Debra Zimmerman has been the Executive Director of Women Make Movies, a NY-based film organization that supports women filmmakers, since 1983. During her tenure it has grown into the largest distributor of films by and about women in the world and its Production Assistance Program has helped hundreds of women get their films made. Films from WMM programs win prizes regularly at the Sundance Film Festivals and been nominated or won Academy Awards for the last eight years in a row. Zimmerman has moderated panels and given master classes at the Sundance Film Festival, MIPDOC and Reel Screen, being also closely affiliated with the International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA) as the co-host of the Talk of the Day and as a tutor for the Summer Film Academy. Debra Zimmerman has received the 2013 Doc Mogul Award from the Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada.
INEKE SMITS (The Netherlands)
Ineke Smits studied at the Rotterdam Art Academy, then completed her master’s degree as a writer/director at the National Film and Television School in England. In 2001 her first feature film, ‘Magonia,’ won the Golden Tulip in Istanbul and The Circulo Precolombino de Oro in Colombia. Her second feature, ‘The Aviatrix of Kazbek,’ premiered as closing film at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2010, won the Commersant Press Prize in Moscow FF, and was in competition at the European Film Academy. In 2003 Ineke made the award-winning documentary ‘Putin’s Mama,’ followed in 2005 by ‘Black Gold under Notecka Forest,’ Both films premiered in the Silver Wolf Competition at the IDFA documentary film festival in Amsterdam. Her next documentary ‘Transit Dubai’ premiered at IDFA in 2008, and won the Audience Award at Gdansk FF. In 2014 ‘Stand By Your President’ premiered at IDFA’s Dutch Competition.
HEDVA GOLDSCHMIDT (Israel)
Hedva Goldschmidt is the founder and has been the managing director of Go2Films, a leading Israeli sales and distribution company, since 2005. Prior to that, she headed the Distribution Department at The Ma’ale Film School and worked as a graphic designer and illustrator. Currently, she is a Distribution Consultant for the Gesher Multicultural Film Fund and to various Israeli film schools. She has served as a guest of major international festivals, including Hamburg IFF, Fipa Biarritz, Krakow IFF and lectures on Israeli cinema and on distribution. She also coordinates special projects for empowerment of Israeli women from all religions for the Italian Terentino district Council.
NINO ORJONIKIDZE (Georgia)
FOCUS CAUCASUS COMPETITION
Nino Orjonikidze is a documentary film director and producer. She started her career as a reporter at the TV channel Rustavi 2. Since graduating from Goldsmiths, University of London, Nino has produced and directed documentary films with the production company Artefact Production (Georgia). She is the author of several films, including ‘English Teacher’ (Best Documentary Focus Caucasus – CinéDOC 2013) and ‘Altzaney,’ nominated for prizes at a number of international film festivals including DOK Leipzig and Krakow Film Festival in 2009-2010. Nino is also currently teaching documentary filmmaking at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA). Her filmography includes (co-directed with Vano Arsenishvili): ‘Asylanten’ – 2004; ‘The Bridge’ – 2005; ‘Altzaney’- 2009; ‘English Teacher’- 2012; ‘A Platform’ – in Production.
DANIEL SPONSEL (Germany)
Born in 1964 in Hamburg, Daniel Sponsel (Germany) is the Festival and Managing Director of DOK.fest Munich. He studied photography at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg and Film at the University of Television and Film in Munich. He has worked as a writer, director and cinematographer on many acclaimed documentary films, such as ‘Der Letzte Dokumentarfilm’ (‘The Last Documentary’). From 2002-2009 he worked as an academic in the Documentary and Television Journalism Department at the University of Television and Film in Munich. He now lectures at various institutes and universities and has written several publications on the theory and practice of documentary film.
ANAIS DESRIEUX (France)
Anaïs Desrieux (France) received her Bachelor of the Arts from the University of Adelaide (Australia) in 2007 and her master’s degree in cinema from the University of Avignon (France) in 2009. She was programming assistant – in charge of the official selection of Fidmarseille (International Film Festival, Marseille) in 2008. She moved to Mexico in 2009 to join the team of the Ambulante Documentary Film Festival, where she worked in the programming department and on their selection committee from 2010 to 2012. Since October 2013, she has worked as the head of the Programming Office as well as a member of the selection committee of Cinema du Réel (International Festival of Documentary Films, Paris). As part of the festival, she co-created and currently leads the project ParisDOC, a professional platform aimed to encourage the distribution of documentary films.
MARTICHKA BOZHILOVA (Bulgaria)
FOCUS CAUCASUS COMPETITION
Martichka Bozhilova has been a producer of Agitprop since 1999. She co-produced with companies from Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, USA, Greece, Cyprus, Croatia and Romania. Her films have been selected for and awarded at Cannes, Berlin, IDFA, Toronto, Sundance, Tribeca, Pusan and many others. Her many works include: ‘Georgi and the Butterflies’ (Silver Wolf, IDFA 2004), ‘The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories’ (Cannes 2007), ‘Corridor #8′ (Berlinale 2008), ‘The Boy Who Was a King’ (Toronto IFF 2011), ‘The Last Black Sea Pirates’ (Visions du Reel, HotDocs 2013) and ‘Love and Engineering’ (Tribeca 2014). She is the founder and director of the Balkan Documentary Center and a member of the EDN Executive Committee. Martichka received the International Trailblazer Award at MIPDOC in Cannes for creativity, innovation, originality and breakthrough in the field of documentary cinema.
AUDRIUS STONYS (Lithuania)
FOCUS CAUCASUS COMPETITION
Audrius Stonys is a film director and producer, as well as a professor at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. His films have won many international film awards. Among them are the Audience Award in Nyon, Grand Prix in Split, prizes in Bornholm, Florence, Gyor, Neu Brandenburg, Oberhausen, Bilbao and San Francisco. In 1992 Audrius Stonys’ documentary film ‘Earth of the Blind’ was recognized by the European Film Academy when it was awarded Best European Documentary Film of the Year. Since 2004-2005, Audrius has been teaching documentary at the European Film College in Denmark. He has given lectures and master classes in Kolkata, Tokyo, Berkeley, Stanford, Moscow, Belgrade, Barcelona, San Francisco, Carpi Modena and Paris.