Hallmark Movie Channel, Tisch School Secure Judges For Short Film Initiative

Hallmark Movie Channel has added NYU Tisch School of the Arts alumni Spike Lee, Billy Crystal, Marcia Gay Harden and Debra Messing to its panel of judges assessing student and alumni films.

The group will join Alec Baldwin to judge the films that are part of Hallmark Movie Channel's "Film Positive" initiative, which will give up-and-coming filmmakers a forum for their work on-air and online, early next year.

The panel will judge the films based on a set of brand-defining criteria as determined by Hallmark Movie Channel. In order to qualify, the films should have high-production values, inspirational and celebratory themes, storytelling qualities and be appropriate for a family audience. The shorts can be any length up to 30 minutes.

"This is a unique and exciting opportunity for Hallmark Movie Channel, its viewers and Tisch students," said Bill

Abbott, president and CEO, Crown Media Holdings, Inc., in a statement. "These successful alumni represent the very best of Tisch and now they can help handpick the next generation of filmmakers. Indeed, it's really the perfect blend of established talent working with emerging talent in a way that will provide national exposure for these compelling and beautiful stories."

Added Mary Schmidt Campbell, dean of the Tisch School of the Arts: "Our graduates are some of our most valuable resources, contributing as they do in many ways so that successive generations of talent can be nurtured. We are grateful to alumni Alec Baldwin, Billy Crystal, Marcia Gay Harden, Spike Lee and Debra Messing for their participation in this exciting new partnership. And once again, we extend our thanks to Hallmark Movie Channel for the opportunity to showcase the enormously talented filmmakers from our School's Kanbar Institute of Film and Television."