jury committee 

John Gibson

John Gibson is one of the leading diversity, equity, and inclusion change agents in the country. In 2012, he established the Motion Picture Association’s DE&I program – working simultaneously to promote and highlight the association and its member studios’ multicultural initiatives, while also managing the MPA’s partnerships with national civil rights and multicultural groups as part of the association’s outreach to leading third party organizations.  

 

Since creating the MPA’s Inclusion and Multicultural Outreach Program, John has cultivated key partnerships with over 40 leading organizations such as the American Black Film Festival, Georgia Latino Film Festival, New York Latino Film Festival and the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program, of whose advisory boards he serves on; the National Urban League, serving on its Urban Solutions Council; National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Women in Film and ReFRAME, Center for Asian American Media, Urban World Film Festival and many other groups working tirelessly to promote gender equality and diversity, inclusion and ‘authentic’ cultural representation in film and television. 

 

Prior to his work at the MPA, John advised the chief executives of an international private real estate investment management firm and two high-profile international corporate law firms. Earlier in his career, Gibson was a Clinton Administration appointee at the U.S. Department of Agriculture where he advised then-Secretary Dan Glickman on executive operations, employee relations and civil rights outreach while simultaneously serving on the USDA/1890s Task Force – the department’s partnership with the “land grant” Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  He previously also worked as a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA).

Chantal Kassarjian

Chantal Kassarjian is a Lebanese motion designer and animator of Armenian descent, based in Brooklyn, New York. Her cultural heritage is intricately woven into her multifaceted artistic practice and the polemic subjects she chooses to tackle. She holds a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the American University of Beirut, and an M.F.A. in Digital Animation from Pratt Institute. Since 2019, she has been working as a Motion Graphics Artist for Walt Disney Television, designing and animating graphics for their ABC News shows.


Her independent work has gained critical acclaim in the international film festival circuit. Her award-winning animated short “Recipe in Exile” has traveled the world with over twenty screenings worldwide and numerous journalistic accolades along the way. Her work embodies her playful artistic process and conveys her love for illustration, typography, photomontage, and motion arts. Whether exhibited on a screen, in an upscale Tribeca gallery, or on the Brooklyn sidewalks as street art, she uses her art to create compelling visual experiences and tell stories that matter.

Alex Parks

Alex is a producer by trade, working at the intersection of production and technology in everything from commercial to live to streaming content for 10+ years. After a stint as a post executive at Netflix, he now lends that expertise to strategy & operations work for Netflix’s global studio.

Satinder Kaur

U.S. Army veteran, Satinder Kaur is a writer and director. Her short film Blood and Glory, which centers on the friendship between two female veterans, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and won the Grand Prize in Women in Media CAMERAderie initiative. Her work has premiered on PBS, other regional TV stations, and across film festivals globally. She loves to tell stories about ordinary women doing extraordinary things. Kaur is a fellow of the Writers Guild Foundation’s Veterans Writing Project and received her MFA in film from USC School of Cinematic Arts. Currently, she’s a screenwriter in the Universal Writers Program.

Amanda Thompson-Crockwell

Amanda started her career journey after graduating from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. She gained a position as a Line Producer’s Assistant where she learned the ins & outs of Production. After a few years, she left the freelance world and landed at The Walt Disney Company in the Short Form Production department. She transitioned into development and landed at BlueCat Screenplay and then Safehouse Productions. She then joined NBC Universal in the Diversity and Inclusion department where she develops unrepresented writers and directors.

Medha Jaishankar

Medha Jaishankar is a producer based in Los Angeles. She began her career in New York where she worked in the camera and electrical departments for several feature films. She later served as a researcher, editor, camera operator, and reporter for the BBC film review program ‘Talking Movies’. Returning to India, Medha consulted Indian corporations on their domestic and international media and entertainment ventures (including Reliance Entertainment and the Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab). She also served as the director and executive producer of the music documentary series “The ABSOLUT blueFROG Diaries”. Medha now works as the Creative Director of JetSynthesys, a digital media, and entertainment company.