Festival Director and Founder
Jeremy Jed Hammel (Writer/Director/Editor) is an award-winning filmmaker and writer, as well as a film/TV crew member in the LA studio production and development worlds (Tonight Show, ER, June Beallor Productions, etc). Films he has produced or directed were Official Selections for over 65 film festivals across the nation and he has garnered 10 or so filmmaking accolades including: Best Comic-Related Film – Comic Con 2010 (producer), Best Comedy Screenplay – 2011 Action On Film Festival (screenwriter), and a Golden Kahuna Award for Excellence In Filmmaking – 2008 Honolulu Film Festival, (co-director/editor) for a video for artist Lo-Fi Sugar, who went on to chart a Number one Beatport song with Paul Van Dyk’s “So High”.
Hammel has produced projects for The American Film Institute, NBC’s national network show, “Later,” and has worked in the production offices for NBC’s “ER” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Hammel is the director of the charitable 4th Annual Filmshift Festival and DJ’s at clubs as DJ Tanner.
Hammel’s screenplays have won awards in 8 screenplay competitions across the country, including the 2008 Woods Hole Film Festival and the 15th Annual Fade In magazine/Writer’s Network competition. One of his screenplays even made to the Top 15% (out of 5500) screenplays for The Academy Award’s 2008 Nicholl Fellowship.
Hammel teaches video production at Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts. He is oddly proud of the fact that in 2011 in the span of 3 weeks, he lost both of his shoes in the mosh pit at a Dropkick Murphys show and then lost his shirt in the mosh pit at a Matt and Kim show. He believes that we are all here to help each other and he says Yo often.
Past Screenplay Judges:
Joel Haber is a professional screenwriter and screenplay analyst. He has evaluated scripts for many production companies, agencies and writing competitions, as well as working with developing screenwriters to help them improve and advance in their careers. He has taught screenwriting seminars at the Screenwriting Expo and independently, and has written extensively about the business and craft for Script magazine, the Writers Store and on his screenwriting blog. He has an MA in Media Studies and a Certificate in Film Production from The New School in New York City.
Christina Reynolds is an executive at Cartoon Network, where she develops live-action and animated programming, including “Ben 10″ and “Scooby Doo: The Mystery Begins.” She graduated from Ithaca College in 1997, with a major in Cinema & Photography, and a minor in Writing.
Charles Merzbacher is a motion picture director and a member of the production faculty in the Department of Film & Television at Boston University. His films have won awards at the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Chicago International Film Festival, the Houston International Film Festival, the Columbus International Film and Video Festival, and the National Educational Film and Video Festival. They have also been shown at such prestigious events as the Sundance, Seattle and Montreal Film Festivals.
Merzbacher’s debut feature, Jane Street, received its world premiere at the National Film Theatre in London in 1997 and has played at film festivals around the world. He has also produced and directed a number of short documentaries. His most recent productions make use of the latest digital SLR cameras— a technical innovation that is of particular interest both in terms of its educational applications and creative possibilities.
From 2004 through 2009, Merzbacher served as Chair of his department at Boston University. In this capacity, he helped launch a program in which students produced television pilots and expand BU’s Los Angeles Internship Program. He actively supports filmmaking in New England and serves on the Executive Board of the Massachusetts Production Coalition.
Elizabeth Santoro is an award-winning Director of Photography and she holds an MFA in Film Production from the USC School of Cinema and Television. Some of the films she has shot include the indie fave “Ready? OK!” (starring “Benjamin” from “Lost,”) SXSW Best Short, “Shortstop,” and the multiple award-winning feature, “Eve of Understanding.” Her crew credits include “Kill Bill II,” “The Biggest Loser,” and “The Aviator.”
Powderhouse Productions – TBD
One of our generous sponsors, Powderhouse Productions, will have 2 of their key people represent the company as judges for Filmshift. Powderhouse is a local, award-winning production company based in Somerville, MA.
Powderhousedevelops and creates dazzlingly original, award-winning factual and alternative entertainment for television and emerging media. Our series and programs are seen all over the world on TV, cellphones, and the web.