Experts Panel
Kevin R. Phipps (Mr. Phipps).jpg

Mr. Phipps 

Began his professional career in the 1990's as a graphic and digital artist working on publications such as X-Men and GI Joe comics. His passion to grow and create a well-rounded foundation for himself led him to another pivotal decision, authoring a children's book titled "Hergbert: The Not So Scary Monster".  During the drafting phase of his second book, Mr. Phipps decided to take a break from writing, a decision that would change his life forever.

As an avid lover of film and the filmmaking process, an opportunity presented itself in the form of directing an independent film. He found the passion he had been looking for all along and the rest they say is history. Kevin's directing and assistant directing projects, to date, include a slew of independent feature films, music videos, and nationalcommercials. Most notably his recent work on the feature film ”Grief “ "Coyote Requiem", the TV pilot "H.O.P.E", several commercials such as Kellogg’s, Vanish in London, Oil of Olay, Cigna, Canal+ which is now C-More, Quest, Head and Shoulders to name a few.

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Ruben Angelo 

(Producer/Actor) has worked in and out of entertainment for the past 25yrs.  His career spectrum includes work in many different areas such as music, film, television, and international business. Innovative by nature, he has held many hats throughout his life in order to better understand how to consistently bring success to projects that warrant the opportunity.  Being raised in a family with a history of strong work ethics and an affinity for the arts, it was natural that he would eventually gravitate towards starting his own company.

As an actor, Angelo has acted in close to 30 narrative and short film projects to-date that have garnered several critical acclaim write-ups and independent awards.  In 2011, and after many years of acquiring international business and marketing experience he formed his own production company, Rangelo Productions.  


Helen Haxton-Stepheson

Emmy Award-winning producer/director who has been in the film and video business for over 30 years. She is an Arizona native and received her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Radio/TV/Film and her Master’s Degree in American Media and Popular Culture from Arizona State University.

Helen began her professional career in the news department at KTTV Los Angeles, later establishing her own production company.

Helen is the Founder and Executive Director of the Prescott Film Festival, where she provides vision and direction. She is also the Managing Director of Operations at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center and the Director of the Film and Media Arts Program at YC.

In 2018 she won an Emmy for producing and directing “Campus Safety During an Alien Invasion” in the Educational/Instructional category, Rocky Mountain Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.


Kim Marie

Kim Marie is the founder and president of Mirror Dog Productions, an award-winning multimedia production company. Mirror Dog Productions is a full-service production company and partner in WWTVN worldwide network and foreign distribution.  Developing media inspiring awareness, education, and change from the inside, out. Kim Marie has chosen to influence the world for the better--through cinematography and sharing narratives of those whose voices that need to be heard. 

“I have a passion for storytelling and being the “Voice for the Voiceless,” said Kim Marie. Mirror Dog creates productions that are an organic unity of integral works of art. Developing films and television that showcase the human spirit, while inspiring change from the inside, out. 

Kim further feels that “The positive change we bring, and the level of outreach we have, 

brings hope, inspiration, education, and awareness that will save lives all around the world.” 

Experts Panel

Mitesh Patel

Mitesh Patel is the Founder and President of Applied Art Productions. Patel graduated from M.S University for a Masters in Applied Arts. After graduating, he decided to open a business focusing in advertising and design. Later developed into a production, distribution, and VFX. With his experience, Patel continues to bring his combination of creative solutions and management skills ensures success of each production. Patel holds extensive knowledge to establish creative and professional partnerships with talented writers, directors and producers.


Kristopher Mason Strachan

Kristopher Mason Strachan is a stand-up comic who performs and writes as Kris Mason. He studied Film and Photography at Rutgers University. Kristopher was a Valley film critic for 10 years and a member of the Phoenix Film Critics' Society. He has hosted multiple Q&A Filmmakers' panels each year at the Phoenix Film Festival.


Scott Gore

Scott Gore served in the US Navy right out of high school and got a taste of what the world is like. Since then, he has travelled all over the world to over 20 countries serving and caring for people living in hard places. For the past 3 1/2 years Scott has been writing screenplays and is a screenwriter best known for his screenplay Instant Karma which was produced last year. One of his current projects is called Albert - a screenplay about the most famous scientist who ever lived.


Lisa Rockoff

Lisa is a Chicago native who graduated from Northwestern University. She has taken classes with film critic Roger Ebert and for decades has viewed all genres of movies. As an advocate of watching films  in theaters, Lisa attends over a hundred features  a year.  Her  favorite yearly event is to see the Oscar nominated shorts and documentaries before the awards. She is excited to be involved in this festival that promotes new filmmakers.