Open City Award


Karen Alexander

Karen Alexander is an independent film and moving image curator, writer and researcher.  She has worked with the BFI and the RCA, working across media, arts and culture. Her research areas are black women and representation, national identity and collective memory. Recent projects include ‘Curating Conversations’ (2014 & 2015), ‘Black Atlantic Cinema Club’ (Autograph, Watershed 2016); and exhibitions ‘Whip It Good: Spinning From History's Filthy Mind’ (Autograph, 2015) ‘Dream Time: We All have Stories’ (Nuit Blanche, Toronto 2018). In 2017 Karen co-founded the commissioning platform Philomela’s Chorus. She is currently a tutor at UAL and a consultant with Cinema Rediscovered in Bristol.    

Erika Balsom

Erika Balsom is a senior lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College London. She is the author of ‘After Uniqueness: A History of Film and Video Art in Circulation’ (2017), ‘Exhibiting Cinema in Contemporary Art’ (2013), the co-editor of ‘Documentary Across Disciplines’ (2016), and a frequent contributor to magazines such as Artforum, Frieze, and Sight & Sound. In 2018, she was awarded a Leverhulme Prize and the Katherine Singer Kovacs essay award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

Lucy Cohen

Lucy Cohen has worked in documentary film-making for 14 years after initially training as a print journalist. After producing and directing for Channel 4 and the BBC, her first feature documentary, Kingdom of Us, was released by Netflix in 2017. An intricate family drama exploring the collective recovery of seven siblings following their father’s suicide, the film won Best Documentary at London Film Festival, was nominated for a BIFA and received a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding Debut. Lucy also makes short-form work for charities, artists and institutions and is currently writing her first screenplay. 

Steven Eastwood

Steven Eastwood is an artist-filmmaker who has screened and exhibited internationally. His projects often involve encountering vulnerable and marginalised populations. The critically acclaimed ISLAND (2018) screened at LFF and IFFR, and was released in the UK. The sister artwork The Interval and the Instant (2017) is a multiscreen video installation commissioned by Fabrica. His first feature Buried Land (2010) was selected for Tribeca, Moscow, Mumbai and Goteborg.  Eastwood has been nominated for the BIFA and Grierson awards. Eastwood is Professor of Film Practice at Queen Mary University London. He lives and works in London.

Tabitha Jackson (Chair)

Tabitha Jackson and the Documentary Film Program at the Sundance Institute are dedicated to supporting non-fiction filmmakers worldwide in the production of cinematic documentaries that tell compelling stories, push the boundaries of the form, or address contemporary issues including social justice and human rights.  With almost 25 years experience in the field, she is an award-winning Commissioning Editor, director, and producer. Prior to joining Sundance she most recently served as Head of Arts at Channel 4 Television in London, where she supported and championed the independent and alternative voice and sought to find fresh and innovative ways of storytelling.

Emerging Filmmaker Award


Greg de Cuir Jr.

Greg de Cuir Jr has organised programs at National Gallery of Art  (Washington DC), ICA (London), National Museum of African American History and Culture (Washington DC), Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels), Los Angeles Filmforum, Locarno Film Festival, Flaherty Film Seminar in New York, Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Museum of Modern Art (Warsaw), Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina (Novi Sad), Alternative Film Video (Belgrade), and other institutions.  His writing has been commissioned by Centre Pompidou Paris and ICA London, and featured in ‘Cineaste’, ‘Jump Cut’, ‘Millennium Film Journal’, ‘Art Margins’, and other publications. De Cuir lives and works in Belgrade as an independent curator, writer, and translator.

Yasmin Fedda

Yasmin Fedda is an award winning documentary filmmaker whose films have been BAFTA nominated and screened at Sundance. Queens of Syria won the Black Pearl award at Abu Dhabi Film Festival and Best Female Director at Carthage. She has a PhD in Transdisciplinary Documentary Film, for which she was awarded a scholarship in Peace-Building and the World of Documentary Film from the University of Edinburgh. She is lecturer in Film Practice at Queen Mary University, London, and is also co-founder of Highlight Arts, an organisation that works with artists in times of conflict.

Edward Lawrenson

Edward Lawrenson is a London-based filmmaker. Uppland (2018) premiered at Cinéma du réel, and went on to play at various international festivals including Open City Documentary Festival, whilst Abandoned Goods (2015, co-directed with Pia Borg) won the Golden Leopard for Best International Short at the Locarno Film Festival, and also played at Sundance, amongst others. He has written on film for a number of publications, including Sight & Sound, Film Quarterly and Screen International, and was deputy editor of Sight & Sound. He is a Tutor at UCL for Open City Docs and also teaches at Kingston University.

Kevin B. Lee

Kevin B. Lee is a filmmaker and critic who has made over 350 video
 essays exploring film and media, including Transformers: The Premake which was named one of the best documentaries of 2014 by Sight & 
Sound. He was 2017 Artist in Residence at the Harun Farocki Institut in Berlin and 2018 European Media Artist Platform Resident at m-cult in Helsinki. He was Founding
 Editor and Chief Video Essayist at Fandor from 2011-2016, supervising producer at
 Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies, and has written for The New York
 Times, Sight & Sound, Slate and Indiewire. He is Professor of Crossmedia Publishing at Merz Akademie, Stuttgart.

Tereza Šimíková (Chair)

Tereza Šimíková is the Head of CPH:FORUM, CPH:DOX’s main financing and co-production platform. After graduating at FAMU, Prague in 2009, she directed several short documentaries including the award winning Double Life of Saint Vit. She served as the Program Manager of the international rough-cut workshop dok.incubator and the Head of Industry of East Doc Platform, the largest industry event focused on the Central and Eastern European region. In her position as an International Consultant, Tereza tailors international strategies for recipients of the Chicken and Egg Awards, a US based international fund for female filmmakers.

UK Short Film Award


Patrick Hurley

Patrick runs Sheffield Doc/Fest’s international Marketplace connecting filmmakers with industry Decision Makers to get new documentaries made and seen. He also oversees the Festival’s talent development initiatives. Formerly Distribution Manager at Dogwoof from 2012-16, he has worked closely with filmmakers, producers and partners on a diverse slate of over 100 documentary releases including The Act of Killing, Blackfish, Cartel Land, Concerning Violence, Dreamcatcher, Leviathan, The Look of Silence, Ken Loach’s The Spirit of ‘45 and Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next

Daisy Ifama

Daisy Ifama is a filmmaker, editor and social justice workshop facilitator born and based in South London. She is currently working at Google Creative Lab, where she recently directed a short documentary on women in music across Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. She is a founding member and Head of Video at gal-dem, an award-winning platform run by women and non binary people of colour. Her work explores conversations around community, legacy, identity formation and disrupting the grey area.

Onyeka Igwe

Onyeka Igwe is an artist and researcher working between cinema and installation. She is born and based in London, UK. Her video works have shown at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, LUX, Berlin Biennale, and the London, Rotterdam, Essay and Smithsonian African American film festivals. She has exhibited at articule, Montreal, Trinity Square Video, Toronto  and The Showroom, London.

Daniella Shreir

Daniella Shreir is the co-founder and editor of printed and online feminist film journal Another Gaze, which is now on its third issue. She has programmed films across the world, including a programme of short films by women around sexual violence, and a short retrospective of films by Marguerite Duras. She also works as a graphic designer and translator. Her translation of Chantal Akerman's ‘My Mother Laughs’ won a PEN award and is out at the end of September with Silver Press. 

Brett Story (Chair)

Brett Story is an award-winning non-fiction filmmaker and geographer. Her 2016 documentary, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Hot Docs Documentary Festival and was a nominee for Best Feature Documentary at the Canadian Screen Awards. She holds a PhD in geography and is currently an assistant professor in the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University. She was a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow and a 2016 Sundance Institute Art of Nonfiction Fellow. She is the author of the book, ‘Prison Land’ (2019) and her latest feature documentary, The Hottest August (2019), is currently playing festivals internationally.