Born in 1938, in Budapest. Hungarian director István Szabó has won worldwide acclaim not only for the extraordinary beauty of his impressive slate of films, but also for the historic and contemporary importance of the messages that they carry within their social and political themes. After graduating as a film director from Hungary’s Academy of the Art of Theatre and Film he went on to direct his first feature film, aged 26. The Age of Daydreaming, which won Szabó the Silver Sail at Locarno and a Special Jury Prize for Best Director at the Hungarian FF, made him a leading figure in a new generation of Hungarian filmmakers in the ‘60’s and 40 years on he retains his position as one of the principal forces within the country’s film industry. His outstanding award winning films include Father (1966), Confidence (1980), Mephisto (1981), Colonel Redl (1985), Hanussen (1988), Sweet Emma, Dear Böbe (1992), Sunshine (1999), Taking Parts (2001), and Being Julia (2004). He is also an accomplished stage director and has directed several operas. Besides his directing, Szabó is also a Guest Professor at various film schools.



Plakhov is a Russian film critic, historian of cinema and columnist for Kommersant daily. From 2005-2010 he was the president of the International Federation of Film Critics, now the Honorable President. After graduating in mechanics and mathematics from Lviv University (Ukraine), he studied history of cinema at the Moscow Institute of Cinematography (VGIK). His Ph.D. thesis is about Luchino Visconti and Italian cinema. Plakhov wrote articles and reviews for daily and professional press, both Russian and international (Iskusstvo kino, Seans, Sight and Sound, Guardian, Cahiers du Cinema). During Perestroika, Plakhov was a secretary of the USSR Union of Cinematographers and a head of the Conflict Committee that released more than 200 films banned by Soviet censorship. He was and still is advisor, programmer and jury member of many festivals including Berlin, Venice, Tokyo, San Sebastian, Shanghai, Petersburg, Moscow, Hanty-Mansiysk and Plios. Plakhov is a member of the European Film Academy.



New York-born Jay Weissberg lives in Rome and has been a film critic for the industry paper Variety since 2003, travelling to film festivals throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. His work has appeared in international publications including The London Review of Books, Sight & Sound, EPD Film and Rushprint. Recent essays include an examination of Cristian Mungiu’s work for the Thessaloniki Film Festival’s retrospective. In addition to covering contemporary cinema, he writes about aspects of silent film: his essay on Albert Capellani’s American career has just been published in the monograph issued by the Association française de recherche sur l’histoire du cinéma, and he’s contributed catalogue notes to the Pordenone Silent Film Festival and Bologna’s Cinema Ritrovato. A frequent guest on festival juries, he has taken part in numerous panel discussions on the state of contemporary cinema and film criticism, as well as acted as mentor in programs for young film critics in Rotterdam, Berlin, Locarno and Abu Dhabi.



Tiina Lokk is a film producer and script doctor. After graduating from Moscow All-Union Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) as a master of film theory and criticism in 1981, worked for a decade in the Estonian film studio Tallinnfilm as a scriptwriter, story editor and member of its art council. In 1993, she co-founded a film distribution company Filmimax. In 1997, she founded Tallinn Black Nights FF (currently the festival director), Marvofilm Film Production and Consalting Company, Baltic Event (co-founded), and Black Market On-line. Since 1975, she has published numerous articles and film criticism while working as a film correspondent for TV and radio programmes. Lokk has given lectures on film history, film theory, script writing and cultural management in Tallinn Pedagogical University, Concordia International University and Estonian Academy of Music. Since 2011 she has been the Head of Film Studies at the Baltic Film and Media School and is a professor of Film Arts. Since 1991, Lokk has been invited as an expert for several round-tables, reform groups and selection committees for Estonian Cultural Endowment, Ministery of Culture and Media Programme of European Commission. She was elected a member of the European Film Academy in 2000. In 2004, she was appointed as a member of the Executive Board of the European Coordination of FFs. In 2009, Lokk was appointed as the member of the Advicers’ Board of the Summit IFF.



Serge Avedikian is a French-Armenian actor and director. He was born in Soviet Armenia, 1955. His grandparents were born in Anatolia and after the Armenian Genocide they move to France where his parents were born. In 1947, his family went to Armenia in hope of rebuilding the country as other patriots did and in 1970 they return to France. Avedikian studied at the Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Meudon, France and afterwards created a theater company and produced many films. From 1979 on he began pursuing a career of theater, movie and as a television actor. In 1982, he began making documentary films and since 1990, he has been making short and medium-length films. His own production company produced most of his films until 2000. He is the director of many animated, documentary and fiction films produced by others. He acted in a number of French and Armenian films.




Scriptwriter and director, Loznitsa, was born in 1964 in Baranowitchi, Belarus. In 1987 he graduated from Kiev Polytechnic with a degree in Applied Mathematics. From 1987-1991, he worked as a scientist at the Kiev Institute of Cybernetics, specializing in artificial intelligence research. He also worked as a translator from Japanese. In 1997, he graduated from the Moscow All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK), where he studied feature filmmaking. Loznitsa has been making documentary films since 1996 and he has directed 11 documentaries. He has received numerous international and national awards. In 2010, Loznitsa’s feature debut, My Joy, premiered in the main competition at Festival de Cannes. The film has been awarded the Best Director’s Prize and the Prize of the Russian Film Critic’s Guild at the Kinotavr FF in Sochi, the Silver Apricot Award at the Golden Apricot IFF in Yerevan, among many others.



Pietro Marcello is the director of Il Passaggio della linea, a film about the night trains that used to travel from the South to the North of Italy. The film was presented at the Venice IFF in the Orizzonti section in 2007 where it won the Pasinetti Doc Award, at the Bellaria IFF in 2008 where it won the Casa Rossa Award and the Thessaloniki International Documentary FF, among others. In 2009, he made La Bocca del lupo, the first Italian film to win the feature competition at the Turin IFF (in the same festival the film won also the FIPRESCI prize); it won the Caligari Award and the Teddy Bear at the Berlinale in 2010, the SCAM Jury Prize at the Cinema du Réel IFF in Paris in 2010, the Jury Award at the BAFICI in Buenos Aires in 2010, the Italian David di Donatello in 2010, and in 2011 it was screened at the Modern Art Museum (MoMa) in New York. In 2011, Marcello realized Il Silenzio di Pelesjan, a portrait on the outstanding Armenian film director Artavadz Peleshyan; it was presented at the Venice IFF in 2011.



Kavala was born in 1957 and studied economics at the University of Manchester. In 1982, he took over the management of Kavala Companies founded by his late father. He was active in the establishment of a number of business organizations in Turkey, including Turkish-Polish and Turkish-Greek business councils and the Association of Tourism Investors. Kavala was a founding member of TURSAK (Turkish Audiovisual Cinema Foundation), TEMA (Foundation to Fight Soil Erosion), Helsinki Citizens Association and Thessaloniki based Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in the Southeast Europe. He served on the boards of these organizations as well as TESEV (The Economic and Social Studies Foundation). Kavala is currently acting as the chair of Anadolu Kultur and as a board member of Acık Toplum Vakfi (Open Society Foundation) in Istanbul. Anadolu Kültür is implementing arts and culture programs in order to promote human rights, reconciliation and a pluralistic understanding of culture.


The Netherlands/Croatia/ Bosnia and Herzegovina

Šešić was born in Croatia and is a mentor at the Master of Film at The Netherlands Film and TV Academy in Amsterdam. She is head of the documentary film competition at Sarajevo FF and has acted as a programmer and a program advisor for more than a decade with the two biggest festivals in The Netherlands- IFF Rotterdam, where she also participates on the selection comity of the festival’s Hubert Bals Fund, and at the IDFA. For several years, Šešić lectured on cinema at University of Amsterdam in the Department of Film Theory. In The Netherlands she directed the films, Room Without a View (1997), Soske (2001), In Whitest Solitude (2001) and The Way to School, 2007. They were selected for 60 festivals worldwide, screened and archived at MoMA New York and won several awards. She is a program advisor for Dok Leipzig and film programmer for InKo Chennai. Šešić is artistic director of the Eastern Neighbors FF and The Hague, that focuses on non-EU European cinema. She regularly tutors at several documentary workshops in Europe and Asia and was published in several European publications while also collaborating on several professional books.



Born in Esslingen, Germany, Georg Restle studied law and economics in Freiburg/Germany and at the London School of Economics. He started his journalistic career as a freelancer for several German newspapers. After his exams he became a trainee at Germany's biggest public broadcasting company Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR). Subsequently he worked as a freelancer for Germany's public television channel ARD. In 2000 he became editor of Monitor, one of the best-known investigative TV programmes in Germany. From 2010-2012 he was foreign correspondent (ARD) in Moscow. He returned to Germany to become host and chief editor of Monitor. Restle has produced many TV-documentaries on national and international political issues. Additionally, he is teaching international journalists in investigative journalism.




David D’Arcy reviews films for Screen International and speaks about films regularly on BBC television and radio. His writes a film blog titled, Outtakes, on artinfo.com. He is a programmer for the Haifa IFF in Israel and writes about art for The Art Newspaper of London. D’Arcy is the screenwriter and producer of Portrait of Wally, a 2012 feature documentary about the international battle over a stolen painting by the Austrian artist, Egon Schiele. He has written widely on disputes over cultural property.



Nick James has been Editor of Sight & Sound since 1996. He studied at St. Martin’s School of Art and was a singer in rock bands from the late 1970s until the mid-80s. He joined the listings magazine City Limits in 1989 and by 1991 was Editor of the Film Section. James has written on film, literature and art for the Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, US Vogue, Time Out, The London Review of Books and The Literary Review. His book on Michael Mann’s Heat was published in 2002, and he was the presenter of the BBC documentary, British Cinema: The End of the Affair, that same year. In 2010, he was made a Chevalier de L’ordre des arts et des lettres by the government of France and the following year he received the Telluride FF Special Medallion on behalf of Sight & Sound. He has served on film festival juries in San Francisco, Toronto, San Sebastian, Istanbul, Morelia and at the Semaine de la critiques in Cannes 2011.



In 1985, Jean Radvanyi was awarded the title of a docent at INALCO - National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations, Paris. In 2008-12, he was the director of French-Russian Research Centre of Humanities and Social Sciences in Moscow. Since 2012, Radvanyi has been a professor and the director of INALCO. Throughout his career Rodvanyi has published and edited several books and articles on cinematography, the most notable ones are: Le cinéma géorgien (Georgian Cinema) 1988, Le cinéma d'Asie centrale soviétique (Central Asia Soviet Cinema) 1991, Le cinéma arménien (Armenian cinema) 1993, Les 100 portes de la Russie (100 Doors to Russia) 1999, La Russie entre deux mondes (Russia between Two Worlds), 2005, La nouvelle Russie (New Russia), 2007, Caucasus, a Game of Influences, 2010 and Back from a Different Russia, 2013.



St. Petersburg-based, Anjelika Artyukh, has been published in several Russian and international professional film magazines including Iskusstvo Kino, Kinovedcheskie Zapiski, Seans, Film Comment, as well as in newspapers. Additionally, Artyukh works as a professor at the St. Petersburg University of Film and Television and the Smolny College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In 2002 she received the Michail Levitin Award given by the Russian Guild of Film Critics. She is a member of FIPRESCI and has participated in many international festival juries, some of which are Berlinale, Rotterdam IFF, Moscow IFF, Oslo IFF and Vienna IFF.



Poghosyan is an Honored Artist of The Republic of Armenia and a laureate of numerous Armenian and international prizes. His works are based on contemporary Armenian life. Poghosyan acts as an independent artist and has authored numerous films and performances participating as a, scriptwriter, director, actor and producer.



Marine Ales (Vardanyan) whose nickname “Ales” is the composition of the initial two letters of the names of her children, respectively Alexander, her son, and Seda, her daughter, were born in Moscow into the family of an architect and a chemist. Till her teenage years her life was based on the triangle of the three cities: Yerevan, Moscow, Tbilisi. She attended piano courses at the Yerevan R. Melikyan Musical Institution, the Department of Theatre Critics of Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and post-graduate studies at Russian University of Theatre Arts (GITIS), Moscow. She authored 5 music albums (I Shall Leave You, Poplars, Thoughts, With You and without, Barefoot in the Sky) and poetry both in Armenian and Russian languages in the collection titled Debris. She is a co-founder of Gift of Life Benevolent Foundation in Armenia.




Finn graduated from Moscow All-Union State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in 1962. After graduating he worked as a journalist and his articles were published in central newspapers and magazines. Additionally, he has made several documentary and television films. Since the 1970s he has worked in the fiction genre and has participated in 60 film productions. His scripts and literature essays have been published in many magazines and books.



Hundic was born in 1966 in Zagreb, Croatia. He received his diploma from the Culture and Art High School in Zagreb (1985) and graduated from Linguistics and Phonetics in the Philosophy Faculty at Zagreb University (1993). Since 1989 he has worked as film journalist, critic and writer for major Croatian and foreign publications in Slovenia, Poland, Romania, Austria, Italy, UK, USA including The Hollywood Reporter. Additionally he has worked as editor-in-chief of different film magazines including the regional edition of the British film monthly Total Film (2003-05). He has also worked on radio and television as film critic, editor and reporter covering film festivals around the globe. Since 1992 he has been a film critic, reporter and jury member participating at the most important international FFs (Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Locarno, Venice, Toronto, Busan) as well as many others, plus most important film markets (UniFrance Paris, EFM Berlin, Filmart Hong Kong, Cannes, Madrid de Cine, Toronto). He has been a member of Croatian Society of Film Critics since 1991 and FIPRESCI since 1992. He is the artistic director of Libertas FF Dubrovnik and co-director and co-founder of Fantastic Zagreb FF. Hundic has published three books of his interviews (1997-2000) with some of the best known and most important names in international film industry. Listed among leading personalities in Hübner’s Who is Who in Croatia 2011.



Janczak-Hiriart is a French producer of Polish nationality. She graduated from the National Film School in Lodz, Poland in the production department. In 2005, she moved to Paris and joined Les Films du Worso, the production company of Sylvie Pialat, where she was in charge of the development and post-production of several features. Meanwhile, she also worked as a production manager for Mezzanine Films. In 2008 she created the production company Kometa Films based in Paris, France. With Kometa Films, she produced many short films that were supported by CNC, ARTE, Canal+, France Télévision, etc and selected in festivals worldwide including Brest, Angers, Brooklyn, Austin, New York, Montréal, Palm Springs, etc. Janczak-Hiriart was a member of Unifrance Short Film Commission from 2010 to 2012. She is currently script reader for the CNC feature department and jury member of the Regional Film Fund of Burgundy. Concurrently, she is developing fiction and animation features with Kometa Films while pursuing the production of short films.




Hairapetian was born in 1968 in Frankfurt am Main. His Armenian father, Ardavaz Hairapetian, was the founder of the Armenian Society in Marc's birthplace. At the age of 16 Hairapetian founded and became the editor of Spirit - Ein Lächeln Im Sturm (Spirit - A Smile in the Storm) www.spirit-fanzine.de, the magazine for film, theatre, music, literature and audio drama. Hairapetian has often been a jury member for German film festivals and has worked for newspapers and magazines in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and USA. He has conducted exclusive interviews with world-known personalities and is the co-writer of Oskar Werner - Das Filmbuch biography (Vienna 2002). Since 2011, Hairapetian has been a board member of Kinomuseum Berlin (Cinema Museum Berlin) and his film screenings of 70mm and 35mm prints of film classics are well known in Germany. Since 1996, Hairapetian has worked as an actor for television and cinema. His new film, the erotic thriller, True Love Ways (directed by Mathieu Seiler), will come to Berlin IFF in 2014. He is proud to have Armenian roots - and as William Saroyan says, his “heart is in the highlands” of Armenia! It is the first time that Hairapetian is visiting the independent Republic of Armenia.



Film critic, member of the Cinematographers Union of Armenia, Association of Film Critics and Cinema Journalists, Honored Art Worker, Professor. Born in 1949 to the family of the famous film director Yuri Yerznkyan. In 1971, graduated from the Philology Department of Yerevan State University and continued her postgraduate education at Moscow Art Studies Research Institute. In 1973-89 worked at the Board Cinematographers Union of Armenia as the Chair of Creativity Chapters. In 1986, was elected Secretary of the Cinematographers Union of Armenia. Since 1977, lectured at Kh. State Pedagogical Institute, Cinema Department, Cinema and TV Program. Since 1996, has been teaching at Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinema and since 2000, has been leading the Film Critics Workshop at the same Institute. Author of articles on cinema and television, and the books. In 2006, was appointed as Proctor of Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinema for Instructional and Research Issues and now she is holding the position of the Dean of the Cinema, TV and Animation Faculty at the same Institute.



Karpati finished his studies as a journalist and cultural-organizer and holds a PhD in Communication. He is an assistant professor at Pazmany Peter Catholic University (Budapest), lecturing on communications and film. He is the regular film critic and correspondent of Magyar Nemzet, Hungary’s second largest national daily. He is a vice president of FIPRESCI and the publisher, editor and co-writer of the Grindhouse: The Forbidden Era of Filmhistory essay book (2007) and the In Genre – Genre History essay book (2008).




Douglas P. Fahleson is a writer, director, and producer who began his career as an actor in London (having graduated from London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). He has a graduate degree in screenwriting from USC. He served as SIGNIS and Ecumenical Jury member at international film festivals. Fahleson has written and writes for various publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Lincoln Journal Star, Southern California Review, and Alive!.



Saroyan was born in 1977 in the town of Masis, Armenia and graduted from the Gevorkyan Seminary of Holy Etchmiadzin. He studied English and Psychology at Concordia College of Psychology and Philosophy, New York (USA). Saroyan received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Theology from the University of Leeds and Oxford University in Great Britain respectively. His is currently the Dean of the Gevorkyan Seminary of Holy Etchmiadzin.



Krauss, born in 1961 in Bremen, studied Theology and Romantics in Göttingen, Germany, Barcelona, München and San José, Costa Rica. He is a pastor in Caracas, Venezuela and La Paz, Bolivia. From 2007 – 2012 he was the pastor of the Lutheran community Neue Vahr, Bremen. Since 2012 he has been school pastor and teacher at the Bremen Nebelthau-Gymnasium. He is a member of the ecumenical team “Church and cinema” from the church of Bremen. Krauss has been a member of Interfilm since 1987. He was a member of the Interfilm-Jury Arsenals Riga 2010 and the Ecumenical Jury Kyiv 2011.