2023 Directors

Sarah Menzies -- The Tracker (2022)

Sarah Baskin / Canada


Sarah Baskin is a NYC-based actor and filmmaker originally from Montreal. She has worked on stage (Off-Broadway, Regionally, and in downtown theater) and screen (HBO, Amazon, Hulu, CBS, NBC, several independent films). She recently co-created the one-woman play, A Poem And A Mistake, which premiered at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) as part of the exhibition, A Biography of Daphne. Influenced by her many years teaching master classes in acting, Sarah’s award-winning directorial debut, “Les Calins Cheaps” (“Cheap Hugs”), is a bilingual short film currently in its festival run. Her next project, a tragi-comedy short loosely inspired by The Three Sisters, is currently in development. She is a company member of Subway Token Films, The Actors Center. BA: Vassar College; MFA: American Repertory Theatre / Moscow Art Theatre School at Harvard University.

Polly Pierce (SLUMP)

Shireen Ayache / U.K.

إتصال | THE CALL

Shireen Ayache is a Lebanese/British filmmaker currently completing her MA in Directing Fiction at Goldsmiths, University of London. She’s had work experience in different roles such as editing and photography but discovered that directing was her passion. After finding out about the August 4th, 2020 Beirut port explosion, Shireen felt the need to shed light on the ongoing issue and raise as much awareness as possible. The love and attachment she has for her country are what inspired her to tell her own story, in hopes of making a difference.


Photo of Zahra Torkamanlou

Zahra Torkamanlou / Iran


Zahra Torkamanlou is a 29-year-old female film director and distributor from Tabriz, Iran. She’s made several short films and documentaries in recent years. Two of Zahra’s films, “The Hole” and “The Other,” have been sent to international festivals and have received great acclaim.

Pascale Arbillot / La nuit des chasseurs

Pascale Arbillot / France


Born April 17, 1970, Pascale Arbillot is a French actress of theatre, cinema and television. She graduated from the Institute of Political Science and started a law career. But she quickly decided to stop it to fulfill her dream to become an actress. She has appeared in many French films, on television and in the theatre. “La Nuit des Chasseurs” is her first film as a director.

Séréna Robin- made of flesh

Séréna Robin / France


At the Sorbonne-Nouvelle University Paris 3, Séréna combined her two passions with a double degree in Modern Literature and Cinema. She then began writing short film scripts. Made in Flesh (Poupées de chair), pre-purchased by Canal+ and co-produced by Les Films du Cygne and Cookies Films, is her first fiction film. In parallel, she has written and directed several documentary films. She is currently shooting her next two documentaries: Les Nouvelleaux and Les Sorcières de Sarcelles (2022).

Laura Vandervoort (My Soul To Take)

Pip Gilmore / U.S.


Pip Gilmore is a seasoned director, producer, and writer with the experience to generate powerful documentaries that entertain, engage, and stimulate discussion, producing long and short form documentaries for broadcast and non-broadcast for over 25 years. Gilmour has traveled the world working with scientists, engineers, anthropologists, Indigenous tribes, community activists, farmers, and multiple historians on stories ranging from spies that gave away the nuclear bomb to medicinal plants of the Indonesian rainforest. Beyond her documentary work, Pip has been involved with television dramas for Fox, ABC, CBS, as well as narrative features and shorts. Her work has garnered her awards and top ratings from festivals and networks including New York Film Festival, Worldfest Houston Film Festival, the Television, Internet & Video Association Award, Southern Shorts Film Festival, Codie Award, Peer Award, Invision Awards, and others.

Pip is a member of the Producers Guild of America.

Pamela French- A Feminist Lens

Pamela French / U.S.


Pamela French, a New York-based, independent producer/director and mother of two, specializes in fly-on-the-wall films. Pamela captures the triumphs and tragedies of her subjects with intimacy and realism. She began her career at MTV’s Music Video and Artist Profile Unit. She went on to document and promote artists for Channel 13’s awardwinning City Arts, and produced “Listen Smart,” an educational film about hearing loss within the music industry––on permanent exhibition at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Pamela’s first documentary film, “Becoming More Visible,” follows four transgender young adults in New York City. It was released worldwide with Sundance Now. During the pandemic, Ms. French continued her work on “Change Can’t Wait,” a cinematic exploration of the rise of Black women in American politics. She is in pre-production for a documentary on the “Universal Hip Hop Museum.”

Orit Fouks Rotem - Cinema sabaya

Orit Fouks Rotem / Israel


Orit graduated from Jerusalem Sam Spiegel School winning “Promising Director.” Her diploma film, “Staring Match,” was screened in festivals worldwide, and won the Grand Prix at the Hangzhao Festival, China; Best Screenplay at Tel Aviv Student Film Festival, and Honorable Mention at the Jerusalem Film Festival

Orit worked as a film facilitator and director for Israeli NGO, making films with at-risk youth; taught filmmaking for women in Acres and Givat Haviva and wrote and directed two short fiction films– “You Remain Silent.” It premiered in Sarajevo and Jerusalem Film Festival 2018 and The MOMA. “Veil” was selected for festivals worldwide. 

Cinema Sabaya, Orit’s debut feature film, won 5 Ophir Awards (Israeli Film and TV Academy) for Best Picture and Best Director for Rotem. The film also received Best Picture Award, and Audience Award at the Jerusalem International Film Festival. “Cinema Sabaya” is the official Oscars entry for Israel.

Nil Unerdem - Pearl In the Window

Nil Unerdem / U.S.


Nil Unerdem moved from Istanbul to Sunnyvale, CA. at age six. The daughter of immigrants, she studied engineering at Stanford and Columbia, although her favorite classes were about poetry, writing, history, and film. While working many years at Dolby Labs, she took screenwriting classes and a year long filmmaking program, where she made several short films. In 2019 Nil finally left her job to pursue her passion for film. She wrote a romantic comedy, “Song of Selale,” based partially on her life (Quarterfinalist Screencraft Fellowship and Screencraft Comedy, 2021); a horror comedy feature, “Human Stalk,” and a fish out of water half hour sitcom called Dani & Ella. Her short film, “Pearl In The Window,” inspired by her great aunt in Istanbul, was an official selection at the SF Short Film Festival (2022) and won the Audience Award at the WIF SF Bay Area Shorts Showcase.

Natasa Prosenc Stearns- Ziva

Nataša Prosenc Stearns / Slovenia


Slovenian born visual artist and filmmaker Nataša Prosenc Stearns, earned her BA at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. She moved to Los Angeles on a Fulbright Grant for her MFA at California Institute of the Arts. Her work ranges from single and multi-channel videos, video installations, short and feature films, video objects and print media. Her films explore innovative strategies in storytelling and visual expression. Nataša’s films have been shown in festivals such as SXSW, Brooklyn Film Festival, LA Short Film Festival, Chicago Independent Film Festival, Pacific Film Archives Berkeley, RedCat at Disney Music Hall in Los Angeles, Ibiza Cinefest, Films de femmes Paris, AVIFF Cannes and others. Her artwork has been featured at the Venice Biennale, in Douloun Museum of Art in Shanghai, ARCO Fair in Madrid,and Tel Aviv Museum of Art among others. She is a recipient of the Durffee and Soros Grants. Nataša lives in Los Angeles and in Ljubljana Slovenia.

Molly Dennis- Uncharted Waters

Molly Dennis / Canada


Molly is a British documentary filmmaker, who moved to Canada during the pandemic and was immediately inspired by the nature and community in British Columbia. She is a self-shooting Assistant Producer in television documentaries – having worked on projects for major broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4 and Stars. She has been fortunate enough to work on a range of projects across a broad range of topics including laboring mothers, talent, sex workers, critical care in hospitals and operating theaters. Her first short documentary Blue Light explored a homeless shelter for women in Bristol (UK) and was screened at HER International Film Festival in Ireland. The Creative Producer is a local to the area, as were many of the creative contributors.


MIPO O / Japan


No info submitted.

Melissa Bruning - A Ghost Story

Melissa Bruning / U.S.


No info submitted.

Marie Clements--Bones of Crows

Marie Clements


A renowned writer, director and producer Marie’s career has spanned film, TV, radio and live performance. She is a Métis/Dene filmmaker and founder of MCM, a production company specializing in the development, creation and production of innovative media that ignite an Indigenous and intercultural reality. Her multi-award-winning films have screened internationally at Cannes; TIFF; MOMA,; VIFF; American Indian Film Festival, and imagineNATIVE Film Festival

Maries current slate includes the feature film and five-part drama Bones of Crows” for CBC, Radio-Canada, and APTN. Her feature debut, “Red Snow,” received several awards including Best Achievement in Film at LA Skins Fest in Los Angeles, Best Director at American Indian Film Festival, and Best Production, Best Director, Best Writer, at Women in Film & TV Festival.

She is a recipient of the WFF Women on Top Award; the WIFTV Spotlight Impact Award, and is a 2019 Telefilm Canada Birks Diamond Tribute to Women in Film recipient.

Maeve Andrews- Valkyrie

Maeve Andrews / U.S.


Maeve (pronounced mayv, like wave) graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Animation. She has been drawing since she was younger and came from a family of storytellers and artists. She experimented with cinematography, screenwriting, acting, voice acting and editing, before deciding she wanted to go into animation, with an emphasis in 2nd hand drawn style. Valkyrie is her senior thesis film. She has always been interested in mythology, so creating a senior thesis film based on Norse myths makes sense.

Lisa Cole- Bienvindidos A Los Angeles
Lisa Cole / U.S.

Writer-director-producer Lisa Cole’s work amplifies underrepresented voices and exposes social injustices. She co-wrote “Diamond Girls” with Selena Gomez, and “Queen of Newburgh,” Final Draft Fellow/Stowe Story Labs, and Second Rounder, Sundance Development Track 2022, with Trinidad director Maya Cozier (“She Paradise”). Lisa’s screenplay, “Girl Named Sue,” won the Page International Screenplay contest and is in development with acclaimed producers Laura Bickford & Nathan Ross. Lisa’s background includes: living with 201 host families in 12 countries in three years; directing documentaries for The Gates Foundation, Sundance Institute, Viacom, BET & A&E, including films highlighting women’s health and safety in the DRC and Kenya. Accolades include Regional Finalist Student Academy Awards; ‘Rock Doc of the Year,’ LA Music Awards; Winner of the Page International Screenplay Contest, and 2x Cine Qua Non Lab Fellow. Her award-winning short film “Shipwreck” screened in 40+ festivals including: 2021 Official Selection, Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase.

Leslie Shampaine- call me dancer

Leslie Shampaine / U.S.


Director and producer, Leslie Shampaine has been telling stories throughout her professional life. From the ballet stage where she performed throughout the world during a 13-year career, to the television screen where she has produced award-winning programs for PBS, Discovery Channel, A&E, CBS, and Al Jazeera.

Her work ranges from documentaries to cultural and educational programming and includes 8 years as part of the production team for the Emmy award-winning Kennedy Center Honors where she worked on over 30 biographical films of the Honorees. Selected credits include the PBS programs One World: India, Avoiding Armageddon, and Closer To Truth; Who Betrayed Anne Frank (Discovery Channel) – winner of a Telly, a Cine Golden Eagle, and a Gold Remi at the Houston WorldFest; DC Cupcakes (TLC); Smithsonian Networks series’ Seriously Amazing Objects; and Fireworks, with George Plimpton (A&E), which was nominated for an Emmy and an ACE.

Barbara Kopple -- Harlan County, USA & Gumbo Coalition
Barbara Kopple / U.S.

Barbara Kopple is a nine-time Emmy-nominated filmmaker, who produced and directed “Harlan County, USA” and “American Dream,” both winners of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. In 1991, “Harlan County, USA” was named to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress and designated an American Film Classic. Her films include titles too numerous to list, with several garnering Emmy nominations/awards, and covering a plethora of topics of national and international interest. 

Barbara has received the Human Rights Watch Film Festival Irene Diamond Award; Los Angeles Film Critics Award; National Society of Film Critics Award; the White House Project’s EPIC Award; the International Documentary Association Career Achievement Award; the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and many more. 

She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; the Director’s Guild of America; New York Women in Film and Television’s Honorary Board; the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and actively participates in organizations that address social issues and support independent filmmaking.

Kaitlin Egely- Nubecita

Kaitlin Egely / Hungary


Katalin Egely graduated in Animation in 2013 from the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, Hungary. Besides short films, credits and animated scenes for movies, my focus is primarily on making music videos. Music videos are especially inspiring to me, versus  \k on animated documentary films because with animation it’s possible to express the more subjective parts of a narrative.

Julia Wu-Ching-Chang- Hello to me in 100 years / TAIWAN
Julia Wu-Ching Chang / Taiwan

Born in Taiwan, Wu-Ching Chang is an animation director who earned MA in Animation at the Royal College of Art in the UK, and BFA in New Media Art at the Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan. She is the founder of Aco Creative Ltd. and has worked on commercial and independent animation, illustration, and game concept art since 2014. She was the concept artist and cinematic artist for the game Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition. Her films approach multiple issues of females, modernity, and humanistic views, and are based on cultural context through focused interviews, and contain multiple experimental practices, such as animating with eggs. 

Her film “Hello to Me in 100 Years” was a selection at BFI London Film Festival and Cleveland International Film Festival. “My Grandmother Is an Egg” won Jury Special Mention Award at Atlanta Film Festival and Women Make Waves Film Festival, and was officially selected at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

Jules Koostachin / CANADA- MisTik
Jules Koostachin / Canada

Jules Koostachin was born in Moose Factory, Ontario, and raised by her Cree speaking grandparents in Moosonee, and her mother, in Ottawa. Jules is a band member of Attawapiskat First Nation, the Ancestral lands of the MoshKeKo AsKi InNiNeWak, and resides in Vancouver.  Jules completed a masters at Ryerson University in Documentary Media (2010), where she was one of six women selected for the Women in the Directors Chair program. She completed herPhD in GRSJ at University of British Columbia.

Her television series AskiBOYZ (2016) is airing on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network in Cree and English. She released “OshKiKiShiKaw: A New Day,” (2019); award winning “KaYaMenTa: Sharing Truths about Menopause” (2020), and just completed a feature drama, “Broken Angel.”  “Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths,” was published with Kegedonce Press (2018). Jules is the voice of Layla (Mom) on the new PBS Kids/CBC Kids animated series “Molly of Denali.”

Joanne Mitchel / U.K. -- The Outing
Joanne Mitchel / U.K.

Joanne Mitchell trained as an actress and has had a full and varied career in TV, film, theatre and radio. Recently her love of film and stories, especially within the horror genre, have lead her to focus on writing and producing. So far three genre feature films that she has co-produced and written have all had international distribution (Before Dawn, Bait, Attack Of The Adult Babies). This has taken her a step further into a new found love for directing. Last year she made her directorial debut with her short film “Sybil, which has played at international festivals all around the world. It can now be seen on Gunpowder and Sky’s platform, ALTER. She was also nominated In 2017 as Screen International and Frightfest’s rising star of the genre.

Joanna Priestley - Jung & Restless

Joanna Priestley / U.S.


Joanna Priestley has directed, animated, and produced 32 films, including the abstract animated feature North of Blue, and the iOS app Clam Bake. Her work maintains a high level of porosity between serious exploration of boundaries and intuitive whimsy, and is dedicated to experimentation in technique, theme, and content. Priestley has had retrospectives at the British Film Institute (London), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Center for Contemporary Art (Warsaw, Poland) and American Cinematheque (Los Angeles) among others.  She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, American Film Institute and MacDowell Colony. Priestley was founding president of ASIFA Northwest. She is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and annually juries the Oscars, Student Academy Awards, and the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. Priestley lives next to the forest in Portland, Oregon with her husband, director/production designer Paul Harrod. 

Jennifer Burton / U.S.

Jennifer Burton is a filmmaker and helms the independent film company, Five Sisters Productions. She’s committed to making female-driven content that represents diverse experiences. Her films include “Origin Of The Species” (a feature documentary exploring how robots are already disrupting our ethical, cultural, and social lives, directed by Abigail Child). “Kings, Queens & In-Betweens” (a feature documentary on gender, identity, and drag), “The Happiest Day of His Life” (MTV/Logo), and “Manna From Heaven” (MGM/SONY). Corporate projects include: “Your Ford Story” mini-documentaries. Working with Tufts student filmmakers, she produced the “Half The History” project and “Old Guy.” Her publications include “Call And Response: Key Debates In African-American Studies,” and “The Prize Plays And Other One Acts: Zora Neale Hurston, Eulalie Spense, Marita Bonner,” and others. 

Rivkah Beth Medow

Rivkah Beth Medow is a Sundance X WIF Independent Fellow whose credits include the short documentary “Holding Moses” and feature documentaries “Ahead Of The Curve”; “Hummingbirds”; “Jeannette”; and “Sons of a Gun.” She has directed and produced multi-part documentary projects for non-profits including The Pachamama Alliance, and Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Rivkah believes in making projects inclusively and building Engagement Campaigns around these projects, to amplify their work in the world. As a Board Director for The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, she’s helped award over 10 million dollars to fiction films including “Miss Juneteenth,” “Songs My Brothers Taught Me,” and “Fruitvale Station.” In 2021 she co-founded Frankly Speaking Films with Jen Rainin to tell mesmerizing stories about strong queer women and non-binary people.

Guzel D- Bride Stone
Guzel Duishenkulova / Kyrgyzstan

Duishenkulova Guzel was born in 1980 in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. Graduated from ISU. K. Tynystanova, Faculty of Economics. From October 2014 to October 2016 she studied at the Studio of the famous director Temir Birnazarov. In 2020, she entered the KGUKI named after M. B. Beishenaliyeva.


Déborah François / France


Déborah François was born in Liège, Belgium, in1987. Passionate about acting, she auditioned for the Dardenne brothers’ L’Enfant, while still a teenager. She was chosen to play Sonia alongside Olivier Gourmet and Jérémie Renier. The film won the Palme d’Or; François’ performance received praise. In 2006, played the role of a manipulator against Catherine Frot in La Tourneuse de pages. She was in L’été Indien by Alain Raoust and became one of the Femmes de l’ombre of Jean-Paul Salomé, alongside Julie Depardieu and Sophie Marceau. In 2008, Déborah was awarded the César for Meilleur Espoir Féminin for the accuracy of her interpretation in Le Premier jour du reste de ta vie. Since then, she has been seen in the Argentinian film London Night, and in Dominik Moll’s Le Moine where she plays opposite Vincent Cassel.

Florence Rochat, made of flesh
Florence Rochat / France

After studying literature and cinema at the Sorbonne-Nouvelle, Florence Rochat devoted herself to writing and directing. She developed several short film projects, including Made in Flesh (Poupées de chair), which she directed in 2022, produced by Les Films du Cygne and Cookies films, pre-purchased by Canal+. She also co-wrote Jonathan Millet’s first feature film Les Fantômes, produced by Films Grand Huit, winner of the Moulin d’Andé Francophone residency, Groupe Ouest, Emergence and the Grand Prix 2022 at the Prix du Scénario (formerly Sopadin). Rochat works as a lecturer at the Cinémathèque Française and is about to publish a book of interviews of Alain Bergala on cinema.

Jules Koostachin / CANADA- MisTik
Eva Tavares / Canada

Eva Tavares is a Canadian singer, dancer, actor, director, and coach. She is a graduate of the UBC Opera Program, the LAMDA Shakespeare Short Course and the Banff/Citadel Theatre Professional Training Program. Tavares has worked primarily in live performance, but was recently the romantic lead in the Movie of the Week “Just a Dash,” and plays principal and supporting characters in numerous MOWs, and TV shows such as, Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, Turner & Hooch, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Film directing projects can be seen in The World Monologue Games and Run n’ Gun Festival 2021. Upcoming direction projects include the documentary of Fringe favorite, “Hysteria.” When she’s not performing or directing, Tavares works as a coach and mentor across North America and the UK. She runs Behind the Mask Masterclass, alongside Jennifer Andersen, guiding participants to their most authentic selves within their musical storytelling.

Brydie O'Connor
Brydie O'Connor / U.S.

Brydie O’Connor’s award-winning work spans documentary and narrative fields, with a focus on women-driven and queer stories. Much of her work is inspired by archival histories. Brydie has directed short documentaries “Love, Barbara (2021)” which won the Grand Jury Prize for Short Documentary at Academy-Award-qualifying Outfest, and Friends of Dorothy (2020), which premiered in New York at DOC NYC. In 2021, Brydie was selected for The Future of Film is Female Award, and received a NYSCA grant sponsored by Women Make Movies, as well as a Brooklyn Arts Council grant. In 2019-2020, she workshopped her forthcoming film in the Female Filmmakers Berlin Directing Lab. She was recently selected as a semi-finalist for the NewFest x Netflix New Voices Filmmaker Fellowship. Brydie’s producing credits include THE LESBIAN BAR PROJECT with Executive Producer Lea DeLaria, WOMONTOWN for PBS Kansas City, and various projects on Left/Right TV’s roster. She is a graduate of The George Washington University.

Catherine Hardwicke
Suzana Dinevski / Macedonia

Suzana Dinevski was born in Canada, but grew up in Skopje, North Macedonia. Inspired by the old, John Wayne western movies she loved to watch with her father, at twelve years of age she became fascinated with filmmaking. Suzana has a degree in film studies (BFA) from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada; a Master’s degree in film and video production (MFA) from York University in Toronto, Canada, and is a Berlinale Talent (2007) and IDFAcademy Alumni (2022). Suzana has written, produced and directed several award-winning films and formed her own production company SUZI KJU in 2013 in Skopje.

Catherine Hardwicke
Ursula Burton / U.S.

Award-winning director Ursula Burton wrote, directed, and produced the comedy “The Happiest Day Of His Life,” which won a “Viewer’s Choice Award” on MTV’s LOGO Channel, and qualified for the Academy Awards. She has made numerous commercials, PSAs, and short films, including the Faces of Ford campaign; “Mamas for Obama” spots, and series ”Half The History” and “Olg Guy.” Recent films explore her interests in gender, equality, and representation, “We Treat Them The Same,” “Expiration Date,” and “A Future Wish” were scheduled to be released when COVID hit – stay tuned. She regularly directs and co-produces audio dramas including “Dark Shadows” and “Stargate.” Under her banner, “Five Sisters Productions,” she has produced feature films including “Just Friends,” “Manna From Heaven,” “Temps,” and “Kings, Queens & In-Betweens.” Burton is a Professor of the Practice at Otis College of Art and Design, where she teaches filmmaking.

Lucia Puenzo
Lucia Puenzo / Argentina

No info submitted.

Catherine Hardwicke
Catherine Hardwicke / U.S.

No info submitted.



Leena Yadav / U.S.

No info submitted.

Maria Sole Tognazzi / Italy

No info submitted.