President of the jury
Screenwriter et Producer
Laurent Zeitoun is a French Producer and Writer (ESCP Business school, UCLA Writer’s School)
In 2000, he founds SCRIPT-ASSOCIES, co-producing and co-writing The 11 Commandments and I do: How To Get Married And Stay Single as well as Heartbreaker (5 nominations at the Cesar Academy Awards, including Best Picture)
In 2010, he partners with Yann Zenou and Nicolas Duval Adassovsky at QUAD.
To date, Zeitoun has produced 15 films that have generated over 700 M$ worldwide box office, including major hit The Intouchables (9 nominations at the 2012 Cesar Academy Awards, including for best picture as well as numerous international awards and nominations for Best Foreign Film at both the 2012 BAFTA and Golden Globes).
In 2015, Zeitoun and Zenou created Main Journey, a new banner dedicated to mainstream entertainment movies focused on emotions and values. Main Journey produced, along with QUAD, the animated feature Ballerina (70 M$ to date, to be released in the US in Sept 2017).
Members of the jury
Audrey A. Benoualid
Attorney in entertainment law, LA
A practicing attorney in entertainment law, Audrey Benoualid discovered her passion for music and dance at a young age. She obtained her law degree from the University of Montreal, and was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 2012 while pursuing a professional career in dance. Audrey completed her articling at Canada’s most prestigious intellectual property firm, Robic, LLC. She made the move from Montreal to Los Angeles in 2013, where she obtained her Master’s in Media, Entertainment and IP Law from UCLA. Audrey was the head of Business and Legal Affairs at Dream Machine for close to two years before becoming an associate at one of the most prestigious entertainment firms in the music industry, Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox Rosenberg & Light, LLP. She represents A-level artists, songwriters and producers in all transactions that span their musical careers.
Cinema Columnist at Radio-Canada
A well-known film critic for over twenty years, Michel Coulombe is a regular contributor to weekly programs on both radio and television. Script doctor for cinema and television, he is also the author of various works including a novel, a documentary and Québec Cinema Dictionary. He ran a film festival for fifteen years. Passionate about new media forms, Michel Coulombe pioneered a web-tv platform promoting the best of shorts films from Canada and around the world.
Honey A. Dresher
President of Culture, Diversity and Communications
Honey A. Dresher is a consultant and producer and is the President of Culture, Diversity and Communications. She has sat on 20 Boards of Directors in Canada and served as President of the Saidye Bronfman Centre and the TVA Action Committee on Cultural Diversity. Ms. Dresher is an Executive Producer with DLI Productions. She is a cofounder of PAX, a Festival focussing on Peace, Cultural Diversity and their myriad expressions in the arts. She consults to musicians, orchestras, visual artists, film producers and writers.
President of the Outaouais Film Festival
Didier Farré has been working in the film industry for fifty years. He produces, co-produces, or distributes more than 500 films in Canada, including the great films: 37.2, Bagdad Café, Le Grand Pardon, etc … An agreement with Gaumont allows Didier Farré to distribute the films of great directors, all the cartoons of Lucky Luke and Asterix as well as all the classics of Marcel Pagnol. In 1995, Didier Farré built, in Gatineau, the cinematographic complex of nine most modern cinemas of Canada. Since 1998, he has founded and directed the Outaouais Film Festival, which attracts more than 25,000 spectators for a hundred films. Didier Farré has served as administrator of several festivals and as president of the Québec Association of Film Owners.
Executive Director of the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA)
Natalie McNeil has worked in the arts and the cultural industries for twenty years. She has been at the head of the International Festival of Films on Art since February 2016. She collaborates with various cultural industry players and has been a trainer at the Institut de l’image et du son since 2011. She has served on numerous boards of directors and, since January 2015, has been the President of Women in Film, Television and Digital Media, collaborating on the various advances in gender equality in the industry.
Radio talk-show host CJAD, Journalist
Thomas Schnurmacher has been a broadcaster and radio talk show host on CJAD radio in Montreal for more than 20 years. As a journalist, he covered the Academy Awards and the Cannes Film Festival. He has covered the Montreal World film festival since its first year when Ingrid Bergman was jury president. Schnurmacher has served on the jury of the Miami International Film Festival. Mr. Schnurmacher has also been entertainment columnist and social editor for the Montreal Gazette. He is the author of three non-fiction books and is currently working on a novel and a YouTube comedy series.