Natalia is a Commissioning Editor for Current Time TV, overseeing acquisition and co-production of the best world documentaries for the Realnoye Kino (Real Cinema) strand of the channel, which aims to make the world of documentaries more familiar to Russian-speaking audiences. Since the Realnoye Kino launch in 2017, it has become a real home to the most daring documentary films and the biggest documentary platform for the Russian-speaking world. Among the films commissioned or co-produced by Current Time TV are multi-award-winning Putin’s Witnesses by Vitaly Manski and State Funeral by Sergei Loznitsa, as well as films by prominent first-and second-time filmmakers such as Alisa Kovalenko’s Home Games, Heat Singers by Nadia Parfan and Hey, Teachers! by Julia Vishnevetskaya. Current Time is a project of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) in cooperation with the Voice of America. CT TV broadcasts on Satellite, Cable and via 24-hour stream on its website and YouTube channel.
Christa Auderlitzky has been a film professional for many years. After her studies (theatre-, film- and media science) she worked as programmer at a Viennese art house cinema and for a national distributor in Austria, and later on as artistic director of the Austrian Filmgallery. In 2010 she founded Filmdelights, a world sales and distribution company. She takes part in many Pitching Forums as a Decision Maker.
Thomas Beyer studied journalism and geography in Leipzig, and worked as a journalist, producer and documentary filmmaker in Leipzig and Hamburg. Since 2020 he works for MDR Television as a commissioning editor in the documentary department. Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (Central German Broadcasting, MDR) is the public broadcaster for the federal states of Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. Established in January 1991, its headquarters are in Leipzig and Halle, with regional studios in Dresden, Erfurt and Magdeburg. MDR is a member of the ARD consortium of public broadcasters in Germany. MDR broadcasts its own television and a number of radio channels to the three states it serves, and also contributes programming to the first German TV channel (Das Erste) and to ARTE.
Zdeněk Blaha is currently Programme Director at the Institute of Documentary Film, and is managing the East Doc Platform – a key networking event focused on upcoming documentary films from the CEE region. He has been working for the Institute of Documentary Film since 2009, specializing in festival strategies and distribution as manager of East Silver, a film market focused on documentaries from Central and Eastern Europe. He maintains continuous cooperation with festivals within the Czech Republic such as Karlovy Vary IFF (as an expert on documentary film). In the past ten years Zdenek also worked as a curator for Days of European Film, a festival focused on contemporary European cinema, and Summer Film School Uherské Hradiště (festival programmer). As a freelance consultant, Zdenek works as script editor on various documentary and interactive/XR projects. The Institute of Documentary Film (IDF) has been supporting creative documentary films from Central and Eastern Europe since 2001. IDF provides both emerging and experienced filmmakers with training, financing, networking and pitching opportunities, helps them get international attention and co-productions, rewards exceptional projects with awards and further opportunities, and improves their orientation on the international market. The promotional and practical services of IDF include a wide range of online and offline catalogues created annually, an updated database of CEE documentaries and professionals, a calendar of important deadlines for producers, and news from the world of documentary film in general via dokweb.net and social media. To the audience of documentary enthusiasts, IDF brings a rich programme of lectures, presentations and screenings in their home regions or during IDF’s industry events.
Sabine Bubeck-Paaz is a Senior Commissioning Editor at German public TV broadcaster ZDF, where she works for various documentary slots on ARTE, the European Culture Channel. For the Culture and Music editorial department she supervises mostly international documentary co-productions (52’/90’) and cross media projects. The thematic spectrum ranges from socio-political to cultural topics. Some of her recent titles are: The Wall of Shadows, A Tunnel, Town of Glory, Leftover Women, The Whale and the Raven. Many of her programs have been honored with awards – some, such as The Act of Killing, The Look of Silence and Spectres of the Shoah were nominated for an Academy Award. Sabine Bubeck-Paaz is also Head of Studies for the European training initiative ESoDoc – European Social Documentary, organized by the ZeLIG documentary film school in Bolzano.
Master’s degree in Film and Law from the University of Copenhagen. Worked with international documentaries (selling, buying, commissioning and co-prod.) for the last 20+ years. Previously Head of Sales at TV 2 WORLD and Head of Industry at CPH:DOX (2012 & 2013). Currently: overseeing all documentary films for the international market – mainly from independent producers from the Nordic region, but also from the US, UK, Germany etc., as well as helping producers with getting their films financed. DR Sales is the sales department of the Danish Broadcasting Corp. It is Scandinavia’s largest international distributor, specializing in social and political contemporary documentaries and present at all major television markets and festivals. DR Sales also handles film projects in production in close collaboration with independent producers eligible for international co-productions and pre-sales.
Aleksandra is Sales Manager in the Sales and Acquisitions department of CAT&Docs, a Paris-based sales agent company specializing in promoting and distributing internationally documentaries from all over the world. CAT&Docs is run by Catherine Le Clef. CAT&Docs is looking for original documentaries, always associated with a high standard of content and form. Pertinent and impertinent films on topical questions and timeless subjects; documentaries that are carefully researched; documentaries that rigorously explore the subject matter, that are audacious, open to the diversity of the world and have their place within the international scene; documentaries that question the world and propose new ways of looking at it. Documentaries that keep us from closing our eyes. Rigor, respect, curiosity, diversity and innovation: the editorial choices of CAT&Docs must meet the demands of international markets. CAT&Docs latest acquisitions include: Buddha in Africa, Confucian Dream, Duck Academy, Once Aurora, Our Time Machine, The Last Male on Earth, The Magic Life of V, Transnistra, Winter’s Yearning, to mention a few.
Aleksandar Govedarica was born 1987 in Sarajevo; he is a graduate of the University of East Sarajevo as well as the Vancouver Film School. He started working as a film programmer at Kriterion Sarajevo, the only art-house cinema in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Aleksandar was part of the organizing committee of the Serbian Film Festival in Vancouver. With three years of previous experience in sales and distribution, Aleksandar runs the Toronto-based world sales and production company Syndicado. He produced two documentary films and has experience in all aspects of filmmaking, including directing. Aleksandar is a tutor at workshops such as Dok Incubator, East Doc Platform and Duna Dock.
Charlotte Gry Madsen is based in Malmoe and commissions content for SVT’s prime time slots for creative documentaries – feature-length and 1 hour. Recent commissions include Flee, Children of the Enemy and Raising a School Shooter. SVT, Sweden’s public service broadcaster, has a wide range of programming and a strong documentary tradition. The documentary department serves three weekly slots with an output of more than 100 new titles a year. In addition, SVT has a strong arts & culture documentary slot, K special, and the acquisitions department acquires additional international programming for a variety of factual slots.
Wouter was the head of programming at Go Short IFF for 10 years. In 2013 he started the sales and festival distribution company, Some Shorts, which changed to Square Eyes in 2019; with it, he represents bold, author-driven features and shorts, collaborating closely with the filmmakers. This has resulted in a small catalogue of films premiering and winning awards at festivals such as Cannes, TIFF, Berlin, Locarno and Clermont-Ferrand. Wouter has been giving lectures at Le Fresnoy, HEAD Geneva and Netherlands Film Academy as well as moderating and leading workshops at festivals like IDFA, Locarno, True/False, Winterthur and others. Square Eyes is a sales and festival distribution agency that helps outstanding non-mainstream films find the audience and recognition they deserve. We specialize in representing bold, author-driven features and shorts, and collaborate closely with filmmakers to devise bespoke festival distribution and sales strategies. By limiting our portfolio, we ensure that each film we work with receives the attention it needs to reach its fullest potential.
After years of working as journalist, editor and film critic for a number of leading Croatian newspapers, magazines and Internet portals, Marcella Jelic became programming director of the film TV channel Klasik TV and documentary TV channel DOX TV. She joined Taskovski Films in 2021 in the position of sales and acquisitions executive. Founded in 2003, the Taskovski Films Ltd. Network, with its head office in London and branches across Europe, is a documentary company that integrates production, sales, professional film business training and film & art residencies. We believe film has transformative power to change the world for the better. Yearly we carefully choose a small amount of films to work with. Our passion is discovering and supporting new and well-established talent to tell stories that can spark social change by surprising and engaging audiences across the globe. We welcome innovative, playful and risky forms of filmmaking and authorial stories in the fields of arts and culture, history, society, politics and environment, while still maintaining high criteria when it comes to production value, content and form.
Natsu Kawakami is a producer at NHK World Documentary, selecting films and coordinating co-production projects for the strand’s yearly line-up of roughly 100 titles. In 2021, she was the director for the segments shot in Japan for a 4K series Science and Sports. Her current assignment also includes curating for the World Documentary strand, as well as localization and promotion of the programs. She was an independent filmmaker for many years, directing and producing various factual content for NHK and other Japanese broadcasters. Areas of personal interest: human themes in general, gender, fine arts, current affairs and more. NHK, Nippon Hoso Kyokai (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), is Japan’s only public broadcaster. As a public broadcaster funded by viewers, NHK delivers a wide range of impartial, high-quality programs, both at home and abroad. NHK’s recent co-production projects: Be My Voice (Sweden), Jamen Hudson From Sky to Sea (Australia), Science and Sports (France) and The Million Dollar Pigeon Race (UK).
Jo Lapping is an experienced broadcast Executive and Producer with a strong track record in commissioning and acquiring distinctive international content for BBC audiences. With over 20 years of experience, Jo has worked as the Strand Manager for Storyville, the BBC’s multi award-winning feature documentary strand, and as a pan genre buyer and producer for BBC Factual Commissioning. Jo has been involved with over 600 documentary projects including: The Furthest, The Cult that Stole Children, Kings of Pastry, The Chinese Mayor, The Great Hip Hop Hoax, If A Tree Falls and Knuckle. BBC is a British Public Service broadcaster with television, radio and online services that cover the nations and regions of the UK.
Anton Mazurov studied at the Moscow Medical Academy. In 1998 he graduated from the film studies department at the faculty of the Russian State University of Cinematography (workshop of L. Zaitseva and L. Mamatova). He worked at the Central Museum of Cinema as programmer, in Nezavisimaya Gazeta as a film critic, and as a screenwriter of the TV program This Film on Channel One. In the period from 1998 to 2000 Anton worked as PR and Advertising Director of the distribution company East-West Creative Commonwealth (currently — UIP). He was one of the authors of the manifesto of the arthouse distribution in Russia “PROJECT 35” (2000) and founder of the information portal KINOTE devoted to art cinema. Before setting up the international company ANT!PODE Sales & Distribution in 2013, Anton worked in distribution companies: Cosmopol Film Distribution (Kino Bez Granits LLC), Maywin Media AB, LeopART among others.
After 6 years of fruitful work, having exhausted the resource of the previous project ANT!PODE Sales & Distribution, in January 2019 Anton Mazurov created the international company ANTIDOTE Sales – a universal sales agent based in Russia, built on European professional principles and focused on curatorial work with the international art cinema and its commercial distribution worldwide. The project has more opportunities for the distribution of films on the territory of the former USSR and is aimed at becoming the only Russian company dealing with the world feature-length arthouse cinema.
As part of the Lightdox team, Nevena Milašinović oversees distribution and sales in Central & Eastern Europe, Asia, LATAM and Africa. She embraced the challenge of mastering the most promising and most excitingly evolving markets with worlds of creativity and innovativeness. She graduated in Painting from the Academy of Arts Banjaluka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and holds a Master’s degree in Stage Design from Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno. Nevena has been working in the sales and distribution of documentaries since 2015, with a deep focus on VOD and festival distribution. Lightdox is a Swiss-based international sales and distribution agency representing powerful documentary storytelling. We are passionate about high-quality author-driven documentaries with a distinctive cinematic language and emotional impact. Our portfolio shines with noteworthy documentaries such as Paris Calligrammes by Ulrike Ottinger (Berlinale Camera Award 2020), The Witches of the Orient by Julien Faraut (IFFR 2021), Arica by Lars Edman & William Johansson Kalén (IDFA 2020) and Little Palestine, Diary of a Siege by Abdallah Al-Khatib (Visions du Réel 2021, ACID Cannes 2021).
For 13 years Liina worked in the art-house cinemas “Sõprus” and “Artis” in Tallinn, both focusing on Asian and European independent films and documentaries. Since 2018 she is an Acquisition Executive at Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR), acquiring features and documentaries. ERR operates 3 channels. Documentary films are broadcast mainly on the cultural channel ETV2, with slots for creative documentaries, arts, history and popular science. Documentaries on current affairs and nature are programmed on the main ETV channel. There are also the special documentaries slots on channel ETV+, broadcast in Russian. We try to focus on original documentaries that are always associated with a high standard of content, and which speak/appeal to wide, multicultural, and diverse audiences with a variety of expectations. The focus of ERR is not on commissioning and co-production, rather we are seeking to support documentary filmmaking within the limits of the available resources.
Tomasz Piechal – editor-in-chief of TVP Dokument, latest Polish documentary channel. Responsible for documentary slots on TVP and new projects (current affairs, human stories, history). An expert on Eastern Europe. In 2014-2018, a senior fellow at the OSW (Centre for Eastern Studies), a Polish governmental think-tank focused on Eastern Europe. During the revolution of dignity in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, he was a correspondent for the Polish media. Since 2010, a journalist for TVP, “Super Express”, Eastbook.eu, Nowa Europa Wschodnia and Polska The Times. A cultural anthropologist (Master’s degree, University of Warsaw, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology). TVP (Telewizja Polska S.A.) is a Polish state media corporation and the largest Polish television network.
Anna Platpire is commissioning editor at Latvian Public Television (LTV). She selects content and formats for LTV including current affairs, lifestyle, science, travel and adventure, documentaries, TV series, etc. Anna Platpire selects the content for all of the platforms: linear channels (LTV1, LTV7), multimedia platform for youth 16Plus on YouTube, social media and news portal LSM.lv that also creates content for children on the platform: bernistaba.lv. She focuses on strategic aims that cover LTV values: liability, excellence and independence. Anna Platpire is a journalist who has worked for the news service in Latvian Radio. She has also been editor-in-chief for the youth-aimed public radio channel Pieci.lv. LTV is a state-owned public service television company. The company is funded by grants-in-aid from the Latvian government. LTV operates two channels: LTV1 in Latvian, and LTV7 in Latvian and Russian. LTV1 is the annual broadcaster of Eurovision in Latvia; LTV7 broadcasts many sporting events such as the Olympics. In 2018, LTV launched its multimedia platform 16Plus that aims to reach young audiences. On- demand content is also available on the online platform replay.lsm.lv.
Fatma Riahi, Tunisian producer and filmmaker. She joined the production unit at Al-Jazeera Documentary Channel in May 2011 as a producer and commissioning editor, producing a number of documentaries from all around the world and contributed to their development into ready-to-broadcast films. The essence of Aljazeera Documentary Channel is to promote documentary culture in the Arabic language, to nurture its creators in the industry worldwide, and to seek real partnerships with filmmakers and broadcasters as the first of its kind in the Arabic-speaking world.
Madeline Robert has been working for Visions du Réel since 2014 as a member of the Selection Committee and special advisor to the Artistic Director, prior to being appointed Head of Industry for the 2021 edition. In 2012 she took part in founding Doc Corner, a space dedicated to documentary films within the Cannes Festival Film Market. She has been head of Africadoc for several years, a programme enhancing the development of creative documentaries on the African continent. And in parallel, she has been an active producer with her company Les Films de la caravane, recently co-producing Claire Simon’s documentary series The Village (20 episodes), and her latest feature-length film The Grocer’s Son, the Mayor, the Village and the World (IDFA 2020). She is involved in the France-based SVOD platform Tënk since its creation, and is a member of the CNC (French Cinema Institute) commission for the audiovisual support fund.
Alex Szalat is now running the association Docs Up Fund, dedicated to feature-length documentaries about human rights. Alex Szalat was a commissioning editor for the Geopolitical Europe and Society department of ARTE France 2005-2008; from 2008 to 2011 he was Head of the Current Affairs, Social Issues and Geopolitical department. From September 2011 until March 2019, he was Deputy Head of the Society and Culture department of ARTE France. Szalat began his career in film in 1977 as a director of short films, documentaries and TV series. His filmography is extensive, covering a full-range of aspects dealing with European life, culture and society. In 1987, Alex Szalat founded KS VISIONS, an independent producers’ company that has produced over a hundred documentaries, films and TV series for Canal+, ARTE, FR3, FR2, TF1, Planète, IBA, RTBF, VRT and Dutch Channel 1, amongst others.
Esther van Messel, born 1965 in Vienna, is based in Zurich and holds a BFA from Tel Aviv University. She headed Warner Bros. Israel, and from 1992 produced feature films and documentaries in Zurich. Since 1998 she runs First Hand Films for production, global sales and theatrical distribution. Today, First Hand Films have been seen by many hundreds of millions of people. FHF – international sales, theatrical distribution and producer, based in Zürich. Run by Esther van Messel since 1998, it has sold thousands of licenses worldwide, turned over more than twenty million Euro and its films have won many awards, including Emmys, Golden Roses and Oscar nominations. Since 2013 releases films theatrically in Switzerland, both international fiction and non-fiction. For selected projects FHF acts as Executive Producer.
Jenny Westergard graduated as a journalist from Helsinki University and has been working for YLE since 1985. She is a Commissioning Editor for documentary films in the YLE co-production department. She is commissioning and acquiring for the YLE Fem/Teema broadcast channel, and also serving the online platform YLE Areena, focusing on contemporary, human-interest stories with strong visual style, interesting storylines and good characters set in a social, political or philosophical context. YLE is the national public service broadcasting company in Finland with duties laid down by law. YLE operates 3 national television channels, 6 radio channels, and a growing Internet service. YLE ranks first in television viewing in the country. YLE is a limited company mainly owned by the Finnish state, and since 2013 is financed by taxes; it is free from commercial and political affiliations, and its programs carry no advertising. YLE was established in 1926 and joined the EBU, the European Broadcasting Union, at the very beginning in 1950.