The judges for the 2019 Film Festival competition will be working in tiers. In the first round, Gary and Michael will watch all of the films entered and then filter them into a shortlist for each category.
Once the shortlists are decided, our celebrity judges will then get involved to decide the finalists and best in each category.
Michael and Gary will decide the best zero budget film from all the finalists.
The Audience Favourite will be voted for on the night live by the audience, using software to collate their votes from the category winning films.
Our Judges for the Film Festival Competition are:
New Forest based TV presenter Jon Cuthill fronts the BBC's Inside Out programme for the South of England.
Having worked for the BBC for nearly 25 years Jon is an award winning journalist and producer.
He has also presented and reported for the BBC's Panorama programme and regional television and radio here in the South.
Jon lives in the New Forest with his family where he also works as a retained firefighter.
We welcome him as the judge and presenter of the Student Documentary category.
Guy Henry is a British stage and screen actor from Hampshire, who studied at Brockenhurst College from 1975-77 and went on to train at RADA (1979-1981).
Guy’s extensive theatre work has predominantly been with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
He is known for his small-screen roles in HBO’s Rome (2005) and John Adams (2008) and Ricky Gervais’ BBC comedy Extras (2009). In 2010 he joined the cast of BBC’s Holby City.
He has appeared on the big screen in blockbusters Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts 1&2 (2010/11) and recently in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) as Governor Tarkin.
We welcome him to the judging panel and as a presenter.
In the summer of 2018 Keith English’s first feature film, ‘The More You Ignore Me’, was released in cinemas to excellent critic reviews. Written by Jo Brand and starring Sheridan Smith, the film has gone on to Amazon Prime with terrific audience reviews and is still garnering accolades as its release travels around the world.
Although this is Keith’s first feature film, he has been directing commercials, TV shows and corporate communications for over 20 years. He has more than 400 commercials to his credit, has been nominated for a BAFTA and has won many international awards for his work.
He is a local boy. He grew up on the Isle of Wight where he bought is first super8 film camera at the age of nine. He went on to study directing at Bournemouth Film School in the 1980s, leaving it with a distinction and ‘Best Film of The Year’.
Early on in his career he became Creative Director of a London production company, making feature trailers for the likes of Stanley Kubrick, Hugh Hudson and Tim Burton. From there he moved into TV commercials, becoming well-known in the industry, internationally.
Now living in The New Forest, Keith runs his own production company, Velvet Pictures alongside his wife, Producer Claire Cottrell. As well as still doing international work, they are currently in development of new feature films and TV series, alongside working on advertising/communications with local companies.
We welcome him to the judging panel and as a presenter.
Steve joins the judging team and brings his vast experience of Writing, Directing and Teaching in the film and television industry.
He has directed literally hundreds of episodes of Eastenders, Brookside, Holby City and The Bill, amongst others. He has produced and directed courses for the BBC Academy, The MetFilm School and the Actors Studio and is a Lecturer at a a number of schools and colleges in the South East of the UK.
He will be helping select the top five nominees in various categories, and we hope that you can give him something remarkable to sink his teeth into.
Lisi Russell was wife and creative partner of prolific film director and local lad Ken Russell (Women in Love, Tommy, Altered States, Valentino) for 12 years, having met him at age 17.
Ken and Lisi ran a garagiste movement of (very) independent films in New
Forest locales and in Wales, making nine movies from 1999-2012 (Fall of the Louse of Usher, Kitten For Hitler, Revenge of the Elephant Man, Boudica Bites Back) and television specials (Composer on a Bicycle). Lisi has also acted in same films as well as in Invasion of the Not Quite Dead (2019), Puzzleface (2012), and Trapped Ashes (2006). She performed in three shows at Edinburgh Festival in 2016 and on the New York stage with Randy Jones of the Village People (2015) and Brad Dourif (Chucky, Wise Blood) in 2013. She co-hosted London’s Ken Russell Festival at the Cinema Museum (2017) and Lymington Community Center’s Ken Russell Festival (2016). She’s been an academic participant in Ken Russell symposiums at Kingston University, London (2017) and in Brussels (2014). She is a published poet and playwright. She provides the commentary on Ken Russell’s Gothic (2018) and Lair of the White Worm’s (2017) Vestron blu-rays. She was presenter of Film Awards at Keswick Film Festival in 2017. For Burberry she subtitled their Paris presentation of Ken Russell’s film House in Bayswater (2017). She has contributed to magazine articles for Rue Morgue and Screem Magazines. Guest podcaster for Criterion Now, Wrong Reel and Flixwise and is a yearly presenter at Alamo. Drafthouse Cinema in NYC.
She adheres to Ken Russell’s film-vitamin prescription: “One film a day.”
Craig was one of our judges last year and he just can't keep away. Helping as one of our panel of judges again this year, we are hoping to persuade him to entertain us and help hand out one of the awards... for comedy of course!
Canadian Comedian now living in Devon described by Russell Howard as the funniest man he has ever seen. You can find out more about Craig's work here: www.craigcampbell.info
Michael O'Sullivan is a seasoned film industry executive with over 40 years' experience in the film, TV, home entertainment and cinema exhibition industries; primarily with Paramount Pictures.
During his career, Michael was involved in the production of over 70 movies and numerous TV programmes and series. These include films such as The Great Gatsby, The Duellists, Shogun, The Indiana Jones trilogy, Reds, The Winds of War, Shirley Valentine, The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, The Talented Mr Ripley, the Mission Impossible series, Lara Croft Tomb Raider and many others.
He was also on the board of the joint venture companies, UIP, CIC and UCI and as such has an intimate knowledge of all forms of film finance, distribution and exhibition.
We welcome him as the judge and presenter of the Student Animation category.
Adam "Woody" Woodford
Adam "Woody" Woodford is the singer for the heavy rock band called Polar.
Adam says "Having grown a passion for the contemporary music scene from a young age, I choose to follow my passion and develop a career. Our band has been going over a ten year lifespan and not only have I pushed my musical abilities but it's opened me up to a world of visual content."
"As a band we have full artistic control and over five albums we have created music videos to work alongside the song concepts. Media content is huge aspect with our band and how we market ourselves, as it's also a great way of documenting and displaying a touring lifestyle via social media."
We welcome him as the judge and presenter of the International Music Video category.
Photo by Tom Adam Green.
Jen is the owner of Alphadu Productions, an independent film production house which has produced or co-produced over 50 international award-winning films since 2016.
Currently Jen is producing a feature documentary, and producing two films surrounding post traumatic stress disorder in first responders, stemming from her years as a paramedic, along with numerous other projects.
Jen is one of the Founders of the Berkshire Short Film Festival, she has six films touring the film festival circuit and is the humble servant to her American Foxhound Mack.
Jen won the Best in Festival Award at the New Forest Film Festival in 2018 and has kindly agreed to visit us this time and present the award for the Best Zero-Budget Short.
Andy Sowerby is a filmmaker and visual artist. Andy's practice often moves between both narrative, story driven work and abstract, expressive work.
Graduate of Newport Film School UK, his films have been selected for a variety of international film festivals including Aesthetica Film Festival, London Short Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, and BBC Music Video Festival and, of course, The New Forest Film Festival where, in 2018, he won Best Sci-Fi Short with his film "The Jump".
We welcome him as a judge and presenter for the Student Sci-Fi Short Award this year.
Cllr. Michael Harris
Cllr. Michael Harris has advised both high profile individuals & companies involved in the media industries for over thirty years. He is an honorary life member of BAFTA (British Academy of Film & Television Arts).
As portfolio holder for Local Economic Development, Property and Innovation, Michael was instrumental in creating Film:New Forest back in 2016. He is “looking forward to celebrating our local talent throughout the inaugural New Forest Film Festival”.
We welcome him as the judge and presenter of the New Forest College Student category.
Michael van Koetsveld
Michael co-founded the New Forest Film Festival and has the very enjoyable task of watching ALL the submissions and deciding, with Gary, which ones join the shortlist for the other judges to select the finalists from.
Gary co-founded the New Forest Film Festival and has the very enjoyable task of watching ALL the submissions and deciding, with Michael, which ones join the shortlist for the other judges to select the finalists from.