Judges

Daniel Armando

Daniel Armando is an award-winning filmmaker and producer raised in California now residing in New York City. He has produced five micro-budget indie films, including DADDY’S BOY (Official Selection Cinequest Film Festival), WHAT IT WAS (Official Selection HBO Urbanworld, Outfest, NewFest, and Frameline film festivals), THE BREEDING (Winner, Best Feature, Harlem Int’l Film Festival), and BWOY (starring RENT & STAR TREK: DISCOVERY’S Anthony Rapp).

 

His first project, the short BOYS LIKE YOU, won him “Best Short” at the 2011 North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. He was also the co-Executive Producer of the award-winning stageplay REFLECTIONS IN A DITCH (winner, Best Play, New York Theatre Festival). He is graduate of the American Musical & Dramatic Academy and as a performer starred in the international tour of FAME: THE MUSICAL.​

 

Lisa Padovani

 

Lisa Padovani is a 5-time Emmy award nominee for her costume design work on Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, and Gotham. She has won two Costume Designers Guild Awards for her work on Gotham.

 

Lisa has contributed to many other television shows including OZ and Fringe and Sneaky Pete, and feature films including Shelter Island and The Departed. She also produced the feature film Doomsday. Lisa is a graduate of the Film Conservatory at Purchase College, SUNY.

 

Jason Silverman

Jason Silverman is newly appointed co-executive director of Upstate Films, the Rhinebeck-based nonprofit with movie theaters in Rhinebeck and Woodstock, NY.

Silverman formerly served as the artistic director of the Taos Talking Picture Festival, named one of the world’s top 10 festivals, and as the cinematheque director at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, N.M., which features the best in new and classic cinema, educational screenings and extensive community partnerships.  

Silverman’s 2015 documentary film "SEMBENE!" premiered at the Sundance and Cannes festivals and was named one of the top 10 films of 2015 by New York magazine. Their outreach program Sembene Across Africa has reached millions in 46 African nations through community screenings, broadcast and free streams. He has served as a curator or producer for numerous arts organizations and has been a member of the Telluride Film Festival staff since 1991.

Also a former journalist, his work includes 15 years of freelance writing for Wired.

 
 

Cecilia R. Mejia

 

Cecilia R. Mejia was born and raised in Brooklyn, a first-generation Filipino-American. She has worked in development for several non-profit organizations, including NGOs affiliated with the United Nations. She attended the State University of New York at Buffalo. She has a master’s degree in Public Administration and Affairs, and also completed the Columbia Business School’s Emerging Non-Profit Leaders Program.

She’s worked with several grassroots organizations focusing on underrepresented communities, which lead to her working on a short documentary about the struggles of detained undocumented families, which jumpstarted her film career. She has produced a number of short films focusing on critical social impact issues like mental health and gender inequality. She’s won several awards as the lead producer of the upcoming Yellow Rose and Social Impact Producer of the award-winning doc Call Her Ganda.

Meija serves as the creative lead on several other projects working on the creative, funding and social impact components of films. She combines her love of film with the goal of focusing on social impact stories that inspire change, most specifically with under-resourced youth through her non-profit organization Art of Me as the Creative Director, helping students turn their stories into high- quality short films. She was recently featured in Forbes Magazine for her work.

The 10th Annual SUNYWide Film Festival will be hosted by Purchase College, SUNY  April 9-10, 2021.

For more information, email sunywidefilmfestival@gmail.com