2014 Juror Announced Soon

Competition Categories:

Spirit of Freedom: Narrative & documentary

BIFF has held Spirit of Freedom as one of its themed categories since it's very first festival, eight years ago. Each film in this program explores the potential of the human spirit and how freedom affects - or is absent from - our lives.  

NEW VISIONS - Sponsored by JetBlue Airways

Our New Visions competition is a showcase for emerging artists, providing festival audiences with the opportunity to discover the next generation of visionary filmmakers. A Grand Jury Prize will be presented to the New Vision film category.  

Short Films

A short film is 31 minutes or less and often the only place where young filmmakers have the chance to explore story telling through cinema. Film Festivals are one of the few venues where multiple short films can experienced. BIFF is pleased to present one of the most interesting and diverse lineups of short films. A Grand Jury Prize will be presented to the Short film category.

Joel Zito Araujo

Juror | Spirit Of Freedom Narrative & Documentary

JOEL ZITO ARAÚJO is an award-winning Brazilian filmmaker. For over two decades, he has produced documentaries and narrative shorts dealing with social issues in Brazil, particularly the nation’s Afro-Brazilian population. His feature-documentary Cinderellas, Lobos e um Príncipe Encantado about sexual tourism in Brazil enjoyed a strong theatrical and community release. His documentary Negação do Brasil about the participation of black actors in Brazilian telenovelas won Best Documentary at the E Tudo Verdade film Festival. His feature-length narrative, Filhas do Vento brought together the largest black cast in the history of Brazilian cinema. The Gramado Festival award-winning film generated intense media attention and screened widely in Brazil and internationally including New York’s Film Forum and MoMA. Joel is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship and has a PhD in Communications from the University of São Paulo and was a visiting scholar at the University of Texas, Austin.

Trent Berry

Juror | Spirit Of Freedom Narrative & Documentary

Lisa Chanoff

Juror | New Visions / sponsored by JetBlue Airways

Lisa Kleiner Chanoff is co-founder of Catapult Film Fund (catapultfilmfund.org), which awards development grants to help launch documentary film projects covering a broad spectrum of issues, topics, and perspectives. Lisa, together with filmmaker Bonni Cohen, started Catapult in 2010 to provide impactful funding for documentary filmmakers with compelling stories to tell, and who are ready to begin fundraising for their projects. Catapult grants enable filmmakers to develop their films at an early but crucial stage, where funding can be otherwise hard to find.


Catapult grantees include: E-TEAM, Cinematography Award winner at Sundance 2014; THE OVERNIGHTERS, winner of the Special Jury Award for Intuitive Filmmaking at Sundance 2014; THE LAST SEASON, winner of the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival; CALL ME KUCHU, which took top prizes at Berlinale; Oscar-winner Freida Mock's ANITA, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival; THE GENIUS OF MARIAN, which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival; REMOTE AREA MEDICAL, which premiered at the Full Frame Documentary Festival; and THE KILL TEAM, winner of the award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Festival. With Bonni Cohen, Chanoff Executive Produced ART AND CRAFT, which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. Lisa is a Co-Executive Producer of FRUITVALE STATION, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic Film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and is an Executive Producer of the documentary WATCHERS OF THE SKY.


Before founding Catapult, Lisa practiced law in San Francisco and with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice in Washington, DC. After leaving law practice, Lisa received a master’s degree in Museum Studies and worked with several museums in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Contemporary Jewish Museum, to design exhibitions and education programs.


Lisa has a long history of philanthropic involvement in education and the arts, as well as health and poverty issues. Lisa’s passion for early venture support has led to pivotal first funding of projects, ranging from poverty alleviation and education work in the San Francisco area to a school for girls and community center in the Kibera slum of Nairobi.


Lisa currently serves on the boards of Working Films and the San Francisco Film Society.


Bruno Chatelin

Filmmaker Residency Program

Bruno Chatelin’s background: Business School, Ad Agencies Director, Film Distributor, and digital pioneer and entrepreneur. Founder of filmfestivals.com  


Bruno Chatelin, HEC 1977 alumni, began his marketing career with large international Advertising Agencies: Intermarco - Publicis, DMM Masius and JWT. He became a film distributor in 1985 working in France for Sony then for UGC 20 TH Century Fox from 1995  (Marketing Director and Managing Director) he has launched over 200 films. 

He co founded filmfestivals.com web portal and social network listing festivals worldwide anc connecting film to festivals. He runs a consulting boutique Major Buzz Factory specialized in online and festival marketing for film.  Prior to this he ran a Film School and Film Studio in Cherbourg, a TV production company in Tunisia where he produced “Who wants to be a Millionaire”, for ENTV the national TV in Algeria.


Laurie Gordon

Filmmaker Residency Program

Laurie was born in Montreal, Canada and is of Hungarian heritage. She holds a fine arts integrative music studies with a focus on film and communication from Concordia University. Laurie is a film producer director, media entrepreneur and president of Musivision Films and director of The Montreal International Animation Film Festival – ANIMAZE.  Laurie became the "accidental" film producer while working with the late animator Oscar nominee Ryan Larkin subject of the Oscar winning film Ryan. The result was Spare Change, Ryan's first film  after 35 years  of drug addiction and homelessness. This experience is the story of Ryan’s Renaissance produced by Musivision Films for CTVBellMedia. Laurie has produced animation and documentary films and has worked with Oscar winner Co Hoedeman and 3x Oscar nominee Gerald Potterton. Laurie is a multi-media artist with a practice as music composer, writer, and film director. Laurie is a regular contributor and videographer for filmfestivals.com covering festivals such as Berlin, Annecy, Cannes and has worked as a producer and undercover reporter for Canada’s longest running investigative TV show The FIFTH ESTATE. Years as a vocal coach Laurie has mentored professional musicians and actors and ran a recording studio and has more than 246 songs in her catalogue. She is in development with her latest documentary film I Spy My Father and a documentary series The Icons of Animation while writing a treatment for feature film.


Matthew Helderman

Filmmaker Residency Program

is a media entrepreneur and film producer based in Los Angeles.  Overseeing projects ranging from micro-budgets to multi-million dollar productions, Helderman has produced 100+ hours of feature, television, commercial & music video productions.  Educated at Lake Forest College in film, philosophy, & economics - Helderman brings a wealth of academic, practical and business knowledge to each project.  In 2010, Helderman formed Buffalo 8 Productions to produce his feature film "The Alumni Chapter" which sold it's international rights to a boutique distributor and can be found on sale at Walmart, Target, Amazon and Best Buy.  From there Helderman & Buffalo 8 oversaw feature productions while developing unique distribution strategies directly with sales agents.  During this time Helderman joined Suzanne DeLaurentiis Productions at Paramount Studios as a co-producer while continuing producing a slate of independent films under Buffalo 8.  With a background in finance, technologies and entertainment - Helderman fosters development and perfected productions on a regular basis.  Buffalo 8 Productions oversees features, commercials and television productions   from development,  financing  & distribution.

Janyne Hodder

Juror | Short Film

A former President of The College of The Bahamas, Janyne Hodder is a leader in higher education, in education and in public administration. A Canadian citizen with permanent residency in The Bahamas, she began her professional career as a primary school teacher in The Bahamas, and has since effectively led institutions in Canada and in the Bahamas and worked with staff, students, community and volunteer groups, administrative boards, the private sector and governments with a focus on developing a shared vision, establishing performance goals, creating effective management teams and ensuring sound financial management.   She currently works as an independent consultant with a strong interest in strategic planning, accountability, programme evaluation and the development of a culture of philanthropy.  She has served on many boards in the sectors of education, health, arts and culture and the environment. She is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Bishop’s University in Canada and the Queen’s Jubilee medal in recognition of her service to communities.  Throughout her career, she has maintained a major interest as hobby photographer and is an enthusiastic film viewer.  

Nate Kohn

Filmmaker Residency Program

Tivi Magnusson

Juror | Spirit Of Freedom Narrative & Documentary

He started working with film in 1962, taking a film education at Laterna Studios in Denmark. He graduated in 1965, and after 10 years in the fashion industry, Tivi Magnusson returned to film as President of HTM Film (1975-1984). In 1984 he became President for Metronome Production, and was names Head of DR Television International in 1988. From 1990-1994 he was Executive Vice President in Egmont Audio Visual Group. In 1994 Tivi founded M&M Productions, where he is still President. Tivi has produced more than 50 films and TV-series, and has won numerous prizes and awards. Among others – 2 Oscars, 5 Emmys, 2 Silver Bears and numerous Danish Academy Awards “Robert”. He is a voting member of both The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, USA and The European Film Academy, and is a member of several film boards, ranging from funds to festivals.

Sean Nottage

Juror | Short Film

Sean is actor, professional voice artist and lawyer.  He descends from a Bahamian family that has its roots in Eleuthera.  Sean has been an active theatre actor over the years. He won a DANSA award for his role as Juror #8 in '12 Angry Men' in Ringplay Productions' presentation of this play in 1996 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play.  More recently, Sean performed in 'The Tempest' as part of the Shakespeare in Paradise festival in 2009.  He also performed in 'Macbeth' a forerunner production to Shakespeare in Paradise and prior to those productions appeared in 'Other People's Money' and 'A Doll's House.'  Sean has also acted in film, having appeared in the Rosetta Films' movie, 'Wind Jammers,' which was co-produced and co-directed by Bahamian film maker, Kareem Mortimer.  In addition, Sean worked on New Line Cinema's 'After The Sunset' as stand-in and photo double for Pierce Brosnan.  As a voice artist, Sean has provided the voice for numerous radio and TV commercials and promos as well as narrations and radio imaging around the world. He is the imaging voice of Y98.7 here in Nassau.  Sean also maintains his own legal practice focusing on the wealth management industry.

Jib Polhemus

New Visions / Sponsored by JetBlue Airways

Jib Polhemus has worked in the entertainment business for the past 20 years, starting his career working with the Producer of the Oscar winning film, LEAVING LAS VEGAS.  From there, he transitioned to the powerhouse agency, Creative Artists.  At CAA, he met legendary producer, Dino De Laurentiis, who hired him as a development executive where he worked on numerous films including:  Kurt Russell ‘s BREAKDOWN and The Wachowskis’ first film, BOUND.  Since then he has been the President of Simon West Productions, where he has developed and sold numerous high profile projects to Warner Brothers, Universal, Fox, Paramount, Sony and various others.  Recently, he Executive Produced  the film, HEAT written by legendary screenwriter William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Marathon Man and Princess Bride).  HEAT stars Jason Statham, Stanley Tucci and Sofia Vergara.  Lionsgate will release the film in January 2015.  Prior to HEAT, he Co-Produced blockbuster EXPENDABLES 2, starring Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and Jason Statham, and Executive Produced STOLEN starring Nicolas Cage and Josh Lucas.  In 2011, he Co-Produced The MECHANIC, starring Jason Statham and Ben Foster, and also Associate Produced Paramount’s mega-blockbuster Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie.  During his tenure at Simon West Productions, he has overseen production and development on several other films including Oscar-winning BLACK HAWK DOWN, Sony’s WHEN A STRANGER CALLS, and Paramount’s hit THE GENERAL’S DAUGHTER written by bestselling author Nelson DeMille.  In television, he has developed and sold shows to all of the top networks (CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC and WB). Most recently, he co-executive produced The Cape for NBC and Human Target for FOX. He has overseen a production deal at CBS Studios for the past 10 years and is currently Executive Producing, The Mods and Rockers at E1.  Jib resides in Los Angeles, California  and, in his spare time, he lectures at the high acclaimed, Columbia College of Chicago’s semester in Los Angeles program.

Ryan Scott Stubbs

Juror | New Vision / Sponsored by JetBlue Airways

Visual art has been a long standing passion for Duser. His distinct style is heavily influenced and rooted in street art, illustration and graphic design. While active in the graffiti world he attended Whittier College on an art scholarship, followed by a MA program at NYU and a Post Baccalaureate program at the San Francisco Art Institute. Upon completion at SFAI, Duser realized the true beauty of San Francisco. He set up a home base and studio where he continues to work. His work can be seen in many major cities through out the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe. From outdoor murals to cafe's, restaurants, nightclubs, galleries and the odd museum appearance.

for more info: www.dusermania.com

Luke Taylor

Filmmaker Residency Program

A Los Angeles based film producer and co-founder of Buffalo 8 Productions.  Taylor began his film career in 2005, at New York based Mannic Media, before moving to Los Angeles to study business, music, and film at the University of Southern California.  Having also spent time in the corporate entertainment industry at Columbia Records and Interscope Records - Taylor brings both a creative and practical approach to business.  In 2010, Taylor focused his energies to the independent film world and joined forces with Matthew Helderman to produce the feature "The Alumni Chapter" under the Buffalo 8 Productions banner, and oversaw the final distribution sale in Los Angeles.  Taylor then shifted his focus to physical production as an Assistant Director and Production Manager for independent feature films. This production track enabled him to build a firm platform of practical set knowledge leading to superior management tactics and communication skills.  Taylor's efficient, organized and passionate approach is crucial to building and maintaining innovative business models for Buffalo 8.  Overseeing projects from development through sales, Taylor continues to manage company operations and sales outreach.

T +954 281 8751


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