Nigerian Filmmaker, Funa Maduka, Takes a Juror Seat at Sundance

Nigerian filmmaker and former Head of International Original Films at Netflix, Funa Maduka, is among the jurors that will grant awards for feature and short films at the ongoing Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

Notable for premiering groundbreaking films on the American and international scene, the festival kicked off on Wednesday January 19 and will round up on January 29. Distinguished  as one of the three jury members of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition, alongside Shozo Ichiyama and Annemarie Jacir. Maduka will join other distinguished jury members to give out the awards on Friday, January 27.

Maduka is not a newbie on the international film scene having spearheaded Netflix global expansion and managed  the launch of the film offering across 100+ countries during her six years stint with the streaming giant.

She also pioneered Netflix’ move into international film production, building a development slate across Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa. Meanwhile her film acquisitions brought Netflix its first film nominations at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. She is also credited with writing, producing and directing the first Nigerian film to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

A member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, Maduka has previously worked at Participant Media where she developed and managed campaigns for film and television projects.

Notable jurors at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival include Jeremy O. Harris, Eliza Hittman, and Marlee Matlin for U.S. Dramatic Competition; W. Kamau Bell, Ramona Diaz, and Carla Gutierrez for U.S. Documentary Competition; Karim Amer, Petra Costa, and Alexander Nanau for World Cinema Documentary Competition; Madeleine Olnek for the NEXT competition section; and Destin Daniel Cretton, Marie-Louise Khondji, and Deborah Stratman for the Short Film Program Competition.

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