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Gasparilla International Film Festival | March 21 - 24, 2024

Grand Jury

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Tamara Nemirovsky is an international award-winning filmmaker, animator, and educator.  Her award-winning stop-motion films have been screened internationally at several film festivals. Tamara was granted a scholarship by the Fulbright Commission to pursue an MFA in the United States. Currently, she is a faculty member at the University of South Florida at The Honors College and The School of Art and Art History.

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Marcus Ovnell

Marcus directed his first feature film THE BREAK IN which won numerous awards all over the world, and propelling Marcus’ director career into overdrive, landing commercial gigs for major companies like Ecophon-owned Saint Gobain, NA-KD and many more. The BREAK IN’s success at festivals led to securing the financing for Marcus’ follow up feature FAUNTLAND AND THE LOST MAGIC.  The film was renamed for  global release and is now entitled EMILY AND THE MAGICAL JOURNEY. This film has sold to a total of 130 countries including, US, Canada, Germany, and Russia. Currently,  Marcus is in post-production of his third film SCAPEGOAT slated to premier in 2023, and has recently begun  working on a video game as well as his fourth film THE MAGIC OF THE ETERNAL FIRE.

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Joe Restaino

Joe Restaino is a member of the Producers Guild Association(PGA) based out of Tampa, FL. and an award-winning film producer  He is the principal of Hungry Bull Productions and produced Michael Sarnoski’s critically acclaimed film PIG starring Nicolas Cage and Alex Wolff, Rebecca Hall’s PASSING which premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, Lionsgate Films’ FEAR OF RAIN, LADY OF THE MANOR, and Diane Keaton’s MACK & RITA.  Joe is also a past President of the Gasparilla International Film Festival.


David Salzberg

David Salzberg is an award winning director, producer, and brand builder. Salzberg directed and produced the “Heroes of Valor Collection," a series of the most successful non-scripted war films of all-time. The critically acclaimed and award-winning titles include; “The Hornet’s Nest," “Citizen Soldier," “Danger Close," “Apache Warrior” and the most recent title, “Above the Best," all released World Wide..

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Cinda Snow

Cinda Snow is a Producer, Talent Manager, and the Founder/Owner of Snow Entertainment with offices in both Los Angeles and Tampa. She is also VP at Capital Pictures with films such as MADE GUYS, WITCHBOARD, YELLOW EYES and more. Cinda was involved with Origin Entertainment on feature films FATIMA and IM Mortal. As a talent manager, her clients have worked on feature films (BRIGHTBURN}, as series regulars (STARGIRL, NASHVILLE, FULLER HOUSE etc...) and on a variety of networks and streaming services. Cinda began her career asmanager for her daughter, Actor/Producer/Writer Brittany Snow. Having a master's degree in education and working in the entertainment industry, she has seen the need to provide  entertaining as well as transformational media in an ever-changing world.


Phillip Booth

Philip Booth, a Florida native, has written about pop culture for a variety of publications. His reviews and essays on film and books have variously appeared in the St. Petersburg Times, Las Vegas City Life, Folio Weekly, Tampa Tribune, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Orlando Weekly, The Journal of Popular Culture, The Journal of American Culture, Literature Film Quarterly,  online in Pop Matters and the journal SawPalm. Philip, a graduate of the University of Florida (B.A., history) and the University of South Florida (M.A., English), is a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle (FFCC) and The Hemingway Society.


Mario Garcia

Mario Garcia is a writer, director and producer. His journey into filmmaking started as an assistant for a Golden Globe winning producer, helping develop made-for -television movies. This experience was a springboard to write several feature-films which have been optioned, including the screenplay for his short UNREAD, which was featured in Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films. He wrote, directed and produced the indie feature film, The Throwback, which was acquired for distribution by Myriad Pictures. Mario is represented by Bob Sobhani of Authentic Talent & Management. 

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Chris Eaton

Chris Eaton currently works in marketing and programming for Green Light Cinema, a new art house cinema in St. Pete.  He was previously the programmer for Sunscreen Film Festival for 3 years where he was responsible for selecting 135+ films to be screened each year.  Chris brings a diverse background to the table having worked and lived in Latin America for years, while also being an advocate and supporter of the local arts scene in Tampa Bay.


Nick Parlin

Tampa native Nick Parlin is a producer, writer and actor. He is one of the executive producers of Hallmark’s film  A Taste of Love, now streaming. Current projects include executive producing Visitations Season 2 with Steven Demmler (Talon Entertainment), Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah (Spectrevision). Season One is available on Shudder and Spotify.


Roberty Fyvolent

Robert Fyvolent is an entertainment lawyer, screenwriter, producer and professor. His film, “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised”) won the Oscar for Best Documentary, after winning numerous others including the Sundance Jury and Audience Awards, the BAFTA, Grammy, Producer’s Guild and Peabody Award. As a lawyer and business affairs executive for The Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Newmarket Films, he’s been involved in the production and distribution of thousands of indie films such as MEMENTO, THE PRESTIGE, DONNIE DARKO, MONSTER, DOWNFALL, WINTER ON FIRE and CRIES FROM SYRIA. A WGA produced screenwriter, his feature film “UNTRACEABLE” starting Diane Lane was theatrically released by Sony Pictures. He’s also written for Dreamworks and others. His company Mass Distraction Media is currently in development on several new projects, including COMING HOME about World War II women fighter pilots. He’s a second generation Tampa native. 


Debbie Esko

Debbie Esko Gold brings over twenty years of expertise in finance, marketing, and publicity to deliver impactful results. As a respected producer, her award-winning films have earned recognition at prestigious film festivals and secured distribution on HBO MAX.  With a portfolio spanning prominent events like film festivals and book launches, Debbie has adeptly navigated relationships with notable personalities and industry stakeholders. Her meticulous approach has facilitated successful publicity tours, resulting in appearances on national talk shows. Driven by a commitment to excellence, Debbie’s mission is to handle the details, and clear the way for her artists to remain in their creative space.

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Michael Rabehl

As Cinequest Film Festival’s Director of Programming, Michael manages the film selection process for the festival and supervises the programming teams to create a world-class line-up of films and guests every year. In his role as the Associate Director, he is directly involved with the strategic planning of the festival. Michael’s passion to discover new talent and help artists connect with audiences through the art of cinema inspires his work at Cinequest. He has been instrumental in jump-starting the careers of many successful artists. He has programmed thousands of World, North American and United States premieres and helped make Cinequest a launching pad for many successful careers.

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