HIFF27: Competition Jury

Dori Begley

Narrative Competition
Dori Begley currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Magnolia Pictures. Joining the company as Director of Acquisitions in 2007, she has overseen more than a decade of buys for Magnolia Pictures, Magnet Releasing, Magnolia Home Entertainment and Magnolia International Sales. Begley’s current role has been expanded to include the management of strategic partnerships and oversight of theatrical marketing and distribution strategies. Notable recent releases include the Oscar-nominated documentary RBG; Oscar-nominated and Palme d’Or winning SHOPLIFTERS; and Oscar-nominated documentary I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO. Upcoming releases include the 3D documentary CUNNINGHAM and SCANDALOUS: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER. Begley began her career in 2000 with Sony Pictures Classics working on an eclectic slate of award-winning titles from renowned filmmakers around the globe. She is a Vassar College graduate and resident of Ft. Greene, Brooklyn.

Jill Burkhart

Documentary Competition
Jill Burkhart is Senior Director of Documentary Programming for EPIX, responsible for overseeing the development and production of feature docs and limited series for the network. Most recently, she executive produced last year’s PANAMA PAPERS, the Sundance award winning film THIS IS HOME, both seasons of the acclaimed series AMERICA DIVIDED, and the upcoming LAUREL CANYON. Past films include: DEEP WEB, ELECTION DAY, The 4%; FILM’S GENDER PROBLEM, ALTMAN and TO RUSSIA WITH LOVE. Jill is Co- Founder of the Nantucket Film Festival, which she helmed, first as Artistic Director, then as Executive Director until 2008.

Scott Feinberg

Narrative Competition
The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg is one of Hollywood’s most experienced, trusted and widely-read awards columnists, employing his writing and interviewing abilities, knowledge of showbiz history and deep Rolodex to take THR readers behind-the-scenes of and inside the annual Oscar, Emmy and Tony races. Feinberg, who began covering awards in 2005, has also written for the Los Angeles Times, and is the recipient of 11 awards from the Los Angeles Press Club. Some of his work appears in THR’s print editions, but most of it lives exclusively online—specifically, on his THR blog The Race. There, he regularly posts breaking news, incisive analysis and oracular projections. (His weekly Feinberg Forecast has long been considered the industry’s gold standard.) The Race is also where you can find Feinberg’s weekly THR podcast Awards Chatter, in which he has hosted hundreds of luminaries as his guests. Feinberg lives in Los Angeles and is at work on a book about the history of Oscar campaigning.

Jannat Gargi

Documentary Competition
Jannat Gargi is the Head of Documentary Films for Vulcan Productions, developing and producing multiple films and series including Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy Award-winning BODY TEAM 12, Sundance Special Jury Award winning STEP, BALLET NOW, GHOST FLEET, THE REASON I JUMP, and the award-winning digital series WetheEconomy. In her work as an independent producer, Gargi executive produced the Academy Award®-nominated short documentary KNIFE SKILLS, and produced the Emmy-nominated feature documentary CIRCO, winner of the HIFF Grand Jury Prize in 2010. Prior to joining Vulcan Productions in 2014, Jannat served as Vice President of Alpha Cine Labs, supporting the theatrical release of BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, BORN INTO BROTHELS, TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE, and JESUS CAMP, to name a few. Previously, Jannat was Vice President of Acquisitions and Development for AtomFilms (Atom.com). She was the manager of theatrical marketing for both New Line Cinema and Fox Searchlight Pictures, creating campaigns for THE ICE STORM, FULL MONTY, BOOGIE NIGHTS, and THE WEDDING SINGER. Jannat serves on the Board of Directors for The Redford Center and Washington FilmWorks.

Peter Hedges

Narrative Competition
Peter Hedges’ first novel WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE was the basis for the 1993 film, which he also wrote. Hedges’ screenplay adaptations include Jane Hamilton’s A MAP OF THE WORLD and Nick Hornby’s ABOUT A BOY (Academy Award® nomination). Hedges wrote and directed PIECES OF APRIL (2003), directed and co-wrote DAN IN REAL LIFE (2007), wrote and directed THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN (2012) Most recently, he wrote, directed, and produced BEN IS BACK (2018), starring Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges. Hedges grew up in West Des Moines,
Iowa. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, the poet Susan Bruce.

Alison Willmore

Documentary Competition
A film critic at Vulture, Alison Willmore is also the Chair of the New York Film Critics Circle. She spent five years as a critic and culture writer at BuzzFeed News, as the first (and last) critic the company ever hired. In her past life as the TV editor at Indiewire, she helped launch the site’s television coverage. Her writing has also appeared in the AV Club, Salon, Time Out New York, and Movieline.