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The 2019 Tacoma Film Festival Jury

Meet the 2019 TFF Jury October 5 at 4 PM: more details here.



Charles Mudede is a Zimbabwean writer, filmmaker, and cultural critic based in Seattle. He is Associate Editor for The Stranger where he has a regular column. Mudede is the author of several books and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, and Ctheory. He is the writer of Robinson Devor's 2008 film ZOO and is the writer and co-director of POLICE BEAT (2005), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to receive critical acclaim.


KJ Relth is a Los Angeles-based film programmer at UCLA Film & Television Archive, where she co-curates over 100 repertory, experimental, and contemporary international programs each year at the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum, with a mind toward exhibiting underscreened works by female-identifying filmmakers.

She is an adjunct professor at CalArts School of Film/Video, where she teaches Film Today, a course highlighting the hyper-contemporary, worldwide cinema landscape. Relth holds a Master of Arts in Media Studies & Film from The New School.



Sarah Christman is a filmmaker based in New York City who makes non-fiction films that explore the intersections between people, technology, and the natural world. 

Christman’s work has screened widely, including the MoMA Documentary Fortnight, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Filmforum. She received the New Visions Award from the San Francisco International Film Festival for her film DEAR BILL GATES, and Jury Awards from the Ann Arbor Film Festival for her short film BROAD CHANNEL and her feature AS ABOVE, SO BELOW. She is an Associate Professor in the Film Department at Brooklyn College.


Jon-Sesrie Goff is a multidisciplinary artist whose work crosses different mediums and platforms and seamlessly integrates social engagement, film, moving image, performance, photography, and installation. His practice explores the intersection of race, power, identity, gender, and the environment by unearthing the visceral representational value and authenticity behind the images propelled across varying diasporas.

Goff has worked as a producer, cinematographer, and editor on numerous award-winning documentaries pertaining to social justice and anthropology topics such as the history of Senegalese cinema; women’s rights in the Wayanad District of Kerala, India; critical pedagogy; and the American court system, including EVOLUTION OF A CRIMINAL (Independent Lens 2015) and the Sundance-funded OUT IN THE NIGHT (POV 2015). He is passionately committed to the exhibition and preservation of African American independent and amateur film, which in his curatorial practice he uses to contest Hollywood tropes of representation and documentary convention. Jon-Sesrie Goff was the Museum Specialist for Film at the Smithsonian Museum of African American Art and Culture in Washington, D.C., and is currently the Executive Director of The Flaherty, a media arts organization that has produced the annual Flaherty Film Seminar since 1955.



Ben Popp is a Portland-based filmmaker and film programmer for the Northwest Film Center. He is co-founder of the Portland microcinema Grand Detour and the Experimental Film Festival Portland. He is was recently the director and programmer of the long-running Northwest Filmmakers Festival. Popp will also juror the animated short films for the Tacoma Film Festival.


Vivian Hua is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer who worked with Seattle's Northwest Film Forum in various capacities before stepping into her role as Executive Director in October 2018. Hua’s narrative short film, SEARCHING SKIES—which addresses Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States—was released in 2017, after making festival rounds. She is currently writing her next film projects, as well as researching national efforts to preserve cultural space.



Malin Kan has been with the American Film Institute since 2016. In her current role as Programming Manager for AFI Festivals, she programs films and events and manages the programming department for AFI FEST, AFI DOCS and Meet the Press Film Festivals. Her educational background is in film and media studies and moving image archives and she holds degrees from both the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Los Angeles. Her past programming work includes the George Eastman Museum and LA Film Festival.


Alix Lambert is an artist, author, and filmmaker. Her work includes the documentaries THE MARK OF CAIN (nominated for an Independent Spirit Award), BLUE BAYOU, and MENTOR. She writes and produces for television and is the creator of the original series' MOCAtv, CRIME: THE ANIMATED SERIES, and AMBIANCE MAN. Lambert is in post production for her new documentary GOODBYE, FAT LARRY.

As an artist Lambert has exhibited her work to acclaim in The Venice Biennale, The Museum of Modern Art, The Georges Pompidou Center, the Kwangju Biennnale, and others. Lambert is the co-founder and co-artistic director of The Brooklyn International Theater Company. Lambert is the author of four books, Mastering The Melon, The Silencing, Russian Prison Tattoos, and Crime, and has written for a number of magazines including Stop Smiling, ArtForum, The LA Weekly, and Filmmaker Magazine.



A recent NW Film Forum artist in residence and 4Culture grant recipient, Neely Goniodsky's productions include CONCEPTION SERIES SEASON 2 for the New York Times and PEARL for the National Film Board of Canada. Her films have been screened at SIFF, Ottawa International Animation Film Festival, Anifilm, Animafest Zagreb, and Encounters among others. Neely will also juror the animated short films for the Tacoma Film Festival.


Cuban-born, Juan Carlos Zaldívar lives and works in the United States. He completed both his BFA and a Masters of Fine Arts at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he has also taught as an adjunct faculty. He has also taught as full-time faculty at Miami International University’s Institute of Art and Design. He has served as a Juror for several mayor film festivals including the Sundance International Film Festival. He is a Sundance Film Institute alumnus.

Zaldívar started his film career as a sound editor and designer, his work can be heard in Academy Nominated films such as Ang Lee’s SENSE AND SENSIBILITY; ON THE ROPES; and on HBO’s AMERICA UNDERCOVER, for which he garnered an Emmy nomination.His film and video art works have screened at many festivals worldwide and broadcast on PBS, ABC, IFC, Showtime, and WE. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards. His directing credits include 90 MILES (PBS), THE STORY OF THE RED ROSE (Showtime), PALINGENESIS, and SOLDIERS PAY (IFC), co-directed with David O. Russell (THREE KINGS, THE FIGHTER) and Tricia Regan (AUTISM: THE MUSICAL).

All the Tacoma Film Festival awards are decided by a jury composed of filmmakers, critics, and/or industry professionals. Films are placed in competition at the sole discretion of the Tacoma Film Festival.
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