OFFICIAL COMPETITION JURY
Mike Newell, a Cambridge graduate, began directing at age 22, working on numerous plays for TV in BBC and ITV. His television feature “The Man in the Iron Mask” (1977), which was ultimately released as a feature film, served as a spring- board to international success. He subsequently directed “Dance with a Stranger” (1984), “The Good Father“ (1985), “Enchanted April” (1991) that won 2 Golden Globes and “Into the West” (1994). In 1994 he made “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” the record-breaking romantic comedy. In America, Newell made the Mafia thriller “Donnie Brasco” (1997), fol- lowed by such films as “Pushing Tin” (1999), and “Mona Lisa Smile” (2003). Newell has served as executive producer on several projects, including “Traffic” (2000) and “High Fidelity” (2000). As the director of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2005), Newell became the first British director to helm an instalment of the hugely popular franchise. Newell’s latest feature credits include “Prince of Persia”, “Great Expectations” and “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”.
DIRECTOR OF THE FESTIVAL
Kerem Ayan, born in Istanbul, studied Mechanical Engineering at Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul. Ayan moved to Paris in 1992 and studied film at the Ecole Supérieure de Réalisation Audiovisuelle and Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7. He was the Assistant Director and in charge of the Turkish cultural page in the Radio France Internationale for four years. Ayan started working for the Cannes Film Festival in 2001 and meanwhile, organized the International Literary Adaptation Market in Monaco. In 2005, he launched the Political Films Festival in Barcelona and directed it for three years. He became Director of the Istanbul Film Festival in 2015 where he worked as Assistant Director 2006 onwards.
Lisa Carlehed is a Swedish actress with Bachelor’s degree from GITIS Scandinavia, living in Denmark. She has been to Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival with “Until We Fall” (2018). In the festival programme has also been “Into Your Arms” (2015), both by the French/Danish director Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm. She has played in numerous short films. Lisa has a leading role in the new psychotic realism film also from Denmark called “Psykosia” by Marie Grathø which premiered at the Venice Film Festival this September and is screened at PÖFF.
Pivio, founder of the new wave group Scortilla in 1979, moved after graduating in Electronic Engineering at the University of Genoa to Rome in the late 1980ies and, with Aldo De Scalzi, started an artistic partnership that focused on soundtracks. After obtaining international fame with the feature film “Hamam” (dir. Ferzan Özpetek), he has composed over a hundred soundtracks for cinema and television, including “Song ‘e Napule” and the musical “Ammore e Malavita” (by Manetti Bros) in competition at the Venice Film Festival 2017. He has also written music for the TV series “Distretto di Polizia” and “L’ispettore Coliandro”. In 2016 he went back into the studio to record a solo album “It’s Fine Anyway”, writing, playing and singing almost all the tracks himself, which is now being made into an episodic musical film, directed by Marcello Saurino and Pivio. He is the president of ACMF (Association Composers Music for Films), the Italian association of composers for the cinema and TV.
CINEMATOGRAPHER, DIRECTOR, PHOTOGRAPHER
Fabrizio Maltese is an award-winning portraitist, photographer and documentary director. His work has been featured on the covers of GQ, Rolling Stone, Studio Ciné Live, Sight & Sound and The Hollywood Reporter and his extensive portrait portfolios for the latter have become a defining part of the Reporter’s festival coverage. Solo exhibitions include “Faces of French Cinema” (Edinburgh, Lisbon, Sao Paulo in 2009) and “Role/Play” (Sydney, Luxembourg in 2012). He has worked as a stills photographer on French-language titles including “Our Children”, “Möbius” and “The White Knights”. His documenta- ries include “Twenty-Five Palms” (2015), “50 Days in the Desert” (2016) and “California Dreaming” (2019, screened at PÖFF).
Rima Das is a self-taught screenwriter, producer and director best known for making indigenous and realistic films with non-professional actors. Her film “Village Rockstars” was screened at over 80 film festivals around the world. The film has received over 50 awards including the National Film Award as the Best Feature Film in India 2018. The film was India’s official entry to Oscars 2019. “Bulbul Can Sing”, bagged over 13 awards traveling to 40 film festivals the world over, including the National Film Award for Best Assamese Film in 2019.
FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION JURY
Rubén Mendoza, born in Colombia, is a scriptwriter and director of 8 short films and 7 feature films. He has won awards, scholarships and development funds from the most important institutions in the world, including Cannes, Berlin, Locarno, San Sebastián, Havana, Clermont-Ferrand, FondSud, Chicago, etc. He is always weaving a movie. His filmography (feature length films) include “Wandering Girl” in 2018, winner of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, “Memories of a Vagabond” (2014), “Dust on the Tongue” (2014), “The Stoplight Society” (2010) and several documentaries. like “Cita con la trocha” (2018), “Miss Maria, Skirting the Mountain”, (2017), “In a Day National University of Colombia” (2017), “The Valley Without Shadows” (2015).
Şebnem Hassanisoughi is a theatre, TV and film actress from Istanbul. She graduated from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University National Conservatory with a degree in Performance Arts, then got her Master’s Degree in Film and Drama at Kadir Has University. She has taken roles in several TV shows and for her role in the film “Geriye Kalan”, she received Best Actress award at the 12th İzmir International Film Festival, and the ‘Ayhan Işık Special Award’ at the 18th Sadri Alışık Actor’s Awards. With her performance in the acclaimed director Zeki Demirkubuz’s film “Bulantı” she won Best Supporting Actress at the 48th Siyad Awards. She was also honoured with the 20th Year Special Award at the 20th Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival. Hassanisoughi recently took part in an independent Danish film “The Lifeboat”.
ARSEN ANTON OSTOJIC
Arsen Anton Ostojic received his BA in film directing from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, Croatia and his MFA in filmmaking from New York University. He made four award-winning feature films, the first three being Croatia’s official candidates for Oscar – “A Wonderful Night in Split” (2004), “No One’s Son” (2008), “Halima’s Path” (PÖFF 2012) – and “F20” very recently. He has also made a the- atre play and several award-winning documentaries and short films. He has worked on about twenty feature films in Europe and in the United States as an assistant director or production manager and coproduced a successful ani- mated feature film “Oddsockeaters”. He currently teaches film production at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb. He is a member of the European Film Academy since 2005.
MICHAEL J. WERNER
Michael J. Werner, LA native, is a Producer, Industry veteran, and Foreign Sales Agent, based in Hong Kong for the past 25 years. He is considered an early expert in the production and distribution of Asian cinema and was for more than twenty years the co-head of the pioneering art-house foreign sales banner Fortissimo Films. Over his career he has been involved in as Producer/EP/Distributor on a number of now classic titles including “In the Mood for Love“ and “The Grandmaster“, “Norwegian Wood“, “Shortbus“, “Last Life in the Universe“, and “Shadow“ which was presented in Venice in 2018. Werner has served on numerous Festival juries and Governmental advisory committees and panels including Hong Kong’s HAF, The Asian Film Awards, Screen Singapore, Busan’s Asian Film Market Advisory Committee, and the International Film Festival and Awards Macao. He is currently serving as a consultant for Asia to The Netherlands Film Commission, the completion bond leader - Film Finances International, and The Sundance Institute. Most recently he produced “Suk Suk“ by director Ray Yeung which was presented at the 2019 Busan International Film Festival. Werner is a member of the Executive Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 2006.
Miae Choi, born in Korea, majored in Film and Theatre at Dongguk University in Seoul and earned a master’s degree in Film & Theatre at Dongguk’s Graduate School. She has been producing nine of director Kyu Hwan Jeon’s films since 2008 and has made notable achievements by receiv- ing awards from the film festival circuit with high praises and afforded Jeon international recognition at the Berlin IFF, Venice IFF, PÖFF with films such as “Mozart Town” (2008), “Animal Town” (2009), “Dance Town” (2010), “The Weight“ (2012), “Angry Painter“ (2015), “The End “ (2017), “Wonderful Woman“ (2019). Currently she is preparing her tenth film “Lost Horse”.
Ilkka Matila is one of the most prolific film producers in Finland. He has produced 23 feature films, numerous shorts, serial dramas and documentaries during the past 30 years. Most of his productions are international co-productions. He has twice received the Finnish Jussi Award for Best Film, chosen to be the “Producer of the Year” in Finland and been invited as a member of the Jury in the Stockholm, Kaliningrad and Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. Ilkka is a member of the European Film Academy, the Producers’ Network ACE, the European Producers Club EPC and a co-owner of the produc- tion company MRP Matila Röhr Productions. PÖFF audience has seen his productions “Lovers & Leavers”, “Mother of Mine”, “The Eternal Road” and others.
AHMET KENAN BILGIÇ
Ahmet Kenan Bilgiç is the composer, producer, guitarist and vocalist of a progressive rock band Gevende and the founder of LU Records. He has composed and produced music for cinema, mapping and video game projects since 2006. He won The Best Music Award at the 30th Istanbul International Film Festival with his first feature film “Atlıkarınca” in 2011. He has composed for over 20 feature films both independent and mainstream box office films, also for countless commercials. He was at Sundance 2015 with the movie “Ivy” which was in world drama official selection. After three years he was there again with the film “Butterflies” that won Grand Jury Prize in World Drama at Sundance. He was also music supervisor of the project. He established LU Records that focusing especially on soundtracks and music for visual media in 2018.
Mirtel Pohla is an Estonian actress with a degree from Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in 2004. Since graduating she has gained strong reputation through widely varied roles in theatre and film. Before becoming freelance actress she worked eight years in internationally recognised Theatre NO99, while also collaborating theatres abroad like Lyric Hammersmith in London and Münchner Kammerspiele. She has won several theatre awards and has been nomi- nated at Estonian Film and Television Awards for her role in the film “Pretenders” in 2017. Most recently she had a leading role in a drama “Portugal” (2018).
Leslie Felperin, born and raised in Palo Alto, California, left the United States in 1983 and moved to the UK where she studied first English Language and Literature at the University of Glasgow and the later pursued postgraduate degrees in Media Culture and Film Studies at the University of Glasgow and University of Kent. Her focus on animation and its relationship with child audiences led to teaching at Goldsmiths and Middlesex universities while she transitioned into jour- nalism. From 1995–2000, she worked at Sight and Sound as the deputy editor, and then became editor of Moving Pictures, a now defunct British film industry trade magazine. Around 2003 she began writing film reviews for Variety, as well as British magazine The Big Issue and other outlets, and spent many years travelling to exotic countries. In 2013, she started writing film and theatre reviews for The Hollywood Reporter and also writes for The Guardian in the U.K.
Ricardo is the Technical Director for Europe at Samsung NEXT, where he works doing investments on technology innovation. His alter-ego writes essays on film, books, games, and anime. He has a strong interest in how stories change the way we perceive the world, and how we can grow by seeing ourselves represented in stories. Both personas merge on his fascination with how personal epics can emerge from the intersection between traditional storytelling and current technology.
Since 2005 Milja Mikkola has been part of the Arctic Circle’s legendary Midnight Sun Film Festival where she currently holds the post of Programme Manager. She is also founder and co-director of Helsinki’s Viva Erotica Film Festival, which celebrates the history of sex with rare gems screened in their original format. Milja studied Film Theory at Brunel University in London, and Visual Journalism at Finland’s University of Tampere. Fully trained as an analogue projectionist decades ago, her celluloid roots are embedded in the film world. Past and present.
ARCHBISHOP EMERITUS, PRESIDENT OF ESTONIAN COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
EDITOR-OF-CHIEF OF CULTURE MAGAZINE TEATER. MUUSIKA. KINO
ARCHBISHOP, ESTONIAN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
PRESS OFFICER, ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
FILM AND THEATRE DIRECTOR
© 2019 NGO Black Nights Film Festival