Meet the Festival jurors for the GGA shorts, mid-length, documentaries, and new directors competitions. Also, a hearty thanks to our screeners, listed at the bottom of the page.
65th SFFILM Festival Jurors
Born in 1988, Alexandre Moratto is a Brazilian-American filmmaker. He studied filmmaking at the UNC School of the Arts where he was awarded a full scholarship. His thesis film won Best Latinx Student Filmmaker from the DGA and led to a job as the assistant to filmmaker Ramin Bahrani (The White Tiger) who became his mentor. Moratto’s debut feature film, Socrates, was produced by Unicef Brazil with a cast and crew of teenagers from São Paulo’s low-income communities. Released in 2018, Socrates achieved international critical acclaim and won him the “Someone to Watch” Independent Spirit Award. His sophomore feature, 7 Prisoners, a Netflix Original, premiered at the 2021 Venice Film Festival to critical acclaim and debuted in the top 10 worldwide on Netflix. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, an SFFILM Rainin Fellow, a Film Independent Fellow, and a Cine Qua Non Fellow.
Mexican Director Rodrigo Reyes has screened his work at festivals such as Morelia International Film Festival, BFI London, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, receiving great reviews. Rodrigo’s work has received the support of The Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE), Sundance and Tribeca Institutes, and many others. His work has screened on national public broadcast on America ReFramed and has been commissioned by Netflix. Rodrigo is a proud recipient of the prestigious Sundance Spotlight on Storytellers Award, the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Creative Capital Award. Based in the Bay Area, he has been awarded the Rainin Fellowship as well as the SF Indie Vanguard Award, and is the Co-Director of the BAVC Mediamaker Fellowship. In 2020, Rodrigo’s latest film, 499, won Best Cinematography at Tribeca, as well as the Special Jury Award at Hot Docs.
Director, Producer and occasionally writer. Born in Bogotá in 1978. Graduated from Film School in the National University of Colombia and from Marketing and Advertising. In 2001, she created the company Ciudad Lunar together with Ciro Guerra and has produced his features La Sombra del Caminante (San Sebastian 2004), The Wind Journeys (Cannes – Un Certaing Regard, 2009) and Embrace of the Serpent (Director´s Fortnight 2015, Oscar Nominee 2016), she also has editorial credits in the last two. She’s also produced films from directors such as Pedro Aguilera (Sister of Mine, Rotterdam 2017), Abner Benahim (Ruben Blades Is Not My Name, SXSW 2018) and Annemarie Jacir (Wajib, Locarno 2017, co-producer).
Pájaros de verano (Birds of Passage) is her directing debut. In 2020, Cristina was directing Cortes and Moctezuma for Amblin TV and Amazon Studios, canceled because Covid 19. Currently is in postproduction as a Producer of Laura Mora´s film Los Reyes del Mundo.
She teaches at various film schools and has been invited as a speaker at the United Nations in Geneve and TED Talks Bogotá.
Alison Willmore is a film critic at Vulture and New York magazine. She previously worked as a critic and culture writer at BuzzFeed News and as the TV editor at Indiewire. Her writing has also appeared in The A.V Club., Salon, Time Out New York, and Movieline.
David Fear is a Senior Editor and critic at Rolling Stone, and the former Film Editor of Time Out NY. His work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Village Voice, Esquire, Spin, NY Daily News, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Moviemaker, Nashville Weekly, and numerous other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, as all writers must.
Scott Tobias has written on film and television professionally for over 20 years. For much of that time, he was the film editor for The A.V. Club before spending two years as co-founder and editor of The Dissolve, a film site for Pitchfork Media. He currently publishes (with Keith Phipps) the Substack film newsletter The Reveal, and freelances for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Ringer, Vulture, The Guardian, and other outlets, He also co-hosts the film podcast The Next Picture Show. He resides in Chicago with his wife and two daughters, within walking distance of the legendary Music Box Theatre.
Zaki Hasan is an author, film critic, and professor of Communication and Media Studies. His reviews and analyses appear regularly in the San Francisco Chronicle and IGN, and he is a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle. He is also co-host of the MovieFilm Podcast, featuring bi-weekly news, reviews, and interviews related to the film industry.
Jourdain Searles hails from Augusta, Georgia, and resides in Brooklyn. She has a BA in Communications: TV & Cinema from Augusta University and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Jourdain works as a screenwriter, comedian, and freelance critic of film, television, and culture. She has written for New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, GQ, The Hollywood Reporter, LWLies, Hyperallergic, Okayplayer, Fangoria, and Bitch Media, where she served as their Pop-Culture Criticism Fellow in 2018.
She also provides script notes, sensitivity reading services, and editorial services. In addition to her written work, she programs films at theaters and festivals, speaks on panels, and moderates Q&As. Jourdain co-hosts the weekly Bad Romance podcast with fellow comedian and writer Bronwyn Isaac. Each week, they analyze a bad romantic film as well as provide criticism for the genre as a whole.
Brenda Robinson is an entertainment attorney and producer with extensive experience in the film, television, and music industries. Brenda is a partner in Gamechanger Films and a member of Impact Partners. She currently serves as the Board Chair of Film Independent, is on the board of The Representation Project, and serves as an advisor to The Redford Center. Brenda is a proud board member of Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival and currently acts as legal counsel to the festival. Brenda was most recently a financier on the Academy Award-winning documentary Icarus, as well as Won’t You Be My Neighbor and Step. She is an executive producer on numerous projects, including Passing, directed by Rebecca Hall; United Skates, alongside executive producer John Legend; The Great American Lie by director Jennifer Siebel Newsom; Jump Shot: The Kenny Sailors Story, alongside executive producer Steph Curry; Marian Anderson: The Whole World In Her Hands, directed by Rita Coburn for PBS’ American Masters series; and the upcoming The Empire of Ebony, directed by Lisa Cortes and produced by Roger Ross Williams. Brenda is a member of The Recording Academy and AMPAS.
Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and raised in Los Angeles, Lourdes Portillo has been making award-winning films about Latin American, Mexican, and Chicano/a experiences and social justice issues for forty years. Since her first film, After the Earthquake/Después del Terremoto (1979), she has produced and directed over a dozen works that reveal her signature hybrid style as a visual artist, investigative journalist, and activist. Portillo’s completed films include the Academy Award® and Emmy® Award-nominated Las Madres: The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (1986), La Ofrenda: The Days of the Dead (1988), Columbus on Trial (1992), The Devil Never Sleeps (1994), Corpus: A Home Movie for Selena (1999), My McQueen (2004), and Al Más Allá (2008). Her most recent feature-length film, Señorita Extraviada (2001), a documentary about the disappearance and death of young women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, received a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Best Documentary at the Havana International Film Festival, the Nestor Almendros Award at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, and an Ariel, the Mexican Academy of Film Award.
In 2016, Portillo received the Anonymous Was a Woman Award and grant for her body of work, and in 2017, she was honored with the Career Achievement Award by The International Documentary Association (IDA). In 2019, Portillo curated the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ historic Pacific Standard Time: Latin America to Hollywood: Latino Film Culture in Los Angeles 1967-2017 Oral History Projects, which are oral histories/interviews with notable Latino, Latin American, and Chicano filmmakers, including Portillo herself. In recent years Portillo continued her exploration of experimental film and format, creating the animated short State of Grace (2020). Portillo’s films continue to be shown internationally and in the U.S. on TV, in cultural and film festivals, in museums, and at educational institutions. Portillo’s website features information about her work and access to her films: https://www.lourdesportillo.com/
Robert Y. Chang the Coordinating Producer of America ReFramed and is part of the Programming & Production team at American Documentary. American Documentary curates three independent documentary series broadcast nationally on public television: POV, POV Shorts, and America ReFramed. Robert is a member of the Producers Guild of America and has served as a juror, screener, programmer, panelist, and reviewer for a range of film festivals, arts funders, and foundations. He has also judged for the IDA Awards, the Tellys, RTDNA Murrow Awards, and the News & Documentary Emmys. As an independent filmmaker, Robert’s work has screened worldwide at festivals and is distributed by Documentary Educational Resources (DER).
Brit Fryer is an award-winning queer and trans filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. His most recent film, Caro Comes Out, won the 2020 Knight Made in MIA Short Film Award at the Miami Film Festival and is available on HBOMax in June 2022. His other films, exploring queer and trans experiences, include Across, Beyond, and Over and Trans·ience. He has also produced a variety of narrative and nonfiction projects, most recently Bug Farm, which was acquired by POV and premiered on PBS and NOWNESS. He is also the producer of Crystal Kayika’s Rest Stop, winner of the 2020 Through Her Lens: Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program. His work has been shown at festivals, including Indie Grits, Outfest, Inside Out, MIX NYC, and Blackstar Film Festival. Brit is an alum of Sundance Ignite Fellowship, the Creative Culture Fellowship, and sits on the Jonathan Demme Changemaker Board Member Seat at the Jacob Burns Film Center.
Tre’vell Anderson (they/them) is an award-winning journalist, social curator, and world changer who always comes to slay! Named to The Root’s 2020 list of the 100 most influential African Americans, they have dedicated their career to centering those in the margins, gray spaces, and at the intersections of life through a pop culture lens. Tre’vell is currently Editor-At-Large for Toronto’s Xtra magazine and co-host of two podcasts, Crooked Media’s What A Day and Maximum Fun’s FANTI.
Formerly the Director of Culture and Entertainment at Out magazine, Tre’vell got their start in journalism at the Los Angeles Times where they created the beat of diversity in Hollywood with a focus on Black and queer film. Over the course of their career, they’ve covered every major red carpet in Hollywood and interviewed everyone from Viola Davis to Lil Nas X and Laverne Cox to André Leon Talley. Their work—which has graced the pages of Essence, TIME, and Entertainment Weekly, among others—has been recognized by the Online News Association, National Association of Black Journalists, NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, the Shorty Awards, and the Los Angeles Press Club among others.
A native of Charleston, SC, Tre’vell received their Bachelor’s degree in sociology from “the nation’s headquarters for Black male excellence,” Morehouse College. A year later, they earned their Master’s degree in journalism from Stanford University. In 2018, they received the “Passing the Torch Award” from Better Brothers Los Angeles for their work in media and representing the LGBTQ+ community. In 2019, they were recognized as one of Empowerment Congress’s “40 Under 40.”
Tre’vell is the immediate past president of the National Association of Black Journalists of Los Angeles, co-chair of NABJ’s LGBTQ Task Force and the organization’s Region IV Director. A well sought-after moderator and commentator, they’ve made appearances on MSNBC, NPR, Fox Business Network, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, and Entertainment Tonight Live.
Follow them online at @TrevellAnderson on Twitter and @rayzhon on Instagram.
*Note: Tre’vell uses they/them pronouns.
Kristen Fitzpatrick is the Managing Director at Field of Vision and a Brooklyn-based distribution and impact strategist and production consultant. Prior to Field of Vision, she was the Director of Acquisition & Distribution at Women Make Movies, the Production and Impact Director at A Moment in Time Productions, a board member of NewFest and a programmer at Spectacle Theater in Brooklyn. In addition to her work at Field of Vision, Kristen is currently a production consultant at Still I Rise Films.
Joanne Parsont is the Director of Education at the California Film Institute, providing year-round programs to youth and community members to learn about themselves and the world through film. Joanne is a media education specialist and film festival programmer specializing in children’s and documentary films, with over 25 years of experience with film festivals and film organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationwide, including a five-year run as the first Director of Education at the San Francisco Film Society (now SFFILM). She served on the Board of the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) from 2015-2020.
Smita Teotia is a teacher in SFUSD. She has been teaching since 2003. She has been bringing her students to SFFilm Festival for many years, and is committed to incorporating the Arts in her students’ lives and in her teaching.
Galen Fott is a four-time SFIFF Golden Gate Award nominee who has completed 26 animated films to date with Weston Woods Studios (a division of Scholastic). For these films, he has directed the vocal performances of Joanne Woodward, Stanley Tucci, Steve Buscemi, Sean Hayes, and Paul Giamatti.
A Tennessee native, Galen graduated from the University of Memphis with a BFA in Theatre Performance. He then spent the first fifteen years of his professional life as an actor and singer, joining the major performing unions and playing leading roles in musical theatre productions around the country. During his five-year stay in New York, Galen found another outlet for performing as a puppeteer with the Jim Henson Company. Also in New York he got his first taste of creating animation, for AT&T, and for the nationally syndicated Jon Stewart Show.
Becoming increasingly fascinated with animation, Galen attended the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts in Canada (better known as VanArts). After graduating, he moved back stateside and settled by default in Nashville where he currently lives with his wife Laura and son Burton.
Galen is mentioned in Giannalberto Bendazzi’s three-volume Animation: A World History. He is also one of six animators (including legends Gene Deitch and Michael Sporn) singled out for recognition in John Cech’s 2009 book Imagination and Innovation: The Story of Weston Woods. His personal website is www.galenfott.com.
Ellie Wen is an award-winning filmmaker from Hong Kong and Los Angeles. She is an alumna of Film Independent’s Project Involve fellowship program and SFFILM’s FilmHouse Residency Program. Her films have been featured on The Guardian, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Short of the Week, SoulPancake, selected as Vimeo Staff Pick, and screened at premier festivals around the world. She is a graduate of the Documentary Film MFA Program at Stanford University and currently lives and works in San Francisco.
Ian Brown is a senior in high school who moved from New York to California in 2012. He was exposed to filmmaking in a video broadcast class at the age of 12, where he learned a little about cameras and editing. Throughout high school, he has been making films and hopes to one day work in the industry as a film director. He is also the president of his school’s film club where he runs the film festivals and hosts a film podcast he co-created. As of September 2021, Ian is now a part of SFFILM’s Youth FilmHouse Residency.
Programmers + Screeners
SFFILM is grateful to all of the individuals who helped the Festival Programming team sift through thousands of submissions to this year’s edition.
Director of Programming
Associate Director of Programming
Print Traffic Manager
Guest Office Manager
Guest Office Coordinator
Festival Programmer — Features
Festival Programmer — Features & Shorts
Festival Programmer — Shorts
Festival Programmer — Features
Director of Education
Education Program Manager
2022 Festival Screeners
Mariana Avila Llorente
Jesse Hawthorne Ficks
Diana Sanchez Maciel
Nicolas Taliaferro Abraham