Jury Member

Danny Ashkenasi stands as a distinguished figure in the realm of independent cinema, known for his versatility and innovative approach to storytelling. He has directed two short films, both adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe’s narratives, which have significantly impacted the film festival circuit. His initial venture, “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre”, showcased his multifaceted skills as a composer, screenwriter, producer, director, and narrator. The film achieved substantial acclaim, securing numerous awards from film festivals recognized by IMDb.com. His subsequent film, “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre”, maintained a high standard, amassing a significant number of accolades.

In addition to his cinematic achievements, Ashkenasi has made notable contributions to music theater. His creative output includes a variety of styles from musical comedy to classical opera, with performances staged in diverse international locations including New York City, Germany, Canada, Austria, and Finland. His prominent works include “Speakeasy – John and Jane’s Adventures in the Wonderland”, “beTwixt, beTween & beTWAIN”, and “I Too Sing America – the Blues According to Langston Hughes”, among others.

Beyond his creative roles, Ashkenasi’s acting career spans numerous theater productions and some film and television roles. He has also devoted decades to arts education, teaching in schools and leading professional development for educators.

Ashkenasi’s films have collectively garnered a remarkable number of awards, further highlighted by special recognitions such as being a runner-up at the Winter Film Awards in 2019 for “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre.” Additionally, “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” won several accolades at the at the 2023 FFTG Awards Film Festival.

Danny Ashkenasi’s career is a testament to his enduring influence and innovation in the worlds of independent cinema and theater, underscoring his status as a pivotal figure in the arts.