Veit Helmer, a writer-director-producer, made his first film at the age of 14. He co-wrote the feature A Trick of Light, directed by Wim Wenders, which premiered in Venice in 1997. His debut feature, Tuvalu (1999), had been invited to 62 festivals. His second feature film was Gate to Heaven. His third feature, Absurdistan was premiered at Sundance and received awards at many festivals. His feature Baikonur was premiered in Busan. In 2014, his family film Fiddlesticks was premiered at 105 festivals and won 21 awards. His new film, The Bra, won Best Film at Cinequest and was awarded Best Film in Italy. Besides fiction films, Veit Helmer directed three documentaries. Behind the Couch won several awards and was aired on BBC with 20 broadcasters from all over the world. He participated in several media-supported training programmes. He holds lectures at film schools in Prague, Beirut, Tbilisi, Dakarta and Almaty.
Athina Rachel Tsangari studied Literature, Philosophy and Drama at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Art in Performance at NYU, and Film at the University of Texas, Austin. Her thesis feature, The Slow Business of Going (2001), resides in MoMA’s permanent film collection. She co-founded the Cinematexas International Short Film Festival (1997-2007). Her sophomore feature Attenberg premiered in competition at the 2010 Venice Film Festival (Coppa Volpi Award for Ariane Labed) and went on to win several awards at festivals worldwide. She is the co-founder of Haos Film, based in Athens and including in its credits three films directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. Her third feature, Chevalier was premiered at the Locarno Film Festival. She is currently preparing her first stage directing of Wedekind’s Lulu, commissioned by the Salzburg Summer Festival.
Alvaro Brechner is a Spanish-Uruguayan GOYA award-winning director. Alvaro Brechner began his career directing documentaries and short films for cinema and TV. Later, he wrote and directed three feature films, A Twelve-Year Night (La Noche de 12 Años), Mr Kaplan, and Bad Day to go Fishing (Mal Día Para Pescar) which were screened at many major festivals like Cannes, Venice, San Sebastian and London BFI. All three of his features have received more than 100 international awards, and been chosen as Uruguay’s official entry for Oscar. He has directed several documentaries too. He received the National Literature Award in Uruguay. He was jury at the Cannes, Venice, Warsaw, Sofia, Turin, Gijón, Málaga, Valencia and Fribourg film festivals. An exceptional and versatile storyteller, Alvaro Brechner approaches his characters with great empathy and his mastery of genres and styles from comedy to melodrama enables him to reach any audience
Argentinian actor Nahuel Pérez Biscayart was awarded the Rolex bursary at the age of 21, which took him to New York to join Kate Valk’s company, The Wooster Group. In 2008, a part in Pablo Fendrick's La Sangre Brota brought him to the limelight. He did the central role in Deep in the Woods by Benoît Jacquot, which premiered at the Locarno Festival. He acted in Rebecca Zlotowski’s Grand Central, which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard competition. Nahuel Pérez Biscayart was then cast in David Lambert’s All Yours in Belgium, a role that won him an award at the Karlovy Vary Festival. 2017 saw him return to the silver screen in France, starring in Albert Dupontel’s See You Up There and Robin Campillo’s 120 Beats Per Minute (2017 Cannes Grand Prize). The role won him Best Male Newcomer at the 2018 César Awards.
Chaitanya Tamhane is an Indian filmmaker, known for the 2014 Marathi courtroom drama Court. It was announced as India's official entry for Oscar. Tamhane was nominated for best screenwriter at the 9th Asian Film Awards and won the best director award at the 16th Mumbai Film Festival. Court was Tamhane's feature film directorial debut. His previous work includes the short film Six Strands, of which he was also the writer and director, as well as the producer. Tamhane's second directorial feature, The Disciple (2020), premiered at the 77th Venice International Film Festival. At Venice, the film won the FIPRESCI award and the Best Screenplay award
Katharina Dockhorn studied history and cultural science at the Humboldt University of Berlin. She has been a freelance journalist for TV stations, newspapers, and trade magazines for over 30 years. She is a board member of the Bundesvereinigung Deutscher Medienjournalisten and a jury member of FIPRESCI. She is a presenter at the Film Kunst Festival and the founder of FIPRESCI award-winning films.
Kalash Nanda Kumar is a staff writer at ‘The Vibes’, Malaysia’s leading news platform. He graduated in filmmaking and has written extensively on Malaysian and international cinema. As a film critic, he has participated in festivals around the world, such as the Udine Far East Film Festival, the Golden Apricot International Film Festival, the Singapore International Film Festival, and the SeaShorts Film Festival. In his capacity as a journalist, he has covered a wide range of areas including legal institutions, indigenous rights, climate change, and the housing market. His work extends to advocacy; he was formerly the Research and Projects Director with Imagined Malaysia, a non-profit focused on public policy and historical literacy.
Narendra Bandabe has been in the profession of film criticism for about 15 years. He has been a member of the Board of Studies for the University of Mumbai and other prestigious institutions. He teaches film criticism, film theory, and film appreciation. Furthermore, he was the head of the jury for the Flamingo International Film Festival and the jury for the Prabodhan International Short Film Festival. He has written a Marathi book, Kubrick, about renowned filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. He is based in Mumbai. Presently, he is working as Director, Media, at Amity University, Mumbai.
Indu Shrikent was part of the Cinemaya, The Asian Film Quarterly. She is one of the founder members of NETPAC India, and helped organise Film Appreciation Courses, Screenplay Workshops, film weeks from Asian countries, and retrospectives of filmmakers. Indu was the co-director of Cinefan since its inception in 1999 with Aruna Vasudev. She was the Festival Director of the 10th and 12th editions of Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema. She has served as a juror at several international film festivals like Istanbul, Ismailia, Berlin, Amiens, Busan, Locarno (President of the short film competition), FAJR, Rotterdam, Vesoul, Cinemanila, Brisbane, Jeonju, and Cinemalaya. She was a member of the FIPRESCI jury in Hong Kong. She has been a trustee of the Tuli Research Centre for India Studies since November 2022.
Nina Kochelyaeva is the Head of the Department for the Development and Approbation of Film Education Methods at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography (VGIK). She is a Laureate of the Russian Federation Governmental Award in the field of education, a NETPAC member, director of the NGO for the development of projects and research in culture and the arts, The New Institute for Cultural Research, professor at the National Research University's Higher School of Economics, and teacher on film history at Nikita Mikhalkov's Academy for Cinematography and Theatre Arts. She is a member of the selection committee of the Moscow International Film Festival, programme director of the Kazan International Festival for Muslim Cinema and programmer of the Dhaka International Film Festival. Apart from being a prolific writer, she has produced many documentaries.
Jayasree Bhattacharyya is an eminent theatre artist and filmmaker. Her film Madur (2003) won the best film award at the Dhaka International Film Festival. She won the Best film and Best director awards for her film Binisutar mala at Indian International Film Festival Kolkata. She served on the Jury for Indian Panorama and MIFF. She has worked as a casting director on several international film projects, including Sara Gravon’s Brick Lane, Sangita Datta’s Life Goes On, and Italo Spinelli’s Behind the Bodies. She is a former artist and taught at various institutions including National School of Drama She is a founder member of Pragya Cultural Centre and works for tribal culture in theatre and film.
N Manu Chakravarthy teaches English at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels and has written books in English and Kannada on cinema, music, and cultural theory. He has a rich research experience in the areas of Cultural and Political Theory and Film Theory. He received the Best Film Critic Award for 2010 at the 58th National Film Awards. He was also bestowed the Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award and Sri V M Inamdar Memorial Award for the work ‘Madhyama Marga’. Manu Chakravarthy was a member of the National Jury for the 58th and 61st National Film Awards.
Reema Borah is a writer/director from India who was a performing artist and did her master's in theatre before graduating from FTII, Pune. The shorts directed by her as a part of academic projects were showcased at many film festivals. Her films won the Kodak Film School Competition in 2005 and the National Film Awards in 2009. She wrote and directed Chaatak in 2010 and won a special mention at IDPA in 2011. Bokul is her debut feature film, which was premiered at MAMI. Bokul received five Assam State film awards and was screened at various film festivals. Her second film, Noi was premiered at the Kolkata International Film Festival in International Competition. She has completed her third feature Anunaad.
Don Palathara is a film director, screenwriter, editor, and documentary filmmaker from Kerala, India. Known for working on small budgets, his films are expositions of local Kerala culture and studies of human nature. Palathara's films have gained accolades at several international film festivals, including the Moscow International Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and the International Film Festival of Kerala. He has served on the selection committee for Malayalam films at IFFK 2021 and on the jury at the Siliguri Short and Documentary Film Festival 2022.