Judges

Natalie Aji

Natalie Aji is a Syrian filmmaker based in NYC. With a film production B.A from SAE Institute and experience in filmmaking in 3 different cities. Dubai, London, and now NYC. With a history in photography and constant film documentation I have found my niche in the filmmaking process and art of storytelling. My experience has allowed me to develop many skills and assets that have made my filmmaking experience so diverse. Throughout my career I have directed, produced and wrote over 20+ short films. One of which earned a position in the Cannes Film Festival 2017 short film corner for my film How We Lost, What We Found. Additionally, my documentary The Yoniverse had a position in the NYC Short Documentary Film Festival in 2019. I continue to practice film and focus more on writing and assisting projects now while I explore the never ending love to tell people’s stories.

Francis Luta

Francis Luta is a Filipino-Canadian artist and filmmaker behind the award winning adventure feature documentary ‘Alone Across the Arctic’, Produced the short ‘Seeing’ for Oscar winning lens maker Cooke Optics, Canon Canada produced short thriller ‘Vivid’, social commentary documentary ‘Project Yellow’ and the award-winning short documentary ‘The Hammer Band: Music Child’.

Katarina Hughes

Kat is a comedic actress, writer and filmmaker from Cincinnati, Ohio currently based in Los Angeles. After graduating from NYU Tisch Drama, she began studying comedy at UCB where she write and performs characters on UCBLA’s house team Character’s Welcome. Her directorial debut Hippo, a short dark comedy film about selfie related deaths has screened at Just For Laughs, Chicago Comedy Film Festival, NYC Short Comedy Fest, and Women’s Comedy Festival of Atlanta. Her work has been produced by and featured on Funny or Die, WhoHaha, Crypt TV, Civilized and other viral web platforms. As an actor, you can catch her most recently as a recurring role on Facebook Watch’s Queen America with Catherine Zeta Jones.

Isabel De Obaldía

Isabel De Obaldía was born in 1957 of French and Panamanian parents. She studied architecture at the University of Panama and drawing at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris before receiving a BFA in Graphic Design and Cinematography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1979.

De Obaldía has been selected on several occasions to participate as a guest artist in international painting, sculpture and glass symposia as well as survey shows of contemporary art. She has exhibited at Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art since 1997. From 2011-2012, De Obaldía had a mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale titled Primordial: Paintings and Sculpture by Isabel De Obaldia. De Obaldia has established an international reputation as a glass sculptor and painter.

Stephane Benini

I see the world a little differently, being a fearless director and creator who wants to put his talent toward making a better tomorrow. I choose curiosity and creativity over complacency every time and relentlessly challenge myself in not accepting what is, but creating what will be. I had the chance to win the best documentary award on the last edition with my work on the swedish mafia with the illegal streetracing film and i always try to film the human side in all my films.