Film Festival Judges


Festival Director- Sophie Baxter

Sophie developed a love for film from a very young. At 17 she began to study film production at college. After taking the lead on many of her group projects she began to pursue the route of film producing.

Leaving college, she joined UCA on a film production course, it is here she developed her partnerships with a range of filmmakers, completing her degree she jumped into to “running” for indie directors around London and the Manchester area , meeting her filmmaking partner who as a pair began to make their own films 

In between producing her own works she has spent time writing film theory articles and interest pieces for different companies from political film to theatre companies, with this she has been able to take part in many independent film contests from 48 hour films to 30 second iPhone shorts.


Special Guest Judge - Robert Watts

Robert began working in the film industry in 1960. His first film work was as a runner on the Boulting brothers production A French Mistress. During the 1960s, Watts worked extensively as a production manager and location manager, including on the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice and Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). 

Watts was employed by producer Gary Kurtz as production supervisor on Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, having met Kurtz several years earlier in Los Angeles. Watts then enjoyed a long collaboration with George Lucas and Lucasfilm, working as associate producer on The Empire Strikes Back and co-producer on Return of the Jedi; and as associate producer on Raiders of the Lost Ark and producer on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. He also worked on other Steven Spielberg-presented productions including as producer on Who Framed Roger Rabbit and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, and with Spielberg's long-term producer Frank Marshall on Marshall's second feature as director, Alive. IMDB page 


Judge - Greg Shoulder

Greg studied film production at UCA Farnham specialising in directing. Since graduating in 2014 Greg has worked freelance as a video content producer and works to improve social media for companies around the world. Greg is currently working with a fellow graduate ,producing short films and comedy sketches under the 'Disputed Films' brand. Greg is very excited to be involved in the inaugural Thames Con Film Festival. 

Judge - Matthew Bancroft

Matthew is a London based actor with 13 years professional experience ranging from the West End stage to Hollywood films. He worked on the last two Harry Potter films (Deathly Hallows I & II) and was an original cast member of the record breaking West End show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. He is also currently producing a documentary with ‘The Moving Hand’ Production Company and has produced and written short films.


Judge - Darren Stokes

Award winning Director, Editor and Creative Director, Darren has worked in the industry for over 16 years. 11 of those years were spent working for Sony Pictures Entertainment which gave Darren valuable knowledge and experience. Driven by his love of film and television, Darren can be found either jotting down ideas, keeping up to date with new TV or Film trailers or researching to help give life to his ideas. Favourite quote: "No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else"


Additional Judges

Your film will also be viewed by a further 6 working industry professionals who are actively looking for collaboration and talent for future projects. This includes the company Director of a large production company, 3 further producers and 2 other Film Directors. These judges prefer to remain anonymous at this time and will only see the short listed films. 



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