Jury Duty: Presenting the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival Juries

Critically-acclaimed directors, award-winning actors, and cultural leaders are among the jury members for Tribeca 2017.

Jury Duty: Presenting the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival Juries
Photo Illustration by Jaime Fallon

The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, today announced its jurors for the 16th edition, comprised of a group of critically acclaimed filmmakers, award-winning actors working across film, television, and stage, accomplished producers, and cultural leaders. Divided among the competitive Festival categories, the jury reflects the diversity of Tribeca’s program, which showcases storytelling in all forms, including film, television, virtual reality, and music. The winning films, filmmakers, actors, and storytellers in each category will be announced at the Tribeca Film Festival Awards ceremony at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center on Thursday, April 27 beginning at 5:30 pm and hosted by Michael Rapaport. The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 19 - 30.

The nine Tribeca juries for the film and immersive storytelling categories will award cash and prizes. Ten of the winners will also receive a work of original art by a renowned contemporary artist as part of the Tribeca Film Festival Artists Awards program, sponsored by CHANEL.

“This year’s jury reflects the diverse artistry represented in our Festival program, which has evolved over the past 15 years to showcase the breadth of storytelling across all mediums,” said Jane Rosenthal, co-founder, Tribeca Film Festival, and Executive Chair, Tribeca Enterprises. “Selecting winners in each category is no easy task, and we look forward to the thoughtful perspective and spirited debate our jurors will bring to the job.”

In addition to the main competition juries, the Festival also announced the all-female jury for the 2017 Nora Ephron Prize, which was founded four years ago to honor a woman filmmaker whose work embodies the spirit and vision of the legendary filmmaker and writer Nora Ephron. Tribeca previously announced five jurors for the second annual Tribeca X Award, which celebrates branded storytelling at the intersection of advertising and entertainment.

Following is a list of all 2017 Festival jurors and their respective categories.

Feature Film Competition Categories

The jurors for the 2017 US Narrative Competition section are:

Josh Lucas: Actor Josh Lucas is best known for his roles in the films A Beautiful Mind, Sweet Home Alabama, Poseidon, and Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar, as well as on stage in “The Glass Menagerie” and “Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell.” He can currently be seen in Netflix’s The Most Hated Woman In America. Lucas is based in NYC.

Melanie Lynskey: New Zealand born Melanie Lynskey's first role came in 1994 with her award winning performance in Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures opposite Kate Winslet. Since then, she has amassed a number of credits both in features and television. Her credits include Steven Soderbergh's The Informant, Tom McCarthy's Win Win, Billy Ray's Shattered Glass, Sam Mendes' Away We Go, and Jason Reitman's Up in the Air.

Denis O’Hare: Denis O’Hare is a Tony Award winning and Emmy-nominated actor. Screen credits include Charlie Wilson’s War, Milk, Dallas Buyers Club, and American Horror Story.

Alex Orlovsky: Alex Orlovsky has been working as a producer for 15 years. In that time, he has produced The Discovery, The Wolfpack, I Origins, The Place Beyond the Pines, Blue Valentine, and Half Nelson, among others. Orlovsky’s films have been nominated for Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Independent Spirit Awards, and Gotham Awards, and have played in a number of major film festivals including Berlin, Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca, and Venice.

Stephanie Zacharek: Stephanie Zacharek is the film critic for Time magazine. She was previously chief film critic for the Village Voice and, and was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in criticism.

The jurors for the 2017 International Narrative Competition section are:

Willem Dafoe: Two-time Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe is one of today’s most highly accomplished and versatile American film actors. He has performed in over 100 films in Hollywood and abroad.

Peter Fonda: Peter Fonda is an award-winning actor who co-wrote, produced, and starred in the iconic film Easy Rider. Since his legendary role, he has continued to deliver impressive performances seen in films such as Ulee's Gold, The Tempest, 3:10 to Yuma, and Ghost Rider.

Tavi Gevinson: Tavi Gevinson is an actress, writer, and the editor-in-chief of “Rookie”, a website for teenage girls which she founded in 2011. She can soon be seen opposite Michael Cera and Abbi Jacobson in the upcoming film Person To Person, which follows a variety of New York characters as they navigate personal relationships and unexpected problems over the course of one day.

Alessandro Nivola: Alessandro Nivola is a Tony Award nominated film and stage actor and television producer. Film credits include American Hustle, Junebug, Coco Before Chanel, A Most Violent Year, and Selma.

Ruth Wilson: Two-time Olivier Award-winner, Golden Globe winner and Tony Award nominated actress Ruth Wilson has paved her way in theatre, television and film. Best known for her portrayal of the character Alison in The Affair and of Alice in Luther, and for her work on the London stage, Wilson has become one of Britain’s most lauded young actresses.

The jurors for the 2017 World Documentary Competition section are:

R.J. Cutler: R.J. Cutler is an award-winning director and producer. His work includes the feature film If I Stay, the documentaries Listen to Me Marlon, The World According to Dick Cheney, The September Issue, A Perfect Candidate, and The War Room, and the television series Nashville, American High, Freshman Diaries, Black/White, and 30 Days.

Alma Har’el: Alma Har’el’s award winning, visionary work plunges deep into the heart of imagination and produces genre-redefining and fearless work that artistically blurs the line between documentary and fiction. In 2016, Har'el founded Free The Bid, an initiative designed to fight gender bias in the advertisement industry.

Barbara Kopple: Barbara Kopple is a two-time Academy Award winning filmmaker. She has produced and directed over 35 films, and counting.

Anne Thompson: Anne Thompson is Editor at Large at Indiewire, founder of Thompson on Hollywood, author of “The $11 Billion Year” and cohost of the weekly Screen Talk podcast.

David Wilson: David Wilson is a filmmaker and co-founder of the True/False Film Fest in Columbia, Missouri.

The jurors for the 2017 Best New Narrative Director Competition are:

Bryan Buckley: Bryan Buckley is the director of the films Asad, The Bronze, and upcoming release, Dabka. He is known for his extensive commercial work, directing more than 50 Super Bowl spots.

Clea Duvall: Clea DuVall is an actress and filmmaker. She currently stars in the Emmy award winning HBO series Veep, and recurs in AMC’s Better Call Saul. She starred in many award winning films including Argo, Passengers, Zodiac, Girl, Interrupted, and the cult favorites But I’m A Cheerleader and The Faculty.

Michael Pitt: Michael Pitt is an American actor, writer, director, producer, and musician. Credits include Boardwalk Empire, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Dreamers, I Origins, Funny Games, and Last Days. His most recent role was Kuze in Ghost in the Shell. In 2015, Michael Pitt made his directorial debut with The Driver.

The jurors for the 2017 Albert Maysles Award (Best New Documentary Director Award) are:

Amy Berg: Amy Berg is a critically acclaimed, Emmy-award winning and Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker whose company, Disarming Films, writes and produces docuseries for television and long-form documentaries focusing on social justice.

Alice Eve: Alice Eve is an acclaimed British actress known for her roles in Star Trek into Darkness and Before We Go opposite Chris Evans. She can soon be seen in upcoming feature Please Stand By opposite Dakota Fanning and Toni Collette and Replicas opposite Keanu Reeves.

Marilyn Ness: Marilyn Ness is a two-time Emmy®, DuPont, and Peabody Award-winning documentary producer and director best known for her work producing Cameraperson, Trapped, E-Team, and 1971 (Tribeca Film Festival 2014).

Zachary Quinto: Zachary Quinto is a film, stage and television actor as well as a producer. His credits include Star Trek, Snowden, The Glass Menagerie, Heroes and two seasons of American Horror Story. In 2008, he began his production company Before the Door Pictures, which has gone on to produce such films as Margin Call, All Is Lost, Banshee Chapter, Breakup At a Wedding, A Most Violent Year, and the upcoming film Aardvark.

Shaul Schwarz: Shaul Schwarz is a conflict photojournalist turned filmmaker. He's the director of the feature documentaries Narco Cultura (2013) and Trophy (2017).

Short Film Competition Categories

The jurors for the 2017 Narrative Short Film Competition are:

Udi Aloni: Udi Aloni is a filmmaker and writer whose works frequently explore the interrelationships between art, theory, and activism. His most recent film, Junction 48, won the Best International Narrative Feature award at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Berlinale, among other awards.

Brennan Brown: Brennan Brown can be currently seen as Robert Childan on the hit Amazon series The Man in the High Castle, as Dr. Sam Abrams on Chicago Med, and Edward Biben on Mozart in the Jungle. A graduate of Yale School of Drama, his many film credits include I Love You Phillip Morris, Focus, and State of Play.

Gilbert Gottfried: As a famed comic’s comic, Gilbert Gottfried puts aside political correctness for his live performance and fires an onslaught of jokes that know no boundaries. Credits include: a cast member on SNL, Beverly Hills Cop II, The Cosby Show, Late Night with David Letterman, The Howard Stern Show, and Aladdin, as the voice of the wise cracking parrot Iago.

Amy Heckerling: Amy Heckerling came from the Bronx and wrote Clueless.

Sheila Nevins: Sheila Nevins is President, HBO Documentary Films. She has been responsible for overseeing the development and production of more than 1,000 documentaries for HBO, HBO2, and Cinemax. As an executive producer or producer, she has received 32 Primetime Emmy® Awards, 7 News and Documentary Emmys®, and 42 George Foster Peabody Awards. During her tenure, HBO’s critically-acclaimed documentaries have gone on to win 26 Academy Awards®.

Mark O’Brien: Mark O’Brien is an award-winning actor and filmmaker, best known for his roles in the Academy-Award nominated film Arrival and the AMC series Halt & Catch Fire. He can next be seen in the upcoming Sony/Amazon series The Last Tycoon, and a number of feature films including Kin, State Like Sleep, and Parallel.

Jesse Plemons: Jesse Plemons is an actor. Credits include: Friday Night Lights, Breaking Bad, Fargo, Black Mass, Bridge of Spies, The Master, and Other People. He will next appear in American Made, Hostiles, Black Mirror, and The Discovery.

The jurors for the 2017 Documentary and Student Visionary Competitions are:

Priyanka Chopra: Priyanka Chopra is a multifaceted personality and one of the most recognized and applauded talents in the world. With more than 50 film credits, Priyanka currently stars in ABC's hit show Quantico and can be seen in the upcoming Baywatch movie, premiering on May 26th.

Olivia Thirlby: A native New Yorker, Olivia Thirlby is best known for her work in features such as Juno, United 93, The Wackness, 2012 Tribeca film Being Flynn, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Between Us, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016, and the Amazon/David E. Kelly series Goliath.

Ryan Eggold: Ryan Eggold is an actor, writer, director, producer, and composer. He currently stars as the male lead in NBC’s The Blacklist: Redemption, the spinoff from the thriller drama, The Blacklist in which he also stars. Ryan has starred in various acclaimed film, TV, and theatre projects, and is also an accomplished musician, singer, and playwright.

Brendan Fraser: Brendan Fraser is an award-winning actor. Credits include the Mummy franchise, The Quiet American, and Crash. He recently starred in the third season of Showtime’s award-winning TV show, The Affair.

Ileen Gallagher: Ileen Gallagher produces memorable experiences and destinations, in projects ranging from new museums, corporate attractions, and citywide film/media celebrations to exhibitions, special events, the organization of archives, and beyond.


The jurors for the 2017 Storyscapes Competition are:

Lily Baldwin: Lily Baldwin is an NYC/LA-based filmmaker and dancer, whose directing work has appeared at SXSW, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the V&A Museum London, Art Basel Miami, ShortsHD, Filmmaker Magazine, NOWNESS, Fandor, and BitTorrent.

Charlotte Cook: Charlotte Cook is a Co-Creator and Executive Producer of Field of Vision, and a programmer at CPH:DOX.

Julia Kaganskiy: Julia Kaganskiy is the founding Director of NEW INC, the New Museum’s incubator for art, design and technology.

Michael Premo: Michael Premo is an artist, journalist, and filmmaker.

Sarah Wolozin: Sarah Wolozin is director of the MIT Open Documentary Lab.

Nora Ephron Prize

The jurors for the 2017 Nora Ephron Prize are:

Dianna Agron: Dianna Agron was last seen in Luc Besson’s The Family opposite Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer. She will next be seen in Sony Pictures Classics' Novitiate, which recently screened at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Agron is previously known for her roles on Glee and in the feature film I Am Number Four.

Joy Bryant: Award-winning actress Joy Bryant is best known as the star of NBC’s Parenthood. A former model, Bryant most recently portrayed civil rights activist Eleanor Holmes Norton in the Amazon series Good Girls Revolt and had a memorable cameo in the final season of HBO's Girls.

Diane Lane: Diane Lane has been hailed as Best Actress by the New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics, and received Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe, and Emmy nominations for her career work-to-date. Her next film, Eleanor Coppola's Paris Can Wait, will make its New York premiere at Tribeca 2017 on April 25th before officially opening on May 12th.

Zoe Lister-Jones: Zoe Lister-Jones is an actor, writer, producer, and director, currently starring on CBS’ Life in Pieces and in the indie comedy Band Aid, in which she also makes her directorial debut.

Christina Ricci: Christina Ricci can currently be seen in the Amazon original series Z: The Beginning of Everything, in which she plays Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald.

Visit our Festival website for more information about the 2017 Festival programs and the full line-up.

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