The Jury

TRAVEL FilmFest Festival jury

Kurt Jacobsen (USA)

Kurt is the author and editor of eleven books and has written about cinema for the Chicago Reader, London Guardian, New Politics, and many other media. He is director or co-producer of half a dozen documentaries, including the forthcoming “Legend of Charlotte Bach” from Malachite Productions in the UK.

Founder and CEO of Morol srl. As a journalist, cinema-television director, producer, and writer, he collaborates with Media and TV worldwide. Gianluca is a world travel expert. He has directed and produced documentaries and media projects all over the world. He was the first director/producer to shoot in the International Space Station for a cinema documentary (Astrosamantha).

Frederick Kroetsch (Canada)

Co-founder of Open Sky Pictures, has been a reporter, camera operator, host, director, and producer of Alberta TV for the past 18 years. He has produced thousands of broadcast stories covering everything from Cattle Police to Astronauts. As a documentary filmmaker, he has filmed in many countries worldwide, including Kenya, Honduras, and Peru.

His career as a Director and Producer, spans four decades and includes short films, broadcast commercials, television documentaries, and theatrical features. Over the years, he has traveled the world creating films on various topics from public sculpture to political history, from southern blues to environmental science. He has won over one hundred international awards, including Emmy Awards and the George Foster Peabody Award. His work has been shown on such venues as PBS, National Geographic, Turner Broadcasting, WGBH, CNN, HBO, Showtime, iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix.

the brothers and vagabonds behind Vagabrothers, the foremost travel channel on YouTube and a resource for aspiring travelers worldwide. Travel brings people together, and in a time of deep division, we hope to use travel to promote understanding of the different cultures of our planet. When we founded Vagabrothers in 2012, we could hardly have been more different and hadn’t spent much time together in over eight years. But our mutual curiosity about the world inspired us to make videos that share hidden histories, dispel stereotypes, and celebrate our differences. This message now resonates with over half a million viewers from 140 countries.

The producer of documentary films and videos for nearly thirty years, who received the “Golden Raster” award for lifetime achievement in media production from the Health and Sciences Communication Association (HeSCA). The winner of multiple international film festivals, including Best of Show at the New England Independent Film Festival. In 2000, Keven was named “Video Artist of the Nineties” by the Tucson Citizen and was awarded a Pima County Artists Fellowship. Keven is an avid outdoorsman and often conveys his experiences in the wilderness in his work as a painter and photographer. He produces artistic projects in many mediums through his production company, Telepathic Stuntman and maintains an active blog promoting Creative Visualization.

Photographer, videographer, naturalist, and lawyer – was born in the Mediterranean, (Barcelona, Spain). For a few years now he lives in the Costa Brava, his dream. His love for photography became a profession and ended up joining his life to the Seas and Oceans of our planet. Carlos has been Champion of Spain of Underwater Photography and the World of Underwater Video, among more than 135 international photography and video awards. His work has been reflected in 8 books, and in more than 300 different media around the world.

Sarah Del Ben (France)

Photosensitive and passionate about images, the photography and the video quickly became obvious to Sarah. With her Master’s degree in Ecology, Sarah develops a global interest for the world. For several years, the search of perpetual beauty and amazement accompanyher trips. She’s travelled in the most beautiful places of the world and immortalised the biggest sanctuaries of biodiversity.

Barbara Tavares (Portugal)

An award winner Brazilian documentary filmmaker who currently lives in Portugal. Barbara studied cinema at UCLA, in Los Angeles. She owns a production company, Bodhgaya Films, where she directs, produces and writes client-based institutional films.

Paul Diffley (UK)

The founder of Hot Aches Productions and producer of many highly acclaimed adventure films with over 50 awards. As well as creating his productions under his Hot Aches label, Paul works as a freelance cameraman, director, and editor for the broadcast industry. His experience ranges from hanging off ropes filming live outside broadcasts of rock climbing to following adventurers and athletes pushing their limits. Aside from his professional interest in adventure sports as a filmmaker, Paul is a lifelong rock climber and general outdoor enthusiast with a love of mountain environments and a passion for portraying their unique qualities through film.

Ph.D. born and raised in New Jersey (United States) is an American writer, documentary filmmaker, marketing strategist, and college professor. She applauds the power of the travel documentary to spark conversation and engage audiences world-wide.


Koyo Sasaki (Japan)

Koyo started video production with an 8 mm film in childhood. After that, he worked on broadcast and web production and founded in 2005 to build visual communication on various media such as video, web, etc. In 2013, a drone was introduced, and the life work is to convey the incredible scenery of the world and the people and cultures of the country with images.

Thomas Smith (Germany)

A passionate voyager, film connoisseur, and critic. He is a co-organizer and special guest participant at film festivals worldwide. In his own cinema club, he delivers captivating talks on the ‘seventh art,’ unveiling the depths and mysteries of cinematic works. In the recent past, he authored travel reels and a documentary series. His passion extends to traveling and exploring the world of visual expressions of the multicultural human experience.