DOCUMENTARY FILM JURY
Melissa Bisagni is the Media Initiatives Program Manager in the Department of Museum Learning and Programs at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), in Washington, DC. She is also the current Director of Programming for the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival and serves as the Board Chair of the DC Shorts Film Festival.
A native of Arkansas, Jen Gerber built her film career in Chicago before completing an MFA in writing and directing from Columbia University in New York. Her debut feature, The Revival, was filmed entirely in Hot Springs and received a theatrical run in Los Angeles as well digital distribution on all the major platforms. The film received a jury special mention at NewFest for “outstanding performances” and The Hollywood Reporter called the film “riveting”. Ira Sachs (director or Little Men, Love Is Strange) said, “It came to me half way through that it was an Ingmar Bergman movie set in the Ozarks.” Jen freelanced for over a decade as a writer, director and first assistant director for a variety of commercial production companies in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. As a first assistant director, Jen worked with James Franco on The Sound and the Fury and Black Dog Red Dog starring Whoopi Goldberg, Olivia Wilde and Chloe Sevigny. Jennifer is the Artistic Director of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival and is currently in development with her next directing projects, including Has Been Beauty Queen, a semi-autobiographical story, and Shelter starring Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo, Zazie Beetz (Joker, Deadpool 2), and David Rysdahl.
NARRATIVE FILM JURY
Marlane Barnes was raised in Fort Smith, AR and got her MFA in Acting from the University of Texas at Austin. She spent ten years in Los Angeles acting in film and television and is best known for roles in The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part II and Sons of Anarchy. Marlane has also produced and acted in many independent films, edited screenplays for Coverfly, and taught Acting for the Camera at The University of Arkansas. She is honored to be on the Narrative Jury for this year's Fayetteville Film Festival.
YOHANCE MYLES is a native of Birmingham, AL. He received his BA in Theatre from Alabama State University, and MFA in Acting from LSU. Yohance is a member of AEA (Equity) and SAG-AFTRA (film/televison). He can be seen starring as Councilman Kent Hamilton on OWN’s Network hit drama TV series, Ambitions, produced by Will Packer, Oprah Winfrey, and Lionsgate Studio. He has worked for several major TV networks including FOX, OWN, NBC, ABC, CW, AMC, and the Lifetime Network and has produced dynamic performances in recurring roles on major TV series such as Containment, Into the Badlands, and The Originals. He has guest-starred on hit shows including NCIS: New Orleans and Blue Bloods. He can be seen recently in the feature film The Secret: Dare to Dream starring Josh Lucas and Katie Holmes. Myles is a member of Alpha Phi AlphaFraternity Inc. In addition, Myles serves as National spokesperson for the SCL Foundation, which was founded by iconic actors Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte. He is also the director of "The BEing Within Actor’s" Studio Session, which guides aspiring actors with knowledge and life skills to sustain themselves and their talent(s) in the competitive entertainment and media industry. He believes the impact of his success and teaching continues to serve the lives of many aspiring artist/actors across the Southeast.