Our 2022 Jury comprises of directors, producers, screenwriters, educators, programmers and other film industry professionals dedicated to celebrating the best of independent cinematic storytelling.
Jurors select the winners of DCFF’s Excellence in Narrative Feature Storytelling award, Excellence in Documentary Storytelling award, Excellence in Narrative Short Storytelling award, the inaugural Excellence in Music Video, Experimental or Animation Storytelling award, Evergreen Storyteller’s Award recognizing the best film from the Pacific Northwest and the 1st Place Storyteller’s Award. Award winners will be announced during the festival (February 25 to March 6, 2022).
Excellence in Documentary Storytelling
Evergreen Storyteller’s Award
Adrian Alarilla is currently a PhD Candidate in History at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, working on his dissertation on Filipino migration to Hawaiʻi and Mindanao. He did his MA in Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Washington. His films have been screened all over the US, Mexico, Cambodia, and the Philippines. He recently premiered his latest documentary film, “Kung Saan Man Tayo” (Wherever We May Be) at the 2021 International Migration and Environment Film Festival. He also helps organize the Seattle Asian American Film Festival, the Southeast Asia x Seattle Film Festival and the Diwa Filipino Film Showcase.
Excellence in Documentary Storytelling
1st Prize Storyteller’s Award
Beth has been with SIFF since 2003, and is responsible for managing the artistic vision of SIFF, including all aspects of programming for the SeattleInternational Film Festival, SIFF Cinema’s 5 year-round screens, and the SIFF Education team. She secured SIFF’s status as an Academy Award® qualifying festival for short film in 2008. Beth currently serves on the Board of the Film Festival Alliance and the City of Seattle Film Task Force. In addition to her daily work in programming, Beth has served on juries and panels in Palm Springs, Park City, Cleveland, Calgary, Vancouver BC and Berlin, Germany.
Excellence in Music Video, Experimental or Animation Storytelling
Jasper Basch joined IFC Films as their Head of Theatrical Distribution in 2020, where he oversees over thirty releases annually, ranging from traditional releases with full theatrical windows to day-and-date titles that gross seven figures, such as The Wretched, Relic, and The Rental, the last of which was the #1 movie in America for two consecutive weeks. Prior to joining the team at IFC Films, Jasper was the Vice President of Theatrical Sales at Greenwich Entertainment, where he handled the distribution of multimillion-dollar grossing films that include Echo in the Canyon and Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice. He had previously founded and operated Cartilage Films, an independent film distributor and theatrical booking agency; distributors for whom Cartilage Films handled theatrical sales include Screen Media Films, MUBI, Metrograph Pictures, Paladin, Film Movement, and Arrow Films.
Jasper’s work with IFC Films during the COVID-19 pandemic, where he lead the industry in distributing titles to drive-in theaters, was covered in national news, including The New York Times, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Deadline. In addition to leading the company’s theatrical distribution, Jasper managers scheduling for all titles for VOD, EST, and non-theatrical releasing, maximizing each film’s potential and considering the business’ overall goals. Jasper has further grown the company’s nontheatrical business, increasing the company’s slate’s carriage in nontheatrical markets, and managing international theatrical and nontheatrical subdistribution.
Tiffany Bennett was born and raised in the heart of Seattle, WA. As a Garfield High School alumna, Tiffany went on to pursue a career in Film and Media. Receiving a B.A. in Mass Communications from Tougaloo College an HBCU, located in Jackson, MS. Never losing focus of her goal. Tiffany is a video, film and media specialist who inspires her students to become the creators of their future. She gives back to her community as a teaching artist in all things film-related and is the Co-Founder of ReelYouth Film Camp, partnered with Langston Hughes & Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). With Tiffany Bennett it’s all Lights, Camera and Action!
Hannah Bothner is the Operations Manager and Short Film Programmer for Tallgrass Film Festival. She was born and raised in Wichita, KS and graduated from Wichita State University. Her passions include film, television, podcasts and eating too many snacks at the movies.
Laura Checkoway’s Edith+Eddie received an Academy Award and Emmy nomination in 2018 and has won numerous awards including the IDA Documentary Awards Best Short. The film is executive produced by Steve James and Cher. With a background as a writer and journalist, her award-winning debut film Lucky screened across the globe and premiered on television in 2014. A short doc series that she produced with PBS was nominated for two Emmys in 2020. Her new feature doc The Cave of Adullam is coming in 2022.
Nina Di Salvo
Nina (@ninacdisalvo) is an independent filmmaker, film programmer, and writer currently based in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Nina worked as an art director, production designer, associate producer, and production assistant in Savannah, Atlanta, New York City, Rome, Italy, and across the southeastern United States. Nina is passionate about empowering, educating, and healing audiences through film curation, widening cultural, social, and economic perspectives, and inspiring engaged conversation around storytelling. Nina currently works full time with the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival as a content coordinator and shorts programmer and enjoys street photography, long walks, dusty bookshops, and art museums in her spare time.
Favorite Movie: Phantom Thread
Guilty Pleasure: The Phantom of the Opera
stephanie hough (she/her) is an experimental filmmaker, commercial producer and director of photography whose work explores repetition, gender, relationships and emotional landscapes. Her films HOW TO FEEL (DV, 2010), HEART (16mm, 2013), SPOOKY ACTION AT A DISTANCE (Super 8, 2016) and CENTURY: SUMMER (16mm, 2020) have screened in the NW Filmmaker’s Festival, Portland International Film Festival, Tacoma Film Festival, Engauge Film Festival, Experimental Film Festival PDX, BendFilm, The Boathouse Microcinema, TriBeca Film Center and more. As an educator with the Northwest Film Center, Pacific University and the PNCA, and Vice President of the board with Women In Film -PDX, hough has a passion for sharing analog film techniques and making learning accessible for all.
A 25-year film industry veteran, Paul Hudson was the co-founder of independent US distribution, production and sales company Outsider Pictures and now runs the company. Since its launch in 2005, Outsider has released Adam’s Apples (2005), Klimt (2006), London to Brighton (2006), Academy Award-winning director Guiseppe Tornatore’s The Unknown Woman (2006) and Baaria (2009). With close to 100 titles in its library, recent acquisitions include Cannes winner Nuestras Madres (2019) and The Weasals’ Tale by Oscar winner Juan José Campanella. In addition to running Outsider Pictures, Hudson has also consulted for MGM, Overture, Relativity, Exclusive Media, Miramax and Cinestaan and continues to consult for independent sales and production companies.
Annie Kaempfer is a writer and director whose work has screened at festivals nationwide including Atlanta, Big Sky, Mill Valley and Woods Hole. Her feature debut, The Falconer, aired on PBS’ America Reframed in 2021 after winning Special Jury Prize at Cinema on the Bayou, Best Environmental Feature at BendFilm, and the 1st Place Storyteller’s Award at Destiny City. A Spike Lee Fellowship recipient, Annie graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with an MFA in Film and Television. She brings a collaborative spirit, devotion to aesthetics, and focus on real-world impact to all her film projects. Annie serves on the Board of Directors of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital’s and has consulted for Ford Foundation, JustFilms and FotoDC. Annie was born in Washington DC and lived in London and Maine before settling in Brooklyn with a lawyer/musician, one small child, and overly exuberant rescue Saint Bernard.
Austin King is a festival programmer and screener who loves intimate, domestic dramas and movies about giant monsters fighting. Austin started volunteering with aGLIFF in 2017 and took over Assistant Programmer duties in 2021. He has been active on the Fantastic Fest feature submissions team since 2019 and enjoys hosting and programming with the festival. Austin screened for the 2021 SXSW film festival, and wrote an undergraduate thesis in 2016 on The Seventh Seal and Rashomon for which he received a degree with Honors. He participated in the filming of a local Austin musician’s video, “Love Me Strange,” and video production for local drag artists. When not watching movies, Austin likes seeing live music and pretending to cast spells in tabletop roleplaying games with his partner and friends.
Isabella Price is a local artist and activist who has made Seattle her home since 2015. She has made her lifelong love of film her career as a speaker on media at conventions around the country, as a programmer for organizations like the Northwest Film Forum, as an educator for SIFF and Blanket Fort Films, and served multiple years on the board for Women in Film Seattle. She hopes to continue spreading her passion and enthusiasm for movies as the Film Programs Manager at Langston.
François has been releasing movies since 2010, first in France with Chrysalis Films where he picked up and released notable movies such as Let the Right one In (Tomas Alfredson), City Island (Andy Garcia) or Primo Levi’s Journey (Davide Ferrario). Still in France he then specialized in Italian movies with Bellissima Films and distributed some remarkable titles among which Caesar’s Must Die (Golden Bear in Berlin for the brothers Taviani), Terraferma (Emanuele Crialese, director of Respiro and Golden Gate), The Hour Double (Giuseppe Capotondi). He then founded Distrib Films in France and quickly expanded to the US where this year marks his 100th movie released with his company Distrib Films US. Firmly independent, focusing mainly on high quality French and foreign films, François has worked closely with US festivals and built a strong network of connections within the industry with producers, sales agents, theatrical bookers, VOD aggregators, and all types of vendors helping to release each movie with a tailored and passionate approach.
Taylor Stark is an actor and director based out of Portland, OR. She has worked as an Assistant Director on several film projects in Portland and her work as a stage director has been seen across the country in theatres in Detroit, Chicago, and Portland. She is the founder and Artistic Director of Witch Hunt Theatre which specializes in site-specific, immersive, horror theatre work. She also does work with young actors, specifically teaching classes about Acting for TV and Film for students ages 11 to 18. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and is intending to pursue her MFA in Directing next year.