INTERNATIONAL WATER FILM PRIZE JUDGES
Linda Lilienfeld is the founder and director of Let’s Talk About Water. Linda has forty years of experience as a film and picture researcher, specializing in science and history on projects ranging from PBS documentaries to museum exhibits, books and feature films. She has served for the past 20 years as a research assistant to Peggy Parsons, curator of the Film Program at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
Linda initiated the Let's Talk About Water Film Festival and International Film Competition and found a home for it at the Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS) at the University of Saskatchewan.
Currently based: Washington D.C. and New York
Founder of African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF), and Executive Director of the New York African Film Festival (NYAFF), Mahen Bonetti’s singular goal has been to give a voice to African filmmakers worldwide. For thirty years she has tirelessly worked to develop platforms for their work, including NYAFF, America’s first film festival exclusively devoted to presenting works by directors of African descent, with partners Film at Lincoln Center and BAMcinématek; the country’s first African film national travelling series; and film, community and education programs internationally.
Under her stewardship, AFF has given numerous filmmakers—including Mahamat Haroun, Jean Marie Téno, Lupita Nyong’o, Tunde Kelani and Oscar-nominated director Abderrahmane Sissako—their first introduction to U.S. audiences; published several anthologies of conversations with African directors; and developed the world’s largest digital database on African film.
Born in Sierra Leone, Bonetti has served on juries and panels for the United Nations Development Program, UNICEF, Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council of the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and International Emmy Awards.
In 2010 the French government honored her with the prestigious Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) for promoting French diasporan culture, exemplifying her global impact. That same year, Bonetti was featured in Vanity Fair for building NYAFF into the leading American showcase for African movies. In 2018, Bonetti was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Currently based: New York
Margaret (Peggy) Parsons is curator of the film program at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, an exhibition program with an archival collection. She has been a trustee for film organizations such as the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar and CINE, served on the editorial boards of The Moving Image, the Getty Trust’s Program for Art on Film, and the Thomas Edison Film Festival. She has served as a festival juror for the Washington, Syracuse, and Nashville International Film Festivals in the United States, and on festival juries in Turin, Italy, and Poznań, Poland. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Washington DC Environmental Film Festival. In 2013 she founded an environmental film festival in central New York State, Glimmerglass Film Days, and has recently received awards for her work in film preservation from the governments of France, Georgia, and the Czech Republic. Other interests include naïve and outsider art, and her writing has been published in the journals Raw Vision, Folk Art, New York Folklore, Curator, and The Moving Image.
Currently based: Washington, D.C.
Dhiraj Pradhananga is an Assistant Professor of hydrometeorology at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Dhiraj started his professional career as a meteorologist at the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Government of Nepal (1995-1998).
He received his master’s degrees from Tribhuvan University in meteorology and University of Melbourne, Australia in environment and PhD degree from University of Saskatchewan, Canada in glacier hydrology (supervisor: Professor John Pomeroy). He also did post graduate diplomas in hydrology (Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India) and in the management of the environment (Maastricht School of Management, The Netherlands).
Dhiraj’s work interests are in making useful information usable in water, weather, climate, and the environment sectors. He believes in teamwork and gets involved in students-teachers-scientists (STS) networks and focuses on capacity building of recent graduates and young professionals.
He is president of two NGO’s - The Small Earth Nepal (SEN) and Centre of Research for Environment, Energy and Water (CREEW). SEN has its objective to promote sustainable lifestyles through education, research, and its STS network. CREEW is a scientific research based and development organization.
Currently based: Nepal
NICK VAN DE GIESEN
Nick van de Giesen received the Kandidaats B.S. degree and the M.Sc. degree in land and water management from Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen, The Netherlands, in 1984 and 1987, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in agricultural and biological engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, in 1994. After a postdoctoral position with the West Africa Rice Development Association, Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire, he was a Senior Researcher for six years with the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany, where he was the Scientific Coordinator of the Global Change in the Hydrological Cycle Volta Project. Since 2004, he has been with the Water Resources Section, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, where he currently holds the “Van Kuffeler” Chair of Water Resources Engineering. Since January 2015, he is chairman of the Delft Global Initiative. He is co-director of the Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (www.tahmo.org) and member of several international scientific advisory boards. He is scientific head of Sustainable Development Goals route of the Netherlands National Science Agenda. His research interests concern new environmental observation methods, such as Distributed Temperature Sensing, and computational hydrology (www.ewatercycle.org).
Currently based: Delft, Netherland
Sheena is an award-winning journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. From 2013 to 2017, she was the Rio de Janeiro correspondent for Monocle magazine and a senior video journalist at DAZN. Before that, she was based in São Paulo, London, and Barcelona. Her audio and video work has been broadcast by the CBC, the BBC, and the New York Times, among others. She has produced various documentaries and podcasts, including 3 Siblings (2018). She is currently the senior digital producer at The Walrus, the co-owner of Dona Ana Films & Multimedia, and a journalism instructor at MacEwan University.
Currently based: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
WATER FILM YOUTH PRIZE JUDGES
Adrienne has worked in the television and film industry for over 30 years, starting with the Global Television Network in Winnipeg, Manitoba and then returning to Saskatchewan to become Promotion Director at the new Global Saskatoon station. Since leaving commercial television, she has worked as a writer, producer, director and production manager in film and television. Her work has included several national Canadian television series, hundreds of commercial productions, corporate and educational video to music videos and feature drama. She currently manages the Media Production unit at the University of Saskatchewan, collaborating with educators and researchers in the development of innovative and engaging media.
Currently Based: Saskatoon, SK
As a water scientist and protector, Dr. Kelsey Leonard seeks to establish Indigenous traditions of water conservation as the foundation for international water policy-making.
Dr. Kelsey Leonard is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. She represents the Shinnecock Indian Nation on the Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean, which is charged with protecting America's ocean ecosystems and coastlines. She also serves as a member of the Great Lakes Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission. Dr. Leonard has been instrumental in safeguarding the interests of Indigenous Nations for environmental planning, and builds Indigenous science and knowledge into new solutions for water governance and sustainable oceans.
MAKASA LOOKING HORSE
Makasa Looking Horse was born on Six Nations territory and is Mohawk and Lakota. Miss Looking Horse has completed rites of passage through both Lakota and Mohawk ceremonies known as Ishnati and Ohero:kon. She has been a Sundance leader for the women for 11 years, and most known for her activism with Six Nations on water security. She has held many protests fighting for water for her community working alongside the traditional government, handing Nestle a Cease and Desist Letter on behalf of the Confederacy. Makasa has hosted community events such as Six Nations Climate Change Awareness Day. She completed Six Nations Traditional Medicine Practitioners course and continues with her studies at McMaster University. She is the youth Leader of Global Water Futures, Ohneganos, where she is now the host of a live streamed vodcast series called Ohneganos: Lets Talk Water.
Makasa has been on a Women and Water panel for Mni Ki Wakan Indigenous Peoples Decade of Water August, 2019 in Rapid City, SD. She has presented at World Peace and Prayer Day 2017/2018 and led a ceremony in Hawaii, Oregon, Ohio. She also led a ceremony at the Parliament of World Religions in Utah 2017. Looking Horse was also nominated by the United Nations Global Indigenous Youth Caucus to do the opening words and blessing at the United Nations Youth Climate Summit Sept. 2019 and presented at the United Nations Side-table at the Indigenous Peoples Permanent Forum May. 2019.
Currently based: Six Nations territory, Canada
Soon to celebrate 30 years in television broadcasting Jeff is best known as CTV Saskatoon’s weather anchor. He is also a professional actor having performed with Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, Persephone and 25th street theatres. Jeff is a member of the Yikes! sketch comedy group and continues to perform improv comedy with The Saskatoon Soaps. His initial foray into broadcasting was as a “pro bono” movie reviewer on CFQC Radio and Telecable 10; he remains passionate about cinema and is happy to participate in the Let’s Talk about Water film festival.
Currently Based: Saskatoon, SK
Stefania received her Masters degree in 2006 from the University of Studies of Turin (Italy). Her thesis focusing on how the Port of Marseille was described (imaged) in the French cinema and literature.
Since 2018 she has worked for the International Environmental Film Festival “CinemAmbiente”in Turin as coordinator for the youth section “CinemAmbiente Junior”.
Between 2007 and 2016 Stefania was charged of the audiovisual programming for the association Image de Ville (Aix-en-Provence, France). In particular, she was charged with programming two festivals which took place every year :“Image de ville” a film festival dedicated to architecture and urban spaces and “Journées du film sur l’environnement”, mostly focused on environmental topics. Since 2013 she has served on the selection committee of the International Short Film Festival competition “Festival Tous Courts” (Aix-en-Provence, France). Moreover, she also regularly supports the organisation of other films competitions worldwide(e. f Saragossa, Zurich..).
Currently based: Turin, Italy