​​Women in Horror​Film Festival

 Jonathan Williams - Film Judge

Tim Davis is a Los Angeles-based award-winning Screenwriter with over 10 years experience in the business as a Story Producer for reality TV. He’s worked on shows such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, God Or The Girl, Big Medicine, Boston’ Finest and two WWE shows; Tough Enough & Legends’ House. In addition to placing well in other festivals, Tim’s drama pilot, Finnegan’s, won Best Drama Screenplay for the Chicago & Hollywood Screenplay contests. Tim writes stories that have high concept ideas but are driven by intimate character moments. He specializes in grounded sci-fi, what-if stories and character drama. In 2017, he wrote Murder Made Easy for director David Palamaro which won Indie Spirit Award at the inaugural Women In Horror Film Festival. In addition to watching too many old movies and classic Doctor Who, Tim works in the digital content and social media department for the El Rey Network.

 Sonia Luther - Film Judge

Susan Boone - Volunteer Coordinator

As a journalist, podcaster and award-winning blogger, Jonathan Williams has always kept horror at the forefront of his reviews and interviews. Having held editorial positions at niche publications such as Gothic Beauty and Prick tattoo magazine, he has also covered sinister subjects and other areas of the arts for such publications as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Creative Loafing, Girls and Corpses, Pro Wrestling Illustrated, Stomp and Stammer and Backstage magazine. He is the founder of the multi-award-winning www.WrestlingwithPopCulture.com, where he covers pro wrestling, film, literature, art and other subjects. Currently he co-hosts the Pro Wrestling Roundtable, part of the Earth Station One family of podcasts.

Over the past couple of years, Williams has segued into the film world, working as a set dresser on genre productions such as the hit Netflix series Stranger Things, the award-winning short film Rainy Season, IFC’s Stan Against Evil and the upcoming James Franco horror heist The Vault. He is also the promoter of the horror variety show known as Monstrosity Championship Wrestling, which has delighted fans at historic Atlanta-area venues like the Masquerade, Six Flags Over Georgia’s Fright Fest, the Starlight Drive-In and Avondale Estate’s Art-B-Que festival. 

Aislinn Clarke is the first woman in Northern Ireland to write and direct a narrative feature film, which is currently in post production. The film has been screened by its sales agents as a work-in-progress at the Cannes film festival market and has secured distributor interest. Aislinn comes from an extensive professional background as a writer and director for the stage, radio, and the screen. She also has a strong academic background in film, holding a bachelors degree and two master's degrees from Queens University Belfast. Her film work has been praised by the Soska Sisters, who call her "a reincarnation of Alice Guy-Blaché" and "one of our favourite directors". Aislinn is honoured to be a film judge for the 2018 WIHFF. 

 Festival Staff

 Marissa Pona - Screenplay Judge

Sonia Lupher is a PhD candidate in Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and a west coast transplant. She holds a BA in Film Studies from Willamette University, where her thesis was on female filmmakers in France from the silent era to the present. She then earned a Master's degree in Film Studies from Columbia University, where she wrote her thesis on anthology horror films and worked on the Women Film Pioneers Project (WFPP), an online archive that sheds light on the role of women in film production during the silent era, under the leadership of Dr. Jane Gaines. Sonia's love of horror and her work on WFPP inspired her to devote her research to women working in horror film production, and she is in the process of developing a database of contemporary women directors, screenwriters, and producers in the horror genre. Her academic and freelance work has been featured in Critical Quarterly and Bitch Flicks.

 Jay Kay - Film Judge

Residing on the outskirts of Camp Blood in the famed backwoods of Blairstown, New Jersey, Jay Kay is a champion for women in filmmaking and horror. A judge for the LA based Etheria Film Night, a Panel Host for the AxWound Film Fest and Female Eye Film Fest, he now joins the incredible Women in Horror Film Fest as a judge! Parlaying his love of the horror genre into a career of broadcasting, writing, acting, moderating, filmmaking, film fest programming and more… During the five plus years, he gives opportunities to all forms of the fluid genre of horror (indie through mainstream) to be heard on a weekly basis. Jay Kay and his partner “The Ghost” have created one of the well-rounded, smart and intangible horror talk programs streaming today in the Rondo nominated “Horror Happens Radio” (Horrorhappens.com). His weekly & uncensored horror talk has grown a cult following with over 1100 unique guest in 235 episodes spanning the dark corners of horror and the dysfunctional family on diverse radio platforms like Rock Rage Radio and HomeGrownRadioNJ! 

With his body of meat work and the growing reputation in the horror community, Jay Kay also dabbles in horror journalism, finding homes on several multi-media horror platforms writing features, reviews and editorials including HorrorHound Magazine, HorrorNews.net and formerly Icons of Fright. Some Jay Kay’s favorites include The Strangers, Halloween, Night of the Living Dead, I Saw the Devil, AB-Normal Beauty, The House of the Devil, 28 Days Later, Lovely Molly & Trick r Treat. Find out more about Jay Kay on Twitter @horrorhappensRS / @JaykayHorror and on http://Facebook.com/Horrorhappensrs  

 Aislinn Clarke - Film Judge

 Melissa Hannon - Film Judge

Marissa Pona - is the founder and executive producer for Jersey Ghouls horror podcast and website. She teaches high school English and is raising two young women who will one day raise some hell of their own. She is thrilled to be a first time judge of screenplays for the Women in Horror Film Festival.

 Nathan Ludwig - Screenplay Judge

Writer.  Director.  Actor. Musician.  Drummer (wait for it…). Model.  Artist.  Canvas.  Columnist.  Proudest  Papa EVER.  And as Creative Director of the straight jacket-tested/doctor-approved Mad Ones Films, from Greensboro North Carolina, Jaysen Buterin’s mission has been to show the unbridled kaleidoscopic creativity just waiting to be unleashed when the inmates are finally allowed to run the movie-making asylum since 2006. More comfortable behind the camera as the writer/director of the award-winning “Tarantino meets Twilight Zone” sin-soaked short film trilogy, “The Gospel According to Booze, Bullets & Hot Pink Jesus,” the on-the-road killer thriller, “Between Hell and a Hard Place,” or the sinister stay-at-home horror hits of “Don’t Let the Light In” and “The Corner,” he’s also at home in front of the camera, acting in such frightful and delightful films recently as “Night of the Living Dead: Genesis,” “Knob Goblins,” “Loop,” “Hybrid” and “Born Again.” Up next for Buterin and the Mad Ones will be his very first feature-length film, the coulrophobia-courting/clown killing goodness of “KILL GIGGLES!”

Nathan Ludwig is an award-winning screenwriter and short filmmaker based in Richmond, VA.  He is also the director and lead programmer of the GenreBlast Film Festival.  In addition to that, he has served as a screenplay judge for a multitude of festivals and competitions.​His most recent short film, “What’s For Dinner?” is currently playing at film fests around the country.  He most recently finished co-writing a segment for the upcoming horror anthology Cryptids and is currently writing the graphic novel spin-off for the cult splatter film “Night of Something Strange,” which was a big hit on the indie festival circuit in 2016.

​His screenplays have won awards at film festivals and screenplay competitions all over the world. He has won or placed highly at Screamfest, Shriekfest, Buffalo Dreams, StoryPros, Final Draft Big Break, Creative World Awards, Crimson Screen, Horror Hotel, Northeast Film Fest, South Carolina Underground Film Fest, Nashville Film Fest and many more.  He has scored an ‘8’ twice on the Blacklist and placed in the top 15% and top 10% in consecutive years at the Nicholl Fellowships.  He's now in pre-production for his latest short film, "Love, Post-Mortem" and is gunning for that coveted 5% at the Nicholls next year.

 Mahdis Marzooghian - Screenplay Judge

 Tanya Chuturkova - Film Judge

Susan Boone grew up an eager consumer of all things horror, reading authors ranging from Edgar Allen Poe to Stephen King, and never missing a Saturday afternoon Creature Feature.  After prosecuting criminal cases for 20 years, telling real-life horror stories to jurors, Susan has transitioned into film as a Script Supervisor and has worked on several independent projects including the delightfully creepy Rainy Season, based on the Stephen King short story.  She enjoys helping talented film makers bring their visions to life.

 Bria Baker - Screenplay Judge

 Jaysen Buterin - Film Judge

Festival Judges

Mahdis is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Five on the Fifth. She has a Master’s Degree in Professional Writing from Towson University. Mahdis is currently Assistant Managing Editor at Money Map Press, an Agora Publishing Company, based in Baltimore city. Her essay, "Going Back," was published in Heartwood Literary Magazine's October 2016 issue. Her most recent non-fiction essay, "A Persian Brew", was published in Feminine Inquiry (Fem Inq) Literary Magazine'sFebruary/March 2017 issue. She also had a short essay published in the series anthology, Miso for Life: A Melting Pot of Thoughts, in 2012. She writes as much as she can during her spare time and is currently finishing up her debut novel. Mahdis is also fluent in Farsi and French. She loves to travel.

Tanya Chuturkova is a Creative Producer and Director with experience in television, theater and film. Tanya has written, produced  and directed eight short films and is currently developing a scripted TV series. She also produces and directs variety TV shows, commercials, corporate videos, non-scripted TV series and live events for TV broadcast, as well as all types of creative video content. Tanya has specialized as a First Assistant Director on the film sets of commercials and more than 20 films, including the short films “Becoming Lucy” and “War Bride” winners of numerous film festival awards. Tanya has an editing background with credits on numerous award-winning variety shows and commercials. Originally from Sofia, Bulgaria, Tanya is currently based in New York City and develops diverse types of audiovisual projects for the European, North American and the expanding Chinese markets.

Melissa has been a freelance writer and editor for multiple horror sites over the last two years before starting her own site in June 2016. HorrorGeekLife.com combines horror with geek culture and gaming, three passions Melissa has had most of her life. The site has now grown to 20 writers and one other editor. She is a proud family member of Eli Roth's Crypt TV and was recently named "Member of the Month." She also helps admin one of the largest horror groups on Facebook in addition to several smaller groups. Melissa has a passion for watching cheesy horror, small budget independent films and films involving practical effects. She also attends various horror, comic and gaming conventions throughout the year, meeting and interviewing some of her favorite people from the industry.

 Tim Davis - Screenplay Judge

Bria’s love for cinema started at a very young age when she would stay up past her bedtime to catch Bill Collins’ Golden Years of Hollywood. Hooked by those classics she knew a career in film and TV beckoned. Since completing a film studies degree, Bria has worked at Film Victoria and the ABC Television Network, providing research and analysis for their production, script and acquisitions teams. She has written a number of industry reports including Breakout Australian Films and Genre and the Box Office, and has conducted audience test screenings for several locally produced horror features. Recently she undertook a role as a shorts programmer for Australia's premier horror and genre festival, Monster Fest. As a long-suffering insomniac Bria consumes way too much content. She can probably thank Bill for that.