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Season 3 Independent Pilot Competition Jury



A native of Santa Monica, California, Barner spent her childhood performing professionally in theater, voice-over and commercials, working with such noted figures as Joe Pasternak and Lee Scott.  A graduate of UCLA, Barner, along with Eugene Hernandez and Mark Rabinowitz, founded iLine in 1993 and its current incarnation, IndieWire, in 1996, serving as West Coast Editor while writing and developing web content for the website.  Yearning to work more closely with creative talent, Barner moved on to write for notable companies in gaming, including Purple Moon, before she joined the talent management firm Artist Management in 1999.

In 2012 Barner left and started her own talent management firm, CBM, to better aid actors and entertainment professionals in both their creative endeavors and the integration of their profession with social causes and the development of quality content. In this capacity, Barner has joined forces with famed critic and personality, Elvis Mitchell, Wildline Entertainment and ZeroPointZero, towards the development of a new documentary series exploring the creative process of the world’s most successful directors, producers and actors.

Barner has now worked as a talent manager for 18 years, finding immense satisfaction in facilitating and nurturing the careers of independent-minded actors and content creators.


Kesila Childers is Director of Original Content Development for Vimeo's upcoming subscription service. Prior to that she was Vice President of Digital Media for Bunim/Murray Productions where she developed, produced and delivered original productions emerging platforms. Kesila Childers began her career at Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher before transitioning to talent management. She is also on the board of directors for the non profit Hollywood Heart which develops resiliency in at-risk youth through the arts.


As an entertainment journalist based in Los Angeles, Bryn Sandberg covers the television business at The Hollywood Reporter, where she’s worked since 2013. She provides news, analysis and features for both online and print, with a focus on streaming services in the ever-growing TV landscape. In addition to interviews and profiles, she often does on-camera work by hosting in-house roundtables, Facebook Live interviews and red carpet premieres. You can find her on twitter @brynsandberg.


Recipient of the ICG Publicists Guild Press Award (honoring outstanding entertainment journalism), Scott “Movie” Mantz is the resident Film Critic and Emmy-nominated Film Segment Producer for “Access Hollywood” and “Access Hollywood Live.” 

Mantz is also a longtime member of the Producers Guild of America and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

In October of 2000, Mantz joined “Access Hollywood,” which is now in its 21st season.  Over the years, Mantz has orchestrated the show’s coverage of all things film, including red carpet premieres, press junkets, set visits and film festivals (Sundance, Toronto, SXSW, Telluride and Cannes).  His on-camera movie reviews also appear on various national platforms, including the monitors at gas-pumps, supermarkets and taxicabs. 

In addition, Mantz has been a regular contributor of movie reviews and film commentary for “The TODAY Show,” Headline News, CNN, National Public Radio, KNBC-Channel 4, KTLA-Channel 5, KTTV-Channel 11 and the PBS movie review series “Just Seen It.”

Mantz is also an in-demand moderator of post-screening panels and Q&A sessions with filmmakers and acting talent, particularly during Awards Season.


Rebecca Blumhagen is an actor and filmmaker living in NY and LA, where she has worked in film, television, and the theater for the last 10 years. She has produced and directed over 300 pieces for the digital space, and is currently the director of Originals at Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn. She is currently in post-production for her documentary about a farmer in Iowa called “The Happiness Machine.” Rebecca is a proud member of Women in Motion Pictures & Film Powered, groups dedicated to the support and promotion of the independent voices of women in the industry, and the co-founder of a lullaby band.

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