JAVIER CHAVEZ- Associate Director, Coral Gables Art Cinema
Javier Chavez is the Associate Director for the Coral Gables Art Cinema, a non-profit art house cinema located in South Florida. He is the senior staffer responsible for curating the single screen’s programming alongside the Director of Programming and is key in shaping CGAC’s message, overseeing the voice and language of its public image. He is a film festival liaison for the organization and has served as a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Grant Panelist for Media Arts. Outside the world of cinema, he is a self-taught computer programmer who hopes to automate his entire workday - a task not yet accomplished. Born in Santa Clara, Cuba, he holds a BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
AMY ETTINGER – Founder/Executive Director, Scottsdale International Film Festival
Orleans, France. How fitting is it that Amy Ettinger, the founder and Executive Director of the Scottsdale International Film Festival (the Festival), was born abroad? Ettinger’s love of film, especially foreign film, has helped turn a sleepy Arizona film community into a vibrant center for screening and premiering the best films from all over the world, from nations as far-flung as Albania to Mexico, Arizona’s border neighbor. Lest Ettinger be mistaken as a mere booker, her credentials reveal a self-made entrepreneur with noteworthy skills in every aspect of film festivals—production, management, sales, marketing, promotion, and booking. The extensive negotiations that Festival work requires have brought Ettinger into contact with all the major studios and distributors who sing her praises as a savvy tastemaker and intuitional as to what will attract audiences and what won’t.
GEORGE ZUBER – Producer, President of Buddha Dog Productions
George Zuber, producer, is the president of Buddha Dog Productions. Buddha Dog’s focus has been on both social impact documentaries and short narrative films. The most recent film, Where Justice Ends, is narrated by the Tony award winning actor Brian Stokes Mitchell, which, in pre-release, launched OutShine’s new social justice series. Other films include Jo Jo is a Dog’s Name (2008), written and directed by Independent Spirit nominee, Ken Hanes (Fixing Frank, 2005); With This Ring (2011); and a feature-length documentary narrated by Tony and Emmy award winner Bebe Neuwirth (Cheers, Madame Secretary), Just Gender (2014). Among his many community activities, Mr. Zuber served as a member of the Boards of Directors of Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) and the Actors Fund. Mr Zuber is also a former member of the OutShine Board of Directors, and he chaired the Screening Committee for OutShine’s Fort Lauderdale edition for the past three years.
DR. KATE WAITES - Professor of English and Gender Studies, Nova Southeastern University
Kate J. Waites is a full professor of English and Gender Studies in the Literature and Modern Languages Department of Nova Southeastern University’s College of Arts, Sciences, and the Humanities. She teaches a range of classes in literature, gender and film studies, and her scholarship focuses on the representation of marginalized peoples in visual media, particularly, in film. Dr. Waites regularly presents at national and regional conferences, such as the Popular Culture Association and Women’s Studies Association conferences. Her articles have appeared in edited volumes, such as Routledge’s Chick Flicks: Contemporary Women at the Movies (2007) and Palgrave Macmillan’s Bad Girls and Transgressive Women in Popular Television, Fiction, and Film (2017), as well as in a variety of journals, including Film/Literature Quarterly. A longtime feminist and film buff, her work reflects a passionate interest in cultural meanings and constructions in the media, and an intersectional feminist perspective.
ZECA REZENDE – International Sales and Finance Manager, FiGa Films
Drowning by Numbers... and by movies!
BRIGHID WHEELER – Programming Director, INDIEMemphis
Brighid Wheeler has been a willing slave to the film festival world for most of her adult life. Having run the gamut from volunteer to Head Lesbian In Charge (AKA Festival Coordinator), she currently serves as the Senior Programmer and Director of Operations for the Indie Memphis Film Festival. Brighid has served on countless juries at festivals across the country, and considers each jury experience an honor as she understands the importance of supporting the current and next generation of storytellers.