Brian Gannon: Brian is celebrating his 22nd year as an Editor for Center City Film and Video, working on a variety of projects including feature and short films, TV programming, and corporate messaging. He coproduced “Regrets” an award winning short film, and has been a volunteer with qFLIX and Philadelphia’s other LGBT film festivals for many years. He returns as qFLIX Head of Jurors.
Michelle Atherton: Michelle didn’t watch many movies growing up in a very conservative rural household which only had a television on an intermittent basis. After fleeing for the big city, she dug in with gusto. She first became seriously interested in film taking classes in the philosophy of film at the University of Pittsburgh, looking at Hitchcock, Capra, Hawks, and Cukor—as well as lots of Kurosawa, Ozu, and Mizoguchi. After exhausting the film survey courses at Temple University, she joined the Cinema Salon at the Ethical Society, which meets every week to discuss a currently released film. For a living, she analyzes public policy and politics in Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia. This is her first time serving as Juror for qFLIX.
Adah Bush: Adah, a long-time festival attendee. Adah works as a consultant to pharmaceutical companies. She returns this year as a juror. I fell in love with movies at 5. At times my life resembled an Audrey Hephurn movie. As a teenager I was Jo Stockton in Funny face, and as a young woman I was Holly Golightly. But now,, I am Auntie Mame – “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!” Viva la cinema!!! After a long break, Adah returns as a Juror for qFLIX.
John Cawley: John is a longtime supporter of qFLIX and an avid film fan who represents the cinematic tastes and aesthetic appreciation of Philadelphia’s queer movie-going community. A lifelong Philadelphian, he is a supporter of a wide range of charitable causes and works in financial services in Center City. He is a fan of everything from mainstream blockbusters to low-budget indie films that aren’t afraid to take new narrative risks. This is his first time serving as Juror for qFLIX.
Myles Daigneault: A new resident to Philadelphia, Myles is so excited to spend his first year supporting qFLIX as a part of the jury! After studying Cinema Studies and Digital Media Production, he lived in Boston for two years where he worked for a digital marketing agency and did Operations and Sponsorship work for Wicked Queer: Boston’s LGBT Film Festival. He also worked in Development with Rhode Island International Film Festival in college! He’s excited to get to know his new city through the film community surrounding the festival and share his passion for all things film with the jury.
Steve Fluharty: Steve is a long-time film buff. “Sitting in a darkened theater with a large flickering screen in front of me can be one of the most transforming experiences of my life.” Preferring queer films, he relates to coming-of-age stories, reflecting on that turbulent time for most of us. Since Hollywood has yet to embrace the genre consistently, he enjoys the wealth of content in queer indie and foreign films. The LGBT film festival is an opportunity to explore those genres. Steve is an IT specialist and has lived in Philadelphia for 3 years. This is Steve’s third time as a qFLIX Juror.
Gary Q. Hines: Gary is a long time juror and has been on various teams including documentaries and shorts. Gary is in Workforce Development for a local college and does business consulting as well. He has a deep passion for film, art, music and all things cultural. Hines served as a judge at many Philly Gay Pride Events and has sat on boards for William Way Community Center, Philadelphia Fight and Men of All Colors Together.
Joe’l Ludovich: Joe’l is an award-winning film and television director, producer and educator. Her independent films have been screened in New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Her work in television has been recognized with numerous awards including three Emmy nominations, several Telly and Communicator awards as well as a Pennsylvania Association for Broadcasters award. Her documentary work includes, “The Man with the Magic Hands,” which won two Telly awards, “Scratched: The Epidemic of Drugs in Horseracing.” In 2017 she won a Telly award for Michele Balan: Live at the Rrazz Room at the Prince Theatre in Philadelphia, produced for First Sight Media, LLC. Her new documentary “Grounds for Graffiti,” will be released this spring. She is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Media Production at Stockton University. Joe’l returns as a Juror for qFLIX.
Gabe Martinez: Gabe is a queer Cuban-American visual artist originally from Miami, who works primarily in photography, works on paper, performance, video and installation. Martinez teaches photography at PennDesign in the Department of Fine Arts. He has been working on projects that touch upon various aspects of Queer culture, some of these influences include: Donna Summer/Disco era, the AIDS epidemic, the films of Wakefield Poole, the novels of John Rechy and the milieu of Fire Island. His work was recently presented at the William Way Community Center’s group exhibition- “Black & Blue: The Colors of Leather”. Gabe returns as a Juror for qFLIX.
Phuong Nguyen: Phuong was the Festival Director for the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival and is a former board member of the organization. Phuong is currently a board member of the Philadelphia Women in Film and Television (PWIFT). Phuong is also the Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Women’s Film Festival in Philadelphia, PA that helps support women in film and television both behind and in front of the camera. She has also worked as a production consultant for a short film piece called “In My Little Corner of the World, Anyone Would Love You” that was presented in London in spring 2016. After a long break, Phuong returns as a Juror.
Elisha Sawyer: Elisha is a writer and proud Philadelphian. Her interest in screenwriting and filmmaking began with the creation of a web series which centers the black experience, living with mental illness and coming of age. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania and is awed by the efficacy of film and multimedia in telling stories that drive philanthropic giving. She enjoys sharing personal experiences through writing and visual art because she feels when we pay close attention to the experiences of others, we better understand our own.This is Elisha’s first time serving as a qFLIX Juror.
Caitlin Shanley: Caitlin lives in West Philly and works as a librarian at Temple University and the Community College of Philadelphia. As Temple’s librarian for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, she works directly with students and faculty on their research, and orders books and films related to gender and sexuality for the library’s collection. While Caitlin has been working in libraries for over 15 years, she once did a yearlong stint at an independent video store in Asheville, NC. She is excited to join qFLIX as a juror for the first time this year.
Henry Veguilla: Henry has called Philadelphia home since 1992. He has extensive radio and television experience having hosted WYBE’s Philly Live and spent time working in the field for the local news departments at ABC’s channel 6 and NBC’s channel 10. This Spring he plans to launch a podcast featuring stories about amazingly resilient people. This is Henry’s first time as a qFLIX Juror.
Diane Walsh: During Diane’s twenty+ years as an executive in the film and television business in Los Angeles, she collaborated with seasoned professional screenwriters honed in their craft as she developed, sold and produced movies for film and television. Working with Gross-Weston Productions, she produced the Emmy-nominated Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation about childhood AIDS, A Place for Annie, starring Sissy Spacek and Mary Louise Parker. She also thrived on the other side of the table as Director of Programming for the Family Channel weekly movie night. Diane is a Founding Board member of the Philadelphia Women in Film and Television chapter, she has also produced a short film by Mike Lemon here in Philadelphia, VALENTINES’S DAY, and has her own national script consulting business. After a long break, Diane returns as a Juror for qFLIX.
Michael Zaleski: Born and raised in Philadelphia, Mike Zaleski is an avid cinephile who moonlights as an attorney in the Center City area. Mike has been an active participant in the Philadelphia film community since 2004, with a resume that includes programming many screenings and film-related events and twice serving as a juror for the 48 Hour Film Project. Additionally, Mike has worked as cinematographer, editor, and/or actor in numerous local film projects, long and short (including directing an award-winning short of his own). This is Michael’s first time as a qFLIX Juror.
Tom Zerone: Tom is a long time Philly resident with a passion for music, theater and the cinema. From a young age, the big screen and its many genres provided exploration, escape and new adventures that were not readily available. An ardent supporter of LGBTQ+ cinema, he believes that our voices and stories still need to be told, understood and cherished, especially with the challenges that many still face given the current political climate in the United States and around the world. After many years of sitting in the dark watching in awe and amazement, Tom is again honored to serve as a juror for qFLIX celebrating the 25th Anniversary of LGBTQ+ Film Festivals in Philadelphia.