Judges 2024

Judges 2024

Judges agree to our professional standards policy in order to select the best films.

We’re honored to introduce you to the judges for IMFF 2024. Judges volunteered their time and expertise to rate each work and select the winners.

All winners will be announced during the Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 28th.


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Mark Hadlow | Film & Television Actor | New Zealand – JUDGE: FEATURE FILM COMPETITION

Mark is a multi-talented actor, writer, director, producer and singer who we all came to know and love as the dwarf Dori in Peter Jackson’s trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit. In 2018/19, along with his Hobbit co-star Jed Brophy, Mark starred in “Blue Moon,” a feature film shot entirely on an iPhone in New Zealand by Stef Harris. “Blue Moon” won the 2019 Best Film Award in the Global Mobile Film AwardsTM. Mark is one of New Zealand’s most prominent actors and entertainers, having performed in 130 plays, musical theatre, dozens of film appearances, television series, commercials and radio voice-overs in the thousands.

“The Hobbit” was Mark’s third Peter Jackson movie. In “Meet the Feebles” he played the voices of Heidi the Hippo and Robert the Hedgehog, and sang many of the songs. “King Kong” saw him performing the role of Harry in the vaudeville scenes opposite Naomi Watts and Bill Johnson.

Hadlow is renowned for his singing voice and has appeared in many musicals and concerts, with his all time favorite being “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Mark has been nominated for and won several awards, including Best Supporting Actor in a Television Comedy in a Television series “Willy Nilly,” playing the role of the challenged brother Harry in a three-season top rated sitcom. He won Best Theatrical performance of the Year in 1993 for the hugely successful one-man show “SNAG”, and ultimately went on to win Entertainer of the Year in 1995. He won Best Voice Over Artist in the Radio New Zealand Awards 2010. Mark is also a master narrator, his most recent work being narrator of the enchanting short film ‘The Story of Percival Pilts’ by Janette Goodey & John Lewis. He has also released an audio CD called “Tall Tales,” a collection of classic children’s stories.

IMDb | Instagram

Jennifer Zhang | Writer, Actor & Director | Los Angeles, CaliforniaJUDGE: FEATURE FILM COMPETITION

Jennifer Zhang is an Asian American screenwriter and filmmaker whose debut feature The Evil Inside sold worldwide after a successful festival run where the film picked up “Best Narrative Feature” and “Best Screenplay” awards. Her recent feature film Charon — shot entirely under Covid lockdown — garnered nearly a dozen festival wins, international buzz, and has recently been picked up for distribution by Summer Hill Entertainment.

She is currently in active development and production on a number of independent features and shorts, among which are “Fetish” directed by Rhian Williams, “Autopilot” to which rising stars cinematographer Daphne Wu and lead actress Gina Su are attached, and the forthcoming supernatural thriller Angela. She is represented by Larry Robinson, president of Los Angeles/UK-based international management company, Avatar Entertainment. Photo: McCall Jones

It’s such an honor to be a judge for a competition that is decidedly on the cutting edge, with contestants that are way ahead of the curve when it comes to the future of storytelling. I can’t wait to watch these films!

IMDb | Instagram

Caroline Spence | Actor, Producer & Screenwriter | United KingdomJUDGE: FEATURE FILM COMPETITION

Caroline is an actor, television presenter (ITV), producer, and prolific screenwriter with a slate of original feature films under her belt. She is also a published writer with features in THE GUARDIAN, GEOGRAPHICAL MAGAZINE, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, BBC WILDLIFE, and THE LADY.

Her screenplays have received high praise from established companies in London and Hollywood. She has also been commissioned to write screenplays for clients from across the globe, including those from Louisiana, Texas, Hong Kong, Canada, and Australia.

Through traditional, indie low/micro-budget, and crowdfunding financing models, Caroline has been instrumental in devising grassroots regional documentary and film projects in the UK and then launching them into the international marketplace. These projects have a strong environmentally sustainable focus to reduce carbon footprints and maximize production efficiency. Her films have won awards and received official selections at many festivals and have provided unique opportunities for talented people from many diverse backgrounds in the UK and internationally.
IMDb | Website

Levi Austin Morris | Writer, Actor & Director | Los Angeles, CaliforniaJUDGE: FEATURE FILM COMPETITION

Levi Austin Morris is a queer actor, director, writer, and independent filmmaker located in Los Angeles, California. His most recent feature film, PARALYSIS, was filmed on two iphones at the end of Covid lockdown and has appeared in fifteen film festivals, taking home ten awards. A reviewer from Film Threat stated: “Morris proves that a good movie can be made with a little money and a lot of effort without the need for expensive bells and whistles.”

Levi appears next in the upcoming Wallybird Productions independent feature, EASTER BLOODY EASTER being distributed by Gravitas Ventures on Amazon in March 2024. He is currently in pre-production for his next feature, a dark comedy about marriage, murder, and Minnesota. Levi is a passionate storyteller and believes that artists should not wait for gatekeepers to give permission: create and tell the stories you want to tell. Do it now!

Levi Austin Morris is attending IMFF 2024 in person. Get Tickets. Space is limited.

IMDb | Instagram

Jed Brophy |Actor | New Zealand – JUDGE: SHORT FILM COMPETITION

Jed is an actor from New Zealand with a long association with fantasy entertainment. During the 90s he appeared in episodes of “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and “Xena: Warrior Princess,” as well as the films “Dead Alive” and “Heavenly Creatures,” both directed by a relatively unknown director at the time, Peter Jackson.

Jackson later cast Jed in several parts in “The Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Two Towers,” and tapped him with the starring role of Nori in his epic adaptation of “The Hobbit.” Jed has also had roles in other well known genre projects including “King Kong,” “District 9,” “Legend of the Seeker” (on which fellow LockDownCon speaker André Bormanis was the supervising producer), and “The Shannara Chronicles.”

In 2019, Jed co-starred along fellow Hobbit actor Mark Hadlow in “Blue Moon,” a feature film directed by Stef Harris. It was shot entirely on an iPhone in New Zealand. Most recently his acting roles include the 2022 series “The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power” on Amazon Prime.

Jed Brophy attended IMFF 2023 in San Diego, California.

IMDb | Website

Michael Koerbel | Producer & Director| Los Angeles, California – JUDGE: SHORT FILM COMPETITION

Michael Koerbel grew up in the Midwest, and was homeschooled for most of his formative years. The oldest of four siblings, his extra dry sense of humor was largely misunderstood by his family, and resulted in him trekking to Los Angeles in search of meaning. Once he discovered directing as a storytelling medium at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, the rest was history. After receiving his MFA, he began directing commercials for major brands such as ESPN, Chrysler, GE, The Home Depot, Royal Caribbean, and Hotels.com, all while simultaneously developing narrative pathways.

Known as a pioneer in iPhone filmmaking (he shot the first short film “Apple of My Eye” on an iPhone 4), he has spoken at Apple, The Academy of Arts and Sciences, SAG, the DGA, TEDx, and SXSW.

Given the success of the iPhone film, he later filmed a ten episode web-series (Goldilocks) on that same iPhone, becoming the first to distribute content through an iPhone app, garnishing over one hundred articles. Michael’s directing style and creative storytelling ideas excite talent, clients, and audiences worldwide.
Michael Koerbel brings a unique vision to each project, and has been featured by Adweek, Apple, Creativity, SHOOT magazine, the New York Times, CNN, The Guardian, PBS, NPR, and USA Today.

IMDb | Website

Jeremy Gladen | Actor | Los Angeles, California – JUDGE: SHORT FILM COMPETITION

With 20+ years in the industry as an actor and creative in the showbiz space, Jeremy is thrilled to be joining his first ever panel as a film festival judge and to support IMFF. He can’t wait to see the stories told and the art that’s shared right from the palm of everyone’s hand. So cool!

Jeremy Gladen is attending IMFF 2024 in person. Get Tickets. Space is limited.

IMDb | Website

Jack Lugar | Writer, Director & Producer| Fishers, Indiana – JUDGE: SHORT FILM COMPETITION

Jack Lugar spent more than a decade working as a television writer and producer in Los Angeles prior to relocating back to his hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. He is credited for the sitcom Wanda at Large from Warner Bros./FOX; From the Top for Family Theater Productions; Several projects under comedian Louie Anderson’s company, Louzell Productions, the Katz Pajamas middle-grade book series, the Sessi Nilsson young-adult book series, and most recently his feature film This Train which premiered at the Heartland International Film Festival in Indianapolis and the Golden State Film Festival at the historic Chinese Theatres.

He holds the distinction of being selected to the Warner Bros. Comedy Workshop and has received recognitions from the Disney/ABC Writer’s Program, Slamdance, Scriptapalooza, and the PAGE Awards. Jack has also been a panelist and jury member for the Heartland International Film Festival, Indy Shorts, and International Mobile Film Festival. He joined the full-time faculty at Anderson University in the fall of 2016 and teaches screenwriting, storytelling, cinema studies, directing, and producing for film and television.

IMDb | Website

Ross Perkins | Film and Theater Actor & Filmmaker | New York City, New York – JUDGE: SHORT FILM COMPETITION & SMARTPHONE PHOTO CONTEST

Ross Perkins studied acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in Los Angeles and has since appeared any multiple feature, short film and theatre productions.

Ross graduated from the University of New England earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre Studies and Communications. Ross then continued to study acting at “The Method Studio” in London. Upon arriving back in Sydney, he has worked on feature film projects such as “Hacksaw Ridge” “Teenage Kicks” “Ruben Guthrie,” and multiple independent feature films. He has also appeared in numerous short films and theatre productions such a “Equus” “To Kill a Mocking Bird”, “Romeo and Juliet.” And his first feature film “MAD HOUSE” he wrote and directed.


Ant Pruitt | Tech Professional, Photographer, Content Creator & Podcast Host – JUDGE: SHORT FILM COMPETITION

“I am a freelance digital content creator focusing on photography and videography.”

Ant Pruitt has been a supporter of mobile filmmakers and photographers, and a judge for the short film competition for a few years We are truly honored he’s back in 2024.

IMDb | Website

Judges for the 13th edition of International Mobile Film Festival

Mark Hadlow | Jennifer Zhang | Caroline Spence | Levi Austin Morris | Jed Brophy | Michael Koerbel | Jeremy Gladen | Jack Lugar | Ross Perkins | Ant Pruitt

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