Carter Pilcher (USA/GBR) founded Shorts International in 2000. Coming from a background in both investment banking and law, Carter founded Shorts International, the world's leading short movie entertainment company, acting as distributor, broadcaster, and producer. Carter has extensive experience in short movie production and short movie entertainment. He is a voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and a member of the Short Film and Feature Animation Branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)—the people who pick the Oscars. Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Carter earned a B.S. from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a J.D. from Georgetown University. In addition, he is a member of the New York Bar and attended the London Business School Corporate Finance Evening Program.
Jaime E. Manrique (COL) is the founder and CEO of LABORATORIOS BLACK VELVET, an integral cinematography management company, with activities including communications, production, and distribution. He has been director of communications and launch campaigns for more than 50 Colombian films and film festivals, including the International Film Festival of Cartagena de Indias (FICCI) since 2011. He is the founder and director of the Bogotá Short Film Festival/Festival de Cortos de Bogotá – BOGOSHORTS and conceptual designer of the BOGOSHORTS Movement. In addition, he is the founder and editor of PANTALLA COLOMBIA, a weekly newsletter about Colombian cinematography news, works as film analyst, partner and part of the management team of Cine Tonalá Bogotá, and has served as a professor of various cinematography courses at several universities.
Tea Falco (ITA) is an Italian actress, director, and artist known for IO E TE (2012) by Bernardo Bertolucci (2013 Cannes Film Festival) for which she received a Best Actress nomination for the David di Donatello Award, won the European Silver Ribbon as Best Emerging Actress, and the Aphrodite award. Her credits also include SOTTO UNA BUONA STELLA (2014), CECI N'EST PAS UN CANOLLO (2018), LA SOLITE COMMEDIA: INFERNO (2015), and the television show THE YOUNG MONTALBANO (2012–present). In 2015, she also starred in the television series "1992" as Beatrice Mainaghi. In 2000 she began to exhibit her photographs in Sicily and has been represented by the A.d.C. Contemporary Art Gallery in Los Angeles since 2010. Thanks to her photography she won the Cascella Prize in 2012 and the Mercante in Fiera Prize in 2015 and has exhibited her works at the Mia Art Fair (Milan) and L.A. Art Show fairs.
Laura Lehmus (FIN) is a Finish animation filmmaker, On – Air- Producer and Artdirector; She studied at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, her graduation short film NOT GOING DOW 2001 attended many international film festivals. After her studies she moved to Berlin, where she worked as an Art-Director and On-Air Producer for different TV-Channels such as ZDF, WDR, Arte, Nickolodeon, Solarfilms Helsinki and for other Projects. Her animation short film ALIENATION (2014) won the golden "LOLA" (German Academy Award in 2015) for the best animation. She is founder of her production company Larry Cooper which is based in Helsinki and Berlin. Laura does 2D and 3D Animations, Stop-Motion – Films, Motion- Design and On-Air- Design. Currently she is working on her first feature film. She lives in Helsinki with her son.
Basil Khalil (PSE/GBR) is an Academy Award and Palme d'Or nominated writer and director of Palestinian-British-Irish heritage. Basil's Oscar nominated short film AVE MARIA was described by the New York Times as "the Middle Eastern answer to 'Curb Your Enthusiasm.'" The film premiered in official competition at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival before being screened at more than 200 film festivals and winning over 40 awards (including interfilm). As a member of AMPAS, Basil is on the committees for nominating shorts, animated feature films, student shorts, and foreign language films for the Oscars®. He has lectured at a number of institutions including Berlinale Talents, NYU, University of Michigan, the Pentedattilo Film Festival, the Tangier Film Festival, and the International European Business School of Madrid. - Foto: Brigitte Lacombe
Ayyam Sureau (USA/FRA), born in the U.S. and educated in France, is a writer living in Paris, where she founded Association Pierre Claver, an NGO dedicated to the cultural integration of refugees in France. She served UNESCO in the Department of Philosophy for 11 years before devoting herself to writing. She translated and adapted the tales of her childhood by trying to write them down as her grandmother told them (THE TALES OF CAIRO, THE TALES OF NUBIA, THE SONG OF SPARROW) and other little known stories of the famous "Arabian Nights" such as "THE HORSE OF EBONY and A PLATE OF POMEGRANATE. Ayyam is the author of 11 books and is currently a member of the Ethics committee of the Paris Bar. - Foto: Aalam Wassef
Matrid Nyagah (KEN) is a fiction film and documentary producer, director, and actor based in Nairobi. Her productions have been showcased on local television stations numerous times, online and at international film festivals all over the world. Her most recent production WATU WOTE, where she was co - producer for the Hamburg Media School (HMS), won in the Best Narrative Short category at the 2017 Student Academy Awards and was nominated for an Oscar in the Live Action Short category in 2018. She also believes in the use of film as a tool for social change and its impact on communities across Africa. She is a children's acting coach and teaches film production and has worked with young children from the Dandora slums to produce a children's web series. She is the president of DADA TRUST, which runs Udada International Women's Film Festival, a film festival that honors the achievements of African women in the arts. She is also an ambassador of the SHE IS WE campaign run by the EU. - Foto: Pk Group Inc.
Valentin Thurn (DEU) is a filmmaker for broadcasters such as ARD, ZDF, ARTE, and other publicly funded television stations. He has written more than 50 television documentaries and reportages on social, development, environmental, and educational issues. The documentary TASTE THE WASTE, one of his best known projects for theater release, premiered at the 2011 Berlinale and received numerous awards. He is the founder of Thurn Film, an independent production company for national and international documentaries and TV shows with a focus on critical analyses of current events affecting the economy, medicine, the environment, politics, and current news stories. In addition, he founded the non-profit organizations "foodsharing e.V." in 2012 and "Taste of Heimat e.V." in 2014. - Foto: Monika Nonnenmacher
Anne Fabini (DEU) has worked on feature films and documentaries as an editor, with much success in both areas. Her films include numerous award-winning projects. RETURN TO HOMS (2014) and OF FATHERS AND SONS (2018) each won a World Documentary Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival. She received an award from the German Film Critics Association for the feature film HOUSTON in the Best Editor category in 2013. She has been nominated for a Lola Award in the Best Editor category for BERLIN CALLING in 2009, for MORE THAN HONEY in 2015, and for HOUSTON in 2016. Anne Fabini is a mentor for documentary film dramaturgy as part of international programs and serves as a board member of the German Film Academy. - Foto: Sylvia Steinhäuser
Leopold Grün (DEU) was born in Dresden in 1968. He has been a freelance documentary filmmaker in Berlin for many years and also involved in media education. As of September 2017, he is General Manager of AG Verleih. Neue Visionen Filmverleih presented his documentary features DER ROTE ELVIS (THE RED ELVIS) (2007) and AM ENDE DER MILCHSTRASSE (FAR END OF THE MILKY WAY) (Bavarian Film Award and the Bild-Kunst Award for Editing in 2014). For 10 years, Mr Grün was a member of the selection committee for doxs!, a program for children and adolescents at the Duisburger Filmwoche documentary festival. He was also in charge of the doxs! docu.klasse project, a cooperation with 3sat, the Grimme Academy, Deutschlandradio Kultur and the FSF, an organisation for the voluntary self-regulation of television. Together with Dirk Uhlig, he is currently workingon the filmproject WESTHAFEN.
Volker Traumann (DEU), based in Bamberg, works in the fields of theater, film, and circus both artistically and educationally, as well as a writer. He has worked as an actor for the theater company of the Landesbühne Oberfranken for several years after having earned a degree in theater studies from the Universität der Künste Berlin (UDK). He has contributed to educational projects in the media, theater, and circus focusing in particular on disadvantaged children and youths since 1996. Since 2005 he has served as director of the ZIRKUS GIOVANNI in Bamberg and conducts classes in acting, performing as a clown, equilibristics, and the "social circus" approach based on the Cirque du Soleil program. FELUWA, a theater project with more than 200 actors and spanning a wide range of areas, received a commendation from the Bavarian State for excellence in Environmental Protection in 2006. Since 2005 Volker Traumann has served as the director for the Bamberg Short Film Festival (Bayerischer Heimatpreis 2016) and works on cultivating interdisciplinary encounters between short films, music, poetry, object art, and performance art, in addition to curating the competition programs.
Erik Schmitt (DEU) is director and writer of the short film trilogy NASHORN IM GALOPP (2013), FOREVER OVER (2014), and BERLIN METANOIA (2016), for example. He has worked on ad spots and music videos, as well as on the documentary feature film SOLARTAXI:AROUND THE WORLD WITH THE SUN (2010). His short film NASHORN IM GALOPP was premiered at the Berlinale, subsequently receiving more than 50 awards at more than 100 festivals. NUN SEHEN SIE FOLGENDES (2011) was lauded with the German Short Film Award in 2011. He makes use of various elements in his films such as in-camera photography tricks, experiments with stop-motion, pixilation, and other film techniques, and plays with perspectives and with special set designs. Erik's current projects include improving his gardening skills, while working on the post-production of his first feature film STORY OF BERLIN (working title).
Nikki Schuster (AUT), based in Berlin, works as an experimental animated film artist and sound designer. In 2001, she founded Fiesfilm, an animated film label. In her films she mixes conventional stop-action with 2D computer technology. Her award-winning films have been screened at numerous international film festivals such as the 2016 Anifilm Třeboň (Best Non-narrative and Experimental Film) and the 2017 Tricky Women (Best Austrian Animated Film), as well as in exhibitions. In addition to producing her own films, she also works in motion design for theaters and television and for installation exhibitions. She conducts workshops for animated filmmaking, as well. She received artistic scholarships to work on projects in Paris and Buenos Aires (2010), in Taipei (2012), in Cochabamba, Bolivia (2014), and in Mexico City (2015, 2016, 2017).
Joanna Nelson (VEN/BEL) is a writer, producer, and director from Venezuela with a background in economics and management. She has worked in the audiovisual industry independently since 2012. She has produced and directed four short films using her own screenplays. Her winning pitch for her first feature film in development, HUNGER, took the Post-production Award at the FEST 2018 Pitching Forum. She is a representative for Olffi.com, the world's largest database on public funding for film and television, and currently also works as partnerships manager for FilmarketHub.com, Europe's leading online marketplace for feature films and series in development. Joanna has moderated numerous live events throughout her career, conducted workshops, and participated as a member of the jury at pitching events and festivals. - Foto: Tuki Jencquel
Bianca Oana (ROU) is a writer and producer based in Bucharest, Romania. She dedicates her time to discovering filmmakers with a particular artistic view, regardless of the medium they choose to explore. Her filmography includes Ivana Mladenović's TURN OF THE LIGHTS (Heart of Sarajevo for Best Documentary and Best Director at the 2012 Zagreb Dox) and TOTO AND HIS SISTERS by Alexander Nanau (Grand Prix at the Angers Film Festival, Golden Eye Award at the Zurich Film Festival, Best Documentary Award at the Warsaw Film Festival, and many others, as well as being nominated for the EFA in 2015). In 2015, she started producing the feature film TOUCH ME NOT by Adina Pintilie, a Romanian-German-Czech-Bulgarian-French co-production, which won the Golden Bear and the GFWW First Feature Award at the 2018 Berlinale, followed by an impressive festival circuit and being acquired for cinema distribution in more than 35 countries. Bianca is now producing Alexander Nanau's upcoming film PROJECT C (working title) and the HBO documentary GOLDEN GILR, co-produced by Edmont Media and Monogram Film, a company founded by Bianca in 2015. She is developing Adina Pintilie's next project DEATH AND THE MAIDEN (working title).
Ansgar Ahlers (DEU) is a creative director, producer, writer, and CEO of forseesense, his own media company (since 1999). He is known for BACH IN BRAZIL (2015), WEDDING DAYDREAM (2004), and COVERED WITH CHOCOLATE (2001). Since 1997 he has gained much experience in different areas of film sets, mostly as an assistant director on international cinema productions, for example, LUTHER (Eric Till) and ENEMY AT THE GATES (Jean-Jacques Annaud). In 2001 he produced and directed his first short film COVERED WITH CHOCOLATE, which was nominated for a Golden Bear Award at the International Film Festival Berlin. He started the international multimedia project DAYDREAMS in 2004, in collaboration with young talents throughout the world (www.WeNeedYourTalent.com). Since 2005 forseesense has focused on developing and producing film projects for science centers and exhibitions as well as non-commercial film projects. He wrote three funded feature film screenplays. His first feature film, BACH IN BRAZIL, a German-Brazilian cinema production, achieved three awards as director and co-producer. Alongside his film work, he's currently the speaker of cultural department of the city of Papenburg, Germany. - Foto: Thiago Vargas Ahlers