Director and photographer Zaradasht Ahmed is a Kurdish/Norwegian filmmaker. He was born and raised in Northern Iraq. His previous work includes the award-winning documentary ”Road to Diyarbakir”, and he has many years of experience working with documentary filmmaking in the Middle East, North-Africa, and Asia, as well as training local people in documentation. His latest film on the topic of illegal immigration to Europe (for SVT Swedish Television) – ”Fata Morgana” – has been screened at several prestigious Film festivals.
Alexa Bakony is a director who earned her degree in 2017 from the University of Theatre and Film Arts of Budapest. Her short films have been screened at many festivals worldwide. Currently, she is working on her first feature-length documentary as an independent artist. The project is funded by the Hungarian Film Fund.
Zane Balčus is currently a director of Riga Film Museum in Latvia, where she curates exhibitions, film programmes, organize academic conferences, and other activities. She is a co-author of the book „Inscenējumu realitāte. Latvijas aktierkino vēsture“ (Reality of Fiction. History of Latvian Fiction Film, Riga, 2011), has contributed to the special edition on Latvian cinema in the online journal Kinokultura.com (2011), as well as writes articles on film for various publications.
Docudays UA festival programmer
Born in Ukraine in 1985. Studied German language and literature in Odessa, after graduating moved to Kyiv and worked in TV and commercial production as a producer. In 2011 joined the team of Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (Kyiv) where she works to this day as a program coordinator. Recently started to produce films as an independent producer. The first project is My father is my mother’s brother directed by VadymIlkov (will be released in 2018).
Production manager of Sickfuckpeople, dir. JuriRechinsky, Austria/Ukraine, 2013, (selected awards: Heart of Sarajevo for Best Documentary Film, Sarajevo Film Festival; Best Documentary Feature, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2013; Raindance Film Festival, London, 2013; Vienna Film Award for Best Documentary, Viennale, Vienna, 2013). Line producer of UGLY (feature film, premiered in Rotterdam in 2017), dir. JuriRechinsky, Austria/Ukraine, and VOLCANO, dir. Roman Bondarchuk Ukraine/Germany, 2018 (work-in-progress).
László Bihari has designed online campaign videos for non-profit organizations for the past nine years. He is one of the founders of the creative team, ZPOK. This is their first documentary film production.
David Borenstein is an American director currently based in Copenhagen. He has directed films for ARTE, Al Jazeera English, Horisonts, NYTimes, and more are underway. He was a cinematographer and producer for the Sundance-funded film, The Hand that Feeds, which won the audience award at the Full Frame Film Festival. A China scholar, he received PhD training in Anthropology at the City University of New York. He began developing China Dreamland while on a Fulbright scholarship in China to study urbanization and real estate speculation. David speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese.
Niina Brandt is one of the two owners of Double Back Documentaries Ltd. She has directed and produced, shot and edited short films and several made to order works for the company’s clients since its launch in 2008, including TV channels and broadcasting companies. Niina Brandt also produces photographs and films about the Finnish Lapland where the special nature of the region becomes part of the works of art. My Secret Forest is her first hour long documentary film as a director. My Secret Forest documentary film won ”Best national documentary film 2017” audience award in DocPoint Documentary Film Festival Helsinki, Finland.
Andrei Dascalescu worked as a DJ in his hometown during his teenage years. He later moved to Bucharest to study Sound and Editing at the Film University, and work as a freelance editor and sound engineer for the BBC’s World Service in Romania and on many films, including Francis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth, where he assisted the legendary editor, Walter Murch. Dascalescu began making his own films with the short feature, “Fly”, which was awarded. He then made his documentary debut with Constantin and Elena, a film that gained worldwide recognition through multiple festival selections, awards and broadcasts. Planeta Petrila is his second feature-length documentary.
Rehad Desai completed a history degree at the University of Zimbabwe, where he lived for three years. In 1996 Rehad entered the television and film industry as a Producer/Director and has since focused most of his energy on documentary productions, many of which have received critical acclaim . In 1997 he completed his Masters Degree in Social History at the University of the Witwatersrand. In 2000 he completed a postgraduate degree in television and film producing through AVEA, and in 2009 he completed a course in European Documentary Production through Eurodoc. He currently runs Uhuru Productions, a film and TV company producing documentaries and dramas, and has served as the Festival Director of the Tri Continental Film Festival for the last 10 years, and the Conference Director of the People to People International Documentary Conference.
Asia Dér was born in Bratislava, but grew up in Budapest. After earning an MA degree in Aesthetics, she studied documentary film direction at DOCnomads — a joint master studies program of the Budapest, Lisbon and Brussels film schools, and finished magna cum laude. Her films have been screened at festivals in France, Brazil and in the Czech Republic. Her short film, Letters from Mom was nominated for the best short film award at the Hungarian Film Week. Currently, she works as a freelance documentary film director, is a member of Docnomads’ Alumni Association, and a chair member of Matchframe Productions, which aims to promote and support young documentary filmmakers in Eastern Europe.
Stefanie Diekmann is a professor of media studies and chair of the Media and Theater Studies Department at Hildesheim University. She previously taught as a professor of media and theater studies at Munich University, and as a visiting professor at (among others) FU Berlin, University of Berne, The University of Texas at Austin, and University College Cork. Her research focuses on intermedia relations with an emphasis on film and photography. Her other topics include: film and photo theory, media discourses in fiction film, and the audiovisual aesthetics of the interview. She is also a columnist for the film magazine Cargo and an occasional film critic for the Berlin weekly, "Der Freitag". Her recent publications include: "Backstage - Konstellationen von Theater und Kino" (Berlin 2013), "Six Feet Under" (Berlin, Zurich 2013), "Die andere Szene" (ed., Berlin 2014), and the upcoming, "Die Attraktion des Apparativen" (es., with Volker Wortmann, Munich 2018).
Wolfgang Ernst is a media theorist. After positions in Cologne, Weimar, and Paderborn he has held the Chair of Media Theories at Humboldt-University of Berlin since 2003. His current research interests are time-critical media processes, tempor(e)alities, media archaeology as a method, and chronosonics. His latest publications are: Im Medium erklingt die Zeit. Technologische Tempor(e)alitäten und das Sonische als ihre privilegierte Erkenntnisform (Kadmos, 2015), Sonic Time Machines. Explicit Sound, Sirenic Voices and Implicit Sonicity in Terms of Media Knowledge (Amsterdam University Press, 2016), and Chronopoetics. The Temporal Being and Operativity of Technological Media (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).
Firas Fayyad is an award-winning Syrian filmmaker. He has directed, edited and produced several films, both documentary and fiction. He has participated in international film festivals and received recognition for his work about contemporary Syrian issues and the political transformation in the Arab world. His latest film, Last Men in Aleppo, won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 2017 Sundance FilmFestival; the prize for Most Innovative Documentary at the second annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards; the IDA Courage Under Fire Award and received two nominations from Cinema Eye Honors.
Since 2014, Isabelle Gattiker has served as the director of the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) in Geneva, Switzerland — one of the leading international events for film and human rights, which she co-founded in 2002. Born in 1978, she graduated in contemporary history and went on to become filmmaker Amos Gitai’s assistant, before producing several award-winning films by Intermezzo Films in Geneva.
Born in Moscow, Maria worked in journalism, advertising and films big and small. For a few years she was the program director of the Texture Film Festival in Perm, Russia, and the editor-in-chief of the Russian magazines Action! and The Booker's Bulletin. Together with Max Tuula, she founded the Estonian production company Marx Film. The list of the documentaries she produced includes the international anthology 15 Young by Young (the Russian segment) (2012), I Don't Love You by Aleksander Rastorguev and Pavel Kostomarov (2012, Kinotavr IFF, Warsaw IFF, Listapad Minsk IFF) The Term by Rastorguev / Kostomarov / Pivovarov (2014, Karlovy Vary IFF, DOK Leipzig, CPH:DOX, IDFA, Full Frame FF), The Trial: The State of Russia vs Oleg Sentsov (2017, Berlinale, CPH:DOX, One World Prague, Sheffield Doc/Fest and others). She also works as the producer of documentaries for the Moscow Office of Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe.
Zoltán Gálovits studied journalism in Oradea and theatre studies in Cluj-Napoca. After his university studies, he worked as an editor and reporter, and later, he participated in various theatre and film projects as a dramaturg and co-creator. Since 2008, he is a staff member of Csiky Gergely Hungarian State Theatre in Timișoara. In 2012/2013, he was assistant artistic director, and currently he is art consultant to the institution. He is also the artistic director of TESZT, the Euroregional Theatre Festival in Timișoara.
Kristýna received her Master’s degree in Sociology at Charles University in Prague. Since 2012, she has been head of the accompanying programme and guest service of ZlatýVoči, the International Film Festival of Film Theory Students. Since 2013, she has been a member of the programme department of Film Festival Sokolov. Since 2015, she’s been a coordinator of the alternative distribution platform KineDok which screens creative documentaries from Central and Eastern Europe across 8 countries for the third year now, focusing on non-traditional venues and site-specific events. KineDok is a project of Institute of Documentary Film which supports Central and Eastern European documentary films from development to distribution since 2001.
Szabolcs Hajdu is a script writer, theatre and film director. He started his career as a child actor in Debrecen, Hungary, later he graduated from the Theatre and Film Academy in Budapest as a film director. His latest feature film – his seventh movie –, This is Not the Time of My Life (Ernelláék Farkaséknál) won the Grand Prix at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2016. He is the founder of Látókép Ensemble which also produced Kanzoli as their first documentary film.
Gusztáv Hámos is an artist, curator, author and publisher. His artistic work includes film, video, photography and installations that have been exhibited at Documenta, Venice Biennale, and the Ludwig Múzeum Budapest. His films and videos have been shown, among others, at Tate Modern London, ZKM Karlsruhe, Triennale of Photography Hamburg, 63 Mostra Internazionale d’arte cinematografica di Venezia, and YBCA San Francisco. His work is included in the collections of the MOMA New York, Centre Pompidou Paris, NBK Berlin, ZKM Karlsruhe, Art Collection NRW, Ludwig Múzeum Budapest, C3 Budapest, and Saint Gervai SIV Genève.
One World Prague festival programmer
Barbora is a programmer and outreach coordinator at One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival. Over the past 20 years One World has grown into the largest human rights documentary film festival in the world. Organised by People in Need, the festival works with a broad definition of human rights. In addition to films about political causes, the programme also includes social issues, the environment and lifestyles.
Loránd Balázs Imre is a co-founder of SpeakEasy Project, and founder of SpeakEasy Project Berlin. He has worked on a number of documentary films since 2012, and is the director and producer of the Erasmus EuroMedia Awarded documentary series, LEAVE/STAY.
Karina Kecskés graduated from the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest, Hungary as an actor. She has played various roles in theatre, film and television, and received the Hungarian Film Critics’ Award for her performance in the film Presszó. She has been playing and teaching in Baltazár Theatre together with people with intellectual disabilites for ten years. As a drama teacher, she led workshops in villages living in extreme poverty as part of Káva Theatre’s drama projects. She has been using fairy tale therapy with children and adults for six years, and is an organizer of the fairy tale camps in Moldavia for the children of the underprivileged Gyimes csángó community, where her three children accompany her too.
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.
Andrés Lübbert has participated in more than 160 International Film Festivals in 20 countries, and won 22 prizes with his documentaries. Lübbert tells stories about his intercultural environment, migration, identity and human rights. He has made several films about the Chilean postmemory. El color del camaleon is his latest film.
Filip Antoni Malinowski was born in 1982, in Poznan, Poland. He studied film- and media science as well as fine arts in Vienna. Resettlement is his first feature-length documentary. Malinowski lives and works in Vienna, Austria.
Balázs Mészáros was born in 1991 in Dunaújváros, Hungary. He has worked as a video-journalist. He graduated from the University of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest in 2017 as a documentary film director.
Kata Olah began work as an editor, host, and director for a variety of television productions in the mid 1990's. For 10 years, she produced television series and short films. It was only in 2010 that she began to focus on directing. In that year, she completed a documentary for HBO entitled Romacops. Since then, she has directed several mid-length documentaries and popular science miniseries. Her first short fiction, En Passant, has won a number of international awards.
After graduating at the University of Theatre and Film Art as a motion picture dramaturg Bojána Papp worked for various television and radio programmes as a director and as a producer. She attented various international documentary workshops such as Eurodoc, Esodoc, Ex Oriente, Eurodoc and Berlinale Talent Campus Doc Clinic. Her films attended several festivals, she got twice the Hungarian Film Critic’s Award. She is a DLA student at the UTF, paralelly she teaches at various universities.
Gergely Pápai studied documentary filmmaking at the Cultural and Visual Anthropology faculty of the University of Miskolc. He is a co-founder of Zpok Medialab. His work focuses mainly on human rights and environmental issues. He has worked on several documentary films as a cameraman and an editor. This documentary, Iza, is his directorial debut and his first festival-nominated film.
Miranda Pennell worked in contemporary dance before making films, and later studied visual anthropology. Her film and video work exploring different forms of collective performance has been broadcast internationally and presented in festival and gallery contexts. Her recent moving-image work uses archival materials as the starting point for a reflection on the colonial imaginary. Her film Why Colonel Bunny Was Killed (2010) was awarded best international film at the 2011 Images Festival, Toronto, and Courtisane Festival, Ghent. Pennell’s feature-length film The Host (2015), which reworks material drawn from the archive of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP), won the Punto de Vista Award for Best Film (Pamplona) in 2017. She has worked as a contemporary dancer, a freelance commercials director, a teacher, and she also writes and curates.
András Péterffy (1946) filmdirector, producer, chief of Dunataj Foundation curatorium. He has produced hundreds of shorts, features, documentary- fiction- and experimental films. Awarded with Bela Balazs Prize, Coup-de-Coeur, Scythian Golder Deer, Green Raven Prize Associate professor of visual culture at Pazmany Peter Catholic University Budapest.
Katja Pratschke’s artistic projects include Natural Born Digital (1998), Transposed Bodies (2001/03), Rien ne vas plus (2005), Fiasco (2010), Hidden Cities (2012), Potential Space (2014), Rope (2016) and Territories & Occupation (work in progress). Since 2006, she has organized photofilm projects together with Thomas Tode and Gusztáv Hámos, with whom she has collaborated since 1998. She is co-editor of the publication Viva Photofilm – Moving / Non-moving, and is co-founder of the Concrete Narrative Society association (Berlin). www.potentialspace.de
Sarah Pucill has been making 16mm short films since completing her MA at the Slade School of Art in 1990. Her publicly-funded films have screened worldwide in galleries, and have won awards at international festivals. Her first feature-length film in black and white, Magic Mirror (2013), premiered at Tate Modern, toured internationally with LUX and was exhibited with photographs from the film at The Nunnery Gallery 2015. Her sequel to Magic Mirror, Confessions to the Mirror (2016), also shot on 16mm, premiered at London Film Festival and has since screened at international film festivals and museum galleries including the Alchemy Film Festival, Creteil Film Festival, National Portrait Gallery, and White Cube Gallery London. She has a doctorate and is Reader at University of Westminster. A forthcoming chapter on her recent films on Cahun will be published by Palgrave Macmillian, edited by V. Smith and N. Hamlin next year. Her work is collected and distributed through leading international distributors including LUX, The British Film Institute (BFI), and Light Cone Paris.
Ábel Regős studied filmmaking at the Novus Art School in Hungary. He has worked for creative workshops since 2013, and has made music videos for several bands, as well as independent short films.
Svitlana Shymko is an independent director from Ukraine, and a graduate of the DocNomads international MA program in documentary film directing. Her short films have been shown and received awards at numerous international film festivals. Shymko is working on developing political, social, and feminist topics in documentary cinema.
Alexandru Solomon emerged as a young director of photography in the early 1990s. Along with filming feature films, he started making documentaries. Solomon was among the first Romanian filmmakers who committed themselves to what was then a compromised genre. Today, he is one of the leading political filmmakers coming out of Romania, and is also active on the international scene.
Solomon's previous works, The Great Communist Bank Robbery, Cold Waves and Kapitalism: Our Secret Recipe, are chilling slices of political history that deal with propaganda, corruption and manipulation. Tarzan’s Testicles premiered in 2017. Alexandru teaches at the Arts University in Bucharest, and is the director of One World Romania Festival.
Shorena Tevzadze graduated from Shota Rustaveli Theater and Georgian State Film University with a MA in Film Direction, and Ilia state University with an MA in the Art of Dramaturgy. She also studied at UCLA. She has participated in international film festivals and workshops including: TIFF, Berlinale, Sarajevo FF, Lisbon docs, and Eurasiadoc. Didube, the Last Stop is her first feature-length documentary. It premiered in Visions du Reel and won the award for best film in Cinedoc, Tbilisi (in the Focus Caucasus section).
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).
Thomas Tode is a freelance filmmaker, curator and author based in Hamburg. Since 1994 he has lectured at various universities and curated projects for the Kinemathek Hamburg as well as the film festival Cinepolis. He has published books on Johan van der Keuken, Chris Marker, Dziga Vertov, photofilm, essay-film, Bauhaus and film, and Battleship Potemkin.
Deepak Tolange is a filmmaker/photographer/researcher based in both Kathmandu and Berlin. He recently completed an MA in Visual & Media Anthropology from Freie Universität, Berlin. Deepak previously held the post of visiting faculty at Kathmandu University (2010-2013), and worked as a photojournalist for the national paper, the Himalayan Times (2010-2011).
Marcell Torok was born in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary, in 1990, and has been making films since 2008. After graduating from the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design's Media Design faculty in 2015, he began film directing studies at the University of Theater and Film Arts (SZFE), Budapest. In his opinion, the most important thing in making movies is that the crew, as a group of creative people, love watching other people's stories and wanting to share these on the screen.
CineDoc Tbilisi festival programmer
Maya Zinshtein is an award-winning Israeli filmmaker and journalist. She emigrated from Russia as a child and now lives in Tel Aviv. She holds a BA in Cinema and French studies and an MA in Security and Diplomacy, both from Tel Aviv University. She directed and produced the award-winning feature-length documentary Forever Pure about the Beitar Jerusalem F.C and also produced numerous other documentaries, including Thieves by Law (by Alexander Gentelev, ARTE/ZDF), the inside story of Russian Mafia. Zinshtein’s background is in investigative journalism. Working for the prestigious Israeli paper Haaretz, she covered many of the ills of Israeli society and directed investigative stories for television channels.