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Chris Overton
Jury Committee

Chris Overton is an Academy Award® winning director/producer, founder of Slick Films, and a member of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
He began his career as an actor working with directors such as Joel Schumacher and Roman Polanski. 

Chris made his directorial debut with 'The Silent Child’, for which he received the
Academy Award® for Best Live Action Short, as well as over 50 other international
awards with ‘The Silent Child' and his second short, ‘Leader’. His 3rd short film ‘in too
deep’ has just been completed and will be released later in 2022.

Chris has also directed commercials. His Huawei Story Sign Christmas campaign, 

won seven Lions at Cannes, eight One Show awards, three D&ADs, and a Grand Prix at Eurobest.

Through his company Slick Films, Chris advocates first-time filmmakers in bringing their stories to life.

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Kia Brooks
Jury Committee

Kia Brooks is the Deputy Director at The Gotham Film & Media Institute (formerly IFP). 


She oversees the organization’s programming, membership and marketing. Prior to her role as deputy Director, she was the Director, Membership & Strategic Partnerships at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP. 


She oversaw the Media Center’s general operations, event programming, membership and strategic partnerships. Before joining IFP, she worked in publicity and special events for over five years at revered companies such as Focus Features, Tribeca Film Festival, and Oscilloscope Laboratories working on theatrical releases, awards campaigns and special events titles include “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Anna Karenina,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “Time is Illmatic,” among others. Kia Brooks received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Public Communications from American University. She loves connecting people and building community.

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Sam French 
Jury Committee

Sam French is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker and founding director of the documentary production company Development Pictures, Sam’s work has appeared on HBO, BBC, CNN, Channel 4 News, Al Jazeera, National Geographic, and other broadcast outlets.
In addition to multiple award-winning documentaries, Sam wrote and directed the Academy
Award® nominated short film “Buzkashi Boys,” which was the first narrative film since 2001 to be filmed entirely on location in Afghanistan.  

Sam believes in the power of storytelling to connect people across different cultures, and that if we share our stories, we can change the world.
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Dorotea Mercuri
Jury Committee

Greek-Italian actress and model studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in New York City.

She made her cinema debut in the Greek film “The Attack of the Giant Mousaka”(1996), directed by Panos Koutras. Her first leading role was in the independent film "And She Was" (2002) by Frank Rainone and later, in the Greek-American film "Lisa and The Others" (2003) by Nikos Perakis . "What Will Happen To Us" (2004) Italy, directed by Giovanni Veronesi. “Fishtales” (2006) by Aliki David and  “Without Borders”(2011) Greek/US co-production, by Nicos Gaitatjis.