2017 Fine Cut Judges

The KCET 18th annual Fine Cut Film Festival has now resulted in over 3,000 short film entries since the announce in December of 2016 from students and emerging filmmakers around the globe that range from cutting-edge animation to the best in documentary cinema.  For the first time in the history of KCET public television's short film competition, the honorees will have an opportunity to be a part of the most important event on the global film calendar, the 70th annual Cannes Intl. Film Festival thanks to our partnership with The American Pavilion.

All short films selected as semi-finalists in the Fine Cut Film Festival will be included in a series of one-hour broadcast episodes on KCET and Link TV nationwide that will air in summer 2017. Additionally, three of the winning films from The American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase competition will be featured in the Fine Cut broadcast series. Filmmakers will also be invited to a screening event this summer.

A diverse, expert panel of notable industry professionals representing a broad spectrum in the entertainment industry will determine the Semi-finalist and Finalist films.  

Linda Cardellini


Linda was most recently seen as “Joan Kroc,” opposite Michael Keaton in the film THE FOUNDER, produced by the Weinstein Co and Film Nation.  Linda is also currently starring on Netflix’s critically acclaimed and award winning drama BLOODLINE. In 2015, Linda was seen in two of the year’s biggest box office hits: Marvel’s, The Avengers: Age of Ultron as well as DADDY’S HOME, and will return to star in DADDY’S HOME 2 due out December 2017. Cardellini received an Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Guest Actress in A Drama Series” for AMC’s critically acclaimed MAD MEN. In 2012, Cardellini earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for “Best Female Lead” for her starring role in the film RETURN which was featured in the Director’s Fortnight section at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and was an official entry at The Deauville, London and Palm Springs International Film Festivals.  Cardellini was also in Ang Lee’s unforgettable and award winning film BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN nominated for a SAG award for “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.”

Linda Cardellini first came to prominence on the celebrated NBC series FREAKS AND GEEKS which won an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series.”  She is also well-known for her portrayal of ‘Nurse Samantha Taggart’ on NBC’s highly-rated, critically acclaimed series ER, and captured the hearts of young audiences worldwide with her portrayal of ‘Velma’ in the Warner Bros. box office hit films SCOOBY DOO and SCOOBY DOO 2 .

Cardellini has an extensive voice over career including the award winning, GRAVITY FALLS for Disney, SANJAY AND CRAIG for Nickelodeon, REGULAR SHOW and ROBOT CHICKEN for Cartoon Network, among others. Her talents also extend behind the camera as she has written and sold two television pilots with her writing partner; one to FX with Warner Horizon and Fake Empire producing and another to John Wells Productions. Linda has a degree from Loyola Marymount University and studied at the National Theatre in London. 


Christ Tashima


Chris Tashima is an actor and Academy Award® winning director, with a career spanning over 30 years. Onscreen roles have included the romantic lead in Eric Byler's "Americanese" (SXSW Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Ensemble Cast), and Papa Nakaji in Tim Savage's "Under the Blood Red Sun" (Love International Film Festival Best Supporting Actor Award). He won the Oscar® for Live Action Short Film, for "Visas and Virtue," which he directed, co-wrote, and starred in as Holocaust rescuer Chiune Sugihara. He received a Regional Emmy® nomination for "Day of Independence," a PBS half-hour drama Special on the WWII Japanese American incarceration, which he also directed, co-wrote, and acted in. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch, where among other functions he is actively involved in the Student Academy Awards®. He has served on juries at the Chilean International Short Film Festival, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, the San Diego Asian Film Festival, the Asian American International Film Festival (NY), and has judged the Diversity Student Film Awards at the Directors Guild of America, where he is also an active member.






Simon Kilmurry


Simon Kilmurry is the executive director of the International Documentary Association (IDA). He joined IDA in June 2015 and oversees all IDA programs and operations, including filmmaker services, educational programs the IDA Awards, and advocacy for the field. In 2016, Kilmurry joined the board of jurors of the George Foster Peabody Awards. He serves as an international advisor to the Greenhouse Fund and is on the board of screeners of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards. He is a member of the Producers Guild of America, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Prior to joining IDA he served from 1999-2015 in various roles at American Documentary/  POV, including nine years as the executive producer of POV, the long-running PBS showcase of independent documentaries. As executive producer he received 17 Emmy Awards, more than 60 Emmy nominations, six George Foster Peabody Awards, four du Pont Columbia Awards, and is a two-time recipient of the Best Continuing Series Award from the International Documentary Association. He also served as chief executive of American Documentary (AmDoc), POV’s non-profit parent organization.

While serving as executive director of AmDoc he oversaw all programs, including production and programming, POV digital, community engagement and development, and developed America ReFramed, an award-winning documentary series on the WORLD Channel. He has worked with a wide range of emerging and established filmmakers, including Laura Poitras, Marshall Curry, Yung Chang, Yoruba Richen, Natalia Almada, and Jennifer Fox amongst others. He has served on juries and panels at film festivals around the world including Sundance, IDFA, Tribeca Film Festival, Dok Leipzig, Sheffield DocFest, Hot Docs, Toronto International Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Visions du Reel, and Doc Aviv.  And he has lectured and conducted workshops at universities, film schools and conferences in the US and internationally.


Javier Fuentes Leon


After becoming a medical doctor in Peru, Javier Fuentes-León got his MFA in film directing at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Los Angeles. His thesis film "Rooms" (1997) won the Peruvian National Award for Short Films. Peru’s National Theater considered his play "Mr. Clouds" one of the best of 2000 and published it in the compilation Dramaturgia Nacional 2000. His first feature, "Contracorriente (Undertow)" premiered at the San Sebastian Film Festival in 2009 and won over 50 international awards, including the Audience Award at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. It was Peru’s submission to the 2011 Oscars and was nominated for the Goya Awards (Spain’s Oscars). Fuentes-León’s second feature, the psychological noir thriller "The Vanished Elephant" premiered at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival and traveled around the world’s prestigious festivals: Cartagena, LA Film Fest, etc., before securing worldwide distribution.

Currently, Fuentes-León is developing his next three film projects: "Noblesse Oblige", a comedy of manners about prejudice and the class divide in Peru, which will start principal photography in October 2017; "The Woman Who Feared the Sun" (based on his play Mr. Clouds), a love story with touches of fantasy, which was invited to Film Independent’s Screenwriting Lab and garnered a lot of interest at the Berlinale Co-production Market, Film Independent Fast Track and IFP’s No Borders Market; and "Sinister", a rock musical set in a restrictive society of the near future, for which Fuentes-León is writing the music as well. "Sinister" is Fuentes-León’s second rock musical project. Last year he wrote the screenplay for "Av. Larco", Perú first rock musical set during the tumultuous years under the Shining Path terrorist attacks. "Av. Larco" will be released on March 30th. Fuentes-León is also developing a TV series called "Prophet", about an unwilling prophet whose otherworldly gift attracts a power-hungry media tycoon, and has been hired to write the pilot for "Pensión Soto", a sitcom for one of Peru’s major TV networks. Fuentes-León’s sits on the board of directors of Film Independent, the non-profit film organization behind the Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival.


Pete Hammond


Pete Hammond is currently the Chief Film Critic for Deadline Hollywood. For the past 6 years he has also been Awards Editor and Columnist for Deadline where he covers the Oscar and Emmy Seasons. He is widely considered to be one of the pre-eminent awards season commentators for film and television. During his career, he has also served as film critic for MovieLine, Boxoffice Magazine, Backstage Magazine, Hollywood.com and Maxim magazine. In addition to writing, Pete is also the host of the extremely popular year-round KCET Cinema Series and UCLA Extension's Sneak Preview Winter Session where he screens a selection of films prior to their theatrical release and interviews the filmmakers.

He is also host of KCET's  TV series "Must See Movies" which airs every Friday night at 8pm. He has held producing positions at Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Access Hollywood, The Arsenio Hall Show, the Martin Short Show and AMC Network. He is the recipient of five Emmy nominations for his TV writing and is the winner of the 1996 Publicists Guild of America's Press Award and is only the second journalist in the organization's 50-year history to receive the award twice winning again in 2013.


Effie T. Brown

Effie T. Brown

Effie T. Brown is an American film and television producer, who recently served as Executive Vice President of Development and Production for Lee Daniels Entertainment producing the Fox TV series STAR. Brown is also known for producing the highly acclaimed independent feature "Dear White People" which won multiple awards, including the Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Talent at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and Best First Screenplay at the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards. Throughout her career, Brown has produced several critically acclaimed HBO Films and award-winning projects including, "Stranger Inside", "Real Women Have Curves" (winner of Sundance Film Festival’s Audience Award and Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Performance), "Everyday People", "In The Cut" and "Rocket Science" (winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Directing at Sundance and recipient of three Independent Spirit Awards nominations). In 2010, her film "The Inheritance", starring Golden Brooks, won the Best Actress award at the American Black Film Festival. HBO recognized Brown’s ability to mold a low budget film into a critically acclaimed success and invited her to join the controversial reboot of "Project Greenlight" (Executive Produced by Matt Damon & Ben Affleck) in 2015, where she served as producer and mentor to the show’s fresh new director. Brown’s next endeavors will be adapting two critically acclaimed novels for the screen. Through her company, Duly Noted, Inc., she is producing the Lionsgate Entertainment feature film "Flyy Girl" (based off the best-selling novel by Omar Tyree) and she recently sold "The Good House" (by acclaimed novelist Tananarive Due), to Lifetime films.

Brown’s career began as a Film Independent fellow in the “Project Involve” program followed by a position as Director of Development for Tim Burton Productions in 1995. Decades later, Brown serves as a Film Independent Board member and mentors the new generation of fellows.


Steve Greene


Steve Greene is the Los Angeles-based Special Projects Editor at IndieWire. In addition to covering film festivals for IndieWire across North America, working with organizations like the International Documentary Association and serving as a juror for the Palm Springs ShortFest, he frequently hosts post-screening discussions and panel talks around Los Angeles. When he’s not consuming unhealthy amounts of pop culture, Steve is an avid podcast listener, baseball game attender and trivia team member.








John Ptak


John Ptak was born in San Diego, California. He began his career in the entertainment industry in 1969 when, after graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles, he joined the staff of The American Film Institute, where he was part of the team that established AFI's Center for Advanced Studies in Los Angeles. He worked thereafter as a Hollywood talent agent for 35 years, first at ICM and thereafter at William Morris and CAA, with an emphasis on directors, producers and independent films. He left CAA in 2006 to form Arsenal, which provides advisory services to film production companies and financiers.

Early in his career, he was directly involved with setting up such films as "Airplane", "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "Coal Miners Daugher", "Jaws", "National Lampoons Vacation" and "Taxi Driver". His personal clients included directors such as Bruce Beresford, Costa Gavras, Terry Gilliam, Scott Hicks, David Lynch, Wolfgang Peterson, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott and Peter Weir, as well as producers such as Michael & Julia Phillips, Sydney Pollack, Miramax and National Lampoon. At CAA, he created a consultancy structure that would enable talent agents to represent the financing and distribution arrangements of independent films, which resulted in his representation of over 100 films, working with his own clients as well as with Woody Allen, Jane Campion, Kevin Costner, Paul Haggis and Anthony Minghella on such films as "Crash", "Dances With Wolves", "Driving Miss Daisy", "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", "Hannibal", "Lost Highway", "The Piano", "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "True Romance".
He was a key executive in CAA’s corporate consultancy arrangements on such accounts as Coca-Cola, IMAX, and the French bank, Credit Lyonnais, with whom he participated in the restructuring of MGM and the rebirth of United Artists in 1993. Ptak was recently an Executive Producer of Peter Weir’s "The Way Back", Matt Reeves’ "Let Me In" and Terry Gilliam’s "Dr. Parnassus".

Ptak is a member of The National Film Preservation Board, the American Archive of Public Broadcasting Advisory Council and The National Film Preservation Foundation. He’s also served on advisory boards and panels for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The National Endowment for the Arts, UCLA, Loyola Marymount University and Chapman University, as well as The Motion Picture & Television Foundation, where he played a key role in its alliance with the UCLA Health System.


Corinne Marinnan Tripp


Corinne Marrinan received a degree in Theatre and Art History from Boston University’s School of Fine Arts. She started her career in the theatre as a professional Stage Manager working at suchTony Award winning regional theaters as The Goodman Theatre in Chicago and The Huntington Theatre in Boston, among many others. She was a founding member of the Remy Bumppo Theatre Company in Chicago, currently celebrating its twentieth season. 

Thanks to a theatre collaboration with the South African a cappella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo she, along with fellow thespians Eric Simonson and Leelai Demoz, created their first documentary film "On Tip Toe: Gentle Steps to Freedom" which was nominated for an Academy Award and an Emmy Award in 2001. Corinne and Eric Simonson collaborated again on the documentary "A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin", which won the Academy Award in 2006. 

Corinne subsequently produced the HBO documentary "Dark Light" and the WB documentary "Tales From the Warner Brothers Lot".

Meanwhile, Corinne expanded her repertoire from producer to screenwriter while working for a decade in various production capacities on the CBS drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation". She co-created/exec produced the black comedy "Spotless" for Canal+ and  has also written on such drama’s as "Murder In the First", "Crossing Lines", "Code Black" and, most recently, "Will" coming to TNT this July.



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