This year's judges are almost all filmmakers who screened their work with us at our first ever fest. Nothing we do would be possible without them, so who better to serve as judges?? No one, that's who! DFFB is incredibly grateful for the time and expertise of...
Félicien Pinot was born in 1992 in a French and Argentinian family. After a master's degree in law, he spent a year working in cinema decoration on some feature films and playing some roles in short movies. Wishing to become a director, he got admitted in 2015 into Luc Besson's film school "Ecole de la Cité", where he has directed a few short films. At the same time he works as Assistant Director, he’s preparing his next project.
Charlotte's first short film ‘Standby’ premiered at TIFF and went on to be nominated for a BAFTA and her second short ‘Fry-Up’ screened at BFI LFF, Sundance and Berlinale. She has since gone on to create her third short film ‘Dodgy Dave' which premiered at TIFF in 2018 and screened at BFI LFF, and the BFI-funded short film ‘Drug Runner'. She is currently developing her first feature 'Yet To Be' with the BFI and BBC Films, produced by Theo Barrowclough at DMC.
Maggie Kraisamutr is a freelance visual effects compositor and animator based in Los Angeles, CA. She received her BFA from New York University's Undergraduate Film & TV program with an emphasis on stop-motion animation under the direction and guidance of animation historian John Canemaker. Maggie's career in film and television began in New York City as a digital animator for Nick Jr's Little Bill. When she moved to Los Angeles in 2004 she landed her first job in visual effects working as a color compositor for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Since then, she has worked on many features for various studios with credits that include Twilight, The Muppets, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
DR. KAREN D. THORNTON
Dr Karen D Thornton is an academic and programme leader for a film and television production programme at the University of Bradford. Her specialist area is in factual film and television, and she teaches issues around the theory and practice of documentary filmmaking. Her research has predominantly focused on the representation of class and poverty in relation to neo-liberal political agendas and the discourses around austerity. Karen also teaches cinematic language at postgraduate level, and is interested in televisual forms which adopt cinematic conventions.
Brian Gersten is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and editor based in NYC. His films have gone on to screen in over nine different countries and at dozens of notable film festivals around the globe. Some of Brian's most recent work can be seen on the likes of PBS, Amazon Prime, and The Atlantic. His films have been written about in Forbes, Film Inquiry, and The AV Club.
Brian got his start in documentary as an intern at Kartemquin Films in Chicago, where he gradually developed a strong interest in post-production. He recently finished editing the feature documentary "Searching for Mr. Rugoff", directed by Ira Deutchman, which premiered at DocNYC in 2019. Now he is editing another feature doc about the life and work of author Tom Wolfe.
Sav Rodgers is a filmmaker, writer, podcaster, film festival programmer, and public speaker. He is the director of CHASING CHASING AMY, a feature documentary about the cultural impact of Chasing Amy (1997) on the greater LGBTQ+ community. Sav also delivered a TED Talk about Chasing Amy’s impact on his life, titled “The rom-com that saved my life.” In 2019, he won the Filmmaker of the Year Award at the Austin Revolution Film Festival.
Sav’s films have been featured at numerous film festivals worldwide, including Academy Award-qualifying events such as Slamdance and the Cleveland International Film Festival. His newest comedic short film, QUEEN FOR A DAY, is currently on the festival circuit. His debut short documentary DRAGTIVISTS received accolades from the Tallgrass Film Festival and Twister Alley International Film Festival. His upcoming movies include a CHASING CHASING AMY, a surrealist short comedy called PANCAKE SKANK, and a mockumentary called TELETHON: THE QUEST TO SAVE GREASE 2’S REPUTATION.
In 2017, Sav graduated from the University of Kansas. At college, he was selected for the 2017 Telluride Film Festival Student Symposium and won the Be You at KU Student of the Year Award. He is a TED Resident, an OutSet Fellow at Outfest, an Adobe Project 1324 award recipient, a former Artist-in-Residence at the Charlotte Street Foundation, and Creative Fellow at Artist INC. He was named “Best Filmmaker/Videographer” by The Pitch Magazine in 2018.
Photo Credit: Jerm Cohen
DERMOT DALY & IVAN MACK
Dermot and Ivan are the Chocolate Bear. They make films. They watch films. They’ve won and been nominated for several international awards as writers, producers and directors. Some of their films are available on Amazon Prime. They also enjoy things outside film.
Jack is a self-taught writer, director & occasional producer who started out making music videos for independent and major record labels. In his first year directing music videos he was long-listed for best new director at the BMVA'S, and later represented by Colonel Blimp in London. His videos have had racked up repeated Vimeo staff picks and millions of views online. Jack's short film 'The Crossing' was funded by the BFI & Creative england, and selected to play at multiple BAFTA & Academy Festivals. His last short 'Prints' was shot in Northern Japan and played around the globe, including a selection at Clermont Ferrand Short film festival in Feb 2019. Jack was also recently selected to participate in the Flagship BFI development programme NETWORK@LFF. He has just completed post on his latest short 'Son Of Ned', and developing his next short alongside a slate of feature films.
Luke Hardisty is a Yorkshire born visual effects artist.
After studying at Leeds Art University he worked in advertising and computer games for several years before receiving a scholarship from the BBC to study the Ma Visual Effects at the National School of Film and Television.
Whilst there he went on to make visual effects for several short films and animations, including the BAFTA nominated The Alan Dimension.
Since graduating he has worked at several films studios including Framestore, ILM, MPC and Dneg.
Luke is now London based and currently working on the Fast and the Furious 9.
Olga Lanceray is an architect and a film producer from Saint-Petersburg, Russia:
"I would like to discuss human nature through a cinema. About the animal instinct in all of us. And about the border between that animal instinct and what we call human in ourselves."
There are three artists whose work have influenced her desision to make films: Stanley Kubrick, Andrey Tarkovsky, and Bela Tarr.
Her style of work are improvisation and trust. 'When forming a team, I assemble a creative studio, a laboratory where everyone has the right to experiment creatively within the framework of the task. In essence, this is an attempt at horizontal control of the creative process. And when setting up a team for this kind of collaboration is successful, the quality and enjoyment in teamwork is many times greater.'
In 2018 Olga joined to 'Das Boot Production' film company as an executive producer to create the feature films.
Hailing from Bradford; Tanya trained as an Actor at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and The National Youth Theatre. Having worked for many years in TV, Film and Stage on several Award winning shows, her screen work includes Pennyworth, Red Sparrow, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks, Casualty and more.
She also produced and launched the very first MonologueSlam UK Leeds in 2011 and has worked extensively, co-producing with the infamous Chicken Shop Shakespeare, creating countless micro-short films.
Oliver Smith is a visual artist living in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from the Ringling School of Art and Georgia State University. His experimental films have been shown nationally and internationally. “Compression” (2017) won several awards, including Visual Music Award (Germany), the Electric Short Film & Music Festival (France) and Curator’s Choice Award from Otterbein University (USA). Other mediums used include painting, printmaking, and photography.
Matthew Wade is an award-winning American filmmaker, animator, illustrator, and musician. His films have premiered in Oscar-qualifying competition at Slamdance Film Festival (3 times) and San Francisco International Film Festival, as well as many more around the world. His personal style is noted as being very avant-garde, blending narrative threads through cryptic and abstract visuals with a heavy emphasis on dream logic, cosmic horror, heavy sound design, and the unreliable perspectives of his characters. Matthew’s day job is freelance animtion, having worked on material for brands Target, Vans, RCA Records, Warner Brothers Records, the NFL, SCAD, SyFy Channel, Foot Locker, and many more. Matthew’s personal work has been covered in Filmmaker Magazine, Film Threat, NoBudge, Cartoon Brew, Hammer to Nail, Moviemaker Magazine, and more. He just completed his second feature film, A Black Rift Begins to Yawn, which will be premiering some time in 2020.