“Below is a selection of Fusion International Film Festivals Jury. It is made up of Film Professionals that includes; Directors, Producers, Scriptwriters, Film Festival Organisers and Film Enthusiasts. Our wider jury will vary at each festival which will allow for maximum consideration of each entered film and script.”
– Dan Hickford (Festival Co-Director)
Alex McCall is a member of BAFTA as well as a producer, writer and director behind a number of features, shorts and documentaries including Written by “Mrs Bach: Broken Silence”, “The Forensic Squad” & “Birthday”. He has also worked very closely with the BBC and we are delighted that he has supported “Fusion” from the outset.
Skip Shea is the founder and director of the Shawna Shea Memorial Film Festival, an international fringe ﬁlm festival, which is the major fundraiser for the Shawna E Shea Memorial Foundation, Inc. He is also the president of the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival, Inc.
Shea is also an award winning ﬁlmmaker, writer and actor including such projects as TRINITY (2016), BEACON HILL (2014) which was nominated for Outstanding New Approaches – Drama Series at the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2015, AVE MARIA (2103) and MICROCINEMA (2011).
His one man show CATHOLIC (SURVIVING ABUSE & OTHER DEAD END ROADS) had its world premiere on stage in New York City in 2005.
Lella Satie is an artist with acting, writing and directing credits. Upon completing her B.A. in Film Studies from the University of Western Ontario she pursued her passion for acting. Lella trained and worked as an actress in North America and Europe. One of her most notable roles is a one-woman-show portraying Frida Kahlo which she wrote and acted in, directed by her mentor and world renowned acting-coach Susan Batson.
Lella’s directorial short film Father won thirteen awards and screened at over thirty festivals worldwide. Lella Satie is currently directing a documentary Illuminate, and developing short film Goddess Rising. Her involvement and interest spans across multiple art forms, healing arts and entrepreneurial endeavours.
Steven Allison is a Scottish freelance writer and cinephile currently based in London. After completing an LLB in English Law and a BA in Journalism, he travelled the world for several years, working as a freelance ghost- and content-writer. Steven then returned to the UK, where he continued in these roles before establishing himself as an entertainment writer, eventually specialising in not only film and television reviews, but also interviews with the creatives involved in both.
In this capacity, he runs his own blog and an Instagram page for mini film reviews, neither of which favour any genre over another. On top of this, Steven contributes to other entertainment blogs and websites, including thenerddaily.com, thefilm.blog, subscript.it and others. On the side, he covers horror fan films (short films made by fans to pay homage to their favourite horror franchises) for horrorfanfilms.com, and loves to write human interest pieces – especially on LGBTQ issues. He will soon launch a podcast centred on LGBTQ representation in film and television.
Berrin Ilhan is an award winning writer and film critic with a multilayer education, who graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Communication from Radio, Television and Film department.
After building a career in the advertising field and film, she graduated at Istanbul Bilgi University with a Comparative Literature digress, along with a film and television minor, together with the master course in French cinema.
As a cinephile father’s daughter, Berrin turned her direction to cinema of which she has always had a fascination. She worked as film critic for Hurriyet Newspaper/Keyif and her first film project as a writer “A Bucket of Water” was premiered in Cannes Film Festival in 2013 and was one of the official selection shorts in Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival. Her second feature project developed in New York Film Academy “Perfect Couple/Lale” won two awards in both London and Madrid with several nominees in other international film festivals.
Kevin Bisbangian is an award-winning film producer/director/writer/poet.
As a writer and filmmaker, Kevin has been nominated and won many distinguished awards at the most credential film festivals all over the world. He is among the official judges at one of the greatest fashion film festivals in the USA and has mentored film students at Queen Mary University in London. He is a qualified chartered Engineer and holds a master’s degree in Computer Science from South Bank University in London. As a senior consultant he has worked for major companies such as BP, Channel Four and Shell UK. He writes poetry in English, Farsi and Spanish.
Steven Fischer is a two-time Emmy nominated writer/producer/director. His early career in cartoons and animation took off in London under mentors at Melendez Films and Bill Melendez Productions, producers of the classic Peanuts animated TV specials. Mr. Fischer has produced the critically acclaimed animated documentary Freedom Dancewith Golden Globe-winning actress Mariska Hargitay, Old School New School with Emmy Award-winning actor Brian Cox, and a catalogue of creations for PBS/Maryland Public Television, TV Asia, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Nextel and many distinguished patrons throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
He is a Fulbright Award recipient and sought internationally to speak on the nature of creativity, with invitations from Harvard Medical School, Mind Camp Canada, Cunard, Egyetemi Szi´nha´z Theatre Festival Hungary, and at universities across North America.
Mr. Fischer comes to the Fusion International Film Festivals jury having served five years as Jury Chair for the CINE Awards and as Jury Chair for the Academy Awards qualifier, Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.
Romanian born film director and film critic with a multilayered education and a complex professional background: from photography during his university years to management and eventually film making, Vlad has studies in humanities as well as economics and maths. He has won several international film awards and nominees.
As a film critic he has collaborated with several film festivals since 2013 and he is one of the Founders of BELIFF film fest London. He has a keen eye for spotting talent.
Pegah is Persian Australian award winning writer, director and producer, now living in Dubai, UAE. In 2011, Pegah co-found the media company ‘The Works Network’ and also heads it’s creative arm ‘Creation Works’ in Dubai, which predominantly makes films, commercials and visual content. In 2007 Pegah co-found the production company ‘New Wave Films’ in Iran, with a prime focus on women’s films and hiring women crew to empower more women in the industry. Both companies are active till present day.
Maria Albiñana has an MA Acting Degree, Journalism and Classical Ballet Dance. She’s based in LA but she’s originally from Spain.
She extended her acting training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Moscow Art Theater School and Actors Studio, where she recently became Finalist.
Maria has been working in films such as: La Madre, selected in 2016 at L’Atelier in Cannes, Where the smell of the sea doesn’t reach, San Sebastián Film Festival, Reluctant Nanny, Hallmark Movies; TV series: Da Capo, for Channel 9 Spain, iFamily and Centro Médico for Channel Televisión Española; short form series: Sin Vida Propia, We all wanted to kill the Presiden, released on Amazon Prime, and Tocate; Theater companies: Classical Theater Spanish Company, Teatres de la Generalitat Valenciana and directors Pepe Sancho, Carles Alberola, Jesús Cracio and Assumpta Serna; and dance companies: Young Camara Ballet Alicia Alonso, WEP Productions and Funky Angels Co.
She starred in the successful spanish series, Sin Vida Propia, that won over 20 awards in Web Series International Festivals. This lead her to co-found and direct the web series section in Valencia International Film Festival- CinemaJove. In 2017 she receives Best Actress for the short film, Te echo de menos at the Online Film Festival US. In 2014, wins Best Actress for Sin Vida Propia at LAwebfest, and during the same year is nominated as Best Actress at Videomakers Web Association Italy. Recently, she has been nominated as Best Supporting actress for the series We all wanted to kill the president, at RomeWeb Awards.
As a writer, in 2013 she won Best Playwright at “Nuevos Tiempos Awards” for Retales de Vida y Aprender a Contar. That same year she writes, directs and choreographs the stage musical Star Desamparados, premiered at the Teatro Talia in Valencia (Spain). Maria has directed several stage productions, operas and musicals. And regularly teaches acting masterclasses and workshops at Alfas del Pi Film Festival, Escuela del Actor, Caxton College…
She just finished shooting the Australian film I met a girl and is preparing two more projects: Matar a mama and iLove. She is also preparing the fifth edition of the web series section at CINEMAJOVE Film Festival.
Michael Gonzalez is a independent film producer, video editor and aspiring screenwriter from New York City. He is also the co-creator of the independent film companies, Tompkins Square Park Films and Cati and Mike Gonzalez Films, created in 2012. His first Independent Film ‘Ekaj,’ which he co-produced and edited, went on to screen at 65 Film Festivals worldwide. During it’s Festival circuit run between the years of 2016 to 2018, the film garnered 29 awards and several nominations. The film was officially released online in 2017 and is currently signed with Los Angeles distributor, Indie Rights.
Michael is the writer of the feature film screenplay ‘Raised’ which has been nominated for “Best Urban Feature Drama” at the 2019 Oaxaca Film Festival “Global Script Challenge.
As well as being a member of the Fusion International Film Festivals Jury Michael, alongside Cati will be offering outlets to film distributors for all interested filmmakers.
Cati Gonzalez is a Spanish-born NYC fashion and street photographer turned screenwriter, film director.
Her photography has been published in Photo (French magazine), i-D, Spin (magazine), Vogue (magazine), Colors (magazine), Vibe (magazine), Interview (magazine), Paper (magazine), Trace (magazine), Surface (magazine), Libération, El País, Mademoiselle (magazine), New York (magazine) and has worked with celebrities such as Director David Cronenberg, Russell Simmons, Notorious B.I.G., Pharrell Williams, The Ramones, David Byrne, Thurston Moore, Chloe Sevigny, Jaime King, Common (rapper), Beenie Manamong others. She has also worked on various music artists’s album covers for Sony, Warner Bros., and Atlantic Records.
The fashion photographer later transitioned naturally into moving images in 2012. In that same year she wrote, directed and filmed her first independent film titled ‘Ekaj’. Her Film was selected and screened at sixty five Film Festivals worldwide and won it’s first award for “Best Film” at the NY Urban Arts Festival in Tribeca, NYC. Since then, the film has picked up a total of twenty nine awards and multiple nominations between the years 2016 and 2018.
Gonzalez’s screenplays, have won her multiple awards and nominations at several screenwriting competitions in 2018 and 2019.
Her love of independent cinema and the creative world is clear for all to see. She is delighted to be supporting Fusion International Film Festivals and becoming a member of their core jury.
Connor-Antonio Díaz is a freelance film critic & video editor from Barcelona. He is the creator of Revicrit, an online blog for movie reviews with over 40,000 subscribers, and has also developed a substantial following on Instagram, where he provides his audience with shortened critiques of new releases.
In addition to reviewing movies, Connor has covered a multitude of international film festivals including South by Southwest, FilmFest919, and Sundance. The Revicrit team participated in these global events as press by hosting panels for Q+A’s, interviewing production members, and analyzing movies.
Before becoming a film journalist, Connor provided his editing services to various independent film studios. Most recently, he spent a year working in post-production doing color-correction for A24’s 2019 feature, “Waves”.
Connor’s adoration for the cinematic arts has never stopped growing. He spent his childhood visiting classic romance-noir tales, and seeks out inventive independent features to watch.
A self confessed cinephile, Adam has been fascinated by all genres of film for as long as he can remember.
Possessing an annual Curzon Cinema pass he was proud to see all but one new release in 2018. With a particular love of animation and Asian cinema, he is excited to see the variety and quality of films submitted. He lists Werner Herzog, Darren Aronofsky and Christopher Nolan in his top Directors list.
Valerie Ng is a co-founder and managing editor of Australian film publication Rough Cut. Based in Melbourne, she critiques films for the aforementioned, as well as the ABC, The Big Issue, and 4:3.
Debbie Zhou is a freelance film and theatre critic, and a managing editor of Australian film publication Rough Cut. Her words also appear in Time Out Sydney, The Guardian, The Big Issue, Metro Magazine amongst others.
A fresh-on-the-scene amateur film critic, Joe is a lover of the cinema in general with the general belief that every film, even those that you may not enjoy, has something to say. Films are the product of talented filmmakers pouring their heart and soul into projects that they believe in, and that is something to celebrate. To share his passion for all things cinema, Joe founded Guy at the Movies in August 2019, a growing site that features daily movie reviews, news, and analysis of the industry.
An attorney by day and a film-buff by night, Joe resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Hasi Eldib is a full-time lens based visual artist with a reverence for independent documentary filmmaking, video production and photography, occasionally experimenting in other forms of visual storytelling.
In his documentary work, he aims to highlight our common humanity through stories of the heart. The relationships he forges through these labours of love continue to be the most rewarding aspects of this work.
He loves to develop his understanding of cinema by watching and studying a wide variety of projects from all around the world. He feels that a story can be told in so many ways and is keen to see the fresh content that emerges on the festival circuit.
Dilroop Khangura is an actress who was recently accepted to study at the prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art in Australia. With a background in Law and Psychology, she enjoys using her skills to bring important stories to life, especially those by people of colour.
Reece Mawhinney is a freelance film and literature journalist, currently based in Northern Ireland. He got his start, during his university years, when he was hired to do marketing and programming for the global film festival group, Lift-Off. Working from inside of Pinewood Studios, he gained the opportunity to hone his industry knowledge and interview some of the filmmakers behind his favourite works. As well as a platform to aid a community of fresh talent in developing and distributing their films.
Working with the Fusion International Film Festivals, Reece feels, will be like a return home. He is excited to get the chance to judge the films on offer and hopes to be amazed in that way that only indie films can achieve.
Teagan Skotarczak is a budding film critic whose insightful reviews cut to the core of what a film is truly made of. Though amateur to the film world, she has an innate sense of tempo and symbolism in which she processes the components of every piece she watches. In her free time, she likes pursue acting in local independent films and writing short stories. Teagan is a laboratory technologist whose heart is in the arts.