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The 18th Annual Tribeca Film Festival® Announces 2019 Jury Comprised of Acclaimed Storytellers, Directors, Actors, Writers and Producers

Jurors include Angela Bassett, Rebecca Miller, Orlando von Einsiedel, Steve Zaillian, Chloë Sevigny, Debra Messing, Topher Grace, Famke Janssen, Drake Doremus, Maureen Dowd, Tig Notaro, Phoebe Robinson, Dana Harris, Julie Goldman, David Cross, DeWanda Wise, Justin Long, and more


The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, today announced the 2019 jury members who will select the winners in the film and immersive competition sections. The jurors will award work in ten different categories and honor new voices and prominent members of the creative community with unique art and monetary awards. This year’s jury features acclaimed filmmakers, award-winning actors, noteworthy producers, and cultural leaders including Angela Bassett, Rebecca Miller, Orlando von Einsiedel, Steve Zaillian, Drake Doremus, Famke Janssen, Jenny Lumet, Tig Notaro, Chloë Sevigny, and more. The 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival takes place April 24-May 5 in New York City.

For Tribeca’s 18th edition, more than 51 industry leaders were selected to honor feature length and short film categories, comprised of narratives and documentary films, as well as Storyscapes, the juried section of the Virtual Arcade, presented by AT&T. The jurors will also present the Tribeca X Award, celebrating excellence in branded storytelling at the intersection of advertising and entertainment. For the first time this year, Tribeca X will expand to four categories: best feature film, short film, episodic, and VR.

The Festival will also announce the winner of the seventh annual Nora Ephron Award, presented by CHANEL, created to honor the spirit and vision of legendary filmmaker and writer, Nora Ephron, which will be selected by a jury composed of esteemed group women whose works are respected in the creative community.

“At 18 we’re proud of our lineup of talented and diverse filmmakers and welcome our extraordinary jury,” commented Jane Rosenthal, Co-Founder and CEO of the Tribeca Film Festival.

The winning films, projects, filmmakers, actors, and storytellers in each category will be announced at the Tribeca Film Festival Awards ceremony at The Stella Artois Theatre @ BMCC TPAC on Thursday, May 2.

Following is a list of all 2019 Festival jurors and their respective categories:

Feature Film Competition Categories

The jurors for the 2019 U.S. Narrative Feature Competition section are:

  • Jonathan Ames – Jonathan Ames is the author of nine books and the creator of two television shows, Bored to Death and Blunt Talk His novella, You Were Never Really Here, was recently adapted as a film, directed by Lynne Ramsay and starring Joaquin Phoenix.
  • Cory Hardrict– Cory Hardrict has an impressive film career spanning over 10 years. He currently stars on the series The Oath for Crackle and will next be seen in the film The Outpost with Scott Eastwood. He will star and produce the film.
  • Dana Harris – Dana Harris is the editor-in-chief of IndieWire.
  • Jenny Lumet – Jenny Lumet is the author of Rachel Getting Married for which she received the 2008 New York Film Critics Circle Award, 2008 Toronto Film Critics Association Award, and 2008 Washington D.C. Film Critics Association Award and NAACP Image Award.

The jurors for the 2019 International Narrative Feature Competition section are:

  • Angela Bassett – Actress (What’s Love Got to Do With It, Black Panther), director (WhitneyAmerican Horror Story), executive producer (9-1-1 and Otherhood).
  • Famke Janssen  Famke Janssen is an award-winning Dutch actress, director, screenwriter, and former fashion model, internationally known for her successful career in both feature films and on television.
  • Baltasar Kormákur  Baltasar Kormákur is an Icelandic director and producer. His 2012 film The Deep was selected as the Icelandic entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards. He is best known for directing the films 101 ReykjavíkA Little Trip to Heaven (starring Julia Stiles and Forest Whitaker), Jar CItyContraband2 Guns(starring Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington), Everest (starring Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin), and The Oath which premiered at Toronto in 2016. His most recent film, Adrift (Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin) premiered in June 2018.
  • Rebecca Miller – Rebecca Miller is an award-winning filmmaker and author. She is the writer and director of six feature films: Angela (1995), Personal Velocity (2002), The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005), The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009), Maggie’s Plan (2015), and Arthur Miller: Writer (2017).
  • Steve Zaillian – Steve Zaillian won an Academy Award for his screenplay of Schindler’s List. Other screenplays include AwakeningsAmerican GangsterThe Falcon And The Snowmanand The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. He is also a prolific director (Searching For Bobby Fischer, A Civil Action and HBO’s The Night Of).

The jurors for the 2019 Documentary Feature Competition section are:

  • Drake Doremus  Drake Doremus is a filmmaker who has made nine feature films, most notably the Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning Like Crazy.
  • Robert Greene  Robert Greene’s films include Bisbee ‘17Kate Plays Christine and Actress. He writes for Sight & Sound and is the Filmmaker-in-Chief for the Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the University of Missouri.
  • Julie Goldman – Julie Goldman is an Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning producer and executive producer of documentary feature films and series. Julie has had over 30 films screen at the Tribeca Film Festival, including: this year’s opening night film, The ApolloOne Child NationLifeAnimated and The Kill Team.
  • Andrew LaVallee – Andrew LaVallee has been an editor and reporter at The Wall Street Journal for 13 years, most recently serving as culture editor in New York, where he led coverage of film, TV, art, books and music. He previously worked in Hong Kong, editing lifestyle and cultural coverage for Asia. Before journalism, he worked in web development and for Yoko Ono. He is a graduate of Oberlin College and Columbia University.
  • Cheryl McDonough  Cheryl Horner McDonough is a two-time Emmy Award winning documentary director and producer. She created countless youth-oriented documentaries for MTV, produced the Emmy-nominated independent film Bean, and recently directed Katie Couric’s documentary series for Nat Geo, America Inside Out. Cheryl is currently in post-production on a feature length documentary about the gun reform movement arising out of the tragic 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The jurors for the 2019 Best New Narrative Director Competition section are:

  • Stephen Kay  Stephen Kay is a writer, director, and producer. His television credits include The Shield, Friday Night LightsSons of Anarchy, and Yellowstone. His feature credits include Warner Brother’s Get Carter and Sony’s Boogeyman, as well as independent films such as, The Last Time I Committed Suicide, and Wasted. Stephen has Executive Produced ABC’s Quantico, USA’s Covert Affairs and The Lizzie Borden Chronicles. He is currently creator and executive producer of The Tenderloin for The History Channel.
  • Bill Keith – Bill Keith is the deputy editor of Entertainment Weekly and the cohost of the Sirius XM Radio show, Bullseye.
  • Justin Long – Justin will next be seen in the BBC / Netflix drama GIRI/HAJI, created and written by BAFTA nominee Joe Barton and directed by BAFTA-winner and Emmy nominee Julian Farino. Recent film roles include Frank and Lola opposite Michael Shannon, And Then I Go, alongside Melanie Lynskey and Tony Hale, Literally, Right Before Aaron opposite Cobie Smulders and the upcoming Safe Spaces with Fran Drescher and Richard Schiff.
  • Piper Perabo – Piper Perabo stars opposite Idris Elba in Netflix’s new comedy series Turn Up Charlie, now streaming. She will next appear on the big screen alongside Morgan Freeman and Gerard Butler in Angel Has Fallen, the third installment of the Olympus Has Fallen series. She will also be seen in Awesomeness Film’s upcoming YA sci-fi drama Spontaneous from writer and director Brian Duffield.
  • Mélita Toscan du Plantier – Mélita Toscan du Plantier started working in cinema with Unifrance Films, French Cesars, and since 2001 directing the Marrakech International Film Festival. She started producing films in 2014. Two of her productions were selected in Cannes and included the Golden Globe winner In the Fade from Fatih Akin for which Diane Kruger won Best Actress.

The jurors for the Best New Documentary Director Competition section are:

  • Gbenga Akinnagbe – Gbenga Akinnagbe is an actor, activist and entrepreneur, perhaps best known for his career defining turn as ‘Chris Partlow’ on HBO’s The Wire. Gbenga is currently making his Broadway debut as ‘Tom Robinson’ opposite Jeff Daniels, in the acclaimed production of To Kill a Mockingbird, adapted by Aaron Sorkin and produced by Lincoln Center and Scott Rudin.
  • David Cross – Emmy Award winner and two-time Grammy Award nominee, David Cross is an inventive performer, writer, and producer on stage and screen.
  • Orlando von Einsiedel – Orlando von Einsiedel is an Academy Award-winning director. His films include feature documentaries Virunga and Evelyn, and shorts The White Helmets and Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul.
  • Kathrine Narducci  Native New Yorker, Actress Kathrine Narducci is a professional film and television actor most known for her role as Charmaine Bucco on the HBO hit series The Sopranos. Her current roles include Olympia Gigante in the upcoming series Godfather of Harlem which will premiere this fall on EPIX along with her role as Carrie Bufalino in Martin Scorsese’s film, The Irishman.
  • Tig Notaro – Tig Notaro is an Emmy and Grammy nominated stand up comedian, writer, director, and actor. She can currently be seen as “Jett Reno” in Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access. Along with her wife Stephanie, Tig wrote First Ladies, a comedy starring Jennifer Aniston as the first female President and Tig as her First Lady, set to film for Netflix this year.

Short Film Competition Categories

The jurors for the 2019 Narrative Short Competition section are:

  • Maureen Dowd – Maureen Dowd, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary and author of three New York Time best sellers, became an Op-Ed columnist in 1995. She also writes for the Style section and The Times magazine.
  • Topher Grace – Actor Topher Grace recently starred in Spike Lee’s Academy Award nominated Blackkklansman. He is well-known for roles in films such as Christopher Nolan’s InterstellarTruth opposite Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford, Traffic, and In Good Company.
  • Rosalind Lichter – Rosalind “Roz” Lichter is a business lawyer specializing in entertainment law, employment law and corporate transactions. Ms. Lichter negotiated the rights of the story of Dana Canedy, Journal For Jordan (Denzel Washington, director); Mark Hogancamp for Welcome to Marwen (directed by Robert Zemeckis) and the life rights of Mary Mapes for a motion picture with Cate Blanchett.
  • Hamish Linklater – Hamish Linklater is an American actor and playwright. Linklater recently wrapped production on the third and final season of the critically-acclaimed FX series Legion from creator Noah Hawley and will next appear as a series regular in TNT’s drama Tell Me Your Secrets opposite Lily Rabe. Up next, he will be seen in the off-Broadway play The Pain of My Belligerence, which opens on April 22nd, 2019.
  • Lily Rabe – Lily Rabe is a Tony Award-nominated actress and was most recently in Adam McKay’s Oscar-nominated film, Vice, and has starred in seven seasons of Ryan Murphy’s long-running series American Horror Story. She stars next in TNT’s new series Tell Me Your Secrets as well as Brad Anderson’s film Fracture for Netflix. Rabe is currently shooting David E. Kelley/Susanne Bier’s HBO limited series, The Undoing, opposite Nicole Kidman in New York City.
  • Phoebe Robinson  Phoebe Robinson is a stand-up comedian, The New York Times best-selling author, and actress. She is best known as the co-creator and co-star of the hit podcast turned HBO specials, 2 Dope Queens.
  • Jeff Scher – Jeff Scher is an Emmy Award winning animator who has created music videos for Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Graham Nash, Joan Baez and others. He has made over forty films for The New York Times.

The jurors for the 2019 Short Documentary and Student Visionary Competitions section are:

  • Dr. Kevin Cahill – Kevin M. Cahill MD is a specialist in tropical medicine and has worked around the world in relief operations after natural disasters and in conflict zones. He has been the Chief Advisor on Humanitarian Affairs for three Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly.
  • David Krumholtz – David Krumholtz can currently be seen as “Harvey Wasserman” in the acclaimed HBO series The Deuce. He is known for his vast array of characters over the years, most notably starring in CBS’ highly successful and long-running series Numb3rs and in addition to his many film credits, Krumholtz recently appeared in Hail, Caesar! And The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs both directed by Joel & Ethan Coen.
  • Kathy Najimy – Kathy Najimy is an Actor/Director/Producer/Activist. Kathy Najimy has appeared in over 30 feature films, an abundance of Television shows as well as appeared on Off Broadway and Broadway. She created the play: Gloria: A Life, just finished writing/directing/producing her short film: The Secret Club and is producing a television series about the Women’s Movement.
  • Sheila Nevins – Sheila Nevins is the former President of HBO Documentary Films. She has been responsible for overseeing the development and production of more than 1,000 documentaries for HBO, HBO2, and Cinemax. As an executive producer or producer, she has received 32 Primetime Emmy® Awards, 34 News and Documentary Emmys®, and 42 George Foster Peabody Awards. During her tenure, HBO’s critically-acclaimed documentaries have gone on to win 26 Academy Awards®.
  • Agunda Okeyo – Writer, producer and activist Agunda Okeyo is the force behind NYC’s longest running Black Woman centered comedy show Sisters of Comedy, housed at Carolines on Broadway. Following years of shows at Gotham Comedy Club, Carolines, NY Comedy Festival, Tribeca Film Festival The Schomburg and Afropunk Festival Okeyo is moving the production to Los Angeles with plans for television and a live tour. She is also the former Director of Women’s March NYC, an accomplished writer, a seasoned activist, a native New Yorker of Kenyan descent and third generation African feminist.
  • Aaron Rodgers – Aaron Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl Championship, and was named Super Bowl MVP for his performance. He was awarded as the NFL’s Most Valuable Player twice in his career, setting the record for most consecutive pass attempts (512) at home without an interception.
  • Buster Scher – Buster Scher is the founder of HoopsNation and a show host for the NBA

Storyscapes Award

The jurors for the 2018 Storyscapes Competition are:

  • Lisa Osborne – Lisa Osborne (@julipeno) develops, showcases, and invests in black storytelling talent in her role as head of emerging media at Black Public Media, a 40-year-old, film nonprofit based in Harlem.
  • Paul Smalera - Paul Smalera is Executive Editor, Digital at Fast Company. Prior to Fast Company he served as Ideas Editor at Quartz, was an editor for the Opinion section at The New York Times, and edited both technology and opinion coverage at Reuters. He has written and edited technology and business stories for various other outlets including FortuneSlate, and the Washington Post.
  • Adaora Udoji – Adaora is an emerging technology strategist and maker. She has worked in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality and other new digital technologies. She is the Director of Corporate Innovation at New York City’s RLab, the first city-funded hub focused on the next generation of user interfaces including virtual and augmented realities and related technologies.

Nora Ephron Award

The jurors for the 2019 Nora Ephron Award are:

  • Debra Messing – Debra Messing is an Emmy Award-winning actress and activist, best known for her role as “Grace Adler” on the NBC comedy series, Will & Grace. Messing is the Global Health Ambassador for Population Services International (PSI) focusing on HIV/AIDS, and actively supports HRC (Human Rights Campaign), Everytown for Gun Safety, and Joyful Heart Foundation, among many others.
  • Chloë Sevigny – Chloë Sevigny, an Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actress and director, who will next be seen in Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Lie. Sevigny has directed three critically acclaimed shorts: Kitty, Carmen and White Echo.
  • DeWanda Wise  DeWanda Wise is a revered actress and producer in television, film and theater. This Spring she will co-star in the Netflix Original Film Someone Great, appear in the Jordan Peele-led revival of The Twilight Zone, and will return to her starring turn as Nola Darling in Season 2 of the Netflix adaptation of She’s Gotta Have It, created by Spike Lee. She is a Tisch Scholar Award recipient, the Atlantic Achievement in Studio Award recipient, and the BFA Representative of her graduating class of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.


The jurors for the 2018 Tribeca X Award are:

  • Nabil Elderkin – Iranian-American director Nabil Elderkin was raised in coastal Australia and is best known for his music video and photographic work with artists such as Travis Scott, John Legend, Frank Ocean, James Blake, The Weeknd, Sza and Kendrick Lamar. His commercial work has resulted in several Super Bowl ads amongst others. Nabil is also an accomplished documentarian through his photojournalism work in place like the Somalia, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Kim Gehrig – Kim Gehrig is a multi-award-winning director. She has helmed numerous iconic films including Sport England’s This Girl Can, John Lewis’ The Man on the Moon, Gillette’s We Believe, and Dream Crazier for Nike, starring Serena Williams. Kim was the most awarded female director in 2016’s Gunn Report and was named Campaign Magazine’s Director of the Year in 2015.
  • Jason Kreher – For the past decade, Jason Kreher has created effective, award-winning work for clients such as Netflix, KFC, Old Spice, Instagram, Target, Coca-Cola, Heineken, and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. He is currently the Creative Director of W+K Studios, the agency’s development and production arm, overseeing IP and original entertainment properties.
  • Roy Lotan  Roy Lotan is a creative director and co-founder of Any_, the global experience design agency, crafting brands, products and IRL experiences for clients in lifestyle, media, and tech. He is also the co-founder of As Promised Media, publishing a quarterly Levantine culture magazine. Lotan believes in culture as a driver of change in individuals, brands, and societies. In 2017, he launched Any_good, the pro-bono pillar of Any_ where impact meets design for brands focusing on humanitarian efforts. To date, their work has helped crowdfund over $100k and millions of views on social media. Roy takes inspiration from travel and noodles. He believes that everything in our life deserves attention, whether it’s a building or a bowl of soup.
  • Kinjil Mathur – As the Chief Marketing Officer of Squarespace, a leading all-in-one website building platform, Kinjil leads the company’s world-class marketing and PR teams.
  • John Osborn – John Osborn is Chief Executive Officer of OMD USA. John joined OMD in 2017 after 25 years with BBDO, where he served as President and CEO of the New York Agency for 13 years. Under John’s leadership, BBDO New York more than doubled revenues, expanded its client base to include categories like BtoB, retail, healthcare and more, and diversified its workforce. He also led the agency’s transformation into data, marketing science, communications planning and social and digital innovation.
  • Patrick Milling-Smith – Patrick Milling-Smith is a Producer and the Co-Founder/CEO of international production company, SMUGGLER. With a focus on innovative storytelling and working with first-class creative talent, Patrick has produced a multitude of award-winning projects across various mediums, garnering numerous Tonys, Grammys, Cannes Lions, Palme d’Ors, Grand Prixs, Webbys, Clios, and Emmys.


About the Tribeca Film Festival:
The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, brings visionaries and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms, including film, TV, VR, gaming, music, and online work. With strong roots in independent film, Tribeca is a platform for creative expression and immersive entertainment. The Festival champions emerging and established voices; discovers award-winning filmmakers and creators; curates innovative experiences; and introduces new technology and ideas through premieres, exhibitions, talks, and live performances.

The Festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. Now in its 18th year, the Festival has evolved into a destination for creativity that reimagines the cinematic experience and explores how art can unite communities. The 18th annual edition will take place April 24 - May 5,


About 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Partners:
As Presenting Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, AT&T is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of filmmaking through access and innovation, while expanding opportunities to diverse creators around the globe. AT&T helps millions connect to their passions – no matter where they are. This year, AT&T and Tribeca will once again collaborate to give the world access to stories from underrepresented filmmakers that deserve to be seen. “AT&T Presents Untold Stories” is an inclusive film program in collaboration with Tribeca - a multi-year, multi-tier alliance between AT&T and Tribeca along with the year-round nonprofit Tribeca Film Institute.

The Tribeca Film Festival is pleased to announce its 2019 Partners: 23andMe, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Bai Beverages, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), BVLGARI, CHANEL, CNN Films, Diageo, ESPN, HBO, IMDb, Kia, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card from Chase, Merck, Montefiore, National CineMedia (NCM), Nespresso, New York Magazine, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Prime Video Direct, P&G, PwC, Salesforce, Spring Studios New York, Squarespace, Status Sparkling Wine, and Stella Artois.

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