Alexander Mindadze was born in Moscow in 1949 and is considered as one of the most acclaimed scriptwriters and directors in Russia. More than 20 of his screenplays have been filmed since 1975. Early in his career he teamed up with acclaimed Russian director Vadim Abdrashitov, with whom he collaborated on eleven films over several decades. The film Plumbum was awarded with golden medal at the Venice IFF in 1987, and the Mindadze-Abdrashitov duo won the Silver Bear at the Berlin IFF in 1995, for the film A Play For a Passenger. In 2007, his feature film debut as director, Soar, was premiered at Venice IFF. This film received two awards, including the Film Critics’ Award for Best Debut Film in Russia. Second feature film written and directed by Aleksandr Mindadze Innocent Saturday was premiered at Berlin IFF in 2011. The third Mindadze’s feature film My Good Hans took part in Competition at Moscow IFF 2015 and received Nika - the main award from the Russian Academy of Cinema Arts for the Best Film and The White Elephant Award from the Russian Guild of Film Critic in five categories. Mindadze is the unique Russian scriptwriter who was awarded with prestigious Ennio Flaiano Prize and the Silver Pegasus from the Italian Academy of Culture for Literature's contribution to the cinema.
Born in Tehran in 1966, Reza Mirkarimi is a graduate of Graphic Arts from University of Fine Arts in Tehran. He began his career in cinema as director, writer and producer in 1987 with a short film and two TV series. His directorial debut, The Child and The Soldier (1999), won national and international awards in Isfahan, Nantes and Zlin. His second feature, Under the Moonlight (2000) won the International Critics Week Best Feature Award at the 2001 Cannes IFF. It went on to win the Best Director Award and the Special Jury Prize at the Tokyo IFF in 2001, and the Golden Peacock Award at the IFF of India. Mirkarimi has so far won seven Golden Simorgh Awards at the Fajr FF. Three of his films were selected as Iran’s submission to the Oscars for the Best Foreign Language Film category: So Close, So Far (2005), A Cube of Sugar (2011), and Today (2014). His fourth and fifth feature films, As Simple as That (2007) and Daughter (2016), won the Golden George Award for Best Picture at the 30th and the 38th Moscow IFF respectively. His latest film, Castle of Dreams (2019), won big at Shanghai, receiving three Awards for the Best Picture, the Best Director and the Best Actor. He has served two terms as managing director of Khaneh Cinema (Iranian Alliance of Motion Picture Guilds). Reza Mirkarimi has been also the festival director of Fajr IFF for the last 4 years.
Amy Hobby has served as the Executive Director of the Tribeca Film Institute for the past two years. In addition to her role identifying, engaging and supporting emerging underrepresented filmmakers from around the world through TFI, Hobby is an Academy Award-Nominated, Emmy and Peabody Award-Winning producer in her own right, who has been producing award-winning scripted and documentary films for the past 20 years. In 2013, she co-founded the film production company Tangerine Entertainment, the first production company to produce and cultivate audiences solely for content created and directed by women. In 2017, Hobby was nominated alongside her Tangerine partner Anne Hubbell for Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in the Film Industry by the Alliance of Woman Film Journalists.
Born 1964 in Geneva. Nicolas Wadimoff has directed both fiction and documentary, among them the multi awarded Clandestins (1997). His films Aisheen (Still Alive in Gaza) (2010), Operation Libertad (2012), Spartiates (2014), Jean Ziegler, the Optimism of Willpower (2016), and The Apollo of Gaza (2018) have been shown at prestigious international film festivals such as Berlinale, Festival del film di Locarno and at the Cannes Quinzaine des Réalisateurs. With his company Akka Films Nicolas Wadimoff has also produced multiawarded films like Buried Secrts (Raja Amari, Venice 2008), Fix Me (Sundance 2010), and Ghost Hunting (Berlinale 2017) by Raed Andoni.
Director Nino Kirtadze was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. She is one of the few Georgian directors who made her cinematic debut in France and quickly established herself as one of the leading documentary filmmakers in Europe. Her films deal with difficult and controversial subjects, placing the accent on the human drama and creating deep insightful human portraits. Kirtadze’s films have won international acclaim and numerous prestigious awards at festivals worldwide. The highlights include Best Director Prize at Sundance for Durakovo - Village of Fools, the European Film Academy Award for Un dragon dans les eaux pures du Caucase/Pipeline Next Door, Germany’s top documentary award, the Adolf Grimme Gold, for Chechen Lullaby and the Cinema du Réel Award for Tell My Friends that I’m Dead. Her film Don’t Breathe, premiered in Toronto IFF extends the borders of documentary and places this dark comedy on the edge of documentary and fiction. Nino Kirtadze is also a scriptwriter and actress. Her acting career started by the lead role in a Chef in Love, a film by Nana Djordjadze, which was presented in Cannes and got nominated for an Oscar. Since Nino Kirtadze has worked with Peter Brook, Vittorio Gassman, Philippe Monnier, Claude Goretta, Jacques Perrin. In the past, during the troubles years in the Caucasus Kirtadze has also worked as a war correspondent for AFP and for AP, covering the war in Chechnya and other armed conflicts in the region. Since 1997, Nino Kirtadze has lived in France. She collaborates on a regular basis with different national and international organisations as a consultant, jury member, and lecturer.
Paolo Bertolin is a film programmer, writer and producer. In 2008, he joined the Venice International Film Festival as a member of the selection committee. From 2010, he acted as a regional consultant, covering diverse territories, such as South East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Oceania, Turkey and South Korea. This year, he also joined the selection committee of Cannes' Directors' Fortnight. He has worked or still works for several international festivals and institutions, between Europe and Asia, including the IFFRotterdam, the Doha Film Institute, Locarno Open Doors, the Udine Far East FF, Nyon Visions du Réel, Lovers FF, BiFan, Cannes’ Critics’ Week, Mumbai IFF, Beijing IFF, Hanoi ?FF, Bratislava IFF, etc. He ventured into production with a string of Asian films, including Phan Dang Di’s Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories (Vietnam, 2015), Lav Diaz’ A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery (Philippines, 2016) and Amit Dutta’s short film Chitrashala (India, 2015), all entries in the Berlinale Competition.
Elizabeth Karlsen is an internationally renowned producer, who co-founded the leading independent UK based Production Company Number 9 Films in 2002 with partner Stephen Woolley. In February 2019, Elizabeth and Stephen jointly received the prestigious BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema. She has produced some of the most celebrated independent films in the US and Europe including: Todd Haynes’s Carol (nominated for 6 Academy Awards, 6 Golden Globe Awards and 9 BAFTA Awards) Mark Herman’s Little Voice (winner of a Golden Globe Award, nominated for 1 Academy Award, 6 Golden Globe Awards and 6 BAFTA Awards), Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game (winner of an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award and nominated for 6 Academy Awards), Nigel Cole’s Made in Dagenham (nominated for 3 BAFTA Awards) and Phyllis Nagy’s Mrs. Harris (nominated for 12 Emmy Awards and 3 Golden Globe Awards) and Wash Westmoreland’s Colette (nominated for 4 BIFA’s and an Independent Spirit Award). Other work includes: On Chesil Beach, directed by Dominic Cooke; Their Finest, directed by Lone Scherfig; The Limenhouse Golem, directed by Juan Carlos Medina, Great Expectations, directed by Mike Newell, The Neon Bible, directed by Terence Davies and Byzantium, directed by Neil Jordan and as co-producer Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth (nominated for 1 Academy Award and winner of 3 European Film Awards). She has had multiple films selected for Palme d’Or competition in Cannes and premieres in IFFs including TIFF, LFF, NY and Sundance. Her work with Stephen Woolley has garnered a total of 52 BAFTA nominations and wins and 20 Academy Award nominations and wins.