Documentary Jurors

Lisa Donato is a writer, director, and activist from Billings, Montana and based in Austin, Texas. Her award-winning work has screened at hundreds of film, music, and art festivals worldwide. The first feature screenplay that she co-wrote, Signature Move, also screening at aGLIFF30, received the Tribeca All Access fellowship and recently won grand jury prize for best U.S. narrative feature at Outfest (2017). Her latest short comedy, Spunkle, won the LGBTQ Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival (2017) and her dramatic short, The News Today, will also screen in the Dramatic Shorts program at aGLIFF30.

Lisa strives to bring social awareness to marginalized and invisible communities and believes that comedy will mend the divisive and polarized culture of the U.S. She is currently in post-production on a new short film called, Foxy Trot, about a lesbian couple who take ballroom dance lessons in a heteronormative class.

Jeffrey Schwarz is an Emmy Award-winning producer and director based in Los Angeles. His latest documentary is The Fabulous Allan Carr, which premiered at the 2017 Seattle International Film Festival will be having its Austin premiere at aGLIFF30. Previous work includes the 2015 SXSW premiere Tab Hunter Confidential, the Emmy Award-winning HBO Documentary Films’ Vito, I Am Divine, Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon (also screening at aGLIFF30), and the 2007 AFI Fest Documentary Audience Award winner Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story. He is also a producer of studio EPKs (electronic press kit), Blu-ray and DVD content, and original television programming through his company, Automat Pictures. Hailed as an "EPK samurai" by Variety, he has produced content on major studio releases for directors such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Jonathan Demme, Wes Craven, Rob Reiner, Barry Sonnenfeld, Adam Shankman, Paul Verhoeven, Chris Columbus, and the Coen Brothers.
Ellen Spiro is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker. She is currently a Fulbright Fellow to Chile. She is also a Guggenheim Fellow, a two-time Rockefeller Fellow, and an Emmy Award winner. She won the National Board of Review's Best Documentary award. She was short-listed for an Academy Award for her film “Body of War” in the category of Best Long Form Documentary and Producer's Guild Best Documentary award nominee. She is known for making humorous social issue films for national and international television broadcasts (HBO, PBS, Sundance, BBC) and theatrical release.
Narrative Jurors

Jen Richards is a writer & actress, as well as a consultant & advocate. She is the Co-Writer/Star/Producer of the series Her Story, which was nominated for an Emmy and won Gotham and Peabody awards; Co-Producer of the documentary More Than T (Showtime) and Writer of its accompanying Trans 102 series (Refinery 29); a 2016 Outfest Screenwriting Fellow for her feature script Any Given Week; and can be seen in CBS’s Doubt, CMT’s Nashville, FX’s Better Things, Seeso's Take My Wife, the film Easy Living, and Two Sentence Horror Stories (Stage 13). Jen was a series regular on E!’s I Am Cait, featured in Logo’s Beautiful As I Want To Be and AOL’s True Trans with Laura Jane Grace, covered live events for Logo, has appeared in several videos for BuzzFeed, OWN, and After Ellen, and countless podcasts and YouTube shows. She is a columnist for NewNowNext, has published essays on multiple platforms, and wrote the 2015 Sep/Oct cover story “What Trans Movement?” for The Advocate.

Kristian Salinas is the Artistic Director of QFest: Houston’s International LGBTQ Film Festival.  Kristian’s involvement with QFest dates back to 1996, when he served on the Festival’s first Advisory Committee. An alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin's RTF program, Kristian has been involved in nearly every facet within the arts and entertainment industry. During his time in Austin, Kristian co-founded (along with Jon Ausbrooks, Heyd Fontenot, Katie Cokinos, Luke Savisky, Kris DeForest, and Shauna Cross) experimental film co-op in*situ, and served as a programming intern for Nancy Shafer at SXSW. In Houston, Kristian was the Artistic Director of Rice Cinema, and currently serves as a member of the Film Committee at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He has also worked for Landmark Theatres, Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP), Reinhart Marketing, and The Angelika Film Center. While in Los Angeles, Kristian was the Senior Programmer at Outfest 2003: The 21st Annual Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. He later served as a Publicist for AFI Fest, was the founding staffer of The Queer Lounge, an event space dedicated to providing a showcase for LGBTQ films and filmmakers featured at The Sundance Film Festival. Kristian was also a Marketing Manager for Crew Creative, overseeing accounts as diverse as Paramount and Nickelodeon.

In addition to his involvement with QFest, he is currently a Senior Publicist for Allied Integrated Marketing covering the Houston, San Antonio, and Rio Grande Valley region on behalf of clients including 20th Century Fox, Screen Gems, The Weinstein Company, Screen Gems, and STXFilms, and also specializes in Hispanic, Urban, and LGBTQ outreach.








Short Film Jurors

District 6 Austin City Council Member Jimmy Flannigan was sworn in on January 6, 2017. He first moved to Austin to attend UT, where he launched a web development firm. His small business experience led him to a lifetime of advocacy – first as president of the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and regional chair of the national LGBT chamber, and now, as an Austin City Council Member. One of his first acts in office was to sponsor the resolution to create the city’s first LGBTQ Quality of Life Advisory Commission. His office has also been instrumental in creating the Stonewall Employee Empowerment Network (SEEN), the city’s first LGBTQ employee affinity group.

Council Member Flannigan lives in District 6 with his partner Zach and their rescue dog, Harvey Milkbone. As an elected official, he brings his unique perspective, commitmented to results over partisan politics.

John Livingston is honored to return to aGLIFF as a juror. He first joined the organization in 2007 as a volunteer programmer. The next year, he joined their Board of Directors and served as president for the 24th annual festival. John has been to film festivals all over the country, produced a short film and even played the antagonist in a feature-length "splatter-gore rock opera." He grew up in Austin and went to the University of Texas. If you want to catch up with him, it's easy to find him on the hillside at Barton Springs or a coffee shop downtown.

Jeremy Teel is an artist/activist originally from Dallas, TX where his passions for music, dance and other performance art began. While studying music and business as a young student, he decided to move to Austin to pursue a career in sexual health and activism for people living with HIV. Since then he has co-founded several organizations focused on people of color in LGBTQ communities, including Austin Black Pride and The Woodard Circle. He continues to give back to the community in his efforts toward equitable social justice reform and positive self-expression empowerment. His passion for art and music are still very active in his life as a photographer and composer, he continues to play with expression and help empower others to do the same.

Brighid Wheeler has been a willing slave to the film festival world for most of her adult life. Having run the gamut from volunteer to Head Lesbian In Charge (AKA Festival Coordinator), she currently serves as the Shorts Programmer for the Indie Memphis Film Festival, a role that embraces her love of the short form and the power it has to transform lives. Brighid has served on countless juries at festivals across the country, but considers being a part of this singular LGBT jury one of the greatest honors in her career.