Jury Members of 2023
Antoine Vareille is a feature films and television editor. He has worked on Lucky Luke; Hitman; Brice de Nice; Fatal and Discount as well as the TV series Kaboul Kitchen and documentary Intimate Portrait with Peggy Fleming and Cindy Crawford. Antoine has been a jury member of the festival for the last 7 years.
Fabian Marquez is a writer and executive producer on the sci-fi series Spides, currently streaming on Amazon. He also co-wrote (with Paul Davidson) and will produce the indie comedy Gleek! with Tim Heidecker (Tim and Eric) and director Jim Josking (An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn). Other credits include Better Luck Tomorrow (directed by Justin Lin) and the Academy Award-nominated short, Johnny Flynton (directed by Lexi Alexander).
Gareth Jones is UK based executive producer, an industry veteran with 25 years experience in financing, sales, and distribution. A formed CEO of George Harrison’s HandMade Films, Gareth has financed, sold, and distributed over 80 independent films, including Mona Lisa; Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Psych 9 and 4321 and others.
Giada Ghiringhelli is a London-based filmmaker and video editor who has developed her passion for the visual arts, working across film, art, music, and fashion. Her experimental works have been exhibited internationally at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Locarno International Film Festival, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, London Short Film Festival, and Uppsala International Short Film Festival. Her latest experimental film won Best Experimental Film at ÉCU Film Festival and Best Sound Design at Underwire in London.
Mark Perez is one of the premiere non-scripted Executive Producers and Directors in the business today, having produced and directed thousands of hours of programming for networks including NBC, Showtime, Discovery, History, ESPN, VH1, and MTV. Mark’s work includes huge hits such as NBC’s Fear Factor, MTV’s Road Rules and Laguna Beach, and two seasons of America’s Next Top Model for UPN.
Nikola Bozadzhiev is a young director, screenwriter and producer in the beginning of his 20s. Despite that he just began his journey through his second decade in life, now at the age of 23, he has been already took leading role as part of the creative team of highly recognized circus, theatre and film productions in his country. His own film feature debut as screenwriter and director – Shibil, had turned into an international success of high value in the independent film industry with its high track record, amounting to 158 awards in 19 categories and 55 countries. This natural progression of recognition led the film to became part of the European Netflix family. Recently, Bozadzhiev has been the recipient of the prestigious Platinum REMI award for the film “Shibil” which put his debut name among others well-known leading film professionals that took their debit award in the same film festival, such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Coen Brothers, David Lynch, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, and Ridley Scott.
Oscar Spierenburg (1981) is a painter as well as an auto-didactic director from The Netherlands. He lives and works in Belgium. He has taught himself how to paint and direct and has proved his skills with numerous short films and the awarded feature film Vanitas. Oscar is now working on his second feature-length film Alias Wolf. Alongside working as a director, he owns an art gallery in the center of Antwerp and founded the Apertus Open Source Cinema Project.
Paul Anderson runs an independent freelance video, features, and communications enterprise, specializing in European political news, election observation, climate change, and institutional videos for the international development community. These include the International Committee of the Red Cross, UN, NATO, and the EU, directing, filming, and scripting features in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Sudan, Chad, Russia, Georgia, and across the EU.
Paul Wyett is a filmmaker based in London. Paul spent thirty years as an actor before setting up Pimlico Films in 2014. He has directed various short films, including Helena and the award-winning Sydney – winner of the Best European Dramatic Short at ÉCU 2019. He is developing several projects for television and film, including Marita Koch, The Red Ribbon, and St. Germain.
Rebecca Calder is an Actor based in London. Rebecca has worked extensively in TV and Film. Her most recent stage work includes; The Effect (Lucy Prebble – English Theatre Frankfurt, Germany 2020). Recent Film; Wrath of Man (Guy Ritchie MGM / Miramax 2021), Eight for Silver (Sean Ellis – Sundance 2021) Recent TV; I May Destroy You (Michaela Coel – HBO/BBC 2020), and currently filming new series Wolfe in Manchester for Sky and AbbottVision (Paul Abbott 2021). Rebecca won the Best Actress award at ÉCU in 2016 and is thrilled to be a part of the 2023 Jury.
Sam Kadi is a filmmaker based in Santa Barbara, California. He is the director, writer and producer of the critically acclaimed feature drama, The Citizen, which won multiple awards and was named one of the “Best 10 Films of 2013” by Examiner.com. Kadi’s recent war-zone documentary Little Gandhi was an Official Selection for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2017 Oscars. It won The Ahmed Khedr Award for Excellence in Arab Filmmaking at the European Independent Film Festival. Kadi is the producer of the 2023 Oscar-shortlisted feature animation film Lamya’s Poem, which world premiered at the 60th Annecy Film Festival (France). Kadi is a TEDx speaker, a juror for multiple film festivals, a member of the International Animated Film Society (ASIFA-Hollywood), and a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) where he serves on the Guild Asian American committee.
Samantha Collins is an Australian-British screenwriter and graduate of the UK’s National Film and Television School. She co-wrote award-winning animation ‘After The End’ (2015) with director Sam Southward, and her first feature commission, family film ‘You Can Tutu’ (2017), was released on Netflix and Amazon. With a background in production and development, she has worked for Discovery Networks, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and London animation house Nexus. With 14 years in London and Paris, Samantha is currently based in Sydney and developing a number of film and TV projects, including her original feature screenplay ‘MY SISTER ELLIE’, an Australian/UK co-production with Jessie Mangum producing and Laura Scrivano directing.
Scott Hillier is an Australian Director / Cinematographer / Screenwriter. Scott studied film at New York University and The London Film and Television school as well as literary non-fiction writing at Columbia University. He has taught a Master’s Degree course in Screenwriting as well as journalism at the Centre de Formation des Journaliste (CFJ) in Paris. In addition to serving as President of The European Independent Film Festival, he is also Chief Creative Officer for the Zs2 Media Group in Paris.
Suz Sainty is a documentary producer / director and screenwriter, currently based at Discovery Channel in London. Over the past 15 years, she has also worked for National Geographic and numerous indies in a variety of production and post-production roles, and written several screenplays. Suz has served on the European Independent Film Festival jury since 2007.
Vesna De Vinča is a TV journalist, writer, and producer. With almost 30 years of experience as a journalist shooting documentaries all around the planet, she has been the last journalist in the world to interview Nelson Mandela. Since 2004, she has been managing her own production company “De Vinča Production”. Vesna is also the author and producer of numerous charity events, and endeavors focusing on environmental protection, culture, fashion, and beauty. De Vinča has served on the jury of the European Independent Film Festival since 2007.
Giedre Bumbulyte was the Festival Manager at ÉCU – The European Independent Film Festival for 6 years and a producer at Zs2 Media Group based in Paris, France. Her production experience includes work for global companies such as BBC, IBM, General Electric, NBA, McKinsey & Company and many others. Giedre has joined The European Independent Film Festival in 2015 and since then she has organised 4 editions of the festival, as well as ÉCU On-the-Road events in France, Greece, Denmark, Russia, Japan, and many other places around the World.
Korinna Herzig is a freelance filmmaker from Stuttgart, Germany. She has been working as a media designer and filmmaker since 2007. In 2016, she graduated from the Merz Akademie Stuttgart with her award-winning short film Der Narr. Today, she does editorial work for German TV (SWR), is leading initiatives in youth media education, and is the festival directress of “Weird Wednesday”, a three-year-old genre film series in Stuttgart. Where she also volunteers in a feminist association called FFGZ.