Pitching Forum

Close Up Pitching Forum

Panel Members

Each cohort of Close Up filmmakers pitch their projects in June at the end of the Close Up annual program to an acclaimed group of decision makers from the international documentary industry.


Co-founder, Catapult Film Fund and Executive producer – USA

Lisa Kleiner Chanoff is co-founder of Catapult Film Fund, which provides development grants to documentary films. Lisa has also executive produced narrative features including Fruitvale Station (Co-EP), Burn Country, and Love & Taxes, and documentary features including Watchers of the Sky and Brimstone & Glory. With Catapult, Lisa has executive produced Art and Craft, Extremis, When God Sleeps, and Life Overtakes Me. Lisa has a J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law and practiced law in San Francisco and with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C. After leaving law practice, Lisa received a master’s degree in Museum Studies and worked with museums in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Lisa assists several non-profits in an advisory capacity and serves on the boards of Working Films and SFFILM.


Co-Owner and CEO, Blue Ice Docs – Canada

Over the last 18 years, Robin has worked in management roles at a variety of film companies including the National Film Board of Canada, Alliance, Blackwatch Releasing, TIFF, Lions Gate Films, Seville Pictures and Capri Releasing. In 2007, he founded Canada’s premier boutique distribution company KinoSmith Inc. and has overseen the successful launch over 200 films within the Canadian marketplace. Notable successes under Smith’s guidance include such hits as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Russian Ark, Away From Her, Up The Yangtze, Cave Of Forgotten Dreams and Blackfish. Robin also worked as the Cinema Programmer for the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto for their first 10 years of operation. Currently, Robin is heralded as the one of the world’s leading documentary industry experts and intends to use his knowledge and expertise to steer Blue Ice Docs and his new job at Level Film as Head of Factual Content into an industry-leading documentary financing and distribution companies.


Director, The Silver Sun  Foundation – USA

Karen Sloe Goodman has worked in both feature and independent film production, and has been a Film Curator at the Jacob Burns Film Center and Media Arts Lab in Pleasantville, N.Y. since 2008 for multiple annual series as well as the Preview Film Club. She holds both an M.A. in Cinema Studies and an M.F.A. in Film Production from NYU’s Tisch Graduate School of the Arts. Her shortdocumentary “If She Grows Up Gay…” travelled to over 20 festivals internationally and is featured on the Frameline Voices distribution platform. Karen is the Founding Trustee of the Silver Sun Foundation and Director of the Silver Sun Residency for artists and changemakers.


Director of Artist Support Programs, Sundance Institute – USA

Kristin Feeley is Director of Labs and Artist Support Programs for the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program (DFP). She oversees five Sundance Documentary Creative Labs ann, co-programs the Sundance Creative Producing Summit and the Fellows Program at Sundance Film Festival, which serves over 150 artists annually. She plays a staff advisory role with the Sundance Documentary Fund, and also oversees content production and also works on DFP Creative Partnerships such as the Stories of Change initiative. Prior to Sundance DFP she worked at several international film festivals and arts non-profits including Tribeca Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival. Feeley received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and a Master of Philosophy in Media Studies from University of Glasgow, Scotland, focusing on early American documentary film.


Manager of the Documentary Film Fund, Sundance Institute – USA

Dominic Davis returned to the Sundance Institute in 2022 as Manager of the Documentary Film Fund. In 2011, Dominic worked as a coordinator in the Film Office (now Artist Relations) of the Sundance Film Festival, where he discovered film programming as a profession. While programming for the American Museum of Natural History, Tribeca Film Festival and Rooftop Films, he also reviewed applications for Catapult Film Fund and Creative Capital and managed the Rooftop Films Filmmakers Fund. Dominic has a degree in mass media studies and political science from the University of Kentucky. When not watching movies, he goes for very long runs.


Senior Programmer, Sundance Film Festival – USA

Basil Tsiokos is a Senior Programmer for the Sundance Film Festival, focusing on nonfiction features. He was most recently with DOC NYC for nearly a decade, where he served as Director of Programming since 2014, as well as with the Nantucket Film Festival as its Film Program Director. Prior to those positions, Basil was the longtime Artistic and Executive Director of NewFest: The NY LGBT Film Festival. He has been affiliated with Sundance since 2005 as a Programming Associate. Basil serves on the feature nominating committees for the International Documentary Association Awards and Cinema Eye Honors. He has written about documentaries daily since 2010 on what (not) to doc. Basil holds a Masters degree from New York University and two undergraduate degrees from Stanford University.


Film Fund Director, Sundance Institute – USA

Hajnal is the Film Fund Director at the Sundance Institute, where she finds, cultivates and finances bold, cinematic, non-fiction storytellers from around the globe. In addition to overseeing the granting of  $1.5 – 2 million dollars per year, Hajnal provides creative and editorial advice to supported films and filmmakers. Recent films supported by the Sundance Documentary Film Program include Hale County, Strong Islandand Last Men in Aleppo. Hajnal serves as a panelist, nominator and industry advisor for international film festivals, pitch forums and funds and is a summer lecturer at Sci-Arc in Los Angeles.  She holds a MSc in Public Management from SDA Bocconi School of Management in Italy and a Bachelor of International Business and German from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.  Prior to joining Sundance Institute, Hajnal worked for the European Union and the Government of Canada. Hajnal also works with community and arts-based non-profits in LA and is fluent in Hungarian.


Manager of Producing & Artist Support for the Documentary Film Program, The Sundance Institute – USA 

Maria Clement supports independent nonfiction storytellers year round as Manager of Producing and Artist Support for the Documentary Film Program. She oversees the Documentary Film Producers Lab and Fellowship, Documentary FIlm Producers Intensive, Producers Summit and provides creative advice to DFP supported artists. Maria holds a staff advisory role with the Sundance Documentary Fund. Prior to joining Sundance, she started her career working in nonfiction at Interloper Films and Academy Award® nominated Black Valley Films. Of Cuban heritage, she is proficient in Spanish and a Los Angeles native. She holds a degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Irvine.


Curator-in-Chief & Director of Film Programs, the Jacob Burns Film Center – USA

Ryan Harrington serves as the Curator-in-Chief and Director of Film Programs for the Jacob Burns Film Center. He is a film and television industry veteran of nearly 20 years. Previously, he worked as Vice President, Documentary Films at National Geographic/Disney+ and Vice President, Artists Programs at Tribeca Film Institute. He has dedicated his career to nurturing and empowering filmmakers from around the globe as a producer, creative executive, and through his various roles in the non-profit funding world.


Director of Programs, Media Arts Lab, The Jacob Burns Film Center – USA

As Director of Programs, Media Arts Lab, Sean leads the growth, overall strategic vision, and wildly talented staff of the education program and Creative Culture–an artist support program for filmmakers guided by a philosophy of inclusion and collaboration. His work in media education has received support from the MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Creative Culture’s fellowship program has produced short films selected by Sundance, Berlinale, SXSW with acquisitions by Criterion, Fox Searchlight, and POV. Creative Culture’s residency program is curated in partnership with Black Public Media, Close-Up, and Sundance Institute.


Artist Programs Manager, Creative Culture, The Jacob Burns Film Center – USA

Arno Mokros is a New York-based arts organizer, dedicated to supporting emerging filmmakers and other artists working across disciplines. In previous roles, he supported artists and small arts organizations at Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit arts service organization, and coordinated an interdisciplinary fellowship program for doctoral students at the Social Science Research Council. He graduated from Smith College with a degree in environmental studies, and is passionate about mental health, cooking, and queer community.


Artistic Director, The Whickers – UK

Jane is the Artistic Director for The Whickers and a multi-award-winning documentary maker and executive producer in radio and television. Her awards range from the Sony Award for best news programme (2002) and the TRIC award for best children’s programme (1993) to China’s Golden Kapok award for best director (2014). Having spent 29 years at the BBC, Jane worked with Alan Whicker in the 1990s and in 2015 got the call to help set up a new documentary foundation funded by his generous legacy. She wrote and directed Radio 4’s archive programme about Alan: Around the World in 80 years, presented by Michael Palin, and is immensely proud to have participated in his work for TV and radio.


Director, Docs Up Fund – France

Alex Szalat is the Head of Docs Up Fund, an association dedicated to feature length documentaries about Human Rights. From September 2011 until March 2019, he was the Deputy Head of the Documentary Department of Arte France (Society and Culture). From 2008 to 2011, he headed the Current Affairs, Social Issues and Geopolitical Department. From 2005 to 2008, he was a commissioning editor for the Geopolitical Europe and Society Department of Arte France. Alex Szalat began his career in 1977 as a director of short films, documentaries and TV series. His filmography is extensively covering a full range of aspects dealing with European life culture and society. In 1987, Alex Szalat founded KS VISIONS, an independent producers’ company which has produced over a hundred documentaries films and TV series for Canal +, Arte, FR3, FR2, TF1, Planete, IBA, RTBF, VRT, Dutch Channel 1, amongst others. Alex Szalat also acts as a selection committee member for Close Up. Docs Up Fund supports Close Up projects that shine light on human rights issues in the Middle East and North Africa.


Head of Development, IEFTA – Monaco 

Lianne began her career in 2008 in Film and Television Distribution as the Personal Assistant to the Vice President of Daro Film Distribution in Monaco. After 5 years with the company, she was transitioned into the role of Head of Marketing. Lianne organized, managed and attended Daro Film Distribution’s participation at some of the worlds largest entertainment content markets including MIPCOM and MIPTV. In 2020, Lianne began working with the International Emerging Film Talent Organisation (IEFTA), a Monaco-based NGO founded with the mission of discovering and developing film talent from emerging regions, globally. As IEFTA’s Head of Development, Lianne oversees IEFTA’s partnerships, including future opportunities for the organisation’s growth through new collaborations.


Director of MEDIMED: The Euro-Mediterranean Documentary Market & Pitching Forum – Spain 

Sergi Doladé joined the Association of Euro-Mediterranean Producers (APIMED) as managing director in 2000 and   consequently was appointed director of MEDIMED, the Euro  Mediterranean Documentary Market & Pitching Forum that  takes place yearly in Sitges (Barcelona-Spain).He began his professional career at the  Director’s cabinet of the European Commission Representation in Barcelona, dealing  with dossiers such as the MEDIA Programme.  Mr. Doladé has been involved with the audio-visual sector since 1998 when he became  coordinator of the international relations department of the Spanish film company, Els  Films de la Rambla. From 1998 to 2004, he was vice-president of the association for the  promotion of new audiovisual talents, AV FAD Audio-visual, being in charge of the  selection of European students attending the regular courses at the EICTV (Escuela  Internacional de Cine y Televisión de San Antonio de los Baños – Cuba). He’s been  involved with the MEDEA programme of Euromed Audiovisual I as invited expert and in  2012 was appointed Head of Studies of the ACCESS to Markets programme run by the  Media Business School for Euromed Audiovisual III (2012-14). He’s been jury member at  several international film festivals in Spain such as: Festival Incurt, Festival de Cine  Español de Melilla, Festival Docupolis-Barcelona, Festival de Cine Judío de Barcelona,  Premios AV FAD Audiovisual, Premios Universitat Ramon Llull and at the CMCA  Documentary Awards in 2007-09-11, FIGRA Doc Festival 2015, and recently Sheffield Doc  Fest 2016 and Escales Documentaires 2016. Since 2006, he teaches at the Masters of  Cinematographic Direction at the Ramon Llull University (Barcelona).


Artistic Director, Movies that Matter Film Festival – The Netherlands

After finishing her studies, Margje de Koning made all sorts of documentaries for many different broadcasting companies for 12 years. In 2004 Margje de Koning became a part time teacher at the Culture & Media studies (department Film& Television at the University of Amsterdam). In August 2004, Margje de Koning became Commissioning Editor for a documentary slot of 52’ docs. This meant producing and co-producing creative single 52′-documentaries. Since January 2005 Margje de Koning was responsible for the Television Department of IKON and on January 2012 she became Head of TV, Radio and New Media programming at IKON. From January 2016 IKON has been incorporated within EO with Margje de Koning as Commissioning Editor Documentaries for EO, JDocs and IKONdocs. Since June 2019, Margje has been artistic director of Movies that Matter.


Director of Funds and Advocacy, International Documentary Association (IDA) – USA 

Keisha Knight is the Director of IDA Funds and Advocacy. In this capacity, Keisha oversees a portfolio of IDA’s granting, artist support, and field-building programs, including IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund, Logan Elevate Grants, Nonfiction Access Initiative, and the Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund, among other granting programs. Keisha has served on numerous juries and review panels and is a 2022-2023 Warhol Curatorial Research Fellow. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of Sentient.Art.Film and a doctoral candidate in Art, Film, and Visual Studies at Harvard University.


Program Director, Chicken & Egg Pictures – USA

As Program Director at Chicken & Egg Pictures, Lucila oversees the planning and implementation of the organization’s programs in support of women nonfiction filmmakers. Originally from Mexico City, Lucila has collaborated with New York’s independent film community since 1996. Prior to joining Chicken & Egg Pictures, she was Executive Producing Director at the internationally renowned UnionDocs, Center for Documentary Art, in Brooklyn. Formerly, she was Manager of the Production Assistance Program at Women Make Movies, a program that provides support to women filmmakers in the development of their projects. She was Director of the Media Arts Fellowships for the Rockefeller Foundation, a highly prestigious program that supported media artists in the U.S. and Latin America, and she is Founder and was Coordinator of the TFI Latin America Media Arts Fund for the Tribeca Film Institute. Lucila is in the documentary selection committee of the Morelia International Film Festival in Mexico, and sits on the founding Executive Board of Cine Qua Non Lab, a residency for international filmmakers based in Michoacán, Mexico; she was Vice President of the Board of Trustees of The Flaherty and was the U.S. Delegate for the Huesca International Film Festival in Spain. Her work as Associate Producer includes the documentary series The New Americansfor Kartemquin Films, and Shocking and Awfulfor Deep Dish TV, which was part of the 2006 Whitney Biennial. Lucila holds a degree in Philosophy at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, where she taught until 1996.


Chicken & Egg Pictures – USA 

Iva is Program Manager at Chicken & Egg Pictures, a US-based funding organization that provides a global community of women and non-binary documentary filmmakers with creative and financial support. Iva oversees the application, selection, and evaluation activities for all programs and grants. She is focused on the iterative improvement of internal processes to ensure transparent, equitable, and affirming experiences for filmmakers across key touchpoints with the organization.


Filmmaker Engagement Manager, Chicken & Egg Pictures – USA

As Filmmaker Engagement Manager at Chicken & Egg Pictures, Jaad Asante’s work focuses on fostering a strong AlumNest community and increasing their access to resources and opportunities by connecting them with potential funders, partners, and networks. She produces the NEXT GEN EGG event and manages Docs by the Dozen, the organization’s shorts and series initiative.


Co-Director & Chief Program Officer, Catapult Film Fund – USA 

Megan Gelstein is the Co-Director / Chief Program Officer of Catapult Film Fund. Catapult is dedicated to supporting nonfiction filmmakers with critical early stage funding and mentorship to launch distinctive, story-driven, and cinematic films. In her role, she supports and cultivates independent cinematic non-fiction filmmakers globally, and provides creative, strategic, and editorial advice to supported films and filmmakers through Catapult’s artist development programs. Recent films supported by Catapult include ALL THAT BREATHES (Sundance 2022, HBO), THE TERRITORY (Sundance 2022, National Geographic) AT THE READY (Sundance 2021, HBO-MAX) CRIP CAMP (Sundance 2020, Netflix), and AMERICAN FACTORY (Sundance, 2019, Netflix). Megan serves as a panelist, nominator and industry advisor for international film festivals, pitch forums and has also executive produced documentary features including A BUNCH OF AMATEURS (Sheffield 2022, BBC) which is 2022 top grossing doc feature in the UK, LOVE & STUFF (Hot Docs 2020, POV) dubbed “…a deeply resonant work. Honest and revealing, but not in an icky solipsistic way” and STORM LAKE (Full Frame 2021, IL) described as “…an elegiac heartland portrait…colored by the hope of endurance, both for the newspaper and the community it represents.”. Additional credits include RAZING LIBERTY SQUARE (IL 2023), and LIFT (Tribeca 2022, Paramount+).


Program Director & Co-Founder, Points North Institute – USA 

Sean Flynn is the Program Director and Co-Founder of the Points North Institute, where he leads the development and curation of the Points North Forum and Artist Programs since 2011. Sean received a master’s degree from MIT’s Comparative Media Studies department while working as a researcher at the MIT Open Documentary Lab. Sean began his filmmaking career as a producer and cinematographer on two feature-length documentaries, BEYOND BELIEF and THE LIST, both of which had their premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and aired on national television. In 2012, Sean was a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow in Mumbai, India.


Head of the Industry, IDFA – The Netherlands

Adriek van Nieuwenhuyzen finished her masters in Theatre and Film Science in 1989 at the University of Utrecht. Already during her studies she started specializing in documentary and got involved in the first edition of IDFA, by then a small but sparkling initiative to bring back documentary on the big screen in Amsterdam. In 1993 she became deputy director at IDFA. From the beginning she was mainly involved in programming at IDFA which in twenty years’ time became one of the leading documentary festivals in the world. She curated several programs at IDFA. From February 2007 on she is Head of the Industry office of IDFA .In this position she is in charge of the IDFA markets (IDFA Forum, Docs for Sale) and special programming for industry delegates.

Besides working at IDFA she is a member of the selection committee of the IDFA Bertha Fund which aims to generate more attention for the voices of filmmakers in the developing world.


Managing Director of the IDFA BERTHA FUND – The Netherlands

Isabel Arrate Fernandez finished her MA in Film Studies from the University of Amsterdam in 1996, and worked in festival production, programming and film financing before joining IDFA to head the IDFA Bertha Fund. Since 2020 she is the deputy director of IDFA in charge of the Filmmaker Support department. As such she is responsible for the IDFA Bertha Fund (IBF) and oversees the Talent Development programs.

In 22 years the IDFA Bertha Fund has developed into an internationally renowned institution with a broad network supporting over 600 documentaries projects and film organizations in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.


Project Manager of the IDFA BERTHA FUND – The Netherlands

Mélanie de Vocht finished her MA in Cultural Anthropology in 2005. After graduating she started working for the Program Department of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). From 2006 until now she’s working for the IDFA Bertha Fund. As project manager of the Fund Mélanie oversees the mentoring of the supported projects, is part of the pre-selection committee, guides the selected projects and takes care of the IDFA Bertha Fund selection and delegation at IDFA each year. Furthermore, she represented the fund and/or was part of the jury in several documentary film festivals in the IBF focus countries. In 24 years the IDFA Bertha Fund has developed into an internationally renowned institution with a broad network supporting over 800 documentaries projects and film organisations in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and Oceania.


Head of Industry at CPH:DOX – Denmark

Tereza Simikova is the Head of Industry at CPH:DOX, providing a platform for development and financing of creative and visually strong non-fiction projects with international potential, whether they are features, series or new media. In her other capacity, Tereza tailors the international strategy for the grantees of Chicken and Egg Pictures from the position of its International Program Consultant. After graduating with a degree in documentary filmmaking from FAMU, Prague in 2009, she served as the Program Manager of the international rough-cut workshop dok.incubator and served as the Head of industry of East Doc Platform, the largest co-production market and pitching forum focused on the Central and Eastern European region.


International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) – Switzerland

Laura has been involved in the documentary industry for over 20 years. Over the last few years, she has developed a growing interest in outreach and impact productions. In 2019, she launched the Impact Days: The first ever industry event entirely focused on impacts within the framework of the FIFDH, a leading international film festival on human rights in Geneva. This event is dedicated to international filmmakers wishing to have an impact with their documentaries and connect to the numerous changemakers operating in the region. It is composed of an Impact Lab, curated networking opportunities with NGOs, foundations and international organisations, as well as other impact activities. Laura’s main interest is the intersection between human rights activism and storytelling.


Commissioning Editor, The Danish Film Institute – Denmark

Cecilia Lidin is the commissioning editor for the Danish Film Institute. She has more than 20 years of experience in developing and financing documentary films. From 2011 to June of this year she was employed at the Swedish Film Institute as Documentary Film Commissioner. From 2009 to 2011, Cecilia Lidin headed the European Documentary Network where she was previously assigned as a consultant. She has also served as artistic director of Odense International Film Festival and worked with the promotion of Nordic short films and documentaries at Filmkontakt Nord. Cecilia Lidin, who is a Film Studies graduate from the University of Copenhagen, takes over from Klara Grunning-Harris and starts her work on 1 October.


Director, The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture AVEK – Finland

As the director of the Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture in Finland – AVEK, Ulla Simonen runs a fund supporting production, training and international promotion in the field of media art, documentary and short films. Simonen has worn different hats in the field of filmmaking since the mid-nineties. Before joining AVEK, she was for 9 years producer and partner in the Helsinki based company MADE. She is educated as film editor, has produced over 50 titles; shorts, features, both fiction and documentary, tutored for Berlinale talents since 2008 and many other talent development and training programs, such as Dok.Incubator, Generation Africa and IDFAcademy. She has worked also as a commissioner for short films and documentaries and as the artistic director of DocPoint Festival in Helsinki. In her work, be it producing or tutoring she is dedicated to find the film-makers vision and to finding ways how to enhance and support that vision. Now she is using all her knowledge to guide AVEK as a home for audiovisual art in Finland. Simonen is a strong believer in international co-operation and solidarity between filmmakers.


Project Manager, Sørfond Norwegian South Film Fund – Norway

Per Eirik Gilsvik has represented SØRFOND since 2014, and as the funds Project Manager since 2016. Per Eirik also works as a programmer for the two film festivals Films from the South & Oslo Pix. Sørfond is a film production fund that supports projects from developing countries on Sørfond’s ‘List of 85 Countries’. A Norwegian co-producer is required to apply, and at least 50 % of the budget must be in place at the time of applying. Since its start in 2012, Sørfond has supported 52 film projects – both fiction and documentary. We have one annual deadline in March. The fund is administered by the Films from the South Festival and the Norwegian Film Institute, and it was established with funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Executive Director, InMaat Foundation – USA

Rebecca (Becky) Lichtenfeld is an Emmy award-winning producer and impact strategist guided by the belief that media and the arts play a vital role in the advancement of human rights. Over the past two decades Becky has executed ‘creative advocacy’ projects involving filmmakers, artists, heads of state and organizers from around the globe. The power of narrative is a theme woven throughout Becky’s work Before joining InMaat as Executive Director, Rebecca directed the Storytelling portfolio at the Bertha Foundation, where she was involved in the production and impact distribution of several Oscar-nominated and winning feature-length documentaries. Prior to that, she worked at WITNESS, an international non-profit that uses video as a tool in defense of human rights. Becky finds joy in music! She has sung backup for Marc Anthony, Harry Belafonte, the B52’s, Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls, Angélique Kidjo and others. Becky is currently a proud member of the Resistance Revival Chorus which combines the dominant forces in her life – music, community and social justice.


Director of Programs and Documentaries, 2M TV – Morocco

Reda Benjelloun is currently the director of news magazines and documentaries of 2M TV (Morocco). Since 2011, he has produced “Des Histoires et des Hommes”, a weekly documentary broadcast every Sunday evening in prime time. Reda Benjelloun graduated in law from the Sorbonne (France). In 1995, he turned to journalism and joined 2M. He has been a reporter, news presenter and producer of news magazines.


Arte Coordinator and Commissioning Editor, Documentary Unit, Südwestrundfunk (SWR/ARD) – Germany

Dr. Gudrun Hanke-El Ghomri is Arte representative SUEDWESTRUNDFUNK (SWR/ARD, German public TV). A large number of documentaries she coproduced won international awards and were shown at international festivals. Three documentaries she commissioned were nominated for the Academy Awards.


Senior Commissioning Editor, ZDF/ARTE – Germany

Sabine Bubeck-Paaz is a Senior Commissioning Editor at the German Public TV Broadcaster ZDF, where she is dealing with diverse documentary slots on ARTE, the European Culture Channel. Within the editorial department “ZDF/ARTE Culture and Music”, she mostly co-produces documentary films (52minutes and feature length) for the ARTE documentary slots: Visual Arts, Culture, Music, Pop-Culture, Cinema Documentary and La Lucarne. Some of her recent titles are “Hidden Letters“, “Obsessed by Light”, “Call me Dancer”, “Can Creativity Save The World?”, “Christo and Jeanne-Claude”, “Leftover Women”. Many of her international co-productions have been honored with awards – some, such as “The Act of Killing”, “The Look of Silence” and “Spectres of Shoah” were nominated for the Oscars. Sabine Bubeck-Paaz is also tutoring at diverse documentary development initiatives.


Commissioning Editor, BBC Storyville – UK 

Lucie Kon is Commissioning Editor at Storyville, the BBC’s flagship documentary feature documentary strand. Previously Executive Producer on the BBC’s ground-breaking investigative documentary series, she is passionate about telling brilliant and timely stories from across the globe, and a reputation for mentoring new and emerging talent, and innovating to fund, commission and create agenda setting, visually arresting feature documentaries. Lucie is a member of the Board of the EBU documentary committee, a mentor for Screenskills and the Momentum project and has had nominations for BAFTAs, the International Emmy’s, and Grierson Awards.


Commissioning Editor, Documentaries France5 – France

Since 2001, Sophie Chegaray is commissioning editor for documentaries on current affairs, international, domestic and social issues at France 5. Since 2019, she is assistant to the director in charge of Society (Current affairs) and Geopolitics Documentaries for France 2, France 3 and France 5, France Télévision Group.


Head of International Coproductions, The Society and Culture Department in ARTE –  France

After being a teacher abroad, working in France 2 as a commissioning editor and running an NGO, Alexandre Marionneau is now head of international coproductions for the Society and Culture Department of Arte France.


Deputy Director, History, Investigation, and Geopolitics Department, ARTE –  France

Graduated in history, she began to work at France 2, French national TV channel, to promote the programs. In 1997 she’s involved in the launch ofHistoire, a thematic channel broadcasted on cable and satellite, as communication manager and later became in charge of the acquisitions (buy, pre-buy and copro, 400 hours per year). She joined ARTE France in 2014 as a Commissioning Editor for the Society and Culture Department, where she is now Deputy Director, supervising History, investigation, and geopolitics strands.


Head of THEMA and Geopolitics ARTE G.E.I.E. – France

After a first job at ARTE Deutschland in Baden Baden, Claudia Bucher started in Strasbourg as commissioning editor in the theme evening department. Since 2013 she is head of THEMA and Geopolitics at ARTE GEIE in Strasbourg. THEMA investigates current political, socio-economic, environmental, and public health issues. The GEOPOLITICS-slot observes and analyses the accelerating changes in a world of globalization. Claudia is regularly tutor for the Documentary Campus Masterschool and member of the EBU documentary group.


Deputy Manager, The Society and Culture Department in ARTE – France.

Karen Michael has been working for La Sept/Arte since its beginning. Since September 2011, Karen was Commissioning Editor for the Society and Culture Department and in charge of Culture and Investigation documentaries. Since 2019, Karen Michael is Deputy Manager for the Society and Culture Department in Arte France.


Executive Producer, The Guardian – UK

Jess Gormley is the Executive Producer of the Oscar and BAFTA winning strand, Guardian Documentaries. She has worked at the Guardian for 9 years and some of her best known documentaries are; Colette, The Black Cop and Our Iranian Lockdown. Prior to the Guardian she produced and exec produced both documentaries and drama for television, cinema and online, including titles such as; ‘McCullin’ – double BAFTA nominated feature documentary, ‘Attacking the Devil’ Sheffield Jury Prize winner documentary, ‘Radiator’ – drama feature film, ‘Akram Khan:Homeland’ – More 4 documentary, ‘Rankin Presents Collabor8te’ – Sky Arts 4 part series and ‘The Arbor’ Bafta-nominated docu-drama.


Head of Documentaries, The Guardian – UK

Lindsay is Head of Documentaries at the Guardian where she commissions and oversees the Guardian’s documentary content. Her core focus is the short-form documentary strand on theguardian.com for films with strong, character-led narratives that are about compelling, contemporary stories. Lindsay is passionate about innovation in digital storytelling and has a strong journalistic as well as filmmaking background. Her work has been shown at festivals around the world, including Sundance, Tribeca, Idfa, Cannes, and has been recognized with a number of prestigious awards.


Acquisitions Manager, TRT World – Turkey

Lebanese American filmmaker, educator and media executive, currently leading the Acquisitions Team at TRT World in Istanbul. TRT World is the English Language news and current affairs channel owned by Turkish Radio and Television Corporation. Itani started her corporate career at Al Jazeera in 2005 where she produced programs for Al Jazeera Arabic News Channel. Between 2010 and 2017 Itani moved to independent filmmaking. Her projects have been selected for grants and industry events by the Doha Film Institute, Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), European Producers Network, and the Rotterdam Film Lab of IFFR, among others. Films she produced / co-produced / directed as of 2010 have screened at the Venice Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival and other Academy Award qualifying film festivals and won several awards.Itani holds a BA in Communication Arts from the Lebanese American University in Beirut and an MFA in Screenwriting from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA (USA). She has taught screenwriting and video production at her alma matters and conducted multiple screenwriting and filmmaking workshops. While a strong advocate for equality and social justice, she is herself a full-time slave to her 4 feline children.


Managing and Artistic Director of FIPADOC – France

After been a lawyer and a banker, Christine Camdessus launched her production company in 2001: ALEGRIA PRODUCTIONS. Among more than 60 creative documentaries, distributed in most of the world: Hammer and Tickle, Pakistan Zindabad, Five Broken Cameras, by Emad Burnad and Guy Davidi (Sundance director’s price 2012, Oscar Nomination 2013 – International Emmy Award 2013), Divided Korea, The Wonderfull Kingdom of Papa Alaev, Erdogan, the making of a sultan, One day in Tehran and Forman versus Forman presented in Cannes Classics in 2019. In June 2018, Christine as been nominated managing and artistic director of FIPADOC, a new festival dedicated to documentaries which will take place in Biarritz (France) the third week of January. FIPADOC, international documentary film festival, brings general public and professionals together for screenings outstanding documentary films. Hosting meetandgreets and premiering new projects, FIPADOC will promote innovation and new talent.


CEO & Executive Producer, The WHY Foundation – Denmark

Mette Hoffmann Meyer is a Danish film producer. She is currently CEO and Executive Producer of THE WHY Foundation based in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she produces 10-20 high quality documentary films every year. Hoffmann Meyer has been spearheading the documentary film industry for many years, as a dynamic Producer and Commissiong Editor. She has worked on most of the award winning films produced in Denmark, and has focused on supporting filmmakers from emerging markets where funding and infrastructure are lacking. She holds a Peabody, a Grierson, an IDA award and an Emmy to her name, and has co-produced a number of Oscar nominated films. In 2022, she received an OTTO – a Danish lifetime achievement award – for her strong influence within the documentary film industry in Denmark. Mette has worked on the multi – award winning films Taxi to the Dark Side, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, The Red Chapel. The Mole Agent, If the Tree Falls, Searching for Sugarman, The Gatekeepers, The Square, Last Men in Aleppo and Strong Island to mention a few. As the CEO and founder of THE WHY Foundation, her focus is on human rights. THE WHY is a non-profit media organisation that supports sustainable development by securing free access to reliable information for millions of people around the world. THE WHY produces and distributes documentaries & multimedia content about human rights, democracy, justice and equality.


Head of FIPADOC Forum – France

Charlotte Reekers is the newly appointed head of FIPADOC Forum, and she’ll oversee the industry days during the festival in January. Recently she was the Senior Program Manager Documentary at the Gotham (formerly IFP) in New York City. There she organized the Documentary Lab and the Spotlight on Documentaries Project Forum – the oldest and largest co-production markets in the US. She continues to work for the Gotham as a mentor for women and non-binary creators. Before she moved to New York from Amsterdam, she was a manager for 4-years at IDFA Forum. Charlotte also had jobs at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, Sheffield Doc/Fest (UK), the Dutch Cinema Exhibitor Association, sales agent Fortissimo Films, and as an independent film consultant. 


Founder, Tondowski Films – Germany

Alexandre Tondowski began his career in the 1980s as a stage actor in Paris, London and New York. After moving to Los Angeles, he was involved in many films, series and commercials before moving back to Europe. In 2011 he and his wife, Ira Tondowski, founded Tondowski Films with the goal of supporting visionary directors in their projects. They produced together the award wining documentaries SONG FROM THE FOREST (2013) and BORN IN EVIN (2019) among others. They work closely with writers and directors of diverse cultural backgrounds, from initial concept to final realization. For us at TONDOWSKI FILMS filmmaking is about the realisation of strong stories in a simple and straightforward way. From documentary to feature films TONDOWSKI FILMS works with passion and creativity to bring ideas on screen.


Creative Producer, Jyoti Film – Germany

Lilian Tietjen joined Jyoti Film in 2020 as a creative producer. In addition, she is freelance producing state of the art commercials and music videos since 2015. Her documentary career started over a decade ago, researching, developing and shooting for editorial departments of various companies. Studying in the UK and Belarus has sparked her passion to build bridges and produce films that matter and raise critical debates. Lilian loves to provide an outside the box perspective and the hands-on, innovative and solution oriented framework, necessary to bring film ideas to life.


Clin d’oeil Films – Belgium

Evelien De Graef graduated as a documentary director at RITCS Brussels (Royal Institute of Cinema, Theatre & Sound), after obtaining a degree in Spanish language & literature at the University of Antwerp. In 2018 she graduated from film school with her short documentary “Histoire d’un boulevard”, that was selected for the BREEDBEELD Short Film Festival and the Brussels Festival En Ville!. She participated in fiction projects as a 2nd AD and script supervisor and also handled camera and editing for documentary projects.In the past few years her interest shifted towards producing and she gained experience working in different kinds of fields for various production companies, amongst which Inti Films, DIPLODOKUS and Caviar. She now uses her passion as a junior producer and production manager for Clin d’oeil films, where her background as a filmmaker enables her to provide assistance in both the creative aspect as well as the overall production process. Evelien was selected for IDFAcademy 2020 and participated in EURODOC21 with the film “Marching in the Dark” written and directed by Kinshuk Surjan (to be released in 2024).


Clin d’oeil Films – Belgium

Hanne Phlypo is a Belgian producer. Her latest productions DRAW FOR CHANGE (2023 – series), DREAMING WALLS: INSIDE THE CHELSEA HOTEL (2022), BY THE NAME OF TANIA (2019) and GODS OF MOLENBEEK (2019) premiered at leading festivals and won multiple awards worldwide. Hanne trained as director at the Belgian film school INSAS. In 2010 she founded Clin d’oeil films and has since then produced over 30 films. The company focuses on creative documentaries and author-driven film with a clear preference for films with a social or political statement by innovative filmmakers. Today, Clin d’oeil films is one of Belgian’s most prominent documentary production companies, famous for cinematic films and local stories with a global impact. Hanne is an alumna of EAVE, Eurodoc and a member of the EFA Academy. Today Hanne combines her activities as a producer with part time tutoring at the Belgian film school INSAS.


Founder, Muyi Film – The Netherlands

Jia Zhao is a Chinese-Dutch film producer based in Amsterdam. She founded MUYI FILM and cofounded SILK ROAD FILM SALON with Afghan-Dutch film director Aboozar Amini. Jia matches resources from the East and West to nurture emerging voices and authentic stories in high cinematic quality. In 2021, A Marble Travelogue by Sean Wang is selected for IDFA Frontlight and I’m So Sorry (co-producer) by Zhao Liang for Cannes film festival. From 2015 to 2019 her works Mr. Hu and the Temple, Fallen Flowers Thick Leaves, Lady of the Harbour, Kabul, City in the Wind, Smog Town (co-producer) have been shortlisted for IDFA Competition section for five times in a row, with Kabul, City in the Wind being the opening film for IDFA 2018 and awarded Jury Award for First Appearance Competition. Since 2022 Jia is the artistic director of Cinemasia film festival in Amsterdam.


Mantaray Film – Sweden

The Emmy award-winning producer and director Maryam Ebrahimi was born in Tehran in 1976. She studied Art and Art theory at Art faculty in Tehran and continued her education in Sweden in ’Art in the public realm’ at Konstfck. Later she started to work as producer, director and researcher in documentary field. She co-directed and produced Nima Film’s 2012 documentary ‘No Burqas Behind Bars’, set in an Afghan women’s prison and directed the short documentary ‘Susie’s Dollhouse’ for Swedish broadcaster SVT. For Nima Film Maryam also produced ‘I Was Worth 50 Sheep’ (2010) filmed in Afghanistan, ‘Those Who Said No’ (2014) filmed in Iran, Sweden and Japan and ‘Prison Sisters’ filmed in Sweden and Afghanistan. Her last feature documentary as director is Stronger than a Bullet¨. The film was shot in the border between Iran and Iraq and had premiere at IDFA 2017. “Born to Struggle” was her last project working with Nimafilm. The documentary was shot in Rohingya refugee camp. She is also shooting her new documentary The Phantom pain of Rojava, a film about the women revolution in Rojava, north of Syria. The film is produced by Mantaray Film. Maryam won the Chicken & Egg Award 2021, an award for women nonfiction filmmakers. She has a deep knowledge of visual storytelling as well as extensive experience in location shooting.


Doc Toolbox Programme Project Manager, European Film Market – Germany

Babette Dieu holds a master’s degree in anthropology. She has been working in festivals and festivals and film markets since 2016. She has had the chance to be part of the teams of Doclisboa (Portugal), FIFF (Belgium), DOK Leipzig (Germany), Marché du Film – Cannes Docs (France) and the European Film Market – Toolbox Programme (Germany). She works and collaborated as a documentary programmer in different film festivals (FIDÉ (France), Montreal Feminist Film Festival (Canada), Festival En Ville! Festival En Ville! (Belgium), Filémon (Belgium).