Open City Documentary Festival

7 – 13 September 2022
in London

Open City Award


Genevieve Yue

Genevieve Yue is a critic, film programmer, Assistant Professor of Culture and Media, and Director of Screen Studies at The New School. Her writing has appeared in October, Grey Room, art-agenda, Film Quarterly, Film Comment, Reverse Shot, and the Times Literary Supplement. Her forthcoming book Girl Head: Feminism and Film Materiality (Fordham University Press, October 2020) explores how gender and sexual difference have been deeply embedded within three sites of technical film production: the film laboratory, editing practices, and the film archive.


Joanna Natasegara

Joanna Natasegara is an Academy Award-winning film producer, and founder of Violet Films. Known for hard-hitting, popular documentaries, Joanna continues to be a driving force behind films that cover some of the most pressing socio-political issues of our times, such as Netflix Originals Virunga (2014), The White Helmets (2016), and The Edge Of Democracy (2019). She also has an established track record of running renowned impact campaigns and is developing scripted projects alongside her documentary slate, including a film adaptation of Virunga for Netflix, to be written by Barry Jenkins and produced with Appian Way.


Ehsan Khoshbakht

Ehsan Khoshbakht is a London-based Iranian documentary filmmaker, film curator, and architect. He co-directs Il Cinema Ritrovato, an annual festival in Bologna dedicated to film history and film restoration. His new documentary, Filmfarsi (2019), is currently playing at festivals. His new book, a collection of interviews with Asghar Farhadi, will be published by the University of Mississippi Press in 2021. Ehsan was also the editor-in-chief of now defunct arts quarterly Underline, published by the British Council.


Susana de Sousa Dias (Chair)

Susana de Sousa Dias' works explore the dialectics of history and memory, questioning established regimes of visibility and audibility with a focus on the Archive. Her works have been presented at Documenta (Keimena), Berlinale, BAFICI, Viennale, IDFA, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Harvard Film Archive, Arsenal Institut, etc. She co-directed Doclisboa in 2012 and 2013, opening up new sections such as Cinema of Urgency and Passages. She holds a PhD in Fine Arts-Video and teaches at the Fine Arts Faculty of the University of Lisbon. Fordlandia Malaise (2019) is her most recent film.

Emerging Filmmaker Award


Jessica Sarah Rinland

Argentine-British artist filmmaker Jessica Sarah Rinland’s work has been screened and exhibited internationally winning awards including Special Mention at Locarno Film Festival for her first feature film (Those That, at a Distance, Resemble Another, 2019), Primer Premio at Bienal de Imagen en Movimiento Buenos Aires (Black Pond, 2018), Arts + Science Award at Ann Arbor Film Festival (2014), ICA’s Best Experimental Film at LSFF (2013), and M.I.T’s Schnitzer prize for excellence in the arts (2017). Residencies include: Film Studies Center at Harvard University, Flaherty Seminar Fellow, the MacDowell Colony, Ikusmira Berriak and Somerset House Studios.


Rehana Zaman

Rehana Zaman is a filmmaker based in London. Her work speaks to the entanglement of personal experience and social life, where intimacy is framed against state coercion and bio politics. Recent and upcoming screenings and exhibitions include the British Art Show 9 (2021); Serpentine, London, UK (2020); Liverpool Biennial 2018; Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh; Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018; Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival; Sheffield Doc/Fest; ICA Miami; Oberhausen Film Festival; Whitechapel, London and Bétonsalon Paris. In 2019 she co-edited Tongues with Taylor Le Melle, published by PSS. She was shortlisted for the Film London Jarman Award in 2019 and her films are distributed by LUX Artist Moving Image.


Dessane Lopez Cassell

Dessane Lopez Cassell is a curator, writer, and editor based in Brooklyn. She has organised curatorial projects and screenings for The Museum of Modern Art, Flaherty NYC, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and elsewhere, and she chairs the experimental film subcommittee for BlackStar Film Festival. Cassell’s writing has been published in catalogues issued by the Whitney Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and MoMA, among others, and she currently serves as Editor of Reviews at Hyperallergic.


Julian Ross (Chair)

Julian Ross is a researcher, curator and writer based in Amsterdam. He is Programmer at International Film Festival Rotterdam, member of the selection committee at Locarno Film Festival, and Assistant Professor at Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS). His recent projects include: co-curator for the exhibition “More Than Cinema: Motoharu Jonouchi and Keiichi Tanaami” at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn; curator of the film programme for “Other Futures”, Amsterdam; co-curator for “Animistic Apparatus” with May Adadol Ingawanij (NTT ICC, Tokyo and various venues); and writer for the chapter “Experimental Film” for The Japanese Cinema Book (BFI).

UK Short Film Award


Lindsay Poulton

Lindsay is Head of Documentaries at the Guardian where she commissions and oversees the Guardian's documentary content. Her core focus is the short-form documentary strand on films with strong, character-led narratives that are about compelling, contemporary stories. Lindsay is passionate about innovation in digital storytelling and has a strong journalistic as well as filmmaking background. Her work has been shown at festivals around the world, including Sundance, Tribeca, IDFA, and Cannes, and has been recognised with a number of prestigious awards. 


Lawrence Lek

Lawrence Lek is an artist, filmmaker, and musician based in London. His works include the CGI feature film AIDOL (2019), the video game 2065 (2018), the AI-coming-of-age story Geomancer (2017), the video essay Sinofuturism (1839-2046 AD) (2016), and Nøtel (2015), a simulation of a fully-automated luxury hotel made in collaboration with Kode9. He composes soundtracks and conducts audio-visual mixes of his works, often incorporating live playthroughs of his open-world games. His most recent release is Temple OST, the soundtrack to a site-specific installation at 180 The Strand, London (The Vinyl Factory 2020).


Claire Marie Healy

Claire Marie Healy is a London-born and based writer and editor. She holds MAs in English Literature (Cambridge) and Digital Media Theory (Goldsmiths). She is currently Editor of Dazed & Confused’s print title, and is a Contributing Editor for AnOther. Her journalism and essays have appeared in Dazed, AnOther, Port, SSENSE, Buffalo Zine, Little White Lies, and more. She has also collaborated with cultural institutions like the BFI and Barbican Cinemas, including guest-editing the latter's “Nevertheless, She Persisted” feminist documentary season. She is working on her first book, a timely exploration of girlhood in film and visual culture.


Rhea Storr (Chair)

Rhea Storr is an artist-filmmaker and researcher. Previous screenings/exhibitions include Filmforum MOCA, Los Angeles, European Media Art Festival, Berwick Film and Media Artist Festival, National Museum of African American History and Culture, US, Somerset House and Artist Film International. She is the winner of the Aesthetica Art Prize 2020 and the Louis Le Prince Experimental Film Prize. She was also a programmer for Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival 2020 and is currently undertaking practice-based research into Black British Aesthetics and analogue filmmaking practices. Rhea is also a member/director of not/nowhere, an artist workers’ cooperative where she teaches analogue filmmaking workshops.

International Short Film Award


Juan Pablo González

Named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film”, Juan Pablo González's films have screened at numerous festivals and venues around the world. Juan Pablo's practice spans fiction and non-fiction cinema. His work is primarily set in Atotonilco el Alto, his hometown, and is concerned with representations of the rural, drug violence, immigration, and the intersection between urban and country life in different communities around the Jalisco Highlands. He’s been a grantee of the Mexican National Fund for Culture and Arts (FONCA) and his work has been supported by Sundance Institute, Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE), Tribeca Film Institute and the Venice Biennale.


Joseph Fahim

Joseph Fahim is an Egyptian film critic, programmer, and lecturer. He is the Arab delegate of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, a former member of Berlin Critics' Week, the curator of the 2018 Safar Film Festival in London, and ex-director of programming of the Cairo International Film Festival. He co-authored various books on Arab cinema and has contributed to numerous online outlets in the Middle East, including Middle East Eye, Middle East Institute, Al Monitor and Al Jazeera. To date, his writings have been published in six different languages. He also works as a script consultant for various institutions and production companies around the globe.


Jay Bernard

Jay Bernard (FRSL FRSA) is a writer from London. Their work is interdisciplinary, critical, queer and rooted in the archive. They won the 2018 Ted Hughes Award for Surge: Side A, a cross-disciplinary exploration of the New Cross Fire in 1981. Jay’s short film Something Said has screened in the UK and internationally, including Aesthetica and Leeds International Film Festival (where it won best experimental and best queer short respectively), Sheffield DocFest and CinemAfrica. Jay is a programmer at BFI Flare, an archivist at Mayday Rooms and resident artist at Raven Row. Their first collection, Surge, was published by Chatto and Windus in 2019.


Jeanelle Augustin (Chair)

Jeanelle Augustin is a Haitian-American film programmer at True/False Film Fest. Born in New York City, she is interested in the visual and sonic culture of the futurewhat does creative freedom look and sound like? She is excited about the emergent strategies and creative solutions that artists offer to reimagine reality and build a more equitable future. As an independent film, emerging media, and moving image curator, her work is particularly focused on artists of color who are evolving the cinematic language of non-fiction, blending genres, and disrupting traditional hierarchies of knowledge and power. She leads PRISM and is an editor of this is a living document.