EWA PUSZCZYŃSKA (President)
She was born and raised in Lodz, Poland. Since 1995 she has been working for Opus Film as producer and head of development. She is also developing and producing films through her own company Extreme Emotions. She is a speaker at Film School in Lodz and Andrzej Wajda Film School in Warsaw, MAIA and SOFA workshops. She is a member of Polish Filmmakers Association, and board member of the European Film Academy. Her filmography as producer includes the Oscarwinning Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski), The Cut (Fatih Akın), The Congress (Ari Folman), Aglaja (Krisztina Deak), King of Devil’s Island (Marius Holst), Cyrlison (Haim Tabakman), Lost Sons of the Holy Land, Letters of Love, AA, The Captain.
Born in Istanbul. She started acting at 14 years of age. She graduated from the Pera Fine Arts High School Theatre Department. She acted in several theatre plays, films and TV series. She is currently studying at Bilgi University Department of Performance Arts. She was internationally renowned with her role in Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Palm d’or-winner Kış Uykusu / Winter Sleep (2013). Several of the films she acted in are Av Mevsimi (Yavuz Turgul, 2010)–with which she won Best Supporting Actress Award at Yeşilçam Awards–, Eve Giden Yol (Semir Aslanyürek, 2006), Cenneti Beklerken / Waiting for Paradise (Derviş Zaim, 2005), Okul / School (Yağmur Taylan-Durul Taylan, 2004). She also won the Best Actress Award at Yeşilçam Awards with her role in the TV series Bıçak Sırtı. Her latest performance was in Bir Varmış Bir Yokmuş (İlksen Başarır, 2015).
He is an award-winning Israeli screen and stage actor. He quickly became, after his performance in Hatuna Mehuheret / Late Marriage, which premiered in Cannes, one of Israel’s biggest movie stars. In 2011, he received critical acclaim for his role in Joseph Cedar’s Hearat Shulayim / Footnote which won the screenplay award at Cannes. He was also nominated for Best Actor at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards for his performance in Footnote. He twice received the Best Actor Award at the Israeli Film Academy Awards for his performances in Late Marriage and Footnote. He just completed shooting the next Joseph Cedar film, Oppenheimer Strategies, opposite Richard Gere. He is also known for starring in Eytan Fox’s Walk on Water that opened the Panorama section at the Berlinale in 2004, and for his role in the Israeli TV series In Treatment.
Born in 1971, Istanbul. He is a video artist who received his MA from The New School in New York City. In 2000, he returned to Istanbul, where he still resides. His videos raise fundamental questions about the meaning and significance of human activity and labor and the meaning of economy, production, and social organization. He has exhibited his work at the Istanbul Biennial (2001, 2007, 2011), Tokyo Opera City (2001), Platform Garanti, Istanbul (2004), Istanbul Modern (2004), 9th Havana Biennial (2006), San Francisco Art Institute (2006), Lyon Biennial (2007), Sao Paulo Biennial (2012), and Venice Biennial (2013) among others.
MÜJDE AR (Başkan)
Born in Istanbul. She studied at the Istanbul University Department of German Language and Literature. She took up acting as a child actor in Helen Keller’s Out of the Dark with the Oraloğlu Theatre Company in 1962/63 season. She stepped into the limelight in 1975 with her role Bihter in the cult TV series Forbidden Love. Throughout the 80s, she was potently involved in cinema, changing the representation of women in the Turkish cinema and breaking any acting conventions before her. She made her mark in the period especially for her lead roles in Adı Vasfiye / Her Name is Vasfiye, Asiye Nasıl Kurtulur, and Aaahh Belinda by Atıf Yılmaz and in Asılacak Kadın / She Must Be Hanged and Kupa Kızı / Queen of Hearts by Başar Sabuncu. She won the Best Actress Award in the 23rd Antalya Film Festival for her role in Aaahh Belinda. Other acting highlights of this period were Halit Refiğ’s Teyzem / My Aunt and Ertem Eğilmez’ last movie, Arabesk. She won her second Best Actress Award in Antalya with Başar Sabuncu’s last movie Yolcu / The Passenger. She was presented the Cinema Honorary Award of the Istanbul Film Festival in 2004. In the 2000s she starred in Dar Alanda Kısa Paslaşmalar / Offside, Komser Şekspir / Commissar Shakespeare, Eğreti Gelin / Borrowed Bride among others. She co-hosted the TV show Haydi Gel Bizimle Ol between 2007 and 2009.
Born in 1978. He graduated from the Theatre Department of the Anadolu University, and received his MA on Advanced Acting in 2006 from Bahçeşehir University. He acted in numerous stage plays, feature films, TV films, and TV series. He won the Best Actor Award with Toz Ruhu / Dust Spirit in Adana, Best Supporting Actor Award with Yozgat Blues in Adana, Best Supporting Actor Award with Küf / Mold in Antalya, Best Actor Award with Beş Şehir / Five Cities in Istanbul, Adana, and Antalya film festivals. He won the Young Master Actor Award at 6th Lions Theatre Awards. The films he acted in include Neden Tarkovski Olamıyorum / Why Can’t I Be Tarkovsky, Sen Aydınlatırsın Geceyi / Thou Gild’st the Even, Yük / Load, Süt / Milk, Güneşin Oğlu / Son of the Sun, Hacivat Karagöz Neden Öldürüldü? / Killing the Shadow, Gönül Yarası / Lovelorn.
Born in 1969 in Hong Kong, grown in North London. He is educated at Oxford and the Royal College of Art. He began his professional career with the feature films Simon Magus (1998) and The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz (2000). His third feature film, The Market began its festival life with a Best Actor Award in Locarno in 2008, went on to win Best Film, Screenplay and Actor at Antalya Film Festival, and Best Film at Ghent Film Festival. His latest film, screened at Filmekimi Sehnsucht / Hasret (2015), is a kind of documentary about the city of Istanbul. He is working on his second novel, Cathedral, a historical account of the building of Strasbourg Cathedral.
Born in Tehran, Iran in 1971. At school she became interested in theater and writing , and started her career by directing plays. In 1989, she started acting in cinema and since then she played in more than 40 films and won many national and international awards. In 2001, she made the documentary To Have or not Have. Her feature directorial debut was with Yek Shab / One Night (2005). This film went on to participate at the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regards section. Karimi made her second feature film, Chand rooze baad / A Few Days Later, in 2007 which opened in Rome Film Festival. In 2011, Soote Payan / Final Whistle her third feature film premiered in Pusan Film Festival. Night Shift (2015) is her fourth film. Vahid Jalilvand’s Chaharshanbeh, 19 Ordibehesht / Wednesday, May 19 which she acts in is featured in this year’s festival programme.
Born in Aydın, Turkey in 1972 and was raised in Izmir, Turkey. Upon graduating from the Izmir Bornova Anatolian High School, he studied at the Dokuz Eylül University Faculty of Law, which he dropped in his third year. He enrolled in the Ege University Art History Department and dropped it in his second year. He moved to Istanbul in 1999, and earned his living as a translator, editor, and redactor. He worked in the foreign news departments of Radikal and Birgün newspapers. His articles were published in various newspapers and magazines. His debut novel, Tol was released in 2002. He published his second novel, Har in 2006 and his third, Merhume in 2016. His short stories were published in 2011 under the title Bazuka. His novels and short stories have been translated into German, French, Italian, Persian, Swedish, and Albanian.
Born in 1973 in the German Democratic Republic. He graduated from the Humboldt University Department of Cultural Studies and Economic Science. In 1994, he co-founded and managed Berlin’s Lichtblick Kino, and became the co-owner of Central Kino from 2006 to 2013. In 1997, he founded the leading, awarded arthouse distribution company Neue Visionen Filmverleih, where he still serves as its managing director and shareholder. In 2005, he founded and established Good Movies as a joint project by eight independent film distributors to create a quality DVD label. He is also a board member of the AG Verleih (Association of Independent Film Distributors).
Born in Avanos, Nevşehir, Turkey in 1959. He graduated from Ege University Faculty of Medicine in 1984. He practiced as GP at the towns and villages of Ankara between 1984 and 1990. He received his master’s degree on Applied Psychology. He debuted as actor in Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Distant. He later took part in Ceylan’s later films Three Monkeys and Once Upon A Time in Anatolia as screenwriter and actor; and acted in Vavien, Derin (short), Saç / Hair, Küf / Mold, Yozgat Blues, Thou Gild’st the Even, Hükümet Kadın (1 & 2), and I Am Not Him. He won several awards as actor and screenwriter at national and international festivals. His poems, articles and essays were published at numerous magazines and newspapers. He co-founded Era Publications. He has two published books. He is a PhD student at Yeditepe University Department of Social Anthropology.
A trained lawyer and chartered accountant, Isabel Castro Martinez began her career as a teacher in the Ivory Coast before going on to work as a licensed professional auditor and consultant in Italy. In 1997, she joined the Council of Europe, becoming Deputy Director of Internal Audit in 2001. In 2006, she joined Eurimages as Deputy Executive Director. In this role she is, in particular, responsible for the administrative and financial management of the Fund, as well as the distribution and exhibition support programmes. For the past two years, she has also been running the Eurimages “Gender Equality” study group. In this role she has overseen the implementation of a gender data collection system, has organised analyses and published studies by the Fund, as well as drafting the Eurimages gender equality strategy for the European film industry. She is a bureau member of the European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA).
Born in 1986 in Vienna. He studied Stage and Film Design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. His is a film director, stage designer, and artist. In 2010, he directed the short film Rückruf / call back, followed by Tagwerk / A Day’s Work in 2011. In 2015, his documentary film Lampedusa in Winter premiered in Locarno, was awarded the Critics’ Prize in Locarno and Best Documentary in Vienna.
Born in 1959 in Ankara. Studied at the Middle East Technical University and Strasbourg University. After two years as programme producer and presenter at the TRT “Voice of Turkey” public radio station, he joined the Permanent Representation of Turkey to the Council of Europe in 1978. Left the Mission when serving as Deputy to the Permanent Representative and joined the Council of Europe Secretariat in 1995. Was in charge of youth policies and youth NGOs development programmes for the former eastern-block countries until 2001, when he joined the Communication team of the Organisation where he presently serves as a media officer and Spokesperson.
MAHMUT FAZIL COŞKUN
Studied filmmaking at UCLA and Istanbul Bilgi University. He began making documentaries in 2000. He won numerous awards from national and international festivals with Wrong Rosary (2009) including Golden Leopard at Locarno and Best Director and Best Screenplay at Istanbul Film Festivals. His second film Yozgat Blues (2013) made its international premiere at San Sebastian Film Festival and national premiere at Istanbul Film Festival, receiving Best Film award at Adana and Malatya film festivals, and Best Balkan Film Award at Sofia Film Festival.
AHMET RIFAT ŞUNGAR
Born in Istanbul. Studied acting at Istanbul University State Conservatory. His first major role was in the Cannes Best Directing Award-winner Üç Maymun / Three Monkeys (2008) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. His performance in this film was recognized with the Most Promising Actor and the Best Supporting Actor awards in Turkey. Later on, he acted in the feature films of first time directors Melisa Önel (Kumun Tadı / Seaburners) and Esra Saydam & Nisan Dağ (Deniz Seviyesi / Across the Sea) as well as working with the established directors, Aydın Sayman, Onur Ünlü, and Uğur Yücel. He received the Best Actor Award at the Adana Film Festival with his performance in Across the Sea. He acted in the Belgian film, Le Chant des Hommes (2016). Rıfat currently plays in the Turkish adaptation of the Phil Porter play Blink at Tatbikat Sahnesi.
She joined forces with the Greek production company Heretic in 2014 to launch Heretic Outreach, the first sales agent based in Southeastern Europe and designed to encourage innovative films and talented filmmakers from the region to reach out to the rest of the world. As manager, she has internationally represented films such as Why Me? by Tudor Giurgiu, Babai by Visar Morina, and Depth Two by Ognjen Glavonic. She had previously worked for the accreditation department of the Festival de Cannes for two consecutive years. She joined Wide in 2012 as coordinator of the Eye on Films label, dedicated to the promotion of first time directors, working on the circulation and distribution of the films as well as the coordination of various promotional activities.
CHRIS FUJIWARA (President)
ALİ DENİZ ŞENSÖZ
Born in Istanbul in 1966. She studied English literature. Her first film Gündelikçi / Housekeeper (2006) won the Best Documentary Award at the Antalya Film Festival and First Prize at the Women’s Film Festival in Seoul. Her second documentary Lilit’in Kızkardeşleri / Sisters of Lilith (2008) won the Best Balkan Documentary Award at the Dokufest Documentary and Short Film Festival in Prizren, Kosovo. She is the co-founder of DOCUMENTARIST–Istanbul Documentary Days and “Which Human Rights?” film festivals. She worked as producer, writer and editor for the films she directed.
She studied at the University of Marmara, Department of Social Sciences and Administration. She has worked as an assistant director in several feature films. She is an independent documentary filmmaker and a video-activist. She was involved in Filmmor Women’s Cooperative for a while. Her work since 2004, consists of independent documentaries on various issues including immigration, women workers’ conditions, women workers’ strikes and resistance in different parts of Turkey, as well as solidarity campaigns of women’s organizations with women workers’ resistance movements, and the encounter of feminists with women’s labour and peace activism of women. Her films include Kadınlar Cizre ve Silopi’yi Anlatıyor / Women Talk About Cizre and Silopi (2015); Tepecik Hayal Okulu / A Dream School in the Steppes (2014) which screened at the festival and won several national and international awards; Sanki Eşittik / As If We Were Equal (2012), Bölge / The Zone (2010, Co-director with Feryal Saygılıgil), Kafesteki Kuş Gibiydik / Like a Bird In a Cage (2009, Co-director with Feryal Saygılıgil).
Born in 1966, in Mexico City. He received his MFA in film at NYU. He worked for 8 years in the directing team of Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu´s production company Zeta Films. In 2007, he cofounded La Sombra del Guayabo Production Company with producer Martha Sosa (Presumed Guilty). Those Who Remain, his first documentary feature, was co-directed with Juan Carlos Rulfo, and won several awards including the LAFF Best Documentary Award, the IDA Humanitas Award, Documenta Madrid. Vuelve a la Vida / Back to Life premiered at Rome International Film Festival, was part of the IFC Stranger than Fiction series, and had a commercially successful theatrical release in Mexico. El patio de mi casa / No Place Like Home, to be screened at the festival, is his third feature.
Born in 1982, in Istanbul. He graduated from University of Kent at Canterbury with joint honours in History of Art and Film Studies, and attended the NYFA at the Universal Studios, in Los Angeles. Upon graduating, he has independently written, directed and produced short horror films. His short films, featured in more than 40 different selections at genre-based festivals such as Sitges, FantasticFest, Fantasia, and Film, won numerous awards, and official recognitions: Vidalar (2006), Sandık (2007) Kurban Bayramı (2008), My Grandmother (2008) To My Mother and Father (2010) Baskın (2013). His first feature film Baskın, which premiered at “Midnight Madness” selection of the Toronto Film Festival continued its journey in various international film festivals from Fantastic Fest to Sitges, from Stockholm International film Festival to Fantasy Film Fest.
Born in 1990. She graduated from the Istanbul Italian High School, after which she studied performance arts at the Bilgi University Management of Performance Arts Programme. Also taking private ballet and violin lessons, she made her acting debut in 2007 in the TV series Genco. Following the great success of the TV series Aşk-ı Memnu, she starred in other series, including Behzat Ç - Bir Ankara Polisiyesi, Adını Feriha Koydum, A.Ş.K., and Maral En Güzel Hikâyem. She has also appeared in the films Bu Son Olsun (Orçun Benli, 2012), Ay Büyürken Uyuyamam (Şerif Gören, 2011), Behzat Ç - Seni Kalbime Gömdüm (Serdar Akar, 2011), Mavi Dalga / The Blue Wave (Zeynep Dadak & Merve Kayan, 2013), and İtirazım Var / Let’s Sin (Onur Ünlü, 2014).
Born in 1987. She is currently the Director of International and Short Film Festival DokuFest at Kosovo. She studied Media and Communication at the Empire State College in Prague. Previously she was the Head of Communication of the festival DokuNights. She worked three years at the National Gallery of Kosovo where she coordinated the international projects and the annual program and exhibition for the Artist of Tomorrow Award. She worked as the manager of the Sumer Urban Festival (SURF) in Prishtina, as the video editor of Kosovo 2.0 website, and as the Communication Coordinator of the first Pavilion of the Republic of Kosovo at the 55th Venice Biennale. She is also the producer of the film Bashk (Daniel Mulloy) and Anestezioni (Noar Sahiti). She lives in Kosovo.