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Advisory Board

This diverse group of professionals, who have come together to support the festival’s mission, serve as trusted advisers and goodwill ambassadors. 

Sam Banks

Mr. Banks served as the Executive Director of the Don Moyers Boys and Girls Club and the Chief Executive Officer at Cunningham Children’s home for almost four decades, dedicating his professional life to inspiring youth.


Ed Begley Jr.

Mr. Begley is an American actor, producer, and environmental activist. He has appeared in hundreds of films, television shows, and stage performances; and has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


Angeliea Stark

Ms. Stark, a director at the New York Film Academy, is a bi-coastal professional actress, creative producer, filmmaker, and photographer. She is a first generation high school and college graduate, and the recipient of a National Acting Scholarship from the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.


John Isberg

Mr. Isberg is a writer, director, and cinematographer who has worked on multiple indie feature films and documentaries on Netflix. He has filmed over fifty music videos, worked with artists such as The Smashing Pumpkins, and his work has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and NPR’s All Things Considered.


Anna Librae

Ms. Librae is a British producer of several United Kingdom television series, including the Voice, Britain’s Got Talent, and Celebrity Big Brother.


Herman David

Mr. David is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and was the co-founding owner of Santa Clarita Studios and previously a studio manager of 20th Century Fox in Los Angeles.


Gioconda Guerra Perez

Dr. Perez is the Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity at the University of Illinois, and former director of La Casa cultural house, a part of the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations. There, she worked to help improve the retainment of underrepresented minority students and open opportunities for achievement. ​​​


Mike Yao

Dr. Mike Yao is an interdisciplinary researcher and educator of digital media literacy & management, online social behavior, and strategic communication. He has extensive experience in academic research, university teaching, business consulting, and NGO development and programming. He has a strong international background with a deep understanding of the media markets and consumer culture in China and the U.S.


Nell Minow

Nell Minow is a contributing editor and critic at Her website, with a parents’ eye on film and culture, began in 1995 and has more than 3000 reviews, interviews, and commentary. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments and she reviews films each week on radio stations across the country. She is also a lawyer specializing in corporate governance.


Gordon Brown

Dr. Brown has been an educator, nationally and internationally, for over twenty years. He is co-founder and chief operating officer of the nonprofit organization, A Place to Stand, that embraces a holistic, sustainable approach to eradicating homelessness and hunger.


Tifani Moot

Ms. Moot is a self-taught student of films and film history, American and international, and has attended film festivals across the globe. She is a businesswoman and philanthropist.

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