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Sundance Reveals 2014 Jury Members; Bryan Singer, Leonard Maltin and Tracy Chapman Make Cut

Sundance Reveals 2014 Jury Members; Bryan Singer, Leonard Maltin and Tracy Chapman Make Cut

The Sundance Institute today revealed the members making up this year’s jury of the Sundance Film Festival. The awards for the 2014 edition of the event will be handed out on Jan. 25 in Park City at an awards ceremony hosted by husband-and-wife duo Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally. Full jury list below, with bios courtesy of Sundance. Sundance 2014 runs Jan. 16-26.


Tracy Chapman
is a Grammy Award–winning singer/songwriter and international
recording artist. She has made eight studio albums since her multiplatinum
debut in 1988, including Tracy Chapman, Crossroads,
Matters of the Heart, New Beginning, Telling
, Let it Rain, Where You Live, and Our
Bright Future
. In 2008, Chapman made her theatre debut composing the
music for a new production of Athol Fugard’s classic 1961 play Blood Knot,
which opened at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre. She has
toured extensively in the last 25 years in the United States and abroad and
has appeared frequently to support social and humanitarian causes,
including for the Amnesty International Human Rights Now! tour, the Nelson
Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute, and concerts for Tibetan Freedom, Farm Aid,
the Special Olympics, and

Charlotte Cook
Charlotte Cooke is the director of programming at Hot Docs, North
America’s largest documentary festival. She was previously head of
film programming and training at the Frontline Club in London, an
organization dedicated to championing independent journalism and freedom of
expression. Cook has worked with the BBC’s Storyville, the
Channel 4 BritDoc Foundation’s Puma Catalyst Awards, and the
Edinburgh International Film Festival, where she curated the
Conflict|Reportage program. She has also written extensively for a number
of different publications and was the main photographic researcher for the
launch of London’s The Times online archive project. In
addition to her programming activities, Cook advises organizations on media
literacy, specializes in investigative journalism on international
conflict, and has an academic background in the role technology plays for


Cooperman is the producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She
has been with the show since its inception in 1996, moving from field
producer to senior producer, supervising producer and then coexecutive
producer from 2005 to 2013. For her work, she has received ten Primetime
Emmy Awards and two Peabodys. Cooperman began her career in documentaries
at Maysles Films in New York City. She has produced and directed several
documentaries, including the short Cool Water, which premiered at
the 1991 Sundance Film Festival, and Making Dazed about Richard
Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, which was acquired by the
Criterion Collection. Kahane also produced the feature doc Heidi
Fleiss: Hollywood Madam
, directed by Nick Broomfield. Currently,
Cooperman is producing two independent docs, Going Pro and Judee Sill and
is on the advisory board of the Montclair Film Festival. She holds an MFA
in film from Columbia University.


Morgan Neville
is an award-winning filmmaker who has spent 20 years working as a cultural
documentarian. Neville has been nominated for three Grammys for his music
films: Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story, Muddy Waters
Can’t Be Satisfied
, and Johnny Cash’s America. His
other films include Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues, The Cool
, and Troubadours, which screened at the 2011 Sundance
Film Festival. Through his company, Tremolo Productions, Neville has also
produced films such as The Rolling Stones’ Crossfire
, Pearl Jam Twenty, The Night James Brown Saved
, and Beauty Is Embarrassing. His most recent film is
20 Feet from Stardom, which premiered on Day One of the 2013
Sundance Film Festival and went on to become the top-grossing documentary
of the year.


Oppenheim is a documentary film editor whose credits include the
now-classic Paris Is Burning, cowinner of the 1991 Sundance Documentary
Grand Jury Prize, an IDA Award, and awards from the New York and Los
Angeles film critics. Other credits include Sister Helen, which
won the Documentary Directing Award at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival;
Arguing the World, which earned a Peabody Award; and Children
, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Oppenheim
edited and coproduced The Oath, the second film in Laura
Poitras’s post-9/11 trilogy, a winner of multiple awards, including a
Gotham. Most recently, he was editor/coproducer of Andre Gregory:
Before and After Dinner
, and coeditor of William and the
, winner of the 2013 Grand Jury Prize at SXSW. He has
participated as both advisor and fellow at the Sundance Institute
Documentary Edit and Story Lab.



Leonard Maltin
is best known for his annual Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide
and his 30-year run on television’s Entertainment
. He teaches at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and
appears on Reelz Channel. Maltin’s books include The 151 Best
Movies You’ve Never Seen
, Of Mice and Magic: A History of
American Animated Cartoons
, The Disney Films, and The Art
of the Cinematographer
. He has served as president of the Los Angeles
Film Critics Association, votes on selections for the National Film
Registry, and sits on the Board of Directors of the National Film
Preservation Foundation. He also hosted and coproduced the popular Walt
Disney Treasures
DVD series. Maltin has received awards from the
American Society of Cinematographers, the Telluride Film Festival, the
Anthology Film Archives, and San Diego’s Comic-Con International. He
holds court at leonardmaltin.com and on his self-named YouTube channel.


Peter Saraf’s
producing credits include The Kings of Summer, Safety Not Guaranteed,
Our Idiot Brother, Jack Goes Boating, Sunshine Cleaning, Away We Go, Is
Anybody There?, Little Miss Sunshine, Everything Is Illuminated, The Truth
About Charlie, Adaptation, Ulee’s Gold
, and the feature documentaries
Mandela and The Agronomist. He recently completed work on Gods
Behaving Badly
and is in postproduction on Me Him Her. Saraf
has been nominated for Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards and has won
multiple other honors, including Independent Spirit, Gotham, and Producers
Guild of America awards. He is the cofounder of Big Beach, a New
York–based independent film-production and financing company. Saraf
is also the current chair of the Producers Guild of America East.


Lone Scherfig
began her career directing award-winning commercials and television dramas
in her native Denmark. Her first feature as director, The Birthday
, premiered at the 1991 Berlin International Film Festival, and
her second feature, On Our Own, won the Grand Prize at the Montreal World
Film Festival. Scherfig wrote and directed Denmark’s fifth Dogme
film, Italian for Beginners, which won the Silver Bear, the
FIPRESCI Prize, and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 2001 Berlin
International Film Festival. Her first English-language film, Wilbur
Wants to Kill Himself
, which she cowrote with Anders Thomas Jensen,
received four British Independent Film Award nominations. Scherfig directed
An Education, which won the World Cinema Audience Award at the
2009 Sundance Film Festival and received Academy Award nominations for best
picture, best adapted screenplay, and best actress. She is currently in
postproduction on Posh.


Bryan Singer is
an American filmmaker, writer, and producer who has been a tour de force
for nearly 20 years. Singer’s first feature film, Public
, was cowinner of the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at the 1993
Sundance Film Festival. Since then he’s assembled an award-winning and
critically acclaimed resume with the 1995 crime-thriller classic, The
Usual Suspects
, which won Academy Awards for best original screenplay
and best supporting actor, as well as the seminal comic-book films
X-Men (2000) and X2 (2003). Singer executive-produced the
Emmy Award-winning series House, as well as producing the 2011 hit
X-Men: First Class. Currently, he is back at the helm of the
franchise that he helped create, both directing and producing X-Men:
Days of Future Past
. Coming back to the Sundance Film Festival marks a
return to his filmmaking roots at the festival that gave him his first
major break.


Dana Stevens is
the film critic at Slate.com. She is also cohost of the Slate Culture
Gabfest podcast and the host of another podcast, the Slate Spoiler Special.
Stevens is one of 12 contributors to the weekly “Bookends”
column on the back page of the New York Times Book Review. A
native of San Antonio, Texas, Stevens studied comparative literature at the
University of California at Berkeley and got started writing about film in
2002 with a personal movie blog, “The High Sign.” She now feels
very lucky to live in Brooklyn with a man, a child, and a dog, and to get
to write and talk about movies, books, and culture for a living.



Andrea Nix Fine
is an Academy Award- and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker who specializes in
creating visually powerful and authentic portraits of characters who tell
their own story. Crafted with her husband and directing partner, Sean, the
Fines’ films have been hailed by critics as
“unflinching,” “spirit raising,” and
“visually ravishing.” Their short film Inocente won
the 2013 Academy Award for best documentary short. The Fines’ feature
documentary, Life According to Sam, debuted at the 2013 Sundance
Film Festival and aired on HBO. The film won awards at the Heartland,
Nantucket, AFI, and Mountainfilm film festivals. The Fines’ film
War/Dance won the documentary Directing Award at the 2007 Sundance
Film Festival as well as Emmy Awards for best documentary and best
cinematography and was nominated for an Academy Award. Colby College
recently honored Nix with a doctorate of fine arts. The Fines have two sons
and live in Washington, DC.


A Wiradjuri
woman, Sally Riley has been at the forefront of Indigenous filmmaking in
Australia for more than 13 years. Currently the head of the Indigenous
Department at ABC1 television, Riley’s mandate is to bring
distinctive Indigenous content to a primetime audience for that national
network. She was responsible for the award-winning TV drama series,
Redfern Now. As manager of Screen Australia’s Indigenous
Department, Riley initiated the production of a significant body of short
films, documentaries, and feature films and fostered a new generation of
Indigenous filmmakers, including Warwick Thornton (Samson and
), and Wayne Blair (The Sapphires). A filmmaker
herself, Riley’s film, Confessions of a Headhunter, won the
AFI Award for best short film in 2000. In 2011, she was awarded the Cecil
Holmes Award from the Australian Directors Guild.


Caspar Sonnen
thinks big screens are the best but theorizes that Dziga Vertov would have
loved the Internet. At the International Documentary Film Festival
Amsterdam (IDFA), he created the online documentary channel IDFA.tv and
founded the festival’s new media program, IDFA DocLab, which has
become one of the world’s leading platforms for interactive
documentary storytelling. Sonnen regularly travels with the program to film
festivals like Cannes, Berlin, SXSW, and Tribeca. He has commissioned
installations and organized events with the National Film Board of Canada
and worked with artists like Ira Glass, Brent Hoff, and Jonathan Harris.
Before joining IDFA, Sonnen worked in theatrical exhibition, distribution,
and journalism. In 2003, he cofounded the Open Air Film Festival Amsterdam,
one of Europe’s biggest outdoor events devoted to international
art-house cinema. Sonnen is an advisor for SXSW Film, MIT’s Open
Documentary Lab, and IFP’s New Media Center.



author, and programmer Carlo Chatrian graduated in literature and
philosophy from Turin University with additional emphases in journalism and
communications. From the early 1990s, he worked regularly as a film critic
for the magazines Filmcritica, Duellanti, and Cineforum
and is director of the magazine Panoramiques. Chatrian has
published numerous essays and monographs on filmmakers ranging from Errol
Morris to Wong Kar-Wai, Frederick Wiseman to Nicolas Philibert. As a
programmer, he has worked with festivals and institutions such as
Cinéma du Réel in Paris, the Museo Nazionale del Cinema in
Turin, and the Courmayeur Noir Film Festival in Italy. Chatrian was deputy
director of the Alba International Film Festival from 2001 to 2007 and
started working with the Locarno International Film Festival in 2002, where
he was named artistic director in 2012. At Locarno, he has curated
retrospectives on Nanni Moretti, Manga Impact, Ernst Lubitsch, Vincente
Minnelli, and Otto Preminger. In 2011, he became director of the Film
Commission Vallée d’Aoste Foundation.


Sebastián Lelio is a Chilean director. In 2006, his first
film, La sagrada familia, premiered at the San Sebastián
Film Festival. The film received 28 awards and earned him international
recognition. Lelio’s second film, Navidad, debuted in 2009
at the Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight. El
año del tigre
, his third feature, screened at the Locarno
International Film Festival in 2011. Lelio’s fourth film, Gloria,
premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2013, where it
was a critical and popular success. It won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
and earned a Silver Bear for best actress for Paulina García. The
National Board of Review named Gloria one of 2013’s top five
foreign language films, and it is nominated for an Independent Spirit Award
as one of the best foreign language films. Lelio is currently working on
his fifth feature film.


Esteemed and
prolific producer Nansun Shi has produced such blockbuster hits as
Infernal Affairs
(2002), Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom
(2010), Late Autumn (2010), Flying Swords of Dragon
Gate in 3-D
(2011), and Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea
(2013). Variety named Shi one of the 50 most
influential independent filmmakers around the world, and CineAsia acclaimed
her producer of the year in 2005. She was pivotal in the success of Cinema
City and Film Workshop Co. Ltd., which she founded with internationally
acclaimed producer/director Tsui Hark. Committed to the progress of Hong
Kong cinema, Shi is a member of the Hong Kong Film Development Council. She
has been a juror at both the Cannes Film Festival and the Berlin
International Film Festival.



Vernon Chatman
is a four-time Emmy Award-winning producer, writer, director, and voice
actor. He cocreated the cult series Wonder Showzen, as well as
Adult Swim’s Xavier: Renegade Angel and The Heart, She
. Chatman is currently a writer/producer on Louie on
the FX network and has worked on South Park since its fourth
season. Chatman has written for The Chris Rock Show, Late Night with
Conan O’Brien
, and Adult Swim’s Delocated. He made the
experimental film Final Flesh, which both Sight & Sound
and Film Comment called “one of the best films of
2010.” Chatman cowrote the 2011 animated short The External
, which won more than 20 international awards. He is the author
of the 2013 book Mindsploitation and producer of the 2013 Andy
Kaufman comedy album Andy and His Grandmother.


Joshua Leonard first came to the Sundance Film Festival in 1999 with the
cult-classic sensation The Blair Witch Project. His directorial debut, the
short film The Youth in Us, premiered at the Festival in 2005. His
narrative feature debut, The Lie, screened at the 2011 Sundance Film
Festival. Leonard’s recent acting work includes Humpday, which won a
Special Jury Prize at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival; HBO’s series True
Detective; Vera Farmiga’s Higher Ground, which screened at the
Festival in 2011; and MGM’s upcoming If I Stay, directed by acclaimed
Festival veteran R.J. Cutler. Leonard has also directed music videos for
popular acts such as Fitz and the Tantrums, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club,
and Morcheeba, as well as teaching directing and acting at the New York
Film Academy, University of California Irvine, and Academia Internacional
de Cinema in São Paulo, Brazil.


Trzebiatowska is the artistic director of the Off Plus Camera International
Festival of Independent Cinema, based in Krakow, Poland. This annual
celebration of independent film is one of the leading events of this kind
in Europe. She has been with the festival for the last five years, and
under her direction, it has grown significantly in stature with its
competition for first- and second-time filmmakers offering financial
support for new talent. Trzebiatowska hosts numerous guest events and
designs parallel sidebars as well as the festival’s touring program.
With her background in film studies and digital culture, she has worked in
both the BBC’s documentary programs and the broadcast department of
the British Museum as well as in the United Kingdom, around Europe, and in
the United States. In 2012, she produced The Unspeakable Act,
directed by Dan Sallitt, which played at festivals in Sarasota, Rotterdam,
and Vienna.



Dr. Kevin Hand
is deputy chief scientist for Solar System Exploration at NASA. His
research focuses on the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the
solar system. His fieldwork involves exploring some of Earth’s most
extreme environments from the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, to the
depths of the Earth’s oceans, to the glaciers of Kilimanjaro.


Flora Lichtman
is a science journalist living in New York. She has worked as a video
journalist for the New York Times and National Public Radio’s
Science Friday and writes regularly for Popular Science
magazine. She is the coauthor of Annoying: The Science of What
Bugs Us


Max Mayer is a
founder and producing director of New York Stage and Film and has directed
over 50 new plays by writers such as John Patrick Shanley, Lee Blessing,
and Eric Overmyer. In addition to writing and directing Better Living
and Adam, which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival
and won the Sloan Prize, Mayer has directed As Cool as I Am and
episodes of The West Wing, Alias, and Family Law
and written three produced plays.


Jon Spaihts is
the screenwriter of The Darkest Hour, Ridley Scott’s
Prometheus, and the upcoming Passengers and The
. The one-time physics student and science writer continues to
specialize in science fiction.


Astronomer Jill
Tarter, the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for the SETI Institute, has devoted her
career to hunting for signs of sentient beings elsewhere. The lead for
Project Phoenix, a decade-long SETI scrutiny of about 750 nearby star
systems, she now leads SETI’s efforts to build and operate the Allen
Telescope Array. A 2009 TED prize recipient, she is also the real-life
researcher upon whom the Jodie Foster character in Contact is
largely based.

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