Bethesda Film Fest Jury

The 2023 Bethesda Film Fest was be juried by filmmakers G. Chesler, Penny Lee and Adele Schmidt.  

G. Chesler

G. Chesler is a Director and Producer who creates documentary and narrative films addressing sexuality, the body, gender and racial justice. Their films have been exhibited at hundreds of film festivals, museums and galleries worldwide. G’s films include the feature documentary Period: The End of Menstruation (2006), comedic coming-out shorts The Pick Up (2018) and BeauteouS (2002) among many other dramatic narrative and experimental documentary shorts. G. produced the award-winning POV documentary Out in the Night (2014) and Co-Edited / Associate Produced Zeinabu irene Davis' award-winning documentary feature Spirits of Rebellion: Black Cinema from UCLA. Their new film is on trans lives during COVID-19 recently received a Regional Arts and Culture Grant. G. is a full professor of Film at George Mason University and an Advisor in the inaugural ITVS / NEH Documentary Development Fellowship program.

Penny Lee

Penny Lee is a Producer, Director and Film/Video Editor. With more than 25 years of editing experience, she has worked on long and short form documentaries, films, reality television, promotional infomercials and educational videos. Lee was the senior editor for an independent feature narrative film called A Year and Change. Lee’s clients include Discovery Channel, National Geographic Television, TLC, Travel Channel and HGTV to name a few. She produced, directed and edited the documentary short Through Chinatown’s Eyes: April 1968 (2016) and produced and edited a feature documentary A Tale of Three Chinatowns (2022). In addition to her network projects, Lee’s passion for storytelling continues to drive her to create content highlighting the immigrant experience in the United States, with a primary focus on the Chinese-American voice.

Adele Schmidt

Adele Schmidt is a film and video producer, director and editor who has won numerous awards in both documentary and fiction films, including TIVA-DC's Peer Award, the U.S. International Film and Video Festival Award, the Telly Awards and the Gabriel Award. Adele co-founded Docs In Progress in 2004, served as part of its founding staff from 2009-2010, and is the current Artistic Director. Adele is the co-owner of Zeitgeist Media LLC, a production company that has gained wide recognition for its documentary series on progressive rock music, Romantic Warriors – A Progressive Music Saga. In addition to more than 20 years working as a producer, director, editor and consulting producer for award-winning films, Adele has extensive teaching experience. She has been an adjunct professorial lecturer for film and video production at American University since 2009.