Adult Jury 2023

Smita Acharyya is an award-winning writer and director based in Vancouver, Canada. Her films have been selected as a New York Times Critics’ Pick, invited to festivals around the world and broadcast internationally. She recently managed several TELUS STORYHIVE grant programs to support the career acceleration of emerging content creators, with a focus on increasing representation in front of and behind the camera for traditionally underrepresented groups. Prior to her work at STORYHIVE, Smita served as Production Manager for the Gemini nominated APTN documentary series Fish Out Of Water. She is proud to have been a part of the Vancouver International Film Festival’s Marketing team, the VIFF Industry team and the Vancouver Queer Film Festival’s team. She is a Women In the Director’s Chair alumna, as well as former President of WIFT-Alberta.

Michael Taylor is a Canadian actor, writer and musician, born and raised on Vancouver island, living in Vancouver B.C. He has been performing since the age of 12 in theatre productions, moving professionally into film and Television at the age of 18. He initially broke into the Film and Television industry with a featured role on a Disney Star Wars Battlefront T.V. spot. Some of his other credits include Jeff Williams on The Good Doctor, Pat Richmond on Firefly Lane, Brendan on Two Sentence Horror Stories, and various independent films across Western Canada. Michael was recently selected as one of four notable rising talents in Whistler Film Festival’s 9th annual Stars to Watch program.


Milena Salazar is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, editor, and film programmer based in Vancouver, BC. She is an alumna of Hot Docs’ Doc Accelerator program, RIDM’s Talent Lab, and DOC BC’s Breakthrough program. Her recent editing projects have been presented in festivals around the world (including IDFA, TIFF, Hot Docs, and DOC NYC), as well as in galleries and streaming services. Alongside her film production work, she has been a part of the programming teams for the Vancouver International Film Festival and the DOXA Documentary Film Festival. She is currently directing her first feature documentary, a film about robotic pets that looks at the intersection of caregiving, aging, and technology.

Awards Presented

The Adult Jury presents the prestigious Best Picture Award, as well as the Edith Lando Peace Prize for the film that best utilizes the power of cinema to further the goal of social justice and peace.


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