Meet this year’s JUDGES for the 2024 Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARDS…

The submission window for the 2024 Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARDS is now open and will remain so until midnight Pacific Time on May 31, 2024. Any Star Trek fan film released publicly between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2023 is eligible for entry regardless of the person or team producing it. (Why would anyone do it differently, right?)

The online entry form is located here…

They say that two heads are better than one, and if so, then our judging panel is six times better than that, as we once again have a panel of twelve judges, each one a showrunner of either a Star Trek fan film or series. We have seven judges returning from last year, two returning from the year before, and three “rookies” whom we welcome to the Council of the Twelve. (That’s not the official name, but it does sound pretty cool in a Battlestar Galactica kinda way. That said, we’re still exclusively Star Trek, although we do all love a wide variety of sci-fi.)

The departing judges all left amicably for different reasons usually involving time commitments. One of them is actually writing a book! I would like to take a moment to sincerely thank all of them and remind them that their chairs at the table will be kept open for them should they ever wish to return. (There’s no rule against the Council of the Twelve becoming the Council of the Fifteen or some other number!)

Anyway, as I did last year, I’d like to dedicate a blog to introducing this year’s panel of judges and what they’ve done in the world of Star Trek fan films…

Joining our judging panel for the first time this year is JOSE CEPEDA, who lives near Atlanta, GA. Jose is the showrunner of the wild ‘n’ whacky NATURE’S HUNGER fan series, which has been going non-stop since 2010 with dozens of releases…the more recent ones shot in Jose’s basement…which is filled with amazing TOS set recreations. Jose has also made cameo appearances as his character of Captain Ramses of the U.S.S. Crusader in a whole slew of different fan series. Welcome to our panel, Jose.

A returning judge for a third year, SAM COCKINGS from the U.K. is what the Pakleds refer to as “…someone who makes fan films go.” To list all the fan films and series that Sam has created CGI animations for would nearly double the word count of this blog. (No, that’s an exaggeration…but not by much!) And in addition to helping other fan filmmakers, Sam also wrote and directed (and did almost everything else for but act in) the 52-minute TEMPORAL ANOMALY. Now he is releasing a fanthology series called TREK SHORTS (which does does occasionally act in) leading into an Avengers: Endgame-like finale titled CONVERGENCE. In addition, Sam is the co-host of the TREKYARDS podcast. Sam is one busy Brit!

One of the many Arkansas-based fan filmmakers out there, LEE GARTRELL was the showrunner on the long-running fan series THE ROMULAN WARS (with an “s” at the end, not the singular 2-part fan film). And even though Lee’s series aired a ‘finale” back in 2017, reports of TRW‘s demise may have been exaggerated slightly, as Lee is currently in production of a new release in the series. Lee has also helped provide 3D ship renderings for a variety of other fan series, including STARSHIP ANTYLLUS, CONSTAR, STAR TREK: EAGLE, STAR TREK: RELIANT, and PROJECT: POTEMKIN. This will be Lee’s first time as a judge on our panel…welcome!

Back for a third year and based in northwest Arkansas, judge JOSHUA IRWIN actually went to film school and has worked in the entertainment industry for decades…which is why his AVALON UNIVERSE fan films look so polished and professional. With a dozen fan films completed and released in less than five years, Josh also has the footage for a final release already “in the can” that will wrap up the expansive Avalon Universe saga. In addition, Josh has helped out many other fan filmmakers with their projects (directing, editing, cinematography, etc.), including myself on INTERLUDE, VANCE MAJOR on CONSTAR, and most recently RAY TESI on numerous TALES FROM THE NEUTRAL ZONE. This guy does everything but cobble shoes in the middle of the night (and I’m not entirely certain that he isn’t doing that, as well!).

Hey, that’s me! Based in Los Angeles, California, JONATHAN LANE began blogging about Star Trek fan films in 2015 on the AXANAR website and started FAN FILM FACTOR at the beginning of 2016. But it would be three more years before I decided to write and produce a fan film of my own. INTERLUDE was actually a fan film of a fan film, a sequel to PRELUDE TO AXANAR. But my real goal was always to learn more about the process of creating a fan film and to blog about it. With the aforementioned Josh Irwin and VICTORIA FOX sharing director duties, along with a cast and crew of more than 55 people, Interlude debuted in 2021 and inspired dozens of behind-the-scenes blogs covering everything from crowd-funding to pre-production, production, and post-production. My second Star Trek fan film, which will be entirely animated in TAS style, will release in the coming weeks…hopefully!

Based in Dallas, Texas, returning judge MARK LARGENT is the brilliant and incredibly talented mind behind behind the STALLED TREK series of 3D animated puppet parodies that began with “AMUTT TIME” back in 2012. Four years later, Mark and I worked to create a Stalled Trek parody of the Axanar lawsuit titled PRELUDE TO AX’D-WE-ARE. In late 2019, Mark released a Stalled Trek short titled “ALL AHEAD FULL.” Most recently, Mark released his hilarious and award-winning crowd-funded puppet parody, “THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FORECLOSURE.” And if you haven’t had enough of those parody puppets, Mark is diligently working on his next masterpiece: “THE DUMBSDAY MACHINE.”

Living only a dozen or so miles north of the English Channel, GREG LOCK is returning for a second year to our judging panel. He began working on STAR TREK: AMBUSH way back in 2014. Unfortunately, like another well-known fan production that began in 2014 and started with the letter “A,” Ambush spent a looooooong time in limbo….eight years, in fact! But in 2022, Ambush (no longer sporting “Star Trek” in the title) was finally released, and Greg officially earned his place as the showrunner of a completed Star Trek fan film. Greg is now working with NICK COOK of INTREPID on a crossover fan film called ORIGINAL PARTS slated for release later this year.

Returning to our judging panel after a year off, Kansas-based VANCE MAJOR revolutionized the world of Star Trek fan films by boldly making grassroots-quality productions with little more than a script, a cell phone camera, and (maybe) a uniform…or a hoodie. Sometimes Vance would luck out and shoot on a TOS set in Oklahoma, Arkansas, or Georgia. But more often than not, it was just a room in his house—with the story being the most important element. Vance produced and/or was involved in nearly 150 CONSTAR fan films telling the story of his character Erick Minard, and he has cameoed in countless other fan films and series. Vance has been an inspiration to innumerable fan filmmakers for his “just do it and let the critics be damned” attitude toward creating his projects.

Another first-time judge is also a first-time fan filmmaker. Kansas-based BRIAN W. PETERSON made his debut last year with the excellent THE LOST STARSHIP, which he wrote, produced, and appeared in as an extra. Released under the banner of the fanthology series TALES FROM THE NEUTRAL ZONE, this film was produced as a collaboration between NEUTRAL ZONE STUDIOS and AVALON UNIVERSE. Brian is also a published author with five novels under his belt (two of them sci-fi). Brian is planning to write and produce more fan films going forward, which is good news for fans! Welcome to our judging panel, Brian.

Returning for a second year to judge the Showrunner Awards, Los Angeles-based IAN RAMSEY burst onto the fan film scene in 2022 with STAR REKT, a series of parody Star Trek music videos starring…himself. Can you still be considered a showrunner if the only team member you’re supervising is yourself? I say thee yea! And honestly, these are not easy videos to make…especially considering that Ian writes his own lyrics, sings them, creates costumes, handles makeup, acts, directs, does sound-mixing, and edits. Even if he’s only supervising himself, that still a LOT to supervise! So, yeah, he’s definitely a showrunner.

Returning to judge after taking a sabbatical last year, GLEN L. WOLFE lives in northern Arkansas and is the co-owner of WARP 66 STUDIOS, a collection of TOS-era starship sets that have been used for numerous Star Trek fan films. Along with his showrunning partner DAN REYNOLDS, Glen has helped create more than a dozen episodes of their fanthology series, THE FEDERATION FILES. Glen is affectionately known (by me, at least) as the “Where’s Waldo of Star Trek fan films,” having appeared in and/or helped other filmmakers make countless fan films and series over the last couple of decades.

Although his production partner GARY DAVIS is taking this year off, RANDY WRENN is retuning for a third year as a judge. Both men have been the co-showrunners, writers, directors, and stars of DREADNOUGHT DOMINION for nearly a decade…although they are now both stepping behind the camera for the foreseeable future. They have also spun off the new fan series PROJECT: RUNABOUT and WARBIRD VALDORE, the latter being the first (that I know of) fan series to be produced entirely from the point of view of the crew of a Romulan vessel. Randy is based in North Carolina.

And that’s our twelve judges, all looking forward to viewing some really FANtastic Star Trek fan films! Once again, here’s the link to the submission page…

One thought on “Meet this year’s JUDGES for the 2024 Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARDS…”

  1. WOW outstanding group of judges!!!! Congratulations to all of you on being selected.

Comments are closed.