2020 Short Film Competition Judges

Business portrait of Roger in a suit and tie

Roger DeLeon is the Community Relations Representative for Amerigroup in Austin, Texas. He currently serves on the Texas Council on Consumer Direction at Texas HHSC, member of the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) at the Area Agency on Aging, and a long-time promoter of Disability Mentoring Day with the City of Austin and Texas Center for Disability Studies at the University of Texas. Roger is currently enrolled in the Partners in Disability Leadership at The Arc of Texas. He brings over 20 years of case management and service coordination experience working with Texas Medicaid waivers & programs. He’s a fierce advocate for self-determination. On his spare time, he likes to cook & bbq, listen to live music, paint art, refurbish old furniture, and collect odd things-such as his antique stapler collection.

Close up of Faith smiling directly at the camera, wearing dark blue

Faith Salie is an Emmy-winning contributor to CBS Sunday Morning and a panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! Sh was host of Science Goes to the Movies on PBS for five seasons. She also hosted coverage of the Sundance Film Festival for Sundance Channel. Her memoir Approval Junkie will debut as an Off-Broadway play in 2021. She’s honored to have been invited to watch these films and have her heart opened and her mind blown.

Close up of Barbra smiling up at the camera with a stony fountain in the background

Barbra Sonnen-Hernandez directed and produced a children's television show in Austin, Texas in the 1990's. The show aired on the NBC and Warner Bros. affiliates for 9 years. She owned KIDS IDEAS Productions, which consisted of the TV show and film classes for adults and children.

Barbra became ill with a rare disease back in 2008 and since then, she has devoted her time in helping those with rare diseases and disabilities providing research and resources to families. She organized rallies at the Austin State Capitol bringing awareness to Legislative leaders and pharmaceutical companies about rare diseases. Barbra does several speaking events sharing her story and has written several books.

She shares her love of film teaching at Austin Community College working with the Interior Design Institute in the Display program teaching students about studio sets, filming and television marketing.

Judith smiles up at the camera, leaning forward on her desk

Judith Vecchione works at WGBH Boston, where she has contributed to major PBS documentary series including Vietnam: A Television History, Nova, American Experience, and Frontline. She was series senior producer for the award-winning Eyes on the Prize, and has worked as executive producer for many national PBS series, including Americas and Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues; and for one-night specials, including Young & Restless in China, The Longoria Affair, and Blood Sugar Rising. Her next project is American Veteran, a four-part series on military veterans across our history, scheduled for air in November 2021 on PBS nationwide.

Her interest in presenting stories of people with disabilities goes back to her early work as a news captioner for the hearing-impaired. More recently she executive produced Medal Quest: American Athletes and the Paralympic Games, PBS’s ground-breaking digital series on the 2012 London Games, and Ice Warriors: USA Sled Hockey, an award-winning PBS special on the gold-medal sled hockey team at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics. Judith is also senior editorial advisor to WORLD Channel, a 24-7 national public media platform that presents unique nonfiction programming from established and emerging filmmakers, focusing on untold stories and underrepresented communities, including the disability community.

In a helmet and biking gear, Dr. Becker looks out at the camera.

CTDFF Judge Emeritus Dr. Laurence A. Becker received his Ph.D. in Creative Learning Environments in 1980, from the Union Institute & University.  Prior to his PhD, he had served for ten years as Chairman of the English Department at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin. While at St. Stephen’s, he founded and, for six years, directed the Texas Student Film Festival- one of the largest and most successful student film festivals in the US at that time. 

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 36 years, he has worked with and written about some of the world’s most prolific autistic savant artists.