Justin Lin, Will Packer Join Judging Panel for NBCUniversal Short Film Festival

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From left: Justin Lin, Marlon Wayans, Will Packer, Tracey Wigfield

The other judges are Marlon Wayans, Tracey Wigfield, Masi Oka, Malcolm D. Lee, Randall Park and Hasan Minhaj.

The 11th Annual NBCUniversal Short Film Festival has named its jury of industry experts.

The panel will comprise Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin, Ride Along franchise producer Will Packer, writer-producer Tracey Wigfield (The Mindy Project, NBC's upcoming Great News), writer-director Malcolm D. Lee (the Best Man franchise, Barbershop: The Next Cut) and performers Marlon Wayans (NBC's upcoming Marlon), Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) and Hasan Minhaj (The Daily Show).

Park and Minhaj are alumni of the festival, which has run yearly since 2006 and is so far the only film festival developed by a Hollywood studio with an emphasis on discovering underrepresented voices and talent.

"Our judging panel is comprised of creatives and festival alumni who enrich film and television with diverse stories and unique perspectives," NBC Entertainment senior vp, talent development and inclusion Karen Horne said Wednesday in a statement. "I'm proud that our Short Film Festival, along with our other NBCUniversal Talent Infusion Programs, continue to discover and recognize talented storytellers with new and original voices."

The awards (prizes include monetary grants, holding deals and development meetings) will be announced during a finale screening on Oct. 19 at the Director's Guild of America in Hollywood, along with the winners of Lin's Interpretations Initiative, a short-film competition focused on Asian-American filmmakers.

"I'm excited to return as a judge for NBCUniversal's Short Film Festival," Lin said in a statement. "Discovering and nurturing the next generation of talent is a personal mission of mine, so I feel privileged to be among the first to see original and diverse stories from up and coming filmmakers. I've seen several festival alumni go on to present their work at Sundance and Cannes, and I expect nothing less from this year's filmmakers."

This year's festival began last month in New York with industry screenings of the shorts from the semi-finalists, who received GoPro and LumeCube kits to record their experiences at festival events, which included a SAG-AFTRA-hosted reception and a WGA East-sponsored roundtable discussion with Oscar-nominated writer-director Shari Springer-Berman (American Splendor).

The 14 semifinalists are:

Afuera (director: Steven Liang, writer: Steven Canals)
Alien Hunter (director: David Telles, writers: David Telles and Alex Meraz)
Day One (director and writer: Henry Hughes)
Guest Room (director and writer: Joshua Tate)
In Their Eyes (director and writer: Gina Levy)
Los Angeles 1991 (director: Miguel De Olaso, writers: Miguel De Olaso, Bruno Zacarias and Tim Hyten)
Parachute Girls (director: Alex Rubens, writer: Emily C. Chang)
Partners (director: Joey Ally, writers: Jen Tullock and Hannah Pearl Utt)
Password Deals (director and writer: Brie Eley)
Rosa (director and writer: Alejandra Parody)
Search Party (director and writer: Tesia Joy Walker)
Things I Hate: Lady Grooming (director: Liam Edward Brady, writer: Molly Anne Coogan)
Vamonos (director: Marvin Bryan Lemus, writers: Moira Morel and Erick Castrillon)
You Can Go (director: Christine Turner, writer: Daniel Solé)

The Hollywood Reporter is a partner of the festival, along with Oxygen, Xfinity, USA Network, Bravo, Syfy, Focus Features, Fandango, E! Entertainment, Telemundo, Esquire Network, Hulu, GoPro, SAG-AFTRA, WGA East, WGA West, Keldof and Panavision. Title partners of the fest are Universal Pictures, NBCU Open Possibilities and Seeso.

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