LAAF 2019 Judges Biographies

  • Liz Blazer is an author, award-wining filmmaker, and educator who has worked at Disney, Cartoon Network and MTV and on Palestinian/Israeli Sesame Street. Her popular book “Animated Storytelling,” is now in its second edition. She is currently an Assistant Professor at The Pratt Institute.
  • David Fain is an independent filmmaker and former SpongeBob writer who currently makes his living editing animatics for television animation.
  • Tom Knott is an animation producer, recruiter and production manager whose credits include ParaNorman, Coraline, The Little Prince and Looney Tunes: Back in Action. He was also a previous director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.
  • Maya Erdelyi  is a 2012 MFA graduate in the CalArts Experimental Animation program who is an award-winning animator/designer and director. She is a native New Yorker currently teaching in Boston.
  • Jared Nigro is a writer (Broken People) and actor (Bitchy Resting Face) who also has served as an organizer of several festivals including LA Shorts and most recently LAAF!
  • Derek Horne is a festival programmer and a distributor whose credits include The Santa Fe Film Festival, the Annapolis Film Festival and last year’s first ever Tampa Animation Festival.
  • Pat Jankiewicz is an award winning genre author and media journalist who has served as a judge at other festivals including Hollywood Horrorfest.