Simone Baumann Simone Baumann is a German producer and one of Europe’s leading experts on Russia, the former Eastern bloc, and their audiovisual markets. She has worked in documentary production for nearly 20 years and leads the documentary department of Saxonia Entertainment GmbH. From 1997-2010, Simone was a managing director of the independent production company Le Vision. In addition to her production work, Simone has been serving as the German Films Eastern Europe representative since 2005. She has also supervised numerous feature film productions in the former Soviet Union as an executive producer and consultant. Simone Baumann is also a founding member of the Russian-German Film Academy and has been a board member of the German Documentary Producer’s association since 2003.
Festival director of one of the most important documentary film festivals in Europe “Visions du Réel”.Journalist and film critic for specialist magazines and newspapers, he has written essays and monographs on filmmakers and topics such as Naomi Kawase, Nicolas Philibert and Les Films d’Ici. Since 1997, he has collaborated as programmer and press conference moderator at numerous international film festivals, including the Locarno International Film Festival and the Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica of Venice. From 2008 to 2010 he has been artistic director at Festival dei Popoli in Florence. Since 2011 is the director of Visions du Réel in Nyon. He has acted as member of the jury at several festivals like Cannes Int. Film Festival, Fid Marseille, Bafici, DocLisboa, Punto de vista, DocAviv, Cinéma du Réel, Hot Docs, Cinema South Festival, Sarajevo Int. Film Festival.
Director of the Georgian National Film Center since 2013 and the film director of several award-winning movies. In 1981 Nana Janelidze started to work as a director for “Georgian Film” studio. She has been awarded the State Prize and Iakob Gogebashvili Pedagogical Prize for the film “Lullaby”; Twice awarded Russian Film Academy Prize “Nika” and many other prizes on international film festivals – Pesaro (Italy), Lagovo (Poland), Moscow, Yalta (Russia), Montpellier (France) Wiesbaden (Germany) and others.In 2005-2006 she was a member of GNFC Supervisory Board. She has published several books and in cooperation with a team of authors, restored and published a multimedia album of the first Georgian documentary film „Akaki Tsereteli’s Trip to Racha and Lechkhumi in 1912.
Program Coordinator and Production Manager of Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (Kyiv, Ukraine). Before joining Docudays team she has worked in TV and commercial production as a producer and has been a production manager of several films, among them “Sickfuckpeople”, dir. Juri Rechinsky, (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).
Mélanie de Vocht
Mélanie de Vocht has worked for the program department of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), where she was responsible for research, festival handling of selected films and the festival program schedule. Since 2006 she has been working for the IDFA Bertha Fund, as well. During the years the fund has developed into an internationally renowned institution with a broad network. As producer of the fund Mélanie is a part of the pre-selection committee, follows up on all selected projects and takes care of the IDFA Bertha Fund selection at IDFA each year. From 2007 – 2009 Mélanie de Vocht also worked for the Open Air Film Festival in Amsterdam, where she was responsible for the program, fundraising and festival handling.
Dr. Stephan Wackwitz
The Director of Goethe-Institut Georgien, a German writer and a man passionate about documentary films. Stephan has traveled through Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan and wrote a book about the Caucasus „Die vergessene Mitte der Welt“. Stephan Wackwitz was born in 1952 in Stuttgart. He has a degree in German Studies, History and Philosophy and since 1986 has been working for the Goethe Institute, during which time he was stationed in New Delhi, Tokyo, München, Kraków, Bratislava and New York.