JUDGES of 2021

Our Film Festival Judging Process in 3 Rounds

We have three rounds of judging for each film submission. Each film is viewed and scored by 12 different judges. Furthermore, each judge is blind to the other judges ratings in the first round. The overall score is an average score of a 1-10 star system. The top 33% of films from the first round advance to the 2nd round. The 2nd round is a technical evaluation of the film. The 3rd round where the judges reach a consensus about which films will screen.

Sara Caldwell

Sara Caldwell is a lecturer for Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara and a digital media instructor at College of the Canyons (COC) in Santa Clarita and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandizing (FIDM) in Los Angeles. Around teaching, she creates many of her own short film projects through House of Gorey Productions.

Frank Collison

Frank Collison appeared at the age of four months in the role of a baby at a tent theatre in Granville, Ohio. He briefly flirted with the idea of becoming an archaeologist but after seeing his father in The Diary of Anne Frank, he decided he wanted to be an actor. He trained at the American Conservatory Theatre and then went on to earn an MFA in acting at UC San Diego. Appearing in over 150 stage productions, Frank has worked Off-Broadway, in regional theatre and is a founding member of Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice, CA.

Stephen Daniels

Originally from Kentucky, Stephen moved to Santa Clarita in 1993 to obtain his Master of Fine Arts degree in Film Production at the California Institute of the Arts. He has made short films and written several screenplays including a telescript which won the prestigious 2008 Austin Film Festival Award. He also has been recognized in several other script competitions.

Oneshia Edens

Oneshia Edens aka "Lovely Big O" is a Greenville, SC native, who shares her Christian Comedy throughout the United States and Internationally. The well-known entertainer uses her full-figured physique, family and church experiences to make anyone she meets laugh! She also draws upon her own personal experiences as a single parent and youth growing up in Greenville SC. Oneshia spreads the same level of fun and excitement on the airwaves every weekend on the number one radio station, 107.3 JAMZ in Greenville SC!

Laura Gardner

Laura was born on Saint Patrick’s Day with her fraternal twin, Lynn. They began their acting career at 5 as “Lullaby Kids” in THE WIZARD OF OZ at Camp Monroe in the Catskills. Laura left her twin behind and found herself working professionally before she hit her teens.

Gregory Harrison

Security advisor for the music, motion picture & television industries, judge for multiple film festivals, avid film aficionado, and owner of a Steve McQueen replica ‘Bullitt’ picture-car, Gregory Harrison is well versed in the cinematic arts history & appreciation of filmmaking and helms one of the leading all-Veteran risk management firms for creative professionals above-the-line and production security.

Caytha Jentis

Primarily a screenwriter, Caytha began making movies while driving carpools in suburban New Jersey. Her stories typically are heightened reality contemporary existential comedies about an under-served population.
Four features later, her most recent is Pooling to Paradise, a millennial coming of age road trip comedy stars: Jonathan Lipnicki, Lynn Chen, Dreama Walker, Jordan Carlos and Taryn Manning. It will be released in the Spring of 2021 by SP Releasing. Bad Parents, a dark comedy about suburban sports culture, was licensed to Cinedigm and Relativity Media and currently streams on HBO. The cast includes Janeane Garofalo, Cheri Oteri, Christopher Titus and Kristen Johnston.

Phil Lantis

Phil Lantis is the Arts and Events Manager for the City of Santa Clarita, where he oversees over one hundred City produced events a year including Concerts in the Park, Senses, the Cowboy Festival, and the Newhallywood Silent Film Festival. He also supervises the operations of an eighty-one-seat arts venue, the MAIN, in Old Town Newhall, and arts education, public art, art exhibits, and arts development programs.

Stephen Rhodes

Stephen Rhodes is the owner of Tribute Locations, LLC. A company that represents properties for use of filming productions on.

Stephen is also a current member of Local 339 Teamsters Union where he is a KALM. Stephen has worked on the productions of WandaVision, Ad Astra, Destroyer The Happytime Murders and SWAT among others.

Cameron Smyth

Cameron Smyth is a Santa Clarita native. He was born and raised in the City and attended all local schools (Peachland Elementary, Placerita Jr. High and Hart High School). He attended college at U.C. Davis where he received a degree in Rhetoric and Communications. After graduating, Smyth returned to Santa Clarita and immediately became involved in the community, coaching high school volleyball and football. He also became involved in local politics joining the staff of then-Assemblyman Pete Knight and running his successful campaign for the State Senate.

Roy Sun

Roy is a colorist and the founder of Reason Studio in Burbank. He color grades hundreds of projects every year including feature and short films, music videos and commercials, etc. Many of these projects have been distributed to theatres as well as top streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Videos. A lot of his works have participated in major festivals and won awards. Reason Studio produced a short educational film “What is Color Grading”, the short film gained much popularity and helped many filmmakers understand the importance of color in post-production.

Frederick Thornton

Frederick Thornton (Writer/Director) is a Spirit Award nominated and Gotham Award-winning African American filmmaker. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio—Frederick cites growing up watching his father make home videos and his mother writing short stories as his inspiration for wanting to be a filmmaker.

Charlie Vignola

For over 30 years, Charlie worked in motion picture development for Jerry Bruckheimer Films, most recently serving as Director of Development.

During that time, Charlie helped developed some of the world’s most successful movie franchises, including the Pirates of the Caribbean saga, the National Treasure films, the Bad Boys series, and most recently the long-awaited sequel Top Gun: Maverick, premiering summer 2022.