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Jury & Awards



Jury, Documentary

As a Commercial/Industrial photographer, Rama has completed many successful projects in India and Austin. Her art photography evolved from her prowess in classic commercial photography and her technical expertise in Digital techniques. and she has showcased her work in many solo and group art shows. 


Her breath-taking works of Tibet, Thailand, India, Japan, Peru, Bolivia have been showcased in various venues. She has created one of a kind images by experimenting with alternate image processing and transfers techniques on fabric, wood, and metal sheets.



Jury, Documentary

Andrew Lee began his film career after winning $210k+ in cash prizes on his short films. Andrew produced his first feature doc, DMT: The Spirit Molecule, co-produced SXSW 2017 Audience Award winning documentary Dealt & Slamdance Film Festival 2019 documentary Seadrift about the Vietnamese refugees that settled in Texas which won the 2019 Houston Film Critics TIFA Visionary Award and is set to broadcast on PBS in May 2020.

His latest feature doc Jump Shot about the inventor of the basketball jump shot premiered at SXSW 2019 and is set to release digitally in May 2020. He currently serves as the board president of the Austin Asian American Film Festival

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Jury, Narrative

Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Producer and Creative Director Celeste Quesada's 22+ year career has focused on promoting the finest talent that Texas has to offer. Her work ranges from the production of “one of a kind” special events to the development of integrated PR and marketing strategies that fuse graphic design, branding, web identity and social media.

Quesada's client list includes working with legendary Austin musicians, filmmakers and fashionistas of all genres, local architects, designers and numerous non-profit clients including Austin Film Society, Fusebox Festival, SIMS Foundation, American Gateways, El Buen Samaritano, Forklift Danceworks, Chula League, Austin Chronicle and the Austin Music Awards.



Jury, Narrative

Tim is a filmmaker whose feature directorial debut SEADRIFT chronicles the racial hostilities that erupted in violence during the early days of Vietnamese refugee arrival on the Texas gulf coast. The film premiered at Slamdance 2019 and will be broadcast on PBS in May, 2020. 

Previous work include a series of short films on early Chinese Texans for Austin PBS, and editing the non-narrative film YAKONA (SXSW '14 Audience Award) about the San Marcos River. He earned an MFA in film production from U.T. Austin, served as the former executive director of the Austin Asian American Film Festival, and is a Firelight Media Documentary Labs fellow.



Jury, Narrative

Sandhya Shardanand is an Austin-based producer who enjoys every step of taking stories from the page to the screen. Her most recent projects are Richard Linklater’s APOLLO 10 ½, which is currently in post-production; BULL, which premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival – Un Certain Regard; and SUPPORT THE GIRLS, which had its premiere at SXSW 2018.


Previously she worked alongside director Terrence Malick on THE NEW WORLD, THE TREE OF LIFE and TO THE WONDER. She has an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Special Mention
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Jury, Shorts

Asad Kirmani is a Writer/Director and a practicing psychiatrist in Austin, TX. While in medical school he produced and directed All the Wrong Reasons, a full-length comedy feature about a hapless young medical student. While doing his psychiatric residency in New York City he produced and directed Curing Gender, a documentary about the history of psychiatry and transsexuality that has been used educationally by a number of hospitals and institutions across the country, and was

shown at the 2013 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

He has written and directed three short films, Stress Freud, Pornistan, and Hijabi. Pornistan won the 2013 Flatland Film Festival Chris Caddel Filmmaker Award and was a Finalist for Best Comedy Short at the 2014 Central Florida Film Festival. Hijabi premiered at the Brooklyn Short Film Festival in 2017. It was distributed through the online streaming service Seed&Spark, where it was featured on their “Must-See” list. He is currently in post-production on his fourth short film,

How to Wash the Dead.



Jury, Shorts

Fate exerts a powerful pull on our lives. As Greg Davis knows, it can drag you through the mud before it shows you the light at the end of the tunnel. For Davis, fate is his quest for meaning, his desire to connect his experiences with those of people worlds apart. Born and raised in a small East Texas town, After 10 years in the tech sector, he quit his job and went on a yearlong global soul-searching expedition. 

Greg, who is represented by National Geographic Image Collection, worked his way from local festivals to international exhibitions. His first major solo exhibit for the Museum of the Southwest followed the stories of individual pilgrims to the 2013 Kumbh Mela, the largest religious pilgrimage in history, about which he also completed his first short documentary film, Cloth Paper Dreams. That led to a follow up film,“The Man From Mathura”, that is currently in production.



Jury, Shorts

Leng Wong is a producer and artist based in Austin, TX.  As a producer, she has produced over 50 productions and events including theater, film, festivals, and community events, since 2012.  Her latest project was producing the People of Color Comedy Festival (PoCCF), the first of its kind in Texas, in 2019.  Leng was also the executive producer for the Austin Asian American Film Festival (AAAFF) who successfully brought the festival back in 2014. 

She is the founder of Lucky Chaos, a nonprofit arts organization whose mission is to produce works by artists from under-represented communities, with emphasis on personal stories.  “Being an artist is about putting your soul out there, in spite of all the fears and doubts because it’s those fears and doubts that make us human and compel us to create.”

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Thank You!

Thank you to our lovely members for joining us on the virtual journey and putting in the votes for their favourites!

The ballots have spoken and we were able to give pride of place to one of our favourite films!

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