The ANCA World Autism Festival is proud to announce our International Panel of Judges in the upcoming days.

ANNOUNCING the 2016 INAP AWARDS Tie-breaker Judges:

Commissioner Brian Johnston and Valery JohnstonCommissioner Brian Johnston and Valery Johnston – Founders of the Life Fest Film festival, Hollywood, LA, California, USA.Life Fest Film Festival Official LOGO 2016



To date we have confirmed the Judges representing the following countries:



Representing Kazakhstan



0bbd54af-fa6a-419c-8f38-861798463c2bAnatoliy Kim – Film Maker, director

Anatoliy Kim is an LA based award-winning filmmaker, originally from Karaganda, Kazakhstan. He spent most of his teen years dancing in the style of hip-hop. During this time, he met many
creative people, who pursued their dreams, no matter the cause. It was the beginning of his journey into film, and the beginning of expressing himself artistically.
After school, Anatoliy was accepted into Karaganda State Technical University, on a full scholarship, to earn a B.A. in Transport Equipment & Technology. Yet, every day at this course
allowed him to realise more and more so, that it was not for him.
After graduation, he then decided to pursue his dream of telling stories through cinema. He
applies to New York Film Academy, and came to the U.S. to study filmmaking, in an MFA
program. He started his film education in New York City, where he wrote, directed, produced and
edited four short films, and collaborated on more that 20 projects.
His films “Siblings” and “Grandpa Arnold” have been selected by numerous film festivals,
including: Pasadena International Film Festival, Middlecoast Film Festival, Cinevana Austin
Festival, Las Vegas Galaxy Film Awards, Roma Cinema DOC, Short Up Film Fest and Move Me
Productions Belgium Festival. Grandpa Arnold won the Award of Merit at: Best Short
Competition Film Festival, Best Narrative Short Film at Borrego Springs Film Festival, as well
as Student Film Competition – California Film Awards and Best Student Film – Honolulu Film
“Spend your time with your parents/grandparents while you can” – The main massage in
“Grandpa Arnold”. Official Trailer Grandpa Arnold

Flags JapanRepresenting Japan



Hanae Judge JapanHanae Uchida – Film Maker, director

Director’s short bio: Hanae Uchida is a Tokyo based film maker born and raised in Tokyo. Her first feature documentary, For the Love of Life: Living for Tomorrow won SKIP CITY AWARD at its world premiere in 2015 at SKIP CITY D-Cinema International Film Festival in Japan and continues to be selected at film festivals around the world. The film is about Hiroshi Tsukada who was diagnosed with ALS at 48 and lived for the next 30 years with his whole body immobile yet using eye movement to communicate with his wife Kimiko. Uchida filmed the family for 5 years and captured their strength towards living. She believes strongly that anyone has a right to have hope under any conditions. She is aiming to keep making movies in any forms and length according to that belief.  FB

What Hanae had to say about her Judging experience:

 感動の声を上げずにいられない、世界中の、”Autism(自閉症)”を持つ人たちの渾身の作品、彼らを中心に据えたアイディア溢れる活動の数々、その推薦者たちの感動や思いのこもったA4にぎっしり50枚ほどの資料。World Autism Festival2016に向けて、私に課せられた分の審査用の資料全て拝見し終わりました!推薦者のの中にアインシュタインの言葉を引用していた方がいました。「人はみな天才です。でも魚の能力を木登りで評価したら、魚は自分は無能だと思い続けるでしょう」、というような言葉です。自分が魚なのか鳥なのか猿なのか、分かっている上で不可能と思える事にチャレンジするのはいいと思うのです。でもその人が自分が魚だと気づかないまま鳥の基準を押し付けられていたとしたら、こんなに素晴らしい才能が埋もれてしまうのだとハッとしました。その社会の中でのマイノリティがそうなりやすいと思います。やっぱり心の目をオープンにしていたいと、改めて感じさせてくれたありがたい機会でした。日本の自閉症協会みたいなところもこのフェスティバルをご存知なのでしょうか。私には突然訪れたご縁だったのですが、お知らせした方がいいのかな…。

I can’t thank enough for this great opportunity to be a judge for ANCA World Autism Festival 2016. I’m just finished with viewing and reading all the information that I had received for that. I have no words. So impressed. Someone gave a quote of Einstein which caught me by inspiration, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” And what I felt while judging is that people with autism are genius, creative and talented. Nobody is stupid.

usa-flagRepresenting USA



Charles Judge USACharles Ecker – Musician, Award Winning song writer/producer 

Short Bio – Charles Ecker is a critically-acclaimed songwriter and leader of The C.R. Ecker Band, well-known internationally for its “Uptown Country” sound.  Early in his career, he was an anchorman in New York and Los Angeles, following service in the U.S. Air Force, where he received the Commendation Medal for creation of the largest base-level radio/T.V. network of its time.  A graduate of Rutgers College and long-time Corporate Communications executive, Ecker, an Eagle Scout, also served as a volunteer in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, retiring with the rank of Flotilla Commander. An avid sailor, he lives in Playa del Rey, California, with his wife of 29 years, Linda

What Charles had to say about his Judging experience:

“During my experience as a member of the evaluation panel, I was overwhelmed and overjoyed at the high level of excellence among all participants involved, from Asia through the North American continent across the sea to Europe, down to Africa, and on to Russia. All devoted time-intensive and focused efforts, individually or in groups, to increase an appreciation for, and understanding of, autism. From my perspective, all won my respect with their collective devotion to goodness!” Charles Ecker


67f9931c-0985-4dcd-9399-f07e91384994Kathy O Lofton – Educator, Film Maker. director/producer

Abridged Bio  – Kathy O. Lofton is a native Memphian. In addition to her work as a contributing magazine writer and published author, she is a filmmaker.

Her documentary feature, I Am a Caregiver, focuses on the nuances of family care in the home from the perspective of the caregiver. Although she has a love for producing film shorts, she has aspirations of writing a screenplay for a full-length feature film.

Lofton has been recognized and awarded for both her community service and writing. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis (BBA), Union University (Executive MBA), and the City University of New York, Baruch College School of Public Affairs (MPA).
What Kathy had to say about her Judging experience:

I was not at all surprised, so much as I was impressed with the level and breadth of the global talent among the autistic community. The work was not what took me aback; it was instead the fact that I was ignorant to how much of our society is driven by this group, and the false stigma so many of us have carried regarding the ability of autistic. 

The work of the minority indeed impacts the needs of the majority. Do not underestimate the autistic community. Serving as a judge was both an education and a pleasure. ~ Kathy O Lofton

Beau Brians Judge USABeau Brians – Actor, Film Maker, Director/producer

Short Bio – Beau Brians is an actor and producer from Honolulu, Hawaii. After graduating from Hamilton College in New York in 2013, Beau moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting full time and has appeared in a number of features, TV & stage shows. Beau’s latest film, Art Camp, is now premiering at festivals. Recently Beau’s focus has been on growing his youtube Channel @EpicBeau, where his loyal fanbase has made a handful of his videos go viral.

Twitter FB




turkey-flagRepresenting Turkey



Tolga Tusum Judge TurkeyTolga Tosun – President, Turkish Canadian Society of Vancouver

Short Bio – Tolga Tosun is involved with the Turkish community in Vancouver for many years and served the Community in different  positions such as Director, Folk Dance Group Coordinator Founder  and several times as the president of TCS. He is currently re-elected as the President of TCS for 2016. The Turkish Canadian Society is the first Turkish society that opened in Canada and serves since 1963. Vision of TCS is to increase the public knowledge of contemporary and traditional Turkish art and culture while creating a productive environment, as well as sharing the history and teaching the language, for the enrichment and educational benefit of the people of Canada.




Senem Oz Judge TurkeySenem Oz – Board of Director, Secretary, and Director of TCS Children’s Club for the Turkish Canadian Society of Vancouver

Short bio – Senem is a simultaneous translator, sociolinguists, PR and Advertising expert and brand strategist. She also is a Padi Dive Instructor, volunteer search and rescue diver who loves instructing and helping divers with special needs. 





canada_flagRepresenting Canada



Alisia Lyne Judge CanadaAlisia Lyne – singer, songwriter, performance artist

Artist Bio – From singing in the church choir at age 7 to studying Vocal Jazz Performance at Capilano University, Alisia has experienced a very diverse musical journey.
A native of Langley, BC, Alisia is a well-versed singer/songwriter, session singer and contemporary vocal coach. She has worked with some of Canada’s finest musicians including Juno Award Winners Jim Byrnes, and Brad Turner, Juno Award Nominee Jodi Proznick, Chicago Blues Hall Of Fame Inductee Jimmy D. Lane, Canada’s First Lady Of Blues Salome Bey, BC Hall of Fame Inductee Dee Daniels, Big Band Legend Dal Richards, Bria Skonberg, Bob McGrath and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and Emmy Award winning Composer Dave Pierce. Her recordings have been played on Indie radio stations in Europe and the USA and her original song ‘Always Be There For You’ won Best Songwriter in the Best of BC competition put on by the BC Country Music Association. Alisia’s ear for improvisation and soulful sound blur the lines between musical genres. Along with her 4 octave plus vocal range, her smooth, warm tone lends itself as well to ballads as her creative approach to melody does to the importance of a lyric. SoundCloud  Reverbnation 


Jimmy D Lane Judge CanadaJimmy D. Lane – Singer, songwriter, producer, Blues Hall of Fame inductee – Official Patron/Spokesperson AWAF

Artist Bio – At the age of 50, Jimmy D. Lane has already led quite a full life. The musicians he knows makes for an impressive resume. He has worked with Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Jim Keltner, Keith Richards, B.B. King, Van Morrison, Jonny Lang, Gary Moore, Double Trouble, Taj Mahal, Stephen Stilles, Jeff Healy, Jimmie Lee Robinson, Lowell Fulson, and Snooky Pryor, Kim Wilson, Pinetop Perkins, Johnny ‘Big Moose’ Walker, Johnnie Johnson, Kim Wilson, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Harry Hypolite, George ‘Wild Child’ Butler, David ‘HoneyBoy’ Edwards, Weepin’ Willie Robinson, Little Hatch, Nancy Bryan, Willie Kent, Henry Gray, Lazy Lester and Eomot RaSun. He has also worked with venerable blues greats such as Sam Lay, Hubert Sumlin, Carey Bell, Dave Meyers and his father, the legendary Jimmy Rogers.

Born July 4th, 1965 in Chicago, he grew up in a household where he became acquainted with a veritable who’s who of Chicago bluesmen. Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Mabon, Little Walter and Albert King, to name a few, would all stop by the house to visit the “old man.” Coming from this environment has instilled in Lane the deepest respect for elder statesmen of the blues. “I feel blessed and fortunate, to have known all those cats, and I do not take it for granted.”

At the age of eight, he began playing his dad’s guitar, which he wasn’t supposed to do. “I would break a string and put it back in the case like he wasn’t going to discover it,” Lane recalls. Shortly after that, Lane received a Gibson Acoustic from John Wayne. The Duke gave it to Shakey Jake, who was Wayne’s driver, to give to Lane. “I would try to play along to a Bobby Blue Bland album” Lane states. He also wanted to join in with his dad and all those old cats that stopped by to “drink, tell lies and jam.” Lane, however, would not get serious on the guitar until much later. Lane got discouraged from playing after the Gibson got smashed, and didn’t play for a while.

In 1983, Lane had a life changing experience. Click link to read more….




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