2018 Judges


The VWF, Vancouver Web Fest has built a reputation for quality, exploration and a strong sense of community. It's a reputation we are very proud to expand upon from year to year. We shine a spotlight on the best works in digital storytelling, and it's our privilege to introduce these incredible works to the most influential supporters of digital content.

We'd like to think that our dedication to our guest experience, right down to the VWF's iconic cosy red chairs are the reason we've seen such growth but in reality, we know what brings the International community into our welcoming West Coast doors. The VWF is where you discover the best in entertainment you'll find on a Digital Device and Judging such a selection could only be trusted, well, to the Best. Let me introduce you.


Our Judges ( all years )


Anita Adams

Executive Director/Founder First Weekend Club
Vancouver, Canada

With nearly 30 years experience working in film and television, Anita launched the Alibi Unplugged Script Reading Series and is the founder of First Weekend Club, an initiative designed to build audiences for Canadian films and to support a film’s critical first weekend in theatres. What started as a Vancouver based initiative has grown into a national organization which has helped to promote over 400 Canadian films and countless talent.  In April 2015, as part of the First Weekend Club brand, Anita and her team launched CanadaScreens.ca, a Video on Demand service exclusively for Canadian film.


Jean-Claude Anto

International Sales Agent, ComediHa!
Montreal, Canada


Brandi Bertrand

Producer, JFL Northwest
Vancouver, Canada

An Arts & Entertainment industry introvert passionate about innovation, creativity, profanity and cheese. I'm also a Vancouver-based entrepreneur, Blogger, and Producer at JFL NorthWest, Vancouver’s Comedy Festival.


Maike Buckmakowski

Professional Project Manager, TLGG
Berlin, Germany

Stories, films, media. Maike always felt drawn to the world of moving images. Continuing internships in media, and started her studies in International Communication Management in the Hague, followed by a Masters degree in International Business and Marketing in Paris.

After working abroad in NYC, Maike returned to Europe and began working for Darewin in 2014, one of the upcoming creative agencies for Social TV and digital storytelling in Paris. Developing new skills she started working for other clients including Netflix.

As of April 2017 she works as project manager for one of Germany's leading agencies for digital business - TLGG. You can follow her story on social media.


Marc Checkley

Founder / Creative Director, IO Creative
Lausanne, Switzerland

With more than 16 years experience in broadcasting, content production, development and consultancy. Marc had worked extensively in Asia since 2006, his first stint being in Beijing where he was news producer and co-anchor of the Olympic Channel for the China Daily.

Recent television credits include work with Luxe Asia, Fox/StarWorld, History/A+E Networks Asia, MediaCorp, Yahoo!, E! Entertainment News, NBC Universal Asia and Disney Asia.


Sarah Coursey

Head of Sales & Co-Productions, Americas at Zee TV USA Inc
New York CIty, USA

Highly regarded for her expertise in international sales, acquisitions and development, Sarah has over 14 years of managerial experience at global media companies. She is currently Head of Sales & Co-Productions, Americas for ZEE, managing 210,000 TV hours, 3,500 films and a growing formats catalogue. She has supervised acquisitions from 34 production companies and has worked at Newzulu, MEG (Media Entertainment Group) and Zodiak.


Tom de Grunwald

Director of Media, Blurrt Ltd
London, UK

Tom is a senior, award-winning producer whose career has seen him head up social media at The Project Factory, where he devised Downton Abbey's social media strategy and executed editorial analytics for Made in Chelsea, forming the basis of a short form series on All 4, and looked after the marketing of the number 1 app, Sherlock The Network.

Tom has produced award-winning short form series with Scope (What Not To Do) and HUK (Helluva Tour), before leaving to become Director of Media at Blurrt.



Marie-Charlotte Derne

FX TD - Weta Digital
Wellington, New Zealand

Marie-Charlotte started her career in Europe as a graphic designer for the commercial industry, SFX for advertising, short films and live performances as well as Visual Effects on feature films in Vancouver. Credits include: Raving Rabbits, Fast and the Furious 7, Batman vs Superman, The Finest Hours, Independence Day 2, Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy.



Delia Dobritoiu

Production & Programming Specialist, Discovery Communications
London, UK

Delia was invited to provide consultancy for Endemol International in Croatia and Bulgaria. She has worked on a large number of international formats for the Romanian market such as “FC Nerds”, “Boiling Points”, “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader”, but also developed original formats such as “See What You Get”, “VIP Maid” and “Unknown Author”, all prime time shows. She continues working for Discovery’s Emerging Business On Air team in London working across various projects.



Lisa Gray

Executive Producer / Content Consultant, Black Meteor
London, UK

Lisa is a seasoned Executive Producer of factual television and digital entertainment across the US, UK and Australian markets. Her championed numerous cross-industry collaborations she won the MIPFormats Pitching Competition and was a finalist for Power To The Pixel’s ARTE International Prize. Lisa’s acclaimed teen multiplatform music format ‘Stay Tuned’ (60 episodes) has sold into 30 countries. She’s judged for both the International and International Digital Emmys, BANFFs. Lisa's clients include The BBC, The Guardian, MIPCOM, RG/A , the projects*, CBBC and The Guardian.


Robert Guastini

Dialogue Editor, Sony Pictures
Los Angeles, USA

Roberts credits include seminal films such as "Menace II Society", "The Mask", and "Training Day", as well as iconic TV shows "Buffy The Vampire Slayer", "Sopranos", "Entourage", and "Justified".

He is currently working for Sony Pictures Studios performing dialogue editorial for the Fox Network TV series "Empire. He has won 4 MPSE Golden Reel Awards for Outstanding Achievement in sound editing and has been nominated for 8 Primetime Emmy Awards, 5 Daytime Emmy Awards, and 13 MPSE Golden Reel Awards.



Pola Hempowicz

Channel Executive, Comedy Central Poland
Warsaw, Poland

Pola is a digital media expert, specializing in linear channels and VOD content management, audio & video post-production and business development. She founded P.U.M.A. Digital Entertainment – a media consulting company based in Warsaw Poland. Pola has been advising European TV Broadcasters, VOD service owners and content distributors. In August 2016 Pola has joined Viacom and took over the position of Channel Executive for Comedy Central Poland.


Sylvia Kocman

Director of Business Development, The Format People Inc.
Montreal, Canada

Sylvia began her career in 2004 as a PR Liaison for the CBC entertainment program, Just for Laughs: All Access Pass. From there she moved into global distribution at Distraction Formats, working in Legal and Business Affairs. She worked in the Acquisitions department at Radio-Canada, sales and marketing as Director of Business Development at The Format People (TFP). Sylvia sources top trending, new international formats as well as finished content for TFP’s various premium clients, with a strong focus on Asia.



Sandra Lehner

Head of Content Acquisitions EMEA, Frequency
Zurich, Switzerland

Currently Head of Content Acquisitions EMEA at Frequency. Sandra’s previous experience at Swiss creative agency TBWA\ Switzerland, she worked at developing and producing branded content across all platforms (TV, Online, Social Media). She was also Head of joiz Studios – the creative agency of Swiss Social TV channel joiz - and created bespoke cross-platform content.

Other experience includes Digital Producer for football YouTube Channel ‘Copa90’ and as a Social Media Producer on TV shows such as ‘Downton Abbey’ (NBCU), ‘Sherlock’ (BBC), ‘Made in Chelsea’ (Channel 4), and ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire?’ (Sony). She blogs on a monthly basis for industry blog MIPBlog under the corporate arvatoBlog.


Pamela Liversidge

Director of Policy & Partnerships, Foundry
Vancouver, Canada

Experienced Policy Director with a demonstrated history of working in and with government. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Government, Program Evaluation, and Facilitation. Strong business development professional with a Master's Degree focused in Public Administration from University of Victoria.



Lissa Lloyd

President, Senior Agent, Lloyd Talent
Vancouver, Canada

Lissa is the senior agent representing and managing all the principal talent signed to Lloyd Talent. Born in Toronto, she is an accomplished musician and has trained at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto in piano, voice and flute. She has toured and recorded as a soloist as well as with various bands and vocal groups. Bachelor of Arts Degree with a concentration in business, Lissa has extensive experience in sales and marketing and in 1989 began Lloyd Talent Agency in Vancouver and Lloyd Talent Management in Los Angeles.



Michael Lolato

Senior Vice President, International Distribution, GRB Entertainment
Los Angeles, USA

Mike brings over two decades of experience in all facets of the television industry to GRB. He hails from Canada, where he started his career in TV advertising and marketing at Astral Television. Segueing into distribution and affiliate sales, he helped launch six networks for Canada's Bell Media before transitioning to international program sales at Canamedia. He has sold programs to almost every country and in a nearly every genre, expanding his sales efforts to multi-platforms, including mobile, digital and OTT, while continuing to grow linear channel sales.


José Machado

CNO at International TV Professionals
Lisbon, Portugal

Jose brings 19+ years experience as a professional writer, content research and newspaper articles published. Author of two technical books: "E-Learning em Portugal" (FCA, 2001, ISBN:972-722-260-9) and "Apresentador de TV" (Lidel, 2004, ISBN:972-757-332-0).

As well he has 10+ years of television broadcasting experience,


Omri Marcus

Creative Director OMARCUS.TV
Tel Aviv, Israel

Omri is involved in the development and writing of major entertainment shows on Israeli TV. Among his successes is “Eretz Nehederet” (“What a Wonderful Country”), enjoying regular ratings of over 30% and winning 4 Israeli Academy Awards. In 2009 the Entertainment Master Class granted Marcus its prestigious fellowship, given to professionals involved in designing the media of the future. Marcus also writes regularly for numerous leading American and European papers and blogs (Huffington Post, TV Gawker, Jewcy etc.) about Israeli current affairs and the TV business.


Tyler Massey

VP, Int'l Distribution & Co-Productions, IM Global TV
Los Angeles, USA

Tyler heads IM Global Television APAC business focusing on distribution of films, scripted and unscripted television series and formats, and international co-productions. He has served as Executive Director of International Sales at Eyeworks, where he helped launch international hit formats, such as Celebrity Splash, and Adam Looking for Eve, and top finished series such as ABC's Extreme Makeover: Weightloss Edition. He has produced multiple award-winning original educational programs Safety Smart with Bill Nye the Science Guy: Electricity, and Wild About Safety with Timon and Pumbaa.


Fabrizio Mazzeo

Actor / Writer/Producer
Rome, Italy

Fabrizio began his career in 2003 with the theatre company of Maria Claudia Massari, one of Marcel Marceau’s pupils. In 2015 he founded the theatre company “The Burrow” staging mainly his own plays, including "Biagio", "Occhio per Occhio" and "Tommaso - un mafioso in prova".

Recently he wrote the screenplays for the following short films: "Buonanotte", "Il Passaggio", "Feel like sharing?" and "L'ippopotamo", in which he also had a main acting role. He has several Awards and nominations for Best actor and won Cannes "HP Masters of short film 2017"


Marcos Mion

Executive Producer, Jaque Productora+Estudio
Córdoba, Argentina

Marcos brings over 15 years in the production of advertising spots and political communication, TV Series and Movies Production. Planning Director for Mexico and USA markets. Founding member of the Chamber of Audiovisual Producers of Cordoba (CaPAC), Argentina


Edith Sierra Montaño

Consultant and Producer, Interactive & Transmedia Content
Bogotá, Colombia

At the University in Colombia, Edith Sierra specialized in Multimedia Creation and Production as part of "Telecom-ParisTech" and the National Audiovisual Institute, "INA" in France.

She had been working as Audiovisual Producer, Project Manager for cultural and publishing projects and served as head of digital and transmedia projects in France since 2009. Edith Sierra has been consultant and tutor of various cross media and transmedia projects and interactive audiovisual documentary and fiction projects.


Sean Patrick O’Reilly

CEO & Founder, Arcana Studios
Vancouver, Canada

Sean’s passion and energy has driven the vision behind Arcana Studios. He continues to push the limits of storytelling by using a transmedia approach to adapting stories into a variety of entertainment mediums. He has won the Top 40 Under 40 award from both the city of Vancouver and on a national level. His original creations include Kade, Ezra, The Gwaii, Clockwork Girl, The Hope Virus, Continuum, Pixies and Mighty Mighty Monsters to name a few.


Mathew Parry

Location Consultant, Provincial Film Commission, CreativeBC
Vancouver, Canada

Mathew began his career in film locations in his native Wales, spending a decade working for the Wales Screen Commission, attracting and supporting productions of all shapes and sizes. His locations talents eventually led him to Vancouver by way of Los Angeles, where for a number of years he helped facilitate international productions on behalf of the UK Film Council from their Hollywood office.

Now at Creative BC, Mathew’s primary responsibility as a Location Consultant is to connect incoming production companies with British Columbia’s many and varied filming locations. 

Mathew is a graduate of the Documentary Film Production program at Langara College, and a member of BAFTA. 


Michele Partridge

Owner/Lead Instructor, The Drama Class
White Rock, Canada

Film Industry Professional Michele Partridge is the founder and owner of White Rock's The Drama Class. Michele has worked in B.C.’s local film industry for over 25 years working in front of the camera and her critically acclaimed Canadian feature film “Horsey” was distributed on Movie Central. Michele has also been a board member on several boards including Women In Film and Video Vancouver, the Ocean Park Business Association and Peninsula Productions and a judge for the Leo Awards and the Joey Awards.


Doug Paterson

Sound Designer & Founder  Big World Sound
Vancouver, Canada

Doug founded Big World Sound in March 1991 in order to provide a nurturing environment for burgeoning songwriters and bands. The studio’s early success culminated in contracts for the film score for Beyond Borders: Redwood Films highly regarded travel documentary. Doug is a master sound designer, confident and experienced in every aspect of his craft. He won Best Film at the Xdance Film Festival and Best Mountain Culture Film at The Whistler Film Festival and has been nominated twice at the Leo Awards.


Matthias Puschmann

Co-Founder & Managing Director, VAST MEDIA
Berlin, Germany

Matthias is Co-Founder and Managing Director of VAST MEDIA, a Berlin-based media consultancy specializing in market analysis of digital media and television. Previously, he worked as Editorial Director at ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s video-on-demand service maxdome. Former employers include broadcasters and production companies in New York, Paris and Potsdam.


Thomas Rogel

Writer, N2O Comedy
Recklinghausen, Germany

Starting out as one of the youngest gag writers of German Late Night comedy icon "Harald Schmidt" Thomas founded a successful writers bureau ("N2O Comedy"). They wrote for the majority of German comedy shows, e.g. "Switch Reloaded", "Sechserpack" and "Licht aus, Sketch an!".

He developed and produced his own adult puppet comedy web series "Space Pirats" on YouTube.

Currently, he is writing the scripts for French-German culture clash comedy “Germanized“, the first original production for TELEKOM Entertain TV collaborating with French writers Alexandre Charlot & Franck Magnier (“Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis“).


Kent Speakman

CEO, Producer, KNEKT.TV
Los Angeles, USA

Examiner.com has called Kent “one of the most influential entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry.” He has won the "Campaign of the Year" 2016 - iMedia, “Best Entertainment Marketing Campaign” 2009 - iMedia, “Best Mobile Entertainment Startup,” 2012 - iMedia, and he was awarded Evan Carmichael’s “Top 100 Entrepreneurs to Follow” in 2013 preceded by the “iMedia Top Ten Digital Marketers” in 2009. Kent founded KNEKT.tv as the production house behind many top charity galas shows, bringing A-List celebrity audiences to content that matters, as well as live streaming concerts.


J. Martin Taylor

Co-Owner, The Mix Room
Vancouver, Canada

J. Martin Taylor is an award-winning sound designer and Co-Owner of The Mix Room in Vancouver, BC. His early years were spent in the rock n’ roll world, but he eventually transitioned into the television and film realm. In recent years he has focused on documentary and lifestyle/reality TV as well as digital content.


Brian Topp

Composer, Sound Design, Vancouver, Canada

Brian is a composer, sound designer and creative programmer.  Recent projects including scoring Ajani Dharmapala and Carlie Finch’s ‘YOUTH 3000’ which premiered at the Cannes, Stockholm and Brooklyn and Melbourne Film Festivals.  Brian is also the audio director for IronSky Studios, a Vancouver based mobile games developer, where he serves as the lead composer, sound designer, Brian is currently developing music applications in virtual reality at the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS) as part of his doctoral thesis.



Nathalie Wogue

Entertainment Format Expert & Associate Director, Ascendo TV.
Paris, France

Nathalie is a TV entertainment specialist, internationally recognized as formats expert, content developer and buyer on the TV and now also the digital front. Former senior executive Fremantle, IMG and Endemol, she runs her own company AscendoTV. With Reed Midem (MipTV/MipCom), she also looks after MipFormats, the n°1 event on TV Formats.

More details on www.ascendo.tv.