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Meet The 2021

RGFF Judges 

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Hannah Cheesman

Hannah is a CSA nominated writer and actor, and a filmmaker. Recognized as a Playback 5 to Watch and a TIFF Irving Avrich Emerging Filmmaker. Her directing and writing credits include the short films Brunch Bitch, Cheese, Emmy, and The AfterLifetime of Colm Feore, and the feature film The Definites. She also works as a writer in television (Workin’ Moms, Find Me in Paris), web (Whatever, Linda), and as a commercial director with Nimble Content. Most recently, Hannah wrote and directed Succor, a short starring Deragh Campbell (Anne at 13,000 Feet) and Michaela Kurimsky (Firecrackers), premiering at TIFF. Hannah is developing two shows with Bell Media, alongside EP’s Graeme Manson (Snowpiercer, Orphan Black) and Cameron Pictures (Lady Dicks, Mary Kills People, Little Dog) respectively. Currently, Hannah is directing the feature thriller Cesura (Circle Blue). Recent acting credits include Star Trek: Discovery and Schitt’s Creek.

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Peyton Kennedy

Peyton can be seen as ‘Betty Nelson’ on seasons 14 and 15 of the hit series Grey’s Anatomy. Peyton is also recognized for her lead role as Kate Messner on the Netflix original series Everything Sucks.

Before her roles in Everything Sucks and Grey’s Anatomy, Peyton played the reoccurring role of Dr.O on the hit children’s series Odd Squad. She also played the role of Young Cass in The Captive, an Atom Egoyan film starring Ryan Reynolds. Playing Young Cass in The Captive, Peyton won a Joey Award for Young Actress in a Feature Film Principal or Supporting Role.

Other roles to Peyton’s credits include Lavender, American Fable, Pond Life, Taken, What the Night Can Do, Dorsal, An Officer and a Murderer, Cut Bank, Hannibal, The Ron James Show, Murdoch Mysteries, Odd Squad: The Movie, and Killjoys.

Most recently, Peyton can be heard playing the character of Whitney Walker in Borrasca. Borrasca is a narrative podcast written and created by Rebecca Klingel, and produced by and starring Cole Sprouse.


Naomi McDougall


Naomi is an award-winning filmmaker, actress, author, speaker, and women in film activist. Her TED Talk, "What It's Like to Be a Woman in Hollywood," ignited a global outpouring of support for the women in film movement. Her new book "The Wrong Kind of Woman" looks at the systemic exclusion of women in film.  She has teamed up with former CFO of the City of Chicago, Lois Scott, to found The 51 Fund, an investment fund to finance films written, directed, and produced by women. Through The 51 Fund, Naomi became an Executive Producer of the documentary feature film, Cusp, which premiered in the US Documentary Competition at Sundance 2021. Naomi is currently at work on her third feature screenplay, Hammond Castle, a magical realism film that explores themes of identity, legacy, and gender through a modern-day seven-month pregnant woman's unexpected interaction with the brilliant, eccentric, and deceased inventor John Hays Hammond, Jr., for which Naomi received the honor of being the first artist-in-residence at Ernest Hemingway's final home in Sun Valley, Idaho.

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