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JUDGES

Best Feature-Length Documentary

VITALIY MANSKIY

Vitaliy Manskiy graduated from VGIK — All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography in 1989 and became one of the most prominent contemporary Russian documentary filmmakers and producers. He has shot more than 30 films as a director which were screened at festivals worldwide and were awarded several times. As a producer, Manskiy produced films with directors like Renata Litvinova, Alexander Rastorguyev, Sergey Miroshnichenko, Dmitry Zhelkovsky, and Sergei Loznitsa.

In 1996 he launched a project that aims to archive amateur private video files that were shot in the times of the former USSR (from 30’s till 90’s of the ХХth century).

V.Manskiy is the producer of the national Laurel Leaf award for the best Russian documentary films. He is the founder and President of Artdocfest — Russian Open Documentary Film Festival for Russian-language creative documentaries.

ULDIS CEKULIS

Uldis Cekulis in 2007 was named among seven film producers to receive International Trailblazer award at MIPDOC in Cannes. He has worked on almost 50 creative documentaries and author-driven prime time TV docu-series both as a producer and sometimes as a cameraman. Most of his produced or coproduced films have received prestigious awards, such as Shanghai IFF Golden Goblet for “Bridges of Time”, Karlovy Vary IFF Crystal Globe for “Immortal”, Best Documentary award at 36th Warsaw FF for “The Jump”. His latest Latvian-Italian coproduction “The Rossellinis” have premiered at 77th Venice IFF.

NECATI SONMEZ

Maria Ibrahimova is a director and producer from the US. Her debut documentary MISS GULAG was produced with support from the Sundance Institute and the Ford Foundation and premiered at the Berlinale. Maria also directed and produced several award-winning short films, and documentaries as well as commercial work through her production company Cinex, based in Baku, Azerbaijan.

She is a two-time Berlinale Talent, a EWA Mentee (European Women’s Network) and the founder of Women in Motion, a program bringing Azerbaijani female filmmakers into the film industry. Currently, she is developing her directorial feature debut HAZEL EYES which was presented to international producers at the Berlinale Co-Production Market. Since 2019, she is a founding board member of the Andrew Berends Film Fellowship in honor of the late documentary filmmaker.

MONIKA FRANCZAK

Monika is a screenwriter/ script consultant from Poland. She cooperated with the biggest Polish and foreign film production houses. She also develops feature and documentary screenplays with independent producers and directors. Monika works with B2B Doc – Baltic to Black Sea Documentary Network. He professional experience includes cooperation with Molodist Film Festival, Odesa Film Festival, American Film Festival, Balkan Film Market, Prague Short Film Festival and Terrarium - Ukrainian program for screenwriters as a tutor on screenwriting, storytelling and pitching techniques as well as a jury member.

MARIA IBRAHIMOVA

Maria Ibrahimova is a director and producer from the US. Her debut documentary MISS GULAG was produced with support from the Sundance Institute and the Ford Foundation and premiered at the Berlinale. Maria also directed and produced several award-winning short films, and documentaries as well as commercial work through her production company Cinex, based in Baku, Azerbaijan.

She is a two-time Berlinale Talent, a EWA Mentee (European Women’s Network) and the founder of Women in Motion, a program bringing Azerbaijani female filmmakers into the film industry. Currently, she is developing her directorial feature debut HAZEL EYES which was presented to international producers at the Berlinale Co-Production Market. Since 2019, she is a founding board member of the Andrew Berends Film Fellowship in honor of the late documentary filmmaker.

Best International and Local Short Documentary

MARIAM CHACHIA

Mariam Chachia is a documentary film director and producer based in Tbilisi, Georgia.

She is the founder of the production company OpyoDoc, which in 2014 and started producing her own films as well as other director’s, which are traveling around the world. 

Mariam is also an experienced tutor for documentary film development and jury member for international documentary film festivals. 

ANDRA POPESCU

Andra Popescu is a Romanian documentary film producer interested in visual anthropology, archives and the audiovisual production of the socialist amateur cineclubs. In 2015 she produced Imam Hasanov's Holy Cow and she is the founder of Cineama.ro.

FREDERIK NIKOLAI

Frederik Nicolai is a producer, scriptwriter, coach for young filmmakers and lecturer from Belgium. He started his career by executive producing fiction series, feature and short films in Belgium and the Netherlands. Then he completely dedicated himself to author documentaries. Ever since Frederik produced and co-produced over 40 author successful documentary films & series and established a large international network of broadcasters, sales-agents, distributors,  festivals.

Some successful films and series produced by Frederik are '4 Elements', ‘Red Star Line’, ‘El Color Del Camaleon’, ‘Archibelge’ and many more. 

Films in his editorial line should spring from the passion and creativity of the documentary author, providing a contemporary and wayward look on the world from inside out. His documentaries should tell stories that fight taboos and stigmas, create new insights, opinions, critical point-of-views, provide a broader and more critical world view, necessary in our often one-dimensionally evolving society.

TEYMUR DAIMI

Teymur Daimi is a filmmaker, visual artist, PH.D. from Baku, Azerbaijan. He graduated from Azerbaijan State Art College in 1985 and Azerbaijan State Culture and Art University in 1993. In 1996 he published his book “The find of the Way”. In 2000, he defended PH.D. theses on philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy and Law of Azerbaijan State Academy of Sciences. He is an author of several articles and essays in local and international editions on visual art, film and culture. Since 2001, he has been working on audio-visual sphere as an experimental filmmaker. His short film "This is love" was named as the “Best Documentary Short Film” at the Kazan International Muslim Film Festival in 2017. Member of the Union of cinematographers and Union of artists of Azerbaijan.

KRISTIAN FEIGELSON

Kristian Feigelson, received an MA in Political Sciences, graduated in Russian Studies at the School of Oriental Studies and got a Ph. D in sociology at Sorbonne University. Doing research on cinema and visual studies, he is a Professor in Film Studies at Sorbonne-Nouvelle. He wrote for various Film magazine and contributed to different Academic Journals as he published numerous books on film culture. His next forthcoming book is about “Turkish screens”. He has also taught in different Universities in Europe, in the USA, in India, Asia,   Japan, Korea, Hong-Kong and Taiwan and in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia) as well as in Africa and Middle East. He participated as a jury member at different Film festivals in Colombia, France, Japan, Iraq, and Russia.

No Main Competition

FARIDA GADJIMETOVA

Farida Gadjimetova is a 30-year-old linguist from Baku. She graduated from Baku Slavic University, (major Roman-German philology) in 2012. Her interests include writing scientific articles, stories, and drawing.  At the moment she is working mastering her qualification as an HSE specialist.

RODION ISMAILOV

Rodion Ismailov is a director and producer from Azerbaijan. He is a member of the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio, the Russian Filmmakers Guild, and the Documentary Film and Television Guild.

He studied at St. Petersburg State University of Film and Television.  He has a great experience in filmmaking and producing. He was the General Director of Deboshir Film Studio; the President of Saint Petersburg Independent Cinema Fund; a director and producer in producing centre DC Film; a director of the TV channel 24DOK; a director and producer in producing centre Extsentriki.

Since 2018 he has been director and producer in production centre; Authors Film Studio.  

He is a finalist of international film festivals in Venice, Paris, Rotterdam, Alexandria, Naples, Vienna, Istanbul, Alma-Ata, etc., as well as numerous Russian film festivals.

INGRID PONSY

Ingrid Ponsy graduated at the University of Bordeaux Montaigne in 2017 in Religious Studies. Among other activities, she was a radio journalist and a program coordinator of a short-movie festival in France, a museum guide in Belarus, a French teacher in Bulgaria... Since February 2021 she is working at the French Institute and French Embassy in Azerbaijan as Cultural attaché.

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