2018 Judges

Ralph Score
Ralph Score is one of the festival founders and acts as the Technical Director. He also oversees all qualifications for entries. An award winning producer/director with over 40 years of TV and film production experience, Ralph holds an Arts degree in Broadcast Communications from Miller Institute. He is currently employed as a Media Production Specialist and Web Content Coordinator for Valley TeleCom Group where he produced over 1800 TV shows between 2009 and 2018 and won a National Telechoice award for local content. This is his first active year as a judge.

Heather Hale
Heather Hale is a Film and Television Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Speaker and Consultant. Her book How to Work the Film &TV Markets:A Guide for Content Creators is due out this June as part of Focal Press’ “The AFM presents...” series. Ms. Hale directed, produced and co-wrote Absolute Killers (2010), a thriller that starred Edward Furlong (Terminator 2), Ed Asner (Up, Lou Grant) and Meat Loaf Aday (Fight Club, Rocky Horror Picture Show). Her 50 hours of award-winning television productions include The Courage to Love (2000), the $5.5 million dollar Lifetime Original Movie. Heather was the 2017 Special Guest and Keynote for the festival. This is her first year as a judge.

Kelly Van Shaar
Kelly Van Shaar is the creative Director of Studio 128 in Willcox, AZ. and a local media professional who owns Van Shaar Productions in Safford, Arizona. He has been the lead instructor for Media Studies at both Thatcher High School and Willcox High School. Kelly has also been an adjunct instructor teaching audio production for the Media Communications program at Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher, Arizona. Kelly has a degree in music and is actively involved in theater arts as well as production. Kelly has written and recorded many of his own songs. Kelly has been a past recipient of the Stan Robinson Award of Excellence and is in his Third year as a judge. 

Luis Maria Lopez Benitez
Luis Lopez is an independent producer and media professional who currently lives in Asuncion, Paraguay. He holds a degree in Broadcasting Communications from ITT Technical Institute and is a former producer at Channel 33 Univision in Phoenix, Arizona. Luis was on-hand two years ago at the festival as a visiting photographer and correspondent while continuing work on a documentary series about worldwide environmental issues. Luis is also in his Third year as a judge for the festival. 

Jen Barney
Jen Barney is on faculty at Valley Union High School in Elfrida, AZ. where she teaches Media, Photography, Art and Journalism. Jen holds a BA in History from Arizona State University and has been teaching for over 20 years at the Middle and High School levels. She was recognized as the 2017 Cochise County High School Teacher of the Year. This is Jen’s first year as a judge at the festival.

Timothy Bryant
Timothy Bryant is an Executive Producer and owner of Caribou Moving Pictures, an award winning film and TV production company located in Phoenix, Arizona. Growing up in Burbank, Tim got a taste for working in film production early on from commercials to feature films that eventually lead to Caribou’s feature film production of “Planet of the Killer Robots”. He is currently working with “Star Trek” alum Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov) on the feature film “In Search of Steven Spielberg”. This is Tim’s second year judging at the festival. 

All entries are judged on a 30 point scoring possibility for tradecraft (writing, directing, editing, etc.), combined with an overall division and category ranking for tie breaker considerations.