The panel consists of key figures in documentary film making, previous entrants and people who have been affected by addiction. The judges view the submissions and select the winning films. The judges look for original and imaginative approaches to telling stories of addiction and recovery.
Sylvia Harvey, FRSA, Visiting Professor, School of Media & Communication, University of Leeds. Sylvia taught film studies and broadcasting policy at various British universities following postgraduate study at the film school of the University of California Los Angeles. She is a founder member of the Sheffield International Documentary Festival and currently a Visiting Professor in the School of Media & Communication, University of Leeds.
David Cohen is a psychologist, writer and documentary filmmaker. He has made over a hundred programmes for ITV, Channel 4 and other broadcasters, including the acclaimed film, The Night Diana Died for Channel 5, as well as the feature film The Pleasure Principle: Gorbachev's Asylums, the first film to get inside Soviet psychiatric hospitals. David has also produced the 2018 film, London Unplugged.
Laura Evers-Johns is an award-winning writer/director making independent films, commercial content, and theatre (lauraeversjohns.co.uk). She brings over a decade of experience in advertising and holds the Skillset accredited MA in Creative Writing (Playwriting & Screenwriting) from City University. @lauraeversjohns
Emma Wakefield, Managing Director, Lambent Productions
Emma has developed and created a wide range of acclaimed documentaries and factual series. Credits include KIDS BEHIND BARS for BBC3, OUT OF JAIL AND ON THE STREETS for BBC1, and THE SPECIAL NEEDS HOTEL for Channel 5. She developed formatted teen series GAY-Z and WELCOME TO MY WORLD for Channel 4 and BAFTA-nominated drama-documentaries LOVE HURTS and TRUE STORIES for BBC2.
Recent documentaries include LAST WHITES OF THE EAST END for BBC1, ADDICTED PARENTS: LAST CHANCE TO KEEP MY CHILDREN for BBC2 and BAFTA-nominated RAPED: MY STORY for Channel 5.
Lisa Bryer is a London-based Film Producer. Among her credits are the award winning ‘The Last King of Scotland’, Nick Love’s first feature ‘Goodbye Charlie Bright’ and Nick Hamm’s ‘The Hole’.
Martine Bell is a Senior Practitioner working at HMP Wymott. In 2016 Martine entered the winning film "Hope Inside" into the Recovery Street Film Festival on behalf of her service users and the rest of her team. Martine felt that coming from a prison environment it was important to get the voices of her services users out to the wider community and that the film festival was the perfect opportunity to do so. She wanted to send the message that there is Hope inside and that her service users want to change and can achieve it.
Sophie Molins is an artist, anthropologist and filmmaker who trained at Chelsea and Central St Martins school of Art. She has exhibited in the UK and abroad, worked on independent films, and published her work widely. She has won awards from the British Council, The New York Times, Westminster Arts and the South Bank.
Molins is clear about the need for significant change in the way the Criminal Justice System perceives and deals with addiction. She is an ambassador for the Forward Trust (formerly The Rehabilitation of Addicted Prisoners Trust) and a judge for the Koestler Art Awards. She is also a trustee of Steps2Recovery, a recovery house working with people caught up in the CJS and previous winners of The Centre for Social Justice Addiction Award. Trained in Spiritual Guidance, Molins runs a weekly group workshop at Steps2Recovery.
Kelly Judge is the winner of the 2017 Recovery Street Film Festival. Kelly has been featured on national prison radio and has appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire Show.
Kelly completed treatment with Steps 2 Recovery in 2015 and started volunteering shortly afterwards. Kelly is now working full-time as a support assistant for a homeless charity and can't wait to bring her experience to the judging panel. You can watch her film, Kelly's Story, on our YouTube channel.
Matt Thomas has been working in the music industry since 1991. From then until 2007 he was in the major record labels, when he became an artist manager, co-managing a re-formed Squeeze and a variety of other artists. Squeeze was the constant throughout this period and their notorious difficulties helped to shape Matt’s interest in the complex dynamics within bands, and the art of dispute resolution. This led him to train as a mediator, with National Family Mediation and the London School Of Mediation, and become an accredited mediator with the Society Of Mediators and the Civil Mediation Council.
Sober since 2006 Matt began to realign his career objectives with his life choices and left full time commercial management in order to focus on conflict resolution and crisis management, and in 2011 also began to act as a touring mediator, companion and chaperone for vulnerable artists.
Matt is a founder and Director of iCAAD – International Conferences on Addiction and Associated Disorders, the biggest addictions and mental health conference company in Europe.
Jason Flemyng is an actor known for his roles in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Clash of the Titans, X-Men: First Class and he can currently be seen in the SKY TV series, Save Me.
Jason has also been very open about his own experience of growing up with a father who was an alcoholic, “alcohol has played a massive part in my family, including my old man. I loved my old man and had a lot in common with him. When he passed away I took an interest in recovery as it allowed me to feel closer to him”.
When asked what he would be looking for when judging the competition, Jason commented “we’re making a film about recovery, storytelling and filmmaking is an incredible platform to tell these stories. It’s not about the technical quality of the film, it’s how unique and powerful it is, how the story comes alive”.