Meet the NewFest 2017 Juries

US Narrative, International Narrative, Documentary Features and New York Shorts

Documentary Features

Dan Hunt
Dan Hunt is a film director how brings over 25 years of filmmaking experience focusing on gender, sexuality, aging, and prison reform. His award winning work has broadcast on PBS, ABC, Logo, Netflix, and WEtv and screened at festivals including SxSW, Woodstock, NewFest and Rio International. Hunt has worked as a programmer for the Tribeca Film Festival and is on faculty at Marymount Manhattan College.

Sam Tabet
Sam Tabet is a Brooklyn based independent filmmaker. Most notably Sam produced the Peabody Award Winning and Emmy nominated film Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four. Sam is a founder of the Queer Producers Collective, a Firelight Impact Producer fellow, and Impact Partners Producing fellow.

Gabe Gonzalez
Gabe Gonzalez is a comedian, writer, and producer living in Brooklyn, NY. He’s a queer Latinx whose work focuses on politics, sexual health and social justice. He’s currently writing for print and video, with work featured on Remezcla, MTV, and NBC Out. He studied improv and sketch comedy at Second City in 2011 and graduated from Brown University in 2012 with a degree in media studies and film production. Gabe appeared in the 2015 NewFest short “Catharsis” and the 2016 HBO Latino documentary “Habla y Vota.”

International Narrative Features

Richard Lawson
Richard Lawson is the film critic for Vanity Fair and is a co-host of Vanity Fair’s Little Gold Men podcast. In the past, he has written for The Guardian, Gawker, The Atlantic, and Out magazine. His first novel, All We Can Do Is Wait, will be published by Penguin in February 2018.

Nicholas Kemp
Nicholas Kemp is the Director of Theatrical Marketing at Kino Lorber, a leading North American distributor of foreign, documentary, and indie films. Recent LGBTQ releases by Kino Lorber include Tom of Finland and The Wound. He previously worked at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the New York Film Festival.

Farihah Zaman
Farihah Zaman is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker, critic, and programmer who is currently the Production Manager for Field of Vision, the visual journalism unit founded by Charlotte Cook, A.J. Schnack and Laura Poitras. Her diverse background in the film industry includes working as the Acquisitions Manager at indie distribution company Magnolia Pictures, and serving as the the Program Manager of The Flaherty Seminar, organizing their historic, contentious annual event and launching a monthly screening series at Anthology Film Archives. Her first feature film is the award-winning documentary Remote Area Medical, which was followed by the short Kombit (2014 Sundance Film Festival) and second feature This Time Next Year (2014 Tribeca Film Festival). She has written for Reverse Shot, Elle Magazine, Film Comment, Huffington Post, Filmmaker Magazine, and AV Club, among others.

US Narrative Features

Dominic Davis
Dominic Davis is a Programmer at Rooftop Films and has a degree in mass media studies and political science from the University of Kentucky. In 2011, he took a job with the film office of the Sundance Film Festival, where he discovered film programming as a profession. He has previously programmed for the American Museum of Natural History and the Tribeca Film Festival. He has served on advisory panels and grant and film juries across the globe. When not watching movies, he goes for very long runs.

Patti Harrison
Patti Harrison is a comedian, actor, writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Her television credits include appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon“, “Broad City“, and TBS’s “Search Party“. She is also featured in Paul Feig’s upcoming film “A Simple Favor”. Her other work can be seen on MTV, Comedy Central,, VICELAND, Conde Nast’s “The Scene”, and Seriously.TV. She’s been called “Upsettingly funny” by Time Out New York, and featured in write-ups in The New York Times, Vulture, Splitsider, A.V Club, Paste Magazine, and more. She cohosts the monthly live comedy show “It’s a Guy Thing” at Union Hall. She is terngernter!!!!!

Roberta Colindrez
Roberta Colindrez is an NYC based actor/writer. Broadway: Fun Home. The Public: Fun Home (Public Lab and Sundance Lab, original cast); Hamlet (dir. Sam Gold). Theatre credits: Mala Hierba (2nd stage uptown); writer, performer, director for New York Neo-Futurists. Film/TV: Devon in I Love Dick (Amazon), Tako in GIRLS (HBO), Boardwalk Empire, Gotham, Birdman

New York Shorts

Opal H. Bennett
Opal H. Bennett currently programs shorts for DOCNYC and Nantucket Film Festival, feature docs for Tribeca and is the Programmer at Athena Film Fest. She’s also a programming consultant for The March on Washington Film Festival.

Sal Bardo
Sal Bardo is an award-winning writer/director whose films have screened at festivals around the world and have been watched over 20 million times on YouTube and Vimeo. His most recent film, “Great Escape,” was an official selection of both NewFest and Outfest in 2016 and was nominated for the Iris Prize, the world’s largest LGBT short film award.

John D. Lee
John D. Lee is a freelance film consultant specializing in advising filmmakers with grant proposals, pitch preparation, PR/Marketing and festival strategy. He also consults with organizations such as Ghetto Film School and Film Fatales on programming and events. Lee previously served as the Manager of Scripted Programming for the Tribeca Film Institute where he managed programs including Tribeca All Access, TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize and the IWC Filmmaker Award. He is a graduate of NY Institute of Technology with a B.A. in Communication Arts.