Shorts Session Judging Panel

Bedford Film Festival is delighted to be working with the following film industry experts on our judging panel.

The judges have committed their time for free and have agreed to ensure that all correctly entered films are judged fairly.

Please join us in thanking them for taking the time to help us ensure Bedford Film Festival shows some of the best short film making talent from across Bedfordshire, Britain, and the world.

The judging is split into two streams. ‘International, which includes all films from outside the Bedfordshire area, and ‘Local’, which includes all films within Bedfordshire. The judges for each channel are:

Lead Judges

Our lead judges will be on the panels for both International and Local submissions.

Paul Hutchinson


A self-confessed cinema fanatic, Paul enjoys passionate conversation about films of all genres. He has worked as a film reviewer on local radio and contributor to Bedford based movie website Movie Farm, he also writes a regular film and events column in The Bedford Clanger. Understanding that multiplex cinemas can’t always cater for everyone’s tastes, he broached the idea of an independent film festival and eventually got together with Richard and Stephen to turn that idea into a reality. His love of film extends across all genres, with short films being one of his favourite elements of the film festival programme.


Richard Jobson

Richard_JobsonRichard first made his name as the singer with Scottish punk band The Skids, scoring a series of hit singles and albums during the 70s and 80s. He left the band to concentrate on writing, publishing a series of books which included A Man For All Seasons and 16 Years of Alcohol. After a ten year stint with Sky as their principle film critic he moved into film production and then later directed an adaptation of his own book 16 years of Alcohol which picked up best director award at the BIFA’s. He wrote and directed The Purifiers as well as A Woman in Winter before completing his Edinburgh thriller New Town Killers. His films Wayland’s Song and The Somnambulists were both filmed in Bedford.


International entries will also be judged by:

Charlie Loft

Charlie LoftCharlie wanted to be Han Solo when he was a kid. Clearly that didn’t pan out so he focused his energy on doing what he does best, being creative. He has worked in the creative industry for over 15 years and has problem solved for clients such as Nike, MTV, Jack Daniel’s, Ted Baker and Save The Children. He is co-founder of Yolk Creative London and is currently involved in numerous projects within the film industry, ranging from through the line marketing campaigns for Warner Bros to internal communications and B2B events with Universal Pictures. Charlie has been responsible for a plethora of film campaigns over the years including The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Four Lions, The Kings Speech, Only God Forgives, Pride and Love Is Strange, to name a few.

Tom Wild

Tom WildFor the last seven years, Tom has lectured in film and television production at Bedford College and on the University of Bedfordshire Foundation Degree in Media Production. He supports and assesses the production of up to 100 student moving image products a year, including short films, documentaries, music videos and adverts. With a background in Theatre, he began working as a freelance video producer after giving directing lessons to film students, and now creates client work locally and nationally under the name Tom B Wild Productions.

Sareta Puri

Sareta PuriSareta Puri is a Programme Coordinator at the film education charity Into Film which aims to put film at the heart of 5-19 year olds cultural and learning experiences. Into Film works across the UK to provide educational film watching, making and understanding opportunities including filmmaking programmes for children and young people and the annual Into Film Festival. Sareta supports educators, practitioners and industry partners across the Central East region of England and is working with Bedford Film Festival to support and deliver elements of the festival’s education programme.

Katie McCullough

Katie McCulloughKatie McCullough is Founder of Festival Formula, a consultancy company focusing on filmmakers covering film festival strategy, crowdfunding, and social media presence. She’s hosted workshops and seminars for a broad range of audiences over the past ten years. Selected appearances include: Encounters Film Festival, Shooting People, LOCO – London Comedy Film Festival, YouTube Pro-Panel Series, Falmouth University, East End Film Festival, Independent Cinema Office, FilmFest Dresden, MetFilm School, and several training events at the BFI Southbank.


Locally made short films will also be judged by:

Ben Smith

Ben SmithBen is Bedford Film Festival’s Screening Manager and also an Operations Manager at Huntigndon Cineworld. As well as helping with our film choices, he also makes sure all our equipment works as it should. He is incredibly committed to his film festival role and during our screening weekend is on site from start to finish, everyday, making sure our screenings are the best they can be.




Bedford Film Festival’s Shorts Session is part of our ongoing Education programme.