• Meet Our Filmmaker Competition Jury 09/14/12

    At FOCUS FORWARD, we are honored to have the opportunity to work with great talents in documentary filmmaking. Now, with our $200,000 Filmmaker Competition just around the corner, we welcome our jury consisting of influential and esteemed members of the filmmaking community.

    Each of these seven influencers will add their expertise and artistic knowledge to the difficult decision-making process involved in choosing the top films. We are confident that their fair and informed insight will help choose the most deserving of the grand prize- a screening at the Sundance Film Festival and $100,000.

    We are looking forward to seeing the innovation and inspiration that turned your vision into a reality. Learn more about our seven-member panel of judges below:

    Daryl Hannah: Best known for her iconic roles in films like Splash, Blade Runner, and Kill Bill, Hannah is also a documentary filmmaker (Strip Notes) and environmental-activist.  Her weekly video blog, DHLoveLife [embed link], which focuses on sustainable solutions, is shot, recorded, and hosted by Hannah herself. 

    Floyd Webb: A longtime photojournalist, multimedia producer, and filmmaker, Webb has been instrumental in the world of documentary filmmaking for over twenty-five years. He founded the Blacklight Festival of International Black Cinema in 1984, and has worked with Spike Lee & Jean Pierre Bekolo, and in 2000 served as a judge at Sundance’s Panel on Web Distribution: Short Films and the Internet for Digital Coast 99. In addition, Webb is the founder of Chicago’s e22.creative.

    José Padilha: After debuting with the documentary Bus 174, the Brazilian native had breakout success with his 2007 film The Elite Squad, for which he won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.  In 2010, Padilha premiered a sequel, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, as well as the documentary Secrets of the Tribe at the Sundance Film Festival, where he received much critical acclaim. He is currently at work on a remake of Robocop.

    Joe Berlinger: This two-time Emmy winner and three-time Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner has been an active force in documentary filmmaking for the better part of twenty years.  Berlinger is best known for his feature-length documentaries Brother’s Keeper, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, and the Paradise Lost true-crime courtroom trilogy, and for his directorial work on such notable television series as HBO’s Addiction and The Sundance Channel’s Iconoclasts. He has also published articles for The New York Times, Art Forum, and Aperture Magazine, and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

    Barbara Kopple: Kopple is the winner of two Academy Awards, the first for her 1976 film Harlan County, USA, and the second for her 1991 film, American Dream, depicting the events of the 1985-86 Hormel Foods strike in Minnesota.  She has also had experience directing for television, most notably for the series Homicide: Life on the Street, and has won a Director’s Guild of America award for her work on the television series Oz.

    Caroline Libresco: Known for her feature-length documentary film Sunset Story, which won prizes at the Tribeca, Los Angeles, and Miami Film Festivals, Libresco is also known for producing HBO’s Cat Dancers,The Sundance Channel’s Barrier Device, and The Grace Lee Project. She currently acts as a Senior Programmer for the Sundance Film Festival and a consultant to Harvard’s Kennedy School, where she serves on the board of Women Make Movies, and is a frequent panel and jury member for film-related events.

    Peter Wintonick: One of Canada’s most well-known international documentarians and producers (China Heavyweight, Manufacturing Consent), Wintonick has won a multitude of prestigious film awards, such as the 2006 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.  He is a founding member of DocAgora, an event held at many well-known film festivals. Currently, he runs Necessary Illusions Productions along with his partner, Francis Miquet, and is very active around the world as a mentor and festival programmer.