François-Xavier Drouet gratuated in political sciences and anthropology, and worked as a reporter before pursuing a degree in creative documentary filmmaking at Lussas. He travelled the world with his first film, The Initiation and co-wrote Gangster Project.
Claude Lanzmann (1925–2018) was a French journalist, writer, and film director best known for Shoah (1985), a nine-and-a-half-hour documentary on the Holocaust. As a teenager he joined the French Resistance and fought against the Nazis. After WWII, he studied philosophy at the University of Tübingen, later taught at the Free University, and began writing for Le Monde on the persistence of Nazism. Lanzmann directed several films on the Holocaust and Israel, using firsthand interviews to construct his narratives. His distinctions include the Resistance Medal with rosette, Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour, and Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit. Lanzmann is one of the few French intellectuals and artists of international stature whose body of work left its mark on millions of viewers all over the world. His memoirs, The Patagonian Hare was published in 2009.
The Waldheim Waltz
Ruth Beckermann studied journalism and art history in Vienna, Tel Aviv and New York, and earned her doctorate in 1977 at the University of Vienna. She contributed as a journalist to several Austrian and Swiss magazines. In 1978 she cofounded the distribution company, Filmladen, in which she was active for seven years. Since 1985 she works as a writer and filmmaker. Her film The Dreamed Ones was screened widely and won several awards. Her latest film, The Waldheim Waltz, won, among other prizes, the Glashütte-Original Documentary Award at Berlinale (2018).
Adam Weingrod is a graduate of the MFA program in Film at Tel Aviv University. His feature documentary, The Island, won Best Student Film at the Israeli Documentary Film Awards in 2017, and was screened in several international film festivals. He is currently working on his next documentary feature.
At the Philosophers' School
Fernand Melgar was born in 1961, in Tangiers, Morocco. He has lived in Lausanne since 1963, and has worked as an independent director and producer since 1985. In 2006, his film, Exit: The Right To Die, received the Swiss Film Prize for Best Documentary Film. And in 2012, his film, Vol special, was awarded the Swiss Film Prize for Best Documentary Film.
See You in Chechnya
Alexander Kvatashidze was born in 1977 in Tbilisi, Georgia. In 1996 he graduated from Nikoladze Art College with a qualification as a sculptor. In 2001 he earned his BA degree in Art and Humanities at Tbilisi State University. In 2005-2006, Kvatashidze studied at the film department of California State University in San Jose. Since 2006 Alexander has worked as a director, DoP or producer on various projects, most of which were documentaries. He founded Lokokina Studio in 2009.
The Polgar Variant
Yossi Aviram, born in Jerusalem in 1971, is an Israeli writer and director. A graduate from the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School of Jerusalem, Yossi Aviram splits his career between his work as a director of photography and his own films. In 1998, the Year of Israel in France, he participated in a cultural exchange with the well-known French film school, La fémis. He directed his second short film, ANNA during the four weeks he spent in Paris. His first feature, The Dune, won Best First Feature Film Award at Haifa Film Festival, and has also been selected for San Sebastian, San Francisco and other film festivals.
Taste the Waste
Valentin Thurn was born in 1963 in Stuttgart, Germany. He is married and has three children. Thurn has directed and authored television documentaries for the national German channels ARD and ZDF, the French-German channel Arte, the international channels Deutsche Welle TV and Transtel, the regional channels SWR, WDR, NDR, BR, ORB and HR, and the Swiss Television, DRS. In 2003 he founded the film production company, THURN FILM, in Cologne, Germany. Thurn has written radio features and articles for magazines such as Die Woche, Die Zeit, Natur & Kosmos, and Merian. He has also published the books WüstenErde on desertification, Klassenfeind Natur on environment in Eastern Europe, and the Directory of Environmental NGOs in Central and Eastern Europe. He has taught at international congresses and workshops including: the Goethe Institute in Bombay, India; Foundation Miguel Alemán in Mexico City; Ecotourism congresses in Johannesburg, South Africa; Guayaquil, Ecuador; RTL Journalistenschule in Germany; Ecopresscenter in Macedonia; Third World Journalists Network in Germany; The Ethics in Economy Network of Germany; Fachhochschule Köln (University Cologne, Germany); and the 2008 International Congress of Investigative Journalists in Lillehammer, Norway. Thurn has served as a member of the founding board of the International Federation of Environmental Journalists (IFEJ), and Secretary General from 1993 until 2001. He is also a member of Reporters Without Borders, Netzwerk Recherche (investigative reporter’s network), and AGDOK (the German association of documentary filmmakers).