The Akron Independent Horror Short Film Festival
Neil "Shankar" Sudhakaran - Festival Founder & Director
Neil "Shankar" Sudhakaran is an award winning independent filmmaker, projectionist, and sound designer from Cleveland, OH. Most notably Neil received a Cleveland Critics Circle Award for his film / projection work on Angry Fags at convergence-continuum. Neil proudly serves on the board of directors for convergence-continuum, assisting with their marketing and communications initiatives. Neil lives in Twinsburg, Ohio with the Love of his Life Madison, and the two goodest boys Francois and Olivander the Brave. Neil would like to thank his friends Howard and Fran at The Akron Civic Theatre, for greenlighting untraditional programing, and hopes to make their friendship proud with The Akron Independent Horror Short Film Festival.
Francine Parr - Festival Producer
Francine Parr is the Artistic Director of the Millennial Theatre Project and the Arts Inclusion Incubator. The Millennial Theatre Project was  founded seven years ago with the Akron Civic Theatre, Parr has been able to make a career for herself. Francine grew up in the cities of Akron and Stow. Attended Miller South, Firestone High School, and studied for some time at Kent State. While at university, Francine missed what she loved most about theatre growing up, the community. Together with the Civic she has created a wonderful community on the foundation of the “IDEA”:  Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility. Francine is not only a director, but an actor and a playwright. “Say It Loud!” Was written by Francine Parr and Co-Writer Maya Nicholson. The play tackles the hard topics facing systemic racism and is a conversation starter on how we as a community can progress to create a better Akron. Acting credits include (but are not limited to) Reefer Madness (Mary Lane), Heathers: The Musical (Veronica), The Great Gatsby (Mrs. McKee), Dreamgirls (Lorell), and more. Directing credits include (but are not limited to) Rent, Avenue Q, Bonnie & Clyde, Songs For A New World, Hair, The Rocky Horror Show, and Carrie: The Musical.
Sarah Elizabeth Smith - Industry Judge
Sarah Elizabeth Smith is an award winning screenwriter, actress, director and producer with over ten years of experience in the film industry. Originally from Findlay, OH, Sarah has always been involved in the performing arts through dance and theatre. She began to work in film in 2010 starting as a background actor before transitioning to screenwriting while she was working on her undergraduate degree in justice studies at Kent State University. Since then, she has worked on dozens of projects both in front of and behind the camera winning several awards along the way. As a  Stowe Story Labs alumnus and a former PAGE International semi-finalist, Sarah enjoys being able to use her experience and knowledge to help others. She has worked as a festival judge and screener on several festivals in the U.S. and U.K. of all sizes and experience levels.  In her spare time she enjoys baseball games, traveling, and hanging out with her fur babies, Ellie and Clara.
Charlie - Celebrity Judge
Charlie is a full time radio sound engineer and part time woodworker who currently resides in West Park. He enjoys exploring the Metroparks with his dog Sonny, and smoking meats in his backyard. You can usually find him around town catching a concert or checking out the city's newest restaurants. Listen to him weekdays on Rover's Morning Glory (100.7 WMMS), or be sure to check out for some real artisan S***.