2015 Short Film Competition Judges

Film Fest logo. A blue handy man leaning forward holds a green video camera. The wheel of his wheelchair forms the C in the phrase Cinema Touching Disability.

November 6-7, 2015
Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 W. Anderson Ln., Austin, TX 78757 (map)

Cindy Adams

Cindy is the Chief Operating Officer of Superior HealthPlan, Inc., an affiliate of Centene Corporation (www.centene.com), a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise that provides programs and related services to individuals receiving benefits under Medicaid.

Cindy's professional experience includes 33 years working with government-funded programs in both the public and private sectors, with an emphasis on long-term care delivery in a community-based setting. She earned her BS in Social Work from the University of North Texas. She currently serves on the Board for the Texas Silver Haired Legislature Foundation, and was appointed by the HHSC Executive Commissioner to the Promoting Independence Advisory Committee.

Cinema Touching Disability is pleased to have Cindy as a Short Film Competition judge for the third time. 

Dr. Laurence A. Becker

From 1964-1974, Dr. Becker served as Chairman of the English Department at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, where he founded and directed the Texas Student Film Festival. Dr. Becker also taught "Introduction to the Film," the largest senior elective offered at the school.

Then in 1983, he directed and produced the international, award-winning documentary film With Eyes Wide Open about autistic savant artist Richard Wawro of Edinburgh, Scotland. For the past thirty-six years he has worked with and written about some of the world’s most prolific autistic savant artists.

A longtime supporter of Cinema Touching Disability, Dr. Becker has served as a Short Film Competition judge since 2007.

Eric Clow

A man in sunglasses smiles at the camera with a sweeping desert landscape in the background.Since his childhood, Eric Clow has been passionate about film. He started making short documentaries in high school. His award-winning short film, It’s Just Us: Taking a Stand While Sitting Down, focused on the struggles of the disability rights movement.

In 2011, Eric graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in Geography, but he also received extensive training in film production, film editing, screenwriting, and radio programming.

Eric’s passions still reside in the arts, and he spends his time writing, making music, and constantly seeking new films to enjoy. He currently works at VSA Texas. 

Cinema Touching Disability is pleased to welcome Eric back for his third year of judging the Short Film Competition.

Victor Diaz

As a film reporter, Victor covers everything from local productions to Hollywood blockbusters and specialty films that populate Austin's art houses. He is also TWC News's film critic and Austin's only member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. In 2009, Victor was honored by the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters for his specialty beat covering the film industry.

In college, Victor joked that he majored in sporting events because he traveled to hundreds of basketball, hockey, and football games across the country. His most memorable moments include being in New York City for the San Antonio Spurs' first championship in 1999, the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He also became a fitness enthusiast and still remembers a lot about aerobics.

A supporter of Cinema Touching Disability from early on, Victor has served as a Short Film Competition judge since 2010.

Lynn Johnson

A woman in glasses and a bright red polo shirt smiles at the camera.Lynn Johnson is in charge of Community Relations and Outreach Services at VSA Texas, a group devoted to promoting the creative power in people with disabilities. She co-founded Disability from Real to Reel, a film festival of local and international film by and about people with disabilities.

After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater, she pursued different careers in the motion picture industry as a film editor and professional theater as props designer, back stage manager, house manager and volunteers for various equity theaters in Austin.

Cinema Touching Disability is pleased to have Lynn as a Short Film Competition judge for the third year.

Barbra Sonnen-Hernandez

In a field of blue bonnets, a woman in glasses smiles at the camera as her hair tosses in the wind.Native Texan Barbra Sonnen-Hernandez started "KIDS IDEAS," Austin's first children's television educational program in the 1990s, which aired on KXAN and KNVA. In addition to directing and producing the show, she taught acting and video production classes for kids and teens.

In 2008, she became ill with a rare disease called Guillain Barrè Syndrome (GBS). After a year of hospitalization and countless therapy sessions, her experience with this illness lead and encouraged her to write a book (Why Didn't I Die?).

Today, Barbra continues to write books and is a strong advocate for healthcare and lends herself to community service. As a Rare Disease Ambassador for Central Texas, she has organized rallies at the Texas State Capitol bringing awareness to the Legislature. Barbra is on the city of Georgetown Texas ADA Advisory Board and also works from time to time as an actress for film and television, encouraging those with disabilities to pursue this profession.

Cinema Touching Disability is thrilled to have Barbra as a new competition judge.

Sandy Wood

A woman in a brightly lit room leans against a column and smiles at the camera.Sandy Wood has been a working writer/ producer and voice talent for over three decades. Her work has been featured in radio, television, print, and static museum exhibits. Since 1991, Sandy has been the voice of Star Date Radio, a production of the University of Texas McDonald Observatory, heard nationwide on approximately 350 commercial and NPR stations.

Additionally, she is a writer/ producer of audio flash fiction and was selected as a finalist in 2009 by the Artist Foundation of San Antonio. Sandy was chosen by National Geographic publications to write the forward for their publication, Backyard Guide to the Night Sky, and was featured in a New York Times article on October 30, 2011.

Cinema Touching Disability is pleased to welcome Sandy back for her third year of judging the Short Film Competition.

Submit to the Film Festival

Click to submit with FilmFreeway

Film Fest Newsletter

Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay up to date with the Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival & Short Film Competition.

Click here to subscribe!

Current issue: Austin's unique Film Fest circuit