Every year New Zealand Southern Cross Film Festival festival recruits a new panel of highly regarded screen industry practitioners to decide the awards winners.
MEET OUR JURY MEMBERS FOR 2017
An award-winning writer, actor, producer and director, Bo Svenson has worked with over one hundred Academy Award winners and/or nominees, including Clint Eastwood and Quentin Tarantino. (http://www.imdb.me/BoSvenson)
He is a prolific writer in addition to being an accomplished actor. His first novel, "For Love and Country", was published in December 2015 and is on Amazon's "Recommended Reading" list.
His screenplay "Don't Call Me Sir!" won numerous awards, including Best Screenplay at the 2017 Best of the Best Festival, Best Screenplay at the 2017 The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, a Gold Award for Best Screenplay at the 2016 International Independent Film Festival, Best Screenplay at the 2016 Artemis Film Festival, Best Original Screenplay at the 2016 All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival, the 2015 New York Screenplay Contest's "Park Avenue Prize for Drama", and 1st Place in Drama at the 2015 Los Angeles Screenplay Contest.
Another screenplay "For Love and Country" won Best Screenplay at Canada's 2016 Cinema Worldfest, two Gold Awards at the International Independent Film Awards, and Best Screenplay at the 2016 Illinois Independent Film Festival — while a third, "Yakuzano" won at the 2016 International Independent Film Awards.
He has several other screenplays in various stages of development and pre-production, including "Misguided"; "Viking: The Red Cloth"; and "Fate, Two Kids and an ET".
Born in Sweden, Svenson emigrated by himself to the US as a teenager and began by serving his new country with six years in the U.S. Marines. After an honorable discharge, he was spotted in Miami by James Hammerstein Jr. and cast in a revival of South Pacific. Curious to find out if acting was for him, he headed to New York where he landed the lead role as Yang Sun in Bertolt Brecht's play The Good Woman of Szechuan at The Circle In The Square Theater in Greenwich Village — and was cast in a starring role in the CBS TV pilot The Freebooters.
Other starring roles followed, as well as a recurring role as Big Swede on Here Come the Brides.
His role as the Creature in the three-hour TV movie Mary Shelley's Original Frankenstein brought him great acclaim and led to a starring role in Maurie and the co-starring role with Robert Redford in The Great Waldo Pepper.
Major starring roles followed: Sheriff Buford Pusser in Walking Tall Part II, Walking Tall Final Chapterand the Walking Tall TV series; crazed football player Jo Bob Priddy in North Dallas Forty; heroic airline pilot Captain Campbell in The Delta Force; jealous bar-owner Roy Jennings in Clint Eastwood's Heartbreak Ridge; and cool, cold-blooded killer Ivan in Magnum, P.I.
In addition to recently being the Russian mob boss Vadim in Icarus, he portrayed Reverend Harmony in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill and The Colonel in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.
Svenson was the only actor from the original The Inglorious Bastards cast included by Tarantino in his homage to that movie, one of his all-time favorites.
An accomplished athlete, Svenson has competed in world championships, Olympic selections and/or international competition in judo, yachting, track, ice hockey - and NASCAR!
A black belt in judo, karate, and aikido, he has been inducted into the Martial Arts Masters Hall of Fame. Following a forty-year absence from judo, he won a silver in the 2009 USA Judo Championships. He won a bronze in the World Championships in 2013 and retired from judo competition after winning a gold in the 2013 USJA Winter National Championships.
He was Sports Commissioner at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games — held at his alma mater UCLA where he had pursued a Ph.D. in metaphysics until his film career took over.
Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Motion Picture Group of America from 1984-2004, he is President and CEO of MagicQuest Entertainment — since 1975, a California corporation engaged in motion picture development and production as well as providing consulting services to actors and script doctoring to writers.
In addition, he is CEO of CanAm Film Corporation, a British Columbia corporation incorporated in 1992.
A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (oscars.org) since 1985, he serves on the nominating committee for Best Foreign Language Film and is a juror on the Student Academy Award committee.
He has been a host and/or Master of Ceremonies for numerous events — and is a sought-after juror by film festivals across the globe.
His numerous honors include: the Academy of Science Fiction and Fantasy Golden Scroll Award; the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast for Inglourious Basterds; the Italian Institute of Art Award of Merit; Lifetime Achievement Awards from Action On Film and the Movieville International Film Festival; and The Reel Cowboys Hall of Fame Award.
His nominations include the NAACP Image Award and the Hollywood Women's Press Club Golden Apple.
Made For Each Other, a film that he wrote, produced and directed starring Dennis Hopper, won the Award of Excellence at the Accolade Global Film Competition and was nominated at numerous festivals.
He conducts his "In Life, on Camera and on Stage: Don't Act - Be!", a highly-appreciated seminar, in colleges, universities, and corporate boardrooms around the globe.
More info: (http://www.imdb.me/BoSvenson)
Desiree Elle is an actress, singer and filmmaker born in Montreal, Canada to a French father and a Venezuelan mother. Elle started her artistic career as a child when she began acting in plays and singing in multiple venues in Canada and in France. After minor appearances in commercials & TV, Elle integrated the Actors Studio Drama School in New York City where she earned a Masters in Fine Arts in Acting. She had her Off-Broadway debut in 2011 and has since been seen on & off screen in theatre, film & Tv, commercials and has lent her voice to a variety of projects.
In 2015, Elle wrote, produced, directed and starred in Shaded Reflections, a short film she created through her production company: Dream Love Productions. Shaded Reflections was an Official Selection of the Los Angeles CineFest, the Cannes Short Corner, the Los Angeles Independent Film Awards, the Palm Springs ShortFest & Market and won awards at the Manhattan Film Festival and at the IndieFest Awards.
In 2017, Elle was invited to be on the judging committee of the Sunset Film Festival 2017, a branch of the Los Angeles CineFest.
Elle resides in Los Angeles, California. She can currently be seen in multiple national commercials including for Universal Studios - directed by James Mangold (LOGAN, GIRL INTERRUPTED, WALK THE LINE), as well as for Boost Mobile and Big Lots.
She is fluent in English, French and Spanish.
More info: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4133787/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
Expert in Marketing, Marketing Services and Design, Communications, Promotional Literature, and Management, Val has a BA in Journalism from The Pennsylvania State University with continuing education in Management and Computer Science. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Delta Chi; past President, Society for Technical Communication.
More info: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6941754/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
Marcelo Brasil is an innovative and industry leading Cinematographer in Brazil. Sought after since 1999, Marcelo has been Director of Photography for a multitude of feature films, television series, special programming, documentaries, short films, high profile Political Campaigns and over 700 commercials. Creative Executive and Co-Founder of Araras Films, Marcelo is the artistic force behind the company's endeavors. Traveling frequently between Latin America and the United States. Known for Odique, E Ai, Comeu? and Muita Calma Nessa Hora, he is a trailblazer in stylization and vision.
With a diversified love of black & white still photography, Marcelo has been recognized in the 10th Annual Black & White Spider Awards in Beverly Hills, California, USA and is preparing for his series installation in Rio, Brazil.
More info: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0105400/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1