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Meet November 2021 TGIM celebrity judge Wendy White


Wendy White will be one of November’s celebrity TGIM judges. White co-wrote the screenplay and co-produced the short film Roses Are Blind, which screened at the 10th Annual Fort Myers Film Festival in October of 2020.

The story revolves around a pre‑med junior at Columbia University by the name of Julie Janson. After Julie rescues a homeless woman’s dog from a train track, her roommate recommends she see famous psychic Addison Spellings for guidance. Their encounter reveals a family secret that changes Julie’s life forever. But when she goes home to confront her parents about it, they make sure their secret stays with her by having her institutionalized.

The film is autobiographical, based on an incident that occurred when Wendy was a 19-year-old college co-ed. However, Wendy did not convert her experiences into a story until the year after her mother had passed, some fourteen years later when a director invited her to participate in a playwriting workshop he was starting. So accepted his invitation, wrote a 3-act play and had it performed in New York. After she relocated to Florida, Wendy produced it in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, and later in Holland. But it was always Wendy’s overarching goal to convert the play into a movie about a young woman immersed in the nightmare of a psychiatric misdiagnosis and her journey toward freedom. She wrote a couple of screenplays for a feature film, but Director Gui Agustini convinced her the story would work better as a short film. And that gave rise to Roses are Blind.

The film has enjoyed tremendous critical acclaim. Among the film’s numerous awards are Best Thriller at the Cannes International Cinema Festival 2021, Best Thriller at the New Jersey Film Awards in September, 2021, Best Thriller at the Golden Lemur Film Festival in Lisbon, Portugal, Best Thriller Short at the Austin International Film Festival, Best Thriller at Silk Road Film Awards, Best Short Thriller at Florida Shorts 2021, Best Psychological Short at Indie Movies Spark Film Fest 2021, Best Thriller at the Rome International Movie Awards 2021, Best Thriller Short at Big Sur Film Festival 2021,  Best Woman in Jeopardy Film at the Culver City Film Festival, Los Angeles, Best Psychological Thriller at the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival, Best NYC Short at the International New York Film Festival and Best Short Film at the Chautauqua International Film Festival.

The film boasts an incredible star-studded cast that is anchored by Daniel Davis, who is best known for portraying Niles the Butler on the television sitcom The Nanny and for his guest appearance as Professor Moriarty on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Davis was nominated for a Best Actor Tony Award for his role in David Hirson’s Broadway play Wrong Mountain.

Wendy White-stand-in, Julie Janson, is played by television, theatre and movie actor Christina Jolie Breza, who also co-produced the short. Julie’s mom, Ruth Janson, is portrayed by Kathleen McNenny, an acclaimed Broadway, film and television actress. Theater and commercial actor William W. Warren plays Julie’s father, Ted Janson.

Not surprisingly, the cast and crew have garnered accolades and amassed a number of awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Kathleen McNenny at the New Jersey Film Awards in September, 2021, Best Actress for Christina Jolie Breza at Cannes International Cinema Festival 2021, Best Director for Gui Agustini at Cannes International Cinema Festival 2021, Best Actor for Daniel Davis at New Creator Film Awards in Paris, Best Director for Gui Agustini at Nicomedia Film Awards in Turkey, Best Actor for Daniel Davis at Vesuvius International Film Festival in Italy and at Rome International Movie Awards, Best Score at Rome International Movie Awards 2021, Best Writers at Accord Cine Fest 2021, Best Actress at the Chautauqua International Film Festival, Best Score at the Silver State Film Festival, Las Vegas, Best Young Filmmaker USA at the Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival and Best Editing at the Marina del Rey Film Festival, Los Angeles.

Obviously, Wendy has a wealth of experience to share when it comes to writing, making and judging indie films. So make plans to attend TGIM on November 1.

Joining Wendy at the celebrity judges table for November will be WGCU producer/reporter and Morning Edition host John Davis and FGCU journalism professor and WGCU Public Media graphic designer Mike Donlan. The house opens for cocktails at 6:30 p.m. Screening start promptly at 7:00 p.m. in the Grand Atrium of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, which is located at 2301 First Street in the downtown Fort Myers River District. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students.

October 29, 2021.


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