Jury

Deirdre Brennan

President / Producer, Castletown Productions

Deirdre Brennan is an Emmy award-winning decorator for television, film and theatre. Her passion for wildlife and conservation led her to form Castletown Productions to make films about rare and endangered wildlife. Her first films, Bermuda’s Treasure Island and Sceillig and Bermuda, A Last Refuge, highlight the amazing rediscovery of the once thought extinct Bermuda petrel, or Cahow. Both films won awards at the International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula. For the past 8 years, she has traveled throughout the North Atlantic with an award-winning team to tell the story of the disappearing wild Atlantic salmon. She partnered with the Atlantic Salmon Federation and other key international salmon organizations, salmon scientists and conservationists to make the film and hopes it will raise awareness and inspire audiences.

Natalie Cash

Executive Producer, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

Natalie Cash is the Executive Producer in charge of video production at Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), an international conservation organization with more than 3,000 field staff in 65 countries.

WCS also operates the largest system of urban wildlife parks in the world – Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo and NY Aquarium on Coney Island – educating four million visitors each year about the importance of conservation.

With two decades of experience in the industry, Natalie produces short-form programming about WCS projects and stories for multiple platforms. Her films have won awards at the International Wildlife Film Festival and New York WILD Film Festival and selected as finalists at Wildscreen and the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. Prior to joining WCS, she was a series producer and writer at the Emmy Award-winning documentary production company Pangolin Pictures.

David Kanter

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at NYU

David Kanter is an Assistant Professor at NYU, whose research examines the interconnected challenges of nitrogen pollution, food security and sustainable development, with a particular focus on the scientific, socio-economic and legal dimensions of returning to a safe planetary for nitrogen; and balancing the multiple, and often competing, objectives of sustainable agriculture. Kanter uses an interdisciplinary set of research methods to investigate these issues.

Prior to NYU, Kanter was a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. Kanter received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and law from the University of Bristol in the U.K. and his master’s degree and doctorate in science, technology and environmental policy from Princeton University.

Holly Morris

Filmmaker, Author and Presenter

Holly’s recent film, The Babushkas of Chernobyl, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, where it won the Jury Award for Directing. The film has gone on to win more than a dozen awards on the festival circuit, and has broadcast around the world. The film’s story – of a defiant community of grandmothers who live inside Ukraine’s radioactive “Exclusion Zone” – also forms the basis of her popular TED Talk, and her award-winning and widely syndicated essay on which the film is based (“The Babushkas of Chernobyl” 2011).

Her new film, Exposure, due to release in 2018, documents an extraordinary polar expedition.

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Eric Steinhauser

Creative Director

Eric Steinhauser is an award-winning film and advertising director/creative director. As an ECD, he’s created successful partnerships among agencies, clients, and media to develop unique content and branding opportunities. As Board Director and Creative Director for the international wildlife organization WildAid.

He created their widely viewed conservation communications campaign that’s changing public opinion and influencing government action with provocative celebrity driven messages seen each week by over one billion people worldwide.

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Scott Willis

Producer

Scott Willis is a 35-year veteran of the News, Current Affairs and Documentary world. He is the winner of twelve National Emmy awards and two DuPont Columbia awards for a range of programs that range from “Gorbachev: The Final Hours” (1991), “The Anatomy of a Riot – Los Angeles” (1992) and “The Woodmans” (2010), a portrait of a family’s fall and redemption in the sometimes brutal world of art. The film won the award for best New York Documentary at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival as well as the 2012 Emmy award for “Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming.”

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Pre-screeners


Sarah Alford
Jamie Bruce
Sybilla Burkley
Margot DeFrance
Emily Driscoll
Karen Gibbs
Liz Grady
Nofar Hamrany
Darrell Hartman
Oliver Hartman
Barbara Kaslow
Martha Jeffries
Mary Jo Kinser
Lisa Kovitz
Nik Makharadze
Erica Matson
Natasha Milne
Sonya Mesommota
Anna-Maria Montonen
Nancy Moon
Angie Payne
Samuel Ridgeway
Gaelin Rosenwaks
Anton Seimon
Debra Stein
Jackie Swensen
Natalie Torres
Lino Vivas
Allison Williams
Alex Wohlin
Emilie Wolf
Bonnie Wyper
Eric Zember