HIFF31: Competition Jury


Arianna Bocco
With over 30 years of experience, Arianna Bocco is considered one of the most seasoned and powerful content strategy and distribution leaders in the independent film industry. Most recently, Bocco served as the President of IFC Films, leading the acquisition of over 600 films and developing long-lasting relationships with renowned, award-winning filmmakers. Prior to IFC Films, Bocco worked in independent feature packaging at the Gersh Agency in New York City and at Miramax Films as Senior Vice President of Acquisitions. Bocco is a member of the executive board of AMPAS and of BAFTA, previously having served as Chair of the NY Board of BAFTA.

David Koepp
David Koepp has written or co-written the screenplays for more than thirty films, including CARLITO’S WAY, JURASSIC PARK, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, PANIC ROOM, SPIDER-MAN, WAR OF THE WORLDS, INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL, ANGELS & DEMONS, and KIMI. Other written works include the novels Cold Storage and Aurora, published by HarperCollins, and the story Yard Work, an Audible Original. As a director, his work includes the films STIR OF ECHOES, SECRET WINDOW, GHOST TOWN, PREMIUM RUSH, and YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT.

Matt Singer
Matt Singer is the editor and film critic of ScreenCrush.com, and the current chair of the New York Film Critics Circle. He has been a frequent contributor to the TV series CBS Saturday Morning and Ebert Presents At the Movies, and his writing has also appeared in print and online at The Village Voice, The Dissolve, and Indiewire. He is the author of three books; his latest, Opposable Thumbs: How Siskel & Ebert Changed Movies Forever, goes on sale on October 24.


Caryn Coleman
Caryn Coleman is a film programmer based in New York and the founder of The Future of Film is Female, a non-profit that amplifies the work of all women and non-binary filmmakers through its Short Film Fund and exhibition programming. She is a guest curator at the Museum of Modern Art for the ongoing The FOFIF series (The Future of Film is Female: Part 4 just screened this past June) and she was also co-curator of the ten-week program, Horror: Messaging the Monstrous, held at MoMA in 2022. Previously, Caryn was the Director of Programming at Nitehawk Cinema, where she founded the Nitehawk Shorts Festival in 2013. She is a fighter for gender equality in the film industry, a lover of horror films, a short film advocate, and an independent film supporter.

Marie Therese Guirgis
Marie Therese Guirgis is Head Of Documentary at Play/Action Pictures. Recent documentary producing and executive producing credits include 2022 Academy Award-winner SUMMER OF SOUL by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, MLK/FBI and THE LEAGUE, both by Sam Pollard, TOTALLY UNDER CONTROL by Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan, and Suzanne Hillinger, and THE BRINK by Alison Klayman. Other documentary feature and series producing credits include AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY by Jeff Feuerzeig, ON HER SHOULDERS by Alexandria Bombach, and Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings Of Miami by Billy Corben. Guirgis also produced the narrative features KEEP THE LIGHTS ON by Ira Sachs and THE LONELIEST PLANET by Julia Loktev.

Carlos Sandoval
Carlos Sandoval is an Emmy nominated filmmaker whose work includes the nationally-broadcast documentaries: THE STATE OF ARIZONA, A CLASS APART and FARMINGVILLE. His latest film, BAD HOMBRES, examines the history of Latinos and the US criminal justice system. A lapsed lawyer, Carlos is currently on faculty at the Columbia School of Journalism and writes a monthly column recently named a “Best in New York” by the New York Newspaper Association. He serves as an advisor on several film boards and is currently working on a sweeping family memoir. Of Mexican American and Puerto Rican descent, Sandoval grew up in Southern California and is a graduate of Harvard College and of the University of Chicago School of Law.