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Copa Shorts Film Fest

Meet the Team


About Us • Travel/Weather • Meet the Team • Volunteer Opportunities


Festival Staff


Shelley Gillespie


Shelley Gillespie, Executive Director of Copa Shorts Film Fest, is the idea person behind this new festival. Her love of film, coupled with a desire to create a great event for filmmakers and film lovers, is the motivator behind CSFF.

In addition to collaborating on Saving Liberty, the quarter-finalist- placed screenplay winner in the American Zoetrope contest, Shelley’s multi-faceted background includes years as an award-winning journalist (The Communicator, Arizona Republic), an educator and adjunct professor (CAC, NAU), writing coach, marketing consultant and author. (Hiking for the Couch Potato: A Guide for the Exercise-Challenged)

She’s assisted a national non-profit in raising $9.3 million, increased membership for a Girl Scout group by 70%, developed and coordinated training programs for a 2,000-employee government, and managed a shopping mall and created their marketing programs.

Shelley holds a BA in English from Vassar College and an MS in Educational Administration from State University of NY at Albany.

She invites everyone to come, have fun!



Roger Gillespie – Festival Director


Screenwriter, producer, film critic and host of the monthly “3-Hour Movie Critic” event at UltraStar, Roger Gillespie has been involved in film, broadcasting and journalism since high school.

He has independently written and co-written over 10 feature-length screenplays including quarter-finalist in Francis Ford Coppola’s annual, internationally renowned American Zoetrope Screenwriting Contest for his full-length feature, Saving Liberty. [Benjamin Franklin is transported out of his time zone where he finds a 21 st century future that’s the opposite of what he had hoped. His biggest problem – he now needs to get back to 1775 to reset history!]

An alumni member of Ball State University’s Film and Broadcasting School, and Hal Croasmun’s Screenwriting U, Roger is the first to tell anyone that he can teach you how to format a screenplay in a few minutes, but “it’s the story that matters, and that takes a little more time.”






Gina D’Abella, a Native Arizonan, began her career in sales and marketing representing large corporations in the Phoenix area. For the past 19 years, Ms. D’Abella has been the Executive Director of Environmental Concerns Organization, Inc. (ECO). ECO focuses its efforts on environmental stewardship and sustainable community development projects. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Ms. D’Abella is the Chair for the Pinal County Open Space & Trails Commission.

An accomplished public speaker, proficient grant writer and administrator, she has provided grant writing training for CSFF. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from Arizona State University.

Her love of film spans various genre: documentaries, comedies, action and suspense.



Julianna Joyce Fehér was onstage by age three and on television by age six.  When the writer/director bug bit hard, she wrote and directed three stage plays for her city’s theater group.

Attending the screenwriting program at UCLA, she joined Central Casting, working as an ‘extra’ in films and television. After graduation, 20th Century Fox hired her, where she worked her way up to Executive Assistant to Bob Cook, President/COO of Twentieth Television.

While writing for Fox, Julianna became a member of WGA. She was on the team that introduced “American Idol.”   At Twentieth, she also wrote for Fashion House and Rules of Deception. Currently, she has a film about to be released and an adapted film script being pitched by an Indie Film company in Los Angeles.



With over 35 years in professional television, video and feature films with over 7,000 projects, Steve Wargo has collected an array of awards for his work as Director of Photography (DP). His love for the camera is reflected in his uncanny ability to “get the shot.”

A recent film, Romans Road, won best director and best film at the Cancun Film Festival.

In 2005, Wargo was the DP on both The Hoax and The Controller. The Hoax was snatched up by NetFlix and The Controller did a multi-year run on STARZ In-Demand Kids and Family.

He is currently developing his own film, Poison Sky, a docudrama about ChemTrails, showing their potentially harmful effects.

Steve’s awards include: the Telly Award (14), Communicator (4), Aurora, Axiom, and others. Donating his time for a PSA on The Valley of the Sun School and Rehabilitation Center in SunnySlope, his PSA won Outstanding Cinematography.

Wargo was the first member of the Arizona Chapter of The Independent Feature Project, a national organization that advances independent films and the people who make them.




Eileen M. Kane is a writer and blogger specializing in science and technology including copywriting, content marketing management, email campaigns, vlogging and podcasting. A nonfiction ghostwriter, Eileen also focuses on ebook composition, formatting and promotion. In over 15 years of communications and community building, Eileen has enjoyed stints as a writing instructor and comic book editor, as well as project managing application development for nonprofits.

At the community collaborative, Gangplank Chandler, Eileen is Art Coordinator.

She volunteers at Arizona WordPress Group, teaches edible landscaping as a Master Gardener, and coordinates the Chandler Science Café (Arizona SciTech Festival.)



Born in California, Joseph Dutra moved to Apache Junction, Arizona when he was three. He realized he wanted to be a filmmaker after he saw the film Be Kind Rewind about a group of video store clerks who make their own versions of popular movies. He just loved how much their community was involved in the making of these movies and how much they appreciated the clerks for it.

Joseph has his own YouTube channel and he continues to make videos to become a better filmmaker. In fall 2016, Joe will be attending the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.




Hunter Lomayesva has loved film for many years; first as a child, then moving on to film study classes while in high school. During his high school years, he learned the many nuances of film and what was involved. He’s taken that knowledge and shared his experience with the 3-Hour Movie Critic Group in Maricopa. Not only has the 3-Hour Movie Critic grown in size, but attending has increased his love of film.

He hopes everyone will join us at our first film festival, Copa Shorts Film Festival, in February, 2017.

Hunter especially enjoys horror films.