Grand Jury

Veton Nurkollari Veton Nurkollari (Chair)

Artistic Director, DokuFest

Veton Nurkollari is Artistic Director of DokuFest, Kosovo's largest documentary and short film festival, which he co-founded in 2002. He is also the curator of DokuPhoto, an annual showcase of documentary photography that runs alongside the film festival. Currently, he is involved in several projects, including promotion of documentary cinema in rural areas of Kosovo through a “Cinema at Your Door” project. He is a member of the European Cultural Parliament and the European Film Academy.

Stella Bruzzi Stella Bruzzi

Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, UCL

Stella Bruzzi is Professor of Film and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at University College London. Her publications include Undressing Cinema: Clothing and Identity in the Movies, New Documentary (2000; 2nd edition 2006); the BFI Classic on Seven Up; Bringing Up Daddy: Fatherhood and Masculinity in Post-war Hollywood and Men’s Cinema: Masculinity and Mise-en-scene in Hollywood. She is co-editor of Fashion Cultures and Fashion Cultures Revisited. She is currently writing a book that came out of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship about the restaging of reality in documentary and other screen cultures.


Mania Akbari Mania Akbari


(b. Tehran, 1974) is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker, artist. Her provocative, revolutionary and radical films were recently the subject of retrospectives at the BFI, London (2013), the DFI, Denmark (2014), Oldenburg International Film Festival, Germany (2014) and Cyprus Film Festival (2014).

Her films have screened at festivals around the world and have received numerous awards including German Independence Honorary Award, Oldenburg (2014), Best Film, Digital Section, Venice Film Festival (2004), Nantes Special Public Award Best Film (2007) and Best Director and Best film at Kerala Film Festival (2007), Best Film and Best Actress, Barcelona Film Festival (2007). She also had numerous exhibits around the world in galleries such as Tate Modern in London.

Akbari was exiled from Iran and currently lives and works in London, a theme addressed in her latest Film, Life May Be (2014), co-directed with Mark Cousins. This film was released at Karlovy Vary Film Festival and was nominated for Best Documentary at Edinburgh International Film Festival (2014) and Asia Pacific Film Festival (2014). Akbari is currently working on the new project A Moon For My Father in collaboration with British artist Douglas White.

Marc Schmidt Marc Schmidt


Marc Schmidt is a Dutch film director working in and around the documentary field. He studied film theory at the University of Utrecht and media art at the Academy of Visual Arts in Tilburg. His films qualify by connecting a raw, personal approach with philosophical reflections, focussing on our basic human need for social interaction - and the lack of control we have over it.

Bec Evans Bec Evans

Film and Video Developer, Dazed

Bec Evans has experience working in documentary on productions for Channel 4, the BBC and Al-Jazeera as well as developing films in collaboration with El Colegio Del Cuerpo, Colombia and The Annenberg Foundation, LA, which explore socio-political issues through observing art forms in practice. Bec is now steering Film and Video creation at Dazed.

Open City Jury

Beadie Finzi Beadie Finzi (Chair)

Foundation Director, Doc Society (formerly BRITDOC)

Beadie Finzi is one of the founding directors of Doc Society (formerly BRITDOC), a non profit film foundation based in London & New York, supporting independent filmmakers globally. Having worked in documentary for the past 25 years, Beadie is in heaven in her role at Doc Society – whose mission is to befriend and enable creative filmmakers, fund great films, broker new partnerships, share knowledge and develop audiences globally. Providing production & outreach funds as well as editorial support to some of the most creative and talented filmmakers from over 30 countries. Since 2005, Doc Society has supported over 250 independent feature documentary films (including CITIZENFOUR, All These Sleepless Nights and Pussy Riot).

Xiaolu Guo Xiaolu Guo


Xiaolu Guo is a British-Chinese filmmaker whose work crosses genres and boundaries, and including prize-winning novels, features and documentaries. She received the Grand Prix at the International Women’s Film Festival for her feature How Is Your Fish Today and the Golden Leopard from Locarno Film Festival for She, A Chinese. Other films include UFO In Her Eyes (official selection TIFF) and Once Upon a Time a Proletarian, which premiered at Venice, Rotterdam and London Film Festival with critical acclaim. She had a film retrospective in Cinéma du Réel / Central Pompidou, 2010.

Nico Marzano

Programmer, ICA London / Founder, FRAMES of REPRESENTATION

Nico Marzano curates the Film Programme at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London (ICA) bringing a unique programme of independent and socially relevant films to UK audiences. His recent initiatives include nationwide migration in cinema project Crossings: Stories of Migration and comprehensive retrospectives on filmmakers such as Elio Petri, Krzysztof Kieslowski and Japanese film collective Ogawa Pro. In addition to his role at ICA, Nico is the Founder and Director for FRAMES of REPRESENTATION (FoR), a creative documentary laboratory and festival founded in 2015 to promote the production, distribution and exhibition of new forms of documentary cinema. Nico has been a guest lecturer at Birkbeck University of London, Kingston University, Falmouth University and delivered papers and keynote speeches for agencies across Europe.

Gustavo Beck Gustavo Beck


Gustavo Beck is a member of the selection committee for Cinéma du Réel – Festival International de Films Documentaires in France, RIDM – Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal in Canada and IndieLisboa – Festival Internacional de Cinema Independente in Portugal. He is also a Programme Advisor on Latin American films for the International Film Festival Rotterdam in The Netherlands.

Katarzyna Wilk

Deputy Director, Krakow Film Foundation

Katarzyna Wilk is Deputy Director of  Krakow Film Foundation Sales & Promotion -  where she is in charge of festival distribution of Polish documentaries. Katarzyna  is also coordinator of POLISH DOCS, a project established to present Polish documentary films around the world, as well as Head of the KFF Industry, a platform created for film professionals at the Krakow Film Festival. She works also as a film and culture journalist, and worked as an expert of the Polish Film Institute (committee of documentary film production).

UK Shorts Jury

Alice Cabanas Alice Cabanas (Chair)

Film Programme Manager, British Council

Alice Cabanas is Film Programme Manager for the British Council, running the shorts support offer and Travel Grant scheme alongside the international EU Film Festival offer.  Alice joined the British Council film team after three years with Encounters Festival, based in Bristol. Alice headed communications, strategy and development for the festival, beginning as marketing manager in 2014 and then leading the festival as co-director between 2015-17.

Philip Ilson Philip Ilson

Artistic Director, London Short Film Festival

Philip Ilson is the Artistic Director of the London Short Film Festival, which he co-founded in 2004. He is also the short film programmer for the BFI London Film Festival, and has worked as a freelance programmer, including at the East End Film Festival (London), Cork Film Festival (Ireland), and the Branchage Festival (Jersey), Latitude music festival, and at Curzon Soho Cinema.

Tristan Anderson Tristan Anderson

Filmmaker & Co-founder, Docheads

Tristan Anderson is a London based BAFTA-winning documentary filmmaker whose films and TV shows have been broadcast in over 15 countries internationally including in the UK on the BBC & Channel 4. His passion for documentary filmmaking lead him to co-found ‘Doc Heads’, a dedicated documentary screening, networking and membership organization that promotes the work of other documentary filmmakers.

Matimba Kabalika Matimba Kabalika

Talent Developmnet, BFI NETWORK

Matimba Kabalika looks after the talent development programme BFI NETWORK, and manages the accompanying website. Before joining the BFI she spent four years at Partizan, where she worked in production on commercials, music videos and short films, working with an array of emerging and established directing talent.

Peter Middleton Peter Middleton


Peter Middleton has directed and produced a range of fiction, documentary and cross-platform projects, along with his directing partner James Spinney,  including the Emmy Award-winning short film, Notes On Blindness. Their debut feature, also entitled Notes On Blindness, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival (alongside their critically-acclaimed virtual-reality experience) and was nominated for three BAFTAs (including the Documentary Award and Outstanding British Film) and six British Independent Film Awards (winning Best British Documentary).