Our Judges are amongst the most renowned in film and we are delighted to have such a stellar cast on board.
Jack Garfein, arrived in New York as a Holocaust refugee at the age of 17, and soon after, was a protégé of German theater innovator, Erwin Piscator. He joined The Actors Studio as the first director voted in, and by age 23, directed his first Broadway play. He has directed, written, produced, and taught ever since.
Based in Paris, where he teaches at the Garfein Studio, he also gives Master Classes at the University of the Arts London, and the Actors Studio, NY and LA. Jack has lectured at Harvard, UCLA and NYU and was as Associate Professor of Cinema at the University of Southern California. He is the founder of the Actors Studio, West, Actors and Directors Lab (NY/LA) and created both the Harold Clurman and Samuel Beckett Theaters on Theater Row.
Among the actors who have gotten their professional starts from Jack are: Steve McQueen, George Peppard, Bruce Dern, and others he’s directed: James Dean, Uta Hagen, Shelley Winters, Susan Strasberg, and Jessica Tandy.
Among his students, are the actresses Sissy Spacek and Juliette Binoche and directors and screenwriters Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver), Tom Shulman (Dead Poets Society), director Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner).
His directing credits include The Strange One, Something Wild and A Journey Back.
Declan Cassidy is a multi-award winning Irish film maker specialising in short films. With a background in documentary, his 2008 Irish Film Board funded short “Whatever Turns You On” was his first venture into drama and a global success. It scooped ten international awards, screened at over 100 festivals and on tv channels in 14 countries. The film qualified for Oscar consideration when it won the prestigious Aspen Shortsfest.
Cassidy has worked extensively in television and short film writing and directing. His short films – several which are award winners – are on school curricula in a number of countries and on several airline in-flight entertainment programmes. He lectures in digital short film making in Lithuania’s Vytautas Magnus University.
Jason O’Mahony has worked in the film industry for more than a decade.
Having graduated college, he relocated to California where he headed up the publicity efforts of the San Francisco Film Festival, the longest running film festival in North America before moving onto the Sundance Institute, where he played an integral part in the publicity efforts surrounding Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival.
Jason returned to Ireland to run the Kerry Film Festival and instigated The Maureen O’ Hara Award. Award recipients include Oscar winning actresses Juliette Binoche and Brenda Fricker and award winning director Rebecca Miller. Most recently he took up the post of Director at the newly formed Cork film Commission. He is currently working on a feature length screenplay.
Raelene Casey has been programming short film programmes for over a decade now. She is the International Short Film Programmer for the Cork Film Festival.
She has worked for Cork Film Festival in one capacity or another for over ten years. Her experience also includes working in the Dublin International Film Festival, the Belfast Film Festival, The Light House Cinema, the Hamburg Short Film Festival, and the Commonwealth Film Festival in Manchester.
She currently works in the Irish Film Programming department of the Irish Film Institute.