Meet the Programming Team

Find out more about the industry professionals behind this year’s Official Selection. Our inspiring team have years of experience in programming, commissioning, publishing, production, curation and direction.

Adam Castle


Adam is director of Edinburgh Artists’ Moving Image Festival and Pollyanna queer arts and cabaret company, which is currently working on a large dance film project. Adam won the Creative Edinburgh Leadership Award 2016 and has worked for BFI Film Audience Network, BFI Flare London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival (Events Programmer), Centre for Cultural Value (Curator) and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Producer).

Aduke King


Aduke King has worked as a Short Film Programmer for several leading film festivals. She enjoys finding space in festivals for unseen work, using programming as a way to widen audiences, broadening perspectives and give filmmakers new opportunities. Having worked in different areas of the film industry, Aduke is excited by new voices and stories, seeing festivals as a way to further careers.

Caragh Davison


Caragh is a short film programmer as well as Talent Programme Manager for BFI NETWORK, which brings together the UK’s film agencies to discover, develop and fund new filmmakers. She designs UK-wide Talent Development programmes for new and emerging filmmakers. She is a voter for BIFA and has a passion for making the industry a more inclusive and accessible place for filmmakers from all walks of life. 

Cherie Federico

Advertising, Fashion, Music Video

Cherie is the Editor of Aesthetica Magazine and the Director of the BAFTA-Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF). Originally from New York, Cherie moved to the UK in 2002 to study for her Masters degree and founded Aesthetica, which she has developed into an international brand distributed to 525 stores in the UK, and exported to 20 countries. Interested in visual culture, setting up ASFF has been a career highlight.

Dale Donley


Dale is the Production Director and co-founder of Aesthetica Magazine and ASFF. He spent his early career working as an artist and then moved into graphic design. He is passionate about film and animation, in particular. He loves to see animators pushing the boundaries of their craft to create something entirely new. He believes in strong aesthetics and powerful narratives that create a unique experience for the audience.

Hannah McHaffie


Hannah is a Film Exhibition Freelancer based in Sheffield. She is Marketing and Operations Coordinator at Live Cinema UK, working on bringing bespoke cinematic live experiences to audiences across Yorkshire, the UK and beyond. Hannah has previously coordinated national marketing campaigns for the BFI’s Blockbuster Musicals and Japan seasons. Hannah was Programme Advisor for the 2022 edition of Sheffield DocFest.

Kit Monkman

Artists’ Film

Kit is an artist, filmmaker and leading innovator in screen-based art and interactive media. He directed the visually experimental feature Macbeth and co-directed The Knife That Killed Me. He is also co-founder of KMA – an artistic collaboration that specialises in environmental installations – whose works have dramatically transformed public spaces across the world. Kit has worked with the likes of Prince and DV8.

Lauren Clarke


Lauren is a film programmer, events producer and researcher originally from Toronto and based in Glasgow. She has worked with a wide range of UK and international film festivals and cultural organisations including TIFF, BFI London Film Festival, Glasgow Film Festival and Document Human Rights Festival. She is co-founder of Femspectives, a feminist film festival in Glasgow.


Comedy, Drama

MarBelle is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of independent film curation and interview platform Directors Notes. Since its formation in 2006, DN has been regarded as one of the web’s leading curatorial platforms for independent film, working with filmmakers to create in-depth feature articles which reveal the painstaking production stories behind their award winning work for a worldwide audience of fans and professionals.

Mathieu Ajan


Mathieu is a BFI NETWORK talent executive and the founder of Bounce Cinema, a pop-up cinema dedicated to bringing communities together and celebrating exciting new filmmaking talent. As a director, producer and photographer Mathieu is also well versed in the creative, technical and development aspects of filmmaking. Mathieu is passionate about championing new talent and has supported many filmmakers.

Mikey Murray


Mikey is an award-winning filmmaker and was the recipient of the Scottish BAFTA award for Best First Time Writer in 2007. A graduate of UCLA’s Directing and Screenwriting MA, Mikey also has a PhD in Film Practice and is a programme leader for BA Film Production at the University of Lincoln. He has previously programmed for Slamdance and is the director of the Indie-Lincs International Film Festival.

Natalie Gee


Natalie is originally from Yorkshire, grew up in Australia and now resides in Brooklyn, New York. She’s a filmmaker and festival programmer for the Academy Award Qualifying festival HollyShorts and Brooklyn Film Festival. She’s curated feminist film nights for the Brooklyn Museum and programmes shorts around mental health for the UnLonely Film Festival. She seeks out meaningful projects that strive to connect with audiences.

Rachel Pronger


Rachel Pronger is a writer and curator, and co-founder of feminist collective Invisible Women. She began her career working for cinemas and festivals such as BFI Flare, Alchemy Film & Arts, BFI London Film Festival and Tyneside Cinema. Alongside freelance writing and film programming, she is currently developing her first short film projects as a producer. She is curator of guest programmes at ASFF.

Rob Speranza


Rob is a producer, director and line producer from New York who currently resides in the UK. His feature film credits include Arthur and Merlin, Entity, Inbred and Small Creatures (nominated for Best Film at EIFF 2013) alongside 15 short films. He has enjoyed screenings and awards at hundreds of festivals globally and has won over 60 awards for his work. Rob holds an MA and a PhD in film studies from the University of Sheffield.

Robb Barham

Family Friendly

Robb works in programming & operations at The Hyde Park Picture House Leeds, where they are currently embarking on a major expansion project. Robb is part of the short film programming team for Leeds International Film Festival and is a core member of @ScalaramaLeeds – a DIY collective encouraging and supporting cinema for everyone, everywhere. He’s always on the hunt for fantastic family films!

Samantha Kingston

VR & Immersive Experiences

Samantha has worked in the immersive technology industry for the past six years. She has worked behind the scenes on a number of XR festivals across the UK and globally, including Sheffield Documentary Festival, BFI LFF Expanded and Edinburgh Fringe Digital Entertainment Festival. She has a passion for independent immersive cinema and teaching the intricacies of successfully showcasing immersive content.