NYWFF Jury 2021

Dina Emam

Named one of Variety's 10 Producers to Watch in 2018, Dina Emam is an Egyptian-American film producer and educator working between New York and Cairo.

Her first feature, Yomeddine, had its world premiere at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in the Main Competition where it was awarded the Prix François Chalais. Yomeddine was also chosen as Egypt’s submission for the 91st Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Emam is currently a participant of the 2020 Creative Producer Indaba program for African producers (developed by Realness Institute in partnership with Sundance Institute, International Film Festival Rotterdam and EAVE).

In addition to producing, she teaches filmmaking/producing workshops and masterclasses for aspiring filmmakers in the US, the Middle East and Africa.

For International Women’s Day 2020, Emam was named a Female Champion of Change by the Canadian and Swedish embassies in Egypt for her outstanding achievement and contribution in building a stronger Egypt.

Prior to becoming a film producer, Emam worked in television market research and production management at MTV Networks in New York City. She also worked on Hulu’s Emmy-nominated miniseries The Looming Tower.

Emam holds a BS from New York University's Stern School of Business in Marketing and International Business with a specialization in Entertainment, Media and Technology and an MFA from Columbia University's School of the Arts in Creative Producing with advanced study in Screenwriting.

She has previously served as an AmeriCorps volunteer.

Vivian Rivas

Born in Guatemala. Always wanted to study film, but only traditional careers were offered at  the local Universities. Graduated as an Architect and worked independently for a few years. After working in “The Silence of Neto” by director Luis Argueta, she moves to New York to work  in his production company Morningside Movies. 

Later on, she becomes a freelance script supervisor and freelance camera person. At 54, she gets her Masters degree in Documentary Filmmaking from City College. Her first  short and thesis film “Ebb Tide” has been accepted in more than 14 festivals around the world  and has won several awards. Currently, she in post-production of her first feature  documentary film “Obfuscation” that talks about women demanding justice for young victims of  torture under the care of the government. 

Her goal is to write and direct documentaries about regular people going through unexpected  journeys.

Talia Smith

A filmmaker born and raised in South Africa. Her country’s rich heritage inspired her storytelling aspirations from a young age. At 18 she followed her dreams and studied Film & TV at NYU’s Tisch School of the arts.

 

She has focussed her filmmaking career on true stories- highlighting ordinary people with extraordinary stories. Inspired by resilience and joy in the face of adversity, many of her films have thus far been centered around South African and Female lead narratives.

 

Her latest film UMAMA was shortlisted for a student BAFTA and received the Gold Medal at the Student Academy Awards.