JURORS

Best Canadian Feature Jury 

Sarah Li-Lun MacArthur

Sarah Li-Lun MacArthur is a film programmer at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, North America’s largest documentary festival, handling the organization’s year-round film and cultural offerings. She curates first-run and series offerings on the Hot Docs at Home VOD platform, as well as the 700-seat Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto. Sarah also serves as a film programmer for the Hot Docs Podcast Festival, JAYU Human Rights Film Festival, and previously served as documentary programming pre-screener at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Nadine Pequeneza

Nadine Pequeneza is an award-winning Producer/Director/Writer specializing in character-driven films that offer unique access to stories about a wide range of topics from criminal justice, to global finance, to wildlife conservation. With nearly 20 years international experience her work has garnered worldwide recognition; Canadian Screen Award for Best Writing in a Documentary, nine CSA and Gemini nominations, Best Canadian Feature at the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival, Gold and Silver Hugos from the Chicago International Film Festival and a Silver Gavel Award honourable mention from the American Bar Association.  Read more

Christine Lee

Christine is a Production Executive on several TVO Original features and series. She also acquires and pre-buys documentary, factual, and drama programming, Christine joined TVO in 2001, after five years working at the Ontario Centre of the National Film Board of Canada.

Best International Feature Film Jury

Denae Peters

Denae Peters is a Program Officer at Perspective Fund, a grant-making organization funding nonfiction media, where she oversees the documentary impact infrastructure portfolio. She is also a founding board member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia (BGDM), an advocacy initiative representing 4000+ women and non-binary people of color working across the documentary field, and has programmed for Hot Docs and the Toronto International Film Festival. Previously, she led non-theatrical impact campaigns at Picture Motion and Film Sprout and spent 5 years at the Toronto International Film Festival, overseeing guest/filmmaker relations.

Dr. Vasanti Rao

Dr (Ms) Vasanti Rao is the Director General of CMS (Centre for Media Studies) – a research based think tank in India. She also directs CMS VATAVARAN – Asia’s largest international film festival and forum on environment & wildlife. She has her PhD in Media Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University and has double Masters degrees in Psychology and Management. Vasanti specializes in strategy development, designing, researching and evaluating development programs communication initiatives. Her experiences are on a wide range of development issues, including health, gender, children, corruption, governance, rights and environment. She has to her credit numerous policy inputs, program evaluations, designing and organizing multi stakeholder events and research based publications.

Kendra Hodgson

Kendra Hodgson is the Director of Strategy & Innovation at Women Make Movies; she is passionate about social justice, gender equity, and the power of stories – especially when expressed through documentary film. Before joining WMM, she spent 18 years directing marketing and distribution at the nonprofit Media Education Foundation, a documentary producer and distributor that examines and educates about commercial mainstream media. She regularly consults with documentary filmmakers and distributors on distribution and impact strategy and is currently part of an Expanding Communities working group at the Gotham Institute. She is also an active member of the board of the Action Coalition for Media Education.

Best Canadian Short Film Jury

Jesse Cumming

Jesse Cumming is a curator, writer, and researcher. He has served as a Consultant with the Berlinale Forum and Open City Documentary Festival, and as a Programming Associate with the Wavelengths section of the Toronto International Film Festival. His writing has appeared in Cinema Scope, Canadian Art, The Brooklyn Rail, MUBI Notebook, C Magazine, Hyperallergic, Another Gaze, and more.

Sandra Kleinfeld

Sandra Kleinfeld is Senior Director of Documentary for CBC Television, overseeing the network’s original documentary one-offs and series and for strands The Nature of Things, The Passionate Eye, CBC Short Docs, and the subscription based documentary Channel. Her career as a broadcast executive encompasses three conventional, three analog and two digital specialty channels. Prior to overseeing documentaries, Sandra was Director of Development for CBC’s Unscripted Content where she was responsible for finding new formats, overseeing development and production of formats, original factual entertainment series, and documentaries.  Read more

Keira Boult

Kiera Boult is an interdisciplinary artist and performer from Hamilton, Ontario. Boult’s practice utilizes camp and comedy to skeptically address issues that surround the role and/or identity of the artist and the institution. In 2019, Boult was the recipient of the Hamilton Emerging Visual Artist Award. Her video and installation based works have been exhibited at Art Gallery of Hamilton, Trinity Square Video and Artcite Inc. Boult’s work has also appeared in the Chroma Issue of Canadian Art, Peripheral Review and the “Brut Neuve ” issue of Blackflash. She holds a BFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University and is currently Vtape’s Submissions, Collections & Outreach Coordinator. Read more

Best International Short Film Jury

Elwood Jimmy

Elwood Jimmy is a learner, collaborator, writer, artist, facilitator, cultural manager, and gardener. He is originally from Thunderchild First Nation, a Nêhiyaw community in the global north. For over 20 years, he has played a leadership role in several art projects, collectives, and organizations locally and abroad. With Vanessa Andreotti and Sharon Stein, he is the co-author of Towards Braiding, a book that gestures towards centring the planet within the building of wiser relationships and futures between Indigenous and settler communities.

Jia Zhao

Jia Zhao is a Chinese-Dutch film producer based in Amsterdam. She founded MUYI FILM and SILK ROAD FILM SALON in 2012. The latter is cofounded with Afghan-Dutch film director Aboozar Amini and has as primary focus on regions along the ancient trade route Silk Road. Coming from Asia and based in Europe, Jia skillfully matches resources from the East and West to nurture and mentor emerging voices and to bring authentic stories to the world in high cinematic quality. In 2021, A Marble Travelogue by Sean Wang was selected for IDFA Frontlight and I’m So Sorry (co-producer) by Zhao Liang for Cannes film festival. Read more

Norma V. Toraya

NORMA V. TORAYA (aka CRANKBUNNY) is an award-winning AICP® animator and director. She has animated films for the #MeToo movement (I Am With You), United Nations, Nike, Adult Swim and the rock band Rush. She has work featured in the Museum of Modern Art’s film collection. Norma has worked alongside Girls that Code, Wheaton College, Ghetto Film School — and has exhibited art for Wes Anderson, Guillermo Del Toro and on every single billboard in NYC’s Times Square.

 

Mark Haslam Award Jury

Julian Carrington

Planet in Focus Programmer

Julian Carrington is a freelance writer and film programmer based in Toronto. He has contributed to publications including The Globe & Mail, Indiewire, and Cinema Scope, and, in 2014, served as a programming associate with the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2015, he became manger of the Documentary Organization of Canada’s Festival Concierge initiative, supporting filmmakers in developing distribution and audience engagement strategies. Julian joined Planet in Focus as the festival’s associate programmer in 2016.

Lesley Johnson

Planet in Focus Programmer

Lesley Johnson is a director, producer and programmer, based in Toronto and Yellowknife. She studied Film Production in York University’s MFA program, and holds degrees in wildlife and environmental sciences. Before becoming a filmmaker, she worked in community-based research in the Northwest Territories, and on studies chasing after the likes of terns and wolverines. She is the former director and programmer of the Yellowknife International Film Festival, and of a Cinema Politica chapter.

2021 AWARD WINNERS

Best Canadian Feature Film Winner

Last of the Right Whales

Nadine Pequeneza

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Best Canadian Short Film Winner

Joe Buffalo

Amar Chebib

Joe Buffalo

Best International Feature Winner

Inhabitants: An Indigenous Perspective

Costa Boutsikaris, Anna Palmer

 

Inhabitants

Best International Short Winner

Humanity Has Not Yet Failed

Norma V. Toraya & Jared P. Scott

Humanity Has Not Yet Failed

Mark Haslam Award Winner

Nuhu Yãg Mu Yõg Hãm: This Is Our Land!

Isael Maxakali, Sueli Maxakali, Carolina Canguçu, Roberto Romero

 

Nuhu Yãg Mu Yõg Hãm- This Is Our Land

*NEW* People’s Choice Award

Coextinction

Gloria Pancrazi, Elena Jean

 

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Green Pitch Winner

We Shall Eat When the River is Full

Banchi Hanuse

 

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