2017 CROSSROADS FILM FESTIVAL JURY
Tom Acito is "mostly a commercial editor," but has also cut probably 100 music videos, some indie Films ("Death of A Saleswoman," "Through Riley’s Eyes") and some documentaries. One doc I really enjoyed is called "Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan."
Editing is a calling. I suppose like anything, you have to invest in it in body and spirit to make an imprint. At the end of the day, I hope I made a dent.
Clint Bowie is Director of Programming for the New Orleans Film Society which produces the annual New Orleans Film Festival.
Clint has been with NOFS since 2010 and oversees the curation of content for the Film Society’s year-round programming. He has served on festival juries at the Dallas International Film Fest, International Film Festival Boston, & Starz Denver Film Fest. Clint lives in New Orleans.
Dr. Wilma Mosley Clopton's entire life has been a quest to explore and share the historical contributions of African American Mississippians. A film producer/director and author, Clopton is the creator of NMHS Unlimited Film Productions, whose mission is to highlight the significant influence of African-Americans in Mississippi through film, print and lectures.
With her focus on short documentaries, Clopton has produced 10 films, four books, a children's coloring book and a play. Her most recent books include "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," honoring Mississippi African Americans who served in the Civil War; and "Jessie, One Woman, One Vision," a memoir of her mother's accomplishments.
Dr. Clopton lives in Jackson, MS.
A native of the Mississippi Delta, Ellen Ann Fentress is a filmmaker as well as a writer whose work appears in The New York Times, The Atlantic and Oxford American. Her 56-minute civil-rights documentary Eyes on Mississippi, completed with co-writer and film editor Lida Gibson, is being screened at universities around the country and accepted for an upcoming public-television broadcast. Ellen lives in Jackson and invites you to visit her on www.ellenannfentress.com.
Andreas Herzog: It was 1986, and I was 19. Woody Allen's "Purple Rose of Cairo." The power of illusion got me inspired to become a director. In 1987, assisted with everything at a local TV station. Wanted to apply for film school, got a job offer to do castings. Took the job, casted for yogurt, cheese and lingerie ads.
The Avid non-linear editing became big. I became an editor. Cut ads for yogurt, cheese and lingerie. (Boring after awhile.) In 1995, none of the experienced editors knew how to use a computer, let alone the Avid. I was the human interface between the story tellers and the machine. No more TV ads, only feature films and documentaries. Edited for 15 years, my study of storytelling. Some assistant director gigs on the side.
Oops, I've hit the big 3-5. Halftime already? Almost forgot... I wanted to become a director! So I shot short films with my own money. Stopped editing. Dialogue with a Producer: "Want to cut a big show for me?" Me: "Nope, I am a director now." Prod: "What are you directing?" Me: "Don't know yet."
Wife went crazy, how do we feed the kids? I knocked on every Producer's door in Germany. "Wanna see my short films?" Some producers did... one of them gave me a shot. "Deadline," 45 minutes, crime show, two episodes. The first time I got paid for directing. (I was 40.)
Me now: If you love the script, make the movie. If you don't, DON'T! Wanna see some samples? Click on "VIDEO:" http://spiel-kind.com/directors/andreas-herzog/
David Rae Morris was born in Oxford, England and grew up in New York City. His photographs have been published in National Geographic, Time Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, New York Times, and Sports Illustrated, among others. In 1999, Morris collaborated with his father, the late author Willie Morris, on My Mississippi, a collection of essays and photographs.
He began working in film in 2011 when he and Susan Allen Liles produced “Drawing on a Dream” about Ruleville musician Duff Dorrough. In 2012 he produced “Integrating Ole Miss: James Meredith and Beyond,” and his third film, “Yazoo Revisited,” examined the integration of the public schools in his father’s hometown of Yazoo City, Mississippi.
Most recently David licensed 53 photographs from his long-term project on Deadheads to “Long Strange Trip,” the new documentary on the Grateful Dead which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival.
Morris has taught photojournalism at the University of Minnesota and Ohio University. He and his long time partner, Susanne Dietzel, have a 15 year-old daughter, Uma Rae Morris Dietzel. They live in New Orleans.
Margaret McMullan is the author of seven award-winning novels, the story collection Aftermath Lounge, and editor of the anthology, Every Father’s Daughter, which Parade magazine named a “a best Father’s Day Gift and A Sizzling Summer Read.” Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Herald, The Chicago Tribune, Southern Accents, StorySouth, National Geographic for Kids, Glamour, and The Sun among other journals and anthologies.
Margaret received an NEA fellowship and a Fulbright to research and teach in Hungary for a new memoir Where the Angels Lived: One Family’s Story of Exile, Loss, and Return. After 25 years of teaching at the University of Evansville, Margaret retired to write full time.
She and her husband, Pat O’Connor, and their dog Samantha currently live in Pass Christian, Mississippi.
An award-winning writer, producer, and feature film and commercial director, Patrick O’Connor has written screenplays for the likes of Steven Spielberg and Kate Hudson. After a brief stint at an advertising agency, Patrick O’Connor left to create a new company dedicated to delivering communications solutions in an environment that fosters creativity and collaboration. O'Connor and his wife, the author Margaret McMullan, live in Pass Christian. www.oconnorcreative.com
How do you measure passion? An ounce of Alem Sapp would go a long way! Born in Boston and raised on the New York theater scene, this Oxford University-trained actor has spent his time sharing his passion with the world through his work and life.
He has built a reputation as a versatile actor by playing the title roles in Macbeth, Othello, and Playboy of the West Indies, but also traversing such American classics as To Kill a Mockingbird and Showboat. Alem has had feature roles in such mainstream movies as The Royal Tenenbaums, Pootie Tang, and How High, and television’s “Law and Order.” He has also been in such indie darlings as Doing The LA Thing, Strange Girls, The Good Neighbor Policy, and Delivery.
Of late, he has garnered attention for writing several feature-length and short films. He is an original member of the all-encompassing nationally-recognized sketch comedy troupe Slow Children Crossing - he enjoys a full-throttle work schedule with the group as a writer, director, actor, producer and co-collaborator. An avid believer in the arts as a conduit to achieving your personal dreams, Alem also enjoys teaching Shakespeare and improv to children of all ages. He can soon be found touring the country with his sketch comedy show Fun & Bone. www.alemsapp.com
Kevin Slark is a Producer at Mad Genius Creative Fusion in Ridgeland. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Millsaps College, Slark got into production because, as he says, “it seemed like a good idea at the time.” Unknowingly, he stumbled upon a true passion, and has worked in the field since. His first job was producing live church broadcasts, and then he worked freelance on everything from feature documentaries to Wal-Mart commercials to big-budget Hollywood features. He also spent time as stage manager of Mississippi Film Studios. After working with Mad Genius several times as a freelancer, Slark came on full time, fulfilling a vital production role while maintaining his signature balance of laid-back and can-do.
He has been involved with the Crossroads Film Society and Festival since 2009 and currently serves on their Board of Directors. Slark resides in Jackson with his wife, Banu, too many dogs, a cat, and a fish.
Demetrius Wren (writer/director) is known for his deeply-rooted character stories, from his play about African-American families in Mississippi, Legends, Myths and Hieroglyphs (called by Christopher Durang, "one of the most original scripts he’s read"), to Streetball, a documentary intimately following the players in South Africa’s homeless street soccer leagues.
He has made a Virtual Reality film with the United Nations, documenting the stories after the 2015 earthquake in Nepal and runs the production company, Two Kids with a Camera through which he has directed the feature films Saudade? and Moon and Sun as well as many shorts and episodics.
Demetrius serves as a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh, teaching "Film Topics: Feature Film Production" and is the creative head of VR and digital experience designer at FreemanXP, the world's largest brand experience creative agency. He is currently in production on his newest narrative feature, Rehabilitation of the Hill, due out in 2018. He lives in Los Angeles.