Announcing Our 2024 Film & TV Funding Award Judges

We are thrilled to announce our panel of judges for the 2024 Film & TV Funding Award. The Whickers welcome the return of our Consultant Editor, Jane Mote and Sheffield DocFest’s Raul Niño Zambrano. Alongside them for the first time this year, we welcome David Green, Alan Whicker’s longest serving director on Whicker’s World with whom Alan had many wild adventures and Fozia Khan, former BBC and then Channel 4 executive, now Head of Unscripted at Amazon Studios UK. They are joined by Whicker winning Egyptian documentary maker Ibrahim Nash’at and from Canada, Robin Smith, CEO of Blue Ice Docs Inc.

Each member of our panel has been carefully selected for their expertise in the documentary maker’s journey: from navigating funding and the commissioning process to directing and overseeing production, to the crucial aspects of sales and distribution.

Learn more about our panel below:

David Green is a British film and television director, now living and working in Hollywood, who has made over 100 feature films, TV dramas and documentaries, including directing 29 one-hour Whicker’s World docs for ITV – the first in Alaska when he was 28. Together they pioneered a new and more immediate way of telling documentary stories. David went on to direct the award-winning TV-film 1914 All Out, and the feature film, Buster(4 awards), with Phil Collins and Julie Walters. Other movie-directing credits include Fire Birds starring Nicolas Cage & Tommy Lee Jones, Breathtaking and Car Trouble. David was interviewed on stage at the BFI as part of our centennial celebrations of Alan’s life and work. You can see it HERE


London born Fozia Khan is the Head of Unscripted at Amazon Studios UK where she oversees a varied slate including All or Nothing: Arsenal, Clarkson’s Farm, The Fake Sheikh and upcoming, 007’s Road to a Million. Prior to joining Amazon, she was a Commissioning Editor for documentaries at Channel 4 where she worked across 24 Hours in Police Custody and commissioned many fearless and ground-breaking documentaries such as Damilola: The Boy Next Door and Is Covid Racist? Prior to commissioning, Fozia was a documentary director and producer for 16 years. Her production credits include The Audience, Posh People: Inside Tatler and Extremely British Muslims.


Egyptian born Ibrahim Nash’at is a multi-award-winning Egyptian documentary filmmaker now based in Berlin, Germany. His career in journalism spans various formats, working with several international channels and online platforms such as Deutsche Welle, Al Jazeera, Business Insider, AJ+, Voice of America and others. Ibrahim holds a master’s degree in documentary filmmaking from Met Film School. He co-edited Talal Derki’s latest film Under the Sky of Damascus which premiered at Panorama – Berlinale 2023 and won the Golden Alexander at 25th Thessaloniki Doc Festival. Ibrahim has directed multiple short films which were selected in multiple film festivals around the world. Hollywoodgate, Ibrahim’s first feature film, won the Whicker Close Up Bursary Award in 2022 and premiered at Venice Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival.


Robin Smith is currently the CEO of Blue Ice Docs Inc, a distribution and equity funding company dedicated to funding, acquiring and distributing the best non-fiction work from around the world.  Robin brings a strong background of over 28 years of film, video and arts-related work to the marketplace. He has worked at a variety of distribution companies including The National Film Board of Canada, Alliance Films and Lions Gate Film Entertainment, He advises the Vancouver International Film Festival, Vortex Media and Elevation Pictures. For its first 10 years Robin also programmed the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.  Notable releases managed by Robin include such hits as Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Blackfish. Robin was the Executive Producer on many award-winning documentaries including the Oscar-nominated Abacus: Small Enough to Jail directed by Steve James and several Emmy award winners including Kristi Jacobson’s Abacus, and Advocate which was co-directed by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche,


Raul Niño Zambrano is Creative Director at Sheffield DocFest.  He was previously Senior Programmer at IDFA (International Documentary Festival Amsterdam) where he started as a programmer in 2008. During his tenure at IDFA, Raul conducted a ground-breaking study on the position of women within the documentary world The Female Gaze (2014) and initiated the IDFA Queer Day (2013, ongoing). In addition to being a lead programmer on the overall selection, he curated such programmes as Emerging Voices from Southeast Asia, and Cinema do Brasil. He has participated in many international festivals as a juror (Hot Docs, DocPoint, Guanajuato International Film Festival) and as an expert/tutor (DocMontevideo, FESPACO, Brasil CineMundi, If/Then Shorts Global Pitch, Guadalajara Doculab).


Jane Mote is a journalist, storyteller, TV executive, and a champion for the power and accessibility of documentary. As Consultant Editor for documentary foundation The Whickers, she nurtures and supports new audio and film documentary-makers who share a curiosity for the world. She has helped develop filmmakers at Docs by the Sea (Bali), MyDocs (Malaysia), AND – Asian Network of Documentary (Busan) – as well as leading documentary training in Uganda and for the BFI London. The former UK MD of Al Gore’s documentary channel Current, and Executive Editor at BBC London, Jane has also worked for Discovery, Turner, BBC Worldwide, UKTV and the Africa channel. She is also Director of UK-based beechtobeach ltd where among many other projects she directed the feature documentary My Bones Are Woven. 

The 2024 Whickers Pitch will take place at Sheffield DocFest in June and our five finalists will be announced in mid-April.