SCOTT DINGER- For a fourth straight year, aGLIFF audiences will select the Audience Award (aka the “Hum-Dinger” Award) in honor of aGLIFF founder, Scott Dinger. Dinger, a true pioneer with the LGBTQIA community started aGLIFF in 1987 at a time when LGBTQIA culture had few public outlets. aGLIFF thrived under Dinger’s leadership as Artistic Director from 1987-2004, and is the oldest film festival in Austin and the 4th longest running LGBTQIA festival in the United States. aGLIFF acknowledges Dinger’s tremendous contribution to our communities in creating a space, and an audience, for queer cinematic expression within the Austin and the greater Texas community.
Robert Hawk, consultant to independent filmmakers for over 30 years, is the subject of “Film Hawk” (also a selection in aGLIFF29) a documentary by JJ Garvine and Tai Parquet, which premiered this year at the Sundance Film Festival. Producer of Kimberly Reed's “Prodigal Sons,” Jim Fall's “Trick”, and Kevin Smith's “Chasing Amy.” Hawk has been credited with discovering and/or nurturing the talents of such filmmakers as Rob Epstein ”The Times of Harvey Milk” Ed Burns “Brothers McMullen” David Siegel and Scott McGehee “The Deep End” and hundreds more. He currently serves on the advisory council of The Legacy Project, a collaboration of Outfest and UCLA Film & Television Archives.
Keith Maitland premiered two feature docs at SXSW this year, “Tower”, an animated documentary that reframes the story of the UT Tower shootings from 1966, and “A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story”, about the 40-year history of America's longest running music television show. “Tower” was the winner of the Audience Award, Lone Star Award, and the Grand Jury Award at SXSW and has gone on to win many other accolades at festivals around the world. “A Song For You” is currently playing festivals and seeking distribution. “Tower” will be released nationally this October. Keith Maitland lives and works in the Govalle neighborhood of Austin, TX.
A film publicist by trade for nearly 15 years, Maureen Masters currently serves as the head of publicity for the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinematèk. Before BAM, she was head of regional publicity at Magnolia Pictures for nearly five years. She earned a BA in Journalism as well as a Masters in Communications, writing independent film reviews and working in film publicity throughout the country. Additionally, she has mentored young, aspiring filmmakers, as well as served on many prominent film festival juries and panels and is currently working on her own documentary project.
Mike Blizzard is President and co-founder of Blizco Productions, which provides strategic consulting, public and media relations, advertising design and placement, and collaboration on books, screenplays and documentary films. He is the producer of “No No: A Dockumentary,” which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was licensed by Showtime and ESPN, and is the director of “Also Starring Austin,” which uses scenes from locally shot films to explore changes in Austin’s built & natural environment and culture over the past 45 years. Mike currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Austin Film Society.
Cheryl Dunye emerged as part of the 1990's "queer new wave" of young film and video makers. Dunye's work is defined by her distinctive narrative voice. Often set within a personal or domestic context, her stories foreground issues of race, sexuality and identity. Dunye has made over 15 films including “Mommy is Coming,” “The Owls,” “My Baby’s Daddy,” and HBO’s “Stranger Inside” which garnered her an Independent Spirit award nomination for best director. Her debut film, “The Watermelon Woman”, was awarded the Teddy at the Berlinale in 1996 and was recently restored by Outfest’s UCLA Legacy Project for the films’ 20th anniversary, and will screen at aGLIFF29. Dunye has received numerous awards and honors for her work including a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship. She is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Presently Dunye is a Professor in the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University and is at work on her next feature film, “Black is Blue.”
Clay Liford is a graduate of the University of Texas film program. He has written and directed four features to date, including “Wuss” (SxSW 2011, AFI 2011 Audience Award Winner), “Earthling” (SxSW 2010), and SLASH (SxSW 2016, BAM Cinefest, Edinburgh FF, Munich FF, winner "Best Screenplay" Las Vegas FF). His comedy short, “My Mom Smokes Weed”, has played over forty festivals, including the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. As a director of photography, Clay has shot twenty features, including the award winning films “St. Nick” (SxSW 2009) and “Gayby” (SxSW 2012). Clay also recently produced the Sundance 2014 short film “Rat Pack Rat”RA, and a segment of the genre hit “ABCs of Death 2.” “Slash” (featured in aGLIFF29) was just featured at this year's San Diego ComicCon on a panel called Under the Radar in the massive Hall H, and will be released by Gravitas Ventures and The Alamo Drafthouse later this year.
Kay Dennis is a native Texan and lifetime film buff. She resides in College Station, Texas with her partner and 6 furkids. She also serves as President of the Pride Community Center of the Brazos Valley.
Bears Fonté is a filmmaker, festival programmer, and journalist. He founded Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival after two years as the Director of Programming for Austin Film Festival. His current short “Roadside Assistance,” has been selected for 25 festivals since October of 2015 including Fantasia International Film Festival and Dances With Films. Bears also was one of the producers on the Sundance Jury-Award Winning short “The Procedure.” His feature thriller “iCRIME,” which he wrote and directed, was released on DVD, VOD by Breaking Glass in 2011. He also writes for AMFM Magazine covering indie film and the festival circuit.
Kathryn Gonzales, MBA, is the Operations & Programs Director at Out Youth, an Austin-based nonprofit that serves as a second home for youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Radio/TV/Film from the University of Texas at Austin, she joined the team at aGLIFF where she served as the Programs Director and created the Queer Youth Media Project. Kathryn's work is heavily influenced by her research into the evolutionary importance of storytelling in our everyday lives, and is always seeking out new ways for LGBTQ+ youth to share their stories with the world.