The Festival has increased to 14 different competition categories; jurors will honor winning storytellers and creators with monetary awards and some will receive the soon to be announced unique Tribeca Festival Art Award supported by CHANEL; each year 10 world-class artists donate work to be presented as an award to honored filmmakers.
“Storytellers rallying together, sharing their admiration and inspiring growth in one another’s work is one of the most inspiring parts of Tribeca,” Jane Rosenthal, Co-Founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Festival, was quoted as saying. “Our jury and incredible community of talented creators are coming back to gather in-person to surround their fellow artists with support.”
In addition to the awards in competition categories, for the ninth year, the Nora Ephron Award, created to honor the spirit and vision of the legendary filmmaker and writer, Nora Ephron will be presented. Also, as previously announced, this year, the Festival will award the inaugural Harry Belafonte Voices For Social Justice Award to Stacey Abrams for her service and commitment to fighting against injustices.
More than 40 industry leaders were selected to honor feature length and short film categories, comprised of narrative and documentary films, as well as Storyscapes, the juried section of the Virtual Arcade. Jurors will also present the Tribeca X awards which celebrates storytelling at the intersection of entertainment and advertising. A jury has also been assembled this year to honor the best work in Games and to honor submissions in Tribeca’s all new Podcast category.
The winning films, projects, filmmakers, storytellers, and actors in each category will be announced at the Tribeca Festival Awards Ceremony on June 17th where the first ever Persol Award will be presented.
The Following is a list of the 2021 Festival Jurors and their respective categories.
Feature Film Competition Categories
The jurors for the 2021 U.S Narrative Feature Competition section are:
Ana Lily Amirpour
She made her feature-film debut with A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, the Iranian vampire spaghetti western that rocked the Sundance Film Festival in 2014 and was the opening selection for the New Directors/New Films series at the MoMA in New York City.
At the 2014 Gotham Awards, Amirpour was honored with the Bingham Ray Award, given to an emerging filmmaker with distinctive creative vision and stylistic adventurousness that stands apart from the mainstream. Her second feature, The Bad Batch, a psychedelic cannibal-western starring Jason Momoa, Suki Waterhouse, Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey, premiered at the 2016 Venice Film Festival where it took home the Special Jury Prize. The Hollywood Reporter described the film as “both violent and dreamy — a bewitching fusion.”
Born in England and raised in Bakersfield, Calif., Amirpour attended art school at San Francisco State University and graduated from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television. She has a varied background in the arts, including painting, sculpting, playing bass, and fronting an art-rock band. Her third film, a surreal fantasy-adventure story set in New Orleans, Mona Lisa and The Blood Moon, will premiere in 2021, starring Kate Hudson, Jun Jong-seo, Craig Robinson, Ed Skrein, and Evan Whitten.
Directed, wrote and executive produced I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE, an HBO limited series starring Mark Ruffalo in his 2020 Emmy-winning role. His illustrious film work includes co-writing and executive producing THE SOUND OF METAL. Previous films include THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEAN, THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES and BLUE VALENTINE. Cianfrance has been celebrated for his music, documentary work, as well as for his high-profile, award-winning commercials.
Bryan Cranston is an Academy Award-nominee and Emmy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, Tony, and Olivier Award winner. Best known for his portrayal of the iconic character Walter White on AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” and Hal on FOX’s “Malcolm in the Middle,” Cranston made his Broadway debut as President Lyndon B. Johnson in All the Way and produced the film adaptation for HBO through his company Moonshot Entertainment. He most recently executive produced and starred in the Showtime limited series “Your Honor.”
André Holland’s film credits include High Flying Bird, Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Moonlight (Academy Award for Best Picture), Selma (Academy Award Nominee), 42, Miracle at St. Anna, and the acclaimed 2008 independent film Sugar. Holland TV Credit’s include the Stephen King inspired series, Castle Rock (Hulu/Bad Robot) and Steven Soderbergh’s The Knick.
Holland made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning 2009 revival of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and most recently performed in Othello alongside Academy Award and Tony-Winning actor Mark Rylance at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. Other select theater credits include the Tony Award-Winning production of August Wilson’s Jitney, The Whipping Man at MTC, The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park productions of All’s Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It.
Veteran Hollywood executive and producer Erica Huggins is President of Seth MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door and oversees all development and creative direction for the company’s slate. She is currently executive producing “The Winds of War,” a limited series from UCP based on Herman Wouk’s American War novels; an Untitled Little Rock Nine series, a TV revival of the 1977 adventure comedy “Smokey and the Bandit,” and a new animated take on Norman Lear’s classic sitcom “Good Times” for Netflix, among much more unique programming. Notable in her illustrious career is Huggins’ tenure as President of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment, producing its award-winning and diverse slate.
The jurors of the International Narrative Competition section are:
Lesli Klainberg is the Executive Director of Film at Lincoln Center. An award-winning producer and director, her documentaries have screened at film festivals such as Berlin, Sundance, Outfest and have been broadcast on networks including Cinemax, AMC, A&E, The Independent Film Channel, WE and PBS. Previously Lesli served as FLC’s Managing Director and the producer of the New York Film Festival. From 2008 through 2011, she served as Executive Director of NewFest, the NYC LGBT Film Festival.
Academy Award-winner Melissa Leo has consistently captured audiences with her riveting portrayals of tough, realistic women dealing with difficult situations. Enamored with acting as a child, she began her work in television and later moved on to film, garnering much acclaim for her performance as the wife of a former convict in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 21 GRAMS.
Other notable films that followed include FROZEN RIVER and THE FIGHTER, for which she won the Oscar and Golden Globe Awards for her merciless portrayal of the domineering mother of an aspiring boxer. Her later films include THE EQUILIZER and SNOWDEN. Leo was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role in the miniseries “Mildred Pierce.”
Other acclaimed television performances include her roles in “Treme,” “Wayward Pines” and “I’m Dying up Here.” Leo, a native New Yorker, is delighted to be participating in the Tribeca Festival’s 20th year in her hometown.
Delroy Lindo recently starred in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods (New York Film Critics Award-Best Actor). He’s had memorable film roles in The Cider House Rules; Heist; Ransom; Get Shorty and previously garnered acclaim for a trio of films with Spike: Clockers; Crooklyn and Malcolm X. He’ll next be seen in The Harder They Fall for Netflix. On TV, Lindo starred on CBS’ The Good Fight as Adrian Boseman. He won a Peabody Award for Strange Justice and the NAACP Award for Law and Order: SVU.
On Broadway, Lindo received Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations, playing Herald Loomis in August Wilson’s, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone; and played Walter Lee in A Raisin in the Sun (Helen Hayes Award Nomination/NAACP Image Award, Best Actor). Lindo directed The Blue Door and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone to critical acclaim at Berkeley Repertory Theater; and won a LA Theater Weekly Award directing Medal of Honor Rag. Lindo has an Honorary Doctorate in Arts and Humanities from Virginia Union University; a BFA degree (cum laude) from SF State University; and an MFA from NYU’s Gallatin School.
Writer-director Alexander Payne has made seven feature films–including ELECTION, SIDEWAYS, THE DESCENDENTS and NEBRASKA –which have been nominated for 19 Oscars and have won two, both for Best Adapted Screenplay. He is currently working on a new film and on a second volume of poetry.
Film scholar Peter Scarlet first joined the Tribeca Festival in its second year and has been at the helm of film celebrations both old and new all over the world. Scarlet headed the Cinémathèque Française in Paris, and France’s Ministry of Culture named him a “Chevalier” in its Order of Arts and Letters, and then promoted him years later to the rank of “Officier,” which sounds a little better in English, he notes, and perhaps more appropriate for someone who’s never spent much time on horseback.
The jurors of the Best New Documentary Feature Competition section are:
Kirby Dick is a two-time Academy Award-nominated and two-time Emmy-winning filmmaker behind some of the most groundbreaking documentaries of the past several decades. His latest project, ALLEN v. FARROW, is a tour de force investigation of the Woody Allen abuse allegations and the case’s ongoing legal and cultural legacy. His recent film, ON THE RECORD, is a searing look at the intersection of assault, racism, and the #MeToo movements. Past films include THE INVISIBLE WAR, which broke the story of the epidemic of rape in the US military and led to dozens of reforms signed into law, and THE HUNTING GROUND, which generated a national discussion about sexual assault on college campuses and ignited policy changes at hundreds of institutions.
Matt Tyrnauer is an award-winning writer, journalist, and director whose films include VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR, short-listed for an Academy Award for best documentary feature; WHERE’S MY ROY COHN? about the Svengali behind Joseph McCarthy and Donald Trump. His latest projects include “The Reagans,” a four-part documentary series for Showtime that re-examines the Reagans’ America and the impact of their politics and beliefs on our current society, and the documentary series “Home” for Apple. His entertainment company Altimeter, co-founded with Corey Reeser, is dedicated to exploring the most provocative figures and events through documentary and narrative film.
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi directed and produced FREE SOLO, a BAFTA and Academy Award-winner for Best Documentary Feature in 2019. The film, an unflinching portrait of a climber scaling the famous El Capitan without a rope, received seven Emmy Awards. Vasarhelyi’s other acclaimed films include MERU and INCORRUPTIBLE, YOUSSOU N’DOUR: I BRING WHAT I LOVE, among others. She has directed two New York Times Op Docs, two episodes for Netflix’s nonfiction design series “Abstract” and two episodes for ESPN’s nonfiction series “Enhanced.” Vasarhelyi is currently directing a feature documentary for National Geographic about the 2018 rescue of a youth soccer team trapped inside a flooded cave in Thailand.
The jurors of the Best New Narrative Director Competition section are:
Aya Cash most recently starred as Stormfront on the hit Amazon original series “The Boys” and will appear on the new FOX comedy “Welcome to Fletch”. Her additional credits include Emmy-winning limited series “Fosse/Verdon” and the comedy series “You’re the Worst” among others. She stars in the recent feature films WE BROKE UP and SCARE ME.
Sanaa Lathan is an actor, director, producer, and activist, well-known for starring in such hit films as LOVE & BASKETBALL, THE BEST MAN and BEST MAN HOLIDAY, BROWN SUGAR, ALIEN VS. PREDATOR, and NAPPILY EVER AFTER to name just a few. She can next be seen in the upcoming season of the Emmy Award-winning HBO series “Succession” as well as the upcoming Netflix action thriller “Hit And Run”. In addition to Sanaa’s lengthy screen credits, on stage she has been nominated for a Tony Award for her performance on Broadway in “A Raisin in the Sun.”
Chris began his film career as co-writer with his brother Paul with the 1998 animated film ANTZ. They went on to produce and direct the box office hit AMERICAN PIE. They followed this with ABOUT A BOY, which earned them an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Weitz also directed THE GOLDEN COMPASS (2007), and A BETTER LIFE (2011), which gained Demián Bichír an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. He also wrote CINDERELLA (2015) and ROGUE ONE (2016). His production credits include COLUMBUS (2017) and THE FAREWELL (2019).
The jurors of the Best New Documentary Director Competition section are:
Iyabo Boyd is a screenwriter, director, and producer whose projects have screened at the Berlinale, Sundance, Tribeca, and Blackstar Film Festivals. Her forthcoming feature screenplay, KAYLA & EDDIE EN FRANÇAIS, which is supported by the Sundance Film Institute and SFFILM, follows an estranged Black father and daughter reconnecting in Paris. Named a “Black Visionary” by the Sundance Film Institute, Iyabo is also the founder of Brown Girls Doc Mafia, whose mission is to bolster the creative and professional success of women and non-binary people of color working in the documentary industry.
Sabrina Schmidt Gordon
A New York award-winning documentary filmmaker and impact strategist, Sabrina Schmidt Gordon is the producer of QUEST, a New York Times “Critic’s Pick” and has been nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards, a Peabody, and two Emmys. Her directing debut was the Emmy-nominated “BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez” won the Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color award at the African Diaspora International Film Festival. She the co-producer and editor of DOCUMENTED, the story of Pulitzer Prize-winning undocumented journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas. She also produces and edits for The New York Times, The Atlantic, New York Magazine, and Frontline.
Omar Metwally made his film debut in Steven Spielberg’s Munich. Since then he has appeared in numerous films, including Julian Schnabel’s MIRAL, COMPLETE UNKNOWN (dir Josh Marston,) NON-STOP, BREAKABLE YOU AND RENDITION (dir Gavin Hood,) for which he received the Chopard Trophy at the Cannes Film Festival. On television, he appeared for four seasons as Vik Ullah in the Showtime series The Affair. Other television work includes “Ramy” (Hulu,) “Mr Robot” (USA,) “Treadstone” (USA,) and many others. Theater credits include Sixteen Wounded on Broadway (Tony Award nomination, Outer Critics Circle nomination,) as well as numerous Off-Broadway appearances with the Atlantic Theater Company (Guards at the Taj, Obie Award,) The Public Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and many more. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.
Short Film Competition Categories
The jurors for the 2021 Narrative Short Competition section are:
Elegance Bratton is an award-winning and boundary-breaking director, writer and producer. He won the Film Independent Truer Than Fiction Spirit Award in 2021 for his documentary feature debut PIER KIDS, which has screened at over 50 festivals worldwide and makes its streaming debut this summer on POV. Bratton is in post-production on a documentary feature, HELL FIGHTER, the story of African American Jazz pioneer James Reese Europe. Bratton debuted as creator of the Viceland series “My House,” which was nominated for Outstanding Documentary at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards. His short, BUCK, premiered at Sundance and the London Film Festivals last year.
Comedian, actor, musician, advocate and five-time Grammy and Emmy nominee, Margaret Cho makes it a priority to support the causes that are important to her: anti-racism, anti-bullying, and gay rights, all while fulfilling her successful creative side with her legendary stand up career and television appearances – “The Masked Singer” and “High Maintenance”– podcasting (The Margaret Cho) and film work which includes the voice of Auntie Ling in OVER THE MOON.
Hari Nef is an actress and writer in New York. Her notable work appears in projects such as DADDY, YOU, ASSASINATION NATION and “Transparent,” among many others. She will next appear in 1UP. Nef’s writing has been published in Artforum, GQ, L’Officiel USA, Dazed, and Vice.”
Executive Producer for MTV Documentary Films, Sheila Nevins served as president of HBO Documentary Films and Family Programming, making her responsible for development and production of more than 1500 programs. She has received 32 Primetime Emmy® Awards, 35 News and Documentary Emmys and 42 George Foster Peabody Awards. A New York Times best-selling author, Nevins has been honored with numerous prestigious career achievement awards and inducted into Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame. She has garnered an IDA Career Achievement Award and the New York Women in Film & Television Muse Award for Outstanding Vision & Achievement.
The jurors for the 2021 Short Documentary and Student Visionary Competition section are:
Born in Chicago in 1977, Rashid Johnson is among an influential cadre of contemporary American artists whose work employs a wide range of media to explore themes of art history, individual and shared cultural identities, personal narratives, literature, philosophy, materiality, and critical history. After studying in the photography department of the Art Institute of Chicago, Johnson’s practice quickly expanded to embrace a wide range of media – including sculpture, painting, drawing, filmmaking, and installation – yielding a complex multidisciplinary practice that incorporates diverse materials rich with symbolism and personal history.
TIG NOTARO- Tig Notaro is an Emmy and Grammy nominated stand-up comedian, writer, radio contributor, and actor as well as a favorite on numerous talk shows, including “Ellen,” “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” and “Conan.” Rolling Stone named her one of the “50 best stand-up comics of all time.” Notaro currently appears in Zack Snyder’s ARMY OF THE DEAD and “Star Trek: Discovery”; she wrote and starred in the groundbreaking TV show “One Mississippi” and hosts an advice podcast, Don’t Ask Tig as well as the podcast TIG & CHERYL: A TRUE STORY.
Adria Petty is a director, producer and creative director, credited with award-winning spots for iconic brands like Alexander McQueen, Converse, and Target. In 2012 she was nominated for five MTV Awards for her work with videos for Regina Spektor, Coldplay and Beyonce, winning Best Editing for the latter. The daughter of legendary musician and songwriter Tom Petty, she serves full time in the operations of Petty Legacy with her family.
Immersive Competition Categories
The jurors for the 2021 Storyscapes Competition section are:
Kia Brooks is the Deputy Director of The Gotham Film and Media Institute (formerly IFP). She oversees the organization’s programming, membership and marketing and is the founder of The Gotham’s Owning It program that supports women and non-binary media makers and entrepreneurs who break boundaries in the media and entertainment industry. She has been with the organization for six years and previously worked in film publicity for companies such as Focus Features, Oscilloscope Laboratories and Tribeca Film Festival. Kia lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.
Karen Wong is the deputy director of the New Museum, a contemporary art museum renowned for its entrepreneurial mission: new art and new ideas. She co-founded the initiatives IDEAS CITY (2010), a malleable platform exploring the future of cities with the belief that art and culture are essential to our metropolises; NEW INC (2013), the first museum-led incubator for art, technology, and design; and ONX Studio (2019), a mixed-reality accelerator and exhibition space. These game-changing programs elevate creative practitioners and demonstrate the transformative power of the arts for cultural and social impact. She sits on the nonprofit boards of Apex for Youth, a mentoring and education program for underserved Asians; Arbutus, David Byrne’s foundation focused on performance and education projects; National Sawdust, a new music performance venue and incubator;Rhizome, a platform for born-digital art; andSmithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.
The jurors for the Best Immersive Narrative Competition section are:
Veteran filmmaker and Vice Chairman of the Museum of the Moving Image, Warrington Hudlin is best known as the producer of the landmark African American films, HOUSE PARTY, BOOMERANG, and BEBE KIDS, and television specials, COSMIC SLOP and UNSTOPPABLE. Hudlin has recently extended his creative work by producing Virtual Reality (VR) and 360 video, KUNG FU #ME TOO and CINEFEMME CYPHER, both of which address women’s rights and achievements. He returns to Tribeca after serving as member of the inaugural film jury of this Festival. As the founding president of BFF (the Black Filmmaker Foundation), Hudlin has been a pioneering filmmaker and film community organizer in the black film movement for four decades.
Laura Mingail founded Archetypes & Effects to help to bring to life the stories and story experiences that entertain and evolve audiences, and industries. She applies insight into storytelling, audiences, new technologies and magic to support content creators with product, marketing and communications strategy. She is also a frequent speaker and media contributor focused on the creation and monetization of emerging forms of storytelling and technologies.
Jake Sally is an Emmy-nominated producer, public speaker and entertainment executive dedicated to building the pipeline, vernacular and stories grounded in technology for audiences worldwide. Jake is the COO of Jadu, an interactive augmented reality company building widely accessible musical experiences with the world’s leading artists such as Lil Nas X. Previously, he oversaw content development at RYOT, Verizon’s internal content innovation company, focused on creating future-forward content formats and storytelling techniques as 5G networks begin to be widely available to consumers. He focused on collaborations with artists and technologists to alter and improve the way stories are told with next-generation technology including VR, AR, artificial intelligence, projection mapping, physical installations, 5G and motion capture.
The jurors for the Best Creative Non- Fiction Competition section are:
Diliana Alexander is a traditional and interactive storytelling director and executive producer. She is also the Executive Director of the annual FilmGate Interactive Media Festival, which highlights innovative and thought-provoking XR works, as well as the technology that supports them. In 2017, she co-founded the Miami Downtown Media Center, a co-working space for media-related businesses.
Chris Milk is an American entrepreneur, director, and immersive artist known for producing challenging and unique works by employing technological innovations in his creative process. He is co-founder and CEO of Within, a company using immersive technologies to build products for transformative experiences, and Supernatural, the world’s leading VR fitness and wellness platform. He has presented at two TED conferences and has had his interactive installation artworks showcased around the world, including the MoMA and Tate Modern.
Nora Ephron Award
The jurors for the Nora Ephron Award are:
Acclaimed actor and political activist Patricia Arquette received the Academy Award for her work in BOYHOOD which also earned her Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG, New York & LA Film Critics Awards. She starred in the award-winning “Escape at Dannemora,” directed by Ben Stiller, and the series “The Act” for which she won an Emmy and Golden Globe. Her long collaboration with Stiller continues with the upcoming “Severance” and “High Desert” for Apple TV. She has received the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian award as well as GLAAD’s Vanguard Award. She helped launch the UN Women Equal Pay Platform and received the Eleanor Roosevelt award in 2019 from the Feminist Majority.
Mollye Asher is an Academy Award-winning producer of NOMADLAND, by Chloé Zhao and starring Frances McDormand. Her other credits include the celebrated films SWALLOW, THE RIDER, FORT TILDEN, SONGS MY BROTHERS TAUGHT ME, and SHE’S LOST CONTROL. She was the winner of the Producers Award at the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards.
Leslie Dixon is a screenwriter and film producer known for legendary films that cover the spectrum from comedy to drama. After writing the 1987 box office hits OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE and OVERBOARD, Dixon then moved into adaptations, developing films like MRS. DOUBTFIRE, THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, PAY IT FORWARD, HAIRSPRAY, and LIMITLESS, for which she also produced the television series by the same name. Recently, Leslie traded Beverly Hills for Berkeley, CA, where she is victimized for not having voted for Bernie.
Writer, director and actor, Judith Godreche has established herself as an international award-winning triple threat. Acting since the age of 14, she has appeared in almost 50 films and television series, including THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK with Leonardo DiCaprio and was last seen in Sony Classics film THE CLIMB.
Sharon Stone is an internationally recognized actress, producer, humanitarian and bestselling author, whose prolific career spanning film and television includes credits such as Basic Instinct and Casino, for which she garnered a Golden Globe for Best Actress in 1996 as well as an Academy Award nomination for her leading role starring opposite Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci in the Martin Scorsese crime drama. Stone received two more Golden Globe Award nominations for her roles in The Mighty (1998) and The Muse (1999), with other film credits including Sliver (1993), The Specialist (1994), The Quick and the Dead (1995), Last Dance (1996), Sphere (1998), Broken Flowers (2005), Alpha Dog (2006), Bobby (2006), and Lovelace (2013) among others. Stone’s television credits include roles in limited series including Netflix’s Ratched (2020), HBO’s Mosaic (2017), and The New Pope (2019), as well as past acclaimed performances on The Practice (2004), for which she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. Stone has been honored with a Nobel Peace Summit Award, a Harvard Foundation Humanitarian Award, a Human Rights Campaign Humanitarian Award and an Einstein Spirit of Achievement Award, among other accolades. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her family.
The jurors for the 2021 Podcast Non-Fiction Competition section are:
N’Jeri Eaton currently works on the Apple Podcasts Business team and is the former Director of Programming and New Audiences at NPR where she oversaw programs such as Believed, Throughline, White Lies and Louder Than a Riot. Eaton is also a freelance documentary producer and editor. Her feature film FIRST FRIDAY was broadcast nationally on AfroPop in 2016. She served as the Content Development & Initiative Manager at the Independent Television Service.
Rachel Ghiazza joined Audible in 2019 as SVP for Content Acquisition and Development and became EVP, Head of US Content in 2020. Prior to Audible, Rachel was at Spotify where she held a variety of roles including leading the Global Content Experiences team and was a key contributor to Spotify’s global growth and success. Rachel also held leadership roles in the Content teams at Viacom and Yahoo!. She has a background in information systems and broad experience in content strategy, development, and acquisition for music, video, TV and podcasts. She has an MBA from the University of Southern California.
Latif Nasser is co-host of the award-winning WNYC Studios show Radiolab. He also hosted the podcast miniseries The Other Latif, as well as the Netflix science documentary series, Connected. He has a PhD from Harvard’s History of Science department.
The jurors for the 2021 Podcast Fiction Competition section are:
Neil Drumming is a writer, filmmaker, and former radio producer for “This American Life.” His feature film debut, BIG WORDS, was released in 2013. He is currently the managing editor of Serial Productions.
Lauren Shippen is a writer best known for her work in fiction podcasts. She was the creator and sole writer of the popular audio drama The Bright Sessions, which ran from 2015 to 2018. She went on to executive produce The AM Archives and co-produce the #1 podcast Passenger List, for which she received a BBC Audio Drama Award, Webby, and British Podcast Award. Most recently, she wrote MARVELS, an audio adaptation of the popular comic. She has written three novels with Tor Teen.
Mimi O’Donnell is currently Head of Fiction at the award winning narrative podcast company, Gimlet where she has produced shows such as Sandra, The Horror of Dolores Roach, Motherhacker and The Two Princes. She served as the Artistic Director of Labyrinth Theater Company for 7 seasons, where she directed the World Premieres of Nice Girl and Thinner Than Water by Melissa Ross and the New York premier of The Way West by Mona Mansour. As a producer with the Company, she was nominated for a Tony Award for the Broadway production of The Motherf**ker with the Hat.
Tribeca X Award
The jurors for the Tribeca X Award are:
Justine Armour Justine joined Grey in February 2020 as Chief Creative Officer of the New York office. One of advertising’s most-lauded female creatives, Justine has worked on iconic brands such as P&G, Volvo, Old Spice, Cheerios, Secret, Chrysler, Smirnoff and Spotify, and has been recognized at every major award show for wide-ranging work. She has served as a juror at Cannes, One Show, Clio, Andys, Ciclope, and others. She was named on Adweek’s Creative 100 list of 2019 and was recognized as a Female Frontier honoree by Campaign magazine in 2020.
David is the Head of Consumer Marketing at DoorDash. Prior to DoorDash, David was Executive Director of Marketing at Pandora, having previously served as the company’s Creative Director. Before Pandora, David was Creative Director at Interbrand S.F where he focused on three primary clients, Chevron, Google, and eBay. He began his career in the early days of non-scripted television – working on The Real World and The Simple Life at Bunim Murray. In 2020, David was named to Brand Innovators “40 under 40” list of young marketing stars and his work has received numerous creativity and campaign awards. David has a Post Diploma in Multimedia from The École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts and an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from Otis College of Art and Design. David resides in Oakland with his wife Alexis and their two kiddos Ivan and Sadie.
Morgan Cooper is a Los Angeles-based writer and director originally hailing from Kansas City, MO. His influences range from fine art, jazz, and hip-hop, to the works of photographers Gordon Parks and Roy DeCarava. Two short films directed by Cooper, U SHOOT VIDEOS? and PAYDAY, won in their categories at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival. Cooper is currently collaborating with Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios on BEL-AIR, a dramatic re-imagining of THE FRESH PRINCE, which he created and will direct for Peacock.
Senain Kheshgi co-founded MAJORITY, the auteur-driven production company that leverages independent cinema’s most exciting female filmmakers to create innovative original and branded productions. She has directed feature and short films, including Emmy-nominated documentary THE DIPLOMAT (ESPN), award-winning PROJECT KASHMIR (Independent Lens) and the viral docu-series DIVAS OF KARACHI (PBS). She is a Peabody winner, a three-time Sundance Fellow, a Tribeca All-Access Alumni Grant recipient and has served on panels and juries for IDA, Sundance, Hot Docs Blue Ice, ITVS, CAAM and Film Independent. She is a member of AMPAS, the Television Academy and former board member of the IDA.
Emily Oberman is an award-winning multidisciplinary designer whose work encompasses strategy, brand identity, motion graphics, publications, packaging, advertising, and websites. A handful of those global brands and institutions include Warner Bros. Entertainment, Fisher-Price, Rotten Tomatoes, Saturday Night Live, DC, Warner Records, J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, League of Legends, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and Netflix’s Queue print magazine and digital platform. Her branding work extends to hospitality including the Michelin starred Cote Restaurant in NYC and Miami, and startups like the renowned child development company LOVEVERY. A graduate of Cooper Union, Obermans’s work has been recognized by the AIGA, TDC, ADC, CA, among others.
The jurors for games are:
Elijah Wood continues to challenge himself in his work with an extensive array of styles and genres across film, television, video games and animation. Starring as the beloved hobbit Frodo Baggins, Wood made an indelible mark in the iconic film trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS. With work spanning 30 years, notable films including ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED, SIN CITY, THE ICE STORM and I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE. Wood’s production company SpectreVision continues to build its reputation with celebrated films such as A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT & MANDY, podcasts and VR video games. Wood more recently stars in the acclaimed genre comedy COME TO DADDY.
South African born writer-director Neill Blomkamp began his career in Canada as a visual effects artist in film and television. He is best known as the co-writer and director of DISTRICT 9, ELYSIUM and CHAPPIE. He has been developing experimental films for his independent company, Oats Studios, whose most notable works include RAKKA, FIREBASE and ZYGOTE.
Tanya DePass is Founder and Director of I Need Diverse Games, a not-for-profit organization based in Chicago, which is dedicated to better diversification of all aspects of gaming. Additionally, she is the Creator and Creative Director of Into the Mother Lands. She was also named part of The Game Awards Future Class 2020 and one of Gamers of the Year 2020 by Kotaku. She’s part of the Rivals of Waterdeep live play stream, a partnered Twitch variety broadcaster. DePass is the programming and diversity coordinator for OrcaCon and GaymerX. She also serves on the Board of Directors for OrcaCon, Take This, and writes and speaks on issues of diversity, feminism, race and intersectionality.
Raised in Seattle surrounded by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Jen Zee began her career in the video game industry in 2006, when she committed herself to bringing vibrant color to the medium. Since 2009, she has enjoyed a career as the art director at Supergiant Games – responsible for developing the signature visual styles for all four multi-award winning games Bastion, Transistor, Pyre and Hades. Most recently, she served as art director on the critically acclaimed Hades, which won the BAFTA for Artistic Achievement and has been nominated for several art awards including Best Art Direction at The Game Awards, the D.I.C.E. Awards, and Best Visual Art for the Game Developer’s Choice Awards. In addition to her video game work, Jen has contributed illustrations to board games and collectible card games such as Fantasy Flight Games’ Game of Thrones and Warhammer. Jen is passionate about creating engaging worlds that support resonant stories and enjoys using the digital platform to shine a light on the classical art which she found so influential as a child. She likes hot sandwiches and napping.
Reggie is an award-winning innovator and disrupter most recognized as the retired President and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America, the largest division of the Japanese entertainment company Nintendo Co., Ltd. Most recently, Reggie founded Brentwood Growth Partners to help emerging companies scale and enable leaders to create world-class cultures.
AT&T Presents: Untold Stories Greenlight Committee
The greenlight committee for AT&T Presents Untold Stories are:
Karen Horne is recognized as a Diversity and Inclusion pioneer in the entertainment industry. As Senior Vice President of Equity and Inclusion at WarnerMedia, she leads brands’ domestic and international creative talent development pipeline programs and initiatives. Karen’s legacy spans years at NBC Universal, where she was Senior Vice President, Programming Talent Development and Inclusion for NBC Entertainment and Universal Television Studios. Horne was also the Director and Writer Development & Special Projects for Walt Disney Studios and Co-producer at HBO for the Emmy Award-winning animated series “Spawn”.
Veena Sud created “The Killing” (AMC/Netflix) which was nominated for six Emmy Awards as well as WGA nomination for Best New Series. Her recent series, “Seven Seconds,” is an ensemble drama centered on the hit-and-run of a young Black teenager by a white police officer. Sud’s feature film THE LIE premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and on Amazon in 2020. Sud was featured in The Hollywood Reporter’s 2011 Power Showrunners List and Variety’s Women’s Impact Report.
Kellyn Smith Kenny
Kellyn Smith Kenny is the Chief Marketing and Growth Officer at AT&T where she is responsible for deepening customer relationships, accelerating growth, and elevating AT&T’s premium position. Over the past several years, AT&T has launched groundbreaking programs with the NBA, WNBA, Tribeca Festival, #SeeHer, Cloud9 and more to underscore the importance of representation and to elevate underrepresented voices. Kellyn is passionate about the role brands play in reflecting and promoting diversity, and honored to help select this year’s winner of AT&T Presents: Untold Stories.
Award-winning writer, producer and director Nisha Ganatra is celebrated for her work on television shows like “Highland,” “Better Things,” and “You Me Her.” She also created “Code Academy” and has directed episodes of “Girls,” “Dear White People,” “Future Man,” “Mr. Robot,” “Shameless,” “Brooklyn 9-9,” and countless more. Her acclaimed debut indie feature film, CHUTNEY POPCORN, which she wrote, produced and directed, won Audience Awards at the Berlin Film Festival, Outfest Los Angeles, and many more. Her film LATE NIGHT, starring Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling premiered at Sundance and sold to Amazon in a record-breaking deal and garnered the highest streaming numbers of the year. Ganatra is a Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee for her work as Director/Producer for “Transparent.” She has recently directed THE HIGH NOTE for Working Title and Focus Features, starring Tracee Ellis Ross, Ice Cube, June Diane Raphael, Dakota Johnson and Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Trace Lysette is an actress and advocate best known for her recurring role as ‘Shea’ on Amazon’s critically acclaimed series “Transparent”. Trace began her career auditioning for cisgender (non-trans) roles and landed her first break in a guest spot as ‘Lila’ in the 14th season of “Law & Order: SVU”. Trace continued to find success, booking recurring roles on “Blunt Talk” for Starz opposite Patrick Stewart, FX’s “Pose”, and a supporting role in “Hustlers”, directed by Lorene Scafaria and opposite Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. She will next be seen in the independent feature “Venus As A Boy”, which will premiere at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. She will next star in the independent feature, “Monica” opposite Patti Clarkson, which films this summer.
About the Tribeca Festival
The Tribeca Festival, presented by AT&T, brings artists 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. Tribeca 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. Tribeca will celebrate its 20th year June 9 – 20, 2021. www.tribecafilm.com/festival
In 2019, James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems, a private investment company with locations in New York and Mumbai, bought a majority stake in Tribeca Enterprises, bringing together Rosenthal, De Niro, and Murdoch to grow the enterprise.
About the 2021 Tribeca Festival Partners:
The 2021 Tribeca Festival is presented by AT&T and with the support of our corporate partners: A&E, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Audible, Bloomberg Philanthropies, CHANEL, City National Bank, CNN Films, Diageo, DoorDash, FreshDirect, Hudson Yards, Indeed, Montefiore-Einstein, Neutrogena, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Persol, P&G, PwC, Roku, Spring Studios New York, United Airlines, Unreal Engine.