About Us

The folks behind the curtain.

FilmOneFest is the Jersey Shore’s preeminent showcase for all forms of short films under two minutes in length. The festival is a free summertime seaside screening in the town of Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. Its goal is to raise awareness of the arts, as well as the community of Atlantic Highlands. FilmOneFest also promotes local and international filmmaking through the use of new media and technology, educational activities and screenings, and supports its local food bank.

The Atlantic Highlands Arts Council is comprised of a team of dedicated volunteers who include professional artists, educators, business leaders and community organizers. We are a volunteer, non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization whose mission is to strengthen community through the arts. Our primary function is to develop and execute events and arts related activities for the benefit of our community.  For more information, check out our website at www.aharts.org


The Directors


Corinna Thuss

Corinna is the Managing-Director of the successful FilmOneFest with over 2000 in attendance and spearheads their fundraising efforts.

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She has a Bachelor’s degree from St. Thomas Aquinas College and honed her event and meeting planning skills as a meeting planner in the corporate world. She has over twenty years’ experience in event planning.  Her career includes working at PaineWebber organizing mutual fund broker training programs and working as an internal wholesaler, supporting the National Sales Managers coordinating the mutual fund sales force.

Currently, she is the special events manager for TEDxNavesink 2015 with over 700 attendees being held at Monmouth University.

She and her husband moved to the jewel by the sea, Atlantic Highlands in 1998, after years of visiting the area. A huge advocate for the town and for public education, Corinna served as PTO President for the Atlantic Highlands Elementary School for six years and is currently serving on the Board of Education for that school. She is also the vice-president of the Henry Hudson Tri-District Education Foundation formed in 2014 to support innovations in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math programs (STEAM) and athletics at the tri-district schools of Atlantic Highlands and Highlands.

In 2013, Corinna started her own event planning business, Brightwork Events. Corinna directs the high-level big-picture while placing equal importance on the finishing details. Her motto, is “the power of organization and the art of detail”. The term brightwork refers to the varnished woodwork that is kept bright on a vessel. Well-cared-for brightwork makes the difference in the overall positive appearance.

She is married and has a 13 year old daughter.

Robert O’Connor

Robert O’Connor is the founder and Creative Director of FilmOneFest.  He is a practicing artist whose work has been exhibited internationally, most notably at New York Studio Gallery where he had two solo exhibitions of his paintings, prints and videos.

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He holds an MFA degree from Vermont College of FIne Arts and a bachelors and masters degree from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.  He also studied at the Art Students League of NY where he received the prestigious Edward McDowell Grant.   Most recently, Robert served as Exhibition Coordinator for the Visual Arts MFA program at VCFA from 2010 through 2012.  He has participated in several film festivals including the Chicago Underground Film Festival and the Provincetown International Film Festival.  His videos have been shown at Jersey City Museum, the Monmouth Museum, Arizona State University Art Museum, and will be included in an upcoming group show of one-minute videos at Mass MoCA.

Robert is very proud of his community arts work, and in particular,  FilmOneFest.  When he moved to the beautiful Bayshore town of Atlantic Highlands in 2006, he quickly got involved with the Atlantic Highlands Arts Council (AHAC) and suggested the idea of a one-minute film festival – not only a way to bring contemporary film and video making into the community, but as a way to bring attention to the town which, like many other small towns in America, had a struggling business district.  He worked closely with his Co-Director Julie Gartenberg, whose organizational skills were a perfect match to his creative skills.  They’ve worked hand-in-hand to assemble a strong team of professionals that form the core of today’s festival.  Robert also worked with the AHAC and organized a team to work with the Rutgers University’s “Arts Build Communities” program to help communities build their capacity to grow and sustain creative communities and economies.

The Judges

Guest Judge 2016

Nina Davenport is a filmmaker living in Brooklyn, New York who is known for the autobiographical element of her work. Her most recent film FIRST COMES LOVE follows her journey from single woman to single mother; it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and on HBO in 2013. Davenport’s film OPERATION FILMMAKER (2007) explored the relationship between filmmaker and subject through the story of an Iraqi film student who traveled from war-torn Iraq to a Hollywood movie set.

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It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, won the Dutch Film Critics’ Award at Rotterdam, and aired on the PBS series “Independent Lens” and on the BBC's "Storyville." Davenport’s film PARALLEL LINES (2003) is a lyrical road movie about her journey from California back home to New York in the aftermath of 9/11; it premiered at IDFA and aired the BBC's “Storyville.” Her film ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID (2000) is a humorous and poignant account of her love-life, and it aired on HBO/Cinemax and on Channel Four’s “True Stories.”

Her first film HELLO PHOTO (1994) is a poetic and cinematic essay about her travels in India; it premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and won “Best Documentary” at Melbourne. Davenport studied filmmaking at Harvard College (B.A., 1990) where her mentors were Robb Moss, Ross McElwee, and Robert Gardner.

After graduating from Harvard, she became a Teaching Assistant in Harvard's Visual & Environmental Studies Department.  Davenport's films have screened at hundreds of film festivals worldwide, garnering numerous awards, and they have been broadcast worldwide as well.

She is founding faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts in the M.F.A in Film Program.

Jon Crowley

Executive Producer at Time-Warner Turner’s popular truTV network, he has been responsible for various hits such as, “Lizard Lick Towing,”  “Impractical Jokers,” “Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura,” “Rehab,” and the upcoming, “Cash Dome.”

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As Vice President of Development and Programming for NBCUniversal’s Syfy channel, Crowley oversaw “Destination: Truth,” “Scare Tactics,” “The Haunted Collector,” “Hollywood Treasures” and “Monster Man.” Prior to moving to Atlantic Highlands with his wife and son, he spent more than 15 years in Los Angeles as an executive, writer, director, editor and creator of reality, talk and documentary programming. His credits included: “Big Brother,” “Cops,” “Modern Marvels,” “Trading Spouses,” “The Academy Awards, ”A Dating Story,” and “The Emmys.”

Carol Cuddy

Carol Cuddy is a film and television Producer and Production Manager, based in New York City. She has worked on dozens of films ranging in size from “Men In Black 3”, “The Departed”, “The Interpreter” to smaller independent films including “Rachel Getting Married”, “Chinese Puzzle”, “Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead”. Her recent TV credits include the CBS series “Elementary” and the HBO series “True Detective”.

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In 40 years of working in production, Carol has been fortunate to work with many very talented directors: Martin Scorsese, Sidney Lumet, Sydney Pollack, Adrian Lyne, Jonathan Demme, Jodie Foster, Lee Grant, George Romero, Cary Fukunaga.

She has also worked on documentaries including the Academy Award winning “Down and Out in America”, the Rolling Stones’ “Shine A Light”, U-2’s “Outside It’s America” and the television documentary  “Andrea Doria: The Final Chapter”.

The last time Carol worked in Monmouth County was in 1991 on “Me and Veronica” a small independent film shot in Highlands. She wishes NJ would bring back it’s tax incentive so the film and TV industry would return to Monmouth County and New Jersey.


Joan Ellis

After being a support system for three children and her husband’s fledgling electronics company, Joan Ellis took on a second life reviewing movies for weekly newspapers and on the internet..  Her reviews earned a Critical Writing Award from the New Jersey Press Association.

 Susan Littenberg

Susan Littenberg is a documentary producer and has been the lead picture editor for over 15 films including 13 Going on 30, Charlotte’s Web, Tadpole, and A Lot Like Love.

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Littenberg was nominated for Best Edited Comedy or Musical for the film Easy A at the 2010 American Cinema Editors Awards.  Criterion DVD released the highly acclaimed documentary And Everything is Going Fine, created from entirely archival footage of the great monologist Spalding Gray, directed by Steven Soderbergh. Susanalso edited the music documentary “The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack,” which won a Special Jury Prize for Artistic Achievement at Sundance in 2000.  As an Assistant editor she worked with Jim Jarmusch, Hal Hartley, Ang Lee, and Paul Auster. She has taught at The Edit Center in New York, the Maine International Film Workshops and at the City College of New York. She is currently producing the documentary The Industrial Musicals Movie starring Florence Henderson, Martin Short and more, with David Letterman as Executive Producer.

Gedney Webb

Gedney Webb comes form the music side of the film business where he’s been a music editor for over 20 years.

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Working in both Los Angeles and New York City, he’s worked with some of Hollywood’s greatest directors including Ron Howard, Ivan Reitman, Wes Craven, Robert De Niro, and Ang Lee. Most notably, Gedney received a Golden Reel for his work on the Academy Award winning film “Chicago.” One of his most recent projects is the film “Warrior” directed by Gavin O’Connor.

Victor Zak

Victor Zak is an award-winning journalist and film commentator. Zak has been a movie critic and writer for newspapers and online in New Jersey and Washington state for many years.

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He says: “I have an enduring, longtime passion – some say obsession – with movies and their ability to tell stories and stir emotions, primarily through visual images. A lifelong love of movies – from escapist entertainment to art films and documentaries – has led me to pursue a postgraduate film studies degree from New York University, review movies as an undergrad at Seton Hall University and then professionally for varied publications in New Jersey and the Seattle area.”

The Volunteers:

Anne Milling Chair of Volunteers, Benefit Dinner
Brenda Hodgkiss Benefit Dinner, Vendors co­chair
Bill Howard Steering Chair Music, Website
Carmen Craner Hospitality Tent, Benefit Dinner
Caroline Margolick Graphics Event Program
Caroline Northrop Day of volunteer
Corinna Thuss Managing Director, Fundraisin
Gayle Serle FilmYoungFest Submissions
Ginger Lollos Day of Volunteer
Janice Miller Hospitality Tent
Jennifer Marston Website assistance
Jon Crowley Steering, Chair Submissions, Drive In
Jerry Williams Video Production
Kathleen Ligon Vendors co­chair
Karyn Merrell Launch Party, Day of Volunteer
Katie Gehlhaus Launch Party, Day of Volunteer
Leah Chapman Steering, Video production
Linda Frasciello Day of Volunteer
Lisa Sanders Day of Volunteer, Benefit dinner
Linda Lucas Day of Volunteer
Lori Montana Vendors, Benefit Dinner
Maggie Moro AHAC Co­President. Day of Volunteer
Mariann Largey Sponsorship benefit Dinner
Mary Lynn Hughes Day of Volunteer, Benefit Dinner
Matthew Leddin Stage Manager
Mike Scherfen Graphics, Event Program, Submissions
Olga Mackin Benefit dinner, Solicitin
Pam Johnson VIP Seating
Phil Frasciello Day of Volunteer
Randi LeGrice Chair ­Hospitality Tent, Benefit Dinner
Sally Stopper co­pres. AHAC, Volunteer, Photographer
Sherilyn Przelomski Volunteer
Stephanie Ladiana Steering, Treasurer for AHAC, Tee shirts
Susan Boracchia Vendors, Sponsor Benefits
Suzanne Guenther Volunteer  Yard Signs
Tom Churak Video, Billboard Graphic Designer Volunteer

Want to Volunteer? Get In Touch.

If you are interested in volunteering your time, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

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