HIFF30: Competition Jury

Opal H. Bennett

Documentary Competition
Opal H. Bennett is an Emmy-winning Co-Producer and Shorts Producer at POV. Her first season curating POV Shorts won the 2020 IDA Award for Best Short Form Series and the series broadcast the 2021 NewsDoc Emmy Winner for Short Documentary, THE LOVE BUGS. Previously Opal was Shorts Programmer and Director of Artist Development at DOC NYC and Senior Programmer at Athena Film Festival. Prior to that, Opal also worked with Nantucket Film Festival, Aspen ShortsFest, Tribeca Film Festival and The Gotham (formerly IFP). She is a Programming Consultant for the March on Washington Film Festival.

Opal is a member of the AMPAS Documentary branch. She has served on juries for SxSW, HotDocs, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Seattle International Film Festivals, and IndieMemphis Film Festival, among others. She has also served on the shorts selection committees for Cinema Eye Honors and the IDA. Opal has participated in various selection committees for film programming and grants. A Columbia Law grad, Opal holds a Masters in Media Studies from the LSE, and received her B.A. from New York University.

Fred Berner

Narrative Competition
Fred Berner is a producer and director of award-winning feature films, television, and theater. Through his New York-based production company Fred Berner Films, Berner produced POLLOCK (Sony Pictures Classics), the story of pioneer abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock, directed by Ed Harris. Harris received an Academy Award nomination for his performance in the title role, and Marcia Gay Harden won an Oscar for her portrayal of painter Lee Krasner. Currently, Berner is in production on MAESTRO, a biopic about Leonard Bernstein directed by, and starring Bradley Cooper, written by Cooper and Josh Singer (SPOTLIGHT), and produced alongside Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Amy Durning for Netflix. Among Berner’s other feature credits are Louis Malle’s VANYA ON 42nd STREET; Reginald Hudlin’s THE GREAT WHITE HYPE; Maggie Greenwald’s THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO; and STRAIGHT TALK.

Berner’s TV credits include Law & Order: Organized Crime, FBI: Most Wanted, The Menendez Murders, Chicago PD and its spinoffs, Law & Order: SVU, and Law & Order. In addition, Berner has directed a number of plays and the short film HAPPY. Berner is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the Directors Guild of America.

Jeb Brody

Narrative Competition
Jeb Brody joined Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners in 2017 and is currently President of Production. He oversees a slate of films produced and financed under the company’s Amblin Entertainment and DreamWorks Pictures banners, where he executive produced the multiple Academy Award-winning 1917; Apple TV’s most-streamed film Finch, starring Tom Hanks; and the upcoming Andre Ovredal feature THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER, among many others. His development and production slate at Amblin includes first time filmmakers, as well as some of the most recognizable artists in the industry.

Brody came to Amblin from Secret Hideout, where he was an Executive Producer of the most recent reimagining of THE MUMMY, starring Tom Cruise. Prior to that, he was President of Production at Focus Features, where he oversaw the global production and acquisition team. While there, he was responsible for the adaptation of the massive best-seller FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, as well as the acquisition and production of such diverse films as the Academy Award-winning DALLAS BUYERS CLUB; Joe Wright’s Academy Award-winning ANNA KARENINA; and the Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling starrer THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, and many, many more.

He began in the movie business making independent films as a founding partner at Big Beach. He was a Producer or Executive Producer on a number of films and documentaries there, including the Academy Award-winning LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, and the Cannes film festival favorite CHOP SHOP. Following this, he helped start Vendome Pictures (CODA) and oversaw a diverse slate of films including Tom Hanks’s LARRY CROWNE and Duncan Jones’s SOURCE CODE, starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

Brody is on the board of several film-related organizations, is a member of AMPAS, and is an Adjunct Professor at USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program in the School of Cinematic Arts.

Jordan Hoffman

Documentary Competition
Jordan Hoffman is a Queens, New York based entertainment writer whose work can currently be read at Vanity Fair, The A.V. Club, The Guardian, and The Times of Israel. He is the co-author of The Star Trek Book of Friendship, and is the 2022 Chairperson of the New York Film Critics Circle.

Rajendra Roy

Narrative Competition

In 2007, Rajendra Roy joined The Museum of Modern Art as the Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film, a role in which he leads MoMA’s year-round initiatives to exhibit and preserve works from its collection of over 30,000 titles. In collaboration with colleagues at MoMA and partner institutions, he has organized numerous exhibitions.

Roy is a member of the selection committee for New Directors/New Films, presented annually with Film at Lincoln Center. He has also served on juries for organizations such as the Sundance Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, and the Film Independent Spirit Awards. In addition, he serves on the National Film Preservation Board and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences International Film Executive Committee, and he has lectured at events worldwide. He served as Director of Programming (2002–06) and Artistic Director (2006–07) for the Hamptons International Film Festival. From 2004 to 2008 he was the sole American member of the Competition Selection Committee of the Berlin International Film Festival.

From 1995 to 2002, Roy worked at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in the Film and Media Arts Program, collaborating with curators to coordinate film, video, and new media exhibitions in New York, Bilbao, and Berlin. From 1996 to 2000, he was Executive Director of the MIX Festival, one of the world’s longest-running experimental film and video festivals. Roy graduated from the University of California, San Diego, in 1994 with a BA in political science and French literature. He has contributed to Empire, Frieze, indieWIREMoving PicturesTurbulences Video, and other publications.

Regina Scully

Documentary Competition
Regina K. Scully is the Founder and CEO of Artemis Rising Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to developing and promoting media, education and the arts to transform our culture.

A social entrepreneur, media activist, and documentary filmmaker, Ms. Scully has helped produced over 200 films focused on some of the most pressing social justice issues of our time—gender-parity, the achievement gap, and trauma recovery. Scully is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning and Academy-nominated producer. She is the Founding Sponsor of the Athena Film Festival (NYC), which highlights women in filmmaking. Her films include: WHAT WOULD SOPHIA LOREN DO? (2021), FANTASTIC FUNGI (2020), THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (2019), THE GREAT HACK (2019), THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING (2019), RUTH BADER GINSBURG: IN HER OWN WORDS (2019), WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR (2018), DOLORES (2017), ONE OF US (2017), THE HUNTING GROUND (2015), NEWTOWN (2016), EAGLE HUNTRESS (2016), MAYA ANGELOU: AND STILL I RISE (2016), FED UP (2014), ANITA: SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER (2013), THE INVISIBLE WAR (2012), and MISS REPRESENTATION (2010). For a complete list of her films, please visit Artemis Rising. Www.ArtemisRisingFoundation.org

A 30-year veteran in the combined fields of journalism, public relations, brand marketing, and media literacy, she is founder and CEO of RPR Marketing Communications, a premier PR agency in NYC specializing in exclusive consumer products and brands. Regina is also deeply passionate about education reform and has helped launch and support some of the most successful inner city charter schools in the country: Success Academy Schools in New York and Making Waves Academy in Northern California. Ms. Scully sits on the Boards of The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures; The Women’s Media Center; The Peabody Awards; and Harvard Women’s Leadership Board. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, with concentrations on foreign languages and theology.