April 5, 2022 – The Vaughan International Film Festival (VFF) is proud to welcome three new members to the judging panel for the festival’s tenth annual year. This trio of leading voices in the industry stem from diverse backgrounds and include renowned Canadian actor Kim Roberts, award-winning director and producer Samah Safi Bayazid, and Netflix audio workflows lead Ozzie Sutherland.“I am thrilled that these talented industry professionals have joined VFF’s judging panel during such a special milestone year,” said Antonio Ienco, Co-Founder and Director of Sponsorship and Events. “Each of them brings forth a wide array of experience and knowledge that, when combined with the current panel of judges, creates a fresh and dynamic selection process.”With over 200 film, television, theatre and voice credits, Kim Roberts is a pioneer in the arts industry. Not only has she represented Canada on domestic and international screens for the past 30 years, but she is also one of the first to have paved the way for artists of colour right here at home. Kim was the first Black woman to speak in a nationally televised Canadian commercial in the early ’90s.Based in Washington D.C., Samah Safi Bayazid is a director and producer who focuses on telling important humanitarian stories such as the struggles of refugees, children of war, women empowerment, fighting Islamophobia, and bringing positive representation for Muslims in the western media. She co-owns LightArt Media Productions and co-founded LightArt VR.Ozzie Sutherland is a creative, optimistic, and talented visionary with superb technical expertise in audio engineering/mixing/sound editorial/studio design. While being based in Los Angeles, his reputation in the industry is known worldwide. Ozzie joined Netflix’s Creative Technologies team in 2018.These three new members join the current judging panel, composed of Andrew Jackson, Andrea Trentadue, Christopher Lane, Frank Morrone, Ellen Dubin, Tom McCarthy, Maria Ricossa, and Mark Lanza.The tenth edition of VFF will run from June 20-23, with two days of film screenings on the Monday and Wednesday, student films screening on the Tuesday, and concluding with the VFF Awards on the Thursday. Nominations and industry recognitions for this year’s festival will be revealed at the Spring Launch on May 17. To learn more, visit
Additional Bios: 

Andrew Jackson – Andrew is a versatile actor who has worked extensively in classical theatre, film, television, commercial voice, and animation projects. Some of his credits include All My ChildrenWind At My BackKyle XYTwists of Terror and Sea Wolf.

Andrea Trentadue – Andrea is a TV personality who began her professional career studying journalism at Humber College. In 2000, she joined CHIN Radio and Television, working many facets of the live show from Floor Director, Production Assistant, Segment Producer and finally, as co-host of the Johnny Lombardi show.

Christopher Lane – Christopher is an award-winning film and television writer, director, and producer. He is also an author, film historian, professor, and a former film production program coordinator. He now serves as a film and media curriculum developer for Yorkville University, as well as other educational institutions.

Frank Morrone – Frank is an Emmy-winning sound mixer who has mixed sound for high profile television and movies including LOSTThe StrainSleepy Hollow, and Oscar-winning When We Were Kings. He has worked with leading directors and producers including JJ Abrams, Guillermo del Toro, Gus Van Sant, Ron Howard, and Tim Burton.

Ellen Dubin – Ellen has enjoyed a highly unique and diverse career as an actor. Her penchant for landing bizarre and fascinating roles has resulted in her becoming a cult figure in the science fiction world. Ellen was nominated for a Gemini Award, and has worked on several productions, including: The Collector and Dead Before Dawn, and she was in the multi-award-winning Sundance Film Festival favourite, Napoleon Dynamite.

Tom McCarthy – Tom is a sound editor who won the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing during the 65th Academy Awards, winning for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. His current position is Executive Vice President of Post Production Facilities at Sony Pictures Studios. From 2016 to 2020, Tom held the position of President for the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE).

Maria Ricossa – Maria’s professional life began in Chicago with The Second City. She then moved to Toronto where she joined The Stratford Festival Company. In film and TV, Maria is known for her roles in The In-laws, playing the wife of Albert Brooks, Bojangles and The Space Between. She is currently teaching screen acting at Humber College.

Mark Lanza – Mark is the current MPSE President and has been crafting sound for top movies and television for years. Some of his credits include Independence DayTrue LiesHomeland, and JFK, for which he won a BAFTA. He has over 30 Golden Reel nominations to his name. Mark is currently working at Sony Pictures where he creates sound for TV’s top network and streaming shows.

About VFF The Vaughan International Film Festival, based in a neighbouring city of Toronto, is a not-for-profit organization highly invested in securing the future of the short film industry. Through public film screenings, scholarship opportunities as well as engaging and informative panels, webinars, and industry events, VFF strives to support both experienced and aspiring filmmakers.Now in its 10th edition, the festival continues to offer a platform for independent creators to share their films and further excel within the industry. Between the festival week, promotional events and unique screenings, filmmakers have the opportunity to reach an audience of over 19,000 people.