Meet the juries!


These are the people responsible for deciding this year’s winners.

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Norwegian Short Film

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Top (from the left): Robyn Citizen, Nora Ibrahim, Landon Zakheim. Bottom (from the left): Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen, Hilde Heier.

Robyn Citizen is a film curator, scholar and notable Texan based in Toronto. Her eclectic film background includes receiving a PhD in cinema studies from New York University, lecturing in the Departments of Asian Studies and Theatre and Film at the University of British Columbia from 2012-2017, programming the 2018 Human Rights Film Festival, and published chapters on East Asian cult and horror cinema, black women in transnational science-fiction films, and Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017). In 2018, Citizen joined the Toronto International Film Festival as a programming associate. She is currently the International Programmer for the TIFF 2019 Short Cuts section.

Nora Ibrahim has for the last seven years worked on a variety of television projects in a variety of capacities in NRK P3. For the past two years she has worked at project managers and producer for, among other things, Faten tar valget and the drama series 17, a show she also co-created. She is currently acting editor in chief for P3’s television section and executive producer for the series 18.

Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen is an award-winning director/writer who graduated from the Polish National Film School in Lodz (PWSFTviT) in 2011. His short films Darek (2009) and Everything Will Be Ok (2011) have won several national and international awards. In 2017 he released his first feature film Valley of Shadows, which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival.

Hilde Heier has studied advanced directing at the New York University. Her start in the Norwegian film industry was by writing screenplays for short films she herself acted in. After directing a few short films, she made her feature debut with Suffløsen (1999). She also got considerable attention for her feature Lille frk. Norge (2003). Heier has taught at several Norwegian educational institutes, like the University of Bergen, The Norwegian Film School and KHiO. She has held many workshops in acting and directing, and been engaged as coach for actors and journalists.

Landon Zakheim has been a short film programmer for the Sundance Film Festival since 2008. He is also the director of programming for Aspen ShortsFest, senior programmer for the Philadelphia Film Festival, interactive curator for the Denver Film Festival and the co-founder and co-director of the Overlook Film Festival, a four-day celebration of all things horror in New Orleans.
He programs The Wrap’s online Short List Film festival and was head shorts programmer for the final four years of the LA Film Festival. Zakheim formerly programmed the American Film Institute’s fall festival in Los Angeles, AFI FEST and has more than a decade of festival experience with such organizations as the Telluride Film Festival, San Francisco Film Society, CineVegas, Austin Film Society, Tribeca Film Festival, Palm Springs Film Society and Outfest.
He has consulted for a variety of short-form based projects and has been a juror at festivals such as SXSW, BiFan, and Sitges. He has directed two short films that went on to play at over 60 prestigious festivals around the world.

Short Documentary

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Top (from the left): Steffan Strandberg, Birgitte Sigmundstad, Jon Haukeland. Bottom (from the left): Jo Vemund Svendsen, Lene Berg.

Lene Berg was born in Oslo and studied film at the Dramatiska Institutet (University College of Film, Radio, Television, and Theater), in Stockholm. In 1997 she directed the feature film A Woman’s Head (En Kvinnas Huvud) and has since produced a number of short films as well as mixed-media artworks and installations for galleries, museums, and public spaces. Most recently Berg directed the award-winning Kopfkino (2012) and GOMP: Tales of Surveillance in Norway 1948−1989 (2014), two feature-length films that reflect her involvement with outsiders.

Jon Haukeland is an award-winning director, playwright and journalist known for his work with the hybrid genre in documentary films in films such as The Man Who Loved Haugesund (2003), Girls (2007), Reunion – Ten Years After the War ( 2009) and Barneraneren (2016).

Birgitte Sigmundstad is a visual artist and documentary filmmaker. She has her degree from Surrey Institute of Art & Design. Her films include Brevet til Kulturministeren, Odel and Hammersborg Protecting the Bygone Future, which have all screened in Grimstad. Her latest documentary Han bærer sitt eget Tahiti i seg will be shown this summer at the Munch Museum. in 2007 she received the Einar Granums arts award and in 2011 she was granted the Public Grant for Artists.

Steffan Strandberg is from Norway and made his first film at the age of 10 He had his cinema debut with the documentary 7th Heaven in 2003. His film Heaven behind the house won Best International Film at Chicago International Children Film Festival in 2011, and his latest film, the animated documentary The Night (Den Natta pappa henta oss) had its cinema release in 2018 and international release at CPH:DOX where it received Special mention. He is currently developing his next feature film called The New Mirror.

Jo Vemund Svendsen is a journalist and has worked in VGTV, NTB and P4, where he was correspondent in the US for a number of years. Since 2016 he has worked as a documentary filmmaker and has, together with Petter Sommer, directed, shot and edited the doc For vi er gutta, which was screened in Norwegian commercials cinemas and several festivals. Svendsen also directed, edited and shot the TV documentary Når barna blir superstjerner (TVNorge, 2017).

International Short Film

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From the left: Mona Johanne Hoel, Ana David, Farzad Samsami.

Mona Johanne Hoel is a Norwegian director, screenwriter and producer. She is the owner and managing director of the production company Freedom From Fear. Her latest feature film Skal dere gå allerede? will premiere at Oslo Pix Film Festival June 2019. She has written and directed Norway’s first and only certified Dogme film, Når nettene blir lange, which won two Amanda awards (Norwegian film awards) in 2000. She has directed several other feature films which have received accolades from international film festivals. Her most awarded short film is Skjønnheten eller udyret which won the main award at Leipzig International Film Festival and Oberhausen International Film Festival in 1992. Et siste forsøk was in competition in Grimstad 2018.

Ana David is a shorts programmer and industry manager at IndieLisboa – International Independent Film Festival, and a member of the advisory board of the Berlinale Panorama. Recently she collaborated with the 62nd BFI London Film Festival as a film programmer with a special focus on documentary. She started off at Queer Lisboa – International Queer Film Festival, where she worked at between 2010-2015 as its co-director and programmer. She lived in Paris working at Festival Scope, the online and year-round reference platform for film professionals streaming titles selected by 90+ festivals in the world. Other past positions include the coordination of the industry event Lisbon Docs – International Financing and Co-production Forum, a workshop and pitching event for documentary projects, as well as festival distribution of Portuguese features and shorts at Portugal Film – Portuguese Film Agency.

Farzad Samsami has directed and produced several short films through his own company, Gorillafilm. In 2013 he made the short film FOAD, which screened at several festivals, both domestic and abroad, like Clermont Ferrand, Gothenburg, and Palm Springs, where it won HP Bridging The Borders Award for Best International Short. In 2017, he received a production grant for two short films: Min Far (2018) which was selected to screen in competition at the Kristiansand Children’s Film Festival in 2019, and DOAH (2019) which was shot in Morocco and is currently in post production.

Music Video

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From the left: Joana de Sousa, Elle Márjá Eira, Ida Madsen Hestman.

Elle Márjá Eira is a composer, filmmaker, musician, producer and artist. She received Gramart scholarship in 2019. Eira is a member of the band Snoweye (with Lucy Parnell and John Paul Jones in Led Zeppelin, Them Crooked Vultures). She has collaborated musically with Christophe Beck in the feature film The 12th Man by Harald Zwart. She has directed and produced several short films and music videos as Iđitsilba, Don`t fuck with me, Guođohit, Sámi bojá, The Sámi have rights and Icebreaker – Agnete. She has had art exhibitions and concerts around the world. As a musical artist she yoiks in her native Sápmi tongue with a presence, rawness and ingenuity that transcends language barriers. Deeply personal and rooted in the reindeer husbandry, Sápmi cultural history and presence, her work both enlightens and confronts. Hailing from Kautokeino, a small community deep in the Arctic tundra of Northern Norway, her artistic endeavors have led her across all continents and past cultural barriers.

Ida Madsen Hestman is a culture journalist, music and film critic, and photographer from Oslo. She works mainly for Dagbladet, Dagsavisen and the online cinema website Montages. In addition she is currently on the board of program for the newly established independent cinema Vega, is a member of Norwegian Critics Board and is the booking coordinator for the music festival Feminalen in Trondheim. She has a masters degree in Media Studies from the University of Oslo with a minor in aesthetics, gender theory and film theory, and has studied Art Direction at Westerdals. Madsen Hestman has broad experience from different media platforms such as radio, short film and music video production. She has been the music editor of the culture magazine Subjekt and Radio Nova, and program editor for Tromsø International Film Festival. She has done jury work before for The Norwegian Short Film Festival and Films From the South, as well as selection committee for Amandus Festival.

Joana de Sousa is a filmmaker and film curator. Since 2011 she has been a member of Rabbit Hole, a Lisbon-based collective and artistic platform for creation and experimentation. In 2012, she was awarded a scholarship to attend the international MA on Documentary Filmmaking – DocNomads. Her graduation film, Bétail (2014), has been screened and received awards at several film festivals worldwide. She is currently Programme Coordinator and Programmer of Doclisboa – International Film Festival and has participated as a curator and jury in festivals and art spaces in Lisbon, Oporto, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Copenhagen and Tel Aviv.

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