Judges

Help us select this year’s winning films!

We are now seeking judges to help us select the winning films. Do you have expertise/interest in directing, writing, editing, acting, journalism, public service announcements, video production, suicide prevention, and/or mental health? Contact us about becoming a judge today! The entire process will take less than 2 hours of your time, all of which can be done online from home. Please note that you cannot participate as a judge if you are submitting a film or are associated in any way with a youth team that is submitting a film (e.g. teacher, adult advisor, family member). Here are some of our incredible judges who helped us for the 2020-2021 program year:

2021 Judges

Anita Simon: Her personal journey navigating and accessing mental health care services for her daughter who had a severe eating disorder at the age of 12 led to her co-found the community nonprofit organization, Calgary Silver Linings Foundation, to expand the continuum of care for those suffering from eating disorders and support their families and caregivers. Anita is committed to advancing the use of lived experience to direct improvements in health systems, practices and policies and is passionate about youth mental health.

Asante Haughton

Caitlin Starowicz is a mid-career documentary writer/producer/director whose film She Walks With Apes is nominated for three Canadian Screen Awards this year.

Catherine Edwards is the Executive Director for the Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS) and has a long career encouraging youth and non-professionals to use media to tell their own stories. In particular, she has interviewed and viewed content made by a community TV station inside the Pinel Institute, a mental health institution in Rio de Janeiro. The patients use media as a therapeutic tool but also as a way to demystify mental health questions for non-residents.

Chelsea Wong

Christa Steeves

Cress Ortiz

Graham Beer

Greg Dicharry

Judy Bear

Kelly Zirnhelt

Ken Galloway

Lisa Klein is an award-winning director and writer dedicated to crafting groundbreaking documentary features. Her current project, THE S WORD, is a documentary that tackles one of the most cloistered issues of our time through the emotional stories of suicide attempt and loss survivors.In 2012, Lisa co-directed the award-winning film OF TWO MINDS, a journey into the lives of remarkable people living, struggling and triumphing with bipolar condition. She is co-founder, with her husband Doug Blush, of MadPix Inc., an LA-based production company dedicated to producing character-driven stories that create global impact and social change.

Lu Ripley is the Director of Community Learning and Engagement at the Crisis Centre of BC.

Matthew Green

Meeshelle ‘Meesh’ Neal is a she/her award-winning queer Canadian filmmaker best known for telling heightened reality stories that remain grounded in the nuanced complexity of human emotions, with a focus on mental health.

Nina Bains used to own and operate The Ottawa International Film Festival.

Nina Packebush

Orlando Dasilva

Patrick Case

Patti Henderson is an innovative creator hosting a steady career in communications and entertainment. Born to a UK mother, adopted and raised in Canada, then orphaned by the age of 15; Patti’s journey has included extensive research into her own genealogy; encouraging her curiosity and passion in finding story and motivation of character. Patti is an Alumnae of WOMEN IN THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR (WIDC). Her focus has, and always will be, storytelling. Her unique upbringing, combined with years of experience in the entertainment industry has helped to shape her into a vibrant Director with the ability, through passion, knowledge and experience, to elevate a wide range of scripts. With a thirst for learning, sharing and creating, she has worked in a multitude of positions over the last 30 years, including Writer, Producer, Director, VFX Producer, Script Supervisor and Editor. Her latest project is a semi-autobiographical YA Novella series entitled TROUBLE WILL FIND ME. She lives and works in the UK and Canada.

Roger Maunder: Filmmaker/Director of Upskydown Films.

Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas: As a clinical psychologist, mental health advocate, faculty member, survivor of her brother’s suicide and a person who has lived through depression, Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas sees the issues of mental health promotion and suicide prevention through multiple lenses. Today she uses her professional speaking platform to “elevate the conversation” and make resilience, healing and suicide prevention health and safety priorities in our schools, workplaces and communities. www.SallySpencerThomas.com

Sara Hashemi

Stephanie Wong