The 2012 YFEP Film Contest Judges!

Jake Gogats and Caitlin Wolper won 1st Place in the National Coalition Against Censorship’s 2011 Youth Free Expression Film Contest. 

Sherman Alexie is a celebrated poet and author whose works frequently draw on his experiences growing up on an Indian reservation in Washington State. His first young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian won the 2007 U.S. National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and his collection of short stories and poems, entitled War Dances, won the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Since it’s publication Absolutely True has been one of the most frequently challenged or banned works of literature. 

Kirby Dick is an award-winning film director, producer, editor and screenwriter who’s work includes the documentary film This Film is Not Yet Rated about MPAA film ratings and The Invisible War, which won Best Documentary at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary. His work is known for being provocative and participatory and deal frequently with hypocrisy, taboo subjects and secrecy.

Tasha Robinson is the national associate editor for The A.V. Club, the arts and entertainment arm of The Onion. Among many other topics, Tasha writes on young adult literature and books, generally. She is also contributor and co-editor of the books The Tenacity of the Cockroach: Conversations With Entertainment’s Most Enduring Outsiders and Inventory: 16 Films Featuring Manic Pixie Dream Girls, 10 Great Songs Nearly Ruined By Saxophone, And 100 More Obsessively Specific Pop-Culture Lists. 

Cecily von Ziegesar, celebrated author, grew up in Manhattan and attended a small, private girls’ school on the Upper East Side. She began writing poems and short stories as soon as she could hold a pen. Gossip Girl was her first novel, which landing on the New York Times Best-Sellers list, as did her young adult book, The It Girl. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, her daughter and son, and two Cornish Rex cats.

Kristen Fitzpatrick is Public Exhibition and Acquisitions Manager at Women Make Movies, an organization which facilitates the production, promotion and distribution of films by and about women. Once a Criminal Justice student, Kristen graduated from the police academy and decided film was her true passion. She is currently on the board of the NewFest, a long-term member of the screening committee for the New York International Asian American Film Festival, and a judge for Student Academy Awards. 

Judges for previous contests have included Judy Blume, Lawrence Blume, Kathy Brew, Ric Burns, Paola di Florio, Oskar Eustis, Nina Felshin, Riley Harmon, Davind Henry Hwang, Joseph Holliday, Sarah Kernochan, Sarah & Emily Kunstler, Tony Kushner, Lucila Moctezuma, Greg Mattola, Andy Musser, Daniel Polin, Alex Rivera, Dread Scott, and Morgan Spurlock.


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