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about the jury

Tori Palmatier is the inaugural Managing Director at INSTITUTE, the award-winning production company founded by acclaimed filmmaker Lauren Greenfield, where she is responsible for driving new creative and business opportunities. A force in commercial production, Tori has a successful track record of guiding young companies to new levels of growth and a passionate commitment to elevating underrepresented directorial talent.

Tori began her career at RSA Films in New York, handling sales and talent representation under Trevor King. There, alongside Michael Di Girolamo, she helped establish Hey Wonderful, RSA’s in-house integrated production company within the Ridley Scott Creative Group; she eventually moved to Los Angeles in a Creative Producer role straddling both Hey Wonderful and RSA Films. She then joined 72andSunny’s Hecho Studios shortly after it launched as a standalone creative studio, working with Tom Dunlap, Gui Borchert, and Briony McCarthy to drive new business development as the company grew into its next iteration. In her next role, Tori served as Managing Director/Executive Producer at Namesake Content, where she led the young company to international growth and curated a more diverse talent roster.

Throughout her career, Tori has consistently sought out underrepresented talent and worked hard behind the scenes to diversify the advertising industry. Since joining INSTITUTE, she has led the company’s evolution beyond a female-only directing roster to encompass more talent of all gender identities and backgrounds. She has already brought in a slew of up-and-coming talent including Sandra Winther, Courtney Brookes, Mikayla Gamble, Tash Tung, Bao Truong (the company’s first male director), and notable film/TV icons including Pamela Adlon in her first foray into commercial directing. Tori is also playing an instrumental role in tightening INSTITUTE’s integration with its sister companies Institute Artist (photography) and Girl Culture Studios (film and TV), broadening her reach beyond the ad space to find new avenues for diverse storytelling and talent.