Submission Judges

We would like to extend a very big thank you to all our submission judges who participated in the 1st edition of AAIFF Africa – The All African Independent Film Festival. This festival would not be possible without the support, expertise, and generosity of our exceptional judges. Our judges are not only what make our festival possible, but they play a large part in what makes our festival special. Their tireless help, passion, and energy enable us to provide a unique venue for emerging innovative and cinematic talent to gain international recognition. We think that we speak on behalf of everyone in saying that we are extremely grateful for all the hard work and time that our judges have put forward to making this festival happen. We are beyond excited for the 1st edition of the festival and we couldn’t have done it without them!

Here is the complete list of our AAIFF Africa 2024 submission judges:

Scott Hillier

Scott Hillier is an Australian Director / Cinematographer / Screenwriter. Scott studied film at New York University and The London Film and Television school as well as literary non-fiction writing at Columbia University. He has taught a Master’s Degree course in Screenwriting as well as journalism at the Centre de Formation des Journaliste (CFJ) in Paris. In addition to serving as President of ÉCU – The European Independent Film Festival, he is also Chief Creative Officer for the Zs2 Media Group in Paris.

Ivan Makai

Ivan Makai is an artistic individual with a creative outlook. With more than 4 years of experience in creating and producing short videos and movies for personal and corporate projects he is seeking to film moving films that tell a story.
His ability to work on his own or with small to mid-size filming crews has allowed him to direct, write, act and produce more than 5 films and 20 videos in the past three years.

Hilda Awori

Hilda Awori is a Ugandan Multidisciplinary storyteller. She studied at Makerere Univeristy in Kampala, Uganda at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Liberal and performing Arts where she pursued a BA in Drama and Film. Her career started on stage, interning as an actress and writer at Theatre Factory.
She has been involved in a number of stage productions, as a producer and writer for television, and is the director of the impact driven documentary “I won’t kneel”. Being mentored by Oscar-nominated Documentary filmmaker Daphne Matziaraki.
She believes in the transformative power of storytelling and much of the work she is involved in is about using stories for positive change within her community and beyond.

Will Mbiakop

Innovative, versatile, driven, Will Mbiakop is a multi-skilled business leader with over 15 year experience in sports business, strategy and business development in the EMEA region.
With a proven track record in consulting, sports, media and entertainment, Will is an exciting speaker at prominent international summits and conferences.
Will has a special interest in the convening and transformative power of Sport & Education in the community, empowering youth while creating business opportunities.
Will holds a MBA with Merit from the Manchester Business School.

Boris Biaou

Boris Biaou is a french filmmaker, director and screenwriter based in Paris. His short films include FERRARRIE & DILEMMES.

Aimée Umutoni

Aimée Umutoni is the managing director of Anda Films 33 with over 10 years of experience in the cinema industry. She’s also the business development officer for AAIFF Africa.

Rodrigo Estrada

Rodrigo Estrada was born in Mexico In 1995. He is the Festival Manager of the ÉCU Film Festival Group. Managing four film festivals and working at Zs2 Media group he has produced over 30 videos for clients like the NBA, Netflix, Illumination, General Electric amongst others.

Yuhi Amuli

Yuhi Amuli is a film Director/screenwriter/Producer and Lawyer from Rwanda. His
feature films “A Taste Of Our Land” (2020) and “Citizen Kwame” (2023) have been
screened at various film festivals worldwide and won awards including the Africa
Academy Movie Award for Best First Film by a Director. He is an alumnus of Berlinale
Talents (2021) and Toronto Filmmaker Lab (2020).
His films delve into themes that explored the complexities of African identity, colonial
legacies, and the socio-cultural dynamics of his homeland. He often juxtaposed
traditional values against the backdrop of change, providing a nuanced perspective on
the challenges and aspirations of post-colonial African societies.
He is based in Los Angeles, currently pursuing a Master of Laws Degree from Loyola
Law School.

Philipo Ngonyani

Philipo Ngonyani is a filmmaker based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Throughout his career, Philipo has written, produced, and directed two award-winning feature films, Frida (2021) and Mvamizi (2022). He also works with different institutions and organizations in creating digital content like campaign films, impact story documentaries, and educational videos.

David McGowan

David McGowan is an Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker who
has devoted his career to conservation and environmental films. He has been
teaching a wildlife filmmaking class at the Red Rocks Initiative in Musanze for two
years. The students have produced several short films on topics of One Health,
birding, and community-based tourism. He is currently working with the Rwandan
filmmakers on a documentary about the historic ranger exchange between
Nyungwe and the Great Smoky Mountains in the US. Both national parks are
UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Ng’endo Mukii

Ng’endo Mukii is an Annie award-winning and British Animation Award
nominated film director. She is most well known for ‘Enkai,’ an episode on the Disney+ animated anthology, Kizazi Moto. At the prestigious Design Indaba conference she presented her talk, ‘Film Taxidermy and Re-Animation,’ proposing the use of animation as a means of re-
humanizing the ‘indigenous’ image; a people whose ‘real’ image is burdened with stereotypes of being the ‘Other.’ Ng’endo is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, and holds a Master of Arts in Animation from the Royal College of Art. She is an alumni of the beautiful Berlinale Talents, the distinguished Urucu Media REALNESS Screenwriter’s Residency, and the incredible Goethe Institute Bahia Vila Sul artists’ residency. Her mixed-media and inter-genre approach to filmmaking, particularly focused on the experiences of African women, gives her an incredibly unique visual language and a preeminent voice in animation. She lives and works in Boston, as a Professor of the Practice at SMFA at TUFTS University.

Anniwaa Buachie

Anniwaa Buachie is a distinguished Ghanaian-British artist whose influence spans across global
platforms. Currently captivating audiences in the recurring role on the BBC series Phoenix Rise, she has flourished from a robust foundation in the UK theatre landscape. She was the artistic director and founder of Golden Delilah, an theatre company renowned for its innovation in new writing and advocacy for diverse female roles, Anniwaa has made a distinctive impact on the theatrical realm. A curious storyteller, her creative odyssey traverses the nuanced interplay between Africa and Great Britain, resonating powerfully across film, television, theatre, and literary fiction. This thematic exploration is a signature of her artistic journey. Amid the complexities of the pandemic, she was commissioned by the BAFTA-nominated production company Kandu Arts to conceive, direct, and produce impactful short films. Concurrently, her collaborative efforts with her writing partner yielded the development of a compelling limited series: Uproot, in collaboration with an Oscar-nominated production company. Anniwaa’s recent achievements include her production and lead role in the evocative short film MOON
OVER ABURI, written by Emmy-winning writer Kwame Dawes. This successful collaboration continued with her direction and production of Kwame’s poignant work February Light, further highlights her reputation as a versatile and influential figure keen to shine a spotlight on storytelling and filmmaking of the African Diaspora.

Isaya Evans

Isaya Evans is a Kenyan Filmmaker who has worked for over a decade in various capacities as
an Assistant director, Casting director and Director. Isaya’s directing debut was the award-winning short film, “Loop” in 2021. Isaya’s short film Grogan’s Lodge(2023) is on its global festival tour and has been accepted so far in 9 film festivals, including the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand ISFF 2024. Some of the notable awards include:
1) Best Horror Film – Speculative Film Fest 2024
2) Best Cinematography – Africa International Horror Film Festival 2023
Isaya has also directed high-end TV shows like “Igiza (2022)”, “Second Family (2023)”, “Jiji
(2024) and “Nilichoma (2024)” which all air on the VOD platform, Showmax, among others.
Isaya has also directed TV commercials for companies including Sta-soft, Smirnoff, and Betika.
Isaya is currently working on a feature film whose script has been accepted for development at
Durban Filmart (Jumpstart programme 2024).

Addamms Songe Mututa

Addamms Songe Mututa is a film scholar and lecturer with production experience. He
holds a joint PhD (Film Studies / African Literature) from the University of Tübingen,
Germany, and the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He has taught film
studies at the University of Nairobi and other institutions. He is also a Postdoctoral
Research Fellow at the University of Johannesburg and a co-editor of the Journal of
African Cinemas. He researches African cinema cultures and theory.