Each year, our panelists, which include film, sociology, and theology experts due to the content in most of our films, review each submitted film along with our festival Directors and choose the best films in accordance with our Submission Guidelines. During the festival, the audience has the unique experience of exploring the films’ themes, techniques, and the processes used to capture their stories by participating in discussions and Q&A’s with the filmmakers and our panel of experts after each screening.
JAMES S. RANDOLPH – James has been teaching since 1983 at the University of Florida where he taught Speech, Oral Interpretation and Performance as an adjunct Professor. He holds a B.F.A degree from the University of Miami and an M.F.A degree from the University of Florida. Both degrees are in Theater with an emphasis on Acting and Directing. He has also taught at The University of Miami, trained professional actors as a consultant for the Theatre League of South Florida, and the Acting Studio and was also an Associate Professor of Theatre at Barry University. As an actor over the past 34 years has appeared in over 100 plays, commercials, television shows and feature films and is a member of Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. James won a Carbonell Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the dual roles of Mr. Lies/Belize in Tony Kushner’s epic play, Angels in America, and was also recognized by the New Times as Best Actor in a Comedy for his work as a finicky feline in the inaugural season for City Theatre’s series of short plays, Summer Shorts. He has directed over 60 plays and musicals. James has also participated in a series of master classes with internationally acclaimed playwrights Edward Albee, Marie Irene Fornes, Arthur Kopit and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright David Auburn as part of special workshops through The Theater League of South Florida and the Division of Cultural Affairs. James continues to perform in regional theatres throughout the South Florida Area.
MARIO XAVIER – Mario Xavier is a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild and Director’s Guild of America. He hosts a popular YouTube channel where he produces short movies and comedy skits and has served on the production staff of such movies as Captain America: Civil War, Iron Man 3, Ride Along 2 and Dolphin Tale 2. Mario lives with his beautiful wife, Jennifer, and his three-year-old son, Logan.
FRANCISCO H. CASTILLO – Francisco Castillo, D.Min., works as a senior editor and multicultural specialist at RCL Benziger. He is an adjunct professor of Religious Studies at Broward College. He is a member of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States and a member of the National Hispanic Institute of Liturgy. His professional interests include Catholic social thought, liturgical theology, liturgical and theological aesthetics, liberation theology, U.S. Hispanic/Latino(a) theology, religious studies, comparative religion, religion and film and cultural identity.
ANDREA PUENTE – Andrea Puente is a Miami-based filmmaker and producer. Andrea has written and directed award-winning short films that have screened at over 25 film festivals in the US and abroad. Andrea earned a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication from the University of Florida and a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production from Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. Her short film Pedro Pan screened at the 2014 JP2IFF and was awarded The Reel Rose Award for Best Short Screenplay.
MONTSERRAT HÉNAULT – Montse joined the Becket Fund For Religious Liberty in the Fall of 2009. She was elevated to her current position as Director of Operations in 2010, and leads initiatives in development, communications, and management. Montse has a B.A. in Political Science from Florida International University and a Master’s degree from the George Washington University’s School of Political Management concentrating in Advocacy Politics. She is the current editor of AltFem Magazine, a platform for women of faith, was appointed to the Montgomery County Commission for Women in July 2011 and is a former member of the Board of Directors for Shepherd’s Table, a homeless shelter in Silver Spring, MD. Montse has been featured as a Spanish and English-language spokesperson for Becket on Univision’s Despierta America, Fox Business’ Stossel, EWTN’s The World Over with Raymond Arroyo, as well as other networks. She is fluent is French and is a competitive jazz and classical vocalist.
JIM EIMMERMAN – A teacher, filmmaker, and family man, Jim has a passion for filmmaking, theology, and education. With an M.F.A. in Film & Production from Loyola Marymount University, an M.A. in Theology and Christian Ministry from Franciscan University of Steubenville, and a B.A. in History from Barry University, Jim is a driven individual with the motivation to conceive, produce and exhibit works that will entertain audiences through purposeful and universal cinematic storytelling. He is the founder of Still Point Films and has produced various independent films, including the Award-Winning Force-Full Imagination.
ROZA PATI – Professor Pati is a tenured Law Professor and teaches International Law, Human Rights Law and Human Trafficking Law. Formerly a Member of Parliament and a Cabinet Member serving as the Secretary of State for Youth and Women of Albania, Dr. Pati has a rich experience in public service and academia. In August 2012, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Professor Pati to be a Member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, at the Vatican. She is the only Council member representing the United States. In 2005, Professor Pati facilitated the preparation of The Miami Declaration of Principles on Human Trafficking, a set of law and policy recommendations, and she has made presentations on human trafficking in the capacity of an expert in several national and international symposia, conferences and seminars. She has lectured on issues of international law, human rights law, international criminal law, human trafficking law as well as democracy and the rule of law at several universities worldwide. She is Executive Director of the LL.M./ J.S.D. Program in Intercultural Human Rights and she also directs the Human Trafficking Academy, a project that started with the sponsorship of a Congressional grant administered through the Department of Justice.
STEVE STEIN, PhD – Dr. Stein is professor of History at the University of Miami, Director of wine education at the Societá Dante Alighieri of Miami and member of the Tasting Board for the Florida International Wine Challenge. He is a film aficionado and is honored to be paneling in the JP2IFF for his third year.
PATRICIA BAINBERG – Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to a Jewish father and Catholic mother, Patricia Bainberg embraced the Catholic faith when she was 19 years old. She holds a degree in Oriental Studies from Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires where she also worked as Assistant Professor of Jewish Philosophy for two years. Ever since her baptism she has played an active role in the Catholic Action, first in Argentina and later on in Miami. In 1994 Patricia became a member of the Committee of Relations with Judaism of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Argentina. She also worked for the Department of Religious Affairs and for the Department of Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Argentina, and was very much involved in the relations with the Jewish Community and interfaith dialogue while coordinating the preparatory works for the First Latin American Forum on Holocaust on April, 2001. She has dictated numerous conferences on Jewish themes and interfaith relations. At present she coordinates Bible studies at St Agnes, St Hugh, Holy Rosary-St Richard, Prince of Peace, St Ann Mission and St. Thomas Apostle. Patricia and her husband, Deacon Andres Zapatero, have been married for twenty five years and have two children.
GERRI BARRERAS – Gerri has been a dance teacher for over twenty-five years. As a former professional dancer she performed in Mexico, Spain and toured the Southern United States and danced with the Miami Dance Company, Ballet Etudes, and Les Jazz Ballets. Educated by fabulous instructors from Miami, Chicago, L.A and New York, these teachers inspired and formulated her love of dance. In 1981, Ms. Barreras opened her own school, Dancer’s Point, which was successful in claiming various National titles and the coveted A.C.C.A. award for Best Recital, Best Choreography and Outstanding Soloists. Gerri choreographed the Carnaval Miss Miami Pageant for 10 years and the Sears: Solo Para Mi show for Calle Ocho working with such great artists as Willie Chirino and the late Celia Cruz. Gerri has a Master’s Degree from Nova University in Interdisciplinary Arts and specializes in teaching ballet, lyrical, contemporary, jazz and musical theatre. She has been a faculty member and judge for American Dance Awards, Dance Educators of America, Dance Masters of America, Headliners National Dance Competitions and the North American Dance Championships. Presently, she is the dance director at the prestigious Gulliver Preparatory School. Teaching is her life-long passion and she is so humbled to be a part of the talent that has passed through her life. Her biggest loves are her two children, who are living the dream of performing in NYC!
TAMARA LAWSON- Tamara F. Lawson is a tenured Professor of Law at Saint Thomas University School of Law where she teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and a seminar on Race and the Law. Prior to joining the law faculty, Professor Lawson served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Clark County District Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas, Nevada, from 1996-2002. As a criminal prosecutor, Professor Lawson was assigned to the Special Victims Unit for Domestic Violence, as well as other departments in the prosecutor’s office. She successfully argued multiple cases before the Nevada Supreme Court, including death penalty appeals. In addition to general criminal cases, Professor Lawson, in her capacity as Deputy D.A., handled environmental crimes, involuntary mental commitments, and bail bond hearings. Professor Lawson’s research and writing interests include criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, trial advocacy, cyber crime, international criminal law, race and law, and professional responsibility. Her most recent article is A Fresh Cut in an Old Wound – A Critical Analysis of the Trayvon Martin Killing: The Public Outcry, the Prosecutors’ Discretion, and The Stand Your Ground Law. In connection with her research on the Trayvon Martin case, Professor Lawson made local media appearances and has been selected as the Reporter for the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws. Some of her other notable publications include Mainstreaming Civil Rights in the Law School Curriculum and A Shift Towards Gender Equality in Prosecutions. Her articles have been published in Law Reviews and Journals such as LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO LAW JOURNAL; SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY LAW JOURNAL; UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA JOURNAL OF LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY; SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY LAW JOURNAL; UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND JOURNAL OF RACE, RELIGION, GENDER, AND CLASS; and the SAINT THOMAS LAW REVIEW.
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