Judges

Gabriel Gabriel Sedgwick hails from Sweden but lives in New York City, where he has produced several award-winning films that have screened at festivals such as SXSW, New Directors/New Films, Urbanworld, BAM's New Faces of Black Cinema, and Karlovy Vary, including Lanre Olabisi’s fiction features AUGUST THE FIRST and SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE, and Carmen Vidal’s short film SLATE. As Head of Production at Brooklyn-based production company Hard Working Movies, he also co-produced Jeremiah Zagar’s feature-length documentary CAPTIVATED, which premiered in competition at Sundance 2014 and was broadcast on HBO in the US and on television all over the world, and recently lineproduced Sara Jordenö's KIKI, which premiered in competition at Sundance 2016 and won the Teddy for best feature-length doc at the Berlinale 2016. He is a National Board of Review fellow, a Berlin Film Festival Talents alumni, and when not making movies, can be heard emitting falsetto noises in the Brooklyn-based band Odd Rumblings.

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Emily Russo is co-founder and co-president of the New York-based distribution company Zeitgeist Films.   In operation since 1988, Russo and her partner Nancy Gerstman have been responsible for the release of over 200 films, including first films by notable directors like Todd Haynes, Christopher Nolan, Francois Ozon, Laura Poitras , the Quay Brothers and films by other masters of cinema including Abbas Kiarostami, Atom Egoyan, Agnes Varda, Guy Maddin, Jia Jhang-ke, Deepa Mehta, Yvonne Rainer, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, and Margarethe von Trotta.   Zeitgeist is also renowned for its collection of ground-breaking documentaries including THE CORPORATION, INTO GREAT SILENCE, BALLETS RUSSES, MY COUNTRY MY COUNTRY, MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES, TROUBLE THE WATER, BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK and LET FIRE BURN, and most recently VITA ACTIVA: THE SPIRIT OF HANNAH ARENDT and the upcoming EVA HESSE.

Zeitgeist’s films have won numerous major prizes at film festivals around the world, including the Palme and Camera d’Or in Cannes, Sundance Grand and International Jury prizes, 4 Academy Award nominations and an Academy Award (for Best Foreign Language Film in 2003 for NOWHERE IN AFRICA).

In Summer 2008 the Museum of Modern Art held a month-long retrospective of Zeitgeist’s films to mark their 20th anniversary.

Born and raised in Roslyn Long Island, Russo graduated in 1980 from SUNY Binghamton with a degree in Cinema Studies.

jessicaJessica Green has overseen the programming at Maysles Cinema since 2008. The Maysles Cinema, founded by the late, great Albert Maysles (1926-2015) is the first independent cinema focused on documentary film in the world. She is also currently associate producing a ITVS funded web series on Black fathers, and developing a narrative project about Louis Armstrong’s State Department tours. Green sits on the board of the New York Film and Video Council, New York’s oldest continuously operating non-profit serving the independent film, video and electronic arts community. She is also a former founder, owner and editor-In-chief of the New York based, independent Hip-Hop magazine Stress (1994-2001) and the former executive editor of BET.com (2000-2005). Green has an undergraduate degree from Lang College at the New School for Social Research in Black Studies and Writing and Literature and was born and raised in New York City, and her father Ernest Green, is one of the Little Rock 9.

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