• Year

Uldis Cekulis
Latvia
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 2: Distribution circulation & sales

Uldis Cekulis created the independent production company VFS FILMS almost 20 years ago and later won the International Trailblazer prize at MIPDOC in Cannes, which recognises the best documentary makers. He has worked on almost fifty creative documentaries and author-driven prime time TV projects, both as a producer and, occasionally, a cameraman. Most of the films he produced, such as Roof on the Moonway, Theodore, The Deconstruction of an Artist, Double Aliens, Liberation Day, and Bridges of Time have travelled and received awards around the world, including nomination for the European Film Academy Documentary Award 2005 for Dreamland by Laila Pakalnina. He produced Ramin, a creative documentary by Audrius Stonys and Wonderful Losers. A Different World by Arunas Matelis, and both films were selected as the official Lithuanian entry to the Academy awards for the Best Foreign Language film. Uldis Cekulis has co-produced documentaries with Ukrainian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Russian, German, Italian, French, Greek, Icelandic, Finnish, Norwegian and Georgian production companies. He is a member of the European Documentary Network and European Film Academy. Other activities include tutoring at workshops in Europe, Caucasus and India. Currently, he is working on five feature documentary co-productions and two author driven original TV series.

Aida El-Kashef
Egypt
Contributions:
Participant
Rough-cut Screenings

Aida El-Kashef (b. 1988) is an independent film director and producer, co-founder and Executive Director of Ganoub Film. In 2009, El-Kashef has directed her first short film Rhapsody in Autumn, which received the Dubai Muhr Silver Award amongst other international awards. El-Kashef directed and produced her second work A Tin Tale in 2011, a short fiction film inspired by the true story of a young Egyptian sex- worker, which premiered at the Dubai Film Festival. She has also contributed to several film and video productions, including the film Journalism PassageEl-Kashef has also acted in several films, including The Ship of Thesus, an independent Indian film for which she was awarded Best Actress in the Muhr African Asian Awards in Dubai Film Festival, and Best Supporting Actress in the Indian National Film Awards. Currently, El-Kashef is working on producing and directing her feature documentary The Day I Ate the Fish, a film about Egyptian women who are currently serving prison time for murdering their husbands.

Guevara Namer
Syria
Contributions:
Module Guide
Module 1: Cross Border Collaboration & Co-Production

Guevara is a co-founder of DOX BOX. Her position at DOX BOX from 2014 till 2017 was academy manager and community moderator, where she contributed in building the community and was furthermore involved in several productions of the academy’s educational materials. Prior to her involvement with DOX BOX, she used to run the documentary campus of the DOX BOX International Film Festival Syria and was production manager and line producer of several Syrian documentary films, such as Return to Homs (2013) and Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait (2014). In her own right she is a documentary filmmaker herself (Morning Fears, Night Chants, 2012). Guevara is a graduate of the Damascus Applied Arts Institute as a certified photographer and did Drama Studies at the Higher Institute Dramatic Arts in Damascus. Currently she is a freelance photographer and filmmaker based in Berlin.

Camille Laemlé
France
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 1: Cross Border Collaboration & Co-Production

Camille Laemlé is an independent producer. After working as a production manager for more than ten years in different companies, she decided to produce more personal projects: L’année de l’Algérie and Ultrasons, shorts films by M. Bouhada (Arte and TV5 Monde), and La Ruée vers l’Est, a documentary by R. Girardot and V. Gaullier. In 2009, she joined Les Films d’Ici company and produced documentaries with Serge Lalou,  Fire At Sea by Gianfranco Rosi (Arte Cinema), Golden Bear Berlinale 2016 and nominated for César and Oscar awards in 2017, Between Fences by Avi Mograbi, Berlinale 2016,  A Maid For Each by Maher Abi Samra, Berlinale 2016,  Silvered Water by Ossama Mohammed and Wiam S.Bedirxan  (Arte France) Official Selection in Cannes. Since 2014, she has produced several documentaries with Rebecca Houzel from Petit à Petit Production, including The Empty Room by Jasna Krajinovis (Arte France, RTBF, RTS 2016) and Dozhd, It’s Raining on Moscow by Alexandra Sollogoub (Arte France, RTBF 2017).

Rasmus Steen
Denmark
Contributions:
Partner Organization (IMS)

Rasmus Steen is the Programme Manager for Documentary Film at International Media Support (IMS) working out of Copenhagen, Denmark. For the last decade, Rasmus has been proactively engaged in the documentary film environment in the Arab countries and Iran. Rasmus Steen has extensive knowledge of the documentary scene and a vast professional network of filmmakers, festivals and media professionals all around the world. IMS has supported more than 170 documentary films from the MENA region and launched projects in collaboration with local film institutions all over the region.

Nasri Sayegh
Lebanon
Contributions:
DJ
Closing Party

Based between Beirut and Berlin, Nasri Sayegh is a Lebanese-French visual artist, performer, actor, journalist and DJ. After graduating in French Literature from the Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut and the Sorbonne in Paris, he pursued his theatre studies at ESAD-Paris. As an actor, he has most notably been directed by Christian Merlhiot, Jad Youssef, Roy Samaha, Jocelyne Saab, and Eileen Hofer. Nasri has been the guest performance artist of Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Saâdane Afif and Rabih Mroué. Also a DJ, Nasri regularly mixes literary and cinematic icons with contemporary sounds and uninhibited Pop. Having recently fallen into the world of images, collages and contemporary embroidery, his work has been exhibited at Institut Français Beyrouth, Beirut Art Center, Beirut Art Residency and at Sursock Museum’s 33rd Salon d’Automne. His current research  -“Fragments for an Arab Melancholy”– is an audiovisual case-study that wanders in the depths of the Arab night -“Leyl”- that is host to poetry, sensuality and melancholy.

Marijke de Valck
Netherlands
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 3: Data is beautiful/ Data is ugly

Marijke de Valck is Associate Professor of Media Studies at Utrecht University. She is co-founder of the Film Festival Research Network, co-editer of the Palgrave Macmillan book series Framing Film Festivals, and co-editor of the biannual academic festival review section in NECSUS. Her publications include articles in Cinema Journal, Poetics and the International Journal of Cultural Studies, the monograph Film Festivals: From European Geopolitics to Global Cinephilia (Amsteram University Press, 2007) and co-edited volumes like After the Break: Television Theory Today (Amsterdam University Press, 2013) and Film Festivals: History, Theory, Method, Praxis (Routledge 2016).

Rabih El-Khoury
Lebanon
Contributions:
Panelist
Module 1: Cross Border Collaboration & Co-Production

Rabih El-Khoury has been working with the Metropolis Association, since its inception in 2006 as administrator and then as Managing Director, he then became a member of its administrative board in 2014.  He has also worked for the cultural association Beirut DC, for the promotion of Arab Cinema with which he organized over 20 Arab film weeks in the Arab World and Europe. Since 2014, he is the Programme Manager of Talents Beirut. He also became Head of Programming at the Beirut Cinema Days and is a main programmer for Alfilm, the Arab Film Festival of Berlin. He has recently joined the team of the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung as curator. ElKhoury holds a BA in Journalism from the Lebanese American University and has a MA in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship from Goldsmiths University in London. He is currently based in Berlin, Germany.

Andrea Kuhn
Germany
Contributions:
Moderator

Andrea has been the director of the Nuremberg Human Rights Film Festival since 2007. Prior to that she was the director of StummFilmMusikTage in Erlangen from 2000 to 2011 and a lecturer for Film Studies at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg from 2000 to 2008.  She is an associate member of ANHAR: The Network for Arab Human Rights Films and serves on the board of Dox Box e.V.,. She is currently the chair of the Association of Bavarian Film Festivals, a member of the European Film Academy and a founding member and speaker of the section “Festivalarbeit” at ver.di (Germany’s United Services Trade Union) which aims to improve working conditions for freelancers and employees at film festivals.
Andrea Kuhn is also on the board of Stiftung medico international, an aid and human rights organization which focuses on health as a human right and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 for their International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

Jelte Zonneveld
Netherlands
Contributions:
Module producer, Notetaker of Expert Group
Module 2: Distribution circulation & sales

Jelte Zonneveld has been active as a freelance documentary professional for years, working in many different positions at a variety of organizations. At the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), he is contributing programmer, and earlier worked as producer of the Industry program as well as editor for the Doc Talks program. Besides working as module producer for DC, he is currently mostly working as an impact producer for different (international) documentary projects. Before, Jelte held positions at a variety of documentary production companies, broadcasters and distributors in The Netherlands. Also, he has programmed and produced different film festivals at an Amsterdam cinema; did editorial research for International Emmy and Prix Europa winner Last Hijack Interactive; acted as creative producer for O Ámor e Único by Marina Meijer; marketing/outreach for documentary projects like Heartbound by Janus Metz; and general festival handling and impact production for different production companies. Foremost, Jelte would describe himself as an all-round documentary enthusiast.

Sara Gadalla Gubara
Sudan
Contributions:
Panelist
Module 4: Restitution: Archive, Agency and Access

Sara Gadalla Gubara is a Sudanese film, television and animation director, considered to be the first Sudanese female film director, as well as a renowned international swimming champion. She graduated from Cairo Academy of Art and Film Institute in 1984 in Film Animation and Directing, and worked as a director for Sudanese television from 1985 – 1990. Since then, she has directed commercials, television, educational films, and documentary and feature films including The Lover of Light (2004) and Les Miserables (2004), and has participated in film festivals around the world. She runs her own production company, is a member of the Ministry of Culture (cinema revival and advancement committee), and president of the Sundanese Cinema Association. Gubara currently serves as a consultant for many governmental and non-governmental organizations working with women and people with special needs in sports. She also recently finished digitising Sudanese historical film and footage captured by her father, Gadalla Gubara, a pioneer of African cinema, and will be releasing it to the public.

Ranell Shubert
USA
Contributions:
Partner Organization (IDA)

Ranell Shubert is the Educational Programs Manager at the International Documentary Association (IDA). She provides essential programming and operational support for IDA’s year-round educational programs and conferences. Ranell manages IDA’s signature Conversation Series, which showcases interviews with prominent filmmakers, as well as master classes and workshops that enhance filmmakers’ knowledge of the craft, spotlight nonfiction leaders in the entertainment industry, offer candid filmmaker-only “behind the scenes” conversations, as well as skill-building in new media and technology. She is a programmer for the IDA’s biennial Getting Real Documentary Conference and is a regularly featured speaker and panelist at conferences and festivals. Ranell has served as a juror, mentor, and programming advisor for documentary festivals and conferences such as Dok Leipzig, Sheffield Doc Fest, Big Sky, St. Louis International Film Festival, and Based on a True Story. She received her BA in Film and Video at Columbia College Chicago with a focus in documentary film production.

Hicham Falah
France, Morocco
Contributions:

Hicham is the Manager of FILMS DE PAPIER (filmmaker and producer) as well as Artistic Director at FIFFS. Furthermore, he acts as the Délégué Général at FIDADOC (International Film Festival of Agadir). Originally from Casablanca and France, Hicham studied cinematography at Sorbonne University’s Louis Lumière College in Paris.

Myriam Sassine
Lebanon
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 1: Cross Border Collaboration & Co-Production

Myriam Sassine majored in cinema studies at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts and received a M.A. in cinema research. In 2012, she became a Producer at Abbout Productions working on several features such as Tramontane by Vatche Boulghourjian (Cannes Critic’s Week 2016), Panoptic by Rana Eid (Locarno 2017), Amal by Mohamed Siam (Idfa 2017) and A Certain Nasser by Badih Massaad and Antoine Waked (Festival Lumière 2017). Myriam is the COO of Schortcut Films, dedicated to coproducing international features and the Executive Director of Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival, the first fantastic film festival in the Middle East.

Azza Chaabouni
Tunisia
Contributions:
Consultant
Rough-cut Screenings

Azza Chaabouni is a Tunisian lecturer, researcher, editor and festival curator. Among the films she edited is multi-award winning feature Hedi by Mohamed Ben Attia (2016). Since 2014 Azza is the head of TAKMIL, a post-production workshop for African and Arab feature films and creative documentaries taking place annually in the framework of of “Carthage Pro”, the professional platform of Carthage Film Festival (JCC). In addition she was appointed head of of Ciné Par’Court in 2018, a project that accompanies seven groups of young Tunisian filmmakers in the realisation of their short films of all genres. Azza studied cinema in Cinecittà-Rome. She is based in Tunis where she teaches cinema at the Higher Institute of Humanities while pursuing her PhD.

Layla Nyrabia
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 3: Data is beautiful/ Data is ugly

Studying statistics in Germany, she has assisted with quantitative analyses in research projects for social, rehabilitation and linguistic sciences at the university of Dortmund since 2015, with additional training and experience in qualitative interviews with young refugees. She has been a freelance documentary film translator since 2008 and worked and volunteered in translation and as editing assistant for publications by different Syrian cultural and civil movement organizations. In 2008, 2009 and 2010 (respectfully), she was coordination assistant, general coordinator and member of the film selection committee for Dox Box International Documentary Film Festival in Syria. In August 2018, she joined the team of blicke filmfestival des ruhrgebiets in Bochum and is currently curating a program section about Syrian documentary filmmaking for the 2019 edition.

 

Jowe Harfouche
Lebanon
Contributions:
Co-facilitator of Expert Group
Module 2: Distribution circulation & sales

Jowe Harfouche is the executive director of the Network of Arab Alternative Screens (NAAS), a growing constellation of non-governmental cinema spaces presenting visionary film programs that engage and challenge audiences across the Arab region. He is also a filmmaker. With Ginger Beirut, he has produced feature films for the likes of Ghassan Salhab, Nadine Labaki, Simon El Haber, Ziad Doueiri, Vatché Boulghourjian, Rabih Mroué, Alia Farid, and Mark Lewis, working in various roles ranging from line producer and assistant director to post-producer and editor. As an independent filmmaker, he edited the feature film 28 Nights and a Poem by Akram Zaatari, and has directed music videos for Mashrou’ Leila and Aziza. Born and raised in Lebanon, he holds degrees in animation, film, and television production from Notre Dame University (Lebanon) and Trebas (Montreal, Quebec). Harfouche lives in Beirut, Lebanon.

Ebru Nihan Celkan
Turkey
Contributions:
Facilitator of Expert Group
Module 3: Data is beautiful/ Data is ugly

Ebru Nihan Celkan received a Bachelor’s Degree in Labour Economics in 2001 from Uludağ University and an MBA degree in 2008 from İstanbul University. Her play Triggerman (Tetikçi) opened the Aksanat 2009 Write a Play Festival, and won the Mitos-Boyut Publishing House’s third playwriting contest. In 2011, she also established the theatre company buluT. In 2017 she was one of the four playwrights chosen from around the world for Maxim Gorki Theatre’s International Playwriting Project “Krieg im Frieden – War in Piece”. As part of this project, she wrote her latest play Will you come with me? which premiered in Berlin (2018) and Istanbul (2019). In January 2019, she became a Jean Jacques Rousseau Fellow of the Academy Schloss Solitude Stuttgart. In 2016 she established Y+O, a platform dedicated to developing emotional intelligence. She creates projects and game-based learning workshops on topics including gender, diversity, team work, ethics management and trust building. Ebru Nihan Celkan consults and works with multinational corporations and local organizations.

Hajooj Kuka
Sudan
Contributions:
Keynote Speaker

Hajooj Kuka directed and produced the feature film AKASHA (2018) which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, TIFF, BFI and AFI Fest. His 2014 feature documentary Beats of the Antonov premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the People’s Choice Documentary Award. It was broadcasted on POV, the PBS television series featuring independent nonfiction films and has screened in over a hundred festivals worldwide, collecting several awards. Due to his work in the war-torn regions of Sudan, Hajooj was named one of the Leading Global Thinkers of 2014 by Foreign Policy Magazine. Hajooj has also trained and worked with communities using Theatre of the Oppressed and film projects, mainly with people affected by the war in the Blue Nile & Nuba Mountains. The workshops support individuals to document their everyday lives using visual language and storytelling techniques. These stories were shared using mobile cinemas within Sudan.

 

Karim Aitouna
Morocco
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 1: Cross Border Collaboration & Co-Production

Karim Aitouna is a Moroccan producer working between France and Morocco. He graduated with a law degree from the University Mohamed V in Rabat, and received two Masters degrees from the University Lumière Lyon 2 in France in film studies and cultural management. He has produced short films, feature-length fiction and documentaries, and was part of Emerging Producers 2013 in Jihlava IDFF. His first feature length films include : I AM THE PEOPLE (directed by Anna Roussillon) selected at ACID Cannes, awarded at more than 35 film festivals. THE NIGHT AND THE KID (directed by David Yon), presented in World Premiere at the 65th Berlinale. WOMEN OF THE WEEPING RIVER (directed by Sheron Dayoc), awarded best Filipino Film. SANS BRUIT, LES FIGURANTS DU DESERT (directed by MML Collective), premiered at FID Marseille. CONTRO FIGURA, (directed by Rä Di Martino), premiered at 74th Venice FF. POISONOUS ROSES, (directed by Ahmed Fawzi Saleh), premiered at IFF Rotterdam 2018 and recently awarded Best Arab Film and Best Debut at Cairo IFF.

Ines Marzouk
Egypt
Contributions:
Participant
Rough-cut Screenings

Ines Marzouk is a Tunisian filmmaker living and working in Egypt. She started her career as an editor and worked on a number of feature films such as Ahmad Abdallah’s Heliopolis (2009), and The End of the Road (2006) by Amir Ramses. She also directed her own short dramas, including Anything but That! (2006), a commentary and satire about smoking. She worked in the news as a video journalist and editor with Al Masry Al Youm and Tahrir News. Marzouk has also worked on a number of films that document events surrounding the revolution in Egypt, including working as an editor on Reporting a Revolution (2012) by Bassam Mortada which was screened at the Berlin Film Festival that year. She also directed her own short documentary about the events. Mohamad Mahmoud… Herald of the Revolutionaries (2012) recounts her live coverage of clashes between protesters and security forces, and was screened in festivals in the UAE and Jordan.

Ahmed Sobky
Egypt
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 2: Distribution circulation & sales

Ahmed Sobky started his career in film PR and marketing, later venturing into film distribution in Egypt and the Arab region. He is currently the Head of Acquisitions,
Sales and Theatrical Releases in Zawya Distribution, a venture for art-house and independent film distribution in Egypt and the Arab world. His latest projects included “Cactus Flower”, “In the Last Days of the City”, “Mother of the Unborn” and “Experimental Summer”.

Orwa Nyrabia
Syria
Contributions:
Panelist
Module 2: Distribution circulation & sales

Orwa is the Artistic Director of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). He is a highly-acclaimed independent documentary film producer, who has earned numerous awards and screened projects in major international film festivals and on television channels around the world. His filmography includes successful titles like Dolls, A Woman from Damascus (2008), Return to Homs (2013) and Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait (2014). Nyrabia tutored many up-and-coming filmmakers and served as juror for some of the world’s most influential film funds and festivals. Next to his role at IDFA Orwa manages an independent production company in Berlin where he focuses on documentary films with sociopolitical relevance. Orwa is a member of the Academy for Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Deutsche Filmakademie, the International Documentary Association (IDA) and the European Documentary Network (EDN). Orwa holds a degree in Acting from the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus, Syria.

Laura Ranca
Romania
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 3: Data is beautiful/ Data is ugly

Laura is a project lead at Tactical Tech in Berlin, where she manages the work of Exposing the Invisible – an initiative that explores how journalists, activists, technologists, artists and citizen journalists work together to investigate issues affecting their communities. Before Tactical Tech, she worked as a program specialist with the investigative journalism portfolio of the Independent Journalism Program at Open Society Foundation in London. Prior to that, she was a reporter and researcher with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and with RISE Project – a community of investigative journalists, developers and activists in Romania. At RISE, among others, she coordinated the development of Visual Investigative Scenarios (VIS), a data visualization platform, which assists investigative journalists, activists and researchers in mapping complex organized crime networks. Earlier on, Laura also worked as a public information officer with the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo and as a program coordinator and reporter with the Center for Media, Data and Society at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.

 

Erige Sehiri
Tunisia
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 2: Distribution circulation & sales

Erige Sehiri is an independent filmmaker and producer. She writes, directs and produces creative documentaries. In parallel and since 2011, she has also committed herself to the creation of new media and co-founded the awarded Tunisian webzine INKYFADA, a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. In 2012, she directed “MY FATHER’S FACEBOOK”, one of the segments of the collective project “Family Albums” (2012), awarded at Cinemed. Her first feature, “LA VOIE NORMALE” aka “RAILWAY MEN”/ “AL SEKA” had its world premier in Visions du Réel, Jury mention in Cinemed and international premier at IDFA 2018. Recently, Erige Sehiri became the manager of the production company HENIA where she develops author-driven films.

Thomas Kaske
Germany
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 1: Cross Border Collaboration & Co-Production

Thomas Kaske was born 1984, in the countryside close to Berlin. After living in Nairobi for a while, he decided to study Social and Cultural Anthropology and Film Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. Since 2008 he worked for the MA Visual and Media Anthropology at FU Berlin. After focusing on Visual Anthropology he started to fall in love with documentary filmmaking. In 2013 he began to study Media Art and Media Design at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. During his M.F.A. he directed and produced experimental short films. After his studies, he started to work as a Junior Producer and Archive Researcher for the Berlin-based companies Ilanga Films and Molly Aida. Since 2016 he works as an independent Producer.

Jad Abi Khalil
Lebanon
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 1: Cross Border Collaboration & Co-Production

Jad Abi Khalil was born in Beirut, Lebanon. He completed his cinema studies at IESAV – Saint Joseph University in 1998. He has directed several short films and feature documentaries. Since 2007, he has been producing feature documentaries, including The One Man Village by Simon El Habre and Diairies of a Flying Dog by Bassem Fayad. Abi Khalil is a founding member of Beirut DC, the cultural association for Arab Cinema. He was the chairman of its board of directors from 2009 till 2013, head of its: DOCmed training program 2011-2013, Beirut Cinema Platform (BCP) since 2015 and Good Pitch بالعربي since July 2018.

 

Mélanie Simon-Franza
France
Contributions:
Co-facilitator of Expert Group
Module 2: Distribution circulation & sales

Mélanie Simon-Franza is a distributor for Juste Doc, which has been distributing documentaries in France for eleven years. In January 2018, Mélanie distributed Taste of Cement, a Lebanese-Syrian documentary by Ziad Kalthoum. She distributes AMAL by Mohamed Siam since February 2019. The Juste Doc team specialises in distributing documentaries throughout France and is focused primarily on films that question the world, education and humanity. Mélanie Simon-Franza is also a journalist and professor with a focus on cinema.

Themba Bhebhe
France, Germany
Contributions:
Panelist
Module 3: Data is beautiful/ Data is ugly

After working for almost a decade in international film sales, Themba has been in charge of Diversity & Inclusion at the last two editions of the European Film Market (Berlinale). His work comprises curating and programming a series of events on the market relevance of diversity and inclusion across the EFM’s industry platforms, collaborating on events with other Berlinale-internal and external organizations, creating awareness and visibility for all programmes, actions and promotions of D&I across all the Berlinale’s different entities and liaising with delegations formed by underrepresented groups.

Bohdan Bláhovec
Czech Republic
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group, Panelist
Module 2: Distribution circulation & sales

Bohdan Bláhovec is the manager of the international project KineDok, focused on screening creative documentary films at non-traditional venues within eight countries. He participates in the selection of films for the project catalogue and coordinates communication with filmmakers and distributors. In cooperation with international partners, he works on building a stable distribution platform that enables filmmakers to present their documentaries to the audiences in an alternative, more friendly way. He is available for counselling and support to all the partners and the whole international team.

Maya Szydłowska
Poland
Contributions:
Project Assistant
DC Team

Maya Szydłowska is a lawyer by training, specialising in the international protection of human rights and international criminal law. Prior to joining DC, she worked for several Polish and international NGOs, including the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, the Gender Equality Observatory and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court office in Brussels. She is passionate about the power of documentary filmmaking and visual storytelling for human rights advocacy. Since 2018, she is a part of the organizing and programming team of HER Docs Film Festival – the first Polish documentary film festival presenting the oeuvre of female documentary filmmakers.

Claire Aguilar
USA
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 1: Cross Border Collaboration & Co-Production

Claire Aguilar is Director of Programming and Policy at IDA. She oversees IDA’s professional development, education, mentorship and training initiatives. Aguilar serves as the primary programmer for IDA’s biennial “Getting Real” conference, a convening for documentary filmmakers and professionals, which will take place in September 2020. She is the former Director of Programming and Industry Engagement at Sheffield Doc/Fest, where she curated and directed the film program for Doc/Fest 2015 and 2016. At the Independent Television Service (ITVS), she served as Vice President of Programming and Executive Content Advisor, working on program content and strategy for the organization.  She co-curated the Emmy and Peabody awarded series Independent Lens, PBS’s prominent showcase of independently produced films.  A second-generation Filipina American, she has a BA in Communications Studies and MA in Film and Television Studies from UCLA.  She serves on the Boards of Women Make Movies and Firelight Media and on the Advisory Board of the Why Foundation.

Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi
Netherlands
Contributions:
Panelist
Module 4: Restitution: Archive, Agency and Access

Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi is the Curator of Silent Film at EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. Since 1999, she has worked on the discovery, restoration, and presentation of many presumed lost films. These include Beyond the Rocks (1922), The Floor Below (1918), Az utolsó hajnal (1917), and many more films often featuring the work of forgotten women. She is directly involved with the archival festivals Il Cinema Ritrovato, Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, and Istanbul Silent Cinema Days. She is also one of the curators who initiated “Views of the Ottoman Empire,” a traveling archival presentation project that has been screening in various countries since the summer of 2014.

Iyad Joudeh
Palestine
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 3: Data is beautiful/ Data is ugly

Iyad Joudeh is the founder and the Managing Director of Solutions for Development www.solutions.ps; a private consulting firm specializing in the field of economic development and business consulting. Iyad has over 25 years of experience in private sector development, covering many fields including financial services, industrial and agriculture sector development, trade development and promotion, business development services and marketing. Moreover, Iyad serves as a member in Bir Zeit University’s Board of Trustees (the University’s Treasurer), a board member of the Palestinian Monetary Authority. Iyad has a finance and management Diploma through the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program from Boston University and a Bachelor degree in Economics from Bir Zeit University.

Marion Guth
Luxembourg
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 3: Data is beautiful/ Data is ugly

Marion Guth is a co-founder of a_BAHN, an award winning film production company based in Luxembourg. Marion is an impact and creative producer, engaging audiences by bringing together the traditional worlds of film and television and new media. She has recently founded a non-profit to create a more inclusive film industry in Luxembourg and beyond.

Weronika Adamowska
Poland
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 2: Distribution circulation & sales

Weronika has been active in the film industry for over 10 years. She began her career at Max Film, a network of cinemas, in which she was responsible for the promotion and film programming. In 2009-2014 she worked for Against Gravity – the leading Polish documentary and arthouse distribution company and organizer of the largest documentary film festival in Poland, Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival. In the years 2014-2017 she worked for the Berlin based documentary world sales company Rise And Shine World Sales, for which she co-created and managed its theatrical distribution branch Rise And Shine Cinema. From 2016 to 2017 she was an active member of the Moving Docs initiative that enables the selection of the best European documentaries to cross borders and reach new audiences by combining event cinema with innovative distribution. In 2018, she joined the organizing and programming team of HER Docs Film Festival – the first Polish documentary film festival presenting the oeuvre of female documentary filmmakers. An alumna of the Berlinale Talents 2018. A graduate of the Warsaw School of Economics and Erasmus University in Rotterdam (Cultural Entrepreneurship Programme).

 

 

Rima Mismar
Lebanon
Contributions:
Co-organizer

Rima Mismar is the current Executive Director of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC). Prior to being appointed the executive director, she gained experience within the fund as the deputy director and film programs manager. Rima Mismar completed her studies in Communication Arts (Radio/TV/Film emphasis) at the Lebanese American University (LAU) in Beirut in 1998. Prior graduation, she began writing for local newspapers and cultural supplements, focusing on cinema and pursuing her professional career as a film critic as of 1999. She had participated in several festivals as jury member or as a member of the selection committee, contributed to serious critical writings on Arab cinema, moderated panels and wrote for several regional media. Rima worked briefly in television, writing and producing several episodes of The Arabic Lens (Al Adasa Al Arabiya), a series on Arab cinema produced and broadcasted by Al-Jazeera. She also wrote and researched a number of feature documentaries produced by and broadcasted on Al-Arabiya channel.

Cyril Aris
Lebanon
Contributions:
Director
Public Screening - "The Swing"

Cyril Aris is a Lebanese Director & Screenwriter, living in New York and Beirut. His debut feature documentary, The Swing (2018), premiered in competition at the 53rd Karlovy Vary IFF, receiving positive reviews with The Hollywood Reporter calling it ‘Intimate and moving’, in ‘this meditation on truth, love and lies in the face of illness and death’. It won the El-Gouna Bronze Star Award at the El-Gouna Film Festival, the jury prize at Rome’s Medfilm Festival and an honorable mention at London’s Open City Docs. His last fiction short film, The President’s Visit (2017), premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), won the US National Board of Review (NBR) grant award, was shortlisted for a student BAFTA, won the Muhr Jury Prize at the Dubai IFF, and the oscar-qualifying Grand Jury Prize at the Nashville Film Festival. It played in over 50 film festivals worldwide. Previous credits include short film Siham (2013), Jury Award at the Palm Springs International ShortFest, LBC’s TV series Beirut, I Love You (2011, 2012), and Yahoo’s web-series Fasateen (2012), which both gathered several million views. Aris holds an MFA from Columbia University in the City of New York, and has taught Film at Columbia University, NHSI at Northwestern University and Barnard College. He is currently in development for his first fiction feature, ‘It’s a Sad and Beautiful World’.

 

Mohanad Yaqubi
Palestine
Contributions:
Facilitator of Expert Group
Module 4: Restitution: Archive, Agency and Access

Mohanad Yaqubi is a Palestinian- Moroccan filmmaker, producer and co-founder of the Ramallah-based production house Idioms Film. Mohanad is also a co-founding member of the research and curatorial collective Subversive Films, which focuses on militant film practices. Yaqubi is a resident researcher at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Gent, Belgium.

Selim Nowicki
Poland
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group, Notetaker
Module 3: Data is beautiful/ Data is ugly

Selim is a pragmatic Data Generalist with the aim to impact decision-making processes with data insights. Involved in a flurry of startups in various sectors, currently at Project A, one the leading Operation Venture Capital firm in Germany. Passionate about potentials of data as an accessible tool to drive significant social change.

Kesmat El Sayed
Egypt
Contributions:
Consultant
Rough-cut Screenings

El Sayed started her career in audio-visual production in 2007 working within an independent media organisation.  She initiated documentary audio visual production for the web together with a team of creative journalists, directors and producers. By 2011, they was producing short documentaries and feature length films. Her first feature production Reporting…A Revolution premiered at the Berlinale film festival and a number of festivals worldwide.  She then moved on with a number of colleagues to start SEE MEDIA PRODUCTIONS, focusing solely on creative feature documentaries and short and feature narrative films that have social relevance in Egypt and transcend borders. In a short time, SEE MEDIA PRODUCTIONS has produced a number of documentaries, including one that was awarded first prize at the Jesuite film festival in Cairo. They are now working on 2 feature documentaries in post production and developing a feature documentary and a short narrative film.

 

Rasha Salti
France, Lebanon
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group, Moderator
Module 4: Restitution: Archive, Agency and Access

Rasha Salti is an independent film and visual arts curator and writer, working and living between Beirut and Berlin. At present, she is the commissioning editor for La Lucarne, an experimental documentary programme for Arté France. Salti collaborates with different festivals as a programme consultant, including the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival (2009-2010), and the Toronto International Film Festival (2011-2015). She has also curated film programmes for the Musée Jeu de Paume (2012, 2013 and 2015) in Paris, and the Tate Modern in London (2011), among many others.

Sara Ishaq
Scotland, Yemen
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group, Moderator
Module 1: Cross Border Collaboration & Co-Production

Sara Ishaq is a Scottish-Yemeni filmmaker currently based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She pursued her higher education (MA / MFA) at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. From 2011 onwards, she filmed several BBC news items and documentaries, co-founded the Yemen-based media collective #SupportYemen and directed her award-winning independent films, Karama Has No Walls (2012) & The Mulberry House (2013). In 2015, she co-launched Comra Doc Camp, the first creative filmmaking training camp in Yemen and in 2017 founded a Yemen-based production company/film community with the same name dedicated to producing creative films and teaching filmmaking. She is currently developing her first fiction feature film.

​Isabel Arrate Fernandez
Netherlands
Contributions:
Moderator
Module 1: Cross Border Collaboration & Co-Production

Isabel has been the manager of the IDFA Bertha Fund since 2002 where she has participated in numerous juries and works regularly as a consultant for documentary projects. In the past 16 years, the fund has developed into an internationally renowned institution with a broad network supporting over 500 documentary projects and film organizations in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

Ibrahim Mursal
Sudan
Contributions:
Participant
Rough-cut Screenings

Ibrahim Mursal is a Sudanese/Somali/Norwegian filmmaker living and working in Oslo. Graduating as an oil engineer, Mursal decided to follow his passion in film and social activism instead. Starting in the Sudan Film Factory, Mursal headed several media initiatives for gender equality projects and youth participation, in Sudan and Qatar. In 2013, he moved back to Norway where he worked in film alongside refugees and unaccompanied refugee minors. He currently works to further Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and is in the post-production phase of his first feature documentary film.

Christine Eloy
Belgium
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group, Panelist
Module 2: Distribution circulation & sales

Christine Eloy has been the Managing Director of Europa Distribution since 2013. Previously the Sales Manager at Cineart (a reputed independent distributor in Benelux), Christine has a long experience in distribution. She has released about 500 films in 12 years, including Amour, Auf der andere Seite, Persepolis, Bowling For Colombine, Dancer in the Dark, L’Enfant, The Angels’ Share, Noi Albinoi, and Chicken RunBefore heading the association, Christine was already involved in Europa Distribution whilst still a distributor, notably through her participation in the digital expert group created by the EU Commission in the scope of the digital roll out.

Irit Neidhardt
Germany
Contributions:
Panelist
Module 2: Distribution circulation & sales

Irit Neidhardt has been working as free-lance author, curator and teacher in the field of cinema and the Middle East since 1995. In 2002 she founded mec film. She is author of numerous articles about Arab cinema in which she is focusing on questions of cooperation and co-production between Europe and the Middle East as well as co-producer of several Arab documentary films.
Irit Neidhardt is a member of the German Association of Arthouse Theatres (AG Kino-Gilde), the German Documentary Association (AG Dok) and the German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation (DAVO). She is a member of the advisory board of the German edition of the Global Media Journal and of the editorial board of German Quarterly inamo (Information Project Near and Middle East).

Marion Schmidt
Germany
Contributions:
Manager of DC

Marion Schmidt is the Events & Award Manager of DOX BOX e.V., the project manager of the annual international Documentary Convention, and one of the co-founders of the association. Previously she acted as the administrative head and project manager for the organisation. As experienced cultural project manager, Marion has worked in various areas across Europe and the Middle East including for the Goethe-Institut Cairo, European Film Market, Berlin and Social Enterprise UK in London. Next to her engagement with DOX BOX Marion does cultural project management in Berlin and pro-bono consultancies for individuals and small initiatives upon request. Marion holds a Master’s degree in Arts Administration & Cultural Policy from the University of London, UK. She is participant of the Eurodoc 2019 program.

Mila Turajlic
Serbia
Contributions:
Panelist
Module 4: Restitution: Archive, Agency and Access

Mila Turajlic is a documentary filmmaker, visual artist and archive scholar born in Belgrade, (then) Yugoslavia. Her films have screened at Toronto, Venice and Tribeca and have been released theatrically in France, UK, and Germany. Her most recent film THE OTHER SIDE OF EVERYTHING, a New York Times Critics’ Pick was HBO Europe’s first co-production with Serbia and won the prestigious IDFA Award for Best Documentary Film in 2017. Mila’s debut feature doc, CINEMA KOMUNISTO played at over 100 festivals and won 16 awards including the Gold Hugo and the FOCAL Award for Creative Use of Archival Footage in 2011. Her latest work is a series of archive-based video installations commissioned by MoMA in New York for their landmark exhibition on Yugoslav modernist architecture that opened in July 2018. Currently, Mila is in production on a documentary film about President Tito’s cameraman who filmed the birth of the Non-Aligned Movement, and was sent by the President to film liberation wars in Africa in the 1960s.

Salma Said
Contributions:
PR & Communication
DC Team

Salma Said joggles between art, theatre, activism, film and most recently anthropology. Salma co founded Mosireen Media collective and worked on various theatre projects as well as as an art and cultural management. Most importantly Salma likes to work in and support radically creative projects.

Soleil Gharbieh
Lebanon
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 3: Data is beautiful/ Data is ugly

Soleil Gharbieh is the grants manager at AFAC. Prior to accepting this position, she spent six weeks in Goethe’s Kulturakademie and underwent a specialised training program to connect Arab cultural managers with the art scene in Berlin, Leipzig and Hamburg. Prior to her experience in Germany, Soleil lived in Egypt, where she was heavily involved in the local independent music scene while working at the Cairo Jazz Club Agency. From 2008 to 2014, Soleil worked as a catalogue manager and book buyer at CIEL, a book distribution company. She holds a BA in French Literature from the Lebanese University.

Soumeya Bouallegui
Tunisia
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group
Module 3: Data is beautiful/ Data is ugly

Soumeya Bouallegui is a documentary filmmaker based in Tunis. In 2017 she founded Doc House, where she serves as Executive Director. Prior to launching Doc House, she worked on strategy development and led projects aimed at identifying the needs of the documentary sector. She coordinated i.a. 2008-2016 editions of a multidisciplinary festival “Summer Tent” and Tunisia-based Arab-Danish capacity building project based on documentary series “Stories Untold”. She holds a business degree and participated in numerous training initiatives, ex. One (Wo)man, One Camera, One Sound exchange program at The National Film School of Denmark, where she directed her first short documentary, “Release”. In 2016 her first feature documentary “Saida, despite ashes” was released.

Marouan Omara
Egypt
Contributions:
Panelist
Module 1: Cross Border Collaboration & Co-Production

Marouan Omara (1987) is an Egyptian filmmaker who has shown his films at festivals including Berlinale, IFF Rotterdam, Karlovy Vary IFF, London Film Festival, Yamagata IDFF, Ji.hlava IDFF, DOK Leipzig. His work has been supported by several international institutions, including La Biennale di Venezia, Hot Docs-Blue Ice Fund, IDFA Bertha Fund, Catapult Film Fund. He is also a Berlinale and Durban Talents alumnus.  Omara’s films have been distributed by Wide House, France, Arsenal Institut Für Film und Videokunst e.V. Berlin, Germany, MAD Solutions, Egypt, Tetraktys Films, Cyprus and are available online at Doc Alliance Platform. He received his BA in Applied Arts – Photography (2011) and his Diploma in Film Directing (2010). He teaches filmmaking in the department of the Arts at the American University in Cairo – AUC, and is the managing director of the Regional Conference for Arab Independent Cinema (RCAIC). He also participates as a founder, jury member, and curator in several film industry programs.

Jihan El-Tahri
Egypt, France
Contributions:
General Director of DOX BOX

Jihan El-Tahri, an Egyptian and French national, is an award-winning director, writer, visual artist and producer. In March 2019, she became the new General Director of DOX BOX e.V. In 2017, she was invited to join the Academy of Arts and Sciences (The Oscars) and continues as a Mentor at the Documentary Campus in Germany and Ouaga Lab in Burkina Faso. Her recent work as a visual artist includes exhibitions in France (centre Pompidou), Berlin (HKW and IFA Gallery), Norway (National Museum), Mexico (San Ildefonso) and Poland (Moma). El-Tahri started as a foreign correspondent covering Middle East Politics. In 1990, she began directing and producing documentaries for the BBC, PBS, Arte and other international broadcasters. Her award-winning documentaries include Nasser, which premiered in the official selection at Toronto International Festival,  Behind the Rainbow, Cuba, an African Odyssey, and the Emmy nominated House of Saud.  El-Tahri also serves as treasurer of the Guild of African Filmmakers in the Diaspora, as advisor on Focus Feature’s Africa first Program, and as the Regional Secretary of the Federation of Pan African Cinema (FEPACI).

Alex Szalat
France
Contributions:
Panelist
Module 2: Distribution circulation & sales

Alex Szalat is a director of short films, documentaries and TV series since 1977. His filmography is extensively covering a full range of aspects dealing with European life, culture and society. In 1987, Szalat founded KS VISIONS, an independent producing company which  has produced over a hundred documentaries and TV series for Canal +, Arte, FR3, FR2, TF1, Planete, IBA, RTBF, VRT and Dutch Channel 1 amongst others. Between 2005-2007, Alext was a commissioning editor for the Geopolitical Europe and Society department of Arte France, and from 2008 to 2011, he managed the Current affairs, Social issues and Geopolitical department. From September 2011 until March 2019, he was Deputy Manager of the Society and Culture department of Arte France. He is now developing a project with a focus on funding for human rights documentaries.

 

Mahasen Nasser-Eldin
Palestine
Contributions:
Panelist
Module 4: Restitution: Archive Agency and Access

Jerusalem-born filmmaker Mahasen Nasser-Eldin tells stories of resistance and resilience, crafting carefully researched and scripted narratives that restore new life to forgotten figures and celebrate those on the margins of society. A meticulous researcher, Mahasen specializes in reconstructing and scripting historical narratives using audio and visual archives. Her research interest focuses on the use of film in the writing of historical narratives. Her films have screened locally and internationally. She is currently working on her film “We Carve Words in the Earth” which follows the Palestinian women’s movement before the 1948 Nakba. Most recently she won the Ramallah Doc Pitch for her film and was the recipient of a film grant from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture. Mahasen holds an MA degree in filmmaking from Goldsmiths College in London and another MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She is a lecturer in visual cultures and film production at Bethlehem’s Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture.

Gitte Hansen
Denmark, Switzerland
Contributions:
Panelist
Module 2: Distribution circulation & sales

Gitte works on daily basis with project development, executive producing, financing & marketing strategy, sales & acquisition of non-fiction films/series. Recent titles she executive produced for FHF include The Reformist – A Female Imam (Marie Skovgaard, House of Real), A Thousand Girls Like Me (Sahra Mani, Marmita& Les Films du Tambour de Soie), Humanity on Trial (Jonas Bruun, Hansen & Pedersen), Ambulance (Mohamed Jabaly, Idoms Films/Jabfilm). Gitte is head of acquisitions at FHF. Previously she has worked with international distribution of feature films, production at DR, film promotion at FkN. She serves as lecturer/moderator at events such as Nordic Forum, IDFAcademy/IDFA, CPH:DOX, DOK.incubator, EDN workshops, Crossing Borders, Pitching du Réel, Greenhouse. Gitte has served on juries at international film festivals and holds a Master in Film & Rhetoric from the University of Copenhagen.

 

Claas Danielsen
Germany
Contributions:
Partner Organization (MDM)

Claas Danielsen is a German filmmaker, producer, lecturer and festival director currently based in Leipzig. He has made seven documentaries, several of which did extensive festival tours, won international awards and were sold to European broadcasters. In 2016, Claas was appointed managing director of the MDM Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung, the regional film fund serving Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Claas Danielsen was a board member of the German documentary filmmakers’ association (AG DOK) and of the European Documentary Network EDN for years. From 2004 to 2014, he was the artistic and managing director of DOK Leipzig, the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Films, which he developed into one of the leading international documentary festivals. In 1997, Claas became an assistant professor in the Documentary Department of the Munich Film Academy, where he built up a new chair for TV journalism. In 1999, Claas became head of studies at the Discovery Campus (now Documentary Campus). He is a member and advisor to the European Film Academy, board member of the Balkan Documentary Center and has served on many international festival juries and selection committees for various German film and media funds.

Talal Afifi
Sudan
Contributions:
Consultant
Rough-cut Screenings

Talal Afifi (b.1976) is a Sudanese film curator, producer, founder and director of Sudan Film Factory- a production house and film culture center. Founded in 2010, it supports production, empowerment and building youth capacities in the fields of documentation, film making and freedom of expression. Previously working in cultural management in Egypt and Sudan, he also managed the production of over 40 documentaries and short films between 2010-2019, in addition to supervising filmmaking workshops and training in Sudan. Afifi is interested in further developing the independent filmmaking industry and supporting new modes of documentary production and presentation. Afifi is a Founder/ President of the Sudan Independent film Festival since 2014, and serves as a member of the executive committee of the Sudanese Writers’ Union. He is also part of the steering committee of the Network of Arab Alternative Screens and has served as a jury member of i.a. Film Festival of Oran, Algeria and NAAS award (Forum Expanded, Berlin International Film Festival).

Geir Bergersen
Norway
Contributions:
Consultant
Rough-cut Screenings

Geir Bergersen has over 30 years experience in film, TV and media. He started his career as a television producer in Norway for TV3 (1991) and for TV2 (1992). From 1991 – 1998, he worked as a producer, journalist and filmmaker for different TV stations across Scandinavia before moving into the IT industry as a Media Director and Project Manager. Between 2002 and 2008, he worked for different telecom, media and streaming projects and then decided to return to the film industry again. He now runs the production company, Skagerak Film AS, and has been involved in producing documentaries and short feature films since 2010. The company works with Feberfilm to produce major commercial and promotional films for a variety of clients, and is currently working together with Kapoow AS on the next media revolution. Skagerak Film also operates the largest business publication for Pro-AV and Film with Monitor Magasin.

Emma Davie
Scotland
Contributions:
Consultant, Masterclass
Rough-cut Screenings

Emma has made a wide variety of documentaries for national and international broadcasters and most recently co-directed a feature documentary called “Becoming Animal” (2018) with Swiss Canadian director Peter Mettler. It has played at festivals all over the world including IDFA, Jihlava, RIDM and been nominated for best documentary at CPH:DOX, Edinburgh Film Festival, Documenta Madrid and many more. She currently teaches at Edinburgh College of Art where she runs the postgraduate course in documentary directing and supervises many documentaries. She also works as mentor and advisor on films teaches on workshops and gives seminars internationally.  She programmed documentaries for the Edinburgh Film Festival, was on the board of EDN for 4 years and taught at the European Film College in Denmark for a year. She has also written widely on documentary making practice.

 

Laila Hourani
Egypt
Contributions:
Panelist
Module 3: Data is beautiful/ Data is ugly

Laila works from the Ford Foundation’s Cairo office as Program Officer Arts, Culture and Media. Her grant making focusses on supporting Arab institutions and networks that enhance independent creative expression, storytelling, artistic production and distribution in the MENA region.  Her grantmaking also supports the mobility of individual Arab artists, film makers and cultural producers to enhance their learning and development. In recent years, her grantmaking has included support to seeding and strengthening civil society organizations engaged in sustaining the artistic productivity and cultural vitality of Syrians, memorializing the Syrian conflict and providing cultural and art education services to Syrian refugee communities.  Before assuming the role of program officer in 2013, Laila worked with the Ford Foundation as a consultant. Previously, she led the development of strategy for the British Council’s arts and culture work in the Near East and North Africa out of Syria, enabling cultural exchange between Arab and UK artists in a challenging social and political climate. Over her nearly fourteen years with the British Council, Laila initiated, designed, and delivered projects in performing arts, new writing, translation, creative economy, and cultural leadership.  
From 2005 to 2011, Laila sat on the artistic board of Cultural Mawred (Al Mawred Al Thaqafy), one of the leading non-governmental cultural organizations servicing the Arab region. She has also been a board and jury member for other key regional organizations, among them Ettijahat- Independent Culture, the Anna Lindh Foundation’s Citizens for Dialogue Program, and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC). Earlier, she worked as a journalist and with UNICEF Syria. Laila published her debut novel, Baoh at the acclaimed Beirut based Al Adab in 2009.  Laila studied Russian language and specialized in TV Journalism at Moscow State University between 1988-1994.

Brigid O’Shea
Germany
Contributions:
Matchmaker, Panelist
DC Cafe/ Networking, Module 1: Cross Border Collaboration & Co-Production

Brigid O’Shea is an Australian native who has worked for European film festivals and documentary organisations since 2008. Holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts obtained in Melbourne and Berlin, she started as an intern at the Berlinale Talent Campus. She worked for various Berlinale departments as a freelancer until 2014, including the EFM and also Co-Production Market, until taking a more focused approach on creative documentary. This came from coordinating the DOK Industry Programme from 2009-2015, which allowed her to also freelance for the Institute of Documentary Film in Prague, for Documentary Campus Masterschool, and  Berlin-based production companies. She has collected many professional experiences across diverse audiovisual fields as a freelancer before being appointed Head of DOK Industry Programme in January 2015. She regularly tutors on topics like European co-financing, cultural management and festival strategies in places like North America and East Europe.

 

Johanna Domke
Germany
Contributions:
Panelist
Module 1: Cross Border Collaboration & Co-Production

Johanna Domke studied Fine Arts at the Royal Danish Art Academy in Copenhagen and the Malmö Art Academy in Sweden. She received much attention for her video work in recognized art institutions around the world. Her fascination for film made her follow a post-graduate study in scriptwriting and directing at the Media Art Academy in Cologne, Germany. She has co-founded the production company Pulverfilm, where she works as producer, author and director. Her films have been shown in major international film festivals and received numerous awards. She has been teaching Fine Arts and Film and writes papers on Film- and Media theory.

 

Hala Galal
Egypt
Contributions:
Matchmaker
DC Cafe/ Networking

Hala is an Egyptian director, script writer and producer. As such, she directed 18 and produced more than 15 films. Her feature documentary ‘Women ChitChat’ won the Silver Prize at the Arab Rotterdam Film Festival in 2006. Since 2002, she initiated several education opportunities, providing young potential filmmakers with basics of filmmaking, and helped create networks to support independent filmmaking in Egypt and the Arab region. She co-founded “SEMAT​ Production and Distribution​” which she has been managing since its inception. Hala was a jury member in numerous international, regional and local festivals, as well as head of the “Caravan of the Euro-Arab Cinema​ Festival”​ and the “Masry Asly” festival.

Reem Bader
Jordan
Contributions:
Member of Expert Group, Panelist
Module 2: Distribution circulation & sales

Bader is the Founding Director of the Creative Documentary Platform and its Minaa VOD; the first interactive platform fostering the discovery of Arabic creative documentaries, while preserving and providing a range of unique materials, which are not widely available on one single platform elsewhere. She’s additionally the Manager of the Jordan Film Fund and a Consultant to the Regional Training Program at the Royal Film Commission- Jordan. Her passion continues in supporting Arab filmmakers throughout their creative and business journeys while also acting as a consultant and jury member through multiple film programs and festival. Being a visual artist herself, Bader is an advocate for inventive arts and film and their ability to endure not only individuals’ but also collective progressive impact to the world we live in.

 

Mikael Opstrup
Denmark
Contributions:
Facilitator of Expert Group
Module 1: Cross Border Collaboration & Co-Production

Mikael Opstrup is head of studies at the European Documentary Network (EDN) in Copenhagen, Denmark, and editor of the EDN Co-production Guide. In the 1980s, Mikael worked in distribution and theatrical release for documentary films, and has worked as a documentary producer since the 1990s. He was production adviser at the Danish Film Institute (1998 – 2002), and co-owner of Final Cut Productions in Copenhagen (2002 -2008), where he produced a number of international documentaries.

Kay Dickinson
Canada
Contributions:
Panelist
Module 4: Restitution: Archive Agency and Access

Kay Dickinson is Professor of Film Studies at Concordia University, Montreal.  She is the author of Arab Cinema Travels: Transnational Syria, Palestine, Dubai and Beyond (BFI Press, 2016) and the compiler of Arab Film and Video Manifestos: Forty-Five Years of the Moving Image Amid Revolution (Palgrave, 2018).