Since the 1980s, writer, director and producer Jennifer Fox has regularly been honoured with international festival and industry awards for her groundbreaking cinema and television productions. Her feature-length directing debut “Beirut: The Last Home Movie” (1987) won multiple awards, including the Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at the 1988 Sundance Film Festival. Especially in her documentary projects such as “My Reincarnation” (2011), she has developed a distinctive visual and narrative style that has received wide attention in film journalism. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Born in Bucharest in 1977, Radu Jude began his career as an assistant director for, among others, Costa-Gavras and Radu Muntean. After his first short films, he has devoted himself to fictional and essayistic forms of film since his feature-length fiction debut “The Happiest Girl in the World” (2009). He has won a number of distinguished prizes for his directorial work, including a Silver Bear for “Aferim!” (2015) and the Berlinale Golden Bear for “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn” (2021). His most recent film, the comedy “Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World” (2023), was awarded the Special Jury Prize at Locarno.
After graduating in Classical and French Literature, Marie-Pierre Macia began her career at the Cinémathèque Française. She worked for the San Francisco International Film Festival, founded the industry section at the Thessaloniki Film Festival and, as director of the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs in Cannes, championed the directing debuts of now-renowned filmmakers like Sofia Coppola or Carlos Reygadas. Her impressive filmography as a producer includes “The Turin Horse” (2011) by Béla Tarr and “Mariner of the Mountains” (2021) by Karim Aïnouz. She is currently working on a new documentary film by Lucrecia Martel.
For more than 25 years, Steven Markovitz has been producing and distributing feature, documentary and short films by African directors that challenge the predominant image of the continent. A co-founder of the production company Big World Cinema (1994) and the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival (1999), Steven Markovitz also makes an essential contribution to African cinema as a founding board member of the Documentary Africa (DocA) funding and training initiative. He has recently been knighted by the Burkina Faso government for his services. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Rima Mismar already wrote about film and cinema in local newspapers as a student. After graduating in Communication Arts from the Lebanese American University in Beirut, she embarked on a professional career as a film critic and writer. She served on the juries and selection committees of various festivals, hosted panel discussions, wrote scripts and researched documentary film projects as well as collecting experience as a television producer and writer. In 2011, she joined the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) as film programmes manager and was appointed its Deputy Director in 2015 and its Director in 2016.
Pavel Horáček was born in České Budějovice, studied Film History and Audiovisual Culture at Masaryk University in Brno and examined means of expression and techniques of animation film, particularly Czech animation, in his thesis. Much sought-after as a specialist writer and festival jury member, he was Programming Director of the International Animation Film Festival AniFest in Teplice and has held the same position at IFAF Anifilm since 2013, first in Třeboň, now in Liberec. He is the initiator and dramaturg of the internet portal aniont.com, has curated DVD anthologies of Czech animated films and plans animation film programmes for national and international institutions.
Anne Isensee is a Berlin-based animation film director and animator. She studied Media and Sociology for a bit before she saw reason and began to study Animation at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and, as a Fulbright Scholar, at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her short films have been screened and awarded at international festivals. She gives lectures and workshops at film festivals, universities and social institutions. Since 2021, she has been a board member of AG Animationsfilm, the German branch of the Association internationale du film d’animation ASIFA.
Irina Rubina is an animation film director, producer and animator. With her company iraru.films she produces and realises short films, music videos as well as hybrid and collaborative projects that explore the boundaries between animation, film, performance, music and dance. She studied Animation and Documentary Film at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and GOBELINS in Paris. In 2022, she completed a master scholar course in Animation Directing at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF. Her films have been screened and awarded at international animation film festivals such as Annecy, Stuttgart, Lisbon and London. She has been a board member of AG Animationsfilm since 2021.
Birgit Kohler is Head of Programming at the Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art cinema in Berlin. She was a member of the Berlinale Forum selection committee from 2002 to 2019 and was responsible for its main programme as interim Director in 2019. Her curatorial work focuses on contemporary documentary film and various artistic positions in current international cinema. She teaches at universities and film schools, edited “Performing Documentary” (Berlin 2011) to accompany the eponymous series of films and talks curated by her and wrote the contribution about Anja Salomonowitz for the publication “Eine eigene Geschichte. Frauen Film Österreich seit 1999” (A Story of Her Own. Women Film Austria since 1999, Vienna 2020).
The curator, writer, filmmaker and musician Claus Löser was born in 1962 in Karl-Marx-Stadt, now Chemnitz. He has been Head of Programming at Kino Brotfabrik in Berlin since 1990 and a freelance film critic since 1992. After graduating from the Filmhochschule Potsdam-Babelsberg, he founded the archive Ex.Oriente.Lux in 1996 to collect and preserve GDR underground film, accompanied by the monothematic publication “Gegenbilder” (Counter-images). In 2009, Claus Löser curated the Berlinale Retrospective “Winter adé” and, with Jakobine Motz, realised the documentary “Behauptung des Raums” (Assertion of Space) which, like his thesis published in 2011, examined the dissident-subversive countercultures of the late phase of the GDR.
Between 1997 and 2005, Serpil Turhan acted in films by Thomas Arslan and Rudolf Thome. After studying Theatre Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, she worked as assistant director from 2004. At the same time, she studied Media Art/Film with Thomas Heise at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG) and graduated in 2013 with the documentary “Dilim Dönmüyor – Meine Zunge dreht sich nicht” (Dilim Dönmüyor – My Tongue Does Not Turn). Her feature-length documentary “Rudolf Thome – Überall Blumen” (Flowers Everywhere) premiered at the Berlinale Forum in 2016. In 2020, her film “KÖY” opened the Duisburger Filmwoche. From 2019 to 2023, she was visiting professor at the Media Art/Film programme at the HfG.