IPRHFF 2023 Judges Panel
Meet The Judges
Deidre McDonald is currently Founding Artistic Director for the BronzeLens Film Festival. The festival is a charter member of ARRAY (a national distribution entity for independent film founded by Ava DuVernay). In 2016 BLFF was designated as an Academy Award Qualifying Film Festival in the Shorts Category. Previously she served as Project Leader for the Georgia Entertainment Media Work Ready Region (GEM), an economic development initiative focusing on career development in radio, television, film, music and gaming. In addition, she has been a college level educator who has been involved with curriculum design and student career enhancement. As Senior Producer for Programs and Projects for WXIA-TV she is an eight-time Emmy Award winning producer/writer who created programming shot locally, nationally and internationally. She has received numerous local and national awards for her programming and projects.
She is a former President of Women in Film and Television/Atlanta and served on its board for many years. In addition, she was the Board Chair for the Black Women Film Network and continues to serve on their board. In 2018 she was selected for the Metro Atlanta Arts Leader class under the auspices of the Atlanta Regional Commission.
Ed Trucco wrote The Last Hand, Truth Will Out, Ghost Precinct, & No Way Back. As Cinematographer he lensed El Montaje, The Art Lesson, The Iron Warehouse, & Then There Was Luz. Acting credits include: La Reina del Sur 3 (Kate Del Castillo), The Last Rumba, Al Otro Lado del Muro, Maria Full of Grace (Catalina Moreno), You Can not Hide (Eduar- do Noriega), Even After Everything (Alice Callahan), & several American TV series.
Has spent his adult life lending a small, but well placed, hand in the making of thousands of scenes for TV and film. As a sought after Dolly Grip, Jon has had a front row seat to the creation of shows from The Sopranos to The Plot Against America to Hamilton, an American Musical. Jon has also served as a director of photography on numerous films, as well as written and directed two shorts of his own, including “The Violin,” starring Matthew Rhys.
Ramy Romany is a world-renowned Egyptologist, bestselling author, and an Emmy Award winning DGA director. He was born into a family of documentarians in Egypt, in fact before the age of twenty he filmed, produced, directed, and was featured in over a hundred documentaries about Ancient Egypt. Storytelling is his passion and, some would say, in his blood.
After leaving his home, Egypt, he moved to Los Angeles, CA where he continues his passion for storytelling. He has won nine Emmy Awards, hosted multiple archaeological based shows on discovery, travel and history channels, and directed commercials and major shows for a variety of networks such as ABC, NBC, FOX, HBO, Netflix, Peacock and Amazon.
Romany lives with his wife and three children. His wife often works with him, and his children are likely to continue the family tradition of telling great stories.
It should be noted that Ramy dons a daily “uniform.” If you approach him in his blue shirt, jeans and hat and ask him how he’s doing, he will undoubtedly say, “I’ve never been betta”.
Sharra Romany is a Commercial Director/Cinematographer, and co-founder of Romany Films, a Los Angeles/Cairo production company.
Currently serving her second term as a Board of Governor and Co-Chair for Inclusion at the esteemed Society of Camera Operators (SOC), Sharra actively works towards fostering diversity and inclusivity within the industry.
Sharra has journeyed across the globe in pursuit of captivating stories, from hunting down monsters on SyFy Channel’s Destination Truth, to filming with winners of the Elevate Prize in India and Africa, to contributing to the creation of the widely popular Tiny Kitchen. No adventure has been greater though, than homeschooling and traveling around the globe with her three children in search of mummies, pirates, and Disney Parks.
Sharra Romany’s mission is to leverage the power of entertainment to shed light on important social and cultural issues, elevate the human experience, and amplify the voices of women.
Sharra is excited to participate in the International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival in honor of her great aunt Dr. Margarita Morales-Kearns originally of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and later Harrisburg, PA. Dr. Kearns was the valedictorian of her 1954 class at the University of Puerto Rico, obtained a Masters from Columbia University, and spoke five languages. In acknowledgment of her lifelong commitment to social services, Margarita was bestowed an honorary Ph.D. by Harrisburg Area Community College in 1993. She was a taught Spanish at both Gettysburg College and Harrisburg Area Community College, and served as the director of the Hispanic Center in Harrisburg, epitomizing tireless dedication and advocacy for Latinos in the region. Over the course of her life, she embraced the role of Godmother to over seventy children, and an inspired an entire community.