Michael Rowe is an Australian film director and screenwriter who has made Mexico his adoptive home. In 2005, one of his first scripts, Naturaleza Muertas won at the Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía. In 2006, he directed his first short film, Cacahuates. Silencio followed in 2007. In 2010, Michael directed Año Bisiesto (Leap Year), which garnered him the Caméra d'Or prize for best first time feature film director at the Cannes Film Festival. Michael will present the Asian Premiere of his latest film Manto Acuífero (The Well) for our Opening Night..
Jack Neo was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999 from MediaCorp Singapore and continues to be acknowledged for his comedic works that depict Singaporean life. Accolades received over the years include; “Best Director” and “Best Film” by Singapore Entertainment Awards, “Winner of Chinese Category” by Popular Readers’ Choice Awards, and the prestigious “Best Actor” and “The Most Popular Singapore Movie” by Golden Wau Awards. Jack will present his latest comedy hit The Lion Men: Ultimate Showdown.
Jill Gwen Braginets is head of Finance and Operations for Fox Searchlight Pictures and oversees productions, story developments, acquisitions, term deals, marketing, distribution, exhibitor relations, film festivals, academy, and organizational restructurings. Jill has worked on films including Birdman, Wild, The Grand Budapest Hotel, 12 Years A Slave, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Descendants, Tree of Life, Black Swan, Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler, Juno, Little Miss Sunshine, Sideways, Napoleon Dynamite, Boys Don't Cry, and The Full Monty.
Donna Smith is a respected film producer, former Universal Pictures Senior Vice President and President and CEO of Cinema Completions International. As the first woman in history to head-up Physical Production for a major studio, she was responsible for numerous Academy Award-winning films; The Hours, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Traffic, The Matrix, The English Patient and The Thin Red Line. Donna is appointed US Ambassador of Film to China.
July Jung was born in South Korea and attended Sungkyunkwan University and the National University of Arts in Seoul. She directed the short films 11 and The Dog that Came into my Flashlight and wrote and directed the short A Man Under the Influenza, as well as, her feature debut produced by Lee Chang-dong and Lee Jun-dong, A Girl at My Door that premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival as part of Un Certain Regard. July will present her film as part of our Women in Film Focus.
Sidi Saleh film career started in 2000 and his credits include Blind Pig Who Wants To Fly (Fipresci Award Rotterdam Film Festival 2009), Postcards From the Zoo (In Competition Berlinale Film Festival 2012), short film Kara, The Daughter of a Tree (Cannes Director Fortnight 2005) and in 2010 Full Moon as part of an omnibus Belkibolang. He participated in Berlinale Talent Campus in 2013, and in 2014 showed his short Fitri in competition at Clermont Ferrand Film Festival. Maryam won 2014 Venice Film Festival Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film.
Catherine Madigan is an award winning Line Producer, Board Member of Film NZ, NZ Film Commission Grant panel, and member of Women in Film and Television. Toronto Film Festival recently premiered four films she worked on; White Lies, Beyond the Edge, Giselle and The Dead Lands. She is currently assisting as a NZ Volunteer (VSA) in Timor-Leste as a ‘Production-Team Mentor’ for the Dili based Media company, Pixelasia. Catherine contributed to BALINALE 2008.
Jeremy Rumas after living in Chicago in his mid-twenties he bought a longboard and head to Samoa and learned how to surf. After that experience he decided to make a surf film that took him many years to complete called Hangs Upon Nothing. Along with his friend, he formed a band called Velo Sun, and they recorded the original soundtrack in Indiana. Back home he works as a concept and storyboard artist.
David Dawkins started a theater company that toured the Mississippi River for ten years. The company (funded by The National Endowment for the Arts) built a raft each summer in St. Louis and floated downstream to New Orleans, performing free shows in a circus tent at thirty river towns along the way.