2023 Festival Jury

Isaac Adamson

Isaac Adamson

Portland-based screenwriter Isaac Adamson has written film and TV projects for Netflix, Lionsgate, Fox, AMC and a host of others. His script “Bubbles” was the #1 screenplay on the 2015 Black List and he’s the author of five published novels. He’d rather be playing soccer, though, or noodling around on guitar, or doing just about anything besides writing. 


Eric Adkins

Eric Adkins is a Portland born and raised, accomplished cinematographer with a diverse filmography. His recent work as Director of Photography includes “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” which earned an 2023 “Oscar” nomination for Best Animated Film… And won the 2023 ASIFA’s “Annie” Best Independent Animated Feature Award.

As Directory of Photographer, Eric Adkins is also known for HDFEST winning Postcards from the Future, Inheritance, The Truth… Is Always Complicated, and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow — a groundbreaking film, lauded by Todd Gilchrist as “a technological marvel that ushered in the era of the ‘digital backlot’.”

Eric’s extensive work in stop motion animation includes sequence work as an Lighting Cameraman on “Wendell & Wild,” and “The Boxtrolls,” and Supervising DP work on “The PJ’s,” “Hell and Back,” “SpongeBob SquarePants: Halloween Special,” and most recently on the 2023 Annecy Film Festival Jury Prize winning TV series, “Shape Island.” His VFX work includes “Mars Attacks!,” “Captain Underpants,” “We Own the Night,” and five seasons of “House M.D.”

He also boasts an impressive roster of commercial work including cinematography for brands such as Honda, Nissan, Ford, Mini Cooper, Coca-Cola, Bacardi, Miller/Coors, Planters, Converse, Fila, Reebok, Nintendo, Mattel, ESPN, NBC/NFL, and many others.


Rahne Alexander

Rahne Alexander is an intermedia artist and writer from Baltimore, Maryland. She is a 2021 graduate of the Intermedia+Digital Arts MFA at UMBC, and a 2021 Baker Artist Prize Awardee. Her works in video, performance, music, and painting have been exhibited across the U.S. and around the world, including the Baltimore Museum of Art, Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art, and MIX NYC. Alexander is a former organizer for the Transmodern Festival and the Maryland Film Festival, where she served five years in charge of operations and development. She is a regular contributor to BmoreArt and UMBC Magazine, and her writing has been anthologized in OnCurating #42, Love, You (Urban Ivy, 2020), and the Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica (Cleis, 2011), and her OutWrite-award-winning chapbook of collected essays Heretic to Housewife was published by Neon Hemlock in 2019

Akiko Ashley

Akiko Ashley

Akiko Ashley is a Producer/Writer and Entertainment Executive at Luminetik Productions. Akiko started her career working in the video game industry​ as an executive​ in Japan and the US, and later ​became a record industry executive in NYC. She has been writing &​ the​ acting editor for many magazines for over 20 years in the technical, entertainment, creative, and architecture industry working ​for​ Film Festival Today, Post Magazine, and Architosh.  She served on the Board of HDRI 3D &Keyframe for several years. ​Akiko has a huge social media following and 100,000 readership in magazines. ​At Luminetik, Akiko designed the creative pipeline for the company​ with IBM, Apple and AMD​, ​and ​built the relationships with agents to work on commercials and technical animation​s​ & VFX for movies. She has built liaison relationships with companies like Apple, AMD, IBM, Autodesk, Side Effects and NVIDIA, who sponsored some of Luminetik’s projects. Akiko was a VFX Producer on “Two Weeks Notice” and “National Geographic” Snake Wrangler and VFX Producer on multiple “Arm & Hammer” commercials.  Akiko helped sponsor the first DV Expo in NYC. It is under her leadership at Luminetik Productions they completed the CGI short film, “Kuriocity” with a huge financial investment. Akiko helped recruit top talent, with Eric​ Durst​’s​ and Manager David Guc’s help​ ​to complete​ on “Kuriocity”. 



Signe Baumane

Signe Baumane is a Latvian born, Brooklyn-based independent filmmaker, artist, writer, and animator. She has made 17 award-winning animated shorts but is best known for her first animated feature Rocks In My Pockets which premiered at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2014 where it received a FIPRESCI Prize. The film went on to over 130 international festivals. It opened theatrically in the U.S. through Zeitgeist Films.

Signe’s new animated feature My Love Affair With Marriage (2022) tells the story of a spirited young woman’s quest for perfect love and lasting marriage. It premiered in June 2022 at Tribeca Festival and has screened at over 80 festivals winning twelwe awards. It was nominated by European Film Academy as Best Animated Feature.

Signe is a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow in Film for New York Foundation for the Arts. She has a degree in Philosophy from Moscow State University.


Eric Cotten

Eric Cotten is the President and Founder of the Baltimore Filmmakers Collective, a 501 (c)3 organization focused on developing the cinematic voice of the underrepresented voices in the Baltimore community. Since 2013, he has been involved with the Maryland Film Festival. He has been a Programming Associate at the Maryland Film Festival since 2018 where he has screened over 400 features and shorts for each 5-month submission phase. He has also been a screening member for the Austin Film Festival and Tampa Bay Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and Festival Coordinator for the Baltimore International Black Film Festival. As a filmmaker, Eric has written, directed, or produced 28 short films that have screened at numerous festivals across the country including the Sundance Film Festival and BronzeLens.


Kitty Norton

Kitty Norton (aka Lickety Glitz) left her job as an assistant editor for NBC in Los Angeles, CA for her hometown of Portland, OR to walk, stumble, crawl with her dementia mother to death’s door. After her mother Gloria passed away in 2021, Kitty decided it was time to tell the tales of dementia family caregivers, hired a film crew, and lumbered around the U.S. in a promotional monstrosity of a well-used motorhome, meeting (in person for the first time!) those Stumped Town Dementia readers who had profoundly impacted her own family’s dementia journey with their unconditional support.

Her feature length documentary, Wine, Women, & Dementia, tells the story of dementia life through intimate, humorous, heartfelt conversations between seasoned family caregivers. In 2023 Wine, Women, & Dementia has won the Audience Choice Award for Feature or Narrative at the Julien Dubuque Int’l Film Festival. And received the Jury Choice Award for Best Documentary, and the Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary at the Vero Beach Wine and Film Festival.


Matilda Szydagis

Matilda Szydagis was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and holds a degree in Anthropology from The University of Chicago. She penned and produced three award-winning short horror films (The Hoosac, The Ruins, The Dam) and is currently writing a feature-length horror film called Residue. She’s an award-winning New York-based actress known for Yaryna on The Sopranos and Zelda on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. 


Peter Sorg

As a director of photography I have been a close collaborator with stop motion legends Henry Selick on ‘Wendell & Wild‘ and Tim Burton on the Academy Award nominated ‘Frankenweenie‘.

My first involvement with stop motion feature movie production was as a lighting camera man on Tim Burton’s ‘Corpse Bride’. This successful collaboration led to me being invited to join ‘Coraline’ at Laika, again as a lighting camera man where I got to shoot the incredibly fun theatre sequence.

My latest project was with Aardman Animations. I had the pleasure of working and collaborating with an incredible team of artists on the Sam Fell directed ‘Chicken Run 2 – Dawn of the Nugget‘.


David Winning

46 Features, 29 Series, over 180 TV credits, David Winning is a US/Canada Dual Citizen and veteran film & television Director and Producer. He has experience in all genres including sci-fi, horror, drama, action, theatrical release, movies-of-the-week, episodic, romance, westerns, Christmas movies, comedy, family, kid’s series, live audience multi-cam, situation comedies, web-based, etc.  Started 2017 on the Netflix/SYFY Channel action series VAN HELSING, a post-apocalyptic take on the vampire rising based on a graphic novel, directing multiples including the third Season Finale and opening the explosive fourth season. He has directed 26 Christmas and family films for the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime, including 3 Films in the popular Blake Shelton TIME series, 2 final Films in the FATHER CHRISTMAS series, a top #5 NEW YORK TIMES PICK: THE TREE THAT SAVED CHRISTMAS and UNLEASHING MR. DARCY, which broke the Network record on social media with 47 million tweets. He has worked for NETFLIX, HALLMARK, SYFY CHANNEL, LIFETIME, NICKELODEON, PARAMOUNT, MGM, 20TH CENTURY FOX, HBO, LIONSGATE, among others and has directed in locations including Scotland, Budapest, Vancouver, Montreal and Los Angeles.

More information is available at www.DavidWinning.com.