Filmmaker, editor and screenwriter Sergey Loznitsa was born in 1964 in the city of Baranovitchi, in Belarus. At that time Belarus was part of the Soviet Union. Later Sergei’s family moved to Kiev, Ukraine, where he finished high school and in 1987 graduated with a degree in engineering and mathematics. From 1987 through 1991 Sergey was employed as a scientist at the Institute of Cybernetics. During that time, he developed a strong interest in cinematography, and in 1991 he was admitted to the Russian State Institute of Cinematography, in Moscow. He studied in the studio of Nana Dzhordzhadze and in 1997 graduated with honours with the major in movie production and direction. Loznitsa is considered an extremely multifaceted and productive director, his work includes short films, mid-length films and full-length films – all of them visually stunning and awarded with prizes right from the beginning of his career. Loznitsa is also hard to categorize in terms of film concept: he has presented numerous documentaries – wholly in the tradition of Russian avant-garde documentaries – as well as exemplary feature films. The content of his work ranges from contemporary history themes (including the Second World War, the Soviet era) all the way to everyday observations and portrayals of life in Russia today. His two feature films, My Joy (2010) and In the Fog (2012) had their world premieres at the Festival de Cannes, where In the Fog received the FIPRESCI prize. Loznitsa’s feature-length documentary Maidan (2014), dedicated to the Ukrainian Revolution, premiered at the Festival de Cannes and it was screened at 2015 ZagrebDox. Feature documentary film The Event (2015) revisits dramatic moments of August 1991 in the USSR, a failed coup d’étatattempt (known as Putsch) premiered at Venice Film Festival in 2015. Documentary Austerlitz (2016), nominated for the Best European documentary at European Film Awards 2017, is an observation of the visitors to a memorial site that has been founded on the territory of a former concentration camp. His 2018 documentary Donbass, set in eastern Ukraine where society begins to degrade as the effects of propaganda and manipulation begin to surface in this post-truth era, got Un Certain Regard – Directing Prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival. In 2018 Loznitsa presented two more documentary films: The Trial – archival chronicle of one of the infamous Moscow Trials – at the time, an operatic affair serving to legitimize Stalin’s government, now a timely reminder of the consequences of total authority, and Victory Day, an observational documentary that conveys the power of ideology and nostalgia as it captures the celebration of Victory Day at Berlin's Soviet War Memorial.
Orwa Nyrabia is a highly acclaimed independent Syrian documentary film producer, filmmaker, trainer, human rights defender and co-founder of DOX BOX International Documentary Film Festival in Syria. Nyrabia worked as an actor and journalist before, in 2004, he started to produce documentary films. He had to flee Syria after political imprisonment and has been living in the recent years in Berlin. He has many credits as a documentary producer, among them Dolls, A Woman from Damascus (2008) by Diana El Jeiroudi, Sundance Grand Jury Award winner, Return to Homs (2013), directed by by Talal Derki, and Silvered Water by Ossama Mohammad (Cannes Official Selection 2014). In January 2018, he became the artistic director of International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).
Martina Petrović has a major in International Relations and a minor in Psychology. Martina has gained most of her working experience at the Ministry of Culture, De- partment for International Cultural Cooperation, being responsible for various cultural exchange programmes between Croatia and other countries; among many activities, she was responsible for the organisation of Croatian film presentation during international film fe- stivals in Berlin and Cannes. From 2008, she has been actively involved in establishing the Croatian Audiovi- sual Centre, where she has stayed, after being chosen by the European Commission as the Head of MEDIA Desk Croatia. Following immediate and successful re- sults in terms of ensuring the financing by the MEDIA Programme, working thoroughly on the promotion of the Croatian film, resulted in receiving the first Albert Kapović Award by the Croatian Producers Association, given at the opening of Zagreb Film Festival in 2010. As the Head of MEDIA Desk Croatia (today’s Creative Europe Desk – MEDIA Office), she has been actively involved in organising innovative and active presenta- tions/workshops – important tools for education and networking – between Croatian but also European film professionals.
Mirjam Wiekenkamp has been working in film PR since 2008. She founded NOISE Film PR in Amsterdam in 2013 as the international branch of the Dutch company Herrie Film & TV, where she had been working since 2008 and was a partner since 2012, and officially launched the Berlin branch together with Dagny Kleber in 2015. In the last five years, she has represented over 60 filmmakers from all over the world including Kim Longinotto, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Ruth Beckermann, Roman Bondarchuk, Maite Alberdi, Ramona Diaz and Ivan Osnovikoff and Bettina Perut. Over the year, she works at international film festivals such as the Berlinale, Cannes, Locarno Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, IDFA and the International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Želimir Žilnik was born in 1942 in Niš, and he is living and working in Novi Sad, Serbia. He has written and directed numerous fiction and documentary films which have garnered many awards at national and international film festivals. He is one of the pioneers of the docu-drama genre. From the very beginning his films have focussed on contemporary issues, featuring social, political and economic assessments of everyday life: Newsreel on Village Youth, in Winter (1967), Little Pioneers (1968), The Unemployed (1968), June Turmoil (1969), Black Film (1971), Uprising in Jazak (1973). Žilnik’s fiction debut Early Works (1969) won the Golden Bear at Berlinale and four awards at Pula Film Festival. In 1995 his film Marble Ass won the prestigious Teddy Award at Berlinale. ZagrebDox has screened Žilnik’s films Logbook Serbistan (2015), Pirika on Film (2013) and Europe Next Door (2005), which won the Big Stamp. He was an International Jury member at ZagrebDox 2019. Žilnik’s latest films are The Most Beautiful Country in the World (2018) and Among the People: Life & Acting (2018).
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