Festival Director Laurel Adler
Tami DeVine co-founder judges
Laurel Adler was originally trained as an actor, but discovered she preferred to have more control over her work than being an actor allowed. She directed numerous stage plays and musicals before moving towards the media of film and TV. Laurel also hosts a Los Angeles area television show, that broadcasts the best films from The NewsFest.
She produced several educational videos during the 2000’s, including her first foray into directing and producing a film, with “Young Astronauts”, a largely unseen documentary about a former Green Beret who started a program for low-income kids to help them learn science, through designing products for the space station. The experience, confirmed Laurel’s desire to direct and produce films about remarkable people who are unknown to most of us.
Her landmark film, “Shosholoza”, depicting the struggles of post Apartheid South Africa’s rural villages, was awarded Best Political Statement Movie at the 2013 Action on Film Festival. Her most recent film, “Iron Chain Last Hope,” (2018) won for Best Director Documentary, and Best Documentary Political at the AOF MegaFest. Iron Chain Last Hope, RAW and the Harder Way were televised in the Los Angeles Metro area. Her most recent film, "Paradise Unfound," a story of the illegal takeover of the Hawaiian Islands, won Best Documentary in both the Hollywood Dreams and the X-Film Short Film Festival, and was broadcast on television in December 2021.
Laurel’s 2017 film, “Atousa,” won Best Documentary, Short at AOF in 2017 and Exceptional Merit at the 2018 Docs Without Borders film competition. Laurel’s film, “The Harder Way” was awarded Best Documentary-Political at the 2016 AOF International Film Festival and Best Documentary Short in the Impact Film Awards, 2016 international awards for "Iron Chain Last Hope," 2017 international awards for "RAW," and 2020,2021 international awards for "Paradise Unfound."
Laurel is also a visual effects artist, having worked on several Hallmark Hall of Fame films, including Visual Effects Producer for Hallmark’s 2009 film, “A Dog Named Christmas.” She also worked on two seasons of the AOL web series “Little Women Big Cars” (2012, 2013, Vuguru Productions).
Other documentaries include: “Just Like Us”, (2009), broadcast on regional PBS stations; “American Who” (2015), a Telly Award Winner in Social Documentaries; and “Nada’s Gift,” Runner-up for Best Documentary Political at AOF.
Laurel was Executive Producer for the feature film, “Driving By Braille” (2011)starring Ryan Egold, and Associate Producer on the children’s film, “Zombeo and Juliecula (2013)”, plus visual effects for “Continuity” (2010).
As President of Crown City Network (CCN), Tami DeVine creates fresh, exciting content for
Television, Internet and Film. With headquarters in West Covina, near Los Angeles, CA, Crown City
Network is a Television and online streaming network with full service production capabilities. CCN produces TV shows of all genres, commercials, promotional videos seen around the world for major companies and cities, public service announcements, and event, sports, and talent videos.
CCN produces Crown City News, CCN Sunrise, Tami's Take and more programs. CCN is the parent company of the International Media Training Center (IMTC), which provides training and career development opportunities for those with a desire to work in TV. Tami has worked and created content for Broadcast Network Affiliates including ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX affiliates.
She has interviewed Vice Presidents, Governors, Members of Congress, Celebrities, Pro Athletes and Musicians, Astronauts, State and Local Dignitaries, and many other news makers.
Tami provides Broadcast TV consultation internationally, restructuring news departments to develop smooth operation of newscasts and grow viewership.
Tami is also an Expert Media Trainer who teaches aspiring Journalists internationally to find stories, conduct interviews, and shoot, write, edit, and deliver live news on a professional, broadcast level. Tami has numerous success stories of launching trainees into their dream careers. Many have found jobs at major employers including CNN, Reuters, National Geographic, ABC 7, Good Morning America, top 50 Broadcast Network Affiliates,
TV Markets around the country, and many other places after training with Tami.
With a unique life story, Tami is also a moving motivational speaker. She shares her life story about her birth in Sierra Leone, West Africa, adoption by White American missionaries at age six, and her journey from a primitive African village to Southern California which is featured in the award winning film, "Iron Chain, Last Hope."