Our judging panel is made up of professional filmmakers, IWM Film Archive staff and key players from the wider film industry.
Lydia Beilby: Short Film Programmer, Edinburgh International Film Festival
Lydia Beilby is an artist, curator and educator and has held the position of Short Film Programmer for EIFF since 2010. Lydia is a founding member of artists’ collective Screen Bandita, whose expanded-cinema pieces and workshops have been commissioned and performed widely at Film Festivals, galleries and unusual spaces around the UK and Europe. Further to this, Lydia teaches courses on Cinema for the Open Studies Department at the University of Edinburgh.
Sheyma Buali: Director, BBC Arabic Festival
Sheyma Buali joined BBC Arabic Festival in its first edition in 2014, and became Director in 2015. With a focus on media, film and visual arts from the Arab world, she is also active in publishing as Commissioning Editor for Ibraaz Channel as well as Culture Correspondent for Asharq AlAwsat. Previously she worked on the London Palestine Film Festival and the RAI International Ethnographic Film Festivals.
Jemma Desai: Film Programme Manager (Shorts and Global Exhibition), British Council
Jemma is Film Programme Manager at the British Council where she leads on their work with new talent and shorts. She is also programme adviser for BFI London Film Festival where she programmes features across the programme and is the founder of I am Dora, a publication and screening series exploring how women relate to one another through cinema. She earned her stripes in film as a festival producer and as Film Programmer at the Independent Cinema Office.
Chris Elliott: Head of Division of Film and Media, London South Bank University
Chris Elliott is Associate Professor and Head of Division of Film and Media in the School of Arts and Creative Industries at London South Bank University (LSBU). He studied Ecology at Royal Holloway, University of London and has a Masters in Film and Television from the University of Westminster. He has extensive experience in film and video production in both the commercial and third sectors and now teaches on the BA Film Practice and MA programmes at LSBU. Chris is a Senior Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, with research interests focused on film music and audio and visual specularity in film, and the affective qualities of immersive sound. He also works with many schools and colleges, delivering sessions on employability and creative industries careers.
Chris Harris: Programmer and Head of Virtual Services, Picturehouse Cinemas
Chris has been a programmer at Picturehouse Cinemas since 2007, and founded the Picturehouse DOCS strand, which screens the best in current documentary releases at Picturehouse Cinemas, including director Q&A tours across the UK. Chris also programmes the documentary strand at Picturehouse Central, the home of Picturehouse DOCS in London's West-End.
Sandra Hebron: Head of Screen Arts, National Film and Television School
Sandra has worked in independent film since the late 1980s, with roles in funding, production, theatrical exhibition and festivals, including as Head of BFI Festivals/Artistic Director of the London Film Festival (2003-11). She also writes and broadcasts about film for a range of outlets, including BBC radio and Sight & Sound, and hosts industry debates, masterclasses and Q&As with contemporary British and international filmmakers. She is also a qualified integrative psychotherapist.
Shona Illingworth: Exhibiting Artist
Shona Illingworth is a Danish Scottish artist who works across a range of media including sound, film, video, photography and drawing. She is known for her immersive video and multi-channel sound installations, and evocative, research-led practice in which she explores the dynamic processes of memory and construction of histories in situations of social tension and trauma. She draws on long-term interdisciplinary dialogues with scientists, to investigate the ongoing impact of memory, amnesia and cultural erasure on the invisible social, cultural and geopolitical architectures that we inhabit, and on our capacity to imagine the future.
Matimba Kabalika: NET.WORK Talent Co-ordinator and Content Editor, BFI Film Fund
Matimba manage the talent development programme BFI NETWORK and the accompanying website. Before joining the BFI she spent four years at Partizan, where she worked in production on commercials, music videos and short films, working with an array of emerging and established directing talent.
Matt Lee: Director, IWM Short Film Festival
Matt Lee is the Head of Film at the Imperial War Museum. After studying English and later Film History at university, the glamorous world of film archiving lured Matt away from the Czech Republic where he had been masquerading as an English teacher. He has been a film curator for 17 years at the IWM and is also the IWM Short Film Festival Director. When not delving into the murky waters of his Devonshire lineage, he takes an interest in the question of fakery and reconstruction in non-fiction film and is also drawn to avant-garde and experimental propaganda film.
Kevin Loader: Producer, Free Range Films
Kevin Loader’s most recent film work includes producing Roger Michell’s My Cousin Rachel, and Armando Iannucci’s The Death of Stalin; he also acted as Executive Producer on Benedict Andrews’ UNA. He spent fourteen years at the BBC, working in current affairs, arts documentaries and drama. Since then he has concentrated mostly on feature films. Loader and Roger Michell’s Free Range Films has produced most of Michell’s British films over the past fifteen years, including Le Week-end. The pair also made The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, which won both Bafta and RTS Awards for Best Drama Serial in 2015.
Jane Manning: Director of Production and Operations, October Films
Jane is integral to October Films’ creative, strategic and commercial planning. She is responsible for the day to day running of the company, and has managerial oversight of all productions through to delivery. Jane is passionate about finding and working with great people and is central to the strategy for building October into an indy capable of flourishing in a challenging and changing landscape while retaining its founding principles of quality delivery.
Richard Melman: Executive Producer, Spring Films
Richard Melman is Managing Director of Spring Films. Their productions include multi-award-winners The Act of Killing, Into the Abyss and Night Will Fall. Richard is an Emmy winning Executive Producer who recently completed Werner Herzog’s Into the Inferno for Netflix. Prior to joining Spring, he was Channel Director for the History Channel in the UK and EMEA and was responsible for commissioning hundreds of hours of programming, winning Digital Channel of the year.
Jack Penman: Freelance Archive Producer
Jack is a freelance archive researcher who has worked for almost 10 years on factual documentaries for British and American broadcasters. His passion for history programming has brought him together with the Imperial War Museum film archive on projects such as Nazi Megastructures (National Geographic) and How the Bismarck sunk HMS Hood (C4). Archive film is a common feature in television programming nowadays but the films that standout are those in which storytelling and archive footage are combined accurately and creatively.
Helen Upcraft: Assistant Director, IWM Short Film Festival
Helen is an Assistant Curator in the Media Sales and Licensing team, providing access to the IWM Film collection. After studying history at university, Helen wanted to continue exploring 20th Century conflicts and help others to engage with the subject. Since joining the Film Archive in 2014, Helen has worked on many projects with academics, artists, cultural and heritage organisations, veterans and current servicemen and women helping them to explore the vast collection totalling over 23,000 hours’ worth of film. Helen is also the Assistant Director of the IWM SFF, specialising in the use of IWM Archive in productions.
Toby Haggith: Founding Director, IWM Short Film Festival
Dr Toby Haggith joined the IWM’s Film Department in 1988. Since then he has been involved in several major film restoration projects including the 1916 film The Battle of the Somme, The Battle of the Ancre and Advance of the Tanks (1917), and most recently German Concentration Camps, A Factual Survey (1945/2014). He was also the Founding Director of the IWM Short Film Festival which started in 2001. Since then it has grown from strength to strength, and Toby still has active role as an advisor and champion for the festival.
Dr Lawrence Napper: Lecturer in Film Studies, Kings College London
Lawrence Napper is a senior lecturer in Film Studies at King's College London. He has published widely on British cinema, including books on British Cinema and Middlebrow Culture in the Interwar Years (University of Exeter Press, 2009), and The Great War in British Popular Cinema of the 1920s (Palgrave, 2015). Recently he has completed Silent Cinema: Before the Pictures Got Small for the Wallflower 'Short Cuts' series. His research interests include Silent British Cinema, Cinema & Empire and Cinema & War. At KCL he teaches an MA module on 'Cinema and War', which makes extensive use of the resources at the IWM.
Bonnie Chance-Roberts: Development and Production Executive, Monumental Pictures
Bonnie heads up film at Monumental Pictures. Amongst other projects, their development slate includes: Caitlin Moran’s 'How To Build A Girl'; Emma Donoghue's 'Frog Music'; a trilogy for Universal Studio's based on Jackie Collin's 'Santangelo' series and an Ada Lovelace biopic with writer Shawn Slovo.