Many thanks to our outstanding judges for the 2017 New Mexico Girls Make Movies Screenwriting grant competition!



Georgina Lightning
Georgina Lightning brings a long track record of creative experience in the film industry as an actor, producer, writer, and acting coach on projects that include: Fantasy of Flying, Older Than America, Sawtooth, Dreamkeepers, Backroads, Johnny Greyeyes, Tecumseh, Smoke Signals, X-Files, and countless others. Georgina has also guest starred in television episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger and West Wing. Georgina’s directorial debut, Older Than America, is inspired by stories told to her by many of her family members and friends who attended the Native Indian boarding schools.

A long time advocate of Native Indian advancement in the film industry, both in front of and behind the camera, Georgina is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious White House Project Epic Award for creating social change in the world from the work she does.

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Trish Lopez
Trish Lopez is a film industry veteran who has served in a number of roles for the New Mexico Film Office, Women in Film, Governor Bill Richardson, and Smithsonian Network. Prior to moving back to her home state of New Mexico, she worked at the executive offices of Sony, Warner Bros and New Line Cinema. As of 2015, Trish is also the founder of Teeniors℠, a multi-award winning organization that connects tech-savvy teens with senior citizens through one-on-one coaching. A graduate of UNM and supporter of numerous social causes, her primary interest is connecting people from different worlds to inspire change in our communities.

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Susan McConnell
Susan McConnell brings her passion for the industry to every project she works on, while creating a fun and creatively encouraging work environment—she strongly believes if you are lucky enough to work in this industry there should never be a day you don’t want to be there. With television shows such as Flaked, The Mick, Wilfred, Royal Pains, Girlfriends Guide to Divorce, In Plain Sight, a stint as a Production Executive and feature films such as License To Wed, Committed and Seed Of Chucky under her belt, continues to excel in a medium she loves. Having just completed Flaked for Netflix and pilot season upon us, she is busy amping up her own personal passion projects.

With the ability to put together successful projects all over the world, in such locations as diverse as Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Romania, the Bahamas, Georgia, North Carolina, New Mexico and California, and combining a strong focus on supporting the creative vision of a project with the ability to stay within the parameters of a constantly changing financial landscape, Susan has maintained a reputation as a “go-to gal”. She’s very excited to help New Mexico Girls Make Movies and ignite someone else’s passion.

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Rosalía Triana
Rosalía Triana (AEA-SAG-AFTRA) is a New Mexican-born theatre artist with a Master’s Degree in Teatro Chicana/o. She has worked extensively in both stage and film. In New York, she performed at such venues as La Mama, The Public Theatre, Theatre for the New City, INTAR, WOW and PS122. Her film work includes Anna, Carlito’s Way, Last Exit to Brooklyn, and Mo’ Better Blues. As Director of the Theatre Program at NNMC, she directed many shows, including The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, Roosters, The Season Of La Llorona, The Farolitos Of Christmas, The Fat-Free Chicana And The Snowcap Queen, Crimes Of The Heart, The Good Woman Of Aztlan, DUSTOFF, and a gritty, urban version of Godspell. Rosalía is co-founder of Española’s MainStreet Theatre.


Laura Zak
Laura Zak is a writer, actor, producer, and activist. She is the co-creator and co-writer of the Emmy-nominated and Gotham Award-winning series Her Story, and is a writer, voice actor, and producer for Amazon’s upcoming animated series Danger & Eggs. In 2013, Laura co-created and starred in the web series #Hashtag, which was identified by Indiewire as a potential “next Broad City’. Since then, Laura has appeared as an actor in many films, series, and music videos, including several videos on Buzzfeed, and in the upcoming films Spunkle and Foxy Trot. Laura served for eight years as Campaigns’ Manager for Eve Ensler’s V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. She attended Phillips Exeter Academy and went on to study journalism at Boston University, creative writing at Northwestern University, and obtained a Classics diploma from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Deborah Fort
Professor, Cinematic Arts, University of New Mexico