This year's judges are 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! DFFO is incredibly grateful for the time and expertise of...
Trevor Jimenez is a Canadian born filmmaker living in Berkeley, CA. His most recent animated short, Weekends (Festival 2018) was nominated for an Academy Award in 2019 and won several awards at major festivals including SF Film, Warsaw, Chicago Film Festival and Annecy. Jimenez currently works as a story artist at Pixar while pursuing his own creative projects.
Alessia Cecchet is a maker of moving images. Originally from Italy, she makes hybrid films that incorporate live action film, found footage, stop motion animation, fibers and sculpture. Her work explores matters of loss, grief and memory with a specific attention with the way we look at animals and particularly animal death. Alessia holds a MFA from the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University and is currently a PhD Candidate in Film and Digital Media at the University of California Santa Cruz. Alessia’s films have won several awards, the most recent ones being a Honorable Mention at Festival de CIne Silente (Puebla, Mexico) and the Best Fiction at High Coast Film Festival (Sweden). Her work has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally at major film festivals including Torino Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival and Seattle International Film Festival.
Dominic Mercurio is an award-winning San Francisco based filmmaker and musician. His video work has premiered on Billboard, FADER, PopMatters, The Bay Bridged, and has been featured at SFMOMA. Music videos he's directed have won multiple awards at film festivals across the country including Best Music Video at the GenreBlast Film Festival, Atlanta Underground Film Festival and SF Frozen Film Festival. Born and raised in the SF Bay Area, Dominic has a B.S. in Digital Film and Video Production from the Art Institute of California – San Francisco.
Kat is a filmmaker working in mixed media animation. While studying at California College of the Arts in Oakland, she explored the way animation could combine her interests in drawing, storytelling, sound, and video. She is currently working as an animator and editor at 88rising in New York City.
Born in Fukuoka, Japan. Atsushi gained B.A.S. from Kyushu University. After working as a freelance videographer and an assistant producer for documentaries, he gained his M.A. within DocNomads. In 2017, together with other international filmmakers he launched Cinecaravan, a moving cinema project that travels in Northern Portugal, now extended to Eastern Hungary and Transylvanian Romania, to screen short documentaries and host filmmaking workshops in the socially or geographically remote communities. He currently develops film projects from animation to documentary, while working as a masseur. His first short "A Friendship in Tow/Toe" won the Sophia Award 2016 from Portuguese Film Academy for Best Short Documentary, and had a world premiere at HotDocs 2017. His second film “Lost Three Make One Found” has been selected to Visions du Réel international film festival 2019.
ERIN SEMINE KÖKDIL
Erin Semine Kökdil is a storyteller interested in building solidarity and inciting social change through film. Her work deals with issues of trauma, marginalization, and migration and has screened at IDFA, Hot Docs, Camden, and Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Prior to becoming a filmmaker, she worked extensively with non-profits and community-led initiatives in the U.S. and Guatemala. She holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies and Spanish from Smith College and an M.F.A. in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University.
CELINE HELD AND LOGAN GEORGE
Celine Held & Logan George are a co-writer / director duo based in Brooklyn, New York. Their work has been nominated for a Palme d'Or at Festival de Cannes, and premiered in competition at Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and at South by Southwest. They were named one of Filmmaker Magazine's '25 New Faces of Independent Film' in 2017.
Elizabeth Rose is a writer and director born in Montreal and raised in Cambridge, MA. She received an MFA in Screenwriting from Columbia University in 2017. Her thesis short, The Law of Averages, premiered at the Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival Short Film Festival, played at Palm Springs International Festival of Short Film, and won the jury prize for best narrative short at The Provincetown Film Festival. Interview Magazine featured her as a writer/director to watch in their Discovery series in July 2017
Sherren Lee is a Director born in Taiwan, bred in Montreal and currently located in Toronto. She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University in 2007 and is a 2014 alumna of the Cineplex Entertainment Film Program Directors' Lab at the Norman Jewison's Canadian Film Centre. She was named as one of The Hollywood Reporter’s 2018 Canada’s Rising Stars. In 2017, she was selected as one of Women In View's 'Five in Focus' Directors.
MARIA CHIARA VENTURINI
Maria Chiara Venturini is a writer and director from Italy with a vivid imagination that fuels her work. Ever since she was a young girl, growing up in her tiny hometown in Tuscany, she would use her absurd fantasies that crowded by grotesque characters to escape from the boredom of her lonesome backyard. The problem was that she forgot to draw the line between reality and imagination, she has been living in the middle of the two ever since. Her videos offer viewers a one way ticket into her reality and the worlds that her imagination can create. Mixing medias, like 2D and stop motion animation, with live action allows her to create surrealist videos that capture her fantastical sensibilities. Maria’s projects and videos have been showcased in a variety of expositions and festivals around the world. Most recently her “monsters” and other creations have been dancing to the beat of music videos such as Say Yes Dog’s Girlfriend and Tom Rosenthal’s Bob in the Rain and the Lizard of Hope.
My work aims to take a critical view of social, political and cultural issues within inner-cities. The goal is to deconstruct the make believe realities and false advertisements that flood our childhoods eventually becoming nested in our adult culture. I engage subjects such as families and children in poverty and or in broken homes and highlight the emotion, the plight of working class citizens, architecture stories and modern creatives. My work is designed to be a visceral experience, one to be felt in the mind, soul, and conscious of viewers. With such, I attempt to capture timeless moments and present them in modern ways. I believe that growth should be constant and we should seek to find contrast in life's daily moments.
Ryan Wicks lives in Los Angeles, California. His work is prestigious and shows at all the best places. He graduated with flying colors from an art school a few years ago. You'll love it.
Emma Piper-Burket is a visual artist, filmmaker, and writer working in fiction, non-fiction, and collected media. Her work is process-based and research driven, incorporating social trends, ancient history, science, politics, ephemera, and the natural world into her creative practice. She holds an MFA from FAMU in Prague, and a BA in Arabic and Classics from Georgetown University.