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Filmmakers Introduction



Sigrid Dyekjær

Sigrid Dyekjær (born 1969) is one of the most experienced Danish producers working with international documentary films for 14 years.  Among the many films she has produced are: Free The Mind, The Monastery, Mechanical Love, Gambler, The Good Life, Love Addict, A Normal Life, Ballroom Dancer and recently Ai Weiwei - The Fake Case, nominated at IDFA 2013’s Feature Length Competition. She is part owner of Danish Documentary Production with directors Pernille Rose Grønkjær, Mikala Krogh and Eva Mulvad. Sigrid is educated in dramaturgy from the University in Aarhus, and before joining Danish Documentary Production she was a part owner of the production company Tju–Bang Film. Besides her work at Danish Documentary Sigrid teaches at the National Film School of Denmark, as well as doing master classes and lectures at various film schools around the world. 

Mikala Krogh

Having started her career very early in life, documentary director Mikala Krogh (born 1973) is already an institution within Danish documentary filmmaking. When graduating from The Danish Film School as a documentary director in 2001, Mikala Krogh had already worked with Danish documentary's grand old man Jorgen Leth on his classic, "Haiti: Untitled" and produced a number of radio programs for Danish Radio P4. Mikala Krogh’s style of filmmaking is distinct and original and her topics often serious. Krogh is never afraid of making films that matter, working with topics such as child cancer, pollution and overpopulation, nazi guild and forgiveness, prostitution and drug dealing. Her extensive filmography already counts a number of national and international hits, including "A normal life"(2012), Cities on Speed: Cairo/Garbage (2009), Everything is Relative (2008), Beth's Diary (2006) and My Grandfather's Murderer (2004).

Poul Madsen

Executive chief editor and responsible under the press law at Ekstra Bladet, Denmark’s largest tabloid media.Head of Ekstra Bladet since April 2007. The recent years his main focus has been to transform Ekstra Bladet’s newsroom into one of the world's most modern newsroom.  Besides this, he has created a very successful digital platform for paid content, called EKSTRA.Poul is 53 years old and educated at the Danish School of Journalism in 1988.Began and developed his career in television where he took part in the building of TV2 in May 1988.
Headhunted by JP/Politiken A/S in May 2001 for the job as journalistic chief editor at Ekstra Bladet with special responsibility for the development of the investigative journalism.Five years later he was asked to build a new free paper within the same group - called 24 Hours.In april 2007 Poul was headhunted once more for the post as executive chief editor at Ekstra Bladet.

Sylvain Biegeleisen

Born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1948.Multi-disciplinary artist: film director and producer, painter and video artist, photographer and musician, group moderator and singer.Sylvain is a sensitive person and creator, concerned with what happens in his immediate and global surroundings.In 1998 Sylvain founded the Lahav Association for the Promotion of Values in Society, which manages cinematic, social projects for populations with special needs (youth and young women at-risk, single mothers, new immigrants, and minority groups). The organization has produced numerous films, together with the children and in association with the Children’s Channel, the Ministry of Education, and various foundations. These films have reaped prestigious international awards, including a special prize from UNESCO, marking the sixtieth year of its activity, awarded to Lahav for its work and production of a film created by children with disabilities.Sylvain developed a unique mode of cinema workshops, during which the participants create short films that express their feelings and attitudes towards the momentous and meaningful issues of their lives (such as the Kosovo-Serbia War, the Holocaust, ethnic relations, violence, and others). These workshops have been conducted in various European countries, in China, and in Israel.

Arnon Goldfinger

Arnon Goldfinger (born 1963) is an Israeli film director and scriptwriter, winner of two Israeli Academy Awards.He attended Tel Aviv University where he majored in cinema with a minor in philosophy. In 1999, after directing several short films and dramas, and dozens of reportages for Israeli TV, he directed his first documentary feature, THE KOMEDIANT,which recipient of numerous prizes and much critical acclaim( The  Israeli academy award for best documentary; The  Haifa international ff award for  best documentary).Goldfinger worked for five years on his last Documentary. "THE FLAT", for which he received the Israeli Academy Award and the Bavarian film award for best documentary.

Sophia Turkiewicz

Born in a refugee camp in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), Sophia Turkiewicz arrived in Australia as a young child with her Polish-born mother, Helen. Sophia completed an arts degree at Adelaide University and became a primary and high school teacher before being selected for the first intake of full-time students at the newly created Australian Film & TV School. Since graduating in 1978 in Directing and Screenwriting Sophia has worked in the film and television industry as a freelance drama director. Her credits include the feature film Silver City, which was released internationally in 1984 and won 3 AFI awards, as well as Best Film at the 1984 Sydney Film Critics Awards. Her television work includes adult and children’s drama (Something in the Air, Escape of the Artful Dodger), and telemovies (Time’s Raging, I’ve Come About the Suicide).

Rod Freedman

Rod was born in Botswana and emigrated to Sydney from South Africa with his family in 1965. An independent director, producer and executive producer, his films have screened in dozens of international festivals, winning international and Australian awards. He started Change Focus Media in 1998 with partner Lesley Seebold, to produce documentaries for television as well as corporate and educational videos. His special interest in people and their life’s journeys. Rod has made WRAP ME UP IN PAPERBARK (1999 Producer), UNCLE CHATZKEL (1999, Producer/Director, 55 International festivals and multi awards), ONE LAST CHANCE – WAR CRIMINAL (2000 Producer/Director, winner of 3 USA awards), the EVERYDAY BRAVE SERIES (2001, Series Producer, Best TV Series, Tudawali Awards) made with Indigenous directors, WELCOME TO THE WAKS FAMILY (2001 Co-Producer, 2nd Unit Director), CROSSING THE LINE (2004 Producer, Best Documentary, Social & Political, Atom Awards), three series of AUSTRALIAN BIOGRAPHY (2002, 2005, 2007 Series Producer/Director), and CHANGE THE WORLD IN 5 MINUTES (2007 Executive Producer), IT TAKES A VILLAGE (2008 Producer/Director), STAY STRONG (2008 Producer/Director), STRONG AND DEADLY (2008 Producer/Director), LOOKING FOR A MONSTER(2008 Producer), WRONG SIDE OF THE BUS (2009, Producer, Director, Best African Film, South African Film Festival).

Wout Conijn

Producer Wout Conijn graduated in 2005 from the Film Academy as a documentary director with his award winning short documentary My Turn. In 2009 he started Conijn Film producing for other directors as well. Focusing on both short and feature length documentaries like A Family Affair by Tom Fassaert (An Angel in Doel, Berlinale Forum Competition), which is the opening film for IDFA 2015. In 2013 Conijn Film also produced a feature fiction ‘How to Describe a Cloud’ by David Verbeek (R U There, Cannes Un Certain Regard competition). The next film of David Verbeek, ‘It’s mine’, is currently in development. We are also developing a new fiction feature with Oscar nominated director Ben Sombogaart (Twin Sisters, Academy Award nominee).

Monika Braid

EAVE graduate Monika Braid is an independent film producer, who works on fiction and documentary films with international production companies and broadcasters. Born in Cracow/Poland where she completed her MA in Film Studies at the Jagiellonian University she has lived in the UK since 1995. She curated and organised numerous film festivals and film events in the UK and whilst working with the Polish Cultural Institute initiated, developed and programmed the Polish Film Festival, which is now an annual event in London. In 2006 she set up her own company Braidmade Films in order to develop and produce independent films. Since 2016 based in St. Leonards on Sea and in London, she works with international talent to produce films of high quality: fiction, documentaries, and experimental; films that relate to a universal human experience and appeal to viewers from various cultural backgrounds. In 2012 Braidmade Films opened its outlet in Krakow, Poland. It acts as advisory body to Polish and British filmmakers wishing to form co-productions.

Jerzy Sladkowski

Jerzy Sladkowski was born from Poland and graduated from the University of Warsaw (Poland) Institute of Journalism (Photo and TV department).He was emigrated to Sweden in 1985. Before his emigration, he was a reporter, producer and director for TVP (Polish television). From 1983 to present, he has been a freelancer for Swedish Television, the Swedish Film Institute, Finnish, Danish and Norwegian TV stations as well as Polish Television and the Polish Film Institute PISF. And since 1993, he regularly works with the Franco-German TV network Arte and the German ZDF, has produced and directed over 50 films, mainly documentaries, from worldwide locations, with a primary focus on the human condition. People facing dramatic changes, fighting for survival, as well as individuals just trying to live a decent life in an increasingly hardening environment, are the heroes of most films. His work “Don Juan” won IDFA Best feature-length documentary (Amsterdam 2015), Best Nordic Documentary (39 Göteborg Film Festival 2016) and Our Generation Award Zagreb (2016). “Vodka Factory” won Golden Dove for Best Feature Length Documentary (DOK Leipzig /Germany 2010). And “The Triangle of Death” achieved the 1st Prize on International Documentary Film Festival 1991.

Frederic Guillaume

Filmmakers, musicians, video animator. Born in 1975, Liege, Guillaume studied Industrial Design at the University of Lausanne and film Art (ECAL) and now he is working and living in Brussels.

Karen Guthrie

Karen was raised on the West coast of Scotland.She met co-producer and Director of Photography Nina Pope whilst students at Edinburgh College of Art and they have since worked together on many creative projects and commissions, winning the first Northern Art Prize in 2007 for their films and installations.Together they founded Somewhere in 2002 and have undertaken art commissions from the likes of Tate Modern and Cambridge University alongside their three feature documentaries: Jaywick Escapes2012Living with the Tudors (2007) & Bata-ville: We Are Not Afraid of the Future (2005) .These have screened at many festivals including Edinburgh International Film Festival, SXSW & Sheffield Doc Fest.

Debbie Howard

Debbie worked as a professional actor for twenty five years before moving into film making eight years ago. She has made a wide range of fiction and documentary films to date, winning several nominations and awards for her work. She set up Big Buddha Films and specialises in telling provocative and challenging stories, both fiction and documentary. Debbie’s latest narrative short, Peekaboo, looks at stillbirth. During the making of this film she forged strong relationships with many parents who had lost their babies, gaining their trust and giving her remarkable access and support for this documentary. Debbie’s strengths lie in telling a bold story and getting the best out of her contributors. She is also an Associate Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, teaching Acting for Screen. She teaches workshops and seminars on acting technique and film making and mentors young filmmakers for the BFI Film Academy.

Virpi Suutari

Virpi Suutari has directed and written many successful documentary films like Synti – dokumentti jokapäiväisistä rikoksista (1996), Valkoinen taivas (1998), Joutilaat (2001) (together with Susanna Helke) and Auf Wiedersehen Finnland (2010). Virpi Suutari’s latest documentary film is Hilton! (2013). Her films has been seen and awarded in many festivals. Suutari has been a member of film festival’s jury many times, for example in Nyon, Switzerland . Virpi Suutari is also a member of European Film Academy.

Alex Tondowski

Alex started out as a stage actor in the 1980s in Paris, London, and New York. Following his childhood dream of Hollywood, he continued his career as a screen actor in Los Angeles and won roles in many television series, commercials, and films until his desire to return to Europe was too strong to resist.

Susanna Fanzun

Susanna Fanzun was born in 1963, Scuol, grew up in Engadinof Tarasp. She got the teacher certification in 1985 and served as a primary school teacher in several primary schools of Grisons. Between 1986 and 2013, she was the reporter, TV presenter of Radio Televisiun Svizra Rumantscha/RTR. Since 1997, she began to engage in the documentary filmmaking and since 2003 she began to work as a photojournalist. Since 2009, she began to serve as a TV reporter and freedom filmmakers. In Nov 2012, Suzanne set up her own film studio: Pisoc Pictures Scrl. In 2013, she became an independent filmmaker. Except for some photographs, Susanna also shot several films in Alps in recent years, whose themes involve farmers, mountain economy, childhood and aging.

Markus Graber

Sound engineer, born 1960 in Flawil, Eastern Switzerland. 1987 - 1989 Two-year basic sound engineer training. Videcom AG, St.Gallen.1989 – 1998 Rapid expansion of work experience as ENG- and studio sound engineer with main emphasis on outside production. Videcom AG, St.Gallen.1998 - todaySelf-employed sound engineer for over 70 companies in Switzerland. Field of activities:  Direct Sound for documentaries, news coverage and commissioned movie.

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