Open City Documentary Festival

María Palacios Cruz

Festival Director

María Palacios Cruz is a film curator, writer and educator. Before joining Open City Documentary Festival, she led the Film Curating course at Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola in San Sebastian (Spain). María has worked for many years as an independent curator for film festivals and cultural institutions worldwide. She has been a programmer for the Courtisane Festival since 2008 and was its Director between 2010 and 2012. She was Deputy Director of LUX, the UK agency for artists’ moving image, from 2015 to 2020.


Oliver Wright

Director of Film Programme

Oliver is responsible for the festival’s film programme, as well as our year-round screening events. He has been involved with the festival since its inception and has been programmer since 2014. Oliver has also worked on a number of other film festivals including BFI London Film Festival, LSFF and Underwire Festival.


Lucy Wardley

Festival Producer

Lucy is the Festival Producer at Open City Documentary Festival. She has worked with the festival in a variety of capacities including on the guest and programming teams and holds an MA in Documentary Practice from Queen Mary University of London.


Albert Millis

Immersive Coordinator

Albert is responsible for curating and producing the Expanded Realities programme strand at the festival. Previously, he produced the Expanded strand for the BFI London Film Festival, toured immersive works for the Philharmonia Orchestra and worked on Sheffield Doc/Fest's Alternate Realities Tour in Brazil, Argentina, and UK. Albert is the Co-Founder of Virtual Umbrella.


UCL Public Anthropology Team

Michael Stewart

Head of the Centre for Public Anthropology

Michael is a professor of anthropology and the academic head and founder of the UCL Centre for Public Anthropology. He established the Open City Documentary Festival in 2011 and has been instrumental in its continuing success. Michael also founded the Public Anthropology degree programmes and the Open City Docs Film School for short courses.


Rosi Hirst

Centre Manager for Public Anthropology

Rosi manages the UCL Centre for Public Anthropology, where the Open City Documentary Festival is located. She has over six years’ experience working in the university sector, and previously has worked in the UCL Institute of Education and for Imperial College London.


R Talbot

Short Courses Administrator

R Talbot is responsible for managing our short courses, as well as assisting UCL students studying on the MA Ethnographic and Documentary Film and MFA Creative Documentary by Practice.