Actors, Musicians, Producers and Other Industry Professionals Participate in Florida’s Largest Student Film Competition and Award Show as It Celebrates Quarter Century Milestone!
Entertainment Industry Pros Set to Judge The Palm Beaches Student Showcase of Films!
Florida’s largest student film competition and award show, The Palm Beaches Student Showcase of Films (SSOF), announces an elite slate of industry professionals who will judge this year’s submissions from talented high school and college entrants. Included among the international list of 48 new (and returning) judges in various categories are:
Joyce Belloise – Ms. Belloise is the Vice President of Content & Community Partnerships at South Florida PBS. A third generation South Floridian, Joyce has written and produced content for public television for over 20 years. From local public affairs discussions to magazine shows, from wildlife programs to a travel series and internationally distributed documentaries, she enjoys exploring our state’s unique culture, ecosystem, and attractions.
Ellen Jacoby, CSA – As Founder and President of Ellen Jacoby Casting International, Ms. Jacoby has hired more than 300,000 actors, dancers and performers through the years. She has worked with Hollywood elite, including Steven Soderbergh, Joel Schumacher, Sidney Pollack, The Farrelly Bros., Bob Zemekis, Ron Howard, Mike Nichols, Michael Bay, Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton, Gary Marshall, John Landis, James Cameron, Joe Roth, Tony Scott and others. She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which produces the Emmy Awards.
Cody Johns – Mr. Johns is an actor, recording artist, and digital content creator from South Florida. Johns found success as not only a social media personality, but also a pioneer in digital-based Journalism and Marketing.
Omar McClinton – Mr. McClinton is the head of production at Echo Bridge Productions, a full-service award-winning animation studio based in St. Petersburg, FL, which specializes in 2D, hand-drawn animation for feature films, commercials, music videos, video games and more. McClinton has 30+ years of experience producing for film and television and managed the IMAX VFX crew for The Dark Knight movie.
Mary Murray – Ms. Murray is the executive editor at Palm Beach Media Group, where she works on Palm Beach Illustrated and Naples Illustrated magazines, as well as the company’s newest title, Fort Lauderdale Illustrated. She holds an English/Creative Writing degree from Florida State University and a Master’s in Arts Journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She frequently writes personality profiles and travel articles for PBMG and covers the arts for Palm Beach Illustrated, including managing an arts blog at palmbeachillustrated.com.
Suzanne Niedland – Award-winning filmmaker, Broadway producer, actor and ballroom dancer, Ms. Niedland serves on boards of the Palm Beach County Film and Television Commission, The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County, the International Committee for the Performing Arts and the President’s Advisory Council at the Kennedy Center, and the DeVos Institute for Arts Management. She earned a Master’s degree in Documentary Filmmaking and is working on a documentary about her friend, Burt Reynolds.
Michael Orland – Mr. Orland spent 16 seasons as pianist, arranger, vocal coach and associate musical director on American Idol. His work on this epic talent series led to collaborations with Burt Bacharach, Neil Sedaka, Diane Warren, Elton John, Dolly Parton, Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban. He was also musical director and vocal coach on Little Big Shots and Forever Young, which were both hosted by Steve Harvey. He is an accomplished songwriter and currently spends a lot of his time touring with Emmy and Tony award-winning actress/singer Kristin Chenoweth.
Hal Rosenfeld – Mr. Rosenfeld is a drummer, composer and arranger whose work can be heard in more than 80 films, television shows and video games. His credits include Grammy-winning soundtrack The Greatest Showman, Emmy-winning Fosse/Verdon, Disney’s live-action Mulan, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and Kanye West’s Sunday Service.
Kelsey Scott – Ms. Scott is an FSU alumna and a former winner of the SSOF. She is a twice-Emmy-nominated actress for her role in the Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave and her two-season arc on How to Get Away With Murder. In 2017, she received a Primetime Emmy nomination for her role on Fear the Walking Dead: Passage. She is a Celebrity Ambassador for Kids in the Spotlight, an organization that enlists professional filmmakers to train foster care youth to create, write, cast and star in their own short films.
Vanilla Ice – Rapper, entertainer and star of an eponymous home renovation series on the DIY network, Vanilla Ice actively supports and inspires youth in South Florida. He continues to serve as an award show presenter and judge in the SSOF Music Video category as he has done for the past several years. The award now also bears his name.
Winners will be announced, and awards will be presented at an exciting, red carpet award show on Friday, April 3, 2020 at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University. The award show is produced and hosted by award-winning actor/director Frank Licari (South Florida PBS’ On the Town in The Palm Beaches) and attracts a standing-room-only audience of students, celebrity presenters, industry professionals, government dignitaries, media and more.
And, in a continuing tribute to the legacy of film legend, Burt Reynolds, the SSOF will present to a Palm Beach County high school senior, The Burt Reynolds Scholarship Award, a $5,000 cash prize. Mr. Reynolds was a longtime supporter and frequent presenter at the SSOF Red Carpet Award Show.
The show will be broadcast live and will be available on demand via ThePalmBeaches.TV.
Now in its twenty-fifth year of existence, SSOF has awarded more than $1.6 million. This year, the program boasts an increased award offering, with more than $20,000 in cash, scholarships and prizes.
The SSOF is the cornerstone of the education outreach initiative of The Palm Beach County Film and Television Commission. The competition engages faculty and school administrators in guiding student participation. The SSOF is funded by the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners through the Department of Housing & Economic Sustainability and the Palm Beach County Film & Television Commission. Award sponsors include Suzanne L. Niedland (Suzanne L. Niedland Documentary Scholarship), Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, Inc. (Environmental PSA Award), Film Florida (Sara Fuller Scholarship), Michael Chasin (Nellie & Fred Chasin Screenwriting Award) and Ralfonso “Ralf” Gschwend (Poster Design Award).