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Eric Michael Kochmer

WMMINTL Co-Founder & Executive Director

Kochmer is an writer/director/producer with a background in experimental theater and experimental film, mentoring under Elizabeth Swados at LaMama Theatre while attending Marymount Manhattan College and George Landow/Owen Land shortly after college. Between 2006 and 2012, he appeared in over 40 feature and short films before moving behind the camera. For the next eight years he dove into directing/producing/editing/writing low budget independent feature films and short films. His work encompassed 4 feature films, 10 short films and a series of over 100 segments. Turning into a combination of a creative producer and a line producer, he has consulted now on over 500 films and regularly works as a line producer and creative producer independently and for companies like Stoopid Buddy Stoodios and R&R Media. 

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Whit Spurgeon

WMMINTL Co-Founder & Programming Director

Whit Spurgeon is an actor, director and producer. Prior to moving to LA in 2009, he spent 20 years in Chicago acting in award-winning plays such as the long-running "Hizzoner" at Prop Theatre, the world premieres of Rebecca Gilman's "The Glory of Living" and "The Crime of the Century" at Circle Theatre, "Awake and Sing!" and “Paradise Lost” at Timeline Theatre. While in Chicago he also appeared in over two dozen TV commercials for clients like Verizon, Citgo, and Pick 'n Save Supermarkets. Since arriving in Los Angeles, his TV appearances include Fresh Off the Boat, Liza On Demand, Cougar Town, and, most recently, To Tell The Truth. He also has featured roles in numerous films, among them the cult horror favorites VICTOR CROWLEY and CHASTITY BITES. When Whit gets the urge, he’s been known to direct a short film here and there – most notably festival favorites PRESENT TENSE, THE INTERVIEW, and the award-winning THUMP.



Festival Coordinator & Liaison

Allyson is an actor, producer and writer. Her first role was a lead in Troma’s “Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead”. Her chicken monster experience inspired her to move from New York to Los Angeles and since, she’s performed on stage and appeared in and worked on more than 40 feature and short films. Allyson is a dedicated advocate to her creative partners in all facets of the movie making process. 

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Submissions Judge (Web Series / TV Pilots)

Iowa native Kincaid Walker is an award-winning series creator/actress/producer/writer. Her series about a professional cuddler Hug It Out won awards and played at festivals all across the country, including SeriesFest, Austin Film Festival and Atlanta Film Festival. Her digital pilot The Grown-Up Mermaid (co-written and produced with her husband, Jason Eksuzian) made the virtual and live festival rounds last year. She was also one-half of the DINKS (dual-income-no-kids) in the viral comedy web series. As an actress, Kincaid has also guest-starred or recurred on series such as Parks and Recreation, Speechless (on ABC with Minnie Driver), My Name is Earl, Gilmore Girls, and Castle, and she has appeared in over two dozen national commercials with directors like Ron Howard, Bob Odenkirk, and Phil Morrison. She earned her magna cum laude degree from Northwestern University in Theatre and is currently looking forward to making the feature film Starseed with her husband in Iowa next year.

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Director of the WMMINTL Short Screenplay Competition

Michael Klug was born and raised in South Dakota and currently calls Los Angeles home.  A theatrically trained actor, he’s also a screenwriter, filmmaker and film critic.  His screenplays have been selected for, placed in or won close to fifty film festivals and screenplay competitions. His feature spec "Mom Died" was the Horror Genre Winner at 2019's Creative Screenwriting Unique Voices, and his feature specs "Boys" and “Spider Eaters” were both Top Five Finalists at Screamfest.  In 2022, the Tubi Original feature film DEAD ZONE starring Michael Jai White and Jeff Fahey (on which Michael was one of the writers) was released.  He also operates his own script consulting service, Klugula Screenplay Consulting.  In 2021, he wrapped production in the lead role of Monte Light's BLOOD COVERED CHOCOLATE, an indie horror film released in spring 2023.  In the fall of 2023, he completed his first novel, What the House Saw.  For any and all information on Michael, visit his website at

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Steve Newman

Submissions Judge

Steve is from Pittsburgh. And Chicago. There's a bit of Boston in him too. He doesn't have a ton of film work to include in a bio so instead he likes to talk about Star Wars, literature, and pizza. Pizza without pineapple that is. If you try to talk to him about putting pineapple on pizza he won't be responsible for what happens next.


David Beatty

Submissions Judge

David Beatty is known for his work on The Wasteland, GET SPY, Lien On Me and his feature film, Surviving New Year's. David is a multidisciplinary artist who works in film, TV, theater, online media, photography, ceramics and more. He embraces DIY creativity and DIY entertainment, and believes artists have the responsibility to provoke positive change in the world. He’s drawn to matters of the environment, sustainability, human rights, feminism, global responsibility and the simple philosophy that forgiveness, love and understanding will make the world a better place. He lives in Los Angeles and you can learn more about his work at his website:

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Marcus J Freed

Submissions Judge

Marcus J Freed is an actor, author, educator and filmmaker. He trained at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and has toured 20 countries performing his one-man Biblical comic plays. His music videos include Livin’ La Vida Kosher and The Hebrew Hamilton, and his films include Love & Consent. Marcus writes the popular “Satirical Semite” column for the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, and also wrote a trilogy of award-winning bestseller books including The Kosher Sutras and The Kabbalah Sutras. They are based on a teaching system he created that infuses yoga with Biblical and mystical wisdom. Marcus has been a member of the We Make Movies community since 2017. You can follow his adventures at www.marcusjfreed and on social @marcusjfreed.

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Submissions Judge

Yu Jung Hou was born and raised in Taiwan. She grew up a self-conscious girl who escaped into the world of novels and manga, giving her the perfect storytelling roots for her present-day career. During her three years at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Yu Jung developed a reputation as an editor/director. One of the films she worked on, Drone, was a Student Academy Award finalist in 2015. Her directorial debut, FaFu, received the nod from multiple festivals. She has since worked on some of America's favorite shows and movies, such as THE MANDALORIAN and SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. In light of how movies and shows have entertained as well as saved and transformed her, Yu Jung is dedicated to creating narratives that convey the world in a unique light that reveals itself once you give it a chance.  Her favorite animal is the capybara and her favorite animated movie is My Neighbor Totoro.

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Submissions Judge (Sci-fi / Fantasy)

Peter McCully is a writer, director, producer and lecturer living in Auckland, New Zealand. Peter worked in visual effects for the film industry for over 25 years, running visual effects company

Albedo VFX, overseeing work for numerous feature films, television films and series, and he has several awards and nominations to show for it. He directed the NZFC funded short film Eeling (2009),  and wrote and directed the short film The Gully. He was associate producer of the telefeature “Jean” (2016), and on “Kiwi Christmas” (2017). Peter’s visual effects work for “Jean” earned him a New York Festivals Silver Medal. His first short film with Media Design School, “Kino Ratten,” was selected by several international film festivals in 2020, winning seven awards including Palm Springs Animation Festival, Irvine International Film Festival, and Best Film at the 2020 We Make Movies International Film Festival, as well as nominations for screenwriting.



Submissions Judge (Comedy)

Anna Keizer originally hails from the Chicagoland area but now calls LA home. After receiving her B.A. in Film/Video from Columbia College Chicago, she moved to California and finished her M.A. in Film Studies from Chapman University. She has also graduated from UCLA’s Writing for

Television Professional Program and just finished the festival circuit on her dark comedy short She Had It Coming, which she wrote and executive produced. The film was an Official Selection of 25 film festivals with several awards won for it among them. In her spare time, Anna cohosts the podcast ‘80s Movie Montage with her husband, Derek.


Sharon A. Mooney

Submissions Judge (Experimental)

Sharon A. Mooney is a filmmaker and editor working in experimental and narrative modes focused on investigating desire and the human condition. Her short films and installations have screened internationally in festivals and galleries. Her editing work ranges from experimental narrative, to drama, to horror, to comedy, to a tv kids show, to whatever it takes to keep her from being bored. She watches an excessive amount of tv but says it's for "work." 



Submissions Judge

Gabriela, born and raised in Dothan, Alabama, landed her first role as Carlita in the ABC Family movie, Teen Spirit, now on Disney+. Since, she can be seen in UPtv's movie Coffee Shop alongside Laura Vandervoort, Disney's Million Dollar Arm, and plays Lizbeth, the best friend of Cassie Sullivan (Chloe Grace Moretz) in Sony’s The 5th Wave. Additional acting credits include: iCarly, Rosewood, Casual, The Browsing Effect. Gabriela also wrote, starred and produced award- winning short film, Unrelated. She is set to star in the film Skate God, alongside Evan Ross and Chloe Bridges, and is currently producing and starring in feature film Better Get Lit with Academy Award winner Sam Rockwell. Set to release this year: Gabriela produced and starred in Divine Air with Josh Pafchek (Love, Victor) and is starring in an indie feature directed by Noam Kroll, as she also just wrapped season one of her recurring role on Disney+ The Crossover. In addition to acting, Gabriela is in the Directing Certificate program at UCLA and owns glö acting studio.

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Awards Judge

Betty Kaplan is an actor, a do-it-all-yourself filmmaker and a member of the Kino movement (founded in Canada in 1999, the community now has about 70 cells around the world). After years in the NYC independent theatre scene and acting in indie film productions around Europe and in Israel, she is now based in Berlin, creating unconventional short films with her international multilingual crew. Her short film A Youtuber and a Demon screened to enthusiastic approval at We Make Movies International Film Festival in 2021, and has received recognition in other festivals and competitions around the world. Betty is excited to connect We Make Movies with like-minded creatives from across the ocean.

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Awards Judge

Selena Leoni is an accomplished transnational producer and executive with 10+ years of experience in film, television, and multimedia. With a unique perspective shaped by her upbringing in Italy and China, Selena possesses an unparalleled understanding of globalized storytelling. She has an exceptional track record in spearheading diverse projects across genres and platforms. Selena's projects have reached esteemed platforms like HBO Max, STARZ, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV, earning accolades at renowned Academy Award-qualifying festivals. As a member of BAFTA Newcomers and a Producer fellow in Film Independent's Project Involve, she champions social inclusion and amplifies historically marginalized voices in the industry.


Stephanie sanditz

Awards Judge

Stephanie is a writer/actor/filmmaker from Broken Heart, Missouri, the subject of her feature film that won a Tribeca Film Festival Award for New Voices in Screenwriting. She has adapted over 12 books and comics to features for studios, including Heathen, a 60-million dollar Lesbian-Viking Epic based on the Vault Comic with Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) directing. Her female boxing feature, Perfect Addiction, written for Constantin Films and Endeavor Content, released this spring at #1 on Amazon Worldwide. She just finished the Civil War petticoat soldier film My Last Skirt, the buddy comedyTalking Tom with Raja Gosnell (Smurfs) directing, and optioned the comedy Dance Party to AGC Studios, with Queen Latifah starring. She is currently developing the features Eve:The Escape From Eden with DiNovi Pictures (Heathers) and Margaret French-Isaac (Pirates of the Carribean), Hellwood with Carsten Lorenz (Independence Day), and Best Seller with Richard Wenk (Equalizer). In TV, Stephanie sold her original comedy Pyramid to FX w/Rob McElhenney (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as EP, and sold a pitch to Mila Kunis & ABC Signature. She then wrote, starred in and produced the autobiographical pilot The High Life, starring opposite Amy Landecker, winning multiple awards at festivals. Stephanie wrote, produced and showran the series Chat. Like. Love. for Dreamworks' AwesomenessTV, and just optioned her series SHOW ME STATES. As an actress, she has performed in many series and films, including co-starring in Amazon's 37 Problems and the recent Universal feature The List. 



Awards Judge

Jared Boghosian is an actor and filmmaker originally from Maine, but has made LA his home. He’s made appearances in mainstream shows such as Jane the Virgin, SWAT, and Powerless and films like The Witch Files, MOON, Forget Me Again, and The Channel. His hobbies include film photography and logging films on Letterboxd. He’s “jaredboghosian” on nearly every social platform.

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