Learn more about the choreographers, filmmakers and creatives who will come together to award prizes at our 2018 festival.
Heidi Duckler is the Artistic Director and founder of Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre. Since its inception in 1985, she has choreographed more than 200 original dance works at unique sites in Australia, Germany, Russia, Hong Kong, Montreal, San Francisco, New York, Miami, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle, and throughout Southern California. Titled “the reigning queen of site-specific performance,” by the L.A. Times, her work has been commissioned by the Brisbane Festival, Miami Light, Grand Performances, REDCAT, Aben Dans in Denmark, Brookfield Properties, the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation, and Reed College among others. She earned a BS in Dance from the University of Oregon and an MA in Choreography from UCLA, and is currently a Board Member of the University of Oregon’s School of Music and Dance Advancement Council.
Thomas Freundlich is one of the leading practitioners in Finland’s vibrantly growing independent dance film scene. Mr.Freundlich's work ranges from dance shorts, documentary work, performance videography and 3D projects to music videos and projection design for the stage. His work has been seen at dozens of film festivals worldwide as well as broadcast TV both in Finland and internationally. From 2012 to 2014, Mr. Freundlich was the co-artistic director of Finland’s Loikka dance film festival.
Sabrina Gimenez is an award-winning editor and producer based in Los Angeles. She has worked on several successful theatrical marketing campaigns for Disney, Pixar, and Warner Bros. Notable editorial work includes: "Zootopia" (Silver Winner, Clio Key Art for Best TV Marketing Campaign), "Moana", and "The Lego Batman Movie". Her freelance shorts and short form web-series credits most recently include "Flip the Script" for the non-profit organization Women in Film Los Angeles, and "Temporary", produced by Elizabeth Banks for WhoHaha. In her spare time, Sabrina performs and choreographs for LA Unbound, Los Angeles' largest dance company. It was during her film studies in college that Sabrina honed her passion for movement and dance as a tap dancer while striking a balance with her love of editorial work and continues to enjoy them both in her personal and professional life.
Francesca N. Penzani started her studies in theatre at Teatro Viaggio and Comuna Baires in Italy. She moved to London in 1983 where she studied mime with Ronald Wilson and graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 1991. In 1992, she was awarded a trainingship for "Dance for the Camera" by BBC2 and the Arts Council of England, and worked with directors Ross MacGibbon and Terry Braun. (Producers Bob Lockyer, Wilson) Her video works have been screened worldwide from Amsterdam to London to Miami and LA. Since 1999, Francesca teaches at CalArts “Video for Dance,” “Video Dance Production Seminar” for The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance and she is faculty for the Center of Integrated Media at CalArts. Recently, she has been teaching Dance and Camera Laboratory in Taiwan, Germany, Mexico, Cuba and Norway.
Rodney Uhler has over ten years of work in the film industry with a focus on film festival and curation. He currently serves as Programmer at the Gold Coast Film Festival and Film Series, as well as the Director of Special Project at the film distributor GKIDS, which represents nine Academy Award nominated films. He has previously worked with: The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Museum of the Moving Image, New York Int'l Children's Film Festival, and Institute of Contemporary Arts London among others. His writing on film and culture has appeared on Indiewire, GQ.com, Paper Magazine, MEL Magazine and more. He was Young Reporter for the BFI's 2012 LGBT Film Festival, Young Critics Academy member of the 2015 New York Film Festival and was an Award Winner at the 2006 Adobe Reel Studios Cannes Film Festival program. He has a masters degree in Visual Anthropology from Goldsmiths, University of London.