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RFF Judges

Edward Buffman

Best Actor Judge

Ed Buffman is a multiple award-winning director/cinematographer with a great range of project experience.  Throughout his career he has directed and shot numerous television commercials, corporate films, documentary and music productions, infomercials, live sports programs, live television events as well as web and multi-media presentations. This work includes humorous and dramatic action and dialogue and documentary style. Ed has directed actors and real people as well as celebrities, sports personalities and politicians.  

Judd Taylor

Best Feature Film Judge

Judd Taylor has developed an eclectic career in film programming, acquisitions, and script analysis, working with film festivals and worldwide sales companies including Tribeca Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival, Cordillera International Film Festival, Prince Films and Glass House Distribution. He programmed the feature film lineups for Cordillera and Chandler International Film Festival in 2020. For Prince Films, he’s acquired Crazy Samurai Musashi, Psychosia, True Fiction, All Roads to Pearla, and Billie and Emma. He was previously Associate Director of Programming and a Board Member for DTLA Film Festival in Los Angeles and sat on the Screening Committee of Cleveland International Film Festival. He’s also worked in marketing at Cinema Management Group on Oscar nominated worldwide hit Loving VincentHe annually screens 400+ films and reads 100+ screenplays. This is Judd’s third year judging the Narrative Features for Reading FilmFEST. 

Kelly DeVine

Best Documentary and Social Impact Award Judge

Kelly DeVine has served as the Artistic Director for the Global Peace Film Festival Artistic Director since 2006. Connecting story to community in action, the GPFF supports and amplifies the work of Central Florida civic, faith, educational and activist groups by curating film and media events to raise awareness and catalyze audiences. She has consulted on impact projects for award-winning documentaries such as BullyHow To Survive A Plague. This is Kelly’s sixth year as Documentary/Social Impact Judge for ReadingFilmFEST!

Kevin Hackenberg - RFF Judge

Kevin Hackenberg

Best Shorts Judge; Cinematography Award

With over 25 years experience in the film world as a DP, Director, and Producer, Kevin is a trusted source for any size project and is considered one of the East Coast’s premier DPs for his beautiful visuals, steadicam and drone work. Known for THE SIXTH SENSE (1999), THE BELOVED (2011), CHASING AMY (1997) THE WOODSMAN (2004), EQUITY (2016) and AS YOU ARE (2019). Kevin is also the creator of FUNNY & AMEN,  a series of shorts proving that Christians actually can have a sense of humor.

Sue Lange

Best Script Judge

Sue Lange is a screenwriter, playwright, novelist, short story writer, and columnist. Her novella, We Robots, was recently republished by Night Shade Books in the MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN anthology. Her first feature film, DUST NUGGETS, was released early 2020 on Amazon’s Prime Video. Sue is the producer/writer of TRAFFIC OPERA, nominated for best short film and best edited film at the 2018 Nice International Film Festival, and the producer/director/writer of the award-winning short A PERFECT YOU.  Sue is the writer/producer of PRINCESS DANCER and JUMP. Her current project, LE BON CHEF, in development, was the 2020 winner of the Apple Film Festival Best Comedy Script. Sue is an award-winning playwright whose work has been produced throughout the country.

Santo D. Marabella

Best Script Judge

Santo D. Marabella, MBA, DSW, The Practical Prof® and the 2018 Reading Eagle Entertainment Newsmaker of the Year, is an author, playwright, filmmaker, speaker and educator with writing, directing and/or producing credits that include books, television pilots, a musical, short films and plays. He was a producer of This Is Reading by Lynn Nottage.  He co-founded and executive produced ReadingFilmFEST (2015 through 2017), as well as co-founded and served as Film Commissioner, ReadingFilm (2006 to 2018).

Current projects include:  director/producer, “This Machine” (video/audio play); producer, “Flashlight” (feature); producer, “Le Bon Chef” (feature) writer/producer, “The Caregiver” (short); writer, “Barbara Saves Herself” (screenplay) and writer/creator, “Raising the ‘Rents” (TV pilot).  He is a member of The Lambs®, The Dramatists Guild of America and Theatre Communications Group.  More information can be found on his IMDB profile.

Carolyn McDonald - RFF panelist

Carolyn McDonald

Best Female Filmmaker Judge

Carolyn McDonald is the award-winning executive producer of AMERICA’S DREAM (HBO), BUFFALO SOLDIERS (TNT) and FREEDOM SONG (TNT), and Big Kenny Alphin’s inspiring documentary, BEARING LIGHT (NatGeo). Prior to running Danny Glover’s Carrie Productions, she was a part of the Warner Bros. TV advertising/publicity team, and later a Creative Executive at Cinecom Entertainment Group.She directed and produced the short film “P.N.O.K.” featuring Danny Glover & Elle Fanning,  the documentary DESIGN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, and several music videos & corporate films for Nissan, the Nashville Civic Design Center and the Nashville Film Festival.

 

As a screenwriter, she has scripted works for 20th Century Fox, GMC, a variety of indie producers, and most recently adapted the novel “The Color of Hope.” She is developing a variety of original content including 5 EAST BROADWAY, BANJO MOON, MEAN LOVE, and the documentary series BLACK IRISH BLUES. She is presently working on her feature directorial debut, the romantic dramedy, EVERGLOW, for which she has also designed a line of home accessories to be featured in the film.Carolyn is also the prolific photographer of her ongoing project NOUNS IN THE ROAD exhibition, which has been exhibited in galleries in Nashville, TN, and Charlotte, NC, and has several high profile collectors. Her TIME + TIDE: AS REVEALED BY LIGHT collection will be available Fall 2021. Portions of her memoir INFLUENTIA: 50 YEARS ON EARTH AS IT IS IN CAROLYN, are now available as audio essays on SoundCloud.

Christian Crespo

Best Made-in-Reading Judge

Christian Crespo made history in June 2020 when hired by the City of Reading as their first Communications professional. With a promising career of over five years, the Latino with Puerto Rican roots is motivated by his genuine and passionate character and possesses credits as a Producer and Director of his Christmas Special Una Cantata a los Reyes Magos and Production Assistant of shows from major Hispanic stations such as Univision Puerto Rico. Mr. Crespo completed his educational formation at the Ferré-Rangel School of Communications through Sagrado University at San Juan Puerto Rico, earning a Bachelor in Arts of Communications. More recently, he leads successful multimedia campaigns in the City of Reading, increasing their audiovisual offer as a form of communication with the residents of Reading and beyond.

Ben Sneeringer

StudentFEST Judge

Ben Sneeringer is a lifelong lover of cinema and is always looking for ways to celebrate his passion for film. A teacher in the Reading area for over 10 years, Ben has also woven his love of film into education, including creating an afterschool film club for eighth graders and serving as a teaching assistant for multiple film classes, most notably the Rhetoric of Horror Films at Penn State Berks Campus. Ben is also a cohost of Final Cut Podcast, a film podcast that features reviews, news, and all-time lists!

Marty Mellinger

Best Music Judge

Marty Mellinger is a musician, music producer, arranger and composer. Owner of Cross Keys Productions Recording Studio, Mr. Mellinger has written and produced over 450 commercials and short film scores. He was nominated for a regional Grammy as Jazz Producer in 1988. Mr. Mellinger is also a highly sought-after pianist and has performed with Simone, Rick Derringer, Mary Wilson, Ray Parker, Jr., and Rita Coolidge (he was even asked by Bruce Springsteen to be the original keyboard player in the East Street Band). He recently composed the score for Finding Jenn’s Voice, an award-winning documentary feature. 

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