Festival Staff 2023 Archive

2023 Jury


Alice Miller

Alice Miller is a film programmer and PhD researcher based at the Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures at the University of Leeds. She is currently writing her thesis on the history of local independent film exhibition. Alice also programmes for Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival; Widescreen Weekend at the National Science and Media Museum; and Leeds International Film Festival, where in 2019 she curated Mother Cutter: Women Who Shaped Film, a retrospective season celebrating the work of women editors.

Oleksandra Konoplia

Oleksandra Konoplia is a director and actor from Mariupol, Kyiv, and a previous recipient of Paper Bird for Fiction with her film, Well, You Are a Fool, Lisa. An avid creative since childhood, after graduating from school, she enrolled at the Kyiv National I. K. Karpenko-Karyi Theatre, Cinema and Television University, joining the Faculty of Television Directing. She is also a member of the creative association “Vitryak.”

Oli Bridges

Oli Bridges is a third-year Film Studies student with a passion for screenwriting and film theory and a first-time quarterfinalist in TheScriptLab’s annual screenwriting competition He is currently working on an adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit. Under Hurricane Films he designed pitch decks that were used for potential feature films. Currently, Oli is combining his passion for writing and theory by co-creating TicketStub; a zine curated by film buffs that will showcase the work of local creatives.

Molly McGill

Molly McGill is a third year Film Studies and Creative Writing undergrad student at LJMU with a keen interest in scriptwriting and short filmmaking, with plans to pursue a Masters Degree in these disciplines after graduation. She was recently selected to go to Nepal for a month long project educating young women about menstruation and is currently in the early stages of writing a short film that will chronicle the experience.


Raluca Iacob

Raluca Iacob holds a PhD in Film Studies from the University of St. Andrews and has previously worked as a researcher for several film festivals. She is currently a purchaser at Lightdox, a Swiss based agency representing powerful documentary storytelling, cooperating with partners in the French, German, Italian speaking territories and the Benelux region. Over the course of the past decade, her interest in documentary filmmaking has grown and she remains active in her research interests.

Rosa Fong

Rosa Fong is an academic and award-winning filmmaker, whose films have garnered accolades from the British Film Institute, Arts Council of England, and UK Film Council.  She has directed programmes for BBC and Channel 4 television and has had work selected for the Hong Kong LGBTQ+ and Seattle Film Festivals. She is currently in development with her feature length screenplay called Sigh of the Sea, based on the true story about the forced repatriation of Chinese seamen after the Second World War.

Marnie Thornton

Marnie Thornton is a Film Studies student at Liverpool John Moores University, in her third and final undergraduate year. Marnie has worked on the set of the short film Boiling Point, starring Steven Graham and took part in the BBC’s Get into Media Scheme. In 2019, she was also chosen as part of the BFI’s Young Creatives Academy, creating a short film with assistance from industry professionals.


Roderick Charles Smits

Roderick Smits is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University Carlos III of Madrid, working on the research project ‘Online Platforms and Film Circulation’ and the author of Gatekeeping in the Evolving Business of Independent Film Distribution (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). His work has been published in Poetics, Studies in European Cinema, Cultural Trends, Media Industries, Arts and the Market and Journal of British Cinema and Television.

Péter Bogyó

Péter Bogyó is an animator and director based in Hungary, who received his Masters Degree in 2021. His career in animation began during his time as a student at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest and he has exhibited his work in solo shows. In addition to this, he is a previous winner of the LJMU MA Short Film Festival category for Documentary, with his film, The Pattern.

James Sharp

James Sharp is a third-year film student at Liverpool John Moores University. He has worked on his own fair share of shorts during his time as a student, and is currently working as lead writer for his final year film. Additionally, James also has a keen interest in film criticism, writing and submitting reviews for the latest releases. He has previous experience as part of film festival jury last year judging on a student category at a local film festival.


Lars Koens

Lars Koens is a sound designer and experimental filmmaker with a PhD in Cosmology from the University of Edinburgh. He has exhibited films at a variety of festivals, including Edinburgh International Film Festival, Hamptons, Zinebi, Full Frame, Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, and has collaborated as a sound artist in exhibitions at major art festivals, such as Sonica, The Edinburgh International Festival, WRO, FACT, MMCA, and Aichi Triennale. He is currently Senior Lecturer in Filmmaking at Nottingham Trent University.

Phoebe Harrison

Phoebe Harrison is a third year Film Studies student with interests in Greek and French cinema and film theory. She is also interested in cinematography, screenwriting and producing, and hopes to pursue these areas following graduation. In addition, she is currently working as an intern/archivist, assisting with the creation of a digital archive of the Littlewoods company.

Ethan Bloor

Ethan Bloor is a Third year Film Studies student with a keen interest in writing and directing. He is currently entertaining his writing passion as a co-founder of the TicketStub film zine – a film-related zine with a monthly theme that talks about everything from scores to merchandise and reviews to screenings. He was also fortunate enough to work on the ITV production, Maternal, in 2022 as a floor runner, further developing his interest and experience in the industry.

Meet the 2023 MA Students

The festival is organised as part of the ‘Exploring Film Festivals, Distribution and Exhibition’ module of the MA Film programme at Liverpool John Moores University. Students are involved in all stages of the festival, from programming to publicity. As programmers and curators, all students watch the submitted films before deciding which submissions should be included as part of each strand. They liaise with filmmakers and are given the opportunity to work in Graphic Design, Social Media, Festival Trailers, Publicity as well as lead the Q&As with the filmmakers.

Yudo Atmaja

Fiction Programmer
Trailer Editor

Sian Campbell

Animation Programmer
PR & Twitter

Mathew Harris

Documentary Programmer

Jory Metcalfe-Judge

Fiction Programmer

James Roberts

Experimental Programmer
Trailer Editor

Lauren Wright

Animation Programmer
Trailer Editor

Shannon Byrne

Fiction Programmer
PR & LinkedIn

Phillip Cole

Documentary Programmer
Trailer Editor

Elizabeth Haven

Animation Programmer
PR & TikTok

Magic Nowak

Experimental Programmer
Trailer Editor

Elizabeth Watson-Brown

Experimental Programmer