Adult Jury 2024

Yogi Omar is a Cannes Lion-winning Producer who has produced commercials for national brands like IKEA and A&W. Having worked in the Film industry for 19 years, he made the switch to Advertising in 2020. Currently working as a Global Lead for Diversity, Inclusion, and Talent Development at Rethink, Canada’s most awarded Advertising Agency, he champions talents from underrepresented communities and continues to push for positive change in the media & advertising industry. He lives in Vancouver with his dog Bear.​
Instagram / Facebook

Emily Weldon is a film industry, arts program, and event organizer residing in Vancouver, BC. As a Marketing Specialist with the TELUS Local Content team, she supports the marketing and operations of the TELUS STORYHIVE and TELUS originals programs for content creators and filmmakers in BC and Alberta, specializing in community outreach, events, engagement, and video marketing. She was previously a Festival Co-Director of the Vancouver Short Film Festival and has over seven years of experience working with some of Vancouver’s top film organizations, such as VIFF, Crazy8s Film Society, Whistler Film Festival, and others. She is a graduate of UBC’s BFA Creative Writing program and is passionate about creating welcoming, innovative, and transformative experiences for creatives in her community.


Christopher Bautista is a creative producer, writer, actor, and director, committed to a culture of creativity with the power to effect change. As Co-founder and Director, Christopher has been one of the driving forces behind the Union of Black Artists Society (UBAS) – a nonprofit organization dedicated to art education and development among Black artists, workers, and entrepreneurs. He has also spearheaded multiple initiatives in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Halifax rooted in serving the Black community, specifically within the film and television industries. As Producer at Matista Media he has contributed to powerful pieces, such as the music video ‘For the People’ by Promise, as well as production of the feature films Fragile Seeds and Celestine. An actor by training, Christopher has demonstrated an exciting range in the theatre, in film and on television. Notably, he’s featured in August Wilson’s Fences (The Grand Theatre), Othello 83 (Rep East Playhouse), The Negroes Are Congregating (Piece of Mine Arts/Theatre Passé Muraille), and in HBO’s Titans. He most recently performed in the Vancouver production of the Pulitzer-prize winning Fairview (Search Party/The Cultch) and in Tarragon’s production of 3 Fingers Back.

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.

Adult Jury 2023

Smita Acharyya

Smita 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

Michael 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

Milena 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.

Adult Jury 2019

Amil Reddy

Amil Reddy is the Community Investment Manager and Chair, Diversity & Inclusion at Mountian Equipment Co-op (MEC). Coming from a social innovation and community impact background, Amil has worked with communities with the goal of bringing people together to create positive and meaningful change with long term impact. Amil is also the coordinator for Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Outdoor Nation campaign, which works to screen films that help to queer the outdoors. All of the work Amil has done has been rooted by their intersectional experience as a trans person of colour and parent/teller of dad jokes. They love travel, a good Americano, and heading to the forest with their pup Peanut. Pronouns: they/them

David Prowse

David Prowse is best known as one half of the band Japandroids. Since the release of their debut album in 2009, Japandroids have played more than 500 concerts in 44 countries. They have been nominated for two Juno Awards, have been short-listed for the Polaris Music Prize, and have (mostly) had very nice things written about them. David was a longtime DJ at CJSF, SFU’s campus and community radio station, and also served on their board of directors. He has occasionally dabbled in music journalism, writing for publications such as Beatroute and Talkhouse. He continues to be inspired by the way that art encourages empathy and a sense of community that transcends borders. When he’s not on tour he lives in Vancouver. Pronouns: He/him

Dorothy Woodend

Dorothy Woodend is the culture editor for The Tyee. Born in Vancouver, Dorothy holds degrees in English from Simon Fraser University and Film Animation from Emily Carr University. She has worked in many different cultural disciplines, including producing contemporary dance and new music concerts, running a small press, and writing for newspapers and magazines across Canada and the U.S. In 2004, Dorothy became The Tyee’s film critic. She has worked with the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Whistler Film Festival and the National Film Board of Canada. She is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, The Vancouver Film Critics Circle, and the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Dorothy is also the senior festival advisor for DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver. Pronouns: She/her

Adult Jury 2018

Anne-Mary Mullen

Anne-Mary Mullen is the Senior Programmer & General Manager of the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival. She began her film festival career many years ago selling tickets in the charge-by-phone room of the Vancouver International Film Festival. Since then, she has worked at festivals all over North America including the San Francisco International Film Festival, Frameline, Tribeca, Sundance, and the Durango Festival of New Mexican Cinema. She worked for five years as a Theatre Manager at the Pacific Film Archive at UC Berkeley. She grew up moving between Edmonton, Alberta and San Francisco, California, and currently shares her time between Vancouver and Durango, Mexico. She holds a Master’s Degree in Literature, and was one of the directors of the Robson Reading Series at UBC Robson Square. As a programmer for VLAFF, she specializes in Latin-Canadian cinema and has participated in festivals in Argentina, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, and Spain.

Norman Armour

Shana Myara


Adult Jury 2017

Jane Henry

Jane Henry has a film and theatre background in Costume. As a teenager working at the Capitol 6, and later volunteering at The Cinematheque, Jane’s passion for cinema flourished. After a successful career in Costume, a break from the film world, and becoming a mother, Jane’s interests drifted toward youth oriented films. In 2012 she founded Kids Culture Film Series, a unique monthly program of international family film screenings that serves as a fundraiser for East Side Schools in Vancouver. Furthering her enthusiasm for cinema, she’s now set her sights on screenwriting with a personal story in the works.

Shaun Inouye

Shaun Inouye is a Programming Associate at The Cinematheque, a non-profit film institute in Vancouver. He holds a Masters in Film Studies from the University of British Columbia. He has published articles on Jean-Luc Godard and Harmony Korine, and has programmed select retrospectives on Kelly Reichardt, Maren Ade, Bruno Dumont, and the theme of cruelty in cinema. In 2015, he curated the screening series and art exhibition Traces That Resemble Us, at The Cinematheque and Monte Clark Gallery.

Ying Wang

Originally from Beijing, Ying Wang is a self-taught filmmaker and media artist. Her major interests are stories that explore taboos and controversies related to global migration and intercultural communication. Her first feature film Sister was shown at many international film festivals and is part of the collection at the Vancouver Public Library and other institutions. Ying was also co-founder and former president of Cinevolution Media Arts Society, which has established a reputation for cutting-edge programs and fresh perspectives. She is currently completing her first feature documentary Home Soon, a project sponsored by BC Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts.

Adult Jury 2016
Adult Jury 2015
Adult Jury 2014

Colin Browne

Writer, film-maker, teacher, critic, and poet Colin Browne is the author of Abraham and the critically acclaimed book of poetry Ground Water, which was nominated for a Governor General’s Poetry Award and a BC Book Prize in 2003. His documentary films include Father and Son and White Lake, which was nominated for a Canadian Film Award for Best Feature Documentary. He was an editor of Writing magazine and the co-founder of the Kootenay School of Writing. He recently retired from teaching  in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University.

Natty Boonmasiri

Natty Boonmasiri is a third year animation student from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. She does stop-motion and 2D animations. She works as a peer assistant and student representative in the animation department as well as a research assistant at the Emily Carr S3D Center, researching on stereoscopic stop-motion and real 2D stereoscopic animation on SANDDE.

Laure Larpent

As Laure hasn’t been able to give me a bio yet (she’s been away for spring break in Hawaii!), I’ll let you know what I know about Laure. Laure is a teacher at Trafalgar Elementary School in the French Immersion program after teaching in Montessori schools. She is originally from France but now makes her home in Vancouver. She is currently studying for a Masters degree as a teacher librarian. In addition to watching film in her spare time, she sometimes makes music videos with her students.


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