The Screening Process

A four-person screening committee watches all submissions, checking for rule violations and rating for quality. (These ratings are consulted only during the screening process, not for award judging.) Every film is watched by at least two committee members, and most by all four. After the close of the submission period, the committee selects which films to exhibit at the festival. A fifth committee member checks the content-questionable films against the City of Tyler's content guidelines for City-sponsored events.

The Judging Process

After the screening committee has selected the exhibiting films, a separate five-person judging panel watches each film and each judge assigns a rating. After all films have been watched and rated, the ratings are averaged and the highest-scoring films in each award category are selected as the winners. If there is a ratings tie, the judges break the tie with a vote.

2014 Judging Panel

Dr. Jeremy Groskopf holds a Ph.D. in Moving Image Studies from Georgia State University. His expertise is in popular cinema and culture; he has researched and written on topics as diverse as animal actors, baseball films, and cinematic advertising techniques. He is currently a lecturer in the English Department at Averett University in Danville, VA, where he teaches media history and criticism.

Harry Karidis, DGA is a 25-year veteran of commercial and creative work as a producer, director, and cinematographer for clients from Disney to HBO. He’s currently working on the new cinema experience of virtual environments. HarryKaridis.com

Jeffrey Kravitz has been named as one of the leading intellectual property, trademark, copyright, and trade secrets attorneys in California by Chambers USA. Jeff focuses his practice on business and intellectual property, entertainment, and technology disputes.

Yuri Neyman, ASC is a cinematographer, educator, and inventor. He is best known for his cult classic film Liquid Sky, the modern film noir D.O.A., and for the invention of Gamma and Density Co.’s 3cP system, a first-ever on-set color correction workflow. In 2012, he founded the Global Cinematography Institute with fellow cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, HSC. GlobalCinematography.com

Courtney Ware is a producer and director who has worked in the independent film industry since 2005. She has produced four feature films, including Cameron Bruce Nelson’s Some Beasts, which was accepted to the IFP Narrative Lab. In her directorial work, she has won numerous awards for her short films, including Raspberry Jam (2012) which was part of the Women in Film and Television International Showcase. She is currently in post-production on her feature directorial debut, Sunny in the Dark (2015) starring Jay Huguley and Lee Meriwether. AwareFilms.com