Jury Members

Keith Carradine

Part of the Carradine dynasty of actors, the multi-talented Keith Carradine was born in California in 1949. He has starred in over seventy feature films including: Thieves Like Us, Nashville, Welcome to LA, Pretty Baby and The Duellists. More recently, he has appeared in: Aint Them Bodies Saints, Cowboys and Aliens and A Quiet Passion. Carradine also wrote and sang “I’m Easy”, for the film, Nashville, which won an Academy Award for best original song, in 1975. He has just finished production in Jane Campion’s new film, The Power of the Dog.

Kirsten Smith

Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith co-wrote the films Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s the Man, Ella Enchanted, The Ugly Truth and The House Bunny. More recently, Smith executive produced and co-created Trinkets, a Netflix series based on her YA novel. She is co-author of two comic book series, Misfit City and Smooth Criminals, as well as being an accomplished poet.

Michael Smiley

Michael Smiley, perhaps best known for his acclaimed performance as Gal in Ben Wheatley’s Kill List, also played Benny Silver in the BBC series Luther. In 2018, he starred as corrupt politician, Gits Hegarty, in Morgan Bushe’s Belly of the Whale. More recently, smiley wrapped filming Bloodlands for BBC2 and will soon hit our TV screens playing Brock Blennerhasset, a post-mortem photographer, in the darkly comic crime-thriller Dead Still. Other recent credits include Death and Nightingales and Free Fire in which he starred alongside Brie Larson and Cillian Murphy.  

Allison Anders

Allison Anders is an award-winning screenwriter and film and TV director, whose work includes; Gas Food Lodging, Mi Vida Loca, and Grace of My Heart. She’s directed episodes of TV, including Sex and the City, Orange is the New Black, Southland, Riverdale, The Affair, and Mayans. She was nominated for an Emmy for Best Director for the Lifetime movie Ring of Fire. She’s a MacArthur Fellow and a Peabody Award Winner.

Fionnula Flanagan

Dublin-born Fionnula Flanagan has enjoyed a long and illustrious career on stage and screen. She made her debut on the Hollywood stage in 1968 in Brian Friel’s Lovers. In 1985 she won international acclaim for her role in James Joyce’s Women, in which she played six different women, all of whom had a significant impact on Joyce’s life. Besides her award-winning performance, Flanagan also wrote, adapted and starred in both the stage and screen versions of Joyce’s Women. Following such successes, she appeared in many films, including, Waking Ned Devine, The Guard, and Devine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood’. Still extremely busy, Flanagan has recently featured in Sandrine Dumas’s, Sing me Back Home, the superhero comedy Supervized and Ben McPherson’s apocalyptic Radioflash.  

Ruth Negga 

Ruth Negga is an exceptionally talented and versatile actress with a body of work that spans award- winning theatre productions, big screen historical dramas, independent films and innovative television
Ruth will next be seen making her Young Vic Theater debut in the titular role of Marina Carr’s haunting Irish play, Portia Coughlan, directed by Caroline Byrne. The play follows Portia Coughlan, who is seen
unraveling as the spirit of her fifteen-years-deceased brother haunts her. She lives with her husband, whom she can’t love, and her three children, whom she can`t trust herself to care for.
Ruth recently wrapped lensing Rebecca Hall’s Passing, opposite Tessa Thompson. The film is based on an adaptation of Nella Larsen’s 1920’s Harlem Renaissance novel of the same name that explores
the practice of racial passing, a term used for a person classified as a member of one racial group who seeks to be accepted by a different racial group. The film follows the unexpected reunion of two high
school friends, Clare Kendry (Negga) and Irene Redfield (Thompson), whose renewed acquaintance ignites a mutual obsession that threatens both of their carefully constructed realities.
Most notably, Ruth was seen starring as ‘Mildred Loving’ opposite Joel Edgerton in Jeff Nichols’ Loving, inspired by the documentary The Loving Story. The film follows Mildred and Richard Loving, the
couple behind the pivotal 1967 civil rights case, Loving vs. Virginia. The interracial couple married in June 1958 and as a result were arrested and sentenced to year in the state penitentiary— a sentence
that was suspended on the condition that they be exiled from the state of Virginia. The couple spent the next nine years fighting, determined to be together in their home state. Loving Vs. Virginia became a
landmark victory in the Supreme Court, as well as an important step forward in the Civil Rights battle. For her performance, Ruth’s accolades include Academy Award®, Golden Globe® and Critics Choice
Award® nominations. She also won an IFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, Film.

Laura Ní Cheallaigh

Laura Ní Cheallaigh is a Commissioning Editor with TG4, developing, commissioning and managing a slate of factual, music, historical and entertainment projects for the national and international market.  She is also responsible for Acquisitions, complementing the indigenous content in the TG4 schedule with the best of drama, documentaries, lifestyle and films from around the world.

Prior to taking up her role with TG4, Laura was an award-winning freelance producer/director focusing particularly on documentary and arts projects.  Credits include IFTA and Celtic Media Award winning documentary ‘Páidí Ó Sé – Rí an Pharóiste’, musical entertainment series ‘Ceolchuairt’ and the IFTA winning ‘The High Hopes Choir’.

Liam Cunningham

Having initially persued a career as an electrician, multi-award winning Irish stage and screen actor, Liam Cunningham made his first movie appearance in 1992 playing a policeman in,“Into the West”. He has since appeared in many wonderful films, such as: A little Princess (1995), Jude (1996), Dog Soldiers (2002), The Wind that Shakes the Barely (2006), and Hunger (2008). He has also starred in The Guard (2011), Good Vibrations,(2013) and 24 Hours to Live (2017).

Cunningham has also appeared in many TV shows, playing President Richard Tate in the BBC’s Outcasts and most famously from 2012-2019, he portrayed smuggler Davos Seaworth in HBO’s Game of Thrones. Among many other roles, he has also found the time to appear  as Captain Zhukov in Dr Who and as a sorcerer in five epsodes of Merlin. Most recently, it has been revealed that Cunningham will voice Man-At Arms in the Netflix animated series Masters of the Universe.

Stuart Forrest

Stuart Forrest is the CEO of Triggerfish Animation, the largest animation studio in Africa. He is the producer of two of Africa’s most successful film exports, Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba.

He co-founded non-profits Animation SA, the Triggerfish Academy and the Triggerfish Foundation, and has given talks around the world on storytelling for an international audience.

Triggerfish’s work for BBC One Christmas specials have been nominated for an Oscar,
won 2 International Emmy’s and a BAFTA award, among many others.
Triggerfish is currently in production on a feature film, Seal Team, and Africa’s first original animated TV series for Netflix, – Mama K’s Team 4.

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