Festival Judges

The Irvine International Film Festival Judges.

Natsu Furuichi

Magnolia Pictures – International sales & distribution

Magnolia Pictures is the theatrical and home entertainment distribution arm of the Wagner/Cuban Companies, a vertically-integrated group of media properties co-owned by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban that also includes the Landmark Theatres chain, and the high definition cable network HDNet. Magnolia’s upcoming releases include Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, Andrew Rossi’s New York Times Documentary Page One, Mark Pellington’s I Melt With You, Alex Gibney’s Ken Kesey documentary Magic Trip, gospel documentary Rejoice and Shout, Blackthorn starring Sam Shepard, French thriller Point Blank, rakontur’s Limelight, David Gelb’s Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Anne Sewitsky’s Happy, Happy, Jo Nesbo’s Headhunters, and many more.


Brady Bowen

Archstone Distribution - President & CEO

Archstone is a sales and distribution company focused on delivering high quality theatrical films and documentaries to the world-wide audience. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Archstone is perfectly positioned for global distribution through their established relationships with reputable distributors in each territory.
Known and respected as a filmmaker friendly company, Archstone adheres to a policy of open-book accounting and transparency where producers have 100% approval of all marketing expenses and sales deals made in the worldwide marketplace.
Archstone works with filmmakers to deliver their vision to the world


Natalie Kampelmacher

Entertainment One - International Distribution

Entertainment One focuses on its strengths in film and television, where it is recognised as a leader in independent distribution (Film & TV) and production (TV). Through successful relationships with its industry partners the company continues to build its position as a leading independent in its core markets.
Entertainment One’s production partners include the large Hollywood independent studios including Summit Entertainment, River Road Entertainment, Lakeshore Entertainment and Morgan Creek.


Mitchell Block

Mitchell Block has handled the distribution and marketing of hundreds of documentary, live action, and animated shorts films and documentary features, 25 have won Oscars and 71 have received Academy Award nominations. He is president of Direct Cinema Limited and produces and consults in Santa Monica California.

”Poster Girl” produced by Block and directed by Sara Nesson was nominated for Academy Award (Documentary Short Film) in 2011.

Block conceived, co-created, and is an executive-producer of the Emmy Award-winning 10-hour documentary series “Carrier” and a producer of the companion documentary feature “Another Day in Paradise.” He is president of The Carrier Project. Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions financed the films They aired on PBS in 2008.

He was an executive-producer on HBO’s 2000 Oscar-winning film “Big Mama.”

He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Television Academy, a founding member of BAFTA-LA, and a life member of the UFVA and the IDA.


Kate Amend, A.C.E.

Kate Amend is the editor of the Academy Award-winning documentary features The Long Way Home (1998) and Into The Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (2001) for which she received the American Cinema Editors’ Eddie award.

Amend edited the 2001 Oscar-nominated documentary short On Tiptoe: Gentle Steps to Freedom and the Peabody Award winner Beah: A Black Woman Speaks. She is a frequent advisor at the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Storytelling Lab and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers’ Academy.

Amend is on the Board of Directors of the American Cinema Editors and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 2005, she received the inaugural award for Outstanding Documentary Editing Award from the International Documentary Association.


Jennifer Warren, B.A.

Although best known as an actress in film, television and theater, Jennifer Warren was accepted into the Directing Workshop for Women at the American Film Institute, where she directed the short film Point of Departure and received the Cine Golden Eagle Award, Best Drama at Aspen Film Festival, and then opened the season for the Arts & Entertainment Channel on their World Premiere Short Film Series. Two years later, she formed Tiger Rose Productions, and co-produced the short documentary You Don’t Have to Die, which won the Academy Award in 1989 as well as the Cable Ace Award.

About that same time, Warren began to develop a feature film, The Beans of Egypt Maine, which she directed for American Playhouse and Live Entertainment. The film was selected as Best Pick of both the Seattle and Boston Film Festivals. It was invited into competition at the San Sebastian Film Festival and gathered wide critical acclaim and two Independent Film Spirit Award Nominations upon its release in 1994. It appeared on PBS for the American Playhouse series the following year.
Warren finished production on her second directorial feature, Partners in Crime, starring Rutger Hauer and Paulina Porizkova in 1998. Partners was distributed in America by Artisan Films during the 1999/2000 year and appeared on Direct T.V.

As an actress, Warren is best known for her leading roles in such features as Night Moves, opposite Gene Hackman (Screen World Award – Best Actress) directed by Arthur Penn. Slapshot, opposite Paul Newman, directed by George Roy Hill. Fatal Beauty, opposite Whoopi Goldberg, as well as Another Man, Another Chance opposite Jimmy Cahn, directed by Claude LeLouche. She has also starred in over twenty network movies.

A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and Women in Film, she was a founding member and past president of The Alliance of Woman Directors and continues to actively support the organization. She has taught at Wesleyan University, Johns Hopkins University, UCLA Extension, University of Tel Aviv and is now a Senior Lecturer at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.


Don Hall, B.A.

Don Hall has ninety three feature film supervising sound editor credits, eleven supervising sound editor television series credits, and ten years experience as a post-production supervisor which included 5 years as vice-president of post production for Walt Disney Studios.

Hall has created motion picture & television sound tracks that have been honored with numerous awards.
His work has been recognized in the industry with: a BAFTA with two additional nominations, 5 CAS Awards, 3 MPSE Awards, 2 Emmys with three additional nominations, and The Peabody Award for excellence in the television series for M.A.S.H.

Hall was inducted into the BHS Hall of Fame and is the recipient of the MPSE Career Achievement Award.
The Academy Award in the AMPAS John Bonner Medal of Commendation.

Hall is serving his fifteenth year as a Sound Branch Governor in the Motion Picture Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. He sits on the Student Academy Awards Executive Committee and is a member of the AMPAS Scientific-Technical Council.


Joseph Slowensky

As a manager of development at NBC Productions, Joe Slowensky saw every kind of idea for film and TV projects you can imagine—and some you can’t. But these days, he’s busy writing scripts of his own. His first produced feature, the CBS Sunday Night Movie Miracle in the Woods, was seen in more than 14.5 million homes and received the highest ratings of the week (except for the World Series). His second CBS film, Three Secrets, also won the ratings battle during the highly competitive May sweeps period.

With an M.F.A. from USC, Slowensky began his career working in development of movies and miniseries at CBS. These days, he enjoys working with students, in part, because “they’re where the trends are starting. It’s fun to help shape their fresh, unbridled ideas into something they might be able to sell.”

Slowensky is an active member of the Writers Guild of America, West and the exclusive Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Writers Peer Group, where he’s a voting juror for the annual prime-time Emmy Awards. But he’s always ready to listen to students, because developing a good story is where it all starts—for students and pros alike.


Conor Barrett

Curb Entertainment

Conor Barrett was born and raised in Mission Viejo, California, where he cultivated a love of film from an early age. He earned a degree in Cinema and Television Arts from California State University, Northridge, and now works as Head of Marketing and Assistant Sales at Curb Entertainment International Corporation. His job now sends him to internationally renowned film festivals such as Sundance, The Berlin Film Festival, and the Cannes Film Festival each year.