Kim Estes, Actor
Emmy Award Winner
Kim Estes, an Emmy Award winner for “Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series - 2017, for his role as Sergeant Amanda Smith in “Dicks.” His impressive list of TV appearances includes “Criminal Minds, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Fresh off the Boat, Pretty Little Liars, The Real O'Neals," and "NCIS". You can also see him in the season six Private Practice episode Apron Strings where he plays a mediator. This list continues with character parts in “400 Days, Crossroad, The Bachelor Next Door, 5 Hour Friends, Night Eyes, Removal and a host of other films.
While born and raised in Los Angeles, Kim has spent time in Vallejo, where he attended college at CSU, Cal Maritime Academy before continuing his post-graduate work at the University of Southern California. We are thrilled to have Kim Estes as a member of our juror panel.
George Maguire, Acclaimed Actor
Pursuit of Happyness, Fight Club, True Lies
George Maguire has been a member of Actors Equity Association and SAG/AFTRA for over 50 years. His career spans both coasts and includes Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Companies and many of the top regional theaters in the states including Actors Theater of Louisville, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Great Lakes, Marin, and Northshore Shakespeare Festivals, PCPA Theaterfest, ACT, Berkeley Rep, Magic Theater, Shotgun Players, Clarence Brown Theater and many more. His over 30 film and TV credits include "Fight Club, Pursuit of Happyness, Metro, The Sweetest Thing, Opal, The Dog Love," James Franco’s "Yosemite," Clint Eastwood’s "True Lies, Youth," films and pilots for NBC, ABC, CBS, and PBS and Lt. Governor Mel Wexler on "Nash Bridges". His most recent projects include "13 Reasons Why" and "Generations," which is now touring the film festival circuit, along with "Nosferatu" with "The Shape of Water" star Doug Jones.
His directing credits include CenterRep, PCPA, the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, SRT Santa Rosa, New Conservatory Theater, Indra Theater Company, Broadway By The Bay, and Playground of which he is a proud member. He is Professor Emeritus at Solano College Theater where he co-founded the Actor Training Program and teaches Advanced On-Camera Acting for Nancy Hayes Casting and Academy of Art University. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0536574/
Sandra Dee Richardson, Award-Winning Actor, Casting Director
Sandra Dee Richardson, known as Sandra Dee is an award-winning American actress, winning over 13 awards as actor, director, or producer, including a best-supporting actor award. Her career has exploded with opportunities over the last decade in film, commercials, television, and as a print model, the face of numerous products and services.
Adding more versatility to her career, Sandra Dee Richardson has cast numerous films including four award-winning films in the last year. Some of the dramatic, action-packed award-winning films and documentaries cast, directed, or produced include double platinum winner, “Restorers of Truth”, “Southern Secrets, Sins of the Past”, “Healing Yesteryear (2019)”, “Dr. Castillo (2016)”, “The Great Controversy Ended (2017)”, “Nine Lives (2017)”, “Never Alone (2014)”, and “We Promised (2015).
Richardson’s credentials include certification as a Business Consultant and Project Manager. She is also an acting consultant-coach and trainer. Her degree is in business management with an emphasis on communication and marketing with a minor in theater. To expand knowledge of acting and film techniques, Richardson attended six training schools, most notable were the Actor’s Studio, Robert Conrad Studios, and South Coast Repertory. She also received personal training from several outstanding trainers in New York and Los Angeles.
Early in Richardson’s work life, she became a manager in the federal government expanding on customer service, public relations, and marketing. She currently owns an entertainment, production and marketing company called RS Rich Enterprises Inc./RS Rich Productions. When not in front of, or, behind the camera, Richardson is teaching, marketing, writing books and screenplays. http://rsrichenterprises.com/
Osahon Tongo, Writer, Director
Sound Designer, Consultant
Osahon means God hears my prayers in the Nigerian Edo language. The former linebacker from Georgia Tech (’06-’10) where he earned BS in Management. He holds an MFA from USC School of Cinematic Arts with honors as well. Osahon Tongo is a Nigerian-American writer and director from Naperville, Illinois. He provides healing through art by developing empathy through nuanced storytelling and poetic cinema.
Tongo is a former ACC Champion football player at Georgia Tech, where he earned B.S. in Management. He is an activist for student-athlete rights and mental health awareness. He went on to work in digital marketing at CNN and Emory University before attending USC School of Cinematic Arts for his MFA. While at USC Tongo was an Annenberg Scholar and Phi Kappa Phi honor society award recipient along with being executive board of USC comedians and many other accolades. Tongo has won numerous awards for the films he wrote and directed including ‘Happy Bird’ and ‘Full Ride - The Truth Behind College Football’. He has also sound designed an Academy Award-nominated short film, ‘Drone.’ He served as the writer and producer for the award-winning short film ‘Iman and The Light Warriors’ He has co-written a feature film adaptation of James Franco’s book, ‘Actors Anonymous’ starring Eric Roberts, James Franco, and Horatio Sanz.
Tongo is one of the inaugural Ryan Murphy Half Foundation Directing Mentees and has signed a writing deal to Nina Yang Bongiovi and Forest Whitaker’s Significant Productions for his second feature. He serves as a storytelling consultant for Georgia Tech Athletic Association. http://osahontongo.com/
Emmy Award Winning Filmmaker
As a documentary filmmaker, Steve Dunsky has focused on conservation issues in his work for the U.S. Forest Service and as an independent filmmaker. Along with his wife Ann, Steve has made dozens of films covering a wide range of conservation issues, for visitor centers including those at Mono Lake, California; Southeast Alaska, and Komodo National Park, Indonesia. Their films have screened across the country and internationally, in small venues and large, film festivals and television broadcasts. The Greatest Good, about the history of conservation and the Forest Service, was short-listed for an Academy Award nomination. Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for our Time won an Emmy Award for a historical documentary. Butterflies & Bulldozers, about a battle inside an environmental community, is a staple in college classrooms. Their current documentary project looks at how humans are responding to an era of rapid global change.
Tim Palmer, BSC
Director of Film
In 1994 Tim gained a coveted place on the cinematography course at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield. He spent the following three years working on as many projects as possible and was fortunate enough to be taken on by the agency Casarotto Marsh on the strength of his graduation film. Coincidentally Casarotto also chose to represent the film’s director John McKay and he and Tim have gone on to work together on numerous productions since.
Soon after, Tim began establishing himself in the field of television drama and over the past fourteen years has assembled a wide variety of credits including work on a mixture of groundbreaking dramas, long-running television series, and historical documentaries. He is always looking for ways to embrace new technology. In 2004, on the period drama "A Waste of Shame" Tim was one of the first DoPs to adopt P&S Technik’s pro 35 device, to achieve a true 35mm look on High Definition. For the next two years, at least until the advent of the Genesis and D21, this was the only method of realizing that look.
In 2010 Tim was director of photography on ‘The Road to Coronation Street’, the first mainstream British television drama to be shot entirely on the Canon 5D Mark 2 digital SLR camera. Little did he know twenty-five years ago, on the brink of a photographic career, that the stills camera he was experimenting with then would one day metamorphose into a device capable of shooting a theatrical feature. In 2011 'The Road to Coronation Street' went on to win the British Academy Film and Television (Bafta) award for Best Single Drama.
Another award-winning production followed soon after. "We’ll Take Manhattan", made with Tim’s longtime collaborator John McKay for the BBC, won the 2012 Prix Europa for best television drama.
Tim is currently filming 'Critical', a new thirteen part medical drama for Sky One.
Set Designer, SFX Makeup Designer
Through her love of creativity and it’s potential to influence Venassa Balbarino-Cruz, has worked in the photography, film, and the art industry for over 10 years.
Focusing on the artistic side of makeup and photography while hoping to inspire others by establishing a Meetup group in 2010 for photographers, models, and makeup artists to gather and produce specialty themed shoots, this is same year she opened her own business “Cruz Photography” with works of art purchased by Eric Estrada.
Born and raised in Northern California, Venassa was mainly self-taught but she eventually studied with Honors at The Art Institute in Sacramento. By 2013 she started doing makeup for her meet up shoots with her skills being featured in several short films, including “San Francisco Justice” (2014) “Lilly Pearls Hat" (2014), “Sister” (2015), "Predatory Lender" (2015) and “Family Tree Recipes featuring Kathy Garver” (2015). Also Filming a Wounded Warriors benefit concert with headliner Kenny Loggins (2015). She continued her work with Veterans assisting Operation Warriors Foundation, Inc. and The Five Star Families "Traveling Memorial Wall" until 2018.
In 2016 she widened her skill set to include real estate photography and video. Which included Perry Como’s grandson’s estate, also catching the eye of a commercial director who used a real estate listing she shot as a set location for a Comcast commercial.
Recently relocating to Washington State, Venassa now focuses on her family while awaiting the next chapter in her life!
Shirley Smallwood, Actress
Film & Theatrical, Voice Artist
Born and raised in Berkeley, CA., Shirley A. Smallwood started out training and performing classical music both vocals and violin from elementary through high school. Her bother gave her Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn albums as birthday gifts and she instantly got hooked. Smallwood co-founded, along with Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe and the late great Lester Jones, Black Artists Contemporary Cultural Experience (BACCE) was born out the Sugar Shack Performance Gallery & Cultural Center, a groundbreaking artist-run Black Artspace in San Francisco’s so-called Lower Haight. She recently won a collective award from the 9th Annual Independent Series Award for best comedy ensemble for the “The Rich and the Ruthless”, directed by Victoria Rowell (Diagnosis Murder, The Young and the Restless), currently on the UMC.tv website. Co-starred in the San Francisco premiere of "Dead and Breathing" as Caroline that was produced by Theatre Rhino. Played a thousand-year Kracken, and a 100-year-old sailor in “Life on the Ocean Wave” at the Exit Theatre and several local voiceover commercials. Wrote and sang the Italian aria for the independent film, "Zoli's Brain", produced and directed by Tiffany Schwalain. "Zoli's Brain" premiered at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. She co-starred as Brenda in "She's Got Next", produced and directed b Tricia C. Valencia of Flaca Films.
She was featured in the "Kymora Curve Control Jeans" informational that ran nationwide. Smallwood selected and performed all the music for Mike and Je@ Nishimura's play "Avenues". She co-starred in two productions at the New Conservatory Theater, "The Last Session" as Tryshia the Diva and the legendary Bricktop in "Red, Hot, and Cole". She played Sister Mary Hubert in Dan Groggins' "Messhuga Nuns" at the Paci<ca Repertory Theater in Carmel, CA. She played the Courtesan for Marin Shakespeare Theater's adaptation of "Comedy of Errors" and was the understudy (Beatrice) for "The House that Would Not Stand" at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Smallwood returned to college at the age of 42 and received her BA in Music from Holy Names College.
TJ Walkup, Director
Producer, Cinematographer, Editor
TJ Walkup is an award-winning filmmaker who has been a professional in the television industry for over 27 years. Owner of OMNIFIC PICTURES an independent production company. He has been DP for National Geographic, directed/produced videos for MTV, HGTV, Discovery Communications, and countless other channels and outlets.
As a stringer TJ Walkup has sold stories to every major affiliate. He is a recipient of a Cine Golden Eagle Award for the docu-series “Addicted” and this work also nominated for a Prism. A recent film he has shot is “Trial by Fury,” features his cinematography and is the reexamination of the Lacie Peterson Case featuring Mark Geragos the defense attorney.
TJ Walkup is a Father and a Husband and works out of the SF Bay Area, occasionally his film making takes him to New York/LA and the Amazon Jungle.
Brook Penca, Actor
Writer, Director, Producer
Brook is a veteran actor and member of the Screen Actors Guild. He has numerous acting credits, but also writes, directs and produces. He is set to direct a SAG short film called Painkiller in Los Angeles this March. Brook continues to work as a high school Principal, something he has done for about fifteen years. He is passionate about working to help the Homeless, and he is the proud parent of four children.
Dave Kilgore, Actor
Composer, Playwright, Author
Dave has lived in and around Detroit, Michigan his whole life, took four years of theatre in high school, and worked as a pianist/singer/entertainer for twenty years before going into film acting. He has appeared on camera in over one hundred projects in the last ten years, including feature films, shorts, commercials, and industrial films, playing roles that range from a police detective to mob boss to mayor to the Grim Reaper. He has also produced a handful of his own short films and music videos that have screened at festivals across the country.
Dave, always more than happy to share his life experience, enjoys most watching his students grow and learn. He has taught piano, theatre and film acting and was a mentor for the 2018 Capstone film class at Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan, where he instructed students on the auditioning, directing, and handling of talent on set.
Dave has written over one hundred songs, two musical plays for kids, and multiple books, including a book of monologues and scenes for young actors. His three books of monologues for adult actors will be available online by May 1, 2019.
The International KidsNFilm Festival