2019 Jury members
Born in Viljandi, Estonia, Tiit Helimets trained at Tallinn Ballet School and began his career as a soloist with Estonian National Ballet. He was promoted to principal dancer six months later, making Estonian dance history when he danced the role of Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake at age 18. He joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1999 and become a principal dancer at San Francisco Ballet in 2005. He has danced major roles in Tomasson’s Giselle (Albrecht), Nutcracker (Grand Pas de Deux Prince), The Sleeping Beauty (Prince Desiré), and Swan Lake (Prince Siegfried and Von Rothbart); Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote (Basilio); Cranko’s Onegin (Gremin); Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid (Prince); Scarlett’s Frankenstein (Alphonse Frankenstein); and Wheeldon’s Cinderella (Prince Guillaume).
Michael Kinomoto is a Supervising Producer for ITVS where he oversees documentary films in production. Some recent highlights include the Academy Award-nominated and Peabody Award-winning Minding the Gap, the Emmy-winning Best of Enemies, the Peabody Award-winning The Judge, and the Full Frame Film Festival Grand Jury Prize-winner, Quest, as well as many other acclaimed titles. Earlier, he was the Senior Producer of Interactive for ITVS, producing the PBS series website for Independent Lens and the content portal for the web-exclusive FUTURESTATES series. Previously, he was a promo producer and editor for Link TV and also worked with filmmaker Steven Okazaki as an associate producer, assistant editor, and post-production supervisor on the Academy Award-nominated documentary short The Mushroom Club, and the Emmy award-winning feature documentary White Light/Black Rain, both for HBO. Kinomoto has an MFA in Film Production from San Francisco State University and has also taught film production and studies at several universities in the Bay Area, where he currently lives with his family.
As the founder and artistic director of BANDALOOP, Amelia re-imagines dance by activating public and natural spaces through vertical dance, inspiring wonder in audiences around the world. She is a choreographer, dancer/athlete, experiential learning guide, public speaker and mom. Her imagistic and dynamic dance work, whether in theaters or on skyscrapers or cliffs, investigates our relationships to gravity, to each other, and to our environments while highlighting community through free performance in public space. Along with mounting over 25 unique projects, and over 250 performances on 7 continents in the last 28 years, she has more recently directed two short mountain dance films, Shift and Coyote Waltz. She has received over 35 grants and commissions, most recently from the Mellon, Gerbode, and Hewlett foundations and has been supported consistently for over two decades by the National Endowment for the Arts
Wendy Slick is a producer, director, writer, and editor. Passion and Power — her women’s rights film garnered a successful run following a Lincoln Center premiere. Her work for American Playhouse, PBS, Lucasfilm, Disney, Showtime, and Apple has been honored with Emmy and ACE nominations. She has created videos for Carlos Santana’s Milagro Foundation, Woman’s Funding Network, and The Exploratorium. She made several dance films for PBS, Alive from Off Center, and the SF Ballet. Her dance documentary and performance piece The Long Run for ODC/SF and PBS won an Emmy nomination. Ms. Slick’s recent projects include Tattoo The World tracing artist’s Ed Hardy’s phenomenal rise to cult icon, Virtuoso: The Olga Samaroff Story — an intimate portrait of a long forgotten pianist, Near Normal Man — Ben Stern’s personal recollection of surviving the Holocaust, and A Love Poem to My Friend Ethel —portrait of a longtime activist “still doing it” in her 80’s.
Kelly Whalen is a national Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker (Tulia, Texas) who has primarily worked in public media for more than 20 years. Her nationally-broadcasted work has explored racial injustices in America’s “war on drugs,” community organizing against hate and intolerance, and rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In her role as Visiting Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the University of Miami, Kelly senior-produced a series of short documentaries exploring challenges for Roma communities in Eastern Europe. She was multimedia producer for the University of California Press book Women’s Empowerment and Global Health: A Twenty-First-Century Agenda, producing case studies of women-centered health initiatives around the world; and producer/cinematographer/editor for the award winning PBS documentary Everything Comes from the Streets, tracing the origins and history of the Chicano lowrider culture in Kelly’s hometown of San Diego and greater border region. In 2015, Kelly joined KQED Arts, where she creates and curates short documentaries, often amplifying the stories of emerging and unrepresented artists. For her KQED Arts work, she has been awarded a Webby, three regional Northern California Emmys, and two Society of Professional Journalism awards in video journalism.
Jury members will select winners in each of the following categories:
Best Documentary ($1,000)
Best Live Performance Capture ($500)
Best Screendance Film
• Under 10 minutes ($500)
• 10 minutes and over ($500)
Best Student Film ($500)
Best Art/Experimental ($500)