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Jury

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Amy O'Hara

Development & Production Executive

Amy O’Hara is Development and Production Executive at Film4. She has over nine years’ experience in film marketing, distribution and development, mostly recently as BFI NETWORK Talent Executive for Film Hub North.

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Simon Nelson

BBC Development Executive

Simon Nelson is Development Executive who looks after writer development and talent searches, development schemes, partnerships and production projects. He heads up the pan-UK Indie Pilot Programme and Southwest & Southeast Voices, as well as liaising between BBC Writersroom and Drama Commissioning.

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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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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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Kim Hopkins

Director

Kim Hopkins spent a decade making television before co-founding Labor of Love Films Ltd, a UK based independent production company specialising in feature documentaries. Her most recent film "A bunch of amateurs" won the audience award at Sheffield Doc Fest and has been nominated for two Grierson awards. Kim’s broadcast credits include: PBS, BBC1,2,4, World, C4, A+E, WDR, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, NRK1.

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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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MarBelle

Directors Notes 

MarBelle is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Directors Notes, a BIFA accredited film platform which has been cracking the code of award-winning filmmaking since 2006 through considered curation and in-depth interviews that reveal the production stories of the planet's most talented independent filmmakers for a worldwide audience of industry professionals, festival curators and dedicated film fans. 

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Anna Price

Editor

Treble BAFTA-nominated for Editing Factual: 2022, 2021, 2018 and Grierson and RTS award winning editor Anna Price specialises in complex narrative and human drama told with "flair, precision, wit and emotional punch". Credits include "Once upon a time in Iraq" and numerous collaborations with Louix Theroux's including "Dark States" and "Mother's on the Edge" and the feature documentaries "The Trial of Ratko Mladic" and "Dolly Parton : Here I am" are just a handful of her many credits. 

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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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Sarah Anne-Kennedy

Animator / Lecturer

Sarah studied animation at the Royal College of Art before creating her own animated series for Channel 4 called Crapston Villas which won various awards including the Independent TV Award for Best Newcomer, and Broadcast Best Animation. She is known more widely for her voices as Miss Rabbit in Peppa Pig and Nanny Plum on Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom. Sarah is the course leader for MA Animation at the University of Central Lancashire.

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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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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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Justin Doherty

Filmmaker / Club Organizer

Justin is a UK based film maker and creative artist. His first feature film, a 60s period drama called ‘Wilderness’ was picked-up and released in 2021, after playing 17 international film festivals (Cinequest, Oaxaca, Cambridge) and picking up 12 awards. He has been immersed in the film festival world since 1999, having co-founded the Filmstock International Film Festival, which ran for a decade, with off-shoots in Hungary and Glastonbury. He has worked as a documentary editor on projects for Al Jazeera, ITV and the BBC and over the years, his alter-ego has built a celebrated jazz club, various performance spaces and independent theatre productions. To keep his hand in the festival world, he’s been a regular festival juror including several times at the Indie Memphis, which he tentatively claims to be his spiritual home. 
 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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