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GIFS Board Members



Sherrill D. Hilton

A native of Galveston, Texas, Sherrill lives to create and entertain.

She has extensive background in the dance and musical theater communities in Texas and California. Now, she is taking on the film industry with the career goal of becoming a film and television producer and director. 

She has received accolades as the “Woman to Watch” In Film” (2010) from the Los Angeles Film School (Women In Media), for her work as a line producer and art director on several projects. 

She also was awarded the 2012 Los Angeles Web Fest “Outstanding Achievement Producing Comedy, Sketch Comedy, Translated Comedy or Mockumentary Series” Award for associate producer for the web series “Sound Advice.” 



Eugene Cook

A native of Galveston, Texas, Eugene Cook is a retired Senior Project Manager for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). For over 34 years, he. has managed major military projects, including aircraft integration, weapons system and navy intelligence programs.

Mr. Cook is a community volunteer, working with nonprofit organizations to mentor and counsel young adults. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Broward County Urban League, and the Washington D.C. chapter of the Coalition of 100 Black Men of America.

Eugene holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Prairie View A&M University.


Analytics Advisor

Joyce Townsend

Ms. Joyce L. Townsend is the sole owner of JLT Revenue based in
San Antonio. JLT Revenue is an independent company devoted to demographic research, grant writing, policy papers, team development, and market research for major organizations and large national women’s organizations. Realization of revenue and bottomline growth for the company’s clients has allowed for additional development of JLT Revenue, Inc. During its existence, it has become established and recognized for consistently attaining financial objectives, being under budget and meeting targeted timelines. 


Prior to forming JLT Revenue, Ms. Townsend was employed in senior management roles in San Antonio, Washington, the West Coast and Atlanta. Her career has included the launch of a new telecommunications product line and the establishment of the operations, marketing and sales force, media buys, marketing pieces, and best practices manuals within the markets. 


In addition, she was responsible for the U.S. division of a FTSE 100 research and manufacturing company’s operations from the American headquarters. Under Ms. Townsend’s leadership, the company realized a net profit increase of 51%. She directed a team of strong managers and led the group of professionals as they opened multiple markets and launched introductory product lines for the United States.


Ms. Townsend attended University of Texas as well as London School of Economics and Political Science. She has been actively involved in fighting for equality since the age of 16. Early activism included working for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, Title X passage, and women’s healthcare.  She is the founder of the successful San Antonio Feminist Film Festival. A former member of the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women, she also served on the board for Women’s Mental Health Assn, Bexar Speaker’s Forum, and the state board for Annie’s List. She is a state board member for MOVE Texas.


She was the founder of San Antonio Area Chapter of National Organization for Women. In addition, she is a CASA advocate. She is currently active in many additional volunteer roles within the state and national landscape.



Deborah Cook

Native Galvestonia


Board Chair

Marvin Walters

Marvin Walters is a retired Professional Motion Picture 2nd Unit Action Director, Stunt Coordinator, 

Stuntman, and Consultant.

Walters as the chair of the Galveston Island Film Festival and Conference brings 32 years of knowledge about the Entertainment Industry. As a 2nd Unit Action Director, Stunt Coordinator and Stuntman, with responsibilities varied from creating budgets ranging from $5,000 to as high as $1.5 million per project, as well as supervised from 1 to as many as 125 stuntmen and women at various times on motion picture and television productions. Coordinating with 1st and 2nd Directors, Cinematographer, shooting schedules and camera angles.

Marvin is the founder of “The Black Stuntman’s Association” in 1967. This organization was formed to help open doors in the film and television industry for black stuntman to serve as stunt-doubles for the black actors.

In 1972, Along with Jade David the “Coalition of Black Stuntmen and Women” was formed. By setting goals and timetables, Walters and David contribution impacted the entire motion picture industry.

In 1976 Marvin was selected by MGM Studios as an Affirmative Action Consultant to locate minority hiring employment areas.

 In 1984 he graduated from “Paramount Pictures Associate Producers Program”.

In 1994 Marvin and Jade Co-founded The Alliance of Stunt Performers of Color for the Screen Actors Guild.

He was co-writer, co-creator of the first six story lines for FORTUNE DANE, A television series starring Carl Weathers in 1986 for ABC.

An author and publisher of “AWAKENING GIANT”, and the author of “SO YOU WANNA BE A STUNT PERSON”, now on Amazon.

Bobby mug.jpg

Media Relations

Robert Stanton

Robert was born and raised in Galveston, Texas, where he returned after the death of his father, Dr. R.H. Stanton Jr., a prominent African American dentist.

Robert Stanton is an award-winning writer/editor whose career has taken him on the ride of his life, working for newspapers and electronic media in his career in journalism and media relations. He is a persuasive communicator with a strong background in writing, editing,

photography and social media. 

At every stop – The Houston Post, The Houston Chronicle, KHOU-11 News, The Galveston Daily News and international media – he thrives in the fast-paced, deadline-intensive media world.

In 2014, he won First Place in Deadline Writing by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors. The award went to The Houston Chronicle news team for its coverage of a tragic Houston fire that killed four firefighters.

A dynamic communicator, Robert is a sought-after writer whose work appears in local, national and international media. His work has appeared in The Daily News, Minority Business News, The Houston Chronicle, and Reuters News Agency, and others.


Board Member

Bobby Wilson

Lord Abraham Greatson is a poet, actor, and producer from Galveston (Auia), Texas. He’s been in one feature length film as a principal character, Dark Harvest 2004 version and several plays by local playwright, actor, director Matthew Stanford and Erma Phillips. 

He is currently in the process of self-publishing his first poetry book entitled, “What’s Stirrin’?!” and truly hopes for community support of this years Film Festival events. 

He is elated that Sherill Hilton is undergoing such an amazing overtaking by bringing to Galveston an event to help promote film and television enthusiast globally to showcase their talents and promote their artistic works. 

He looks forward to the growth of the Galveston Film Festival and participants to realize their dreams of being world renowned film makers and story tellers.

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