Open City Award

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Mehelli Modi

Born into a filmmaking family in India, Mehelli Modi came to London in the 1960s and has had a long and varied career in the music industry. However, Mehelli’s first love has always been cinema and, in 2005, he founded Second Run DVD, a company dedicated to releasing important classic and contemporary feature films and documentaries from around the world. Their catalogue is now at over 120 titles and growing, and includes the works of filmmakers such as Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Miklós Jancsó, Kim Longinotto, Pedro Costa, Miloš Forman, Joshua Oppenheimer, Věra Chytilová, Andrzej Wajda, Nicolas Philibert and Marc Isaacs.  

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May Adadol Ingawanij

Dr. May Adadol Ingawanij is a moving image theorist, teacher and curator. She co-directs the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) at University of Westminster. May writes on moving image, art, film history, and Southeast Asia for a wide range of publications; and is writing a book on animism, moving image performances, and contemporary art in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Some recent curatorial projects include: Lav Diaz: Journeys (London, 2017); Southern Collectives (with the Experimenta Cinema in Asia Network, Bienal de la Imagen en Movimiento, Buenos Aires, 2016); On Attachments and Unknowns (with Sa Sa Bassac, Phnom Penh, January 2017)  

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Nelly Ben Hayoun

Dr. Nelly Ben Hayoun is a multi-award-winning French designer and filmmaker who creates multidimensional experiential projects at the intersection of science, theater, politics and design. Dubbed the "Willy Wonka of Design", her projects aim to bring the sublime to life; and her laboratory, NBH Studios, is on a mission to bring chaos to the world. Her various roles include chief of experiences at WeTransfer, designer of experiences at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, advisor to the United Nations Virtual Reality Labs, research director at Brooklyn based design Institute A/D/O and advisory board member at AIGA (American Institute for Graphic Arts).  

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Beatrice Gibson

Beatrice Gibson is a Franco-British artist living and working in London. Beatrice has twice won the Rotterdam International Film Festival Tiger Award for Short Film, for A Necessary Music (2009), and The Tiger’s Mind (2013). She was shortlisted for the Whitechapel Max Mara Art Prize for Women (2013-15) and the Jarman Award for artist’s film (2013); and won the 2015 Baloise Art Prize, Art Basel (2015). Her films have shown at prestigious venues and film festivals including: London Film Festival, CPH:DOX, Toronto International Film Festival, Light Industry NYC, Anthology Film Archives NYC, ICA London, and the Serpentine Gallery London.  

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Sophie Fiennes (Chair)

Sophie Fiennes' feature documentaries include the acclaimed Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival 2017; her collaborations with Slavoj Zizek, The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (2006), and The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (2012); and her portrait of German artist Anselm Kiefer, Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, which premiered in Cannes in 2010. Her first feature documentary, Hoover Street Revival, was released theatrically in 2003, and she has also made various work for television. Sophie was awarded a NESTA fellowship in 2001 to develop her innovative approach to film, and won the Arte France Cinema Award in 2008.  

Emerging International Filmmaker Award

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Tadhg O’Sullivan

Tadhg O’Sullivan is an Ireland based director-producer, editor and sound artist. His first feature film Yximalloo (co-directed with Feargal Ward) won the Prix Premiere at FiD Marseille in 2014. His second feature The Great Wall screened at many festivals including RIDM, MoMA Doc Fortnight, FID Marseille. He has worked as an editor with Pat Collins on Song of Granite and Silence; and Feargal Ward on The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid (which he also co-produced). Tadhg recently made an audio piece for BBC Radio 3 about Chernobyl and life after humans; and is currently making a film about the moon.

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Chiara Marañón

Chiara Marañón is the director of programming for global online cinematheque MUBI, looking after the curation for the platform and theatrical distribution in the UK (including titles such as: Arabian Nights (Miguel Gomes, 2015) and Baden Baden (Rachel Lang, 2016)). As a filmmaker, Chiara worked with Abbas Kiarostami on The Girl in The Lemon Factory and has been mentored by the likes of Lucrecia Martel, Carlos Reygadas, Pedro Costa and Jaime Rosales. She studied film at Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona, the International Film and Television School of Cuba (EICTV) and the University of Westminster in London.

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Cecile Emeke

Cecile Emeke is a director, writer and artist from London, working in film, television and moving image. In 2014, Cecile created online documentary series Strolling, and a short film turned series, Ackee & Saltfish. Both projects had a huge cultural impact and firmly established Cecile as one of the UK’s strongest emerging directorial voices. Cecile was selected as a Broadcast Hotshot and won the Screen Nation Vanguard Award. Her most recent short film The Ancestors Came was commissioned as part of Tate Modern’s 'Soul of a Nation’ exhibition, and she also recently directed for Insecure (HBO) and Idris Elba’s In The Long Run (Sky).

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Luciano Barisone

Having started his career as a film-club host, journalist and film critic for specialist magazines such as Filmcritica, Cineforum, Panoramiche, Duel/Duellanti; since 1997 Luciano Barisone has contributed to numerous international film festivals, including the Locarno International Film Festival and the Venice International Film Festival. In 2002, he founded the Alba Infinity Festival, for which he acted as artistic director until 2007; then from 2008 to 2010 he was artistic director at Festival dei Popoli in Florence. From 2011 to 2017 he was the director of Visions du Réel in Nyon. He has served on numerous festival juries including Cannes, FID Marseille, IDFA and RIDM.

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Tessa Boerman (Chair)

Tessa Boerman is an independent Dutch documentary filmmaker (A Knock out, Puck en het Raadsel van de codes, Zwart Belicht), programmer and cultural advisor. Her work focuses on issues of representation, diversity and inclusion. For International Film Festival Rotterdam Tessa programmed Black Rebels focusing on international films about and predominantly by black people navigating the cultural divide since the origin of cinema. With the Dutch Directors Guild she advocated for cultural diversity and inclusion in the Dutch Film and TV industry. Her film Zwart Belicht painfully reveals the long history of exclusion; how even what was meant to be seen, stayed unseen for centuries.

Best UK Short Award

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Lynn Nwokorie

Starting out in production for feature film, commercials and museum projects in the US and UK, Lynn Nwokorie has since worked across exhibition and distribution for national festivals and organisations including: BFI London Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, the BFI and the Independent Cinema Office. Recently she has focused on cultural programming and increased access of independent film to national audiences, with a concerted focus on cultivating socially impactful documentary filmmaking at The Doc Society. Recently appointed as BFI Film Fund Officer, Lynn focuses on developing and supporting UK documentary filmmakers, as well as continuing festival and special event programming.

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Julia Nottingham

Julia Nottingham is a London based independent producer working in fiction, non-fiction and the space in between. Her past credits include Skate Kitchen (dir: Crystal Moselle, Sundance 2018), Kingdom of Us (dir: Lucy Cohen (LFF 2017, Grierson Award for Best Documentary), Trophy (dir: Shaul Schwarz, Sundance 2017), All These Sleepless Nights (dir: Michał Marczak, Directing Prize in the World Cinema Documentary competition, Sundance 2016), and The Possibilities Are Endless (dir: Edward Lovelace and James Hall, SXSW 2014).

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Amar Ediriwira

Amar Ediriwira is creative director for Boiler Room’s new film platform 4:3 (dubbed as Netflix for the underground). He was previously commissioning editor and a curator for audio-visual arts institute The Vinyl Factory, where he collaborated with musicians and artists including Moor Mother, Elysia Crampton, Chino Amobi, Toxe and NMO. Amar is also a journalist published in The Guardian, Dazed, The Wire, Little White Lies and FACT, and he also presented a show on Soho Radio.

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Laure Bonville

Laure Bonville is a film programmer at the BFI London Film Festival. Laure oversees the selection of documentary films and takes part in the selection of French work. Before moving to London she worked at both the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival and Filmfest Hamburg. Growing up in Clermont-Ferrand nurtured her love of moving images, short films and film festival life. She holds a masters in cultural studies and a degree in modern languages. She is currently on maternity leave.

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Stephanie Spray (Chair)

Stephanie Spray is a non-fiction filmmaker and professor of Critical Media Practices at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her work conjugates ethnographic methodologies with a critical nonfiction media practice, for cinema and art exhibition contexts. Her films have screened at NYFF, Art of the Real, TIFF, CPH:DOX, Viennale, RIDM, AFI, Rotterdam, Open City Documentary Festival, BAFICI, and Anthology Film Archives, and museums such as MoMA, the Whitney, the National Gallery, and Louisiana MoMA. The last film in Stephanie’s Nepal series, Manakamana, is in the permanent collection of MoMA New York and won numerous awards, including a Golden Leopard at Locarno.