Meet the Film Festival Programmers

Submitting your film to high profile film festivals is an important step in gaining industry attention. However, competition is fierce as top festivals receive thousands of submissions each year.

This morning panel presents a unique opportunity to meet Senior Programmers and Artistic/Executive Directors from the Austin Film Festival, Singapore International Film Festival, Nantucket Film Festival and Hamptons International Film Festival to find out what goes into programming a festival, what each festival is specifically looking for when making selections, and how they find films. Join us for this insightful conversation.


Mystelle Brabbée is the Executive Director of the Nantucket Film Festival. Before taking on this position in 2012, she curated the festival program for sixteen years, ten of those as Artistic Director. Almost since its inception, she has stewarded the film program, including the line-up of as many as 75 feature, documentary and short films; the creative direction of live programs, including the Screenwriters Tribute, the All-Star Comedy Roundtable presented by Ben Stiller, the Staged Readings series, Late Night Storytelling, and the Teen View filmmaking program. Brabbée has also been the Senior Programmer for DOC NYC and has taught in the Graduate Film Department of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Wahyuni Hadi is the Executive Director of the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF). Much of her career involved creating platforms for emerging film talents. In 2013, she published the book Behind the Camera and co-produced the film Ilo Ilo, winner of the Camera d’Or at the 66th Cannes Film Festival and Best Feature Film at 50th Golden Horse Awards. Hadi co-founded the independent film distribution label Objectifs Films and was a senior programmer at The Substation. She co-founded the Fly By Night Video Challenge with filmmaker Tan Pin Pin, initiated the Singapore Short Film Awards with filmmaker Chai Yeewei, and curated the dance film section of the Singapore Arts Festival. She’s been named one of Female Magazine’s “50 Most Inspiring Women.”

Elizabeth Mims grew up in Austin, Texas and is the Senior Film Program Director for Austin Film Festival. Her 2012 film Only The Young was theatrically released by Oscilloscope and won numerous awards including the Silverdoc’s Sterling Silver Award for best US documentary, American Film Institute Audience Award, and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.


David Nugent is the Artistic Director for the Hamptons International Film Festival, where he also directs the festival’s annual Screenwriting Lab. He has been a juror for the Student Academy Awards as well as film festivals including the Sarasota, Newport International, Silverdocs, Galway, Gen Art and Newfest. He has written festival coverage for Indiewire and participated on panels at the Sundance Film Festival, the Dubai Film Festival and IFP’s Independent Film Week & Script to Screen Conference. Nugent is a member of the nominating committee for the Cinema Eye Awards. He has delivered guest lectures at Harvard University and Hunter College and served as a judge for student films at New York University and the School for Visual Arts.

Shivani Pandya has held the position of Managing Director for the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) since 2006 and has been with the festival since its inception in 2004, working closely with all departments to deliver a world class event that appeals to audiences living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) while attracting global attention. Pandya is credited with contributing to the development of strategic direction for nurturing the local film industry and establishing Dubai’s position amongst the international film community. She has also been instrumental in the launch of key strategic initiatives at the Festival including The Dubai Film Market (DFM), which has grown to become the leading industry platform in the region.

Annika Andersson (Moderator) grew up in Sweden and spent six years working for the Stockholm International Film Festival. She started as head of events and soon moved on to initiate and execute sponsorship collaborations. Andersson hosted Festival-TV in 2014 and moderated numerous filmmaker Q&A’s. Now based in New York, she does freelance writing and has a monthly column for the Swedish Women in Film and Television chapter, and the website


Produced by Annika Andersson and Mónica-Tezla Solis Vega-Gorsun

Special Thanks to Host Venue Downtown Community Television (DCTV)


April 20 @ 8:30am
8:30 am — 10:00 am (1h 30′)

Downtown Community Television (DCTV)
87 Lafayette Street
New York, N.Y. 10013

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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.