Meet the People at The Audience Awards: Marianne Zugel

July 16, 2014

Introducing Marianne Zugel, content producer for The Audience Awards’ website.

1. Who are you?

My name is Marianne Zugel, and I recently joined the team as a content producer.

2.  What’s the best part about working for The Audience Awards?

I love the weekly wellness “check-ups”, taking the pulse of the current status of The Audience Awards, and then planning, changing, refining next steps in response. As part of that, I love to hear feedback from the people engaging with the site. So you, reader, might just get a call from me one day asking about your experience.

3. Tell us the why you’re excited about what The Audience Awards is building.

It’s a unique platform for filmmakers and film buffs. I’ve always loved the short format, even before it was so popular, because it really has no rules. The Audience Awards seems to have hit a sweet spot: creating a space where filmmakers can reach audiences and viewers can find truly independent, high-quality productions with virtually no limitations on creativity. We’ll continue to grow and evolve, working directly with our users every step of the way. It’s kind of like working with wet clay – we have an idea, but I don’t know exactly what it will look like a year from now. And that’s exciting!

4. What’s something bizarre about yourself.

I have an interesting relationship with spiders. It started off badly as a child walking into human-sized webs in the woods along the mid-Atlantic. But now I have a truce with all indoor spiders in my house – I maintain a no-kill policy and they cooperate. And I swear they sometimes jump into my “spider-catcher” cup to be let outside.

5. Do you have a favorite film on the site?

That’s really hard to answer. If I have to pick in this moment, it would be Nobody Loves Joel Romeo. It’s so engaging on multiple levels – story, treatment, and music.

6.What’s an entertainment trend you love right now?

I don’t know about a current trend per se, other than juicing. I’m totally into juicing! Oh and podcasts, I love listening to podcasts about anything under the sun. But I don’t have just one thing I’m currently gaga over in entertainment, so I’ll list a few things that come immediately to mind.

I love good comedy. Modern Family reruns (I know, not so new) are my quick go-to if I need to laugh. I also love John Oliver. I like compelling TV drama series like Madmen, Breaking Bad, and House of Cards. In music, Beck is always amazing. And then filmmakers, well there are many, but thinking of spiders compels me to mention Guillermo del Toro and his beautifully dark horror fantasies. I’m also extremely curious to see what Jason Kilar (former CEO of Hulu) is up to with his new startup, Vessel.

7. Name a few people who inspire you.

There have been people who have influenced and inspired me, different ones at different times, but the biggest consistent inspirations in my life are non-human. One is “the road”, including the precious serendipitous encounters with strangers that travel seems to spawn, probably because travel makes it easy to be truly present in the now. I especially like literal road trips. The moment I’m rolling out of town starting out on a trip, my spirit soars. The other inspiration is nature…big open spaces filled with all kinds of animals. That’s why I moved to Montana.

The Audience Awards connects filmmakers to audiences.  Vote for your favorite short documentary film today.




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