Jury

In 2015 a small programming team will review all submissions, make selections and determine the range of thematic programs. Our guest judge will then select the top awards of the festival.

: Guest Judge - Don McKellar

 

Don McKellar was born in Canada and has had a varied career as a writer, director and actor. He was the screenwriter of Roadkill and Highway 61, and co-writer of Dance Me Outside, the Genie Award-winning Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould and The Red Violin (he also appeared in the latter two). He received a Genie Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role in Atom Egoyan’s Exotica and the Prix de la Jeunesse at Cannes for his directorial debut, Last Night, which he also wrote and starred in. He also wrote, directed and played the lead in his second film, Childstar. His stage writing credits include the five plays he co-created with the Augusta Company and the book for the musical The Drowsy Chaperone, for which he won a Tony Award. He also wrote and starred in the CBC television series Twitch City. Other film and television appearances include David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ, Atom Egoyan’s Where the Truth Lies and the series Slings and Arrows for the Sundance Channel. Recently he collaborated on the film adaptation of Jose Saramago’s Nobel Prize-winning novel Blindness. Directed by Fernando Mereilles, he wrote the screenplay and stars with Julianne Moore, Gael Garcia Bernal and Mark Ruffalo.

: Guest Judge - Patricia Rozema

 

Patricia Rozema, an internationally respected and awarded filmmaker, distinguished herself at 28 with a stunning first feature in Cannes which sold around the world and opened the Toronto Film Festival ("I've Heard the Mermaids Singing"). She writes and directs in a broad range of forms: a controversial Miramax Jane Austen feature film: "Mansfield Park". An elegant lesbian love story "When Night is Falling". A music documentary & fiction hybrid with Yo-Yo Ma which won her a Grammy nomination and an Emmy. The script for "Grey Gardens" with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange which won the PEN Screenwriter's award and an Emmy nomination; a children's feature with Abigail Breslin, Stanley Tucci, Julia Ormond, Wally Shawn, Chris O'Donnell. (A.O.Scott in the NYT named Breslin's one of the Top Five Female Performances of that year). She directed the shockingly intimate HBO series "Tell Me You Love Me" & then "In Treatment" with Gabriel Byrne. Rozema has just completed “Into The Forest,” a survivalist drama set in the near future with Ellen Page, Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella, Callum Keith Rennie and Wendy Crewson. It will launch this fall. She is currently casting a new feature set in Paris in the 20’s & 30s. [image credit: Charla Jones for the Globe and Mail]

: Guest Judge - Deepa Mehta

 

Deepa Mehta on the set of Water

Deepa Mehta, OC OOnt; (born 1 January 1950) is an Indo-Canadian film director and screenwriter, most known for her Elements Trilogy, Fire (1996), Earth (1998), and Water (2005); among which Earth was sent by India as its official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, andWater was Canada's official entry for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, making it only the second non-French-language Canadian film to put forth for consideration in that category (the first being Zacharias Kunuk's 2001 Inuktitut-language feature, Atanarjuat), and the first to receive an Oscar nomination. She also co-founded Hamilton-Mehta Productions, with her husband, producer David Hamilton in 1996. She was awarded aGenie Award in 2003 for the screenplay of Bollywood/Hollywood. In May 2012, Mehta received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, Canada's highest honour in the performing arts.

 

: Jury Members

 

Angie Driscoll is a rabid short film lover, music video enthusiast, champion of Canadian cinema and defender of underdogs!  With over ten years of film programming experience, she has selected films for a variety of festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival, the CFC's Worldwide Short Film Festival and Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.  She has been a consultant for the Sundance Film Festival, Reel Canada and the Atlantic Filmmakers' Co-Op, as well as a short film curator for internet and mobile TV platform Babelgum.  She currently programs international documentaries for Hot Docs, short documentaries for the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, and most recently joined the Aspen Shortsfest screening team.

Sharon Switzer is the founder and Director of the Toronto Urban Film Festival and Arts Programmer and Curator for Pattison Onestop, curating temporary public arts project throughout the year on the Toronto Transit System, on screens in malls across Canada, and on Pattison Outdoor digital billboards. Switzer is also the founder and Director of the not-for-profit curatorial organization Art for Commuters. Other arts projects on the TTC include the annual Contacting Toronto photo exhibition as part of CONTACT; DRIFT, a digital animation project for Nuit Blanche; Stroll City, an interactive twitter project with Shawn Micallef; and a range special projects that occur throughout the year.  Other public arts projects she has produced for Pattison include Dear City Canada, a national digital billboard project featuring urban love letters, and Poetry in Transit which brought poems by 15 of Canada’s best poets to busses across Canada for a full year.

: Guest Judge - Atom Egoyan

 

Atom Egoyan - Photo credit: Sophie Giraud, © Adoration Productions Inc.

With fourteen feature films and related projects, Atom Egoyan has won numerous awards including five prizes at the Cannes Film Festival (including the Grand Prix, International Critics Awards and Ecumenical Jury Prizes), two Academy Award® nominations, eight Genie Awards, prizes from the National Board of Review and an award for Best International Adaptation at The Frankfurt Book Fair.  In 2010, he had a full retrospective of his films at the Filmoteca Espagnol in Madrid, following similar events in previous years at the Pompidou Centre in Paris and The Museum of the Moving Image in New York.  Egoyan won the 2010 Douglas Sirk Award from the Hamburg Film Festival, joining other career honours from festivals and events in Tokyo, Jerusalem, Reykjavik, Las Palmas, Hong Kong, Cairo and The Panorama of European Cinema in Athens. Egoyan’s installation, 8 ½ Screens, was commissioned by The Toronto International Film Festival for the opening of TIFF Bell Lightbox in September, 2010. 

: Guest Judge - Jennifer Baichwal

 

Jennifer Baichwal has been directing and producing documentaries for 18 years. Her films have played all over the world and won awards nationally and internationally. Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles won an International Emmy in 1999. Manufactured Landscapes, about the work of artist Edward Burtynsky, was released in 12 countries. Act of God, about the metaphysical effects of being struck by lightning, opened the Hot Docs Film Festival in May 2009. She has recently completed an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth with the National Film Board, which is currently in release in Canada, and will be released in the U.S. in April. She is currently in production on a film about water with Edward Burtynsky, Nick de Pencier and Daniel Iron.

: Guest Judge - Guy Maddin

 

Guy Maddin, OM, CM, is an installation artist, screen-writer and filmmaker, the director of ten feature-length movies, including: My Winnipeg (2007), The Saddest Music in the World (2003), and innumerable shorts. He has also mounted around the world over 70 performances of his films featuring live elements – orchestra, sound effects, singing and narration.

Twice he has won America's National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Experimental Film, with Archangel (1991) and The Heart of the World (2001). The Telluride Silver Medal for life achievement in 1995, the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Persistence of Vision Award in 2006, and an Emmy for his ballet film Dracula – Pages from a Virgin’s Diary (2002), are a few of the prestigious awards his work had garnered to date. Guy Maddin is a print journalist, the author of three books, and has occupied the position of Distinguished Filmmaker in Residence at the University of Manitoba. Maddin was appointed to the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honour, in 2012.

: Guest Judge - Zaib Shaikh

Zaib Shaikh, City of Toronto’s Film Commissioner & Director of Entertainment Industries has worked as an actor, writer, director and producer internationally. Recently, he played Nadir Khan in Oscar‐nominated director Deepa Mehta’s film, Midnight’s Children, adapted from the novel by Salman Rushdie and was the star of CBC’s international hit comedy, Little Mosque on the Prairie. Shaikh co‐produced, Long Story Short: CBC Turns 75, and co‐wrote, directed and co‐produced the Gemini Award winning television film, Othello, the Tragedy of the Moor. Shaikh has had the pleasure of working with some of the largest theatre companies in Canada including: Canadian Stage, National Arts Centre, Globe Theatre, Grand Theatre and the Stratford Festival of Canada. Promoting the City of Toronto’s film, music, tourism and entertainment industries, Shaikh has also travelled across Canada and the world speaking about the power of arts and the media as a platform to greater understanding between Eastern and Western culture.