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2023 JURY

The Americas Award for this year's Short Films in Competition in the categories of Animation, Documentary, Experimental, & Fiction will be announced on Thursday, June 22 @ 6PM at the National Museum of the American Indian as part of TAFFNY's Closing Night Ceremony 


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Dr. Ana María Hernández

Director of Spanish Translation & Latin American Studies (LaGuardia Community College)

Ana María Hernández (Ph.D. Comparative Literature, New York University) specializes on interdisciplinary studies in the humanities, and directs the Latin American Studies liberal arts option and the Spanish/English Translation major at LaGuardia College of the City University of New York, where she chaired the Humanities Department for many years. Since 2005, she has been associated with the Cuba Project at the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies (CUNY) where she coordinates talks on Cuban art, film, music and literature. She has co-written and co-administered three awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the development and enrichment of Latin American Studies at LaGuardia, including a website on the African Roots of Latin American Music. Her publications have focused on Julio Cortázar, Horacio Quiroga, Julio Herrera y Reissig, Felisberto Hernández, Nicolás Guillén and filmmaker and screenwriter Arturo Infante. Her most recent publications include annotated editions of Fantoches 1926: Folletín Moderno por Once Escritores Cubanos; an annotated anthology of the stories of Felisberto Hernández, Las Hortensias y Otros Cuentos, and an analytical edition of the monumental anti-slavery novel by Cirilo Villaverde Cecilia Valdés o La Loma del Angel. (1882). She has joined the juries of the HFFNY, TAFFNY and LIFFY film festival over the past decade, and is a frequent contributor to Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas, and a presenter at the Cervantes Institute of New York, and the Cuban Cultural Center of New York.

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Izabel Acevedo

Filmmaker (Director/Writer/Editor)

Izabel Acevedo studied Film at the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC), in Mexico City, and did postgraduate studies in screenwriting at the Catalan School of Cinema and Audiovisuals, (ESCAC), in Barcelona. Her short film To Put Together a Helicopter (2012), won the Grand Prix at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, France. Her feature film The Good Christian (2016) was the winner of the FEISAL Award in the 31 FICG edition. In 2022 she was awarded the Northwest Film Forum’s Lynn Shelton “Of A Certain Age” Grant. Since 2014, Izabel has lived in NYC where she works as a writer, editor, and freelance filmmaker.

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Prof. Joe Rollins

Professor of Political Science

(Queens College / CUNY Graduate Center)

Joe Rollins is professor of political science at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the author of AIDS and the Sexuality of Law, Legally Straight, many scholarly articles and reviews, and is a former Co-Editor of Women’s Studies Quarterly. After starting life as an artist and student of dance, he went on to graduate from Hunter College in 1988 with a degree in political science. He subsequently took his Ph.D. in that same subject at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He teaches courses on gender, sexuality, law, and popular culture. He lives in Jackson Heights, Queens and Madrid, Spain.


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Kevin Moore

Writer & Curator

Kevin Moore, Ph.D., is a curator and writer based in New York. He is the Artistic Director and Curator of FotoFocus, Cincinnati, and the Curator of the McEvoy Collection, San Francisco. His recent exhibitions and publications include Elaine Mayes: Haight-Ashbury Portraits (Damiani); Ian Strange: Disturbed Home (Art Academy of Cincinnati/Damiani); and, with Makeda Best, On the Line: Documents of Risk and Faith (Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati/Gnomic Book). He is also the author of Old Paris and Changing New York: Photographs by Eugène Atget and Berenice Abbott (Yale University Press); Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970–1980 (Hatje Cantz) and Jacques Henri Lartigue: The Invention of an Artist (Princeton University Press). Photo Credit: Wilson Reyes

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Klara Lopera-Sánchez


Born in Medellín, Colombia, Klara has a BA of Arts Degree in Education with a Specialization in Theater Education. In Medellín, Klara performed for Casa del Teatro and Teatro Hora 25 for several productions. She was granted by The Colombian Government Cultural Affairs Office –Colcultura, to produce her play Carro Sin Frenos (1994). In 2004 she participated in the IX Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogotá with the play Richard III (The Princes’ Killer King). Klara was part of the cast of ID Studio Theater NYC for The Trilogy of Juan Rulfo, (2011-2012), awarded production by the Dominican Republic Cultural Commissioner’s Theater Festival in NYC and the ATI Latino Theater Awards. Klara participated in the Spanish version of Where There Was Fire during the 4th Dominican Republic Cultural Commissioner’s Theater Festival NYC, and for the Alternative Theater Festival 2014 (Bogotá-Colombia). In 2016 Klara participated in the Alternative Theater Festival (Bogotá-Colombia) with The Winter of April (Tabula RaSa NYC Theater and Performance Lab). In 2017 Klara participated in Busan International Performing Arts Festival – BIPAF (Busan, South Korea with The Winter of April (Tabula RaSa NYC Theater and Performance Lab). In 2019 she participated in the Spanish version of In The Eye Of The Needle (Tabula RaSa NYC Theater and Performance Lab), and for the “pandemic” video version (2020), of the same play. Klara was nominated Best Actress for the ATI Awards 2015 (NY), on the category: Theater in English by Latino Actors with The Winter of April. Klara lives in New York City since 2010 and has been active member of Tabula RaSa NYC Theater and Performance Lab since 2013. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Childhood Bilingual Especial Education, granted by Hunter College.

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Willard Morgan

Multidisciplinary Artist

Willard Morgan is an American performance artist and filmmaker, also founder and artistic director of the East Village art collective Ideal Glass. Son of opera singer Sylvia Side, he graduated from William Esper Studio and New York University. Starting his career in the 80's downtown scene, Morgan performed at Comic Strip as a standup comedian (with emcee Jerry Seinfeld). Strongly influenced by Jacques Lecoq, he acted off-Broadway under the direction of Austin Pendleton at Playwrights Horizons. Over the years, he has created evolving theater personas, appearing solo at B.B. King, the Highline Ballroom, the Japan Society (Manhattan), and La Scala Nightclub in Paris. He is the frontman and lyricist of the collaborative project Ideal Orkestra, described as a 'kinetic international band with a highly theatrical bent'.As the founder of Ideal Glass, Morgan produces in-your-face music videos about trends, fashion and gentrification. He is also prolific as a film producer with feature credits and award-winning shorts. Theatrical productions include Say Goodnight, Gracie by Ralph Pape which ran two years Off-Broadway, and the Broadway play by Milan Stitt which became Stanley Kramer's last feature film, The Runner Stumbles.

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