Starting this month, Nadja Tennstedt will be in charge of DOK Leipzig's industry offerings. She succeeds long-time head Brigid O'Shea.
Active in the film sector for many years, Tennstedt has focused increasingly on documentary and independent film. Most recently she coordinated The DocSalon, the documentary film platform at the Berlinale's European Film Market (EFM), where she led networking and community building activities within the documentary industry.
"We are fortunate to welcome Nadja Tennstedt to our team, an experienced collaborator who is highly regarded by documentary creatives around the world, and who has earned her reputation through passion, imagination and her dedicated advocacy for diversity," festival director Christoph Terhechte says.
Before joining DocSalon, Tennstedt, who studied film production in New York, worked in numerous fields of film distribution. She directed international sales and acquisitions at Milestone Films, and was in charge of marketing at Zeitgeist Films, a distributor of independent features and documentaries. After returning to Europe from the USA, she worked for film festivals such as Locarno and the Berlinale.
"I participated in DOK Industry as a professional visitor in the past and was enchanted. With a friendly and collaborative atmosphere full of international participants, it offers an efficient industry platform that I believe in,” Tennstedt says. With an eye to the future, she adds: "Changes in the international film industry, which have been greatly accelerated by the pandemic, pose great challenges to the entire documentary community. At the same time, they present opportunities to rethink and change existing models and structures. I am very much looking forward to accompanying and promoting these developments alongside Christoph Terhechte and all of my colleagues to support the doc community. My goal is to constantly develop DOK Industry's offerings and adapt them to changes in the financing, production and distribution of documentaries."
Tennstedt has also recently been involved with DocSalon in rethinking existing structures and developing inclusive models. Together with Themba Bhebhe, head of the EFM Diversity & Inclusion Initiative, she developed the DocSalon Toolbox Programme, which was established to help filmmakers from marginalised groups and the Global South enter the international film market with the help of tailored programmes. In collaboration with archive producer Monika Preischl she introduced Archive Day, Germany's first business platform dedicated to cinematic work with archival material. "Particularly important to me in my work is a focus on the participation by creatives from underrepresented groups and challenging power structures that exist in the documentary industry,” Tennstedt says.
"I would especially like to thank Brigid O'Shea, who has led DOK Industry for the past ten years and who, together with her team, has made the platform a wonderful place for the doc community," Tennstedt adds.