ALLY DERKS (The Netherlands)
Ally Derks started her career as coordinator of Festikon, an annual film and video festival the Netherlands. In 1988, with the help of the Netherlands Film Institute, Derks started the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and has served as its director since 1989. Along with selecting films for IDFA’s annual competition, Derks has been responsible for retrospective programs—including ones on Cuban, Kazakh, Lithuanian, Palestinian/Israeli and Polish documentaries. Derks is also director of and head of the selection committee for the IDFA Bertha Fund, supporting documentary filmmakers in developing countries. She has been on juries at festivals including Sundance, Krakow and St. Petersburg, and has won several awards for her contribution to the documentary field, including Hot Docs Doc Mogul Award in 2011. From the France government she is honored in 2015 as Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres’.
PÉTER FORGÁCS (Hungary)
Since 1978 Forgács has made several noted films and media installations. His international debut came with The Bartos Family (1988), the first of the “Private Hungary” series of award winning films based on European home movies from the 1920s and 1980s, which document ordinary lives that were soon to be ruptured by an extraordinary historical trauma that occurs off screen. Since 1990 Forgács received several major international festival awards, like El Perro Negro – awarded at the Tribeca Film Festival, 2005. The Golden Gate Award for Angelos’ Film, San Francisco International Film Festival, 1999. The film Free Fall received the Prix Europa, Berlin 1997. Between 2000-2002 Forgacs, as artist in residence at The Getty Museum/Getty Research Institute, (Los Angeles) created The Danube Exodus installation in collaboration with The Labyrinth Project (USC). Forgács works are held in prestigious public collections. In 2007 Forgács was awarded with the most prestigious Dutch Erasmus Prize for his notable contributions to European culture. In 2009 Forgács represented Hungary at the Venice Biennale, Col Tempo installation. In 2013 he created for the Polin Museum, Warsaw, “Letters to Afar”cinematic installation.
ULLA WESSLER (Germany)
Born 1950 in Northern Germany, study of the political science and the French language in Munich. Since 1986 management of FILMSTADT MÜNCHEN, an municipal promoted organization of the film and media work inclusive DOK.fest. 30 years organization, guests coordination and programming as well as curator in the last four years of the DOK.horizonte section.
Audrius Kuprevičius (Lithuania)
Audrius Kuprevičius graduated from Moscow Film School (VGIK) in 1989.
In 1989 together with film director Šarunas Bartas he founded the first independent film studio in Lithuania Studija Kinema. In 1991 he produced the first feature film of Šarunas Bartas “Three Days” (European Film Academy – Nomination of Felix’92 for the Best Young European Film of the Year, prize of the Ecumenical Jury and Special Mention of FIPRESCI in Berlin Film Festival, 1992) and the documentary film of Audrius Stonys “Earth of the Blind” (European Film Academy – Felix’92 for Best European Documentary Film of the Year). Since 1989 he has produced more than 15 feature and documentary films. The founder and teacher of the first study course for film producers in Lithuania and teaches at Film and Television department of Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. He is one of the co-founders of Lithuanian Independent Producers Association. Currently Audrius Kuprevičius is working at the Film production department of the Lithuanian Film Centre.
JEAN-YVES LAVOIR (France)
After occupying several official positions in the French territorial administration, Mr. LAVOIR joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2004. He was stationed in Moscow, at headquarters in Paris, Macedonia and Georgia where he served as cultural and cooperation Advisor at the Embassy of France and he is Director of the French Institute of Georgia since September 1, 2014.
He is Doctor of Law and philologist (Russian language), passionate about literature and cinema.
AMRA MEHIC (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Director and producer from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She holds her BA in Directing from the Academy of Performing Arts Sarajevo. She has an extensive background in film, theater and TV where she collaborated with notable industry professionals from the region and internationally. Her documentaries ZELJA/THE WISH (2007) and JOS UVIJEK JA/STILL ME (2008), as well as her two shorts ZGARISTE/THE RUIN (2009) and NEVIDLJIVI/INVISIBLE (2016) have achieved great success at the regional film festivals. Amra is the director of the production company “Relative Pictures”, currently in pre-production of two feature films. In addition to her film projects, she is also the Documentary Programme Coordinator with Sarajevo Film Festival.
REA APOSTOLIDES (Greece)
Documentary producer Rea Apostolides studied Ancient and Modern History at the University of Oxford and been working in the documentary scene in Athens since 1995. Rea speaks fluent Greek, English and French. In 2002, she received a NIPKOW scholarship and worked for MAJADE Filmproduktion in Leipzig, Germany and in 2008 received the Trailblazer Award at MIPDOC in Cannes. Recent work as a documentary producer includes Dolphin Man (2017) A Family Affair (2015), Kismet (2013), The World’s First Computer (2013), Little Land (2013) Sayome (2011) A Place Without People (2010), Sugartown: the Day After (2009) and The Call of the Mountain the story of a man who abandons his family to return to the White Mountains of Crete. Rea is currently the Deputy Head of the Board of Documentary Campus. Rea co-founded CineDoc Greece in 2009, an innovative public media initiative for the promotion and distribution of documentaries across Greece, and is also the initiator and co-ordinator of Moving Docs, an EDN led network focused on audience development for documentaries in Europe.
ERIC VAN DE GIESSEN (The Netherlands)
Eric van de Giessen (1981) coordinates the International Support programme of Movies that Matter. Founded in the Netherlands in March 2006, Movies that Matter followed in the footsteps of the Amnesty International Film Festival. Based on the belief that the film camera is a powerful weapon against social indifference, Movies that Matter organises film screenings in the Netherlands and promotes film screenings worldwide. As programme coordinator, Mr. Van de Giessen manages the grant programme of Movies that Matter and gives advice on setting up human rights film festivals or related events in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Eric has also been engaged in the organisation of film events in the Netherlands and works as a programmer for the Movies that Matter Festival in The Hague. This annual film and debate festival, which runs for 9 days and presents about 70 films, reaches around 25.000 people. At the festival he is mainly involved with the festival’s competition programme on law and justice: Camera Justitia. Before joining Movies that Matter in the summer of 2011, Van de Giessen worked as a researcher in the field of environmental security and international development. He holds a MSc degree in International Development Studies and a MA degree in Conflict Studies and Human Rights at Utrecht University, the Netherlands.
MARIANNA KAAT (Estonia)
Internationally awarded producer and director Marianna Kaat is one of the most successful Estonian documentary filmmakers. She graduated from the St.Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy in Russia with a PhD and during her long career in the industry first worked as a script editor and director at Eesti Telefilm Studio. After that for five years she acted as the acquisition manager for Estonian Television. In 1998 she founded independent production company Baltic Film Production and since then she produce and direct Documentary TV series and creative documentaries. In 2009 Marianna received The International Trailblazer Award at MIPDOC in Cannes. Close Relations (2016), A Working Title: Wunderkind (2012), Pit No. 8 (2011), Lobotomy (2010), Kalinovski Square (2007), and The Last Phantoms (2006) are internationally well-known productions which won numerous prestigious awards and were broadcasted worldwide. She also teaches documentary practice to both postgraduate and undergraduate students at Tallinn University’s Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School. She has been a guest tutor at numerous workshops for producers, film schools and universities outside Estonia. Marianna is the National Ambassador of the European Documentary Network (EDN) and one of the founders of Estonian Documentarians Guild.