NSAEN Film Festivalis pleased to announce its distinguished panel of judges for this year’s festival.
An actor, known for the Movies Disney’s My Fake Finance, Tammy (2014), Lawless (2012) and Trouble with the Curve (2012), Christmas Office Party (2016) and many commercials.
An actor, known for The Great Debaters (2007), Hall Pass (2011) and Gifted(2017), many Television shows such as Heat of the Night. Gordan will be seen in the next season of Netflix House of Cards.
Venezuelan-born, bi-lingual award winning actress/producer Yeniffer Behrens-Mendoza. She has amassed a prolific career as an accomplished actress and has expanded her talents and abilities as a director, producer and philanthropist.
Creating a benefit to support bilingual education “Multicultural Harmony Gala” as one of her community activist passions, she also serves as a board member to the Beauty in Beauty out foundation, supporting women from all walks of life. Yeniffer created the TFF slogan ” Making a difference one film at at a time”
Her mission in life is to create content and live events that unite use as Global citizens.
Her experience as executive producer started with documentary- “Quincy Coleman: It’s All In The Song, directed by Jaime Gomez, Feature film Homebound
Her producing credits are award winning features After School, Los Desconocidos, Fighting Chance, The Shifting, It can only be used once, Taco Shop, Sinverguenzas.
In 2016 TFF produced their first international co-production “Los Internacionales”
In 2006 Yeniffer established TRUE FORM FILMS INC., in 2008 she joined forces with partners DeWayne Cox and 2010 with her husband Mauricio Mendoza.
TFF partnered with StarAngel Film Productions to produce and direct segments of the incredible award-winning documentary Create Option C: My Journey with Cancer: actress Lourdes Colon.
Yeniffer Behrens-Mendoza was awarded the 2014 Latina Of Influence Award and 2014 “outstanding media innovator” award from the non-profit “Beauty In, Beauty Out “Award .
2017 brings two short films and 3 features to Yeniffer’s producing slate.
“From Now On” a short directed and starred by Ivonne Coll ( grandmother on The hit CW show “Jane The Virgin”)
“Que Pasó?” a short based on true events directed by Yeniffer.
“Her Choices” the current coming of age feature based on her true story as a young woman.
Is being developed and packaged , set for principal photography late 2017 early 2018.
Victor, a native Californian, has been acting since the age of ten. He is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon Universitywhere he majored in Acting and Directing. Victor worked for over fifteen years at UNIVERSAL STUDIOS as a director, camera operator and technical director. As a Theatrical director his productions have been lauded as best play of the season and critic’s choice. His a member of SAG, AFTRA, AEA, SSDC and ASFD. He has directed over 55 projects and acted in over 75 roles. Because of his many talents and the network he has created over the years, he has applied his 30 years of experience and proven expertise to create greater opportunities to self-generate projects with the creation of his film production company Glydascope. Recently teaming up with Mac Creative to help nurture artists who are devoted to developing their craft. More information can be found about Mr. Warren and his company at: www.victorwarren.com www.glydascope.com
Instagram – Glydascope Some of his awards are mentioned below: WINNER BEST FEATURE, BEST WRITING, NOMINEE BEST DIRECTOR – Indie Film Awards 2016 – HOT NOMINEE BEST SCI-FI FEATURE – Bloodstained Indi Film Festival – HOT NOMINATED BEST SCREENPLAY – Boston International Film Festival – THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED WINNER BEST PRODUCTION VALUE – Laughlin International Film Festival – HOT GOLD REEL AWARD – Nevada International Film Festival – First Time Director – HOT SEMI-FINALIST– Nashville Film Festival – Screenwriting – DISEMBODIED VOICES SEMI-FINALIST– Sundance Table read my Screenplay – DISEMBODIED VOICES FINALIST -The Scriptoid Writer’s Challenge – JACK TANDY BEST FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY AWARD – LA Drama Critic Circle – STRANGER, Bootleg Theatre BEST FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY- AWARD LA Weekly – STRANGER, Bootleg Theatre OFFICIAL INVITATION – Dreamago – Invited Three week intensive (Switzerland) – DISEMBODIED VOICES FIRST PLACE WINNER SCREENPLAY– Rhode Island Film Festival – THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED POSITIVE LIFESTYLE AWARD WINNER – Rhode Island Film Festival – LIKE THIS FIRST PLACE WINNER SCREENPLAY– Massachusetts film Office Screenwriting – JIMMY BEST INDEPENDENT SHORT FILM – Canadian International Film Festival – ALONE
Donald Newton "Donnie" Van Zant
An American rockvocalist/guitarist. He is best known as having been a member of the band 38 Special, from its formation in 1974 until 2013. He is the middle of three brothers: his older brother Ronnie was the original lead singer for Lynyrd Skynyrd who died in a 1977 plane crash in Mississippi along with five other members and associates of the band; his younger brother Johnny is the current Lynyrd Skynyrd’s lead singer as of 2016. Donnie and Johnny also perform together from time to time as the group Van Zant.
Hosts 2 live Web Tv Shows: Hollywood South and Comics on Parole. Dan also has performed Stand Up Comedy at Louie Anderson’s club in Vegas, Hosted for WSB Radio’s Jim Gosset, Hosted Jerry Farber’s Side Door Open Mic, and performed at the Atlanta’s Punchline, Laughing Skull, Atlanta Comedy theater and more.
An Actor, Comedian, Producer and Writer from Decatur, GA are a mere sampling of adjectives to describe a man with so many talents. Dexter Tucker’s hilarious and charming comedy style has granted him respect and created a huge demand for him on the comedy circuit in Atlanta and abroad. He has starring roles in movies such as “Black Men Can Swim”, “Playa in the Pulpit”, and “Treasure in the Hood” (2005). He has graced the stage in an inspirational play “If You Don’t Tell, I Won’t Tell”, starring Don “DC Curry” and Gary “Lil G” Jenkins (SILK). “Money Talks”(1997), “So Fresh & So Clean”, and “My Big Phat Hiphop Family” and Jimmy Part 1 Did You Get One?(2015).
In addition to these various roles, Dexter is the writer and creative director behind this hilarious film starring Chrystale Wilson, Shae Johnson, comedian Honey Bunz and an all-star cast of nationally known comics.
Dexter has entertained the comedy stage throughout the U.S. such as The Comedy Union in Los Angeles, The Miami Improv Comedy Club, Atlanta’s Uptown Comedy Corner and Punchline Comedy Club and Birmingham’s Stardome Comedy Club just to name a few.
He has appeared on the Tom Joyner’s Fantastic Voyage Cruise 2007. In the past years, he was the host for the Gerald Levert/Will Downing Tour and also for Chastain Park, Patti Labelle Concert Tour and Frankie Beverly and Maze featuring EnVogue concert tour in Atlanta, GA. Dexter has entertained audiences on the nation’s hottest comedy TV shows; BET’S Comicview and HBO’s Robert Townsend: Partner in Crime.
John Roy "Johnny" Van Zant
An American musician and the current lead vocalist of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. He is the younger brother of the late Lynyrd Skynyrd co-founder and former lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, and of the .38 Special founder, Donnie Van Zant.
Van Zant performed during the 1970s with his first band, The Austin Nickels Band. They later changed their name to The Johnny Van Zant Band releasing their debut solo album, No More Dirty Deals, in 1980. Original members of The Johnny Van Zant Band consisted of Van Zant on lead vocals, Robbie Gay on guitar, Danny Clausman, on bass, Erik Lundgren on lead guitar, Robbie Morris, drums and Joan Hecht(previously Joan Cusumano) and Nancy Henderson on background vocals. Van Zant released three more solo albums between 1981 and 1985, before taking a break from the music business.
He became lead vocalist for the reunited Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1987, and continues to record and perform with them today. He released another solo album, Brickyard Road, in 1990, which featured the popular title track, which was a #1 hit on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for three weeks. He also records and performs with his brother, Donnie, as Van Zant since 1998.
Originally from Aurora, Colorado, Roe’s vast filmmaking experience has taken her both in front of the camera and behind the scenes on familiar television shows like CW’s Masters of Illusion, Emmy-nominated family sitcom This Just In, and El Rey Network’s Lucha Underground. Most of her experience has been as a script supervisor working alongside many highly-acclaimed directors including 2016’s Student Academy Award winner, David Henry Gerson. Most recently, she was seen working as the Associate Director on the beloved Hollywood Christmas Parade and Hollywood Walk of Fame Awards. You can catch her on screen in an episode of Z-Living’s show, Finding Fido and the Domestic Violence PSA One In a Million.
As founder of PiePie Productions, she has produced narrative web content for FunnyorDie.com and multiple award-winning projects including short film Dark Specter which travelled nationwide with GeekFest. Her upcoming project, Out of Control, is currently finishing in post. Check out the trailer here!
This past spring, Roe was a speaker at SXSW’s Script Supervisor Panel. She is a blog contributor for Final Draft and in the Story Broads Community on ScriptMag.com. When Roe isn’t on set or working on her upcoming projects, she can be found swimming, sweating in Bikram yoga, or enjoying time with her two dachshunds Peanut and Slinky. A fun piece of trivia: Roe was a sumo wrestler.
Founder and President of DHPR (Dalke-Hayter Public Relations)
Deborah Hayter leads a purpose driven life. She grew up in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago during the civil rights movement. Her role models were her parents, who worked tirelessly for better housing, health care and quality education in underserved communities. After graduating with a degree from DePaul University with a BA in Art History, Deborah was accepted into the Loyola University Art Master’s Program in Florence, Italy, studying 17th Century tapestries. After obtaining her master’s degree she continued her academic career in Art and Communication at Kings College in the United Kingdom. While on a school holiday, she traveled with her parents to West Africa, where she witnessed first-hand the devastation brought on by extreme poverty. It had a profound impact on her, and as a result, she returned to the United States (Chicago) and recruited volunteers for Catholic Charities’ Homeless Shelter Program. During this period she attended school and worked for Curtom Records. Under the tutelage of Curtis Mayfield, Deborah gained considerable knowledge and insight about the business side of the music industry from a company that represented artists such as Etta James and Tyrone Davis.
To date, Deborah has provided PR for a total of eleven Film Festivals, nine independent films, three upcoming television shows and, several screenwriters. She has placed her clients in a number of celebrity charities including The Halle Barry Celebrity Golf Tournament, The Lupus Foundation Orange Ball, Celebrity Poker Tournaments, The Danny Thomas St. Jude Foundation, Save the Wild Mustangs, Save the Music Foundation, Step Up Women’s Foundation, The Voice. Deborah’s company, DHPR has provided services to a total of eleven Film Festivals, nine independent film projects, three upcoming television shows, working with screenwriters, directors and producers. Her company has placed her clients in a number of celebrity charities including The Halle Barry Celebrity Golf Tournament, The Lupus Foundation Orange Ball, Celebrity Poker Tournaments, The Danny Thomas St. Jude Foundation, Save the Wild Mustangs, Save the Music Foundation, Step Up Women’s Foundation, The Voice (Celebrities Making a Difference), Mo’s Kitchen (With Robin Williams, Danny Glover, Sharon Stone), The Diabetes Foundation, Compton Jr. Posse, Healthy Smile, the Melanoma Foundation, Save The Music, MusicCares, and a number of cause related foundations.
Deborah continues to work tirelessly for her clients: authors promoting their books; entertainers; record producers; filmmakers and foundations by maximizing their exposure and publicity in print, television, radio, and internet media.
Deborah enjoys reading mystery novels and riding her horse, Sandy. Her memberships include The National Association of Publicists; Film Industry Network (Los Angeles); Film Network (Las Vegas); Las Vegas Music & Entertainment Assn; National Association of Black Female Executives in Music and Entertainment, Former Board Member of the Chicago Art Institute; Public Relations Society of America; Media Bistro, American Society of Journalists and Authors, The Beverly Hills Chapter of the NAACP.
Deborah has given her time and energy to a number of causes she feels strongly about, volunteering her doing charitable work such the Annual Mo’s kitchen benefit to feed the homeless , (With Robin Williams, Danny Glover, Sharon Stone), The Diabetes Foundation, Compton Jr. Posse, Healthy Smile, the Melanoma Foundation, Save The Music, MusicCares, and a number of cause related foundations. Deborah continues to work tirelessly for her clients: authors promoting their books; entertainers; record producers; filmmakers and foundations maximizing their exposure and publicity in print, television, radio, and internet media. Deborah enjoys reading mystery novels and riding her horse, Sandy. Memberships: National Association of Publicists; Film Industry Network (Los Angeles); Film Network (Las Vegas); Las Vegas Music & Entertainment Assn; National Association of Black Female Executives in Music and Entertainment, Former Board Member of the Chicago Art Institute; Public Relations Society of America; Media Bistro, American Society of Journalists and Authors, The Beverly Hills Chapter of the NAACP.
Liz Manashil earned her B.A. in Film and Media Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, and her M.F.A. from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Post graduation, Liz spent several years as a film critic for the PBS/Hulu series JUST SEEN IT (which she also helped produce and direct). Overlapping this, Liz worked with distribution guru Peter Broderick. Her debut feature, BREAD AND BUTTER, was called “an absolute must-watch for women everywhere” by HelloGiggles. It was released by The Orchard and can be seen on VOD nearly everywhere (including Hulu!). Liz is currently in pre-production on her next two feature films and lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Laura Palmer. She is the Manager of Sundance Institute’s Creative Distribution Initiative.
Natalie Camunas is a Los Angeles native and USC graduate. She is a queer identified actor and writer. Natalie’s voice can be heard as the narrator in 10 online campaign spots for Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Her short plays have been produced in Los Angeles (Casa 0101, The Hudson Theatres), NYC (International NY Fringe Festival) and Ireland (International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival). As an actor, credits include Major Crimes, “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn,” and most recently David Ayer’s new Netflix feature film, Bright. Other feature films include Henry Alberto’s Hara-Kiri, and Adelina Anthony’s Bruising for Besos. In addition to her on screen work, Natalie writes and performs to empower and celebrate her communities. Her documentary short My Parents premiered in Los Angeles at CineArte: A Latinx Queer Art & Film Festival. She is dedicated to creating authentic portrayals of the vast experiences of queer people of color, specifically Latinx in the U.S. She is endlessly grateful to be able to share her voice and use stories as tools to heal.
Producer/Director/Screenwriter/Actress/Plus-Size Model/Television and Radio Host
Priscilla Leona is an award winning producer. She currently works in the entertainment industry as: Producer, Executive Producer, Director, Screenwriter, Actress, Plus-Size Model, Television and Radio Host. Her journey in the entertainment industry began on the East coast working for years in various positions of Community Theater. After receiving her degree in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing, she decided to pursue a career as a Producer in the entertainment industry and moved to California. Upon her arrival, Priscilla attended Acting and Directing classes at UCLA. Her education, experience, work ethic, talent, positive perspective and charismatic traits paved the path that led to working with professionals in the entertainment industry such as: Jane Lynch, David Schwimmer, Danny DeVito, Eric Stoltz, Daryl Hannah, Fred Savage, Mark Harmon, Maximilian Schell, Peisha McPhee, Michael Orland, CeCe Peniston, Brely Evans, Ernest Thomas, Bill Duke, Bill Cobbs, Dorian Missick and so many more.
Born and raised in New York, Christianna Carmine had spent much of her early life as a stage actor, with a strong interest in the human condition. As she began to amass a body of stage credits, her fascination with human nature continued to grow, influencing her work as a performer, and leading her to study psychology at the graduate level.
After completing her Masters’ Degree in Psychology with a focus on criminal sociopathy, Christianna continued to pursue a career in film. While working with professionals on network television shows and feature films as an actor, Christianna’s attention became drawn towards the art of filmmaking. In 2011, she wrote and directed her first short, To Live and Try in LA, shot on 16mm.
In 2016, Christianna wrote, directed and produced her second short film, Darryl, which premiered at the GI Film Festival in 2016 and has screened at several other film festivals to date. Darryl has won awards for Best Female Director and Best International Drama, andhas recently been licensed by VetStreamTV. She is presently in post-production on the short film Solstice Ranch starring The Real O’Neals’ Matt Shively, Clipped’s Ryan Pinkston and Marlon star, Essence Atkins.
Christianna continues to create original content with a focus on socially and culturally relevant themes and subject matter.
Founder and chairman of New York based, Shami Media Group
Founder and chairman of New York based, Shami Media Group, Bob Shami has created a major media distribution company that focuses on film, television and music content. A successful entrepreneur, he’s been given the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most talented content creators in the film and music industries internationally.
SMG websites showcase his passions and are designed to help budding filmmakers and artists to make their mark through releasing content internationally. A media film company, record label and independent production company owner under one roof, he has continued to introduce new, up and coming technologies to his clients.
Reality television was a field he had yet to explore, and the opportunity arrived through Hall of Famer, Chicago Bulls legend, Dennis Rodman with the creation of a reality based feature film documentary entitled “DENNIS RODMAN – ME: Doing it My Way”.
Always passionate about the film industry Bob was on a mission to seize and create new opportunities within this industry. Having developed a strong sense of how to market a multitude of genres across multiple platforms, the catalog includes major labels, digital distribution as well as fledgling mobile partnerships. Working with TV networks, top digital aggregators internationally and physical chain stores across US and Canada, the SMG digital library is filled with movie collections which entail a variety of full-length feature films for use in various genre-themed projects. Each filmmaker is given an equal opportunity to show their work. The independent film is something Bob holds in high regards.
Bob Shami is very active in events focusing on movies and music, attending some of the worlds largest film related conferences. Movie and music conventions are a big part of what he does as its an opportunity for meeting filmmakers with finished or near completed films. He also sees an opportunity, and has the ability to show the world amazing work of talented filmmakers. Having a huge catalog of music gives him an opportunity to combine the film and music art together.
Britain Valenti is a New Orleans native who relocated to Los Angeles. After graduating with a B.A. in Drama from Ithaca College, Britain wrote exclusively for theatre as a self-taught playwright and dabbled in performance art. She was saved from that life by Carnegie Mellon University, where she graduated with an MFA in Dramatic Writing (TV, Screen and Playwriting). Despite her plays being accepted into festivals and staged readings in New York City, New Orleans and Seattle, Britain – like most of American – mercilessly turned her back on the dying art of theatre. She has been a screenwriter ever since. Most recently, her script “The Secret Lives of Youtubers” won the Barnstorm Film + TV Script Fest and was an Official Selection for the 2017 Beverly Hills Film Fest. Britain, and her passion for diversity, can be seen in her webseries “Interrogation: A Scifi Webseries”, a socially-conscious series that features a diverse cast including disabled actors playing disabled characters. Always a self-motivator and shameless promoter, Britain constantly seeks out new projects or makes her own. Britain can be found (perpetually) writing, eating, playing with dogs and clicking her heels together three times in the hopes of becoming Billy Wilder…or Lauren Bacall…