JURORS





OPAL H. BENNETT  DOCUMENTARY JUROR

After several years in legal practice, Opal now programs full-time for several film festivals. She curates shorts at Aspen ShortsFest, the Nantucket Film Festival and DOC NYC, and is a Programmer with Athena Film Festival and an Assistant Programmer with Tribeca Film Festival. Opal is also a Programming Consultant for the March on Washington Film Festival. Opal has served on juries for SxSW, NewFest, Leuven ShortsFest, Cleveland Internation and Seattle International Film Festivals. She has also served on advisory and grant panels.



YVONNE KOUADJO  DOCUMENTARY JUROR

Yvonne Ashley Kouadjo is the Associate Producer for POV Spark, the innovation arm of the iconic independent nonfiction film program POV (PBS). She's a part of a nimble team that produces digital/interactive original productions, including the first-ever Snapchat-native documentaries. Yvonne Ashley represents POV at festivals and conferences worldwide, including Dok Leipzig, IDA Getting Real and Sheffield Doc/Fest. Prior to joining POV, she interned at media organizations and served as a research assistant for the biography "Michelle Obama: A Life" by Peter Slevin. Yvonne holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University.



JOSÉ FERNANDO RODRIGUEZ  DOCUMENTARY JUROR

José Fernando Rodriguez is the Director of Documentary Programs at Tribeca Film Institute, where he oversees the growth and funding for all of the documentary programs and leads documentary workshops in the US as well as throughout Latin America. A native of Puerto Rico, he grew up with a passion for movies that led him to New York City, where he became a script/book reader for a production company and worked on commercials, short films and features. He wrote and directed a fiction short (DEAD-END, screened in 2016), and is currently on the festival circuit with his documentary short Adolescencia (2017).



MICHAEL GIBBONS  NARRATIVE JUROR

Michael is a multilingual professional with extensive nonprofit experience in marketing and communications for film and the arts. Before joining the national artist support organization Creative Capital in 2017, he previously worked for over six years at Film Society of Lincoln Center, where as Director of Digital Platforms he oversaw the online growth of the organization, the New York Film Festival, and the award-winning magazine, Film Comment. Before coming to New York in 2011, he worked for many years as a producer at several of Brazil's leading cultural institutions, including the São Paulo Biennial, Cinemateca Brasileira, and It's All True International Documentary Film Festival. Michael was also on the selection committee for the São Paulo International Short Film Festival and a juror for the Cinema Tropical Awards.



DAVID NINH  NARRATIVE JUROR

David Ninh is the Director of Press and Publicity at Kino Lorber, Inc. managing the press outreach for the company's theatrical, home video, and streaming new releases. He was previously the Senior Communications Specialist at Kickstarter where he worked with filmmakers and creators during the initial funding stages of many successful film, arts and culture projects. In the past, he's worked on the publicity teams at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York Film Festival and PMK*BNC. He also works as a crowdfunding consultant and leads press for NY-based production company Still Point Pictures on their LGBTQ projects. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.



AMANDA TROKAN  NARRATIVE JUROR

Amanda Trokan is Film Programming Manager at HBO where she evaluates narrative features and shorts for acquisition. Previously, she was Director of Content at Seed&Spark, heading up acquisitions and distribution. Amanda also has experience in film development, program strategy, writing, and festivals, from roles at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, HBO Original Programming, Tribeca Film Festival, and with independent producers. She has served on the Hamptons and Sarasota film festival screening committees and holds an MBA in Media & Entertainment.