Asghar Farhadi was born in 1972 in Iran. He became interested in cinema when he was a teenager and started his education in filmmaking by joining the Youth Cinema Society of Esfahan in 1986 where he made 8mm and 16mm short films. He received his Bachelors in Theatre from the School of Dramatic Arts in Tehran University in 1998 and his Masters in Stage Direction a few years later. Farhadi made his directorial debut, Dance in the Dust (2003) and a year later, Beautiful City (2004). His third film, Fireworks Wednesday (2006), won the Gold Hugo at the 2006 Chicago IFF. His fourth film, About Elly (2009) won the Silver Bear for Best Director at Berlin IFF as well as Best Picture at Tribeca FF. It was also Iran's official submission for the Foreign Language Film competition of Academy Awards in 2009. His next film, A Separation (2011), became a sensation. It got critical acclaim inside and outside of Iran; Roger Ebert called it "the best picture of the year," and it was awarded Golden Bear for Best Film and Prize of the two Silver Bear for the Best Group of Actors and the Best Group of Actresses from Berlin IFF, and also won National Board of Review, Golden Globes, César Award, Independent Spirit Award, etc., and ultimately the Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film of the Year, making him the first Iranian filmmaker ever to win an Oscar. Farhadi made his sixth movie, The Past (2013) in France. Berenice Bejo won the best actress prize from Cannes IFF. The Past also was nominated in Golden Globe for the Best Foreign Language Film and won the Best Foreign Language Film of National Board of Reviews and was nominated in 5 categories of Cesar Awards including Directing, Best Actress and Best Script. Farhadi made his seventh film, The Salesman (2016) in Iran. He received the Best Screenwriter Prize at Cannes IFF. Shahab Hosseini also received the Best Actor Prize at Cannes for performing in The Salesman. The film brought the second Oscar for Iran in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Faradi’s last film, the psychological thriller Evereybody Knows, opened the 2018 Cannes IFF in competition.



Larry Smith first entered the movie business aged 20, at Sheperton Studios outside London, circa 1969. He realised early on that studio life was not for him, the pace and amount of people working in a major studio felt like a factory. Larry Smith moved into the freelance world. Around the 1970's, he was fortunate to meet Stanley Kubrick when asked to work on Barry Lyndon. This started a long collaboration with Kubrick that was to last over a quarter of a century, until his premature death. Larry Smith was very honoured to have been asked to be the cinematographer on his last movie Eyes Wide Shut. Since Eyes Wide Shut, Smith has made many varied and interesting films including a movie that he directed himself (Trafficker, 2015).



Beki Probst has been president of the European Film Market since 2014.
Probst was born in Istanbul. She studied law and journalism before joining the daily newspaper Tercuman and the weekly newspaper Hayat. In 1960, Beki Probst moved to Switzerland where she organized several cultural projects. She then became manager of the Probst-Kinobetriebe exhibition group. Her commitment to film and cinema soon led her to extend her activities to Europe and beyond. From 1981 to 1988, Beki Probst was the Berlin IFF's delegate for Turkey and Greece. In 1985, she organized a tradeshow for the Locarno IFF. She also served on Locarno’s Selection Board until 1995. From 1988 to 2014, Beki Probst was director of the Film Fair of the Berlin IFF. She renamed the section Film Fair into European Film Market.  Under her management the European Film Market was established as one of the biggest and most important international film fairs. In addition Beki Probst was the artistic director of the Geneva Festival “Stars de Demain”. She has served on the juries of several IFFs, among them Toronto, Jerusalem and San Sebastián. In 1992, Beki Probst was decorated as Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Cultural Ministery. In 2018, Beki Probst was awarded the Berlinale Camera.



Born 1972, Moskow. For two years he studied biology at Moscow State Pedagogical Institute before beginning his study of Film Theory Department at Moscow State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK). In VGIK he made a short film By the Way with Aleksei Popogrebsky. On his own he went on to make Clever Frog (short). His debut as a director of a full length feature film was Roads to Koktebel (Co-dir.: Aleksei Popogrebsky).



It's through photography, and notably her collaboration with Nan Goldin, that Valerie Massadian came to image-making, creating slide-show screenings (The Link, Mary Go Round, Journal de Bord), exhibited in Tokyo, London and Porto. What she has retained from photography is its freedom and the rigor of frontal contact. She has taken this same approach, committing to a project from concept to completion, in her collaborations with several film directors. From there came the need of her own film, Nana. Film won Opera Prima/Best First Feature Film at Festival del Film Locarno, Best Film at IFF Internacional de Cine de Valdivia; Great Award of the Seventh Athens Avant-Garde Film Festival Inspired Award at Istanbul; Silver Apricot at the Golden Apricot International Film Festival of Yerevan.




Born in Liaoning, China in 1971, Zhao Liang graduated from Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts in 1992. Based in Beijing since 1993, he has been working as an independent documentary filmmaker as well as an artist in photography and video art. His films Behemoth (2015), Petition (2009), Crime and Punishment (2007), Together (2011) and Paper Airplane (2001) have been selected and screened in Cannes, Venice, Berlin and other film festivals worldwide.



Film director and producer. Professor in Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. Recipient of Lithuanian National Culture and Art Award. Member of European Documentary Network.
Born 1966.04.28 in Vilnius, Lithuania. 1984-1989 studied film directing in Vilnius State Conservatorium. 1989 studied in Jonas Mekas Film Anthology Archive New York. His films got numerous international film awards. Among them Audience award in Nyon, Grand Prix in Split, prizes in Bornholm, Florence, Gyor, Neu Brandenburg, Oberhausen, Bilbao and San Francisco. In 1992 the documentary film “Earth of the Blind” was recognised by European Film Academy as the Best European Documentary Film of the Year and received Felix Award. 2004-2005 Documentary teacher in European Film College, Denmark. Lectures and master classes in Kolkata, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Tokyo, Berkeley, Stanford, Moscow, Belgrade, Barcelona, San Francisco, Carpi Modena, Paris. Film presentations in Switzerland, Russia, France, Israel, Czech Republic, Germany, USA, Belgium, Spain, Turkey, Colombia, Uruguay, Italy. Currently has finished a new film in Tian Shan mountains “Women and the Glacier”.



Born in the Netherlands, in 1951, Ben van Lieshout is an independent award-winning director, producer and screenwriter. He directed short films, documentaries and feature films. He is also a lecturer at the Utrecht School of the Arts.



Born 1969, Anadyr town, Chukotka.
Graduated from All Russian State Cinematography Institute (VGIK, Moscow), where he studied Direction, in 1996. Worked as a director and script writer at Film-M Studio, Moscow (1996 - 2000), at Ethno-Online Production Company, as Head of the Center of Audiovisual Anthropology of IEA RAS (PhD Dissertation on the Culture of Marine Mammal Hunting of Chukotka Peninsula Natives (Chukchi and Yupik Peoples), 2000 - 2008. Since 2008 he is the owner, producer, director and scriptwriter of High Latitudes ltd.



Tamara Stepanyan was born in Armenia. During the breakdown of the Soviet Union in the early 90's, she moved to Lebanon. After studying and working in Lebanon, she pursued her studies at The National Film School of Denmark. Since 7 years now, she is working and living in France where she has finished already one feature documentary film and is in preparation of two other films. Stepanyan made a number of films that were shown and primed in prestigious festivals like Locarno, Busan, La Rochelle. As well she participated in film workshops worldwide. Her latest film Those from the Shore won the Grand Prix of Amiens IFF (France), the Prize for Best Documentary at Golden Apricot IFF and the Best Directing Award at Global Cinema FF of Boston (USA).




Pierre-Simon Gutman is deputy editor of magazine L'Avant Scene Cinéma. After sudying litterature at La Sorbonne, he wrote his PHD thesis on the American filmmaker Michael Cimino. He has written for 3 Couleurs, Les Fiches du Cinéma and Eclipse(s). He teaches cinema at l'ESRA in Paris and Bruxelles, after having previously taught at the universities Paris VII and Nancy 2. He has also directed several short features, and is a programmer for the Critic's Week of the Cannes IFF.



Petra Meterc is a freelance journalist and film critic, based in Slovenia. She has been writing and reporting on film and literature for one of the oldest independent non-commercial urban radio stations in Europe, Radio Študent, where she is also the editor of a biweekly radio drama programme. She publishes in Ekran Magazine for Film and Television and KINO! magazine, as well as other media outlets, mostly focusing on independent cinema, and has contributed to several film festival dailies. Petra Meterc has also worked as a film education mentor and as a mentor of film criticism workshops. She is a Berlinale Talent Press and IFFR Trainee Project for Young Film Critics alumna.



Nune Hakhverdyan has graduated from the Yerevan Institute of Arts and Theater with the specialization of theater studies and criticism. During 1990-1997 she worked as an Editor and Script Writer of literary and cultural radio programs of Radio Drama Department of the Television and Radio Committee of Armenia (Public Radio of Armenia). From 2004 to 2011 she was a reporter at “168 Hours” newspaper and managed its Arts Department. Since 2011, Nune has been working as a Journalist and Media Analyst of www.media.am website of Media Initiatives Centre NGO (former Internews Media Support NGO).
Member of the Armenian Association of Film Critics and Cinema Journalists. Member of International Association of Art Critics`AICA-Armenia.