Aspen Film Announces Jury and Industry Guests for the 26th Annual Aspen Shortsfest

Aspen, Colo. (March 24, 2017) — Aspen Film is pleased to announce the jury members and industry guests attending next month’s 26th Annual Aspen Shortsfest. Prominent industry insiders including agents, managers, festival programmers, production companies, the media and other representatives will participate in filmmaker panels, break-out sessions and master classes. Aspen Film, a year-round film arts and education organization, will bring filmmaking talent from around the globe to Aspen’s Wheeler Opera House, Paepcke Auditorium and Carbondale’s Crystal Theatre from April 4-9, 2017. For the complete Aspen Shortsfest program and schedule visit

“Aspen Shortsfest is as much about connecting filmmakers with their industry as it is about connecting them with their audience. The industry attending Shortsfest this year are notable for their generosity as well as their breadth of experience and invaluable knowledge across the global cinema landscape. We are thrilled they have dedicated their week to mentoring our filmmakers and meeting our audiences,” says Director of Programming Kathleen McInnis.

An international jury invited from across the world cinema industry will consider 63 films screening in competition at Aspen Shortsfest. Selecting six awards, including four that qualify the winners for Oscar® consideration, the jury will announce the winners at the Awards Dinner, open to the public, taking place at The Kitchen on Saturday, April 9 at 6:30 p.m. The jury includes:

John Canciani, Artistic Director, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur:

Canciani is also a programmer at the Cinema Cameo in Winterthur. He has curated several programs with short and feature films, including Blow-Up, der voyeuristische Blick, Tattoo im Film, Moving Art II—O Cinema Where Are Thou?, as well as retrospectives of George Mélies, Ivan Ladislav Galeta, H.R. Giger, Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller, Jan Soldat, Kim Ki-duk, Hans-Christian Schmidt and others.

Jay Cohen, Partner and Head of Film Finance and Distribution, The Gersh Agency:

At Gersh, one of Hollywood’s oldest and largest talent agencies with seventy-five agents and offices in Los Angeles and New York, Cohen oversees a department which represents multiple equity funds, sells finished films, and consults on independent financing for a wide spectrum of industries across all media.

Amy Nicholson, Chief Film Critic, MTV News:

Nicholson is the co-host of the Earwolf podcast The Canon and host of the MTV podcast Skillset. Her interests include hot dogs, standard poodles and comedies about the utter futility of existence, and her first book, Tom Cruise: Anatomy of an Actor was recently published by Cahiers du Cinema.

Ania Trzebiatowska, Head of Acquisitions, Visit Films:

Visit Films is a worldwide film sales company based in NYC, representing some of the best in independent US and world cinema. Visit’s most recent titles include: Dayveon, Columbus, Tanna, It Follows, Krisha, Always Shine, and Suntan.

Florian Weghorn, Program Manager, Berlinale Talents:

Weghorn is responsible for the annual summit and talent development event in Berlin, and serves as the program advisor for the seven offshoots of Berlinale Talents around the world.

For the Aspen Audiences, a ticketed panel entitled “Who Shapes Our Media” will be held at noon on Saturday, April 8. An esteemed team of journalists and members of the film industry will discuss what drives our cultural cinematic landscape, our motivation to buy tickets and if we still have a need for a collective experience at the movies. Panelists include John Horn (Host, The Frame, 89.3 KPCC), John Anderson (TV Critic Wall Street Journal; Contributing Film Journalist The New York Times) and Amy Nicholson (Chief Film Critic, MTV).

Shortsfest filmmakers will also be invited to attend Private Breakout Sessions, which are designed to offer an intimate environment for filmmakers and industry to meet, chat, discover, pitch and even perhaps start a professional relationship.

The separate Master Classes, also private for attending filmmakers, offer a behind-the-curtain tour of the film business from the insider’s perspective – including short film buyers, festival programmers and talent management.

Among the international industry guests are:

John Anderson, Film Critic, Wall Street Journal / The New York Times:

Anderson is a television and film critic for the Wall Street Journal, the movie critic for America magazine and a regular contributor to the Arts & Leisure section of The New York Times. He has written for Time, Newsday, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, Film Comment, Slate and Village Voice. He is a former member of the selection committee of the New York Film Festival and a published author. He is a three-time chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle, and a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Inga Diev, General Manager, Ouat Media:

Diev is responsible for the Ouat Media’s business operations and oversees all the film sales and acquisitions. To date, Ouat Media has represented ten Academy Award® nominated short films including three Oscar® winners: God of Love – Best Live Action Short Film – 2011; The Lost Thing – Best Animated Short Film – 2011; and Curfew – Best Live Action Short Film – 2013. Prior to joining Ouat Media, Inga spent over a decade working in film production and broadcast programming, most recently, at Sundance Channel Canada.

John Horn, Host, KPCC:

Horn is the host of The Frame on KPCC (89.3-FM), a daily arts and entertainment program on the nation’s largest public radio station, and the co-host of the weekly podcast, The Awards Show Show. He previously was a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, where he covered the film business. Before joining The Times, Horn was a senior writer at Newsweek magazine, a senior editor at Premiere magazine, an entertainment reporter for The Associated Press, and a television reporter for the Orange County Register.

Sam Morrill, Director of Curation, Vimeo:

Since joining Vimeo in 2009, Sam has experienced Vimeo’s growth and evolution from a variety of different angles from customer support, to content acquisitions, to curating Vimeo Staff Picks. When he’s not watching videos, he’s probably traveling or working on his amateur golf swing. Sam resides in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York.

Sydney Neter, Founder, SND Films:

Neter started out as a feature film production assistant 27 years ago in his hometown Amsterdam, the Netherlands. His first 1994 Sundance Film Festival coincided with the launch of international sales company SND Films, by picking up ‘Sundance’ shorts. Gradually the company moved into international documentaries as well, but the weak spot for shorts remained. A few of the titles in the last years are the 2017 Oscar nominated La Femme et Le TGV, the 2016 Oscar nominated Last Day of Freedom, the feature docs Rebels on Pointe and Never Be Boring, Billy Wilder. And other gems by Bill Plympton, Paul Driessen and many others.

Luke Rivett, Producer/Literary Manager, Anonymous Content:

Rivett started as an assistant at Anonymous Content and has since moved up the ranks to a literary manager where he represents writers and directors. Under the Anonymous Content banner, he produced Everly starring Salma Hayek and directed by Joe Lynch. Previously, Luke produced Scenic Route, starring Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in 2013. Currently Luke is an Executive Producer on the television series Berlin Station directed by Michael Roskam starring Rhys Ifans and Richard Jenkins on EPIX.

Heidi Zwicker, Programmer, Sundance:

Zwicker focuses on international feature films for Sundance and has been contributing to various Sundance Institute programs for over ten years, beginning with the Feature Film Program, International. Heidi was a Programmer at Palm Springs International Shortfest from 2011-2014. Originally from the north shore of Boston, she has a degree in English from University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth and an M.A. in Critical Studies of Film and Television from UCLA.

TICKETS will go on sale to the public Wednesday, March 22. Advance tickets are available for purchase for Aspen Film members beginning Friday, March 17. All tickets are available through Aspen Show Tickets at the Wheeler Opera House Box Office and VIP and Priority Pass options are available to new and current members. For more information on the benefits of a membership with Aspen Film visit or call 970.925.6882.

SOCIAL MEDIA Like Follow: @AspenFilm on Twitter and Instagram Hashtag(s): #AspenShortsFest17 #AspenFilm #ArtsAspen #IndependentByNature

SPONSORS The 26th Aspen Shortsfest is generously supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, AspenOUT, City of Aspen, Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media, Les Dames d’Aspen, Thrift Shop of Aspen, and the Towns of Basalt and Carbondale. Aspen Shortsfest is presented by The Aspen Times and sponsored by Alpine Bank, Aspen Public Radio, Aspen Sojourner Magazine, Aspen Club & Spa, KSPN, and KDNK.

ABOUT ASPEN FILM Established in 1979, Aspen Film is one of Colorado’s most active film arts organizations, presenting dynamic programs and featured guest artists throughout the year. Internationally recognized, Aspen Film organizes a major film event in every season, along with an extensive education program: Aspen Filmfest, Academy Screenings, Aspen Shortsfest and FilmEducates. With a mission to enlighten, enrich, educate and entertain through film, Aspen Film stimulates thought, encourages dialogue and broadens understanding of our world and selves through the diverse spectrum of ideas presented by filmmakers worldwide. To learn more, visit and socially on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.