Juries

International Competition Jury

Hany Abu-Assad

Head of Jury

Hany Abu-Assad is a Palestine-born filmmaker. He entered the world of cinema as a producer with the feature film Curfew (1994) before he went on to direct several feature fiction and documentary films. The fictional Paradise Now (2005), about two Palestinian men preparing for a suicide attack in Tel Aviv, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language film. His film Omar (2013), a tragic love story set in occupied Palestine, won the Jury Prize in the competition section of Un Certain Regard at Cannes Film Festival, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and won Best Film at the Dubai Film Festival. Abu-Assad also directed the Hollywood movies The Courier (2011), starring Jeffery Dean Morgan, and The Mountain Between Us (2017), starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, which released worldwide.

Julie Huntsinger

Executive Director of TFF Julie Huntsinger has helped propel the Colorado based festival to the top ranks of international film festivals over the past thirteen years. The former producer began her career in the film business in 1993 when she worked at Francis Ford Coppola’s film studio American Zoetrope in San Francisco. Five years later, she co-produced her first film for Zoetrope’s Chrome Dragon Films. Since then, Huntsinger has produced a number of films, working extensively in southern Africa, Asia and the US. “Julie’s fearless leadership, passion and knowledge make Telluride what it is today,” says Luddy of her contribution to the festival. Huntsinger was a resident curator at Telluride before being appointed Executive Director in 2007. Prior to her work in film, Huntsinger received a BA in French literature from UC Berkeley, and completed the Mass Media Institute’s programme in Broadcast Journalism at Stanford University.

Mark Adams

Mark Adams is the Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, joining the festival in 2015. He was Chief Film Critic for film trade paper Screen International and as a film journalist and reviewer for more than 25 years he has written for Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Moving Pictures International, as well as many national newspapers in the UK. He was Head of Programming at the National Film Theatre in London for six years; was Director of Cinema at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London and has programmed for film festivals around the world. 

Vetri Maaran

Vetri Maaran is an Indian film director, screenwriter, and film producer, who works in the Tamil film industry. He made his directorial debut with the critically acclaimed Polladhavan (2007). Maaran sees himself as a researcher who tries to learn new things with every film. For his second feature film Aadukalam (2011), about illegal rooster fighting in rural India, he shifted base to Madurai, lived there for three years to study the culture and became an apprentice to a cock-fighting trainer for eight months. The film went on to win six National Awards. His third feature film Visaaranai (2016) won three National Awards and was selected as India's official entry to the Academy Awards. His fourth film Vada Chennai (2018) met with high praise and critical acclaim.

India Gold Jury

Franklin Leonard

Head of Jury

Franklin Leonard is a film producer, cultural commentator, professor, and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of The Black List, the company that celebrates and supports great screenwriting and the writers who do it via film production, its annual survey of best unproduced screenplays, online marketplace, live staged script readings, screenwriter labs, and film culture publications. More than 400 scripts from the annual Black List survey have been produced as feature films earning 250 Academy Award nominations and 50 wins including four of the last dozen Best Pictures and 10 of the last two dozen screenwriting Oscars. Franklin has worked in feature film development at Universal Pictures and the production companies of Will Smith, Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella, and Leonardo DiCaprio. He has been a juror at the Sundance, Toronto, and Guanajuato Film Festivals and for the PEN Center Literary Awards. He was also a delegate and speaker at the White House’s 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. He’s been one of Hollywood Reporter’s 35 Under 35, Black Enterprise magazine’s 40 Emerging Leaders for Our Future, The Root’s 100 Most Influential African-Americans, and Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, and was awarded the 2015 African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA)’s Special Achievement Award for career excellence, and the 2019 Writers Guild of America, East’s Evelyn F. Burkey Award for elevating the honour and dignity of screenwriters. He is an occasional commentator for BBC and MSNBC on matters of culture, politics, and race, an associate professor at the American Film Institute, a trustee of PEN America, an advisor to Glitch, Inc., and a member of the Associates Branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. His TED talk was viewed more than one million times in just the first two months of its release.

Col Needham

Col Needham is the founder and CEO of IMDb (Internet Movie Database), the world's most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows, and celebrities. Born and living in the UK, Needham has had a lifelong interest in both technology and movies. After starting a computer games software business at the age of 14, he went on to complete a computer science degree at Leeds University before commencing a career in technology research in Bristol, England. IMDb grew out of a personal database of movie information which Needham created as a teenager, combined with similar data collected on the Internet in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Needham published the first version of IMDb online in October 1990 and co-ordinated IMDb as a worldwide volunteer effort between 1990 and 1996. IMDb incorporated in January 1996 with the volunteers as shareholders and IMDb became a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon.com in April 1998. Needham continues in his original role to this day, working from an office in Bristol with IMDb staff members in countries around the world. He is a board member of Into Film and Film Independent. Needham was a jury member at Sundance Film Festival in 2015, Tribeca Film Festival in 2016, and SXSW Film Festival in 2018.

Cristian Jeune

Christian Jeune is the director of the Film Department and Deputy General Delegate of the Cannes Film Festival, responsible for scouting films for Competition, “Un Certain Regard” and the Short Films Competition. He has been with the Cannes Film Festival for 20 years. Jeune has served on many juries, including at the Cinemanila International Festival, Pusan, Sarajevo, Vladivostok, Dubai, Bangkok, Mumbai, Delhi, Macau (Asian Pacific Film Festival) and has been part of the jury for the Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong for the last 10 years.

Grainne Humphreys

Grainne Humphreys is the Festival Director of the Dublin International Film Festival. She started her career working with young audiences with the Junior Dublin Film Festival in 1994 and she has worked in film programming for over twenty years. In 1995, she joined the IFI as Education Officer and expanded her role to include special seasons including a focus on the film work of diverse figures such as Andy Warhol, Agnes Varda, and Harold Pinter. She was the director of both the Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Festival and the Dublin French Film Festival from 2002- 2007. Among other projects, she co-edited Ireland into Film, a series of publications on a number of key Irish films. She is based in Dublin and travels extensively to international festivals, she has served as a jury member on a number of film festivals including Sydney, Vilnius, and Les Arcs and has coordinated a number of Irish film seasons at international events. She is a Board Member of the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris. 

Dimensions Mumbai Jury

Taapsee Pannu

Head of Jury

Taapsee Pannu is an actor and entrepreneur, known for her work in clutter-breaking films that span across language and genre barriers. Her work includes critically and commercially successful films like Baby (2015), Naam Shabana (2016), the National Award-winning Pink (2016), Mulk (2018), Manmarziyaan (2018), Game Over (2019), Badla (2019), and most recently, Mission Mangal (2019) – a film that highlights the contribution of women to India’s Mars Orbiter Mission. Once employed as a software engineer, today Pannu owns The Wedding Factory – a company that organises weddings, and Pune Seven Aces – a team in the Premier Badminton League.

Avinash Tiwary

Avinash Tiwary is an actor, known for his breakout performance in Laila Majnu (2018). He started out in the TV series Yudh (2014) and went on to be part of the internationally acclaimed film Tu Hai Mera Sunday (2017) which featured in the 2016 Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star, in the India Gold section. That same year, he was also seen in The Guest (2016), which won in the Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films category.

Karan Anshuman

Karan Anshuman is a screenwriter and filmmaker based in Mumbai, India. He is the creator and director of the sports drama Inside Edge (2017), India’s first Amazon Original series, which went on to earn an International Emmy nomination for Best Drama. He has also co-created and directed Mirzapur (2018), the popular streaming series about hinterland gangsters. He is currently developing other originals including Kashmirn?m?, a high-octane political thriller, based on his own debut novel by the same name. Anshuman is also the director of Bangistan, the 2015 satire feature film.

Kanika Dhillon

Kanika Dhillon is an author and screenwriter known for her fierce, intelligent and entertaining screenplays in Hindi films like Manmarziyaan (2018), Kedarnath (2018) and the recent JudgeMentall Hai Kya (2019). Born in Amritsar, Dhillon completed her graduation in Delhi and went on to study at the London School of Economics. Her debut book Bombay Duck is a Fish (2011) became a bestseller, following which she wrote two more novels – Shiva & The Rise of the Shadows (2013) and The Dance of Durga (2016). In 2012, she was honoured by the HT Annual Youth Summit with a spot in their Top 30 Under 30 list. She also received the India Today Woman Writer of the Year award in 2018. Dhillon’s next is Guilty, a Netflix Original film, that deals with the sensitive subject of rape. 

Shweta Venkat Mathew

Shweta Venkat Mathew graduated from the Film & Television Institute of India in 2004 and edited ads at Pixion Studios, for close to seven years. Her first feature film was That Girl in Yellow Boots (2009) with Anurag Kashyap. Since then, Mathew has edited a number of critically acclaimed, award-winning films like Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), Newton (2017), the quirky documentary Supermen of Malegaon (2007) and the recent Bhonsle (2018). She is also the editor of mainstream Hindi films like Hichki (2018), Veere Di Wedding (2018) and Kalank (2019).

ROYAL STAG BARREL SELECT LARGE SHORT FILMS

Vinay Pathak

Head of Jury

Vinay Pathak was well on his way to an MBA in New York, when he saw a stage performance of Peter Shaffer’s Equus and decided to change tracks and study drama. Since then, Pathak has performed in several plays, notably as the titular character in Nothing Like Lear and Hamlet: The Clown Prince. He wrote and penned song lyrics for the iconic Indian TV series Hip Hip Hurray (1998), in which he also played the part of the much beloved ‘Vinnie Sir’. His body of work spans over 45 films, including two instalments of the Bheja Fry franchise in 2007 and 2011, Dasvidaniya (2008) which he also produced, Mithya (2008), Antardwand (2010), Chalo Dilli (2011), Midnight’s Children (2012), Gour Hari Dastaan (2015), Badlapur (2015), and Island City (2015) which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Most recently, his nuanced performance as a homophobic New Delhi landlord in Made in Heaven (2019) on Amazon Prime, garnered great praise.

Roshan Mathew

Roshan Mathew is a film and stage actor, best known for his work in Malayalam films Aanandam (2016) Koode (2018) Thottappan (2019). An alumnus of The Drama School, Mumbai, he took acting up as a career in 2013 when he was young, ignorant, and driven by passion. His latest film, Moothon (2019), directed by Geetu Mohandas is playing at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star this year. In addition to his film career, Roshan has appeared in numerous theatre productions based in Mumbai and Chennai, including The Glass Menagerie, 07/07/07, The Dragon, Tughlaq, and The Uprising. He recently directed his first play A Very Normal Family, which is currently doing the rounds in Kerala. He lives in Kochi, where he juggles films and theatre while trying to stay sane and happy.

Vijay Varma

Vijay Varma is FTII trained Indian actor. He spent a few years doing stage before he moved to films. His debut was National award winning *Chittagong*, followed by festival favourite *Monsoon Shootout*, Sleeper hit & multiple award winning *Pink*, and most recently the thunderous *Gully Boy* which put him in limelight for his sublime portrayal of a Shapeshifting street hustler. 

He is a devout movie buff and follows the mantra “watch at least one film a day”

Manish Acharya Award for New Voices

Aadish Keluskar

Aadish Keluskar graduated in journalism from the University of Mumbai before he saw Oldboy (2003) and decided to try filmmaking. In his third year as a direction student at the Film and Television Institute of India, he dropped out to complete post-production on his first feature Kaul (A Calling). It went on to screen at film festivals in India and abroad, before releasing theatrically in 2016. Both Kaul and his next feature Jaoon Kahan Bata Ae Dil (Lovefucked) won the Young Critics Choice Award at Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star. The latter was released as a Netflix Film in 2019.

Poulomi Das

Poulomi Das is a film critic and editor whose writing exists at the intersection of Hindi cinema, gender and socio-political commentary. Her bylines have appeared in Arré, The Hindu Business Line, The Swaddle, and Hyperallergic. When she isn't struggling to meet deadlines, she moonlights as a part-time trivia enthusiast and full-time theorist of the different ways of making a good fourth impression.

Film Critics Guild

Shubha Shetty Saha

Shubha Shetty Saha is a veteran film journalist with over two decades of experience in the field. She’s helmed the entertainment sections of Daily News and Analysis India (DNA), Mid-Day, Gulf News, Dainik Bhaskar, and IBN Live, among others. She has been reviewing films for almost a decade now. She is passionate about movies and truly believes that the right content is invaluable. She believes in doing everything in her capacity to push a good story and a worthy film to achieve the glory it deserves.

 

Shubhra Gupta

Shubhra Gupta is a senior columnist and film critic at The Indian Express. She has written a widely-read, weekly review column for over 20 years. A frequent traveller to film festivals around the world (including those held in Berlin, Cannes, Toronto, Doha, Macau, Tehran, and Bangkok), she has served on national and international juries. Gupta curates and conducts The Indian Express Film Club in Delhi and Mumbai, and moderates their animated post-screening discussions. Gupta enjoys creating and running modules on ‘Understanding Cinema’ for media and technology institutes. She served as a member of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) between 2012-2015. She received the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Award for the Best Writing on Cinema in 2012. Gupta’s first book, 50 Films That Changed Bollywood 1995-2015 (2016), published by HarperCollins, is a unique account of the growth of the largest film industry in the world, in a post-liberalised India.

Rajeev Masand

Rajeev Masand is an Indian film critic. He works for Noida based English language news channel CNN-Indian Broadcasting Network (CNN-IBN). He usually reviews Bollywood films and major Hollywood films released in India in his weekend show Now Showing. He also has a popular YouTube channel, where he posts weekly his film reviews (filmed as CNN-News18's 'Now Showing' segments, which are also posted concurrently to their channel) and regular interviews with key figures in the entertainment industry (both Indian and occasionally International), mostly actors and directors. Additionally, he writes as an entertainment-industry columnist for several publications, such as Open MagazineFirstpostNews18, and for his own website, Rajeevmasand.com. Among other recognitions, Masand was thrice awarded ‘Best Entertainment Critic’ by the National Television (NT) Awards, in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

Special Award for Discovering India in association with Turkish Airlines

Mike McCahill

Head of Jury

Mike McCahill has written on film and television for The Telegraph since 2003, for The Guardian since 2012, and for the Reader's Digest since 2016. He has also contributed to the home-viewing reference guide The DVD Stack (2006) published by Canongate, and Halliwell's The Movies That Matter (2008) published by HarperCollins. The Little White Lies Film Quiz Book (2019), which McCahill has co-written with Adam Lee Davies, in association with the film magazine Little White Lies, is the world’s first film quizbook to feature both a Jean-Luc Godard round and a Jean-Claude Van Damme-themed word search.

Namrata Joshi

Namrata Joshi is associate editor-cinema and film critic with The Hindu, Mumbai. A member of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) based in Munich, she has been on the FIPRESCI critics’ jury at multiple film festivals across the world, and on the selection committee for films at the International Film Festival of India, Goa, in 2008 and 2012. A Charles Wallace Trust Fellow and a Chevening Scholar, she won India’s National Award for Best Film Critic in 2004. She has contributed pieces to multiple anthologies on Indian cinema and has recently released her first book Reel India: Cinema off the Beaten Track (2019).

Screen to Word: Jio MAMI With Star HarperCollins Imprint

Snigdha Poonam

Snigdha Poonam is a journalist with Hindustan Times and the author of Dreamers. It won 2018’s Crossword Book Award for nonfiction, and was listed by various publications, including Financial Times and Hindu, as one of the best books of the year. Dreamers was also long listed for PEN America Literary Awards. Her journalism has appeared in Scroll, The Caravan, The Times of India, The New York Times, The Guardian, Granta and Financial Times.

Udayan Mitra

Udayan Mitra is Publisher – Literary at HarperCollins Publishers India, where he publishes an array of literary fiction, translations, and a selection of non-fiction titles, including books on cinema. He has been an editor and publisher with leading publishing houses in India for over two decades, and has published a gamut of critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors.

Varun Grover

Varun Grover (born 26 January 1980) is an Indian comedian, screenwriter, and lyricist. He won the award for Best Lyricist at the 63rd National Film Awards in 2015. Varun Grover was born on 26th January, 1980 in Sundernagar (Himachal Pradesh) to a school-teacher mother and army engineer father. He spent his initial years in Sundernagar and Dehradun (then in Uttar Pradesh) before moving to state capital Lucknow for his adolescent years. He went on to graduate in Civil Engineering from IIT-BHU (Varanasi) in 2003. The friendships he made in Lucknow and Varanasi shaped his life and decisions for a future as a full-time writer. After working as a software consultant in an MNC in Pune, he moved to Mumbai in 2004 to chase his dream of becoming a writer. His first big break came in 2005 with much-acclaimed 'The Great Indian Comedy Show' where he was one of the six staff writers. He discovered his flair for stand-up comedy writing on that show which gave him confidence a few years later to attempt stand-up comedy on his own. Now he is one of the 30-odd stand-up comedians in India along with being a lyrics writer and screenplay writer for Hindi film industry.