Drone Up 2017 is looking to be bigger and better, with nearly 90 submissions, competition was tough and quality was at its highest! So, we think it’s about time we introduce you to the wonderful and talented judging panel who has been casting their professional and creative eyes over all our submissions. With a huge array of awesome films submitted this year, we did not envy them with the task of judging. It is with pleasure we present this year’s judging panel.

Steven Flynn (Chairperson) (Ireland)

Steven is an Emmy Award Winning Filmmaker, Producer, Director, Director of Photography and Editor. With a background in electronics and photography, and a lifelong passion in aviation he became one of the world’s first licensed civilian drone pilots in 2012 when he began flying commercially in Ireland. With experience in media, drones and database development he founded Skytango in 2015 with his partner Susan Talbot. Stephan technical eye is outstanding and this was imperative in choosing the finalists.

James Doherty (IRE)

James is a Dublin & London based director interested in telling creative stories, in particular emotive stories of those on the fringes of society. James’ short film Breathe won awards internationally and was showcased by the British Film Institute and British Council around the world and made its mark on the film festival circuit worldwide. Currently developing a punk IRA film set in 80s Camden. Commercially represented in Ireland by Piranha Bar. James’ creative eye and senses lies with the story and meaning of each film in DroneUp.

Eibh Collins (IRE)

Eibh is an Irish short film programmer and film festival manager, she currently works for festivals in Ireland, for such as IndieCork and is the manager and shorts programmer for festivals including Irish Screen America and Irish Film London. While curating and coordinating short film programmes for The Galway Fleadh she is also in heavily involved in a variety of festivals in LA, Miami, Moscow, New York, London, Malta, Canada and Luxembourg. With Eibh’s experience in film festivals she was our true critic with capacity to view things from every angle.

Gencho Petkov (Bulgaria)

Gencho Petkov has been dealing with photography since 1975, professionally since 1985, when he became artist-photographer. He specialized in Germany in 1987, while since 1989 he has been chosen as an Artist for the World Federation for photographic art (AFIAP). He has participated in a range of photographic clubs and associations, such as the World federation of photographic art.  He is a co-founder of the Association for advertising photographers and the International photographic conference Body photography in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria. His works have been exhibited in 25 countries, among which Denmark, China and the Republic of San Marino. He has over 25 awards from international contests, he teaches Digital Photography at the Veliko Tarnovo University in Bulgaria and is a trusted Google photographer since 2015. This year he has been awarded Photographer of the year 2016 by VOUBS. He has his own photo studio in his hometown Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria. Genchos critical visual eye is top class, and being so successful he has a certain appreciation on pictorial aspects of filmmaking.