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Q3 JUDGE - BAFTA-WINNING DIRECTOR
NOELLA SMITH

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After making documentaries for the BBC – Open University Noella went to the National Film and TV school. In her second year, on the strength of a treatment, she was commissioned to write a feature-length screenplay for David Puttnam. It was called SECRETS and shortlisted for a BAFTA for best film for tv.  Noella then returned to film school and wrote and directed a short film called CARELESS TALK which won the BAFTA for best short film. Over the next few years, Noella sat on the BAFTA short film award jury and quickly learned what worked with an audience of eight jurors and what didn't.

 

After graduating from film school Noella directed two feature length dramas for the single film slot on the BBC (THE HUMMINGBIRD TREE, and MRS HARTLEY AND THE GROWTH CENTRE). The Hummingbird Tree, shot in Trinidad, won the Rheims prize for best film and best director. Noella has worked on many tv series including lead director on the first series of SILENT WITNESS with Amanda Burton.

 

She taught screenwriting and directing at The Video College in North Kensington for many years to a diverse group of students from a range of ethnic and social backgrounds. The theme was ‘How to turn the film you want to make into a film audiences want to see.’ Many of the short films they made were well received. For example, a group of young offenders made a short film called ROUND and ROUND about bike theft which came second in a National Short Film Competition called ‘First Light’ chaired by Barbara Broccoli.

 

Noella was invited to run courses by an organisation called Scriptnet. "We went to post-conflict parts of the World and got erstwhile enemies collaborating on short film productions. So in Sri Lanka the Tamils and the Sinhalese worked together, In Kano, Northern Nigeria, it was the Christians and the Muslims, In Sierra Leone, the stories were about how to reintegrate the child soldiers. In Pakistan, we gave opportunities to female writers, directors and technicians. In Cambodia, I mentored a first-time woman director making a feature film about the impact of the civil war. During this period some remarkable short films were made with themes as diverse as land mines to polygamy. UNESCO who part funded Scriptnet showed them on their tv channel."

Q2 JUDGE
CAMPBELL BEATON

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Campbell is a London based short film and music video producer. 

He was BAFTA-nominated for his work on 'The Karman Line' with Olivia Colman and Shaun Dooley and his impressive C.V of music videos includes production for the likes of Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish and Björk.

QUARTER ONE JUDGE
CHRIS TASHIMA

Chris Tashima -Oscar Winner

Chris is an actor and director based in Los Angeles. He won an Academy Award® for his short film ‘Visas and Virtue’. Indie feature festival awards include Outstanding Ensemble in ‘Americanese’ and Best Supporting Actor in ‘Under the Blood Red Sun’. Chris has judged shorts for the Oscars®, Student Academy Awards® and on numerous festival juries.

“Shorts can be inspiring. They’re the oldest format in cinema. Yet, they’re as vibrant today as ever. Technology has enabled anyone to dream onscreen. But, it still comes down to story. When you combine originality with great storytelling, you have a winning short film.”

2021 JUDGES

Bafta Winner - Morag Mckinnon

MORAG McKINNON

Multi-BAFTA winning director Morag McKinnon has directed a number of short films including 'Home' which won the BAFTA for Best Short Film.

She directed the feature 'Donkeys' which won a Scottish BAFTA award for Best Film and co-directed the documentary 'I Am Breathing' with Emma Davie which won Scottish BAFTA for best director.

TV Writer/Producer - Dean Batali

DEAN BATALI

Dean worked as a writer on “That 70s Show” for seven years, serving as an executive producer for the show’s final season. He wrote for the initial two seasons of “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer,” and has written for “Duckman” and “The Adventures of Pete and Pete" and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch".

Bafta Winner - Asitha Amereskere

ASITHA
AMERSEKERE

Asitha is a British-Sri Lankan filmmaker. His short film ‘Do Not Erase’ won a BAFTA in 2007 and ‘14’ was EFA and BAFTA-nominated in 2009/10. His feature project ‘Kin’ was selected for the Berlin Talent Project Market in 2010 and won the Pitch Highlight Award. A member of BAFTA and EFA, he has sat on several international festival juries. In addition to filmmaking, he is also a published author of short stories.

Bafta Nominee - Shona Auerbach

SHONA
AUERBACH

Shona is a British film director and cinematographer. She was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer and the BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Director (Dear Frankie, Pathé), the Heartland Film Festival Crystal Heart Award, the High Falls Film Festival Audience Award for Best Feature Film, the Jackson Hole Film Festival Cowboy Award for Best Feature Film...we could keep going but basically, she's a talented filmmaker!

Oscar Winner - Joan C Gratz

JOAN GRATZ

Joan Carol Gratz is an American artist, animator, and filmmaker who specializes in clay painting. She is best known for her Oscar-winning animated short film 'Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase'

She established her own studio, Gratzfilm, in 1987. In addition to films she is the author of Downward-facing Frog and My Tesla. Joan has served on major film festival juries in Asia, Europe, and North America.

 

Joan lives on a houseboat in Portland, Oregon.