Ayse Toprak is a filmmaker based in Istanbul. She received a BFA in Film & television from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and an MA from the New School. She has worked for Channel Thirteen/PBS in New York, and produced for Al Jazeera in London, Doha and Istanbul. Toprak is focused on how documentaries, their subjects and colorful characters can have a far-reaching impact on society; films that manage to trigger a national dialogue on neglected issues, eradicate prejudice or breach hitherto taboo subjects are her favorite medium, as well as personal and professional ambition. She is fascinated by people pushed to the peripheries of society who have personal, vivid, and compelling stories. Her conviction in filmmaking comes from her wish to tell the stories of such people to share their different and unique ways of looking at the world.
City of Ghosts
Heineman’s previous film, Cartel Land, was nominated for an Academy Award and won three Emmy Awards after premiering at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it won Jury Awards for directing and cinematography. For his work on the film, Heineman received the DGA Award and the International Documentary Association's Courage Under Fire Award. Previously, he directed and produced the Emmy Award–nominated documentary Escape Fire, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
Last Men in Aleppo
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.
Nowhere to Hide
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.