All complete, eligible films will be submitted to our judges for evaluation. Films will be judged on creativity, originality, technical quality, and adherence to this year’s theme. There is no set rubric; judges will weigh these attributes at their own discretion.

2015 Judges

Barry KatzBarry Katz

Barry Katz is a legendary comedy manager and producer. Known for launching the careers of Dave Chappelle, Louis CK, Dane Cook, Tracy Morgan, and Whitney Cummings, among others, Katz has executive produced over 50 different TV specials, documentaries, reality programs, and scripted shows including NBC’s Whitney, Fox’s Action, HBO’s Tourgasm, and 7 seasons of the Emmy-nominated Last Comic Standing.


LaurenLauren Craniotes

Lauren Craniotes is a veteran Hollywood Producer and accomplished film executive. She formerly worked at Warner Bros and is also a producer of independent film. Currently, Lauren is the Vice President of Production at Sony Stage 6.


Tim MinearTim Minear

Tim Minear is a veteran television writer, producer, and director. His credits include executive producing Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse alongside Joss Whedon, showrunning the acclaimed series Terriers, Wonderfalls, and Drive, and writing for The X-Files, Lois & Clark, and Zorro. He currently serves as executive producer on American Horror Story.


Tricia SmallTricia Small

Tricia Small is a veteran Hollywood Producer and Actress. Currently she acts as the Executive Producer for the Fantasy/Drama show on WGN, Salem.



Peter KlugePeter Kluge

Peter Kluge is a veteran talent manager, producer, and President of Impact Artists Group. He was also an accomplished actor and was co-founder and CEO of GKS Entertainment, the Los Angeles music mastering & recording facility. Kluge has developed the careers of Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Peter Parros, Matthew Florida, Victor Webster, Catherine Kresge, Alicia Ziegler, and Erin Allin O’Reilly, among others.


zs7Doka_Sharif Matar

Winner of the 2014 Collaboration Filmmakers Challenge for his short film, “Room 206,” Sharif Matar is a director, producer, and writer whose work has garnered attention and shown in major news media and numerous film festivals including Cannes. He currently produces long and short form documentaries that cover issues of science, education, and foreign policy.


2014 Judges

Peter BaxterPeter Baxter

Peter Baxter is President and co-founder of Slamdance and a filmmaker. Slamdance, a showcase for emerging independent talent, counts among its alumni Christopher Nolan, Marc Forster, Jared Hess and Oren Peli, all of whom first gained notice there. Since its inception, he has been responsible for developing and managing all areas of Slamdance.


Jason-GoldbergJason Goldberg

Jason Goldberg is, along with Ashton Kutcher, the President and co-founder of Katalyst Films. As head of Katalyst, he has created and produced films and TV shows including Punk’d, Beauty and the Geek, and The Butterfly Effect. He is also the head of the Katalyst Network, one of the top showcases for emerging directors and talent in the digital media space.


Andrew WilsonAndrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson is a producer and talent manager for Zero Gravity. His clients include Clive Barker (Hellraiser, Candyman), Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw franchise). He spent 11 years at Evolution Management and Twisted Pictures before joining Zero Gravity in 2012, where he represents writers and directors.


Andrew WilsonJonathan Smith

Winner of the 2013 CFC with his short film “A Simple Test,” Jonathan Smith is a filmmaker and an improv and sketch comedian. He has written and directed the feature films Breast Picture, which premiered in 2010 at the LA Comedy Festival, and The Worst Year of My Life, premiering at this year’s Dances With Films festival. Jonathan is currently working at Blue Sky Studios on the new Peanuts film for 20th Century Fox.


2013 Judges


Entertainment Weekly Upfront Party Presented By Matrix Men's Kurt Loder

Kurt Loder is a journalist and writer currently writing about movies for Reason Online. He was staff writer and senior editor at Rolling Stone for nine years, where he remains a contributing editor; writer and host of MTV’s The Week In Rock for more than a decade; and movie reviewer for MTV.com.


Matthew_Lillard_2012Matthew Lillard

Matthew Lillard is an American actor, director and producer. He is best known for his roles as Stu Macher in Scream, Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo film series, and his dramatic turn as Brian Speer in Alexander Payne’s critically acclaimed The Descendants.


Melody HammerMelody Hammer

Melody Hammer is a manager and producer who currently heads production at StyleHaul, one of the world’s top digital networks. Prior to that she co-founded management company Adept Entertainment and represented a roster of comedians, actors, writers, and web personalities at The Collective.


Bethany OrrBethany Orr

Bethany is an independent filmmaker and actress who won the 2012 CFC. Her short films have won praise from Werner Herzog and King of Queens creator Michael J. Weithorn, among others. She is from Colorado and used to sing in a punk band.