SDFF 2023 Jury Award Winners

El Equipo
Dir. Bernardo Ruiz

More Than I Want To Remember
Dir. Amy Bench

Dear Max
Dir. Alex Kahn



“The jury selected El Equipo as the winner of this year’s competition, recognizing the filmmaker’s formidable achievement in telling this fearless team’s inspiring story. Despite constant threats from those who want to hide the truth, El Equipo pieces together—bone by bone—the development of a critically important international human rights organization.”

Feature Jury – Aldo Gugholz, Janet Goldwater, John Cooper

SDFF Screening: 4:15 p.m. Sat. 3/18 – SebArts Brent Auditorium,
Post-Screening filmmaker discussion panel with Director Bernardo Ruiz and Human Rights Investigator Eric Stover.

SDFF 2023 Documentary Features Jury

Aldo Gugholz: Director of Cows On The Roofwhich won the SDFF 2022 Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature. See Aldo accepting his award with screenwriter Susanne Schüle here.  Aldo is a writer , director and cinematographer working with Writer, Director and Cinematographer with Revolumenfilm.

Janet Goldwater has collaborated with Barbara Attie for more than 30 years on documentaries focused on reproductive justice issues and women’s biographies. Most recently, their short documentary (with Mike Attie) Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa was an official selection of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was one of ten short documentaries shortlisted for an Oscar® in 2021. Their current project, Hollywood Does Abortion, examining the portrayal of abortion in film and tv, is in early production

John Cooper: For three decades Cooper was a member of the Sundance Film Festival programming team. From 2010 to 2020, he oversaw all aspects of the annual Sundance Film Festival in addition to expanding ventures to Sundance Film Festival: London and Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong. Other work includes guest curator and juror at major festivals around the world. In 2020 he was accepted into the Academy of Motion Pictures.



“The jury selected More Than I Want to Remember because it combines a strong narrative with lyrical animation to speak to the refugee experience in an authentic and empowered voice.”

-Shorts Jury – Si Edwards, Erica Ginsberg, Christine Fugate, Steven Fraser

SDFF Screening: 5:15 p.m. Sat. 3/18 – SebArts Little Red Hen
Part of a shorts block that includes Candles In The Window, Heseovo’eo’he’e, Ukrainians In Exile, Where The Winds Die

SDFF 2023 Documentary Shorts  Jury

Si Edwards has been the program manager at the Cork International Film Festival in Ireland since 2015. Like SDFF, it is an Oscar® qualifying festival. Si has also worked for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and as a shorts programmer for Dublin International Film Festival.

Erica Ginsberg is a co-host of The D-Word, a global community for documentary film professionals. She is the co-founder and former Executive Director of the Washington DC-area documentary organization Docs In Progress and is the author of the blog and forthcoming book Creative Resilience. Erica is no stranger to the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival where she facilitated the Peer Pitch program for many years.

Christine Fugate is an Independent Filmmaker, Professor and Writer. Fugate has taught at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University for the past eight years, specializing in script development and student filmmaking. She has also created several documentaries and independent films that have been viewed on television and in theaters, including directing the 2022 film Queen Moorea.

Steven Fraser is an animator and artist who creates unique, personal and passionate stories with animation, comics and zines. His recent short film Prosopagnosia was developed with support from the Scottish Documentary Institute and had its world premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2021. It won the Experimental Film award at the Marvels of Media Awards in New York, Best Mini-Doc at the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival and the Experimental Award at the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival.



“This personal essay deftly balances humor and introspection as the filmmaker explores his dissonance about the decision to have his son circumcised. Dear Max, is an engaging animated documentary with eclectic visual elements and heartfelt narration.”

-Mini-Doc Jury – Whitney Skate, Netsanet Negussie, Jan Krawitz

SDFF Live Screening: 7:30 p.m. Fri. 3/17 – SebArts Little Red Hen
Part of a shorts block that focuses on Men’s Narratives and also includes Colonel Kalsi, and George
SDFF Virtual Screening: 3/20-3/29

SDFF 2023 Mini Docs  Jury

Whitney Skauge is a documentary film director and the current VP of Development & Marketing at the Academy Award®-winning Breakwater Studios based in Los Angeles. With a dedication to representation on both sides of the camera, Skauge hopes to use documentary film to help audiences understand themselves and the world around them better.

Netsanet Negussie is a Brooklyn-based independent film producer of documentaries, shorts, and branded content. She is currently at ABC News Studios, the film production arm of ABC News, where she produces premium-level documentaries and special programs for Hulu. She also produced I Am Not Going to Change 400 Years in Four (2020, ITVS/Independent Lens) helmed by Emmy Award-winning directors Angela Tucker and Kristi Jacobson. Check out the NAACP Image-nominated and 2023 duPont-Columbia Finalist series Through Our Eyes now streaming on HBO Max!

Jan Krawitz: Now Professor Emerita, Jan Krawitz taught in the MFA Program in Documentary Film at Stanford for 34 years. Her films have screened at festivals in the U.S. and abroad, including Sundance, the New York Film Festival, Visions du Réel, Edinburgh, AFI Docs, London, Sydney International Film Festival, Full Frame, and SXSW. Her documentaries explore eclectic topics. Jan is a voting member of the Documentary branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the Karl Franzens University of Graz in Austria in 2022.

Movie, TV Show, Filmmakers and Film Studio WordPress Theme.

Press Enter / Return to begin your search or hit ESC to close

By signing in, you agree to our terms and conditions and our privacy policy.

New membership are not allowed.