Lifetree Film Fest Judges
David W. Balsiger, LHD, is a health wellness journalist, TV
producer-director, and author of 40 major literary works including
28 books. He is also the Editorial Director of the Wholistic
Health-Wellness DIGEST. He's best known for his former work as
Senior Producer at Grizzly Adams Productions, the producers of 600
family friendly movies, documentaries, and TV specials from 1999 -
2010. His books and TV shows have won over 275 national and
international awards for literary and production excellence.
German born award-winning composer Jurgen Beck began his musical
journey early in life. His passion in music was directed toward
training on the trumpet (Fluegelhorn), while at the same time
picking up other instruments such as guitar, piano, and bass. His
passion for harmonic structure stems from his early years of
musical training in a brass choir in Germany. He is a creative film
composer who loves to explore the multi-faceted aspects of music
and how it affects the listener.
Jurgen, his wife Shawn, their daughter Arianna, and their two
dogs, reside in northern Texas.
Micheal Flaherty is the president and co-founder of Walden
Media. Walden's mission is to rekindle curiosity and recapture
imagination through the development and production of family films
and literature. Walden has financed and produced a number of films,
such as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Prince Caspian,
Charlotte's Web, Bridge to Terabithia, Holes, Because of
Winn-Dixie, and Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D. Through its
publishing division, Walden has also co-published a number of
award-winning books, including Mike Lupica's Comeback Kids series
and the New York Times bestseller and Newbery honor winner Savvy by
first-time author Ingrid Law.
As part of its mission, Walden creates innovative educational
programs, lesson plans and events. Several hundred thousand
students have participated in these events, including an
international effort to read Charlotte's Web aloud and to collect
toys for Toys for Tots, both of which resulted in the breaking of
world records. Walden has also hosted an interactive writing
workshop with Louis Sachar and a national robotics competition with
Flaherty is also on the board of Rachel's Challenge, a program
created in memory of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the
Columbine shootings. He is also a member of the Global Advisory
Council of Vision360, an organization dedicated to supporting and
founding churches across the country.
Flaherty lives in Lexington, Mass. with his wife Kelly, his son
Christian, his daughters Eileen and Reagan, and his dog Jumbo.
Joani Schultz is chief creative officer at Group Publishing, Inc
and also part of the team behind Lifetree Cafe, the national chain
of conversation cafe's that spurred the Lifetree Film Fest.
She is a film connoisseur and fan of all things story. Each and
every week, her team hunkers down and produces the weekly topics
that are presented at Lifetree Cafe.
Katie Bucher is a Campaign Manager for WarnerBros. in Hollywood,
CA. She has worked on theatrical campaigns including the Harry
Potter films, The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit: Trilogy, as
well as key projects in the Warner Archive Collection.
Katie has produced several short films, including Death &
Money, winner of the Golden Ace Award at the Las Vegas Film
Festival in 2010. She also produced the latest music video
Stop This Wedding for country rock headliners Against the Grain.
Most recently she produced the award-winning film, The Tuner,
currently on the international festival circuit. Katie lives in Los
Angeles with her husband, John.
John Bucher owns Sideshow Media Group, a culture communications
company, whose clients have included organizations ranging from
Verve Music Group to The US Figure Skating Association to George
Clooney. Sideshow also produces award-winning original music,
comics, books and films around spiritual themes and areas of pop
John has produced film, television and video programming in more
than 30 countries around the world. His documentary work on AIDS in
Africa received both Telly and Omni Awards. He has served as the
head of the film department at Nyack College in New York and the
Executive Director for the Damah Film Festival. He serves as the
Director for Story Development for the Global Short Film Network,
an international organization producing short films intended to
spark spiritual discussions. He is a member of the Academy of
Television Arts and Sciences and continues to lecture on story,
film and pop culture around the world.
Currently, John teaches at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center.
His latest film, WHEN KINGS BATTLE stars James Kyson from NBC's hit
show HEROES, and is a steampunk retelling of the story of King
David, Bathsheba and the prophet Nathan. His first book, There is
Power in the Blood: Faith + the Rising Vampire in Popular Culture
was released last year. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife,
An accomplished actor, Mike Vogel has crafted a distinguished
career in both film and television in just a short period of
time. Currently Vogel is starring in the highly anticipated
new CBS show "Under The Dome".
Vogel just wrapped shooting a great arc, opposite Vera Farmiga, on
A&E's new show "Bates Motel", which premiers this Spring. Most
recently, he can be seen in the independent films McCanick for Josh
Waller and Jake Squared for Howard Goldberg, both will be released
next year. Vogel was recently seen in the 2012 Oscar nominated film
The Help alongside Emma Stone and Octavia Spencer. He also starred
in the ABC's TV series "Pan Am" opposite Christina Ricci.
In 2011, Vogel appeared in Blue Valentine alongside Michelle
Williams and Ryan Gosling which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film
Festival, as well as She's Out of My League. Additional film
credits include J.J. Abram's Cloverfield, Poseidon, What's Your
Number, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and The Texas
Chainsaw Massacre. Vogel's television credits include
"Grounded for Life" and "Miami Medical." Vogel resides in Austin
with his wife and two daughters.