Narrative Features Jury
Adley Gartenstein is a seasoned independent film executive. He was the President and CEO of Film Movement where he acquired and distributed over 250 indie and foreign films from some of the most prestigious film festivals around the world. He is currently exploring new platforms for distribution of indie films.
Bari Kang is an award winning self taught writer/director. His debut feature film, Lucky, premiered at HBO's 20th Urbanworld Film Festival where it was lauded by the audience and received the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film. Currently, Bari is developing scripted content focused on underserved protagonists with an eye for commercial appeal.
Goran Topalovic (@goranfilm) is a New Jersey-based film curator and writer, specializing in East Asian (and international) cinema and pop culture. He's the founding member of Subway Cinema and the New York Asian Film Festival (www.subwaycinema.com), where he has served in various capacities since 2000, and is currently on the Board of Directors. He has written for Film Comment, Film Business Asia, Cine 21, Korean Cinema Now, SOMA, and other print and online publications.
Documentary Features Jury
For seven years, Amir Bogen was leading the film section of the biggest news and content website in Israel (ynet), as the directing editor, writer and critic, and is recognized one of the country's top film journalist. After locating to New York this year, he might be a new to the city, but not to its cinema. He reported about the vast of American and international movies, wrote countless reviews, and interviewed numerous filmmakers and movie stars from all over the world. He also holds a master degree in film theory from Tel Aviv university. His thesis focused on the socio-political layers of big Hollywood sci fi and superheroes blockbusters, mainly Star Wars, and intends to go deeper into these fictional realms in his PhD research. Since moving to New York, he participated in local film festivals and cinema programs as a speaker, and is currently writing to several Israeli outlets as well as American ones.
Jeff Jones is a multi-media producer and storyteller based in Brooklyn NY. He is the director and producer of the documentary film For the Love of Meat that explores the world of central Texas barbecue and the pitmasters who dedicate their lives to the craft (www.fortheloveofmeat.com). In addition to film, Jeff's audio storytelling has been heard on public radio outlets from NPR to World Radio Switzerland. He is an award-winning theatrical sound designer and composer and holds and MFA from Boston University. Jeff also applies his skills to work in the non-profit sector creating advocacy videos and podcasts for progressive causes.
Andrew Mer is the founder of Big Fuss. He is a 15 year veteran film development and distribution executive with extensive global network in the film and art worlds as well as an acquisitions & business development executive with pioneering experience in new media content strategy and licensing. Andrew was formerly SnagFilms SVP Acquisitions and Content Partnerships, AOL True Stories Head of Acquisitions, and Head of Development at Elixir Films. Andrew has managed teams to launch early to market global digital platforms with worldwide reach and international content. As an independent producer and consultant with wide ranging relationships with content makers of all kinds in the film, video, and art worlds, Andrew has extensive experience in the development and sale of independent films. Recent clients include Vaudeville Ventures and Cricket Media.
Short Films Jury
Jean de Meuron
Jean de Meuron was the Executive Producer of La femme et le TGV (2016) starring Jane Birkin, which was nominated for an OSCAR® for Best Live Action Short Film at the 89th Academy Awards®. After working as a branded-content and TV commercial producer in his native Switzerland, Jean de Meuron worked at several major media conglomerates, as well as Hollywood studios such as Viacom, Paramount Pictures, The Weinstein Company, Universal Pictures and MGM. Jean started his professional career working for prolific NY-based film, TV and Broadway producer Scott Rudin at Scott Rudin Productions. His first professional credit was as the Associate Producer of the CINEMAsuisse: Marc Forster (2012) a documentary short subject about director Marc Forster. Jean was the Executive Producer of the short film, The Suitcase (2017), which made the Shortlist for the 2017 BAFTA Student Film Award in the Live Action category.
Sterling Milan is a New York based Television and Film Director, represented by The Gersh Talent Agency. A Chicago native, Sterling was a Reality TV producer for VH1, MTV, and ABC, before transitioning into Directing. His Directorial credits range from braving the International wildlife on Man v. Monster for Nat Geo Wild, to the hit true crime series Scorned: Love Kills for Investigation Discovery. Sterling's Directing credits also include Travel Channel's Mysteries At The Museum, The Alaska Haunting for Destination America, and he's even explored the dark world of serial killers in Most Evil, a DocuSeries for Investigation Discovery. Black Movie Night is Sterling's second short film. His first film, BrookLove, is currently in preproduction. Sterling is married and lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and newborn son.
Steve Scibelli is the Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs at BBC Worldwide, the commercial subsidiary of The British Broadcasting Corporation. Steve primarily focuses on the co-production and distribution of BBC programming in the United States and Canada and is also extensively involved with the over-the-top subscription service BRITBOX, a joint venture between BBC Worldwide and ITV. Prior to his tenure at BBC Worldwide, Steve spent 8 years at The Weinstein Company in the business and legal affairs department working on all facets of the company's film and television businesses. He began his career in the mailroom of The William Morris Agency in New York. He credits the work of Alfred Hitchcock for igniting a passion for film at an early age.
Eleanor Wilson is originally from Adelaide, Australia. She was a producer on The Babushkas of Chernobyl, winner of the Audience Award for Documentary Film at LIFF 2016. Possum, Eleanor's directorial debut, played LIFF in 2013, and her follow up Everything All At Once won the Jury Award at LIFF 2015. A short film she acted in, The Jesus Picture, played at LIFF in 2012. Other acting work can be seen in the recent features Things I Don't Understand, The Confabulators and The Carrier, as well as the Australian ABC TV series' The Librarians and Very Small Business. She is a co-founder of the Picture Farm Film Festival in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre.