[ THE JURY ]
Feature Films Jury
Adrian Martinez is an actor, director, writer, and producer, with over 120 film and TV credits, including his directorial debut, "iGilbert," based on his original screenplay. iGilbert was purchased by Gravitas Ventures and is now available on all major streamers in the US and Canada. iGilbert has been accepted and archived as part of the Academy of motion pictures arts and sciences core collection. iGilbert has won several international awards for best picture, and best actor— and Mr. Martinez was just nominated for best actor by the prestigious 2022 Imagen awards.
His recent major studio work includes "Renfield," side kicking with Nicolas Cage, and Awkwafina, and directed by Chris McKay for Universal, and "Unfrosted," in Jerry Seinfeld's directorial debut for Netflix. In streaming TV, Adrian is presently filming ’Sugar,’ for Apple tv+ in a recurring role opposite Colin Ferrell, and Ben Stiller’s ‘Severance,’ for Apple TV+ Adrian's work as a series regular in "Stumptown" opposite Cobie Smulders (How I met your mother) is now available on Amazon prime video. Adrian can also be seen on season 1 of CBS all access' 'No Activity' produced by Will Ferrell and Funny or die. This is Adrian's follow up to a Series Regular role in
NBC's ‘The Blacklist: Redemption’ on NBC. Adrian's career began as a high school track star on NBC's "Unsolved Mysteries". Some in casting have called Adrian, "the sidekick to the stars," as evidenced by his sidekick work in "The Guilty," opposite Jake Gyllenhaal for Netflix, Amy Schumer's sidekick in 'I feel Pretty,' now on all digital platforms, Will Smith/ Margot Robbie's sidekick in Warner Bros' "Focus," Ben Stiller's sidekick in his Fox remake of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," Will Ferrell's sidekick in Lionsgate's "Casa de mi Padre," and a lot of dogs in Disney+ "Lady and the Tramp" remake, to name a few. Mr. Martinez's TV work also includes over seventy guest spots. Adrian is writing and developing film and TV projects through his production company, Paloma Pictures Inc., and is in pre-production for his untitled comedy
for a major streamer.
Feature Films Jury \\ Copy Editor
Eva Zelig was born in Ecuador and lives in NYC. She is an award-winning producer/writer whose work has appeared in major TV networks, including: Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), The Learning Channel (TLC), New York Times TV, ABC, National Geographic TV. She has won two Emmy awards: for the TLC documentary, Killer Virus, and for the PBS series, Innovation. She was awarded a Cable Ace Award for the TLC documentary, Transplant: The Clock is Ticking. Other awards: two CINE Golden Eagles, Gold Apple/National Educational Media Network, Pinnacle Award/American Women in Radio and TV, Gold Medal/International Film & TV Festival of New York, and NETA International Media award. Her documentary, An Unknown Country—about European Jews who escaped Nazi persecution to find refuge in Ecuador—was nominated for a New York Emmy award and named best documentary by Barcelona Planeta Film Festival.
For the PBS series, Innovation, she produced many programs on advances in science, technology, medicine, and the environment. Also for PBS: Close to Home: A Moyers Report on Addiction, Planet H20, The Next Generation, Art Through Time: A Global View, The Power of Music. She was a producer of We Also Dance, a documentary about blind dancers, and consulting producer for the documentary, A Holocaust Journey: Lessons We Learned.
She has produced educational videos for schools and museums, including the Nature Museum-Chicago Academy of Sciences, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Grand Teton National Park. She worked with the American Museum of Natural History and Environmental Defense Fund to create the first ever multimedia exhibition on climate change—winner of the American Association of Museums Curators Award.
Eva is a member of the National Academy of TV Arts and Sciences (NATAS), for whom she volunteers as a judge for Emmy awards. Also a member of New York Women in Film and Television, Writers Guild of America, East, and American Alliance of Museums.
Feature Films Jury
Alexandra Cuesta is a filmmaker and photographer born in Cuenca, Ecuador who lives and works between Los Angeles and Quito. Her poetic films and videos combine experimental film traditions with documentary practices, and often comment on social diasporas and displacement. Her work has screened at The New York Film Festival, Fronteira Festival, Guggenheim Museum, MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Viennale, Palacio Nacional de Bellas Artes, Oberhausen, FiD Marseille, Anthology Film Archives, among others. She has an M.F.A in Film and Video from CalArts. Alexandra Cuesta is known for Territorio (2016), El Movimiento de las Cosas and Lungta (2022).
Short Films Jury
Adrian Alea is a queer and Latine creative producer & director focused on pop culture, community engagement, & education in theater, film, television, and virtual reality. He is the Creative Associate of New York City Center’s ENCORES! (Broadway: Into the Woods) and the Associate Director for the Hercules, the staged musical adaption of the animated film with Disney Theatricals premiering in Papermill Playhouse in January 2023. In addition to executive producing and producing two short films and a virtual reality piece (“Ash Land”, the Sundance Film Festival 2022 official selection “You Go Girl!”, and “O-Dogg” featuring Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter from The Roots), he was the associate director for ANNIE LIVE! on NBC, starring Taraji P. Henson, Harry Connick Jr. and Nicole Scherzinger. Before returning to New York City, he was on the creative management team for Jennifer Lopez and Benny Medina where his main projects included her Las Vegas Residency at Planet Hollywood (ALL I HAVE) and the “Ain’t Your Mama” music video. As an educator, he has been a teaching artist for Yale University, Fordham University, Pace University, and Northwestern University.
Past institutional collaborations: The Public Theater, Signature Theatre, Dixon Place, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Classic Stage Company, Play On, Brava Theater Center, Musical Theatre Factory, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. As an educator, Adrian has been a guest director for Yale, Fordham, and Pace University.
BA: Columbia University. MS: Northwestern University.
Short Films Jury
Florentina Almonte is a Content Acquisitions Executive at Shorts TV International.
Florentina is an experienced television and film professional with experience in many aspects of the business and a proven record of growing the audience.
Before Shorts TV International, for a significant part of her career, Florentina was Programming Director at HITN TV, a U.S.-Hispanic cable network, where she served in various managing capacities at the company and was instrumental in developing the network's programming strategy since its beginnings. In addition to programming and related areas, Florentina was involved in negotiating affiliates' distribution agreements with major cable companies and OTT platforms.
Florentina also worked at A+E International Networks, where she served as a managing liaison between A+E's global Ad Sales teams and the US team. Additionally, she worked with the Affiliates/Distribution team developing and implementing marketing initiatives for History en Español US; and managing the viewership analytics reporting for the network.
Florentina has served as a juror at the NY Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS)/Emmys Awards and at Film Festivals. She is also a member of the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) and the National Association of Television Programming Executives (NATPE).
CableFAX named her as one of "The Most Influential Latinas in Cable" for 2016.
Short Films Jury
Born in Ambato, Ecuador, Barbara Vásconez is the Program Director of New York Women in Film & Television. Before joining New York Women in Film & Television, she held the position of General Manager at the Quad Cinema for 2.5 years. Previously, she has worked for a variety of film festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival, Rooftop Films, Hamptons Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, Brooklyn Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, DOC NYC, and the Nantucket Film Festival. Her spare time is spent programming panels and creating unique community engagement opportunities for the New York Latino Film Festival and Acme Screening Room in Lambertville, NJ. Most recently, she launched and founded the Ville Film Festival in Somerville, New Jersey. Her educational goals include working to develop film programs in New Jersey that improve film education for low income students. She is an advocate for the underrepresented and works hard to have their voices to be heard. She is committed to the importance of film as a means of community engagement. Barbara received her Bachelor’s Degree in Film and Video Production from the School of Visual Arts in NYC.