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VIP Panel That Includes Award-Winning Producers, Industry Veterans, Educators,

and 2022 Atticus Winners Will Choose D3F Finalists


CHEVY CHASE, MD – Thursday, April 6, 2023 – The Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F), the world’s first and only film festival focused exclusively on promoting the importance of positive dad involvement for kids and families, today announced its full panel of a dozen VIP Judges. The panel, comprised of experts in the entertainment industry, arts, academia, and Atticus Award Winners from 2022's inaugural Daddying Film Festival, will be responsible for selecting finalists from among D3F’s field of submissions by 1st-grade through undergraduate students, dads/dad figures, and other indie filmmakers. The D3F final deadline for submissions is May 1.


All D3F submissions are evaluated based on overall quality, creativity, and, more importantly, on how well they relate to one of the Festival’s daddying themes:


  1. A letter to my father/A letter to my daughter/son

  2. The most joyful/fun thing I ever did or wish I could do with my father and/or daughter/son

  3. If I could make one wish come true for my dad and/or son/daughter it would be...


The D3F’s 2023 expert judges are:


  1. Margaret Parsons, a film curator who founded the film program at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, where she was Head of Film for more than 30 years. She has served as board member for major film organizations, including the Robert Flaherty Seminar and Washington Environmental Film Festival, and on the editorial boards for The Moving Image and the Getty Trust’s Program for Art on Film. She has been a judge for a number of international film festivals and her work in film preservation has earned her awards from the governments of France, Czech Republic, Italy, Romania, and Georgia.

  2. Dr. Carol Darcy, a lifelong educator who worked with the World Organization for Early Childhood Education’s US Chapter to organize an annual “film festival” at the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC) conference until 2016. She is an advocate for the appropriate and skillful use of media for young children, families, and teachers, and created the professional development workshop “Being A Pro-Active Media Literacy Advocate.”

  3. Fredda Weiss, a film producer, costume designer, and member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 1987, she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Film for producing Love Struck. Her additional producing credits include The Best of Times (1986), starring Kurt Russell and Robin Williams; Shoot To Kill (1988), starring Sidney Poitier and Tom Berringer; and Zandalee (1991), starring Nicolas Cage, Erika Anderson, and Judge Reinhold.

  4. Mark Maxey, an Emmy Award-winning producer and President of Rolling Pictures. His recent motion picture productions include Kyra Sedgwick’s feature directorial debut Space Oddity starring Kevin Bacon; Mayim Bialik’s directorial debut As They Made Us, starring Dustin Hoffman, Candice Bergen, Dianna Agron, and Simon Helberg; Rare Objects, directed by and starring Katie Holmes; and the documentary feature Up To Snuff, which Maxey wrote, directed, and produced, featuring Aaron Sorkin, Martin Sheen, and Tom Arnold. His executive producer credits include The Kill Room, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, directed by Nicol Paone. Maxey is chairman of the Producers Guild of America - Capital region and a member of the Television Academy and Documentary Producers Alliance. He is co-founder and chairman emeritus of the Washington West Film Festival, the only film festival to donate 100 percent of box office proceeds to help at-risk youth and families in need. Maxey serves on the boards of Women in Film & Video, Artistic Fuel Foundation, and the Rock & Roll for Children Foundation benefiting families fighting pediatric cancer at the National Institutes of Health Children’s Inn.

  5. Robert Manganelli, father of Gio and Catalene. Now developing a documentary, We Were Here. He participated in Writers and Directors Labs at Robert Redford's Sundance Institute. Wrote/directed the award-winning short, Listen Carefully, which was selected by several festivals, including Sundance, AFI, Haifa Israel, Porto Portugal, and Cork Ireland. Manganelli earned his MA from UCLA Film School. As a grad student, he was nominated for a Paramount Pictures Fellowship.

  6. Deborah Boldt, an award-winning filmmaker with expertise in using film as an educational catalyst. She is the Executive Director & Co-Founder of REEL FATHERS. Her 1987 documentary, Miles to Go, which she directed with Sarah Stein and co-produced with Hilary Maddux, won an Academy Award Certificate of Special Merit. Her film, Fresco, was broadcast as a national PBS special. She’s an Aspen Institute Scholar/Lecturer, recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Regional Fellowship, and served on the board of New York Women in Film and Television.

  7. Chris Moore, a television writer, producer, and graduate of Chapman University’s screenwriting program. He has written for Netflix’s award-winning Family Reunion, as well as the CBS series The Neighborhood and Nickelodeon’s Young Dylan. He is currently writing and producing an animated project for Fox’s Tubi TV.

  8. Cris Iannucci, a New York City-based Assistant Director, Cris works in network TV and feature film production. With a BA in Performance from the University of New Mexico, she’s performed every job in front of and behind the camera. Raised by a single dad, Cris understands the importance of D3F for kids and dads and is thrilled to be adjudicating a festival that advocates for the accessibility of filmmaking to youth around the world.

  9. Thomas Callahan, an actor, broadcaster, and artist. Callahan attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. He has performed and exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, and Boston and earned awards from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Associated Press, Los Angeles Art-House Film Festival, and the Radio and TV News Association of Southern California. Thomas co-founded WUMB-FM Radio in Boston and currently hosts “Seasons & Celebrations” and 60s Chicks Radio.

  10. Aaron Scully, Daddying Film Festival 2022 Atticus Award Finalist for his short film Dad For Hire. Sydney, Australia, born and bred, Aaron is a working film, TV, and stage actor, filmmaker, and teacher who also runs an acting school for all ages near his home. The hilarious Dad For Hire starred his then 18-month-old daughter and garnered several festival awards, including a 2022 Daddying Film Festival finalist spot.

  11. Pablo Estrada, a filmmaker and the Daddying Film Festival's 2022 Atticus Award college undergraduate student winner for his animated film Pater et Filio. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pablo studied Image and Sound Design at the University of Buenos Aires before continuing his animation studies in Canada. He’s worked with Le Cube studios (Buenos Aires), Guru Studios (Toronto), and Pipeline Studios (Hamilton). He now lives in Oakville, Ontario, and is working with Pipeline on a new PBS cartoon series.

  12. Leela Malladi, a filmmaker whose short film, Hey Dad, It's Me, won the inaugural Daddying Film Festival's 2022 Atticus Award for high-school students. Now in college, she is currently double majoring in Radio/Television/Film and Economics at Northwestern University. Leela has expanded her filmmaking roles and now produces budgeted student films while also serving as the finance chair of Northwestern's student production company Studio 22.


The D3F Judging Process

To select D3F finalists, submissions are first narrowed by student and adult preliminary jurors from around the U.S., who have been trained in evaluating films by KIDS FIRST! and DADvocacy Consulting Group staff. Student jurors range from 4th grade through high school. After submissions have been culled, the D3F expert judging panel will review them to select up to 5 finalists in each of seven voting categories:


  1. 1st through 4th grade (elementary school)

  2. 5th through 8th (middle school)

  3. 9th through 12th (high school)

  4. College/university (undergraduate)

  5. Best Short Film (students, dads, other indie filmmakers)

  6. Best Feature Film (indie filmmakers)

  7. Roy R. Neuberger Prize for Best Dad-Created Film


All D3F student finalists earn a $250 award for use toward an activity or project to enjoy with their dad/dad figure. All D3F winners, including non-student, indie filmmakers, earn an “Atticus,” a statuette symbolizing Atticus Finch from the 1962 film based on Harper Lee’s book To Kill a Mockingbird. Finch, an iconic single dad, represents several ideal daddying qualities. Student Atticus winners also earn an additional scholarship to advance their studies or create a project encouraging positive dad involvement. The best film submitted by a Dad will earn a special Atticus, the Roy R. Neuberger Prize, and $500 to use toward an activity or project with their child(ren).


Winners in each D3F category will be chosen by public, online voting during the festival in early June. Voting will be open from midnight, Sunday, June 4, through Saturday, June 10, 2023, at 11:59 pm EDT. Awards will be presented to student, dad/dad figure, and indie winners in an online ceremony, Sunday, June 11.


What is “Daddying?”
The word “daddying,” coined by Allan Shedlin in 1994, is what happens when fatherhood and nurturing converge in service to a father’s child. It is a process requiring active involvement and a lifelong commitment to a child’s physical, emotional, social, intellectual, creative, and moral/spiritual well-being.

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The Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F), is not your ordinary film fest. It is the world's first and only film festival focused exclusively on promoting the importance of positive dad involvement for kids and families. D3F was created by the DADvocacy Consulting Group’s Daddy Appleseed Fund (DAF) to offer children and youth a stage to express through film/video how they feel about the relationship they have or wish they had with their dads. D3F has expanded in 2023 to also encourage dad filmmakers to submit their own films for consideration. To more directly improve the daddying experience for children and dads alike, D3F 2023 also includes a stand-alone, “live” Daddying Film Forum in New Mexico (Saturday, 6/24, in Albuquerque and Sunday, 6/25, in Santa Fe) that will bring children/youth together with their dads/father figures to examine thoughts, feelings, and insights in response to a particular screened film and to express them through discussion and other creative means.



The DADvocacy Consulting Group (DCG) acknowledges the vital roles of fathers and mothers alike. Founded in 2017 by Allan Shedlin, DCG’s mission is to enable every father to become the dad he wants to be – for the good of his children and/or grandchildren, his family, his community, and himself. DCG brings together a team of DADvocates from diverse backgrounds – each with more than 20 years of experience in the fatherhood field. Shedlin founded the Daddy Appleseed Fund and Daddy Wishes Fund in 2018 and launched the Daddying blog in February 2020 to amplify the voices of a broad diversity of parents and colleagues and to raise awareness and promote the benefits of lifelong dad involvement.


The Daddy Appleseed Fund (DAF) exists to support organizations that use creative means to encourage positive involvement by fathers and father figures with their children. Created in 2018 as a donor-advised fund at the Greater Washington Community Foundation (GWCF), the DAF is tax-exempt and can receive donations through GWCF. In 2022, Shedlin created the Daddying Film Festival as a DAF initiative. Given Shedlin’s long history of hands-on experience working with children, fathers, and families, the DAF is well aware of the need to support organizations whose idealism, passion, commitment, creativity, and gumption exceed their limited resources. Thus, the DAF seeks out smaller organizations in which its funds will have the greatest impact. The DAF has often approached such organizations with ideas for creating unusual methodologies and programs. It is partial to the arts and to under-served, diverse populations.

For more information or to arrange an interview with D3F Director Allan Shedlin,

CONTACT D3F Comms Director Scott Beller: scott [at] daddywishesfund [dot] com

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