Becky Murdoch - Festival Director
Becky Murdoch hails from Detroit, Michigan. During college she dove head-first into a decade-long career in music which brought her to Nashville, and ultimately Los Angeles. It was there that she attended her first film festival which prompted her transition into film producing and volunteering/working at festivals in the Los Angeles area.
Meanwhile, while working at Epiphany Space in Hollywood, Becky single-handedly pioneered their live-events productions branch, creating hundreds of opportunities for artists of all kinds to showcase their work and bringing a personal touch to what can be a very impersonal city.
Her backgrounds in music, film, and live events coalesced when she co-founded the Salute Your Shorts Film Festival in Hollywood, CA where she currently serves as festival director.
Erin Brown Thomas - Artistic Director
Erin Brown Thomas is a dynamic director, writer, producer, and editor who's collaborated with heavyweight talent including Selena Gomez, Eminem, Tony Hale, Lena Dunham, Emmy Rossum, and Elisabeth Moss and tentpole companies such as HBO, Netflix, Refinery 29, A Casual Romance, MTV, Snapchat Originals, and Makeready. Her films have received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and have been curated by Vimeo Staff.
Erin has directed over a dozen award-winning films which have screened in 92 festivals worldwide, including 14 Oscar Qualifying events. Most recently, the experimental "But First" placed her as an Artist in Residence at Palm Springs International ShortFest. She was also selected to participate in the DGA's esteemed Commercial Directors Diversity Program.
Erin’s screenplays have advanced at Sundance New Voices, Austin Film Fest, and Blue Cat Screenplay competition. Her pilot “Managing Life” was enacted via UCB's selective “Let’s Table This” lab. Erin is currently penning a feature for former Paramount Studios President Adam Goodman and in pre-production for her lauded original screenplay Italy ’99. When not on set, Erin dangles from the air as an aerial acrobat. Thus, she also founded a viral-hit prod. company, Versatile Assassins which tells complex stories about the human experience through aerial dance. Her youtube has quickly amassed 36k subscribers and over 4.2M views. Erin co-founded SYSFF in 2016 with Becky Murdoch. Curation has deeply impacted her curiosity and voice as an artist.
Lauren Reid Brown - Head Programmer
Lauren Reid Brown is a 35 year veteran teacher from Ohio. Shortly after retirement she first got involved with film festivals by attending many that her daughter’s films played in around the country. Her enjoyment of that led to volunteering at several including the Oscar qualifying Cleveland International. She next was asked to be a screener for several. Lauren became a screener for Salute Your Shorts inaugural festival in 2017 and is now Head Programmer. She enjoys the creativity and heart of independent filmmaking. Lauren also got actively involved working on numerous movie sets in a variety of capacities eventually becoming a Producer. Her latest work, HUMAN, which was shot in her mountain town of Salida, Colorado was to play at several festivals this season.
Katherine Tolentino - Programming Team
Katherine Tolentino is a Chinese-Salvadoran filmmaker from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her short films have played at Cinequest Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, and IFF Boston, among others. Her short "Ahora que te has ido" won Best Latino Short Film at the Central American International Film Festival in LA. She has worked for major studios including HBO, NBCUniversal, ABC, TNT and FOX. She's drawn to stories that reclaim the narratives & experiences of women of color and other marginalized groups.
Natasha Lewin - Programming Team
Natasha Lewin has been everything from a touring musician to a managing editor for High Times magazine. Her directorial debut CHATTER was a 92nd Academy Awards-qualifier for Best Live Action Short.
Elle Shaw - Programming Team
Elle is originally from Topeka, Kansas. Elle started acting in pursuit of a deeper understanding of the human condition. Four years ago she made her stage directing debut at the Aquila/Morong studio with Neil Labute’s ‘Some Velvet Morning’ in Los Angeles starring Geoff Stults & Eva Swan. On the heals of ‘Some Velvet Morning’ she partnered with Catherine Waller to produce Catherine’s one woman show ‘The Creeps’, taking it on a festival tour starting in Los Angeles followed by the Edinburgh Fringe, Camden Fringe, Best of Amsterdam Fringe and finished in NYC at the United Solo Festival. The show has had continued success and accolades in NYC and will debut Off-West End in London at the inaugural United Solo Festival September 2020. Her credits include the CBS pilot, The Odds, as well as AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire series and many independent films. She graduated with a B.S in Life Science from Kansas State University. She completed the 2 year Meisner program at the Baron/Brown Studio in Santa Monica. Recent credits include: Wolves, Mars Colony:2060, Touch (directed by Lulu Wang)
Jillian Corsie - Programming Team
Jillian Corsie is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and branded content director whose work has been featured on Huffington Post, Refinery29, ABC News, and ABC's 2020. Working across documentary, commercial, and branded content, Jillian’s has worked with brands like Apple, Gatorade, Airbnb, Uniqlo, and Lexus, among others. Alongside commercial content, she continues to hone her storytelling skills by directing and editing documentary work with a big impact. Her debut feature documentary, Trichster, sold out screenings at film festivals across the US, and has been viewed by over 160 countries on VOD. Her latest documentary, Second Assault, awarded her “Best Director,” two “Audience Choice Awards”, and “Best Crowdfunded Film” from the Sidewalk Film Festival and has played at more than 20 film festivals globally. Until 2018, Jillian worked as the lead editor at TBWA/Chiat/Day cutting commercial and branded content, and recently finished editing a 6 part docuseries directed by Peter Stormare. Jillian is dedicated to telling stories that shine a light on difficult subjects as well as showcase strong female role models on screen.
Deanna Wiley - Programming Administrator
Deanna Wiley, was an intern for Salute Your Shorts Film Festival in the spring of 2019. Now that she has graduated from Southeastern University with a Bachelors in Film production, she is volunteering as the programming admin. She has also written and directed the short film Fading Warrior (18’). Most recently, she has edited videos for JcPenny and Apartment Therapy and also does some other freelance editing back in Florida. Deanna is passionate about creating films that inspire creativity and giving her audiences a different view of the world.
Nakorn Chaisri - Graphic Designer
Nakorn Chaisri is a Thai film director and a popcorn eater. His previous short films such as Goodbye and In The Wind have been screened at various festivals worldwide.
Joshua Williams - Festival Intern
Joshua Williams is an intern for Salute your Shorts Film Festival. He goes to Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts and is currently majoring in Communication Arts in hopes to become a visual editor.
Kayla Smith - Festival Intern
Kayla Smith is a Communication Arts major at Malone University with a concentration in screenwriting and acting. She is also a Spring 2020 alum of Los Angeles Film Studies Center. Kayla has a producing credit for the tv pilot “Paint the Town '' that is still in progress. She is excited to graduate next spring and to continue creating films she is passionate about alongside her sisters and film colleagues.
The 2020 Salute Your Shorts Film Festival submissions are now open. Submit your work on FilmFreeway.