Meet Our 2022 Jurors
Kim Estes, an Emmy Award winner for “Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series - 2017, for his role as Sergeant Amanda Smith in “Dicks.” His impressive list of TV appearances includes “Criminal Minds, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Fresh off the Boat, Pretty Little Liars, The Real O'Neals," and "NCIS". You can also see him in the season six Private Practice episode Apron Strings where he plays a mediator. This list continues with character parts in “400 Days, Crossroad, The Bachelor Next Door,
5 Hour Friends, Night Eyes, Removal and a host of other films.
While born and raised in Los Angeles, Kim has spent time in Vallejo, where he attended college at CSU, Cal Maritime Academy before continuing his post-graduate work at the University of Southern California. We are thrilled to have Kim Estes as a member of our juror panel.
Kim Estes, Actor
Emmy Award Winner
Luella Hill-Dudley, Poet, Spoken-Word Artist, Publisher, Host of "It's Luella" Talk Show
In 2012 Luella Hill-Dudley was spiritually inspired to start her own company named, Sistahs With Ink Foundation, where she brings artists of all talents together and creates a platform for them to gain exposure and be connected with others just like them. She has created many projects that allow them to explore new ideas with their talent. She has helped new authors with book trailers, featuring them in the foundation’s calendar, published “Sistahs With Ink Voices,” which was a collaboration of writers within the Sistahs With Ink Foundation’s online group. Luella has mentored many new up-and-coming artists globally.
Luella has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the H.O.P.E. (Helping Others Pursue Excellence) Award by OML Productions; the Knights of Peter Claver awarded her “Outstanding Community Service.” 2017 -2018, the National Association of Professional Women inducted Luella Hill -Dudley as VIP Woman Of the Year Circle.
She has been featured in Upscale Magazine, The Sun Reporter newspaper, The Oakland Post newspaper, and many more.
Luella launched her first production titled “2014 Black Fire and Ice, A Poetry and Music Affair,” which brought Bay Area artists together to perform at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium. As a keynote poet, she brought in local artists to share the spotlight with her at the Railroad Book Depot in Pittsburg, California, and Barnes and Noble in Brentwood, California.
In May 2017, she published the book “Blackballed Twice,” written by Mike Norris, ex-Oakland Athletics’ pitcher.
Dave Kilgore, Actor
Composer, Playwright, Author
Dave has lived in and around Detroit, Michigan his whole life, took four years of theatre in high school, and worked as a pianist/singer/entertainer for twenty years before going into film
acting. He has appeared on camera in over one hundred projects in the last ten years, including feature films, shorts, commercials, and industrial films, playing roles that range from a police detective to mob boss to mayor to the Grim Reaper. He has also produced a handful of his own short films and music videos that have screened at festivals across the country.
Dave, always more than happy to share his life experience, enjoys most watching his students
grow and learn. He has taught piano, theatre and film acting and was a mentor for the 2018 Capstone film class at Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan, where he instructed students on the auditioning, directing, and handling of talent on set.
Dave has written over one hundred songs, two musical plays for kids, and multiple books, including a book of monologues and scenes for young actors. His three books of monologues for
adult actors are available online.
Meja Pannell-Tyehimba, V.P. BOD, Mira Theater Guild
Film/Theater Producer/Director, Brady Fellow
Meja Pannell-Tyehimba is a 2021 3Girls Theatre Brady Fellow. She is originally from NYC, where she began her theatrical career with Harlem’s famed New Lafayette Theatre. She has written, produced, and directed numerous plays and is the author of the scene study book “Real-Scenes and Monologues for Urban Youth.” She is currently the Vice President of the Board of Directors and Program Developer for the Mira Theatre Guild.
Ms. Tyehimba has taught theatre arts in NY, NM, DC, and CA. She is a Filmmaking Mentor with the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project’s Film & Freedom Academy. As a filmmaker, she has successfully completed several short films. In addition, Ms. Tyehimba is the artistic director of the Chocolate Rainbow Theatre Company. A theatre company comprised of LGBTQ-AI People of Color actors and their allies. https://miratheatreguild.org/
Shirley Smallwood, Actress
Film & Theatrical, Voice Artist
Born and raised in Berkeley, CA., Shirley A. Smallwood started out training and performing classical music both vocals and violin from elementary through high school. Her bother gave her Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn albums as birthday gifts and she instantly got hooked. Smallwood co-founded, along with Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe and the late great Lester Jones, Black Artists Contemporary Cultural Experience (BACCE) was born out the Sugar Shack Performance Gallery & Cultural Center, a groundbreaking artist-run Black Artspace in San Francisco’s so-called Lower Haight. She recently won a collective award from the 9th Annual Independent Series Award for best comedy ensemble for “The Rich and the Ruthless”, directed by Victoria Rowell (Diagnosis Murder, The Young and the Restless), currently on the UMC.tv website. Co-starred in the San Francisco premiere of "Dead and Breathing" as Caroline which was produced by Theatre Rhino. Played a thousand-year Kracken, and a 100-year-old sailor in “Life on the Ocean Wave” at the Exit Theatre and several local voiceover commercials. Wrote and sang the Italian aria for the independent film, "Zoli's Brain", produced and directed by Tiffany Schwalain. "Zoli's Brain" premiered at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. She co-starred as Brenda in "She's Got Next", produced and directed b Tricia C. Valencia of Flaca Films.
She was featured in the "Kymora Curve Control Jeans" informational that ran nationwide. Smallwood selected and performed all the music for Mike and Je@ Nishimura's play "Avenues". She co-starred in two productions at the New Conservatory Theater, "The Last Session" as Tryshia the Diva and the legendary Bricktop in "Red, Hot, and Cole". She played Sister Mary Hubert in Dan Groggins' "Messhuga Nuns" at the Paci<ca Repertory Theater in Carmel, CA. She played the Courtesan for Marin Shakespeare Theater's adaptation of "Comedy of Errors" and was the understudy (Beatrice) for "The House that Would Not Stand" at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Smallwood returned to college at the age of 42 and received her BA in Music from Holy Names College.
Brook Penca, Actor, Writer, Director, Producer
Brook is a veteran actor and member of the Screen Actors Guild. He has numerous acting credits, but also writes, directs, and produces. He is set to direct a SAG short film called Painkiller in Los Angeles this March.
Brook continues to work as a high school Principal, something he has done for about fifteen years. He is passionate about working to help the Homeless, and he is the proud parent of four children.
Jackie Nelson, Producer, Director, Editor, Educator
Jackie Nelson is a California native. She is the office manager of Vallejo Community Access Television (VCAT). She has always been enthusiastic about the arts and video production in particular. Jackie has worn many hats in the world of video production and digital media.
She has spent the last decade working with students interested in mastering the skills and artistry of television production. A highlight to her world of video production has been watching her students progress to the point of winning awards and recognition at the local VCAT Ursula Awards Film Festival and other competitions. She has produced and directed many independent television productions, TV commercials, Sporting events & Music videos. She is also a freelance editor and graphic artist.
TJ Walkup, Director
Producer, Cinematographer, Editor
TJ Walkup is an award-winning filmmaker who has been a professional in the television industry for over 27 years. Owner of OMNIFIC PICTURES an independent production company. He has been DP for National Geographic and directed/produced videos for MTV, HGTV, Discovery Communications, and countless other channels and outlets.
As a stringer TJ Walkup has sold stories to every major affiliate. He is a recipient of a Cine Golden Eagle Award for the docu-series “Addicted” and this work was also nominated for a Prism. A recent film he has shot is “Trial by Fury,” which features his cinematography and is the reexamination of the Lacie Peterson Case featuring Mark Geragos the defense attorney.
TJ Walkup is a Father and a Husband and works out of the SF Bay Area, occasionally his filmmaking takes him to New York/LA and the Amazon Jungle.
Debra Miller, Actress, Editor
Debra Miller is an American-born actress from Arkansas. Her film credits include “San Andreas, Steve Jobs, Ant-Man 1 and 2, Venom, Sense 8, and Jordan Peele’s thriller US.” Along with film credits, she has added a number of TV shows to her list of credits, which include “Murder in the First on TNT, Wives with Knives on Investigation Discovery, HBO Ballers, and ABC's miniseries When We Rise.” Additionally, “Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and a speaking spot in A Taiwanese Tale of Two Cities.” She has appeared in numerous commercials with several Golden State Warrior Basketball players such as Stephen Curry “Stronger Feels Good” for Muscle Milk, Wins and Losses” for Kaiser Permanente, Draymond Green “Beats by Dre” Headphones for Apple, and Andre Iguodala “NBA Hands” for NBA. Debra has booked roles for “Sutter Health, Princess Cruise, Samsung, Apple, Geico Insurance, Vistaprint, Microsoft Office 365, Wells Fargo
and Bank of the West.”
In 2018, Debra landed a featured spot in a national commercial with singer/musician John Legend and then Golden State Warrior’s Kevin Durant for Google Assistant called; "Make Google Do It!" In 2019, Debra booked a brief, but visible role, in a commercial for Post’s “Honey Bunches of Oats" and "David’s Bridal”. She has acted in shorts and featured films such as Jacalyn Evone’s “Stripes and Sisters.” She played mom to known Oakland rapper Fabby Davis Jr aka Mr. Fab on Season 1 of “The North Pole Show.” In 2018, Debra agreed to participate in research to obtain FDA approval of a groundbreaking ultrasound machine to detect early signs of "breast cancer"; Allowing an alternative to painful Mammograms. Her sharing of personal breast cancer scares and family history of the killer disease.
Debra has earned IMDB credits for various accomplishments. She’s detailed oriented and has a keen eye. She’s worked in production, craft services, editing, and on a team of producers for distributed web series. In 2019, she added voice-over; to her skills, and has been in charge as a Film Festival juror assistant, coordinator, and floor manager. Off-camera, she’s a licensed pharmacy technician, Cosmetologist, and a certificate for nurse’s assistant in 2009. With two associate degrees and one course shy of completing registered nursing prerequisites. Debra is determined to excel academically. A wife of thirty-plus years, mom of six amazing adults, and grandmother to eight adorable youngsters; her faith, singing, cooking, dancing, yard work, writing scripts, poetry and perfecting her skills are of utmost importance.