Jury

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Colin Pons

Producer

Colin has worked on 32 feature films, including BAFTA winning television drama "This Little Life" and the much acclaimed feature films "Acid House", "The Darkest Light", "HUSH", "iLL Manors" and feature documentary "Zoned In", which won the New York loves film documentary award at the Tribeca film festival. His short film repertoire comprises of two BAFTA winners.
 

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Maggie Ellis

Producer

Maggie Ellis is a champion of independent talent in the film industry and has helped launch the careers of some of UK’s most talented film-makers and artists. She has set up commissioning schemes, for shorts and feature films, including the Microwave production scheme. Maggie is currently Head of Film London’s Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN) which also runs the prestigious annual Jarman Award.
 

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The Clarkson Twins

Writers/Directors

The Clarkson Twins – Michael and Paul – are writers and directors from Bolton who have worked for both UK and US television. Their credits include HIS DARK MATERIALS (BBC), THE WHEEL OF TIME (Amazon), THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (Netflix). Their original series RED ROSE (BBC) is currently in production - the thriller show is set in Bolton. They went to Thornleigh school. 
 

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Loran Dunn

Producer

Loran is a 2017 Screen Daily Star of Tomorrow & BFI Vision Award Producer with a background on BBC Dramas, independent features and major music promos. With a track record of short film screenings and awards at festivals including Sundance, Palm Springs, London Film Festival, and the Best Producer Award at BAFTA accredited Underwire Film Festival. Loran's First Feature A Deal With The Universe was the centrepiece at BFI Flare London in and released in cinemas  2019. Loran is also a Lecturer in Filmmaking at MMU, Executive Producer for British Council and BFI’s initiative More Films For Freedom.
 

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Rob Speranza

Producer

Rob Speranza is an American film producer and line producer. Rob has worked on several feature films including “Arthur and Merlin”, “Entity”, “Inbred”, “Small Creatures” and 16 short films with various directors and writers. Rob runs the South Yorkshire Filmmakers Network. He is also a programmer at Aesthetica Film Festival and a lecturer at various Northern universities.
 

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Roisin Mullins

BFI Film Hub Programme Coordinator

Roisín Mullins is the Programme Coordinator at Film Hub North where she works alongside the Audience Development team to provide support for their regional Hub Funds and their nationwide Screen Heritage Funds. Before joining the team at Film Hub North, Roisín worked as a Festival Assistant at Aesthetica Short Film Festival, where she created the festival’s inaugural Pitching Sessions.
 

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Chris Lunt

Writer

Chris has won commissions from the BBC, ITV, Canal +, Red Productions, Drama Republic, Look Out Point, World Productions, Leopard Drama, Lionsgate, Sky, Slim Film and TV, Wall 2 Wall and Eone. Chris was nominated for two BAFTA's and two RTS awards for his debut work "PREY" he was also named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit of 2014.
 

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Beth Hewitt

Creative Director - Media City Directorate

Beth Hewitt is Creative Director for School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology, and is responsible for leading industry engagement and enterprise. Based at University of Salford’s MediaCityUK campus, Beth's focus is on foatering and enhancing sustainable and meaningful industry partnerships. 

Having worked at ITV and BBC as Producer Director, Beth was appointed as Director of Broadcast Media for School of Arts, Media and Creative Technolgy in 2018, leading the academic staff team, expanding the curriculum and enhancing industry partnership. 

As Director of Nations and Regions: Media Futures, Beth has developed the event into one which champions new talent and is aligned with its media partners, working innovatively and creatively with all sectors of the industry. 

 

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Barrington Paul Robinson 

Creative Producer

Barrington Paul Robinson is a Creative Producer. With a background in short films and music promos. His films have been screened around the world. 

Having relocated to the Northwest Barrington is working with exciting talent across the regions to develop Film and Television ideas through his production company Redbag Pictures. Working with BBC Film, BFI & New Creatives North. 

This year has seen Barrington break into HETV, Where he is Co-Producing The Responder a BBC1 Drama with Dancing Ledge starring Martin Freeman and is signed up to Produce more HETV later this year. He is now repped for TV by Paul Stevens at Independent.

Barrington is a BFI Insight Producer, BFI x BAFTA CREW and Alumni of EIFF Talentlab, Barrington is a former UKFC Breakthrough Brits and Screen International Star of Tomorrow.

 

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Dr Kirsty Fairclough

Reader in Screen Studies at SODA / MMU

Kirsty has published widely on popular culture and is the co-editor of The Music Documentary: Acid Rock to Electropop (Routledge), The Arena Concert: Music, Media and Mass Entertainment (Bloomsbury) The Legacy of Mad Men: Cultural History, Intermediality and American Television. (Palgrave) and Music/Video: Forms, Aesthetics, Media. (Bloomsbury) and Pop Stars on Film (Bloomsbury). Kirsty’s work has been featured on BBC 2, BBC 4, Channel 5 and in The Guardian and Creative Review amongst others. She is the co-curator of Sound and Vision: Pop Stars on Film and the curator of In Her View: Women Documentary Filmmakers film seasons at HOME, Manchester and is Chair of Manchester Jazz Festival, Manchester's longest running music festival.
 

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Aaron Wood

Animation Producer

Aaron is the Co-Founder and Producer at London animation company, Slurpy Studios, who create a range of animated content for commercials, education and entertainment platforms. Away from Slurpy, he is a co-owner and writer at Skwigly Animation Magazine and also runs animation-festivals.com, the only website dedicated to listing and covering animation-specific film festivals around the world.

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Isabelle Croissant

Programmer & Event producer at HOME

Isabelle works at HOME, Manchester’s new international multi arts venue. She programmes and produces events and schemes that aim to showcase and develop creative talents and forge connection between practitioners in all creative sectors. She manages Filmed Up, HOME’s regular regional short film night and was the co-director of exposures UK student Film Festival, which ran for 18 years at Cornerhouse.

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Anne Beresford

Producer

Anne is an independent producer working in film and television. Much of her work is at the intersection of film, dance, music and drama.  Her films often involve international collaborations and co-productions, working with both established and emerging talents. Recent credits include the drama IT’S TRUE, IT’S TRUE, IT’S TRUE: ARTEMISIA ON TRIAL for BBC; deaf hip hop music drama HERE/NOT HERE and accompanying documentary LOOK HERE/NOT HERE and two short dance films, one shot beneath Spaghetti Junction and the other on the rooftops of Hong Kong, both shown BBC. She is currently in formal development on a new feature film for Ffilm Cymru Wales and is filming a COVID-compliant short SWAN LAKE BATH BALLET in the (filled) bath tubs of dancers around the world. Other credits include the WW1 supernatural drama ATTRITION for BFI/Creative England/France 3, an official selection at Bolton Film Festival 2019.

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Rob Scott

VR Manchester Community Chair

Rob is the chair of the VR Manchester community group and has been dabbling with immersive technologies since the latest wave of consumer VR launched in 2016. In his day job as a User Experience Architect at the BBC, he has worked on defining Augmented Reality interaction frameworks, conducted user research for head mounted mixed reality experiences, and also designed prototype app experiences to explore the benefits of AR in Educational contexts. He was previously a judge for the 2018 and 2019 editions of the VR Awards.

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David Thacker

Theatre, Film & TV Director

A leading theatre, film and television director, David has directed over 150 productions throughout the UK and internationally. At the Royal Shakespeare Company as Director-in-Residence, he directed nine productions including Pericles for which he was awarded two Olivier Awards. He then moved into television drama directing more than 30 films for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and many more.

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Jon Turner

Animator

Jon co-founded the animation studio Kilogramme in 2005, having previously worked for five years at Cosgrove Hall films. In the past he has provided content for CBBC, Cbeebies, CITV, Kaspersky Lab, the V&A, TBWA and McCann Erikcon, while writing and directing his own shorts in his spare time. His animation "Tall Tales" has reached over 100,000+ viewers.

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Mike Todd

Producer 

Mike is the founder of Northern Docs and for the last ten years has run Riverhorse a production company specialising in creative documentaries. Mike has directed and produced numerous films that have been broadcast and screened internationally, working with broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, PBS, Starz and ESPN. His feature doc on Joe Frazier was US streaming giant Hulu’s first ever documentary of the month and his recent feature doc on Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly was released theatrically here in the UK prior to its national broadcast by the BBC. 

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Bridget Appleby

Animation Creative

Voted as one of the top ten women in animation by "Animation Magazine" Bridgets long and illustrious career is enviable. A personal BAFTA and Emmy award winner her designs and productions have been broadcast and licensed all over the world. Her credits include Roary the Racing Car, Fifi and the Flowertots, Postman Pat, Little Robots, Enjie Benjy and the Reluctant Dragon

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Gerard Kearns

Actor

Gerard has been working professionally in Film, Theatre and Television for the past fifteen years. Gerard has worked on Feature Films which include “Looking for Eric”, “Trespass Against Us”, “The Mark Of Cain” and well known series such as “Shameless”, “The Smoke” and “The Last Kingdom”. Gerard has a huge enthusiasm for short film - most recently starring in “Bunny and Clive”.

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Julie Foy

Actress / Producer

An actress and director with a passion for the arts that has spanned over three decades. Theatre productions include ‘Moving the Goal posts’ and the infamous "Room 253". After being blown away by the script and the passion behind the 2018 OSCAR winning film "The Silent Child", Julie joined the team in the early stages making her debut as a producer.

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DJ Clark

Multi Media Director

Over 25 years experience working with media organisations across the world as a video producer, photojournalist, presenter, writer, trainer and multimedia consultant. Currently a multimedia director at China Daily Asia, video adviser to the Asia News Network and a contributing video producer to The Economist and National Geographic. 

 Chair of the World Press Photo Short Form Digital Story Telling jury in 2017

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Annabeth Robinson

Electronic Artist / Filmmaker

An Electronic Artist and Filmmaker based in Leeds, predominantly using screen based virtual worlds and game platforms since 2005, to explore multi-user interactive artworks and education experiences. Currently the Course Leader in BA(hons) Animation at University of Salford - supporting students development in Creative Development, Industry Engagement and Practice Based Research across the Animation discipline.

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Steve Boot

Animator

Steve Boot is a professional stop-motion animator who has worked on many high profile and successful children’s television series, including “Andy Pandy”, “Bob the builder”, “Little robots”, “Roary the Racing car”, “Raa Raa the noisy lion”, “Postman Pat”, “the Clangers”, and “Twirly Woo’s”. Steve has also co-founded his own production company  “Gadzooks Animation” with whom he has written, produced and directed several short films and television commercials including the Dr. Oetker campaign screened during The Great British Bake Off and the short film ‘Mad Dogs’, for Sky’s Art 50 project. 

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Paul Sapin

Producer

Paul has made films for a range of broadcasters in the US, UK, Europe and the Middle East, including Al Jazeera English. He has just completed a documentary about the rise of fascism in Italy. Paul’s work on 'Made in Bangladesh' won the Peabody Award and an Emmy nomination for the documentary series, Fault Lines. He won an RTS Award for his BBC film, 'Rivals for Paradise'. In 'So Close So Far Away', Paul investigated an event at the end of the Vietnam War and received the Cine Golden Eagle and the International Academy for Visual Arts Award for Best Documentary. Paul’s film, ‘Justice', based in Ghana was nominated for the One World Media Awards and a finalist for the Global Investigative Documentary Award. In the 2017 Manchester International Film Festival, his film 'A Very Sicilian Justice' won Best Documentary Short Award. 

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Danilo Godoy

Artist Film-maker

Working in documentary and publicity produced in Brazil, Colombia and Portugal. He is best known for his short film “Forgotten memories from the end of the world” which won best Artists Film at Aesthetica Film Festival in 2014 and his branded content videos for MOFILM, presented at SXSW and shortlisted for CANNES. Based in Lisbon, Portugal he is currently working in his debut long feature film “Hover” and as a screenwriter he is developing his first TV Series, “Drags Anonymaz”.

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Ben Thornley

Music video producer/director

Ben’s work has been viewed by tens of millions of people, his creative team at Sitcom Soldiers have produced award winning Music Videos and TV Commercials across a global network. With a prolific volume of projects spanning more than 1000 films they have become widely recognised in the media industry, working with a huge range of artists.