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Meet the 2023 Jurors!

Kendra Ann Sherrill

Writer/Director

Kendra Ann Sherrill is the Festival Director of the Children’s Film Festival Seattle, which is the largest film festival on the West Coast dedicated to children’s films. Kendra’s extensive experience with film festivals and arts organizations include being the Director of the Spokane International Film Festival, serving on the Industry Advisory Board for the National Film Festival of Talent Youth (NFFTY), and being a founding board member for the Spokane Film Project. Kendra is also a filmmaker herself and currently works as the Editor for the Emmy-nominated Seattle children’s television series Look, Listen, and Learn. 

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Michael Griffin

Photographer & Digital Artist

Michael was born in Chicago and raised in Southern California, he is a husband, father of two, and a photographer and digital artist. He goes where the wind and fate take him, especially throughout the Pacific Northwest, always with an eye on unsuspecting moments that can be captured through his lens and brought to vivid life via digital means.

Michael moved to Washington State in 1990 from Hawaii where he served in the U.S. Navy as a Quarter Master (Navigation). He currently lives in Poulsbo with his wife, Amy, and his two children, Gracie and Gus.

Tessa Marts

Actor & Film Production

Tessa has worked on a variety of film and TV sets in Seattle and Los Angeles for the past decade. In 2020, she graduated the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art with an MFA in professional acting. She currently resides in Los Angeles, where she is working on the Assistant Director team of Sam Levinson’s new HBO show, “The Idol”

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Lorie Hoffman

Arts Community Manager

Lorie Hoffman is the Arts Community Manager for the City of Bellevue where she supports arts and cultural programs that work to sustain and grow the artistic and creative capacity of Bellevue and the Eastside of King County. Before joining the team at Bellevue, Lorie was the Executive Director of ShoreLake Arts, a nonprofit organization providing arts and culture events and education in Shoreline and Lake Forest Park WA, where she started the Shoreline Short Short Film Festival. 

Lorie holds a Master of Fine Art degree in Printmaking from Montana State University as well as a BA in Business Marketing and a BS in Media and Theater Arts. Originally from Montana, Lorie enjoys hiking and engaging in agritourism….bring on the family fall farms!!!

Tori Wadzita

Senior Marketing Manager at IMDb

Tori Wadzita is a film and television enthusiast with a soft spot for PNW independent films. As part of her role at IMDb, she has screened hundreds of movies over the last 6 years at SIFF, TIFF, and Sundance. She’s been a juror for the Seattle Queer Film Festival, has worked on Seattle-based film projects both in front of and behind the camera, and is excited to be back as a PFF juror for 2023!

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Gale Benning

Filmmaker & Digital Designer

An all around designer, conceptualizer and leader with experience spanning over 20 years of independent short films and design projects, Gale's technical abilities and creative skills have proven to be an asset to many departments on a variety of projects while helming the roles of Production Designer or Assistant Director. Pacific northwest productions that Gale worked on include the science fiction shorts Star Trek: Phoenix and Zero Point, the superhero short Scarlet-Spider and the historical fiction short The Sheets Must Be Silk. His larger passions lie in design work such as character and universe development or property & set design which lead him into the adjunct fields of Graphic Designer and Game Designer. Both these roles facilitated the creation of his Olympic Peninsula based companies Stormur Design and Forging Committee Games. Gale currently resides with his family in Jefferson County.

Sandra Garcia

Writer/Director

Sandra Garcia-Arceo is a Latina filmmaker: director, writer, producer, who was born and raised in the greater Seattle area. She has been a freelance filmmaker for over five years and focuses on creating BIPOC led stories. Through her company, Alma Mía Productions, she has produced an array of stories including short films, documentaries and commercials.

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Claudia Gorbman

Author/Professor

Claudia taught film at Indiana University (1975-90) and UW-Tacoma (1991-2015). She’s the author of Unheard Melodies (a book about film music) and about 75 scholarly articles on film, and her translations include 5 books by the French critic Michel Chion. She lives in Poulsbo with her wife and two dogs who bark too much.

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