04 August, 2021

We are deeply honored to announce the members of the jury for the 20th, jubilee edition of the festival.

Spanning across eight competition categories, this diverse mix of professionals and film enthusiasts will watch and select winning films from a pool of 106 films, representing 60 countries.

Balkan Dox Competition

14 fresh films with stories from or about the troubled but much loved peninsula.

Ivan Ramljak is a film critic, director and independent curator. Since 2013, he has been curating a short film program called Kratki utorak (‘Short Tuesday’) at cinema Tuškanac in Zagreb. In 2016, he became the artistic director of Tabor Film Festival in Veliki Tabor. So far, he has directed nine short, one medium and one feature length films, mostly documentaries. His films were shown on more than 80 international festivals all over the world and won several awards.

Marko Stojiljković is a freelance film critic and a regular contributor to various media in Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Serbia, as well as to international outlets like Cineuropa and Asian Movie Pulse. He is a co-founder of Ubiquarian, an international English language film criticism platform dedicated to documentaries, experimental and short films.

Norika Sefa is a Kosovo born filmmaker. Her films are heterogeneous in style, merging fiction and documentary, pieces that create atmosphere rather than stick to a conventional narrative. Sefa directed the short Desde Arriba (2020) shot under the guidance of Werner Herzog and Kiss me, now (2020), both hybrid documentaries. Looking for Venera (2021) is her first feature film, premiered at IFF Rotterdam, winning the Special Jury Award in the Tiger Competition. The invitations already brought Norika across different prestigious arts and cultural institutions, to talk about her cinematic approach. Norika has recently been invited to join the European Film Academy. She is now developing her next feature film.

International Dox Competition – Features and Shorts

A selection of 12 features and 15 short docs by some of the most promising new voices from all over the world.

Abby Sun is an artist, film programmer, and researcher at the MIT Open Documentary Lab, where she is a graduate student in Comparative Media Studies and edits Immerse. Most recently, Abby being the Curator of the DocYard, has co-curated My Sight is Lined with Visions: 1990s Asian American Film & Video with Keisha Knight. Expanding on the latter’s programmatic urges, Abby and Keisha launched Line of Sight, a suite of artist development activities, in 2021. Abby has bylines in Film Comment, Filmmaker Magazine, Film Quarterly, Hyperallergic, and other publications, has reviewed applications for BGDM, NEA, SFFILM, LEF Foundation, Sundance Catalyst, as well as spoken on and facilitated panels at TIFF, NYFF, and other film festivals.

Gürcan Keltek studied film at Dokuz Eylül University before directing several shorts including Overtime (2012), screened at Visions Du Réel. His medium-length film Colony (2015) was screened at FIDMarseille. His first feature film Meteorlar (2017) won more than twenty awards including First Feature Film Award and Boccolino d’Oro Film Critics’ Award at Locarno Film Festival. It was screened at many international film festivals including Rotterdam, BAFICI, Viennale, Bordeaux, Fajr, Hong Kong and the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Art of the Real. Gulyabani (2018) premiered at Signs of Life of Locarno Festival and was screened at Tate Modern, Reykjavik, Rotterdam and Viennale. His next feature film project New Dawn Fades was selected to L’Atelier of Cannes Film Festival in 2019.

A graduate of the UK’s National Film & Television School, Mahdi Fleifel studied Fiction Directing under Stephen Frears and Pawel Pawlikowski. In 2010 he founded the London based production company Nakba FilmWorks. Fleifel’s critically acclaimed debut, A WORLD NOT OURS, received over 30 awards, including the Berlinale Peace Prize, the Edinburgh, Yamagata and DOC:NYC Grand Jury Prizes. In 2016 Fleifel won a Silver Bear for A MAN RETURNED. His follow up, A DROWNING MAN, was in the Official Competition at Cannes and nominated for a BAFTA. I SIGNED THE PETITION won Best Documentary Short at IDFA and was nominated for the 2018 European Film Awards.

International Shorts & National Competition

25 short films from all over the world and 15 short films from filmmakers from Kosovo and diaspora.

Enis Saraçi started editing films in 2011. He has worked in films that have won international awards such as ‘In Between’ directed by Samir Karahoda, which had its world premiere at the Berlinale, and ‘Hive’ directed by Blerta Basholli, a three-time winner at the prestigious ‘Sundance Festival’. Saraci’s also worked on Karahoda’s ‘Displaced’, which was part of the official competition in the short film category at the Cannes Film Festival. He is currently completing a master’s degree in film editing at the ‘FAMU’ Academy in Prague, Czech Republic.

Ruken Tekeş is an international human rights expert who worked for several years for United Nations, as well as lectured at Koç University. She is a self-made filmmaker, who started scriptwriting and directing on social, political and environmental issues in 2015. Her multi-award-winning first fiction short HEVÊRK / THE CIRCLE has participated to over two hundred festivals worldwide and was nominated for 30th European Film Awards – European Short Film 2017. Her feature documentary debut AETHER premiered in International Competition of Visions du Réel 2019, received the Golden Orange Jury Prize at Antalya FF, and continues screening and receiving awards. Tekeş is a member of the European Film Academy.

Tom Grimshaw is a freelance film programmer and curator currently living in Berlin. He graduated from the University of Sussex in 2008 with a BA in Film Studies and then went onto gain an MA in Documentary Filmmaking from the London College of Communication. For five years, he was the senior programmer at the London Short Film Festival, curating both the international competition programme and special events with a focus on experimental cinema and artist moving image, presenting retrospectives of filmmakers such as Rainer Kohlberger, Anne Charlotte Robinson and Colectivo Los Ingrávidos. He has also served on the selection committees for both Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur and Filmfest Dresden.

Human Rights Dox Competition

Selection of 8 extraordinary films touching upon different aspects of human rights.

Ass. Prof. Nita Luci is a feminist scholar. She teaches at the University of Prishtina where she chairs the Department of Anthropology. Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of nationalist cultural politics, manhood, memory, and political movements. She co-founded the University Program for Gender Studies - UP, and has received numerous research grants, fellowships, and led teaching/research projects. She has also worked with participatory and contemporary art initiatives, recently as investigator on the UKAHRC/GCRF Changing the Story project, exploring ways in which artists, arts organizations, and initiatives, can engage young people on civic education, heritage, and social justice.

Wouter Jansen is the owner of the sales and festival distribution company ‘Square Eyes’, which represents bold, author-driven features and shorts, and collaborates closely with the filmmakers to devise bespoke festival distribution and sales strategies. This has resulted in a small catalogue of films premiering at prestigious festivals and winning multiple awards over the last few years at Cannes, TIFF, Berlin, Locarno and Clermont-Ferrand. Wouter has been lecturing at schools like Le Fresnoy, HEAD Geneva and Netherlands Film Academy as well as moderating and leading workshops at festivals like IDFA, Locarno, True/False, Winterthur, VIS Vienna Shorts and others. He is a Berlinale Talents alumni.

Ziad Kalthoum is a Syrian filmmaker currently living in Berlin. In his first documentary OH MY HEART he portrayed a group of Kurdish women who have chosen to live in a society without men. The film was banned from screening in Syria due to political reasons. In 2012, during the outbreak of the Syrian revolution, he began working on his first feature film THE IMMORTAL SERGEANT while serving a compulsory military service. The film had its premiere at the Locarno Film Festival in 2014, while in 2015, he won the BBC Arabic Festival in the ‘Best Feature Documentary’ category. Refusing to fight his own people, he deserted from the Syrian Army in 2013 and fled to Beirut where he started to work on TASTE OF CEMENT. The film has been traveling to festivals around the world and has won various awards, Golden Sesterce for Best Feature Documentary at Visions du Réel being one of them.

Green Dox Competition

8 feature length films about the world in environmental crisis.

Ahmet Gürata is an academic, film critic and festival curator. Currently, he is a senior visiting scholar at Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies (SUITS). He has published a research on the history of Turkish cinema, reception, remakes and documentary in anthologies and journals. His current research includes projects on archive and comparative film studies. He also works as a programmer for the Antalya Film Festival and Festival on Wheels.

Brigid O’Shea started her career at the Berlin International Film Festival, working with various departments including Berlinale Talents, Berlinale Co-Production Market and the EFM. She started working for DOK Leipzig, first as the coordinator of the DOK Industry Programme in 2010 and was then appointed to Head of DOK Industry in late 2014. She left this post in 2021 to establish the Documentary Association of Europe, to usher in a new generation of professionals and advocate on a pan-European level for documentary filmmakers. Currently she serves on the advisory boards of B2B Doc and DMZ Doc.

Jeton Jagxhiu is a graphic artist, manager and co-founder of “Punetori Grafike”, a Prizren based advertisement studio and printing outlet. Among many other things, Jeton writes on food, culture, identity and is also an environmental and political activist.

Truth Dox Competition

A selection of films on the intersection between investigative journalism and documentary filmmaking.

London-born Claire Simon, started her career by directing independent short films. After discovering the practice of direct cinema with the Ateliers Varan, she then made several documentaries such as Coûte que coûte and Récréations , which garnered multiple awards. Afterwards, she wrote and directed three feature fiction films (Sinon oui, Ça brûle and Les Bureaux de dieu), which were presented in the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes. While many of her films such as Nord, Le Bois Dont les Rêves Sont Faits, Le Concours and Young Solitude having had their premieres in prestigious film festivals, she will continue her ‘premiere’ tradition with her last feature fiction “I want to talk about Duras“, at San Sebastian 2021.

Dea Gjinovci is a Swiss-Albanian director-producer based between Paris and Geneva. She is a 2019 Sundance Talent Forum alum and Film Independent Fellow. Her award-winning documentary short ‘Sans le Kosovo’ won Best National Film at DokuFest in 2017, while her debut feature-length documentary ‘Wake Up on Mars’ received support from the Sundance Film Institute and Ford Foundation/JustFilms, as well as won the “Perspectives d’un doc” pitch award at Visions du Réel 2018. It premiered virtually at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and Visions du Réel in Switzerland. Gjinovci was awarded the “Best New Talent” mention at Biografilm Festival 2020 and Zagrebdox 2021, and Wake Up on Mars was nominated for the prestigious “Prix de Soleure” and “Opera Prima” award at Solothurner Tage 2021.

Svetla Turnin is the co-founder, Executive Director and Head of Distribution of Cinema Politica, a Canadian-based exhibition and distribution network for political documentary around the world, and the online streaming platform CP On Demand. In 2016 she co-founded Cinema Politica Productions, which is dedicated to supporting the work of emerging women and queer filmmakers, and is currently producing AGENT DYNAMO by Bulgarian-Canadian director Lea Marinova. Svetla writes and publishes about documentary activism, women in documentary, and film festivals. She is currently a guest editor for the upcoming edition on Cinema and Resistance for the Bulgarian independent left publication Dversia. Since 2016 she’s been curating the documentary competition at Sofia International Film Festival and is a graduate of EURODOC 2018.