Leadership Team


The Board of Directors

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Luke Castle – President

Luke Castle is a Detroit native, graduate of Full Sail University with a degree in film. Luke was an influential member of the Detroit Windsor International Film Festival in (2009-2013) as the community volunteer manager. Luke’s passions for the modern creative arts, adventure travel, and filmmaking bring him to the Royal Starr Film Festival as a coveted member of the leadership board of directors and one of it's orginal founders.

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Gene Meadows – Vice President

Gene Meadows is an architectural and fine art photographer. After attending the College for Creative Studies he founded Meadows & Co. Photography. Gene’s work has been displayed in private collections and museums, including exhibitions at The Detroit Institute of Arts and the Toledo Museum of Art. His images have appeared in Architectural Record, House Beautiful, and several other publications. Gene’s creative talents extend beyond photography, proving invaluable in his role as a member of the Royal Oak Commission for the Arts. Gene is also a co-founder of the Royal Starr Film Festival.


Billy Whitehouse – Treasurer/Secretary

Billy Whitehouse is a real estate broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Hannett, Wilson, Whitehouse & Burke REALTORS. He is also the creator of the Michigan Entertainment Network as well as a founding member of the Detroit Windsor International Film Festival. He is inspired by and inspiring to empower the Creative Class to reinvent the Detroit region as a thriving commercial and creative powerhouse. Billy has his Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University. As a super connector and transformational coach , he is a leader that creates leaders and a stand for a World that works for everyone.


Matt Liston - Chairman

Matt Liston is a financial advisor at Gleba & Associates. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science and Engineering degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering. Along with Royal Starr, Matt is also a board member of the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce, where he heads The Alpha Group, a networking group dedicated to helping first year Chamber members during the challenging time of starting a business. Matt’s passion for film and for the Royal Oak community makes him a valuable member of the Royal Starr Film Festival.

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Roy Sexton

Roy Sexton is responsible for leading Kerr Russell Law's marketing, business development, communications, and strategic planning efforts as their Director of Marketing. He has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, business development, and strategic planning. He has been involved in the Legal Marketing Association as a board member, content expert, and presenter. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Wabash College, and holds an MA in theatre from The Ohio State University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He is a graduate of Leadership Detroit and Leadership A2Y. He currently sits on the boards of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Ann Arbor, Royal Starr Film Festival, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, and encoremichigan.com. He is a published author with two books Reel Roy Reviews, 1 & 2. He has been an active performer across professional and community theatres in Southeast Michigan, and BroadwayWorld awarded him 2017 Best Actor in a Musical.


Advisors to the Board of Directors

Ellen Finn




Donny Wilson

Director of Community Outreach

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Mirna Aziz

Director of Screeners Guild

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Corey Milton

Director of Community Outreach


Brandon Kollar

Director of Volunteer Outreach

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Nathan Warnick

Director of Technology & Research


Founding Members


Larry Kantor – Gene Meadows – Billy Whitehouse – Luke Castle – Shane Sevo – Charlie Haviland