2020 JURY

The Jury

Jury_Carlos Aguilar



Originally from Mexico City, Carlos Aguilar was chosen as one of 6 young film critics to partake in the first Roger Ebert Fellowship in 2014. Aguilar’s work has appeared in prestigious publications such as Los Angeles Times, The Wrap, Indiewire, Vulture, RogerEbert.com, MovieMaker Magazine, Remezcla, Filmmaker Magazine, Variety Latino, Slate, Bustle, Americas Quarterly, among others. He is a member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA). Aguilar works as a screener for the Sundance Film Festival and a screenplay reader for Sundance’s Screenwriters Lab, and has been on the jury at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Outfest Los Angeles, the Gasparilla International Film Festival, the Louisiana International Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Indian Film Festival. Aguilar currently co- hosts, One Week Only, a weekly podcast highlighting independent and international cinema and regularly participates in panel discussions about the importance of people of color in film criticism and his experience as a DACA recipient working in the film industry.

Jury_Pascale Faure



Pascale Faure is one of the leading specialists of short films in France. She has been working for 20 years in the field of cinema and artistic creation. From 1991 to 1999 Pascale was a co-artistic director for ‘l’œil du cyclone,’ a magazine of creative television. She was co-screenwriter of ‘Filles perdues cheveux gras’, a feature film directed by Claude Duty (Winner of the Michel d’Ornano Prize for the best first script at Deauville Festival in 2001). Since 2001 she has been in charge of the department of Short Programs and Creations at Canal +. With about a hundred short films and one thematic original collection broadcast every year, it is one of the most dynamic players in the cinema arena. Pascale Faure is also a producer of ‘Top of the shorts’, the weekly magazine of short films on Canal +.

Jury_Marie Therese Guirgis



Marie Therese Guirgis is a film producer and executive who has worked in both fiction and documentary film. Recent documentary credits include ‘The Brink’ by Alison Klayman, ‘On Her Shoulders’ by Alexandria Bombach, and ‘Author: The JT Leroy Story’ by Jeff Feuerzeig. She produced the fiction films ‘Keep The Lights On’ by Ira Sachs and ‘The Loneliest Planet’ by Julia Loktev. Marie Therese is currently Head of Production at Play/Action Films, a documentary production company founded by Jeffrey Lurie. Guirgis previously ran the documentary division of RatPac Entertainment, where she oversaw the development and production of numerous feature documentaries and documentary series. Prior to working in production, Marie Therese worked in film distribution for many years.

Industry Guests

Since Shortsfest was moved to a virtual version, we would still like to recognize our industry guests and thank them for their support.

Opal headshot



Opal H. Bennett has been a curator since 2014 when she joined the Programming team at Montclair Film Festival as Shorts Programmer. She is currently the Shorts Producer at POV, is on the programming teams for Athena Film Festival and DOC NYC, and is a Programming Consultant for The March on Washington Film Festival. She is also on the selection committees for shorts at Cinema Eye Honors and the International Documentary Association. Opal has served on juries for SXSW, IndieMemphis, NewFest, Leuven ShortsFest, New Orleans, Cleveland and Seattle International Film Festivals among others. She has also participated on selection committees for documentary programming and grants. A Columbia Law grad, Opal holds a Masters in Media Studies from the London School of Economics, and received her B.A. from New York University.

Ian Durkin_Headshot



Ian Durkin is Lead Curator at Vimeo. Since 2011, Ian has watched hundreds of thousands of films and helped select the world’s very best for the Vimeo Staff Picks Channel. Outside of Vimeo, Ian works as a commercial director and editor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Chloe Gbai_Headshot



Chloe Gbai is the Director of IF/Then Shorts at Tribeca Film Institute. IF/Then supports short documentaries directed by regional filmmakers. Previously, as the POV Shorts and Streaming Producer, she launched POV Shorts, which earned a documentary short Oscar nomination, two Emmy nominations and an IDA Awards nomination for Best Short Form Series. Her directing/editing work centers around race, immigration and gender. She is a member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia and a member-in-residence of the Meerkat Media Collective.

Diana Williams_Headshot 2



Diana Williams is the Executive Vice President of Creative at MWM Universe (MWMu), the IP-focused division of MWM, a diversified entertainment media company concentrated on premium content creation in film, television, immersive media and live entertainment. Prior to joining MWM Universe, she served as a Creative Development Executive and a Producer of Franchise Synergy within the Lucas film Story Group, an incubator for narrative cohesion and connectivity in the Star Wars universe. Before joining Lucas film, Williams founded Roller Coaster Entertainment, a film and TV production company where she produced the critically-acclaimed feature film, which earned her a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award in the Producer category. Williams is a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Diana Williams is a graduate of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.