A MULTITALENTED SET OF JUDGES
Sci-Fi Miami takes great pride in delivering award-winning content. It is important to be able to assess the diversity and range science fiction has to offer. Our judges come from a broad range of creatives. 2021 Openings are available, send your CV to hello at miscifi dot com
Leslie E. Owen is an experienced Literary Agent and Copy Editor. She began her publishing career in New York as an editorial assistant with Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in 1981, after graduating with degrees in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of Arizona in 1980. She has held positions as Literary Agent, Director of Foreign Rights, International Publishing Representative, and Acquisitions Editor in New York and Vancouver, British Columbia. Leslie’s extensive and varied career also includes freelance reading for Four Winds Press and working as a Movie Scout for Nevelco. She has written articles and reviewed for Publishers Weekly, The Horn Book, the SCBWI Newsletter, and the Greensboro (NC) News & Record. Leslie E. Owen is the screenplay performance coordinator and a festival judge. She will be in attendance.
Doug Harned is an emeritus scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been making films since high school, including five feature-length films, many shorts, and eight films shot in France. In the last three years with the USGS, he made over 80 SciDocs on water science, fracking, computer modeling, and ecology. He is currently working on a series of films about climate change. Dr. Harned is a festival judge and will be in attendance.
Brooklyn Murphy is a professional film television and theater actor having appeared in over 30 films and dozens of theater productions. She has also worked extensively as a film and screenplay judge for the Delray Beach Film Festival, the New Media Film Festival in Los Angeles, and for the Miami Science International Film Festival this year.
She graduated from the Oxford School of Drama and has studied with many well known acting teachers in New York and Los Angeles. She is funny, charming, and Brooklyn, also studied scriptwriting, creative writing at U.C. Berkeley, and San Francisco College.
Brooklyn, a Queen of the MiSciFi House, made considerable contributions for over a half-decade. After a brief hiatus, she is back and radiating in her excellence.
Kandase Augustin is a filmmaker from London with an avid interest in the horror/thriller genre. Kandase, having directed a wide range of short films, her collaborations won an award at the IDC (interaction design and children awards). Her skillsets are in sound and sound design. She has also done makeup for different thriller films for the production company Anarchy Cinema. Kandase studied horror and thriller films at the Northern Film School in Leeds, UK.
Katie Boyer has been through many incarnations as a writer. Small town journalist and college newspaper editor. Newsletter writer from foreign shores. Graduate student in comparative literature and creative writing, teacher of composition and lit classes. Most recently a writer of short stories and screenplays. Her story credits include “Bartleby the Scavenger” in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and, along with her husband Kyle Sullivan, she writes and edits for the Trekspertise YouTube channel. Katie and Kyle also recently completed post-production on Garden of the Gods, a modern short film adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,” set in Birmingham, Alabama.
Dane Elliott-Lewis is an engineer and entrepreneur with over 20 years in the aerospace industry. He has worked in commercial and military aircraft engine design, performance, manufacturing, and management. He holds degrees from Morehouse College, Georgia Tech, and The University of Michigan. He is a member of both the National Space Society and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), serving on the Board of the NSBE Aerospace Special Interest Group. He is also a civil war living historian and an active member of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, Company A. Dane has authored several short stories and is currently world-building multiple science fiction projects.
Lara Heller is an award-winning actress and filmmaker. Lara works in 4 languages fluently; English, German, French, and Persian. Lara was a professional figure skater for Germany and graduated with a degree in law from The London School Of Economics and an MA in Acting from Arts Ed. She was born in England and raised in a mountain village in Germany, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. Lara first came to public attention as the actress alongside Tahar Rahim in The Cut, which won the Vittorio Veneto Award at the Venice Film Festival. Recent films include Stardust with Johnny Flynn and The Obscure Life Of The Grand Duke Of Corsica with Timothy Spall.
Ben Huizenga is a teacher and father of four who lives in Chicago. He is a lifelong lover of science fiction on the screen and is very excited to be part of the Festival.
L. Andrew Cooper is a screenwriter living in Los Angeles and writing across genres, including comedy, action, horror, and, of course, science fiction. After getting his B.A. from Harvard and Ph.D. from Princeton, both in English, he spent ten years teaching literature, writing, and Film Studies. He specialized in horror, an interest reflected in his books Gothic Realities and Dario Argento, which examine the scary stuff in film and other media. He has also published two novels, more than two dozen short stories, and a book of poetry. Although he has been a judge at other film festivals since he grew up as a fan at Star Trek and other sci-fi conventions, he’s thrilled to be part of the MiSciFi team.
Justine Warrington’s work as an actor, writer, and filmmaker has been celebrated internationally. She has appeared in a wide range of roles for networks including BBC America, Showtime, The CW, Lifetime, Warner Bros., and Netflix. Best known on the big screen for S. Craig Zahler’s controversial crime drama DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE (World Premiere Venice Film Festival 2018), Wayne Roberts’ dark comedy RICHARD SAYS GOODBYE (World Premiere Zurich 2018), and her feature debut in the Canadian cult classic THE CABIN MOVIE (TIFF 2005). Co-creator of the award-winning sci-fi comedy short EARTHLICKERS, Justine was one of six Canadian filmmakers selected for the WFF19 Producers Lab: a talent lab for filmmakers preparing independent genre features. SHE CAME IN THROUGH, which Justine produced and stars in earned three nominations at the 2020 Leo Awards including Best Short Program and Best Actress. Justine is a master teacher & coach at AMAW Studios: Anthony Meindl’s world-renowned acting studio. Coming soon: Justine stars in the true-crime drama GOLD DIGGER KILLER for Lifetime.
Dan Horrigan is an award-winning writer and director for stage and screen, based in London UK. He graduated from Drama Centre with a Merit in Dramatic Writing and was shortlisted for The Kings Cross Award for New Writing. Dan has worked extensively as a writer and director for over 16 years. His film Devotion which he wrote and directed has traveled the world winning numerous awards (best actor Tim Daish, best actress Augustina Seymour, best dramatic horror) and chalking up over 30 festivals. His screenplay Populace, a stylish dystopian SciFi, was hand-picked by Danny Boyle for his Shuffle Festival. Directed by Aaron Bevan Bailey and starring Jamie Piggot it won Best Actor at MiSciFi and a whole host other awards across all categories and across 4 continents at over 30 festivals. Mr. Horrigan has performed as a screenplay and festival judge.
Anthony Feijoo Amado had his first professional acting gigs at the ages of five and six. Although having a passion for film since young, it wasn’t until high school that he trained formally. In 1982 he was selected for the Governor’s Program for the Gifted in Theatre, had his first play produced in the Florida Theatre Conference, and landed a supporting role in “Last Plane Out,” a David Nelson film, featuring the true story of an American journalist trapped in Nicaragua during the Sandinista revolution. Anthony attended Miami Dade College for his theatrical studies choosing to pursue a career as a composer shortly after finishing his degree. His music was featured in foreign films and national TV jingles. He co-founded an ad agency in 1992 where he shot and produced television commercials. In 2008 Anthony returned to the South Florida acting and producing scene. Since then he has appeared as a lead and co-lead in dozens of short and full feature independent films. In co-writing partnership with Mr. Angel Perez Castellanos, he has written, produced and or directed several short films. Among his work, “Best Man,” won honors as the Best Comedy Short Film in the Honolulu Film Festival, “Emit and the Dragon,” a short currently in the festival circuit, “Junah’s Gift,” a full feature screenplay has won or placed in every major screenplay festival and “Nuns with Guns” a full feature in pre-production, a finalist on the prestigious CWA competition. Anthony lives in Miami with his wife and 4 children.
Originally from Hollywood, CA, Kimberly Douglas has over 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry both in front of and behind the camera. Starting in South Florida as an actress, she has starred in dozens of commercials, infomercials, and independent films. In Los Angles, for a decade she has guest-starred in over 30 network shows. Ultimately familiarizing herself with all aspects of production she has co-founded New Concepts Films and has worked in the capacities of writer, producer, director, editor and casting director for multiple projects. She holds the position of Producer for Lone Wolf Films and Production Coordinator for SAS Movies, KY. Additionally, she works closely with the Kentucky Film Commission to assist filmmakers in navigating their incentive packages. She has collaborated with the likes of Shonda Rimes, Kevin Hart, Jamie Foxx, Arsenio Hall, Alfonso Ribeiro and many more.
Stephen Wise graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in film from the University of Central Florida. He has written, directed, produced, and/or edited numerous short films that have played in film festivals around the world. He earned a best director award for “Crooks”, which won a total of five awards and was featured in a segment of the TV series Comedy Night School. His screenplays have placed in contests from the Screenwriter’s Expo, Creative Screenwriting Magazine, and Writer’s Digest, and was a quarterfinalist in Project Greenlight. Additionally, he received three Addy Awards for commercials he made. His claim to fame is co-writing the commissioned screenplay Batman: Dark Knight for Warner Bros. that IFC calls one of the best unproduced Batman scripts ever written. He has judged screenplay contests for Blue Cat Screenplay Competition and the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival, as well as running the Pensacon Short Film Festival as part of his duties as Pensacon’s Programming Director. He currently works as a Creative Services producer/director for WEAR-TV in Pensacola, FL.
Filmmaker Robert Meyer Burnett received his first screen credit as the Art Dept. Production Assistant in New Line Cinema’s 1990 release, Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III. For almost 30 years he’s worked in every facet of the motion picture industry, from working at Warner Brothers for Senior Vice President of Production Bill Young to reading screenplays at the Creative Artist’s Agency. He developed and produced MGM’s Agent Cody Banks franchise and produced the Warner Brothers horror film The Hills Run Red. He’s perhaps best known for writing and directing the cult favorite FREE ENTERPRISE, starring Emmy Winners William Shatner and Eric McCormack. As a Special Features producer, he’s worked on creating material for the home video releases of The Usual Suspects, Tron, Snow White, Fantasia, The Lord of the Rings, X-MEN and X2, The Chronicles of Narnia, Superman Returns, and the HD restoration Blu-rays of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. He’s currently producing and editing the upcoming Tango Shalom, the world’s first Indie Jewish, Spiritual Quest, Family, Dance, Comedy, Fable.