Knoxville Film Festival

Film Judges


is the Program Director for the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival (aGLIFF) in Austin, Texas, as well as festival director for the music film festival Sound Unseen in the Twin Cities, MN, and Feature Length programmer for the Flyway Film Festival in Stockholm & Pepin, WI. He is also a film journalist whose work has appeared in Twin Cities Daily Planet, Star Tribune, City Pages, 89.3 the Current, MinnPost and Hammer to Nail where he has covered Sundance, Toronto, SXSW, True/False, Fantastic Fest, Seattle, Tribeca, MSPIFF and Chicago international film festivals.  He is also a big sports nerd.





ELISAR CABRERA is a freelance film and digital series producer and distribution consultant. He also teaches also web series production and marketing, and as an advocate for filmmaking online, Elisar founded the Raindance Web Fest, produces the VidfestUK attraction at MCM London Comic Con and is a co-founder of Digital Creators UK.





currently serves as Executive Director of the Greater Columbus Film Commission (Ohio) and President/Founder, Film Festival of Columbus. He joined the board of the Greater Columbus Film Commission in 2013 and took over as Executive Director in 2015. In his first year as executive director, John attracted two major films to shoot in Columbus, I Am Wrath starring John Travolta and 478 starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Most recently, Mr. Daugherty was instrumental in getting the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit doubled to $40 million. In 2012 John founded the Film Festival of Columbus and has been growing every year since.



JON GANN is the Founder of DC Shorts, a non-profit organization championing short filmmaking, and the creator of the DC Shorts Film Festival, one of the country’s premier short film showcases. He has also served as the Executive Director of CINE, a 58-year old organization that honors the best in film, TV and digital media with the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award. Through his Reel Plan consulting firm, Jon has bridged the communication gap between competing film festivals, so all can share film information, sponsor strategies and filmmaker data.





LISA GILES is the Director of Activities for the Virginia High School League, where she is founder/producer/director of the VHSL Film Festival and also produces all non-athletic state championships and events including theatre, creative writing, speech, broadcast, and the Student Leaders Conference. Lisa is currently serving her second term as Vice President (former Secretary) on the Virginia Production Alliance Board of Trustees, has been a grand juror for the Richmond International Film Festival and the American Youth Film Festival.





SUSAN KERNS is an award-winning filmmaker, Assistant Professor of Cinema Art + Science at Columbia College Chicago, and Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Chicago Feminist Film Festival. She is currently producing the documentary Merle: The Last of the Lawsonians, and she holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.





LEA MCMAHAN graduated from the University of Tennessee, with a degree in Theatre (performance).  She returned to UTK in 1995 to finish her Master’s degree in Education and for the last twenty years, she has produced and directed close to eighty stage productions and adapted nine novels to the stage.  Lea began writing, directing and producing short films with cinematographer Matt Cikovic in 2009.  Their films have been selected and screened in film festivals all over the country, including Pennsylvania, California, Ohio, Oklahoma, Alaska, and beautiful East Tennessee.




WILL MEYER is the film critic for WBIR-TV (Knoxville, TN)—one of America’s strongest NBC affiliates. On Sunday mornings, Will can be seen reviewing movies on “10 News Weekend.” He also writes about movies for the WBIR website. Will studied at the University of Tennessee, but received his “film education” while managing Regal Downtown West 8, Knoxville’s premier venue for independent cinema. When he’s not reviewing movies, Will serves as the Marketing Manager for the Museum of Appalachia.





QUINCY PERKINS is a award-winning film director based in Key West, FL. He has been involved in both independent films and large Hollywood films for the last 13 years, starting with Master and Commander and Men in Black. His short film “The Messenger” was called the most controversial short film of 2006 by the Seattle Times. It garnered a front page article by the USA Today and was seen in several high profile film festivals. Last year his short film “Swingers Anonymous” was accepted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015. He is currently working on several documentaries as well as programmer and director of development for the Key West Film Festival.




LARRY RICHMAN spent 20 years in commercial broadcast radio, band management, and record production. Then, Larry became a film festival journalist. Since 2006 he has covered over 100 festivals and 3000 screenings. In 2011, he was invited to join the Palm Beach International Film Festival, where he serves as Executive Vice President and Director of Programming.







JOHN SECOR is a producer at the Sarasota Film Festival, where he has worked with programming, marketing and guest services to launch SFF’s 10-day, 250-film festival each April. He also has worked at the Provincetown International Film Festival. John is executive producing a short documentary that will be released in 2017.







JEREMY STEMEN was the founder and Executive Director of the Blue Water Film Festival in Port Huron, Michigan, hosting Academy Award winners and nominees, as well as Emmy Award winners and industry notables of all calibers. Jeremy has worked with Stephen Bannatyne of Red Hat Productions (“If A Tree Falls”, “Informant” and “Z for Zachariah”) on a couple projects.  Along with Sid Haig on the development of an animated series. In 2009, “Game Night” a comedy theatrical piece Jeremy wrote, hit the stage and has been produced in theatres since.





JOI TRIBBLE is a data specialist for a software company by day and the lead Shorts Film Programmer for Sidewalk Film Festival by night. Joi has worked with Sidewalk since 2008.  She currently serves as a juror member at various film festivals and speaks on film festivals and the independent film industry.


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