2018 Festival Jury


The 31st annual Columbia University Film Festival jurors are faculty members Ramin Bahrani, Ira Deutchman, Bette Gordon, Jamal Joseph, and Rob King.

We are also pleased to welcome two esteemed and accomplished outside jurors: Nancy Savoca and Wendy Ettinger.


About Wendy Ettinger

Wendy Ettinger

Wendy Ettinger has been producing documentaries and narrative films for over 20 years. In 2005, with Julie Parker Benello and Judith Helfand, she
co-founded Chicken & Egg Pictures in order to find and mentor women
documentary directors whose artful and innovative storytelling
catalyzes social change. Over the past ten years, Chicken & Egg
Pictures has awarded over $5.4 million in grants and 5,200 hours of
creative mentorship to more than 250 films and filmmakers. These
filmmakers and films have a multitude of awards, including Academy and
Emmy Awards—but more importantly have created change at home and
globally for the issues they address.

In 2013 she co-founded Gamechanger Films, the first equity fund to
provide equity to narrative feature films directed by women.
Gamechanger films have premiered or screened at festivals such as
Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Los Angeles, Locarno, Toronto, and London;
have been named on "best of the year" lists; and won numerous awards
including a Film Independent Spirit Award.

She began her film career producing the Academy Award nominated
documentary, The War Room after taking a course on Democracy at Columbia.



About Nancy Savoca

Nancy Savoca

Nancy Savoca’s debut film, True Love, won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1989. Her work includes such critically acclaimed movies as Dogfight (River Phoenix, Lili Taylor), Household Saints (Tracey Ullman, Lili Taylor, Vincent D’Onofrio), HBO’s Golden Globe- and Emmy-nominated If These Walls Could Talk (Demi Moore, Sissy Spacek, Cher) and The 24 Hour Woman (Rosie Perez, Marianne Jean-Baptiste).

Her documentary, Reno: Rebel Without a Pause – Unrestrained Reflections on September 11th premiered in Toronto on September 11, 2002 and screened internationally. Dirt, a bilingual ‘dramedy’ on immigration won Best Director (LALIFF), Best Actress (Cinema Fe) and a nomination for Best Screenplay (WGA).

Union Square starred Oscar winner Mira Sorvino, Emmy winner Tammy Blanchard, and Tony winner Patti LuPone, premiered at the Toronto Festival and was released theatrically in Summer 2012. It was #1 on iTunes Indie film charts and Top Ten on iTunes films.