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Mark Brown

Mark Brown is a professional writer in East Tennessee whose career has included institutional journalism in higher education, agency work in advertising, branding and marketing and, presently, work with the Standard Banner newspaper. He has loved movies since the first one he saw, called “So Dear To My Heart” which is the sole thing he remembers of it.


Stuart Derman

Stuart Derman is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Utah based nonprofit Wasatch Mountain Arts which produces the annual Wasatch Mountain Film festival. Outside of his work with WMFF, he is a senior marketing leader helping businesses connect with their audience through storytelling.


Kristen Dye

Kristen Dye is a producer, actress, and director based out of Knoxville, Tennessee. She has worked on countless television shows, films, and commercials. Kristen has helped produce television shows for various networks, including A&E, Oxygen, Investigation Discovery, the DIY Network, Great American Country, and INSP. She also produced and directed the award winning documentary feature film "Television Pioneer: The Story of Ross K. Bagwell, Sr."


Nat Dykeman

Nat Dykeman started the Lake County Film Festival in 2004 out of the video store he used to own in the northern suburbs of Chicago. He has also programmed the Tennessee First section of the Nashville Film Festival the past few years, and produced the feature film QWERTY.

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Dr. Jerod Ra’Del Hollyfield

Dr. Jerod Ra’Del Hollyfield is a filmmaker and Associate Professor  of Film Studies and Communication at Carson-Newman University. His short, “Goodfriends”, screened at several festivals and was endorsed by disability organizations. He also created The Assisted Stories Project, a webseries featuring Southern senior citizens. His book, Framing Empire: Adaptations of Victorian Literature in Hollywood was released in 2018. 


Brian Ratigan

Brian Ratigan is an award-winning animator and director. He is the founder of Non Films, a label for ephemeral animation and experimental cinema in New York City. Ratigan is established in the film festival circuit as a programmer and jury for Slamdance Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, and the London Indie Festival. Ratigan serves as Director of Animation for Kumar Pictures, co-founded Atlanta production company Sugartooth Group, and co-manages Chaotic Cinema..


Julia Ricci

Julia Ricci is the Film Programming Coordinator for the Academy Award®-qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival and the Heartland International Film Festival in Indianapolis. She earned an Emmy® nomination for Research for the documentary short Legacies of Perfection: Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg (2013) and was a panelist at the 2019 Art House Convergence. With a vast knowledge of cinema history, Julia is also a freelance researcher for Turner Classic Movies and previously FilmStruck.


Adam Schwartz

Adam Schwartz is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated filmmaker from Birmingham, AL. He is the managing producer, director, and one of the stars of It’s a Southern Thing’s viral sketch comedy series So True, Y’all.


Alex Elias Scott

Alex Elias Scott is a Los Angeles based editor, director, and producer excited to be returning as a judge at the 2019 Knoxville Film Festival. He has previously served as a judge for the 48 Hour Film Project and has directed and produced over a dozen short films. Last spring he oversaw production on the dramatic thriller Road Kill, and previous took home multiple awards for his short films Jägerbär and Wish You Were (Here). He spends most of his time working as an editor on various reality TV shows where his most recent credits include Undercover Boss, Mysteries Decoded on the CW, and the Netflix series Haunted.