Industry Jury

A distinguished panel of industry judges will view and vote on the 12 ShortList finalists, chosen from award-winning films from shorts festivals around the world.

Meet our judges!


Bec Smith
Agent, UTA

Bec Smith is an agent in the Independent Film Group of leading talent and literary agency UTA where she formulates strategies for financing and selling independent and international films for clients.

Titles that Smith worked to finance and sell include IN A WORLD…, THE SPECTACULAR NOW, SLEEPWALK WITH ME and BEGINNERS.

Smith is also an agent the Motion Picture Literary Department, representing directors and writers including David Michôd (ANIMAL KINGDOM), Miranda July (THE FUTURE), Mike Birbiglia, Adam Leon (GIMME THE LOOT), Garth Davis (TOP OF THE LAKE), Julia Leigh (SLEEPING BEAUTY) and Nicholas McCarthy (THE PACT) as well as James Ponsoldt, Mike Birbiglia and Lake Bell.

A former producer and film journalist, Smith joined UTA from the Sydney office of Working Title Films where she was Head of Development. Smith executive produced the David Michôd-directed feature ANIMAL KINGDOM, which won the 2010 Sundance Film Festival’s Dramatic World Cinema Jury Prize. Prior to working in development and production she was the Australasian bureau chief of the Hollywood Reporter and the editor of Inside Film Magazine in Australia.

Smith has served on the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP’s) Advisory Board and routinely attends major international film festivals and markets including Cannes, Toronto, Sundance and AFM.

Destin Daniel Cretton
Writer/Director, "Short Term 12"

Destin Daniel Cretton was born and raised in Maui, Hawaii. He has written and directed 4 award-winning short films: “Longbranch: A Suburban Parable” (Premiered at the 2002 Tribeca Film Festival), “Bartholomew’s Song” (2006 Student Academy Finalist), “Deacon’s Mondays” (2007 Student Academy Finalist, 2007 Angelus Winner, HBO Films Best Student Film Award), and “Short Term 12”, which won the U.S. Jury Prize at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and was short-listed for the 2010 Academy Awards.

Destin's feature film debut I AM NOT A HIPSTER premiered to critical acclaim at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The script for his second feature SHORT TERM 12 (based on the short of the same title) was one of five to win a 2010 Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Destin has BA in Communications from Point Loma Nazarene University and completed his Masters in Film at San Diego State University.

Jonathan Schwartz
Founder & President, Super Crispy Entertainment

Jonathan Schwartz is founder and President of Super Crispy Entertainment. Over the past several years Jonathan has produced movies highlighting excellent, director driven material. Schwartz has worked with acclaimed veteran directors such as Peter Weir, Michael Haneke and Gregg Araki, as well as talented younger directors such as Drake Doremus and James Ponsoldt. The films that Schwartz has produced include Sundance Winner LIKE CRAZY, BREATHE IN, SMASHED, NOBODY WALKS, THE WAY BACK, DOUCHEBAG, KABOOM, FUNNY GAMES, SPOONER, and WRISTCUTTERS, A LOVE STORY. Seven of those films premiered at Sundance, and one at Cannes. Super Crispy recently completed production on THE WILDERNESS OF JAMES, starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Virginia Madsen, and Danny DeVito. Super Crispy continues to develop, finance and produce quality properties, where Jonathan works alongside longtime indie producer Andrea Sperling.

Liz Garcia
Writer/Director, "The Lifeguard"

LIZ GARCIA is the writer and director of THE LIFEGUARD, starring Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, Alex Shaffer, Josh Harto, and Amy Madigan. The film participated in Sundance's 2013 Dramatic Competition and sold to Focus World with Screen Media Films partnering. Previously, Liz was the Co‐Creator and Executive Producer of the critically acclaimed TNT series “MEMPHIS BEAT.” Most recently Liz and her husband Josh Harto sold "THE INFERNO" to NBC with Gordon Ramsay and Scott Stuber producing and "THE BIG EASY" to CBS with Carl Beverly attached to produce. This past year Liz sold a pilot called "THE MEADOWS" to NBC--a project that she co-created with Harto, with Stuber producing.

While working on the series “COLD CASE,” Liz won the GLAAD Award for Best Dramatic Episode of Television. Last year, she was named one of Variety’s Top 10 TV writers to watch. On the feature side, Liz recently finished adapting the novel “Au Pairs” for Warner Bros. with Alloy and Drew Barrymore producing. She is also writing FRENCH WOMAN DON’T GET FAT for Alcon with Hillary Swank producing. Liz is a native of Connecticut and a graduate of Wesleyan University’s prestigious Film Studies program.

Richard Potter
EVP of Production and Development, Relativity Media

Richard Potter serves as Executive Vice President of Production and Development, reporting to Relativity President Tucker Tooley and President of Production Robbie Brenner.

With more than 20 years’ experience as an executive and a writer, Richard is a valuable asset to Relativity’s team. Most recently, Potter was a screenwriter with several projects set up at studios including Diary of a Car Salesman, The Most Haunted House in England and The Boys from Brazil. Before that, Richard was Senior Vice President of Production and Development at Miramax where he was the head of the story department of Dimension Films. Projects at Miramax included Scream, Scream 2, The Faculty, Nightwatch and many others. He began his career as a Production Coordinator at Breckenridge Entertainment and as a Development Assistant at Universal Pictures in New York.

Potter has a BA in English and Literature from SUNY Binghamton and has continued his education at New York University and Columbia University.

Ted Hope
Executive Director, San Francisco Film Society

Ted Hope accepted the Executive Director reigns of the San Francisco Film Society in August 2012, stating it was an offer he could not refuse: “to save Indie Film and build it better than it has ever been before.” Since the early 90’s, Hope has focused primarily on project-specific producing, generating close to seventy feature films -- including many of the highlights of the last two decades.

As a film producer, Hope is recognized for having a unique eye for new talent. He has over twenty “first features” to his credit, including those of Alan Ball, Todd Field, Michel Gondry, Hal Hartley, Nicole Holofcener, Ang Lee, and Bob Pulcini & Shari Berman, among others. Hope holds a record at the Sundance Film Festival: three of his twenty-three Sundance entries (AMERICAN SPLENDOR (2003), THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN (1995), and WHAT HAPPENED WAS . . . (1994)) have won the Grand Jury Prize; no producer has won more. Other credits include: THE SAVAGES (2007), 21 GRAMS (2003) and IN THE BEDROOM (2001)—all of which were nominated for multiple Academy Awards.


Mike Plante has programmed features and shorts into film festivals since 1993, including CineVegas (2002-2009). He has worked in a variety of gigs at the Sundance Film Festival since 2001, specifically as a Short Film Programmer from 2002-2006 and back in the saddle from 2011 to the present. Plante also makes films and has commissioned series, called Lunchfilm and Orbit(film).

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