2019 JURY

Josh Baron

Joshua Baron is an award winning editor, producer and director. He works primarily on episodic television shows but also has extensive experience with long form documentaries, short films, music videos and commercials.

Rocco Caruso

Rocco Caruso has worked in film and media for more than 30 years and has spent 8 years producing for director Jonathan Demme. Two films he produced won the Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival (1999 and 2010) and were official selections of the Cannes Film Festival.

Jonathan Ehrenberg

Jonathan Ehrenberg is an artist working in video, animation, sculpture, drawing, photography, and VR. His work has been included in exhibitions at MoMA PS1, SculptureCenter, The Drawing Center (New York), Futura Center (Prague), The B3 Biennial (Frankfurt), Galeria Espacio Minimo (Madrid), Temnikova & Kasela (Tallinn), and Nara Roesler (São Paulo), and he has participated in residencies at LMCC Workspace, Harvestworks, Skowhegan, Triangle, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and Glenfiddich in Scotland. Ehrenberg is an Assistant Professor of Art and Digital Media at Lehman College, CUNY.

Michael J. Hotopp

Production Designer

THEATRE: Broadway, Off Broadway,Radio City Music Hall, National and International Tours, Regional, Opera . Stock and West End. TV SPORTS: ESPN/ESPN II [ 25 years] Sports Centers, multiple studios, World Cups.Wimbledon and various national and international specials. All NETWORKS: Studios, Olympic Studios,Opening Paralympics 2002,  TV NEWS: Studios Morning Shows, specials. TV TALK: Oprah, Steve Harvey, Katie and more; Comedy Central Projects. CONCERTS: Liza, Mariah Carey, Simon and Garfunkel. THEMED ENTERTAINMENT: Disney, Sea World, National Basketball and Baseball Halls of Fame, Georgia Aquarium, ICE [20 yrs] for Marriott. 14 Emmy nominations, 7 wins. Michael Hotopp, Founder, Emeritust at www.hotopp.com.


Eileen Katz

Eileen Katz was the Vice President of Development at MTV launching The Real World franchise, The State and The Jon Stewart Show. She then became the Executive Vice President of Programming at Comedy Central where she was responsible for, among others, the ground breaking series South Park and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Most recently Eileen has been an Executive Producer for scripted and reality series airing on Amazon, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Bravo.

Ken Krug

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY
Ken Krug is a fine artist, illustrator, and author. He illustrated Michele Obama’s book about the White House garden and wrote and illustrated the children’s book, No, Silly! which was on the Bank Street College Best Books of 2016 list. His paintings have been exhibited in numerous art shows and were featured on the set of the movie “You Can Count on Me.” His paintings of NYC commuters were part of a multimedia theatrical production at the National Arts Club in New York. www.kenkrug.com


Sara Mazes

Sara is the Administrative Liaison to Human Resources & Public Safety/Building Coordinator at Macaulay. She is a graduate of Muhlenberg College where she earned a B.A in Theater Arts and International Studies. She loves all types of movies but favors fantasy/space adventures and period pieces.

Maureen Martin

Writer/Producer and Content Creator

Born in Cameroon, Central Africa, Maureen Martin has had the pleasure of calling three countries home: her native land Africa, Canada and the United States. Her background includes time in the newsroom (CITY-TV/MUCH MUSIC), TV and film production, and marketing and Public Relations. Professional stints include working with agencies like Cohn and Wolfe. Maureen’s film industry experience includes the (Toronto International Film Festivals, Gen Art (film festival selection committee) and the TriBeCa film festival. She is co-founder of DivaGalsDaily, a popular Life + Style site for the Multicultural Woman. In 2013 she decided to return to production and launched a boutique production company to produce the scripted digital series #AfriMericans. 

Christine McKenna

Lecturer,  Journalism, Communication & Theatre
Lehman College
Christine McKenna is an online editor, multimedia producer and journalism instructor at Lehman College the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has produced documentary and news sites for Time magazine, PBS, the Discovery Channel, WNYC and The Wall Street Journal.

Babak Rassi

Associate Professor of Film, Dept. of Media & Communications Arts, City College of New York

Babak Rassi relishes the process of cinematic storytelling and appreciates the brave souls who engage in it. He edits fiction and documentary films in NYC and teaches post-production to the BFA and MFA film students at the City College of New York.

Tom Reilly

Distinguished Lecturer, Film
Brooklyn College
Tom Reilly is a member of The Directors Guild of America and has over 35 years of feature film production experience. He has collaborated with directors Woody Allen (18 films), Sydney Pollack, Barbra Streisand, Taylor Hackford and Alfonso Cuaron. Cinematographers he’s worked with include Gordon Willis, Carlo Di Palma, Giuseppe Rotunno, John Seale, Michael Ballhaus, Sven Nykvist, and Emmanuel Lubezki. Has made films with over 70 Academy Award winners, and such actors as Al Pacino, Robert Di Nero, Vanessa Redgrave, John Huston, Alec Guinness, Diane Keaton, Harrison Ford, Charlize Theron, Keanu Reeves, Liam Neeson, Tom Hanks, and Sean Connery.

Ben Ross

Benjamin Ross is Honors Advisor Student Liaison at Macaulay Honors College. Previously, he has worked in Academic Advising for Hunter College Honors Scholars. He grew up in Brooklyn and Central New Jersey, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Music from Rutgers University. He went on to receive a Master of Science in Psychological Counseling from Monmouth University. Mr. Ross is professionally interested in finding connections between the arts and social sciences, developmental and person-centered counseling approaches in academic advising, and high-impact opportunities to empower college students. Currently he plays drums, composes music, and plays bass guitar in There There: The NYC Tribute to Radiohead. He lives in Forest Hills, Queens with his wife Anne and two feline companions.

Todd Rutt

Director, Producer and Graphic Designer

Todd Rutt is a member of the Director’s Guild of America and currently works for HBO in New York.  He has worked on many shows as a graphic design director including, The Dana Carvey Show, The Chris Rock Show, Are We There Yet?, and The John Oliver Show.  

Linda Saffire

Linda Saffire is a director and producer of documentary films.  Most recently her film Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan, received critical acclaim and was listed on the NY Times Critics’ Pick.  Along with her documentary work, she has also worked in episodic television and narrative films.

Bonnie Yassky

After serving as film director Jonathan Demme’s operations officer/archivist/art wrangler/ enthusiast/script purveyor and occasional producer, Bonnie joined the Jacob Burns Film Center team in November 2017 as Manager of Special Projects and is delighted to be working alongside Jonathan’s compatriots at his home away from home.


Team Mascot

Film Buff