Judges Join 2016 AIFF Selection Committee

Judges Join 2016 AIFF Selection Committee

The Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) is pleased to announce four judges that will join this year’s Selection Committee. Joining the existing 9 judges, they will view and evaluate film submissions and decide on films that meet the criteria to be screened in the 2016 Festival scheduled for October 27 – 30 as well as those films that will receive awards. We welcome them to the AIFF team and are extremely honored to have such luminaries working with us. They join our esteemed Selection Committee members:  Alice Bouvrie, Barbara Costa, Elizabeth DiNolfo, John Kusiak, Bob Nesson, Charles Scheurhoff, Eric Stange, Marga Varea, Brynmore Williams.

Lawrence Benedict, a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, has studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York, and is a veteran of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada. He has performed on stage in over 42 full Equity productions, as well as in TV and film, in both United States and Canada, starring in the Canadian Police series, The Collaborators, seen world-wide. Lawrence is also an accomplished precision driver for movies and TV and did his own driving in “The Collaborators.” He recently acted in the short film by Jorge S. Pallás, “In Girum Imus Nocte” which is a 2016 Festival de Cannes Court Métrage Corner Selection, and is gathering accolades from a variety of film festivals.

In Los Angeles, while continuing to perform in movies and TV, he moved behind the camera and started his own company “Angus Lake Productions.” In this capacity he learned most behind-the-camera disciplines while producing promotional video for major Hollywood studios such as Universal and for directors such as Steven Spielberg. He has edited Disney trailers, is a movie editor and an Apple Certified Final Cut Pro Trainer. A full-length feature he edited, "Forgiving the Franklins," by filmmaker Jay Floyd, became a Sundance Selection in 2006. Lawrence has taught at Banff School of Fine Arts, UCLA Extension, Learning Tree University, and Screen Actors Guild.

Continuing to act on stage and in film, he has been doing “physical theatre” at MiMoDa Jazzo Dance Studio in Los Angeles and currently performs with the improv company “The Playground” which is supported by The Stuntmen’s Association under the guidance of Vice President, John Moio and director Janiece Jary.

He is the author of “The Video Demo Tape” – published by Focal Press, and “How to Shoot Better Camcorder Videos; Help from the Hollywood Pros,” available on Barnes&Noble.com, etc.

He is very proud to be a member of the Arlington International Film Festival’s Selection Committee.

Rick Beyer is an award winning documentary filmmaker, a best-selling author, and a lifelong history enthusiast. His documentaries have appeared on PBS, The History Channel, A&E, and National Geographic. His 2013 film The Ghost Army premiered on PBS, was broadcast in more than 25 countries, and is the winner of a CINE Golden Eagle. Other notable credits include Expedition Apocalypse, The Wright Challenge, First Shot, and Secrets of Jamestown. He is the co-author (with Liz Sayles) of the 2015 book The Ghost Army of World War II, published by Princeton Architectural PressIt is now being developed as a Hollywood movie. Rick is also the author of the popular Greatest Stories Never Told series of history books, published by Harper Collins. When not working, Beyer can sometimes be found sculling on the Charles River. A graduate of Dartmouth College, he currently lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, with his wife, Marilyn Rea Beyer. 

Paul Dervis has written over two dozen plays. His MAKING TRACKS won the 1986 New York One Act Play Festival at the Nat Horne Theatre on Manhattan's Theatre Row. In 1990 his play POKEY had an extended run Off -Broadway at the Paul Mazur Theatre and subsequently was turned into a film in 2003 by Canada's Dream Weaver Studios. In 2000, his play ...ON ANY MONDAY NIGHT was listed as Best Play of the Year from Dennis Armstrong in the Ottawa Sun. In the 1990's he had three plays, A HARMLESS LITTLE KISS, YOUNG ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER, and CLARE PAST MIDNIGHT honored as Hit of the Festival in Halifax Nova Scotia's Atlantic Fringe Festival. In 2014, his play THE LAST DISCIPLE OF ABRAHAM was performed at New York's Hudson Warehouse Theatre and SO FAR AWAY was workshopped this past summer in Manhattan's Urban Stages.

Paul has been teaching drama in Canada at Algonquin College as well as the Theatre Conservatory Ottawa School of Speech & Drama for the past 15 years. Previously, he ran theatre companies in Boston, New York, and Montreal. He has directed over 150 stage productions, receiving two dozen awards for his work. Paul has also directed six films, the most recent being 2011′s The Righteous Tithe.

Sophie Seifried started her career in Berlin, Germany at MTV Networks’ development and acquisition department, where she was involved in bringing shows like South Park, Family Guy and Futurama to the German market. Seifried moved on to work in international distribution, sales and marketing at Inferno Entertainment where she worked on films like KILLING THEM SOFTLY, directed by Andrew Dominik, starring Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins; THE GREY, directed by Joe Carnahan, starring Liam Neeson; the academy award nominated THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, directed by Lisa Cholodenko, starring Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo; BROKEN CITY, directed by Allen Hughes, starring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones to name just a few. Sophie currently works at Epic Pictures Group, an independent studio based in Hollywood, where she works on titles such as the British Independent Award Winning Comedy NINA FOREVER, directed by Ben and Chris Blaine, starring Fiona O’Shaughnessy and Abigail Hardingham. Jerusalem Film Festival winning thriller JERUZALEM, directed by Doron and Yoav Paz, starring Yael Grobglas, Yon Tumarkin and Danielle Jadelyn. Fantasia Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival and Sitges Film Festival winning action adventure TURBO KID, directed by Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoan-Karl Whissell, starring Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf and Michael Ironside. Sundance Premiere and Locarno Film Festival Winning Comedy ENTERTAINMENT, directed by Rick Alverson, starring Gregg Turkington.