Dokufest is proud to reveal the names and profiles of our professional juries. Presiding over seven categories, the international juries, comprised of acclaimed filmmakers and professionals, will be watching and evaluating a total of 106 films competing in this year’s edition. Drum roll … meet the 2013 jurors:



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Birgitte Stærmose

Birgitte Stærmose is a Copenhagen based filmmaker. She holds an M.F.A. in Film and Media Arts from Temple University, Philadelphia. Her previous work includes the award-winning short films Now, Look at Me(2001), Small Avalanches (2003), Letters from Denmark (2006), Principles of Attraction (2006), Sophie (2006), and Out of Love(2009). Stærmose is a three time recipient of the Danish Arts Council grant, a lecturer at the Danish National Film School and has also directed theater. Her work has screened widely at international festivals, including Berlin IFF, SundanceFF and New Directors/NewFilms. Small Avalanches was nominated for the UIP Prize for Best European Short at the EFA Awards in 2004.

Guillermo Carreras-Candi

Guillermo Carreras-Candi is a filmmaker, producer and programmer from Barcelona. He studied History and Sound before graduating at the Catalan film university (ESCACUB) where he specialized in Documentary Film. Since 2002 he started a constant relation with the Balkan region where he has lived in 2006 and made his graduation film “Tragovi” (2010) and the video exhibition “EhoTragova” (2011). He is currently collaborating as a programmer with the Pravo Ljudski FilmFestival, Sarajevo, where he also leads the creative documentary school.

Katja Wiederspahn

Katja studied philosophy, sociologyand film theory in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. From 1986 until 1990 she worked with the internationally renowned dance theatre group Laokoon Dance Group in Germany, as a dramaturge and assistant to the director/choreographer. She has been the artistic co-director of the Frankfurter Filmschau (Frankfurt,Germany) and is leading the program department of the Viennale – Vienna International Film Festival since 2002.

Noémie Mendelle

Noémie is the research professor at Edinburgh College of Art and Director of Scottish Documentary Institute. After graduating in Anthropology and Women’s Studies, she started her film career with Steel BankFilms (1982), a Channel 4 film workshop based in Sheffield. She is an experienced director, producer & exec producer on the international scene, having worked on numerous documentaries for broadcast (Ch 4, BBC,Arte, RTP, RTBF…) In 2003 she founded Scottish Documentary Institute and ever since acts as co-producer and exec producer on the award winning Bridging the Gap short film collections.

Paul Sturtz

Paul Sturtz co-founded the Ragtag Film Society with David Wilson in 1998, and has worked as the head programmer at Ragtag Cinema since Mayof 2000. The theater was selected as one of 14 outstanding art house cinemas by the Sundance Institute in 2006. With David Wilson, he co-founded the True/False Film Festival in 2004 and has served as its co-director/curator since then. In 2009, Paul became an associate programmer for the Sundance Film Festival and has served on film juries at the San Francisco International Film Festival, Planete Doc (Warsaw) and PravoLjudski (Sarajevo).




Brigid O’Shea

Brigid O’Shea is an Australian native who’s been living in Germany since 2005 and active in documentary since 2008. After graduating with a fine arts degree obtained in Melbourne and Berlin, she started working at the Berlin International Film Festival for the Berlinale Talent Campus and eventually the Berlinale Co-Production Market. She has worked for DOK Leipzigsince 2010, organizing the Co-Production Meeting and other Industry-related activities. This year she skipped across the border to Prague to organize various activities for the IDF’s East Doc Platform, and developed and implemented a new networking platform for the Documentary Campus, amongst many other odd and exciting jobs.

Francine Brücher

Francine Brücher was born in 1943 in France. She studied foreign languages at the University of Lyon. Brücher, an experienced sales and marketing expert was responsible for the commercial side of promotional activities, encouraging closer contacts between buyers, distributors, commissioning editors, producers and filmmakers in Germany, France and Switzerland. In 1997 she joined Swiss Film Center in Zürich (since 2004 SWISSFILMS), which promotes Swiss films abroad at film festivals and markets. Brücher was a marketing expert at two workshops of the Media Program EAVE. Since 2003, she has been Member of the Comité delecture of the Luxembourg Film Fund, production support.

Ilian Metev

Ilian was born in 1981 in Sofia, Bulgaria. In part growing up inGermany, he initially pursued a career as a classical violinist. Yet, his curiosity in visual art led him to explore moving images. He graduated from the National Film and Television School, UK, in 2008 with “Goleshovo”. His first feature “Sofia’s LastAmbulance” (2012) is a close-up portrait of three Bulgarian medics at work. “Sofia’s Last Ambulance” premiered at the Critics’ Week at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where it was nominated for the “Camerad’Or” and won the “Visionary Award”. Ilian’s work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and has received over 30 awards, including the German Documentary FilmAward 2013.




Arbana Xharra

Arbana has been a journalist for more than a decade and has worked for leading newspapers in Kosovo, such as Koha Ditore and Zëri. She has an MA degree in academic writing. Since October 2008 she has worked as editor of “Zëri” and currently serves as editor-in-chief. Arbana has won seven awards for her investigative reporting in Kosovo, mainly on the misuse of public funds. Last year, Arbana was selected for a Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence. Her stories have been published in foreign media and during her work as a journalist, she was the subject of several threats and lawsuits.

Daniel Sponsel

Daniel Sponsel was born in 1964 in Hamburg. He studied Photography, Documentary Filmmaking and TV Journalism at the HFF in Munich. Currently, he is a scriptwriter, director and lecturer in the field of documentaries, music clips and image filmmaking. He is also the Director of the International Documentary Festival DOKfest, Munich.

Rajko Petrovic

Rajko graduated Film and TV Directing at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. He also finished Atelier Varan Paris School for documentary films, founded by Jean Rouch. Petrovic was one of the founders of Atelier Varanin Belgrade – Centre for the Documentary Cinema, in which he worked as a director and producer. His documentaries Pulses and East of Eden were shown at the most prestigious festivals in the region and abroad. He teaches Documentary Film at the Faculty of Media and Communication in Belgrade.




Chico Pereira

Born in Almadén, Spain, 1979, Chico completed a degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Cordoba (Spain). He moved to Edinburgh and started his film studies. Chico holds a BA(Hons) in Film and Photography from the Edinburgh Napier University as well as an MFA in Advanced Film Practice from the Screen Academy Scotland. Pablo’s Winter(2012), Chico’s graduation film and first feature length documentary, has won awards at festivals such as Leipzig, IDFA and FullFrame and it has also screened at the 2013 MoMA DocumentaryFortnight in NYC. Chico Pereira has recently obtained one of the prestigious scholarships granted by “La Caixa” to undertake a PhD in Social Anthropology and Ethnographic Film in the USA.

Jay Rosenblatt

Jay is an internationally recognized artist who has been working as an independent filmmaker since 1980 and has completed over twenty-five films. His work explores our emotional and psychological cores. They are personal in their content yet universal in their appeal. His films have received over 100 awards and have screened throughout the world. A selection of his films had theatrical runs at the Film Forum in New York and at theaters around the USA. His most recent films screened for a week at MoMA. Eight of his films have shown at the Sundance Film Festival.

Melissa Lindgren

Melissa Lindgren is a programmer, curator and project developer. She was born in Stockholm in 1986 and graduated from the University of Gothenburg with a Master of Fine Arts focusing on curation for film and video. She has also studied film and media communication. In 2009, Melissa started working at Tempo Documentary Festival where she’s currently the programme director. Tempo is the largest documentary festival in Sweden, taking place the second week of March every year in Stockholm. Melissa is also the co-founder and festival director of Cinema Queer International Film Festival, the largest queer film festival in Sweden.




Adrian Paci

Adrian is one of the most active artists of the international contemporary scene. Born in 1969 in Shkoder, Albania, he graduated from the Academy of Arts in Tirana. In 1997, he moved to Milan where he currently lives and works. Over his career he has exhibited in different solo shows such asat Jeu de Paume, Paris (2013), National Gallery of Kosovo, Prishtina (2012), Kunsthaus Zurich, Istanbul Modern, the Bloomberg Space in London(2010), CCA in Tel Aviv (2009),at Kunstverein Hannover (2008), Museum am Ostwall in Dortmund (2007), Galleria Civica of Modena (2006), P.S.1 in New York and at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2005).

Ali Akay

Ali is a professor at Mimar Sinan Fine Art Univesity as head of the Department of Sociology. H’s also a visiting professor at the Humboldt University (Berlin), Paris VIII University and I.N.H.A in Paris. Recently, he founded the Teorik Bakıs review. Some of his last books are: Sanattarihi: Sıradısı bir disiplin (His-tory of Art: Unusual Discipline),; Contemporary Art: An Akbank Art Center Anthology, Akbank Sanat Edition, 2009; Unleashed(collective work),Times and Hudson, 2010 Postmoderniz-min ABC’si Say yayınları 2010; Disjunctive Synthesis, Yapı Krediyayınları, 2010 Games of the Art,Baglam, 2010.

Lydia Beilby

Lydia is part of the programming panel at the Edinburgh International Film Festival since 2008, taking on the role of Short Film Programmer in 2010. She is inspired by the sheer variety, scope and innovation exhibited within the short film medium, and by the challenges involved in organising the finest examples of these works into striking, vibrant and arresting programmes. Lydia is particularly interested in exploring how the thematic curation of short film programmes contributes another vibrant and involving dimension to the viewing experience. She is also passionate about celebrating work shot on8mm, 16mm and 35mm film.




Adriana Matoshi

Adriana was born in 1980 and is an award-winning Kosovar actress. She’s worked on over 40 theatre plays and films. She has participated in many International Film and Theatre Festivals and is a four-time winner of the best actress prize. Her most important appearance in film is in “The Return”– the 2012 Sundance Winner. Most notable theatre plays: “Thelesson” (Ionesco) by Bekim Lumi,“Romeo & Juliet” (Shakespeare)by Tony Grady, and “The House of Bernarda Alba” (Lorca) by Agon Miftari.

Marcin Luczaj

Marcin studied film in Lodz, Poland. He has been involved in various film festivals such as Zubroffka Short Film Festival, Short Waves, Warsaw FF. He is preparing festival strategies for young filmmakers and promotes Polish shorts abroad. Recently he turned his focus into film production and joined the production company Koi Studio. He lives and works in Warsaw.

Sabir Kanaqi

Sabir was born in 1984 in Ulqin, Montenegro. He graduated in Film Directing at the Academy of Film and Multimedia Marubi (AFMM) in Tirana, Albania.  He worked for two years at AFMM as assistant professor in the film directing department and production. Since 2008, he has made a couple of documentaries, short movies, and commercials. In 2009 Sabir was selected to attend Sarajevo Talent Campus. He currently lives and works in Tirana, Albania.




Laureta Paqarizi

Laureta is a Kosovar filmmaker, actress, musician and ballet dancer. She obtained her High School Musical Degree in Prizren. Since the age of 14, she has been performing in live theatre and film. She was also a member of Kino Kabaret at DokuFest 2012. Laureta attended the Documentary Workshop at DokuFest.

Rrita Berisha

Rrita is a young filmmaker from Kosovo. She studies maths in Prizren and is an amateur musician. She studied classical ballet for two years. Rrita attended the Documentary Workshop at DokuFest.

Vernon Shukriu

Vernon lives in familiar surroundings. He longs to make these unfamiliar.