Final Jurors 2024

KC FIlmFest International 

 Sherae Rimpsey is an artist and writer. She has exhibited her work in the U.S. and internationally, most notably at the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, Poland; the Zentral Bibliothek in Zurich, Switzerland and National Library of Buenos Aires, Argentina as a contributing artist in Luis Camnitzer’s El Ultimo Libro – The Last Book project; and the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany where she was awarded the prestigious Solitude Fellowship. She is the recipient of a Philadelphia Foundation Grant as a Flaherty Fellow, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Vermont Studio Center Residencies.  Sherae has presented her 

Sherae Rimpsey

drawing, writing, film, performance, and sound work at Kentler International Drawing Space, Roulette Intermedium, Brooklyn, NY; Gallery Joe, Philadelphia, PA; Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland in Cleveland, OH; Elastic Arts, Constellation, Sector 2337 in Chicago, IL as part of the Poets Theatre Festival; Lithium Gallery, Comfort Station, South Side Community Art Center, Film Front, Experimental Sound Studio, and Harold Washington Library in Chicago. Sherae has contributed sound and writing for musician Matt Mehlan’s SLOW DANCES project—SLOWER DANCES, and was a guest performer with Every House Has A Door performance group in Carnival of the Animals. Sherae is a featured artist along with Clifford Owens on Kamau Amu Patton’s Second Mind / Alto Age a limited edition artwork and recording commissioned by the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, in conjunction with their exhibition Terry Adkins: Resounding. She has published her poetry in the Oyez Review, Collected, and Homonym Journal. Her first full-length book of poetry neon neon is out now, published by Shinkoyo_Artist Pool.

Sherae has a BFA in Technology & Integrated Media with an emphasis in Visual Culture from the Cleveland Institute of Art and an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Deidre Backs

DEIDRE BACKS is an independent producer and a KU Film & Media Studies professor. She produced Erica Tremblay’s debut feature, Fancy Dance, starring Lily Gladstone which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and will be released by Apple.

Backs was the recipient of the 2021 Mark Silverman honor as a Sundance Institute Creative Producing Lab fellow and was a 2022 Women at Sundance/Adobe fellow. For many years, she worked alongside producer Daniel Lupi with directors such as Steven Spielberg and Jordan Peele. Deidre began at Alexander Payne’s development company and worked with the director on Nebraska after transitioning to production. 

Kevin Coleman-Cohen

KEVIN COLEMAN-COHEN was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. He is a director and producer. Kevin received an MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute and a BA in Film and Television from Howard University. While at HU, Kevin studied under directors Bill Duke (Sister Act 2, Hoodlum, Deep Cover) and Haile Gerima (Sankofa). Kevin received an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Entertainment & Arts Management from Harvest Christian University for his work in independent filmmaking and his innovation and visionary creativity. 

In November 2023, Kevin received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from President Joe Biden for his service in building a stronger community through service. Kevin’s current short film, PRETTY BOY has gone to screen at major film festivals  including the Kansas City Filmfest International, the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival, the Pan African Film Festival, the Los Angeles International Film Festival, St. Louis International Film Festival, and more receiving acclaim and awards.

Stacey Woelfel

STACEY WOELFEL is a professor emeritus at the Missouri School of Journalism, having spent 35 years on the faculty starting in 1986 as the executive assignment editor at KOMU-TV, and eventually taking over the position of news director there in 1990. Woelfel spent more than 24 years in that position before becoming the founding director of the Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism. Woelfel was also the director of aerial journalism at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, teaching young drone pilots and overseeing the institute’s drone fleet.

Woelfel is the past national chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), past national president of the Carole Kneeland Project for Responsible Journalism, past president of the Mid-America chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and past president of the board for the Kansas City Film Festival. He has received the University of Missouri’s highest teaching honor, the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, as well as the Mizzou Alumni Association’s Faculty-Alumni Award.

Woelfel is the co-director of the feature documentary Keep the Cameras Rolling: The Pedro Zamora Way and was an associate producer on two of Robert Greene’s critically-acclaimed documentaries, Bisbee ’17 and Procession.

Steph Shannon

STEPH SHANNON is the current Director of Major Giving at Kansas City PBS Television Station. She is the previous Kansas City Film Commissioner (10 years) and 20+ years in the indie film and commercial production industry. Steph grew up in St. Louis, Mo. and is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a degree in Communications, emphasis in Film.

She re-established the KC Film Office in 2014, she led efforts to recruit and give assistance to scores of independent film, TV and commercial productions like Netflix’ Queer Eye, Cannes award-winning film American Honey and NBC’s American Ninja Warrior. In her tenure she assisted over 1,600 projects for an estimated $80M in jobs and economic impact.

She collaborated with the City of Kansas City to architect the city’s first ever local film incentive, which can be utilized by films, television, and commercial projects.

She is on the KU Professional Advisory Board, Imagine KC Advisory Board, serves as Treasurer of Grow Kansas Film and as Vice President of Film in Mo.