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Meet the 2013 Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award Jury

News and Updates

The 2013 Mead Award jury members include HBO's Lisa Heller, author and filmmaker Sadia Shepard, Columbia Professor Jamal Joseph, and Reel 13's Richard Peña.

Find out more about this year's nominees here.


Lisa Heller


Lisa Heller

Lisa Heller is the Vice President of HBO Documentary Films. She develops, programs and promotes a wide range of documentary films for Home Box Office. She has served as programming executive on a range of films that have garnered major festival and award recognition. She came to HBO in 2000 from the critically acclaimed PBS series P.O.V., where, as Executive Producer, she oversaw programming and all related broadcast activities. Prior to P.O.V., she worked in development and public affairs at Channel 13/WNET in New York City and Wisconsin Public Television in Madison, WI. She has worked on a number of independent documentaries and currently serves as board member of Creative Capital.


Jamal Joseph


Jamal Joseph

Jamal Joseph is Associate Professor at Columbia University School of the Arts. He has written and directed for Black Starz, HBO, Fox TV, New Line Cinema, Warner Bros., and A&E. His produced screenplays include Ali: An American Hero (Fox), New York Undercover (Fox), Knights of the South Bronx (A&E), and The Many Trials of Tammy B. (Nickelodeon). He wrote and directed Drive By: A Love Story, DaZone, and the docudrama Hughes Dreams Harlem for Black Starz. He recently finished the screenplay Panther Baby for Focus Features, which he will also direct, based on his true-life experiences as one of the youngest members of the Black Panther Party. Joseph is the author of Tupac, Legacy (Simon & Schuster). He is the founder and artistic director of IMPACT, a Harlem-based youth theatre company, and executive director of New Heritage Films, a not-for-profit organization that provides training and opportunities for minority filmmakers.


Richard Peña


Richard Pena

Richard Peña was the Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Director of the New York Film Festival 1988 through 2012.  At the Film Society, Richard Peña organized retrospectives of Michelangelo Antonioni, Robert Aldrich, Gabriel Figueroa, Kira Muratova, and Amitabh Bachchan, as well as major film series devoted to African, Chinese, Cuban, Polish, Arab, Korean, Turkish and Argentine cinema. Since 1992, he has organized with the Spanish Ministry of Culture the annual “Spanish Cinema Now” series at Lincoln Center, as well as “Rendez-vous with French Cinema” with UniFrance since 1996. A frequent lecturer on a wide variety of film topics, he is a Professor of Film Studies at Columbia University, where he specializes in film theory and international cinema, and from 2006 to 2009 was a Visiting Professor in Spanish at Princeton University. He is also currently the co-host of Channel 13’s weekly Reel 13.


Sadia Shepard


Sadia Shepard

Sadia Shepard is an author and filmmaker. She received a BA from Wesleyan University, an MA from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Scholar to India in 2001. Shepard's writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times and Vogue India, among other publications. She produced The September Issue, R.J. Cutler's documentary portrait of the making of Vogue, which won the Excellence in Cinematography Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Award at the 2010 Cinema Eye Honors. Her film In Search of the Bene Israel premiered on NDTV's Documentary 24x7 and at the 2009 New York Jewish Film Festival at Lincoln Center. Her film The Other Half of Tomorrow,a looks at contemporary Pakistan through the perspectives of dynamic female change-makers, premiered as the opening night presentation of the 2012 Margaret Mead Film Festival. Sadia has taught creative non-fiction writing at Columbia University and the Wesleyan Writers Workshop. She is currently developing a feature documentary about the Pakistan Women's Cricket Team.


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