QFest 2017 Judges

In addition to Festival Committee members, judges will choose festival winners.

Anthony Pemberton is the Director of the Filmmaking Program at Montclair State University.  Pemberton was called One of Ten Directors to Watch by Daily Variety when his first feature film ‘Beyond the Ocean’ premiered in the Dramatic Competition in the Sundance Film Festival. BEYOND was nominated for a Grand Jury award, and received the Princess Grace Foundation Statue Award. Pemberton has previously shown films at The Anthology Film Archives, the Kino Museum in Moscow, The Whitney American Museum, as well as major festivals in America and Europe. His projects have been awarded funding from The Princess Grace Foundation Monaco, the Jerome Foundation, Arts Matters, New Jersey State Council of the Arts, and Arts Link. He is a graduate from the State University of New York at Purchase with a BFA in film in 1990, as well as the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts: Bard College with an MFA in film in 1993.

Lise Raven is filmmaker and Associate Professor at Montclair State University. Lise earned her BA from New York University, and her MFA from the Tisch School of the Arts.  Lise has been both a programmer and a judge at a number of film festivals including SLAMDANCE and ATLANTA.  Her current film is in competition at the VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL WOMEN IN FILM FESTIVAL.

Alex Biese, a lifelong Jersey Shore resident and writer for the Asbury Park Press.  Alex has written about the New Jersey entertainment scene since 2004.  Alex joined the Asbury Park Press in 2005, and has worked as the assistant entertainment editor for the Press and its fellow Gannett publications in New Jersey since 2012, along with covering film, music, television, books and cuisine at the local, regional and national levels. Over the years, Alex has also served as a contributing writer to USA Today, MTV.com and Film Festival Today magazine. Alex is also a local musician, currently performing as part of the Monmouth County-based jam band Somewhat Relative.

Ric Ryder is a Broadway performer, professor and voice coach. Ryder has appeared on Broadway seven times, creating roles in original casts directed by some of the theatre’s most prolific Tony Award winners like Tom O’Horgan, Susan Stroman, Graciela Danielle and Tommy Tune. He’s crisscrossed the nation in Broadway national tours, appeared in sold out NYC cabaret/concert venues and can be heard singing in Disney animated feature films like Hunchback of Notre Dame among others. 17 years ago Ryder began teaching what he knows to other aspiring professionals, young enthusiasts and college conservatory students at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, CAP21 and subsequently at Catholic University, historic Jacobs Pillow (Chet Walker’s Jazz Musical Theatre Intensive). Most recently, he became the voice faculty at the famed Stella Adler Conservatory’s new Musical Theatre program in NYC. A frequent guest artist in master class settings, he has traveled the US, South America and Europe sharing his lifetime of wisdom in musical theatre. Ryder teaches singing privately and coaches his client base in NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen. He studied at Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University, received a BA in Music from University of MD Baltimore County.