CineYouth Committees and Juries

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CineYouth 2024 Committee & Juries

Cinema/Chicago would like to extend a special thank you everyone who has contributed to CineYouth 2023.

CineYouth Programming Team

headshot: Joey Arnone

Joey Arnone (he/him, 25) graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago in 2021 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications. For two years, he was the editorial assistant for the music magazine Under the Radar. Most recently, he was a programming intern for the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival at FACETS. He is also a musician, and releases music under the moniker Floyd Stapleton.

headshot: Nupur Bosmiya

Nupur Bosmiya (she/they, 22) is currently pursuing a master’s degree in journalism from DePaul University and they are hoping to apply their keen analytical, research, and communication skills to tell moving stories and share insights about various visual media. After working on a year-long dissertation project exploring how Dark Academia and high culture interact, they plan to continue to do research in the field of cultural and film studies. If they aren’t systematically making their way through an art gallery or museum, you can find them tucked comfortably in their bed with a novel.

headshot: Jonah Jack Hall

Jonah Jack Hall (he/him, 23) is one of the CineYouth Programming Interns this year. He studies documentary at the University of Salford in Manchester, England and is currently undertaking an exchange to College Columbia Chicago. Alongside his documentaries Jonah has worked with numerous British based music artists and sports teams capturing both video and photography.

headshot: Charlotte Hensley

Charlotte Hensley (she/her, 17) is a student in the creative writing conservatory at ChiArts and has studied short fiction under Ben Loory, among others. Through her work with Urban Gateways and the Steppenwolf Young Adult Council, she is an advocate for equitable arts access in Chicago. Additionally, she served as the Teen Curator for the Steppenwolf play Sanctuary City. Her experience with film includes seven years of acting in many short films and serving as the Director of Film and Spoken Word at The Incandescent Review, where she ran the 2023 film festival. Her favorite directors include David Lynch, Wim Wenders, and Sofia Coppola.

headshot: Natalie Holley

Natalie Holley (she/her, 27) is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she completed the Film/Television program in 2019. During her time at NYU, Natalie produced numerous student films and participated in internships at Random Acts of Flyness (HBO) and First Wives Club (BET+). At NYU she produced the short film Pure which can be streamed on HBO Max. She hopes to become an independent producer for film, television, and beyond. Born and raised in Chicago, Natalie recently moved back to her hometown after years in Maryland and New York. She considers Milwaukee, Wisconsin to be her second home and is a champion of all stories Black and midwestern.

headshot: Dante Dammit

Dante Dammit (she/they, 23) is currently pursuing a BA in Directing at Columbia College Chicago. Dammit spent most of her childhood as a hermit, drawing gruesome cartoons and watching old horror movies. Quickly her hobbies developed into obsession as Dammit set out to become a filmmaker. Following in the footsteps of some of her favorite filmmakers such as John Waters and Herschell Gordon Lewis, her ambitions led her to make films that celebrated transgression and offbeat themes with a sense of bad taste.

headshot: Bailey Plumley

Bailey Plumley (he/him, 24) graduated with a BFA from Ohio University’s School of Film in 2021, where he made narrative, documentary, and experimental work and contributed to the Athens International Film and Video Festival as a programming assistant. His thesis project inventory premiered at Antimatter Media Art in Victoria, BC in 2021 and subsequently played at festivals throughout the US, including AIFVF and the Oxford Film Festival in Oxford, MS. Bailey is a lifelong Ohioan and a recent arrival to Chicago.

headshot: Spencer Sabath

Spencer Sabath (he/him, 19) is a student filmmaker (and CineYouth alum) pursuing a BFA in film production. He has been involved in the student filmmaking scene for eight years, creating short films, documentaries, and experimental projects featured in international festivals and participating in screening and curation committees for various student film showcases. He is a lifelong Chicagoland resident and is involved in community gun-violence-prevention work, writes on society and media for the College of Lake County’s student-run newspaper, and hosts a new culture and entertainment commentary segment on the school’s radio station. He is a musician, working with various projects to create and perform original music as well as composing scores for his film projects.

headshot: Matt Severino

Matt Severino (he/him, 23) is currently a master’s student at DePaul University studying media and cinema. His main academic interest is the representation of death and mortality in film, and he hopes to focus his thesis work on the intersection of Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz and Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death. He also currently works as a Marketing Production Intern at FACETS, at which his favorite screening was David Cronenberg’s Videodrome presented with the Leather Archives & Museum.

headshot: Ziyi Yuan

Ziyi Yuan (she/he, 23) is pursuing her MFA in Cinema and Television Directing at Columbia College Chicago, building upon her Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Film and TV Literature obtained from Beijing, China. Throughout the last two years, she has delved into a plethora of film projects, including drama short films, comedy shorts, experimental films, documentaries, TV series, and media installations. Her directorial work has been shown in film festivals, achieving Semi-Finalist status in Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival. Driven by a fervent passion for film, she has further honed her skills through internships focused on IP development in LA and assisted with event production and operations at the 59th Chicago International Film Festival.

CineYouth 2024 Advisory Committee

Melika Bass
Associate Professor in Film, Video, New Media and Animation, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Liliane Calfee
Program Director, DePaul + CHA Youth Programs
Instructor, School of Cinematic Arts, DePaul University

Shayna Connelly
Associate Professor in Film and Television Production, DePaul University

Kalisha Cornett
Assistant Professor of Instruction
Undergraduate Academic Advisor for Radio, Television and Film, Northwestern University

Ron Falzone
Associate Professor, Cinema and Television Arts, Columbia College Chicago
Instructor in Comedy Screenwriting, The Second City Film School

Susan Kerns
Associate Provost for Faculty Research and Development and Associate Professor, Cinema and Television Arts, Columbia College Chicago

John Otterbacher
Independent Filmmaker, “Professor O”
Professor, Loyola University, Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, Northwestern University

Jennifer Reeder
Professor, School of Art & Art History, University of Illinois Chicago

Deidre Searcy
Festival Programmer, FACETS

Takashi Shallow
Multi-media Artist, Publisher
Artist Lecturer in Media Arts and Design, University of Chicago

CineYouth Juries

Animation Award

Killian Heilsberg
Adam Laughlin
Eric Steiner

Chicago Award

John Otterbacher
Students of Northwestern University:

  • Maryam Al-Khoori
  • Sienna Cammarota
  • Shane Chung
  • Sam Clayton
  • Julianna Feit
  • Sukwon Jeong
  • Rivers Leche
  • Briana Lim
  • Maddie Morse
  • Lola Selby
  • Sofia Veraza
  • India Walker

Comedy Award

Students/alumni of Second City Film School:

  • Liam Fallows
  • Andrea Zile Bish
  • Sarah Bishop

Documentary Award

Liliane Calfe, DePaul University
Participants of Chicago Housing Authority + DePaul Youth Film Program

Drama Award

Deidre Searcy
Sam Flancher
Salvador Salazar

Experimental Award

Takashi Shallow
Students of North Park University:

  • Sarah Attefall
  • Yunji (Audrey) Kim
  • Hailey Langstaff
  • Sungwon (Ashley) Park
  • Gaeun (Sera) Shin
  • Alva Van Doorn
  • Hannah Wetzel
  • Eunseo Park

International Award

Rachel Rozycki
Students of Columbia College Chicago:

  • Randall Blair
  • Thien Bui
  • Lorena De Leon
  • Andrew Jex
  • Stephane Joseph
  • Fara Rezaeipour
  • Ian Ross
  • Lisa Sosa
  • Maranda Teutsch
  • Ziyi Yuan
  • Linhan Zhang
  • Yajie Zhang
  • Jiamin Zhao

Rising Star Award

The CineYouth Programming Committee

Special Thanks

CineYouth Team

CineYouth Festival Director
Christy LeMaster

Graphic Design 
Bridget Schultz

Poster Design 

CineYouth Trailer
Kaitlin Martin

Web Manager 
Charles Riffenburg

Print Traffic
Chris Tamma

Community Partners

After School Matters
Megasaur Media

Additional Thanks

Associate Board of Cinema/Chicago
Karina Anglada
Joe Bowes
Jonathan Carrera
Ryan Croft
Cassidy Dimon
Nick Edelberg
Sam Flancher
Jack Galobich
Paul Gonter
Mike James
Emily Kaberlein
Anthony Kaufman
Susan Kerns
Matt Lauterbach
Ruth Lednicer
Caden Mika
Kelly O’Sullivan
John Otterbacher
Melania Palomar
Matthew Pozo
Lyn Pusztai
Ryan Saunders
Seth Savoy
Joe Sciarotta
Matt Silcock
Deidre Searcy
Tracey Taylor
Reveca Torres