We are deeply honored to announce the members of the jury for this year’s edition. Spanning across eight competition categories, this diverse mix of professionals and film enthusiasts will watch the films online and select their favorite films from a pool of 90 films, representing 51 countries.
An award-winning filmmaker, Theodore “Teddy” Grouya is currently the Director of the American Documentary and Animation Film Festival and Film Fund (AmDocs), perhaps the largest Docs-only festival in the U.S., certainly on the West Coast. After graduating from UCLA while studying motion picture/television and history, Teddy worked on several Hollywood films as well as directing live television. Later, Teddy received an M.A. from the Australian National University in International Relations and then worked in international programs for the State Department. Today, Teddy is directing several film and television programs including a travel gastronomic series, a feature film, and a surf adventure project benefitting developing nation communities. Additionally, Teddy continues to work as an editorial and production consultant on films in development as well as in the rough-cut stages, recent films include The Bill Murray Experience and Planet Of The Humans (executive produced by Michael Moore). Teddy has been on a number of festival and market judging panels from China to the U.S. to Europe.
Born in Romania in 1974, Nora Agapi graduated from the National Film University Bucharest, Romania (1998) and holds a Master of Digital Arts from Athens Fine Arts University, Greece (2010). She has experience as coach assistant in photography class at the Romanian National Film University and as a film tutor in documentary film workshops. She was working as director of photography for several feature documentary films. Many of these films have been selected and awarded to well-known film festivals (Berlin, Rotterdam and many others). Timebox(2018), her debut in feature documentary as director, was awarded with Best Documentary award in many festivals, like Jihlava IDFF 2018 or DokuFest Kosovo 2019. A member of the Romanian Cinematographer Association, collaborating with Corbis Agency in Paris, her work as photographer was published in many magazines of Romania and abroad.
Burak Çevik (1993, Istanbul) established a film collective in 2015 and curated several film programmes in Istanbul. He was lecturer on ‘Non-Fiction Cinema’ between 2018-2020 at Istanbul Bilgi University. His films The Pillar of Salt and Belonging premiered at Berlinale Forum in a row, in 2018 & 2019. His 30-minute video work A Topography of Memory premiered at Locarno Film Festival in 2019.
INT’L - FEATURE DOCS
Patrick Bresnan shot and directed THE RABBIT HUNT which won over 20 festival prizes was nominated for the IDA Award and won the Cinema Eye Honor for short film. His collection of short films have received distribution from ARTE, The Atlantic, TOPIC and The Guardian. He co-directed, produced and photographed the 2019 feature PAHOKEE which premiered in competition at Sundance and had theatrical distribution in the US and France. He was a cinematographer on BOYS STATE which won the grand jury prize at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
After graduating in cinema studies with a dissertation on “Eurimages and the New European Cinema” Rebecca De Pas started working for festivals in 2004, at the Bologna Film Archive. After different experiences in Italy, France and Spain, in 2009, she joined FID Marseille where she served for 11 years as programmer as well as co-head of the FID Lab, the international co-production platform. In 2018 she became program advisor for the Viennale. In the past she has been in the selection committee of the Berlinale Talents, mentor for the Feature Expanded Training Program, artistic director of the Journées Cinématographiques Dionysiennes, manager of the training program Ex Oriente Film and she collaborated in the programming of La Roche sur Yon IFF, as matchmaker for the Orizzonti section of the Venice IFF , the Riviera Maya Film Festival in Mexico and the Environmental Film Festival of Paris. Starting by September 2019 Rebecca joined Visions du Réel team as programmer.
Greg de Cuir Jr is an independent curator, writer and translator who lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia.
Selected projects at https://linktr.ee/decuir_international
INT’L - SHORT DOCS
Marko Grba Singh was born in 1988. in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. He is currently on PhD studies in Film directing at the Faculty of Dramatic arts in Belgrade. He made several music videos for Serbian rock and pop bands. His short documentaries “At Least We’ve Met” and “Pale” had its world premiere at 2012 and 2013 Visions du reel festival in Nyon, Switzerland. His first mid-length film “Abdul & Hamza“, was in competition in 2015 edition of FID Marseille, winning ‘Special mention of the jury’ in first film competition. At the beginning of April 2016 as a part of the Looking China project, he made a short docufiction film called “Stars of Gaomeigu” in Yunnan, China. The film won Most innovative short film award at Visions du Reel in 2017. His short film ’’If i Had It My Way I Would Never Leave’’ was screened on 2017 Cannes film festival in ACID section. He was a student jury member at the 2016 San Sebastian film festival. He is Artistic director of IDFF Beldocs and programmer of Pančevo film festival.
Kaltrina Krasniqi is an award winning Kosovo based film director and researcher working in film, television and digital humanities since early 2000. She is a founding member of Kosovo Oral History Initiative – a digital archive where personal histories of individuals from various paths of life are recorded and published, and a co-founder of the popular Prishtina café-bookshop Dit’ e Nat’; a non formal setting for promotion of film, literature and music. She graduated in Film Directing in the University of Prishtina in 2004 and in 2011 completed her MA in Kosovo’s Institute for Journalism and Communication. In 2015 she continued her professional development in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with focus in Film Producing. Her last film Sarabande (2018) premiered in ZagrebDox, was awarded as Best Documentary in Cinalfama Film Festival and was a nominee in short documentary competition at Camerimage Festival 2018. Currently she is in production of her first feature film “Vera Dreams of the Sea”.
Matt Lloyd has worked in film exhibition in Scotland for two decades. He was short film programmer of Edinburgh International Film Festival from 2004 to 2008. His critical history of EIFF How the Movie Brats Took Over Edinburgh was published in 2011. He has been involved in programming or producing several film festivals including two unique events in the Scottish Highlands with filmmaker Mark Cousins and Oscar winning actor Tilda Swinton. Matt has directed Glasgow Short Film Festival since the 2010 edition.
HUMAN RIGHTS DOCS
Pia Hellenthal is a Cologne based filmmaker working in fiction and documentary and video installation. Her films screened at various international film festivals like Karlovy Vary, AFI Fest and Berlinale. Her 2019 documentary debut ‘Searching Eva’ screened at over 60 festivals and museums, received special the mention at CPH Dox Competition and shortlisted for the german critiques award and the cinema eye honor for outstanding debut 2019.
Shkëlzen Gashi, born in Prishtina (Kosova), studied Political Sciences at the University of Prishtina and Democracy and Human Rights on the joint study programme of the Universities of Bologna and Sarajevo for his Master’s degree. He is author of many publications (books and articles). In 2010 he published the unauthorized biography of Adem Demaçi, who had spent 28 years in Yugoslav prisons. Currently, he is studying the presentation of the history of Kosovo in the history-schoolbooks in Kosovo, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. Also, he is writing a biography on Ibrahim Rugova, the leader of the Albanians in Kosovo from 1989–2006.
Rachel Leah Jones is a documentary filmmaker whose trajectory in the field has spanned 25 years and three continents. Her work, which has been awarded by the Asia Pacific Screen Academy (APSA), was also nominated for the PGA and IDA Awards, selected by the EFA, honored by Cinema Eye, and shortlisted for the Oscars. A two-time Sundance Festival alumna, her critically-acclaimed films have screened in festivals worldwide. Born in Berkeley, California and raised between Berkeley and Tel Aviv, Jones has a BA in Race, Class and Gender Studies and an MFA in Documentary Media Arts. Her directing credits include: 500 DUNAM ON THE MOON (2002); ASHKENAZ (2007); TARGETED CITIZEN (2010); GYPSY DAVY (2012); and ADVOCATE (2019). In 2020 Jones was invited to join the Documentary Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Brett Story is a geographer and award-winning non-fiction filmmaker. She is Assistant Professor of Documentary Media at Ryerson University. Her films have screened at True/False, Oberhausen, Hot Docs, the Viennale, and Dok Leipzig, among other international festivals. Her second feature-length film, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (2016) was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and was a nominee for Best Canadian Feature Documentary at the Canadian Screen Awards. Her interests across the fields of documentary and critical theory are expansive, and include experimental cinema and essay films, politics and aesthetics, racial capitalism and Marxist political economy, and visual geography. Brett holds a PhD in geography from the University of Toronto and is the author Prison Land: Mapping Carceral Power across Neoliberal America (University of Minnesota Press, 2019). She was a 2016 Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow and a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow.
Virtyt Gacaferri is a trained journalist turned into an environment activist in Kosovo working with different likeminded people and organisations in promotion of environmental behaviour. After as many as 15 years in active journalism in Kosovo and internationally working for media such as Koha Ditore in Kosovo, Christian Science Monitor in the US and Deutsche Welle in Germany. Many of his stories have been translated internationally as he stays engaged in Kosovo in the domain of environment and sustainable tourism. He has been active in defense of Kosovo rivers from international companies trying to built hydro power plants proven deadly for the rivers. Currently MR. Gacaferri owns Balkan Natural Adventure, a sustainable tourism company, which employs local guides for hikes in the region. His company has been featured in the Financial Times for one of their tours. BBC World has featured the company through Arineta Mula, one of the female guides of the company. He holds a masters of arts degree from Cardiff University in the UK, and a BA from University of Prishtina.
Jumana Manna (b. 1987) is a visual artist working primarily with film and sculpture. Her work explores how power is articulated through relationships, often focusing on the body and materiality in relation to narratives of nationalism, and histories of place. She was awarded the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Palestinian Artist Award in 2012 and the Ars Viva Prize for Visual Arts in 2017. Manna has participated in various film festivals and exhibitions, including Henie Onstad Museum, Norway, 2018; Mercer Union, Canada, 2017; Jeu de Paume and CAPC Bordeaux, France, 2017; SculptureCenter, USA, 2014; Marrakech Biennale 6, 2016; The Nordic Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale; as well as the 54th and 56th Viennale International Film Festivals, 66th and 68th Berlinale and CPH:DOX 2018, where Wild Relatives won the New:Visions award. Manna was raised in Jerusalem and is currently based in Berlin.
Paul Williams produced and self-distributed an award-winning film about experimental art, music and film iconoclast, Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present, which premiered at Tate Modern in the UK. This was soon followed with the nonfiction film about the English folk queen, The Ballad of Shirley Collins. He has worked closely with the likes of Crispin Glover and the notorious CS Leigh. In October 2018 Drag City Records released his musical collaboration with Chicago’s Dead Rider Trio. Until recently a producer and distributor of film for the global handmade cosmetics and activism brand, LUSH, his Burning Bridges company continues to develop new distribution strategies and films with, among others, Stuart Swezey, Igor Zupe, Tyler Hubby and Paul Duane. Paul’s experiences in and ideas for fundraising, distribution and exhibition are enlightening, valuable… and often dangerous.
Programmer, translator. Chen Wanling holds a MA in Film and Screen Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London. Although Wanling started volunteering and working in small independent festivals and screening events when she was in university and discovered her love for documentary films, her career actually began in the marketing department of a motorcycle company in 2006. She has been a freelance translator since 2011 and has worked on more than a hundred fiction films, series, documentaries, and animations. She was the programme coordinator for CNEX Chinese Doc Forum in 2012 and 2013. In 2013, she joined Taiwan International Documentary Festival where she is responsible for TIDF Competition and more. She now lives in Taipei with two cats.
Jason Ryle is a producer, programmer, curator, and arts consultant based in Toronto, Canada. From July 2010 to June 2020, Jason was the Executive Director of imagineNATIVE, an Indigenous-run organisation mandated to support Indigenous screen-content creators. In this capacity, Jason oversaw all operational and artistic of the annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and the organisation’s year-round activities, including international partnerships and special projects. Since 2006, Jason has been a script reader for the Harold Greenberg Fund (which provides financial support to Canadian screenwriters) and currently serves as the Chair of the Toronto Arts Council’s Visual & Media Arts Committee. From 2013 until 2019, he was an Advisor for Indigenous films at the Berlinale. Jason has produced two short animations and is currently in development as a producer on three feature films and one documentary feature.
INTERNATIONAL SHORTS & NATIONAL
Ismet Sijarina is a film director and scriptwriter living in Prishtina, Kosovo. Besides directing short films, Ismet was focused on Documentary Films for many years. His projects, were shown in San Sebastian, Thessaloniki IFF, Zurich IFF, Istanbul Bosporus IFF, Goteborg International Film Festival, Karlovy Vary film fest (students competition 2002), Sarajevo FF, RiverRun IFF, goEast FF Saint Louis IFF, FebioFest, Crossing Europe, Kosmorama, SEE Paris, TIFF, Rome IFF, Spokane IFF, Duhok, DokuFest and many more. In September 2018, his debut feature film “Cold November” had its premiere in San Sebastian IFF, and later won numerous awards. Ismet is engaged deeply in the film industry in Kosovo, since he was Board Member of Kosovo Film Center, as well as he works as Professor in the University of Prishtina, Film Directing Program. Ismet is a Member of the EFA since 2018.
Ena Sendijarević (1987) is an Amsterdam based writer and filmmaker with Bosnian roots. She studied Film Theory at the University of Amsterdam and the Freie Universitat Berlin before graduating as a writer/director from the Dutch national Film Academy in 2014. Ena wrote and directed several awarded short films, including TRAVELERS IN THE NIGHT (2013) and FERNWEH (2014). Her latest short, IMPORT (2016), premiered at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs 2016 in Cannes and was the Dutch entry for Live Action Short Film at the Academy Awards 2017. Ena’s debut feature film TAKE ME SOMEWHERE NICE (2019) premiered in Rotterdam’s IFFR Hivos Tiger competition, where Ena won the Special Jury Award. The film has been selected for Cannes’ Acid competition in the same year and travelled to other festivals around the globe, picking up several awards. Among them The Heart of Sarajevo for Best Feature Film at the 25th Sarajevo Film Festival.
Daniel Ebner (*1981) is the co-founder and Festival Director of Vienna Shorts, Austria’s international short film festival. He has a Master’s degree in Political Science and studied Cultural Studies and Film Studies in Vienna and Berlin. Daniel has been cultural editor and film critic at APA Austrian Press Agency for many years. He is the co-producer of the football short-film reel “Eleven Minutes” (A/CH 2008), a film advisor for the state of Vorarlberg, co-founder of the Association of Austrian Film Festivals and the initiative Fair Festival Work Now, and also works as a film and art curator.