2017 MiFo – Miami Jury Members
Tommy Demos Filmmaker and Professor of Film, Television & Digital Production, School of Entertainment & Design Technology at Miami Dade College.
Director/Producer/Filmmaker and President StandOut Productions
Director of Programming for Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Film Critic & Arts Writer for Miami New Times & Dim the House Lights
Founder of Section II and Executive Producer at Olive Juice Films
Festival Director Mardi Gras Film Festival, Sydney
Tommy Demos, Filmmaker and Professor of Film, Television & Digital Production, School of Entertainment & Design Technology at Miami Dade College.
Tommy Demos is a Miami native of Cuban/European descent who earned his MFA in Film Production from the University of Miami in 2010. He has produced and directed seven award-winning short films including: Star Child, Come Monday, Poacher, The First Night, Olvidandote, Whatever Lola Wants, and Wake-Up Call. He worked as the assistant editor on Miami Boheme, an Emmy-award winning feature-length documentary that highlights the contemporary Afro-Cuban Jazz music scene in Miami. He is currently editing Fight Like a Girl, a short documentary that follows female video gamers who overcome systemic and cultural obstacles to compete in male-dominated tournaments. Professor Demos is a full-time, tenure track professor of Film, Television & Digital Production in the School of Entertainment & Design Technology at Miami Dade College where he teaches courses in: producing, directing, editing, motion graphics, animation, and screenwriting.
Andrea Meyerson, Director/Producer/Filmmaker and President StandOut Productions
Andrea Meyerson, Award-winning filmmaker, director, and producer of film, television and live events. Andrea has produced and directed nine feature documentaries, 18 TV specials and two short narrative films. She is on the programming committee for QFilms and Outfest, she served as a juror for Outfest and was recently hired as the Festival Director for the first lesbian film festival on an Olivia Cruise.
KJ Mohr, Director of Programming for Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
KJ Mohr has been working in film for twenty-five years as a curator, programmer, educator, filmmaker and consultant. She is currently the Director of Programming for the Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, which celebrates its 28th anniversary this fall. As Director of Film and Digital Media Programs at Baltimore’s Creative Alliance, she founded the Charm City Queer Film Festival, now heading into its sixth year. KJ teaches film at George Mason University, having taught previously at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In the mid-2000’s KJ served as the first Curator of Film and Media Arts at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, prior to which she was the curator of Conversations at the Edge, a weekly visiting artist series at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. She got her start with the extraordinary media arts and activist organization and film festival Women in the Director’s Chair (1980-2005). Her own film work and curated programs have appeared at Anthology Film Archives in New York City, Yerba Buena Arts Center in San Francisco, the Museum of Image and Sound in São Paulo, Brazil, Chicago Film Archive, Syracuse University, and Bangkok’s Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, among many other venues around the world.
Juan Barquin, Film Critic & Arts Writer for Miami New Times & Dim the House Lights
Juan Barquin is the co-editor of Dim the House Lights, a long form film criticism site, as well as an arts writer for Miami New Times. He is also a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle and GALECA. He us also a man of few words, at least about himself.
Allie Esslinger, Founder of Section II and Executive Producer at Olive Juice Films
Allie Esslinger is a Southern transplant living in Brooklyn. She began working in entertainment as a joke writer for stand-up comics during grad school. She also wrote for various magazines and blogs before transitioning to film sets as production and social media support and, eventually, to the opening of Olive Juice Films in 2011. Initially a traditional production services company, Olive Juice has expanded its focus to include digital marketing and strategy for independent content, nonprofits, platforms like Major League Gaming, Maker Studios, and VICE. In 2013, she founded Section II, a streaming network focused on connecting Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LBTQ) stories and audiences. Section II acquires, creates, and showcases LBTQ films and series across genres, formats, and platforms. Its first subscription service, the Spotlight Series, launched last Fall, and the first original content premiered on the festival circuit this Summer. Allie loves television, big sunglasses, iced coffee, and the Crimson Tide.
Paul Struthers, Festival Director Mardi Gras Film Festival, Sydney
Paul Struthers worked in exhibition, sales and distribution in London for many years, and has worked in festivals in Sydney for the past seven years... he is a man of few words.