Meet the Cinema Rediscovered 2022 Film Critics Workshop participants

Following Cinema Rediscovered’s annual call out for aspiring and early career video essay makers and film critics; we are excited to introduce the participants for the 6th edition of the Film Critics’ Workshop dedicated to video essays (July – Sept 2022) as part of the festival.

This year’s workshop will be led by film historian, programmer and video editor Jonathan Bygraves with guests including film scholar and video maker Catherine Grant, video essayist Jessica McGoff, film critic and editor Tara Judah and non-fiction filmmaker Charlie Shackleton.

These participants will benefit from practice-based insights, space to develop their voices and experiment with form as well as opportunities to interact with other creatives involved.

Find out more below about the twelve rising critics taking part. Be sure to keep an eye out for updates, videos, and writings from them following the festival – and into the future!

Amaya Bañuelos Marco is a film curator and educator based in Edinburgh. She currently works for Film Access Scotland, and regularly collaborates with Edinburgh-based Cinetopia curating films for its documentary strand Cinetopia:DOC. Having worked as a teacher, special needs educator, and youth worker, Amaya is passionate about film education and strongly believes in the power of cinema to transform people’s lives. She’s interested in the potential of video essays to enrich audiences’ understanding of films in a creative, accessible, and engaging way; and is excited about developing her film criticism skills in this medium.


Annabel Bai Jackson is a writer from Essex. She has an MSt in English 1900-present from Oxford University and was an Assistant Curator for Odyssey: A Chinese Cinema Season 2022. She is part of UK-China Film Collab’s Future Talent Programme and was a participant on the BFI/ICO’s Young Film Programmers’ Creative Development Programme (South East). She is particularly interested in objects, illness, and Chinese cinema. Her writing has been published in The Oxford Review of Books, Kinfolk, and The Arts Desk.
Chay Collins is a London based queer video essayist, writer and podcaster. They hold a BA in Film & Television at the University of Falmouth specialising in screenwriting and gender & sexuality. As well as running writing events in London they have had many essays published in anthologies and their debut novella nominated for an award.
Daniel Turner is a curator and filmmaker originally from Nottingham and now based in the South East, where he is currently studying for an MA in Film Studies, Programming and Curation at The National Film and Television School. He also regularly writes for LeftLion Magazine and À Nos Cinéma, where he is currently writing a continuing series of essays on the work of Jacques Rivette.
Elle Haywood is a film curator and critic with a background in film, media and technology. She is the Programming Panel Lead of the Cambridge Film Festival, and is a Project Manager with Picturehouse Cinemas. She has previously worked with the British Film Institute, London Korean Film Festival, BIFA, Focal International and Film Africa, and she is an Associate Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University.
She was recently awarded an MA in Film Studies, Programming and Curation from the National Film and Television School, and her interests include Scandinavian, Feminist and LGBTQ+ cinema, independent filmmaking and multidisciplinary theoretical research. She has previously written for Take One, Girls on Tops, Vague Visages, The Final Girls and Jumpcut Online, covering European and U.K film festivals and online seasons.

Esther Okorocha is a 20-year-old, emerging writer and filmmaker currently based in the South-East of the UK. She has just finished her second-year studying English and Related Literature at the University of York. Esther’s short scripted work has placed in competitiosns such as The UK Film Festival Script Competition and The Script Lab Free Script Competition. She has also volunteered at the Sheffield Doc/Fest and the Sundance Film Festival: London. Esther is excited to develop her voice whilst producing the video essay and delighted to be a part of the 6th edition of Cinema Rediscovered.


Joy Hunter is sometimes a digital media master’s student, sometimes a writer, sometimes a comedian, sometimes a filmmaker, sometimes a video essayist and sometimes a barista, depending on the day. She grew up in Chester and went on to study at the University of Cambridge before moving to South London after a brief blip (cheeky two year lockdown). She is interested in how video can be used as a format to share knowledge in a way that is more accessible, engaging and entertaining than traditional academic papers. Her own video essays focus on applying literary theory to popular culture.


Jo Reid is a film curator and writer based in Glasgow. She has worked with organisations such as Birds Eye View, Matchbox Cinema Club and Regional Screen Scotland, and loves to write/chat about tacky musicals, cheesy teen films, and tasteless queer cinema. For her MSc in Film Exhibition and Curation at the University of Edinburgh, she researched childhood experiences of rural cinema. She currently runs an online craft-along film club, combining her love for film, knitting and a good natter.


Hugo Usher-Sparks is currently studying a BA in Film and Theatre at the University of Reading. He has a particular interest in how marginalised communities are portrayed on screen, and enjoys exploring this topic through the creation of video essays. 

Katie Driscoll is a freelance writer with an MA in Film Curating from Birkbeck, Uni of London, where she wrote her thesis on British 1980s moving image artist films and queer/post punk british subculture under Laura Mulvey. She is passionate about how feelings, grief and mental health intersect with film, TV, music, visual art and culture. Her bylines include The Independent, Whynow, NME, The Erotic Review, The Skinny and Refinery29. Outside of film, she loves wild swimming at any time of year, dancing to Kate Bush or stopping to pet a stranger’s dog in the street.
Lara Callaghan is a film researcher, writer and video essayist from the West Midlands. A graduate of History (BA) and Film (MA), she was awarded dissertation of the year for her undergraduate dissertation which looked at Reaganite movie masculinity. She is currently working as a film researcher for the StudioCanal Presents… podcast.
Lara loves writing and creating video essays on the intersection of film, history, postmodernism and masculinity. Her favourite film is Memories of Murder by Bong Joon-ho. In her spare time, you will likely find her reading a fantasy novel or annoying her cat, Humphrey Bogart.
Jennifer Holroyd Doveton is a full time research student in film and television at Brunel University in Uxbridge. She has spent the last 14 years in the UK queer DIY punk scene both as a musician and a director of music videos. Last year she was awarded a Techne doctoral scholarship to undertake research on the construction of middle-class subjectivity in British fantasy film and television, a project which will culminate in a video essay. This marks a continuation of a lifelong project of challenging cultural and social hierarchies and yelling at the TV. A collection of her music videos can be found here.

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