X-Files. She lives in Los Angeles with her wife and an ever-shifting number of cats.
Narrative Shorts Jurors
Liz Cardenas: Liz Cardenas is a 2022 Independent Spirit Award winner for Duplass Brothers Productions’ 7 DAYS (Tribeca 2021 | Cinedigm) and a 2019 Spirit Award Nominee for NEVER GOIN’ BACK (Sundance 2018 | A24). One of two narrative producers to receive the inaugural 2022 Dear Producer Grant (an unrestricted $50K grant), she was included in the 2019 LATINXT, a curated list of emerging Latinx creators from an initiative by Zoe Saldana, Robert Rodriguez and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Other notable credits include Alex Lehmann’s ACIDMAN, starring Thomas Haden Church and Dianna Agron (Tribeca 2022), and David Lowery’s A GHOST STORY (Sundance 2017 | A24), starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck.
Tallie Medel: Tallie Medel (diverse pronouns) is an educator, multidisciplinary artist and award-winning actor in New York City. Medel is one-third of dance comedy trio Cocoon Central Dance Team and the host of DARLING TALLIE, a dance comedy show and party. Film credits include Daniels’ EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE, Dan Sallitt’s FOURTEEN and THE UNSPEAKABLE ACT, Caleb Johnson’s THE CARNIVORES and JOY KEVIN, and SNOWY BING BONGS ACROSS THE NORTH STAR COMBAT ZONE, a collaboration with Rachel Wolther, Alex H. Fischer and Cocoon Central Dance Team. They teach clown, they’re a gif, and they have big juicy eyeballs.
Erik Jambor: ERIK JAMBOR co-founded the Sidewalk Film Festival in 1999 and was Director for its first eight years. He ran the 2007 BendFilm Festival, was at the helm of Indie Memphis from 2008-2014, and returned to BendFilm in 2016 as Head of Festival Programming through 2020. Erik has since returned to his filmmaking/editing roots, with his short doc TIN SANDWICH BLUES having recently completed its festival run. He has served on the jury of numerous festivals including Slamdance, SXSW, and the Biografilm Festival in Bologna, Italy. Sometimes he plays ukulele.
Doc Shorts Jurors
Jenny Shi: Jiayan “Jenny” Shi is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker who is passionate about stories that find shared humanity and compassion. Her debut documentary “Finding Yingying” (MTV Documentary Films) has won numerous awards including the Special Jury Recognition at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival and a China Academy Award of Documentary Films, and was nominated for an Emmy. Jenny’s work has appeared on Paramount +, MTV, BBC News, PBS NewsHour, among many others. Jenny is a graduate of Kartemquin’s Diverse Voices In Docs program, a Logan Nonfiction Program fellow, a Women at Sundance Adobe fellow, and a DOC NYC “40 Under 40” filmmaker.
Michael Scheuerman: Oscar-nominated Producer of Hunger Ward (2020), director Skye Fitzgerald’s short documentary on the war and famine in Yemen. His initial exposure to the film industry was working on Havana in 1990, Sydney Pollack’s narrative on the Cuban revolution filmed in the Dominican Republic. After 25 years in the tech industry, he retired in 2018. A Bend resident, Michael hikes, bikes, skis, and also serves on the Advisory Board of BendFilm.
Robin Honan: Robin Honan is an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, and co-produced the Oscar-winning documentary FREEHELD. In 2020, she produced the Netflix documentary WHAT WOULD SOPHIA LOREN DO? which was shortlisted for a Best Documentary Short Subject Academy Award in 2021. Her Oscar-nominated HBO film MONDAYS AT RACINE follows a Long Island hair salon that offers free services to women undergoing cancer treatment, helping them restore a sense of beauty following the ravages of chemotherapy. With Ross Kauffman, she produced the short documentary FIRE WITH FIRE, which currently has over 25 million views on YouTube, and tells the tale of a renegade oncologist who has cured leukemia in thousands of patients by using a disarmed form of the HIV virus to attack cancer cells. Robin also directs short films and branded content for a wide range of organizations.
Joanne Feinberg: Joanne Feinberg is an award-winning filmmaker and curator. She brings over 25 years of film production experience, and thousands of hours of thoughtful film viewing, to her work. She is currently the Senior Programmer at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, and previously Director of Programming at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and the Ashland Independent Film Festival. Joanne graduated with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a combined degree in Cinema Studies and Film & TV Production. A deep love and understanding of cinema informs all of her endeavors.
LaRonn Katchia: LaRonn Katchia is an award-winning filmmaker and tribal member from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, OR currently pursuing a passionate filmmaking career in Portland, OR. LaRonn grew up on the Warm Springs reservation and has lived there for 18 years of his life transitioning to the city of Portland for film school. His love and passion for film reside from the influence of the commonly mistreated portrayal of indigenous peoples in Hollywood films today.
“My mission is to change the Indigenous stereotypes of film and to represent us through an authentic lens. The Indigenous perspective is what’s missing in Hollywood today and needs to be brought to light. There are too many untouched original stories waiting to be filmed, and that being filmed by an indigenous director.”
LaRonn has recently worked on a behind-the-scenes featurette for the FX hit show Reservation Dogs and helped shoot & edit the first all-indigenous episode of PBS’s Roadtrip Nation: Native Way Forward in collaboration with Buffalo Nickel creative. Today, in collaboration with the Warm Springs Community Action Team: LaRonn is working on his first feature documentary about the transformation of a 125-year old, historic Commissary Building as it is moved and restored into a small business incubator to serve tribal
Brett Campbell: Brett Campbell joined Red Bull Media House in 2015 to help manage Red Bull’s global documentary film slate, and since expanded to look after Content Partnerships across all areas for the North American market. Brett has managed campaigns and for critically acclaimed and awarded documentaries including THE ALPINIST, THE DAWN WALL, DEAR RIDER, and ANY ONE OF US. Collectively, these campaigns yielded millions in box office and streaming deals with the likes of HBO, Netflix, Discovery, BBC, and Amazon. Brett’s passion lies in building opportunities for creatives, and finding audience for impactful, inspiring people and stories.
Cara Jade Myers: Cara Jade Myers is a Native American actor and writer who is an enrolled member of the Wichita tribe.
She was born on September 2nd in Phoenix, Arizona to Sharon Campbell (Wichita) and Bennett Hill (Kiowa). Her grandfather, Bobby Hill, was a well-known Native American artist who painted under the name White Buffalo and her great grandmother was an acclaimed beader whose work has been displayed in the Smithsonian. Raised in a turbulent household in Prescott Valley, she left home at the age of 17. She married her high school sweetheart, Josh Myers, at the age of 19. Cara began taking acting classes with a fiery passion, driving 2 hours to the class and 2 hours back, 3 times a week while living in Prescott Valley. She likes to say it prepared her for LA traffic.
In 2011, she and Josh headed to Hollywood where she got involved in acting classes and started writing. She was accepted into the 4th Annual Native American Writers Lab where she developed a TV pilot from pitch to 3rd draft. The same year, she was a semi-finalist in the ABC/Disney writers’ program. In early 2020, Cara was among 12 selected as part of A3 Artist Agency’s The Colony program, creating a TV pilot that is now in pre-proudction. She finished the year as a fellow of the Native American Feature Film Writers’ Lab.
Over the years, she’s acted in a variety of indie and short films. In 2019, she was cast in an episode of the Emmy-Award winning series, “This is Us”. In 2021 she wrapped her role as Anna Brown in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film, Killers of the Flower Moon.
Elizabeth Zingg: Elizabeth Zingg (they/them) is a queer Ho-Chunk person who grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and spent much of their adult life in much of the southwest/northwest and thru-hiking up the east coast. With a passion for ecology and the political frameworks of tribal, state, and federal governments, they are currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at ASU Sandra Day O’Connor with an emphasis in Environmental Law, Tribal Sovereignty, and American Indian Law.
Animated Shorts Jury