Festival Jury Members 2018

The talented industry folk in charge of helping assign awards to the best shows at the fest!

Gabriele Capolino, Film Programmer, IFP

Gabriele Capolino is a programmer at IFP, where he works on the International feature films and the series projects’ programs, as well as contributing to other programs year-round, including the IFP Gotham Awards and the Narrative Labs. He produces the Screen Forward Labs, an intense ‘bootcamp’ program dedicated to independent content creators working on serialized content. He manages the International projects and the Series projects (both long and short forms) at IFP Week, the signature program of the organization that connects independent filmmaker and creators to key players in the Industry. In January 2018, he has produced the first program ever for episodic content in the Middle East region: the Series Lab, in partnership with the Doha Film Institute.

Aymar Christian, OpenTV

Aymar Jean “AJ” Christian is an assistant professor of communication studies at Northwestern University and a Fellow at the Peabody Media Center. His first book, Open TV: Innovation Beyond Hollywood and the Rise of Web Television on New York University Press, argues the web brought innovation to television by opening development to independent producers. He has juried television and video for the Peabody Awards, Gotham Awards, and Tribeca Film Festival, among others. He leads Open TV (beta), a research project and platform for intersectional television. Open TV (beta) programs have received recognition from HBO, the Television Academy (Emmy Awards), New York Television Festival, City of Chicago, Streamy Awards, and Independent Filmmaker Project (Gotham Awards). Dr. Christian’s blog, Televisual, is an archive of over 500 posts chronicling the rise of the web TV market, and he has written regular reports on TV and new media for Indiewire, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, and Tubefilter.

Aziz Isham, Executive Producer of BRIC TV

Aziz Isham is the Executive Producer of BRIC TV — a Community Media network launched in 2015. BRIC TV has grown to serve million viewers, incubated and produced dozens of cable and digital series, including the award-winning scripted comedy, The Show About The Show, and been nominated for forty NY Emmy Awards. Its projects have premiered at the country’s top film festivals, including Sundance and Tribeca Film, and a podcast initiative, BRIC Radio, reaches thousands of Brooklynites every day.

Isham is an Emmy- and Webby-Award winning filmmaker and publisher, and was the co-founder of the media companies ArcadeSunshine Media, reKiosk and GoodFight Media. He has produced and developed features and series for History, Discovery Channel, A&E and National Geographic and been a featured speaker at NYU, DocSummit, MuseumNext and SXSW. He is a faculty member of Feirstein School of Cinema and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Rosalind Murphy, VP of Programming, NYWIFT Board

Rosalind Murphy is a Producer and Media Consultant for film, television, theater and art organizations. She specializes in Audience Development, Branded Entertainment and Partnership Development. Rosalind is on the board of New York Women in Film and TV and Vice President of Programming Committee.

Rosalind co-produced SimonSays Entertainment Theater Workshop “Good Bread Alley’, film feature “Dope Fiend”, short fIlm “In Black and White” and marketing consultant on TV Pilot “Black Rose”. Rosalind received the Microsoft Diversity Inclusion Award for developing the innovative “Women Executive Passion Forum” for Fortune 500 Executives.

Jenni Powell, producer, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Jenni Powell is the Emmy Award-winning producer of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Welcome to Sanditon, lonelygirl15, Emma Approved and The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy. For two years she was Director of Content and Social Media for VidCon and was a producer at Felicia Day’s YouTube Premium Channel Geek & Sundry, where she produced the Geekie Award-Winning Talkin’ Comics Weekly. Most recently, she was Head of Production for NewMediaRockstars before co-founding Discourse Productions, a boutique production company specializing in digital media content and events. She is also a Faculty member of the New York Film Academy where she teaches Story Generation, New Media, Transmedia, and more.

Christina Raia, Director of Crowdfunding at Seed&Spark

Christina Raia is an NYC-based writer and director, the Founder of CongestedCat Productions, and the Crowdfunding Director at Seed&Spark. Her work, a collection of short films, a web series, and two feature films, has gained a large online following through multiple crowdfunding campaigns. She has been covered by press outlets such as Indiewire, AfterEllen and BuzzFeed. She also turned her desire to foster collaboration and engagement in the local film community into IndieWorks, a monthly film screening series showcasing and supporting the work of other independent filmmakers in New York.

Mitch Semel, Founder, Semel Media

Founder of Semel Media, Mitch Semel designs, builds, launches, and manages new TV networks, apps, and shows and develops and produces scripted and factual content for digital and linear platforms. Mitch has developed, produced, and overseen programming for a variety of TV networks (CBS, NBC, Comedy Central, National Geographic, CNN, PBS, and others), including shows for Gayle King, Bill Maher, D.L Hughley, Al Franken, Conan O’Brien, Greg Kinnear, Katie Couric, Howard Stern, Richard Dreyfuss, David Letterman, and Danny Aiello.

Claire Taylor, Senior Programmer, Series Fest

A native to the snowy slopes of Colorado, Claire graduated from University of Northern Colorado and swiftly moved to NYC where she focused on applying her passion for storytelling through producing theater and television for Triptyk Studios (An American In Paris, Amelie: The Musical, Xanadu). Currently, Claire serves as the Senior Manager of Programing for SeriesFest, an international television festival based in Denver dedicated to showcasing the best new pilots from established and emerging content creators.

Emilia Zboralska, President, The Independent Web Creators of Canada

Dr. Emilia Zboralska is an Instructor at Ryerson University, and is currently serving as Interim Director of the Transmedia Zone, Ryerson’s storytelling and media innovation incubator. Emilia is also a Research Associate at Ryerson’s Media Innovation Research Lab, and the President of the Independent Web Creators of Canada. Her SSHRC funded PhD research project critically investigates the realities of entrepreneurship in the emerging, Canadian digital-first storytelling sector and provides the first benchmark analysis of gender and race across key creative roles in Canadian digital scripted series. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, and she has presented her research at conferences worldwide. Emilia is also co-founder of King Squared Media, a boutique film and video startup that focuses on premium, narrative storytelling.

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