As a scriptwriter, Alexandru worked together with with Răzvan Rădulescu and Radu Muntean for Muntean’s THE PAPER WILL BE BLUE (Locarno IFF 2006), BOOGIE (Cannes, Quinzaine des réalisateurs, 2008. Awarded Best Script at Hamptons IFF), TUESDAY, AFTER CHRISTMAS (Cannes, Un certain regard 2010), ONE FLOOR BELOW (Cannes, Un certain regard 2010. Awarded Best Script at Seville IFF and RiverRun IFF), ALICE T. (Locarno IFF 2017), and ÎNTREGALDE (Cannes, Quinzaine des réalisateurs, 2021). He also teamed up with Răzvan Rădulescu for GRUBER’S JOURNEY AND PRINCIPLES OF LIFE (San Sebastian IFF, 2010). In 2011, Alex Baciu co-directed, together with Radu Muntean, VISITING ROOM, a documentary produced by HBO Romania. Together with his wife, Maria Popistașu, he co-directed, in 2017, THE SEAGULL, a short based on a script by Maria Popistașu.



Vlad Buzăianu is an emerging director, self-taught in the craft of film, with a background in Economics and Psychology. His first short film, DREAMS ON SALE, won 15 awards and had more than 80 official selections (Fajr International Film Festival, Film Festival Kitzbuhel, Kansas City Filmfest, River Bend Film Festival) and was successfully received both by the audience and the critics. He is currently working on a new short film project, WHERE NO SHIPS GO, and also writing the script of his debut feature.



Mustafa Emin Büyükcoşkun is an artist and filmmaker. He studied studied History and Sociology at Bogaziçi University and Media Arts at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. His short GERANIUM, was screened at Premiers Plans d’Angers, Montpellier, Istanbul, Trieste among others in 2008. He worked as a videographer in humanitarian aid campaigns. Meanwhile, he worked as an assistant in films such as MILK (dir. Semih Kaplanoğlu, Venice 2008), HONEY (dir. Semih Kaplanoğlu, Golden Bear at Berlinale 2010), DJECA (dir. Aida Begic, Cannes Un Certain Regard 2012), EMBER (dir. Zeki Demirkubuz, Toronto 2016), ALBÜM (dir. Mehmet Can Mertoğlu, Cannes Semaine de la Critique 2016), ANNOUNCEMENT (dir. Mahmut Fazıl Coşkunoğlu, Venice Orizzonti 2018). His documentary debut SET OFF (2019) premiered at Jihlava IDFF. He made a series of documentaries for TRT with Semih, titled FROM INNS TO THE SKYSCRAPERS. His latest video installation about the former nuclear research center of Karlsruhe, IMAGES FROM PAST FUTURE in collaboration with Rayna Teneva, has been shown at 39. EVA International – Ireland’s Biennial in Limerick.



Born in 1984 in Taranto, Danilo Caputo studied music in San Francisco, liberal arts in Berlin and philosophy in Naples before dedicating himself to writing and directing for cinema. His short films POLVERE, BANDURYST and IL POSTO FISSO were screened and awarded in numerous European festivals. Danilo was also a participant of the Berlinale Talent Campus (2011), the Locarno Summer Accademy (2012) and the Future Screenplays seminars held by the Apulia Film Commission (2013). In 2011 he was awarded the Mattador Prize for the script of his first feature film, LATE SEASON / LA MEZZA STAGIONE, which premiered at Karlovy Vary IFF in 2014 and was later screened in festivals such as Beijing, Montreal Nouveau Cinéma and Rome Independent FF, where it won the Best Italian Film award. Danilo’s second feature project, SOW THE WIND / SEMINA IL VENTO, premiered in the Panorama section of Berlin International Film Festival 2020.



Ilinca Călugăreanu is drawn to stranger than fiction stories and larger than life characters. Blending absurd and playful tones, her films are a breathtaking mix of fiction and documentary, that immerse audiences into worlds beyond imagination. Her debut documentary feature, “Chuck Norris vs Communism”, premiered at Sundance 2015 and went on to play in cinemas and festival around the world. Her second feature documentary, “A Cops and Robbers Story” premiered in competition at Doc NYC, 2020. Credits include VHS vs. Communism (2014, New York Times Op-Docs) and Erica: Man Made (2017, Guardian Documentaries). Currently in development with feature film “Heisenbug” and in pre-production with doc series “Celluloid Dreams”. She is a Berlinale Talents Alumi (2017), 2018 Chicken&Egg Accelerator Lab Grantee, the 2018 Sundance Institute|National Geographic Fellow and 2019 Sundance Sound and Music Labs Directing Fellow. Ilinca is one of the founders of Vernon Films, established with producer and sister Mara Adina. Vernon Films focuses on pushing the boundaries of documentary filmmaking and collaborating with creative voices who seek to devise new ways of arriving at story.



Born in 1987, Simona Deaconescu is a Romanian choreographer and experimental filmmaker, working across genres and formats. She holds a BA and an MA in Choreography at The National University of Theatre and Film Bucharest and a BA in Film Directing at Media University Romania. Simona has been teaching dance composition and dance filmmaking for various festivals and organisations. She founded Tangaj Collective, a company that collaborates with visual artists, performers and researchers in order to understand how the body can mediate reality. She has presented her works in conventional stages, but also in unconventional spaces, galleries and museums, architectural sites, family houses and cinemas reaching audiences from Europe, Canada and the USA. Deaconescu’s hybrid aesthetic and efforts to promote symbiosis of dance, film and technology, were recognized  with The National Center for Dance Award in 2016. She has received the danceWEB scholarship in 2014, is an Aerowaves Twenty18 Artist and an Emerging Choreographer with Springboard Danse Montreal ’19. She is a resident of Moving Digits European Project for 2019 and 2020, with a research on how a technological setting can alter the memory and presence of a performer on stage.



Mladen Đorđević’s debut feature fiction film THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A PORNO GANG (2009) was presented at over 50 international festivals, winning 14 awards. Mitch Davis, a selector of the Festival Fantasia in Montreal, compared Đorđević with authors such as Gaspar Noe, Lars von Trier and Michael Haneke, writing that THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A PORNO GANG did for Serbia what CLOCKWORK ORANGE did for Great Britain. He was born in 1978 in Belgrade. He graduated Film & TV Directing at Faculty of Drama Arts in Belgrade with the feature documentary film Made in Serbia, which later premiered at Belgrade Film Festival FEST and went into cinema and DVD distribution in Serbia. He directed several short films (LIVING DEAD, HUNGER, SHAVING FOAM) and documentaries (ALI HAMAD’S STORY, STRAIGHT THROUGH THE WIND). Đorđević wrote and directed one of the stories in the omnibus film EQUALS (2014), which premiered at Sarajevo Film Festival and docudrama VIENNA HALLWAYS (2020).



Cristina Groșan is a Hungarian-Romanian filmmaker and visual artist. She is active in design and visual communication in Budapest’s cultural sector, while she is directing her own fiction films. Her award-winning short HOLIDAY AT THE SEASIDE, exploring a mother-daughter relationship, screened at more than 40 festivals, was distributed in several territories and recently premiered online, amassing over 1 million views. Currently, she is in post-production with her debut feature shot in Hungary, THINGS WORTH WEEPING FOR, written with Nora Rainer-Micsinyei and produced by Judit Stalter (Laokoon Filmgroup, HU). She recently finished her short fiction, ALONG CAME A PRINCE, produced by Anda Ionescu and Anamaria Antoci (Tangaj Production, RO) in co-production with Marek Novák (Xova Film, CZ). She is developing her second feature, ORDINARY FAILURES together with Czech writer Klára Vlasákova. The film’s development is supported by the Czech Film Fund. The project won the Pop Up Residency Award at the When East Meets West co-production platform in Trieste, Italy, in 2020.



Semih Gülen works as director, producer, and editor. He directed his short film HIT ME BABY, which had its premiere in Istanbul Film Festival 2018. In that same year, he was the editor of THE SMELL OF MONEY (dir. Ahmet Boyacıoğlu, Istanbul Film Festival 2018) and also produced THE PILLAR OF SALT (dir. Burak Çevik, Berlinale Forum 2018).


Czech Republic

Zdeněk Jiráský was born in 1969. He has a script writing MA degree at FAMU, after film studies and directed several successful documentaries. His first feature FLOWER BUDS (Poupata) received 4 Czech Academy Awards incl. Best Feature and Best Director, also won Silver Hugo at Chicago IFF, Flash Forward Award at Pusan IFF, and FEDEORA Award at the Karlovy Vary IFF. His filmography also contains titles like IN SILENCE (2015), GOD BE WITH US (TV film, 2018), KRYŠTOF (2021).



Born in 1984 in Bucharest, Paul Negoescu studied film directing at the national film school. He directed several short films that were awarded and selected in many international film festivals, including Cannes (Semaine de la Critique – 2012), Berlin (2008, 2009 and 2010), Karlovy Vary, Slamdance or Rotterdam. Two of his short films (RENOVATION and DERBY) were nominated at the European Film Academy Awards in 2009 and 2011. His first feature film, A MONTH IN THAILAND premiered at the Venice Film Festival (International Critics’ Week) in 2012 and was awarded with the FIPRESCI prize in the Sofia International Film Festival and Best Debut in Transilvania International Film Festival. His second feature film, TWO LOTTERY TICKETS, a micro-budget independent film, became one of the most successful Romanian films at the box office and it was also very well received by critics and festivals. THE STORY OF A SUMMER LOVER is his third feature film and premiered in the Official Selection of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2018.



Without any formal education, Bogdan Theodor Olteanu followed a convoluted path to filmmaking. He was a rugby player at a top club in Romania, an investigation journalist at a leading daily newspaper, a sports marketing consultant, a political communication consultant. Meanwhile, he wrote short stories and founded a cultural magazine – SUB25. His film and theatre work deals mainly with the ever-changing landscape of urban youth. He observes generations of young people in search of identity, caught between extreme libertarian values and a Balkan background. Born and raised in Bucharest, Bogdan places all of his stories in that city, the country capital and a melting pot of Russian, Oriental and Western European influences. His first feature, SEVERAL CONVERSATIONS ABOUT A VERY TALL GIRL, received 4 GOPO – Romanian Film Industry Awards nominations: Best Debut, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Silvana Mihai), Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Florentina Năstase), Young Talent (Tudor D. Popescu, editor).



Maria is an academically trained theatre and film actress. Her international TV career started in 2003 with a leading role in the BBC production of GUNPOWDER, TREASON & PLOT which won a FIPA D’OR Grand Prize at the Biarritz International Festival. She was then cast in the acclaimed British miniseries SEX TRAFFIC for Channel Four. For her role as a young Romanian sold into slavery, she received a Gemini Award. Maria starred in her first Romanian production, LOVE SICK by Tudor Giurgiu, in 2006. The film premiered at the 2006 Berlin and won her numerous awards after a strong festival presence. Maria worked across Europe in Belgium, France, Austria, Germany and England. For her performance in DIE ZWEITE FRAU by German director Hans Steinbichler, she won a Grimme Preis in 2009. She worked closely with director Radu Muntean as she starred in TUESDAY, AFTER CHRISTMAS that premiered in Cannes in 2010, ONE FLOOR BELOW and ALICE T.. She returned to Cannes in 2021, as a protagonist in Radu Muntean’s film ÎNTREGALDE.



After several years of working both in the media and in the non-governmental sector in the field of children`s rights in the Republic of Moldova, Raisa discovered that the documentary field allows her to get to know the characters “with the heart”, because “eyes do not see the essential”, as the Fox says in THE LITTLE PRINCE (her favorite book). Raisa embraced the development of her first feature-length documentary film project almost simultaneously with the process of making sourdough bread. These processes ran in parallel in the last years and helped her develop the necessary patience and the ability to capture the small details that often make the difference. A graduate of BDC Discoveries – Balkan Documentary Center and a Malik Bendjelloul fellow, Raisa is following the courses of a Master`s Degree at the State University of Moldova – Philosophy and Cultural Management. Besides collaborating as a film director with HaiDOC Productions, Raisa is also editing and collaborating with a few Moldavian NGOs that are implementing projects on topics like child sexual abuse, women`s involvement in politics, and employment of people with mental disabilities. In this segment, Raisa is directing and editing video content with a strong documentary approach, but also helping them to implement documentary films in their area of expertise as tools to raise awareness and generate impact through films.



David Schwartz (b. 1985) is a renowned Romanian theatre director, whose work focuses on investigating social and political transformations in the post-socialist Romania and art as means of education and political emancipation. He graduated from the Faculty of Theater Directing (2007) and has a master’s degree in Contemporary Performance Directing (2009) at UNATC Bucharest. He is currently a university lecturer at the Theater Directing department within UNATC. Schwartz is the initiator of the Political Theater Season, which has been held annually in Bucharest since 2013. Between 2016 and 2019, he cofounded and curated the theater program of Macaz – Coop Theater, an artist-run space dedicated to the production of political art. He has collaborated with almost 20 performing arts venues, including the National Theaters in Bucharest, Iași and Timișoara, teatru-spălătorie în Chișinău, the National Dance Center, the National Museum of Contemporary Art and the Jewish State Theater. Schwartz directed over 30 theater performances which have traveled to numerous national/international festivals, and won several awards.


Georgia-United States of America

George Sikharulidze is a Georgian-American filmmaker and instructor. He holds a B.S. in Media Communications from New York University and an M.F.A. in Film Directing from Columbia University. His short films include THE FISH THAT DROWNED (2014), which premiered at the Clermont Ferrand Film Festival, RED APPLES (2016) and A NEW YEAR (2018) which were both selected at the Toronto International Film Festival and FATHERLAND, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019. His first feature film LOOK AT ME (2023) was developed at the Cinéfondation Residence of Cannes Film Festival, as well as the Torino Script Lab 2019 and Torino Feature Lab 2020. George has taught screenwriting and directing at New York University and Columbia University.



Adrian Sitaru is an established Romanian director and writer, renowned for his five successful feature films and several short films. His latest feature, THE FIXER (2016, Toronto IFF, Tokyo IFF) was Romania’s proposal for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards. ILLEGITIMATE (2016) won the C.I.C.A.E Award in Berlinale Forum, DOMESTIC (2012) was selected in the Official Competition of Mar del Plata IFF, BEST INTENTIONS (2011) is the winner of two Silver Leopards in Locarno, while his first feature, HOOKED (2008), was selected for Venice Days, Toronto IFF, BFI London, amongst others, achieving 10 awards and being sold in 12 territories. Amongst the shorts in Sitaru’s filmography we count WAVES (2007, Sundance, winner of the Golden Leopard at Locarno), THE CAGE (2009, gathering 27 awards, among which DAAD grant in Berlinale Shorts and certificate of excellence by BAFTA/LA), ART (2014, Venice Film Festival – Orizzonti) and COUNTERPART (2014, Clermont-Ferrand ISFF). 


Bosnia and Herzegovina

Danis Tanović was born in 1969 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. His debut, NO MAN’S LAND, was awarded for Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival in 2001, and won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002. NO MAN’S LAND won a total of 42 awards. Two of his films, AN EPISODE IN THE LIFE OF AN IRON PICKER and DEATH IN SARAJEVO earned the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, in 2013 and 2016 respectively. He currently lives in Sarajevo, where he worked as a professor of direction at the Sarajevo Academy of Performing Arts.



Andra Tarara is a documentary film director, camera operator, editor, video artist, photographer and archivist. She is a UNATC graduate in Film and Television (2016) and a master’s degree graduate in Visual Anthropology from SNSPA in Bucharest (2018). She is interested in a collaborative approach of the artistic process on subjects such as personal stories pertaining to wider social, political, and historical mechanisms. A DEATH IN MY FAMILY (premiered at Transilvania International Film Festival – Romanian Days, 2018) is Andra’s first first film as a director, a short documentary filmed on 35mm + digital, which she also shot and edited. Andra is currently working as an archivist at the Romanian Peasant Museum – The Museum’s Visual Archive – and as an independent photographer and videographer. In 2020, she completed her first documentary feature, US AGAINST US (Ji.hlava IDFF) made in collaboration with her father.



With a background in literature, Ujică decides in 1990 to devote himself to cinema and creates VIDEOGRAMS OF A REVOLUTION (1992), co-directed with Harun Farocki, which becomes a landmark film on the relationship between political power and the media in Europe at the end of the Cold War. His second film, OUT OF THE PRESENT (1995), tells the story of cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who spent ten months aboard the space station Mir, while on earth, the Soviet Union ceased to exist. OUT OF THE PRESENT has been compared to  such emblematic titles in film history as 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY or SOLARIS, and is famous for being one of the most recognized non-fictional films of the 90’s. THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAE CEAUȘESCU (2010), widely regarded as a monumental achievement, concludes his trilogy dedicated to the end of communism.



Ali Vatansever was born in Istanbul in 1981. After studying Industrial Product Design and Film and TV in Istanbul, he completed his MFA degree in Film Production at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. In 2003, Ali started his film career by directing short films. He is currently pursuing his directing career with Terminal Film, a production company he co-founded. His debut feature, EL YAZISI (ONE DAY OR ANOTHER, 2012) has been screened in various international festivals and distributed in movie theatres throughout Turkey. Aside from filmmaking, Ali teaches film at Koç University and works closely with NGOs on local democracy and governance.