Branch Co-President Candidate Statements
In keeping with our governing bylaws, voting will open on June 24 to determine the new branch co-presidents. The voting period will end on June 27 and the results will be announced on June 28.
Below the Candidate Statements, there is a comments section where members may post comments or questions for the candidates between now and June 23.
Claude Budin-Juteau – INTERNATIONAL
It has been an honor to serve as co-president of the Int’l branch of CCA since its creation in May last year, when Ron Jacobsohn and I were asked to create a new division within the Critics Choice Association. I would like to throw my hat in the ring for the renewal of the presidency and continue to offer my services as co-president of the Int’l branch.
After graduating from UCLA with an MFA in Film and Television, I have been working as an Entertainment journalist for the last 30 years, first for the cable division of Canal+ (Ciné Cinémas), then as the film correspondent of TF1 before switching to France 2 in 2009, where I have conducted hundreds of interviews and produced well over 200 segments for their Entertainment programming. I have also written for newspapers (Le Journal du Dimanche) and magazines (Le Figaro Magazine) before becoming a freelancer in both the written press and television outlets.
I am very passionate about defending the interests of international print, television, Internet and film journalists in a very competitive environment. While co-president of the Int’l branch, I have organized the meetings of the International Committee on a monthly basis and, with your help, have succeeded in creating a separate entry for the international journalists on the CCA website. Additionally, we are working on establishing connections between the Int’l branch of CCA and other international press organizations all over the world. Recently, we have been discussing the concept of a new Award show tentatively called “The International Movie Awards” that would air separately from the Critics Choice Awards and would honor non-English speaking films. The future is exciting, and there is a lot more to be done.
Because of the demise of HFPA and its Golden Globe Awards, I believe there is a gap to fill. This opening will allow the Int’l branch of CCA to become recognized on the world stage if we implement progressive measures that will give the organization validity and prestige beyond the North American continent. We already have an impressive membership coming from many different countries and diverse cultures, and each of us can suggest unique ways to improve our recently created branch. We can collaboratively bring new ideas and innovative recommendations. Together we can work at making the Int’l branch a promising and professional entity that will benefit the whole CCA association by bringing world recognition.
I would be happy and proud to continue this ongoing effort and be elected co-president of the Int’l branch of the Critics Choice Association for another term.
Fabian W. Waintal – INTERNATIONAL
It’s really an honor that the Critics Choice Association has considered the international journalist community to take part of a new International Movie Award.
It’s a big opportunity and I want to help create the most important and original award event in the world by bringing my own experience.
I have covered the Academy Awards for more than 30 years, the Toronto International Film Festival People’s Choice Award for more than 20 years, and the Cannes Palm D’Or Award for more than 10 years.
As the Los Angeles correspondent for the magazine Vanidades since 1990 with the US and international editions, I deal with both domestic and international publicists. I would also bring that experience to the CCA International Branch.
I believe it’s important to be inclusive of diverse journalists by having two Presidents representing two different continents. As a Hispanic journalist I’d like to represent USA and Latin America, while keeping the International Branch international.
“For your consideration” I would appreciate your vote of confidence to be one of the new Presidents of the Critics Choice Association International Branch.
Kevin Fallon – TV
For 10 years, I’ve been a critic, reporter, and now an editor at The Daily Beast, and worked at The Atlantic and The Week prior to that. Since joining the Critics Choice Association, I’ve had a hands-on role in the nominations, chairing nominating committees for the Real TV Awards, the Super Awards, and the TV branch of the Critics Choice Awards—a process through which I’ve gotten to know many members of this organization. My goals for the future are to help navigate the various sources of such tumult and uncertainty in the industry. That means helping to weather the explosion of content and streaming services, discerning ways to maintain both access and still a modicum of sanity while attempting to cover the ever-increasing volume. It also means making sure members are able to find solid footing and support in a media landscape that has been going through seismic shifts. I’d like to continue to ensure that the organization bolsters and rewards the quality efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in television over the last few years. It’s also important to me to maintain the credibility and continue to increase the visibility of Critics Choice Awards, especially at a time that provides as much opportunity for breakthrough as we’re presented with now. I think we take our jobs and our roles in this organization very seriously, but also recognize the potential for fun and joy in entertainment. Those are two aspects of what we do that I hope to elevate, celebrate, and support.
John Hanlon – TV
I am writing this statement to officially ask for your support in my bid to serve as the Television Branch Co-President.
I’ve been a member of the Critics Choice Association for over five years and I’m thrilled to be a member of such a prestigious group. Over the past several years, I’ve been writing entertainment reviews that are syndicated on a number of radio station websites across the country. I’ve also provided reviews over the airwaves. In the past, I’ve also had articles published on CNN.com, USAToday.com, and TheWeek.com.
During my tenure in the Critics Choice Association, I’ve been privileged to work with a number of you in nomination committees for several different awards. I understand that serving on a number of the committees will be one of the primary responsibilities of this new position so I’d love to continue working with all of the members on these committees in the years to come as we continue to show our appreciation for the best entertainment out there.
If elected, I would also love to help bring our critics together so we can better support each other and our work. I know we’re all busy but I would love for the critics to better communicate with one another so we can serve one another and our audiences.
Thank you for your consideration.
Sammi Turano – TV
Hello, my name is Sammi Turano and I am the owner and editor in chief of TVGrapevine. I have been a member of the CCA since 2012 and served on several committees for the Real TV Awards, Critics Choice Awards and more. I would like to submit my personal statement to be a part of the leadership of the TV branch of the CCA.
I am a 38 year old woman who has been working in the journalism field for the past 14 years. It was a long, tough road, but one filled with hard work and determination. I came from humble beginnings, and am slowly but surely working my way to the next level of my career.
Being a part of the leadership of the TV branch of the CCA would be an incredible honor because I not only represent the women in the field, but I also represent the underdogs who have worked hard to get to where they are today. We all have different stories, and I think mine is one of inspiration and hope.
I also have an extensive background in television, not only by working as a TV critic, but also through several college internships, all of which taught me many valuable, important lessons. Television is a very important part of my life and I am hopeful I can share the passion I have with others if I am chosen to be co-president of this branch.
I hope you will consider me for this position and I look forward to working with you!
Aaron Dicer – SUPER AWARDS
To my amazing CCA colleagues and friends! What an amazing privilege it’s been to work with you all to make an impact on the reception and advancement of great movies and great storytelling content for the past decade. I’ve loved meeting and chatting with so many of you at events, and learning so much from your experience and perspective. You’ve made me a better content producer and a better film lover and I appreciate it! That diversity of opinion and views is exactly the reason I’m excited about this next chapter in the CCA and taking whatever role I can to help the overall goal of putting the spotlight on the best storytelling each year. Not only for the fun conversations and thought-sharpening arguments we can have, but to serve our combined audience’s ability to know their choices and fish through the absolute deluge of the content tsunami we are all trying to currently navigate.
One of the areas I’ve been most excited about is a focus on “genre” content through the Super Awards. Many times genre categories can be seen as “lesser” than the “top line” categories during awards season, but many of the movies in these categories are not only some of the biggest crowd-pleasers and money makers, but they are also legitimately some of the best films of the year as well. I’d love to see the Super Awards become the absolute standard of taking up the mantle for genre entertainment and would love to help however you see fit. I truly believe that the CCA has an opportunity to be the premier trusted awards body of the future of entertainment, and I think this is a crucial part of that design.
Thanks for taking a few moments to read, and if you’d like me to be a branch co-President simply send a vote my way. It’s much appreciated, and either way, I’m pumped for the future of what we can do together!
Travis Hopson – SUPER AWARDS
Hello everyone. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I’m Travis Hopson and I’m running for co-president of the Super Awards branch of the CCA. Helping to grow and improve the Super Awards is something I’ve been laser focused on, first as a voter, then as a co-chair, and now as part of a team that includes branch President Sean O’Connell as we begin preparing for what we expect to be the biggest Super Awards yet.
Like many of you, the Super Awards speak to the pop culture-loving fanboy within me. I grew up reading X-Men comics and still do to this day. It’s funny, the things that used to get me bullied in high school now make me the fountain of knowledge for the year’s biggest films. In 2008, I took a gamble and left my FBI job to start writing about movies, creating the website Punch Drunk Critics. It has become a valuable resource for moviegoers here in the Nation’s Capital, and has opened up a wealth of other opportunities for me, as well. Not the least of which is becoming part of the CCA, something I never would’ve imagined when I started.
My knowledge of genre is vast and varied. I write and narrate the popular Reel Action video series for Joblo.com, which focuses on classic action movies. I’m a fan of genre in all of its forms and hope to bring that passion to the Super Awards in a greater capacity. I firmly believe the Super Awards has barely begun to scrape the surface of its potential. Given theproper time, care, and attention, it can be an equal to our main Critics Choice Awards. We’re at a time when these films are what get people venturing out of the house, gathering together to see their favorite characters, to get scared, to get a thrill. We tap into that die-hard love and the Super Awards can be huge.
I hope you’ll let me be a part of making that a reality. Thank you again for taking the time to read this.
Joey Magidson – SUPER AWARDS
One of my great professional honors is to serve as a member of the Critics Choice Association. From day one of my membership, I’ve sought to give back, helping with the nominating committees for the Documentary Awards and Super Awards for multiple years now, including as Vice President of the latter last year. Alongside Travis Hopson and Sean O’Connell, I fully believe we’ve got the groundwork laid for a show that truly is unique and can stand tall with anything CCA has to offer. I’d be humbled and thrilled to get the chance to work even more closely with Sean to develop the Super Awards, make them a financial boon for the organization, and continue to craft a show that entertains. The Super Awards should highlight craftsmanship in a way too many other shows ignore, and I feel we’re on the right path to fulfilling those goals. As Co-President, I’d look to continue to make our nominating committees diverse, engaged, and excited for honoring the best and brightest. We all love film of all kinds, and anyone passionate about the Award will do a great job, but I humbly throw my proverbial hat into the ring!
Herb Stratford – DOCUMENTARY
My name is Herb Stratford, and I’m offering my services to co-lead the Documentary branch of the CCA. I’ve been a member of the CCA for about eight years. In addition to my service in the film branch, I’m also a member of the television branch and I am on-air with two television stations and two radio stations every week in my market of Southern Arizona – a market of over 1M people in the heart of one of the fastest-growing regions in the country. I have worked on the nominating committees for the Documentary awards for the past four years, and have attended the ceremony each year.
Other highlights from my career that make me a good candidate for this position include my teaching history with the University of Arizona in the College of Fine Arts for more than 20 years. I am also a film festival programmer working with festivals in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino in California, Long Beach in New York and, also in Tucson, Arizona. This gives me a broad connection to documentary filmmakers, producers and studios across the country.
But what I think is most important, in regards to this role, is that I’m also a documentary filmmaker as well as working with the documentary filmmakers in my work programming film festivals. So I have a pulse on the trends and industry impacts affecting this genre today. My own most recent feature film Gustav Stickley: American Craftsman was released by First Run Features in 2021, and had a robust independent cinema streaming run during COVID, a successful DVD launch and is currently streaming on Apple and Amazon Prime. It is this experience as a filmmaker, understanding the process from concept, to funding to production to distribution that sets up my experience as unique. I think is crucial to have as part of the leadership of the documentary branch. I have worked “on the other side” and am tied into that world in a way that non-filmmakers are not, and feel I will help the CCA Documentary Awards continue to thrive, understand current trends in documentary film projects, and expand the CCA’s influence and impact moving forward.
I look forward to the opportunity to expand my service to CCA and documentary film in general.
Carla Renata – DOCUMENTARY
What is considered a mission? In this case, my mission would be to assist in the promotion and preservation of Documentary Film Branch s Co-President, alongside President Christopher Campbell. Documentaries, which often get such a bad rap, are almost like that black sheep of the family that everyone knows is brilliant but refuses to acknowledge.
Documentary films are the cornerstone of filmmaking and if the film is doing its job, it simply educates, informs and inspires us all to lead better lives (The Year The Earth Changed) or teach us about someone we never knew existed (My Name is Pauli Murray) or alert us to a culture once misunderstood and now embraced (Paris is Burning).
As a Black woman cinephile, my passion for this genre of film is only matched by love of cinema in general. It’s more than thrilling to explore and share stories while assisting to expand this branch to unknown depths for myself and our membership. CCA has a unique opportunity with this branch to do some amazing, groundbreaking work and I would be honored to co-lead that journey. Christopher Campbell has done a fantabulous job in expanding with integral shifts, while creating a diversity and balance to our nominees this year.
For those who are not familiar, I’m Carla Renata aka The Curvy Critic and I shoot straight from the hip while sharing reviews and speaking with talent above and below the line in the film industry. Documentary film is my kryptonite, and I could literally devour numerous titles in one sitting. More than anything, I love speaking with the filmmakers about their journey, process, and passion for the subjects they have decided to honor us with, while simultaneously allowing us as audience member to become intimate with their subjects of choice.
Thank you in advance to taking the time to read this statement and it is my hope to be able to work with each member in creating an even stronger, vibrant branch of CCA. In tandem with the head of the television branch on the nominations for CCA’s Real TV Awards, and of or course our branch Prez Christopher Campbell.
Peace & Blessings