We’re no strangers to talent here at Indie Grits. Each year, we bring on the best and the brightest in the filmmaking world to adjudicate our festival selections. We’re excited to welcome our three jurors, who hail from across the Southeast and beyond, and are here to help us celebrate this year’s crop of moviemaking talent.
Jason Fitzroy Jeffers is a Miami-based filmmaker and journalist from Barbados whose work focuses on giving voice to the often-marginalized stories of the tropics. As a journalist, his work has appeared on The Intercept and in The Miami Herald and American Way. As a filmmaker, he wrote and produced the award-winning short film Papa Machete, which explores the esoteric martial art of Haitian machete fencing. The film world premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and had its U.S. premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. In addition to his work in journalism and directing and producing other films, Jason is Co-Executive Director of the Caribbean filmmaking and arts collective Third Horizon. Its annual Third Horizon Film Festival celebrates and empowers the new creatives emerging from the region and was recently named one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker Magazine. He is also Cinematic Arts Senior Manager at Oolite Arts, one of Miami’s largest support organizations for visual artists.
Jenny Slattery is the Interim Executive Director of the Southern Documentary Fund, where she oversees the organization’s work to cultivate documentary projects made by artists based in the American South. Previously, she was the Associate Director of Foundations and Artist Development at SFFILM in San Francisco, where she built funding partnerships, developed new filmmaker support programs, and provided guidance to independent filmmakers. She is also a fundraising and organizational effectiveness consultant who works with both filmmakers and nonprofit organizations.
Farihah Zaman is a Bangladeshi-American filmmaker, critic, and curator; her first feature is the award-winning documentary Remote Area Medical, followed by second feature This Time Next Year (2014 Tribeca Film Festival) and the doc-fiction hybrid Feast of the Epiphany (BAMcinemafest 2018), as well as several shorts (Kombit, Nobody Loves Me, American Carnage, and the New York Times Op-Doc To Be Queen). She produced the Sundance-award winning Netflix Original, Ghosts of Sugar Land, which was Oscar shortlisted. Zaman has written for Reverse Shot, Film Comment, Elle, Huffington Post, Filmmaker Magazine, and AV Club, among others, and her diverse background in the film industry includes Magnolia Pictures, IFP, The Flaherty Seminar, and serving as the Production Manager for Field of Vision (founded by Laura Poitras and Charlotte Cook), where she worked with artists like Marshall Curry, Garrett Bradley, Lyric Cabral, Josh Begley, Ramell Ross, Steve Maing, and Brett Story on films eventually published at The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Buzzfeed, Vice, Wired and more. She was the Documentarian in Residence at Bard College 2018-2019.
Films in competition are eligible for a variety of prestigious awards bestowed by our jury, made up of individuals with original and diverse points of view from the film community. We’re no strangers to talent here at Indie Grits. Each year, we bring on the best and the brightest in the filmmaking world, who hail from across the Southeast and beyond, to help us celebrate this year’s crop of moviemaking talent. In addition, we invite audiences to vote for their favorites with the Audience Award, which goes to one film in-competition.
BIG GRIT – Given to the top feature film.
SHORT GRIT – Given to the top short film.
ANIMATED GRIT – Given to the top animated film.
THE PEOPLE’S GRIT – Awarded to the film considered best as determined by a public vote.
EXPERIMENTAL GRIT – Given to the top experimental film.
YOUTH GRIT – Given to the top student film.
LOCAL GRIT – Given to the top film from South Carolina.