Christian Beetz: producer, director (Germany)
Christian Beetz studied dramatics and cultural sciences in Berlin, and founded Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion in 2000, which has produced more than sixty TV and film documentaries. His award-winning productions include DIE AKKORDEONSPIELERIN, HERBSTGOLD and LEBT WOHL GENOSSEN. Beetz is a member of the German Film Academy, the European Film Academy EFA and the German Academy for Television.
Vincent Lucassen: producer (Netherlands)
Born in the Netherlands, Vincent Lucassen studied economics and sociology before moving to Vienna, where he set up production company WILDart Film and produced such documentary films as PIANOMANIA (2009). In 2004, Lucassen founded DocuZone, a platform for promoting the digital distribution of films. In addition to his activities as a producer, Lucassen works as a cameraman and director.
Güzin Kar: writer, director (Switzerland)
Die türkischstämmige Zürcherin Güzin Kar absolvierte ihre Ausbildung an der Filmakademie Ludwigsburg. Aus ihrer Feder stammen nicht nur vielgelesene Kolumnen und Bücher wie „ich dich auch“, sondern auch das Drehbuch zum deutschen Kinoerfolg DIE WILDEN HÜHNER. Als Regisseurin realisierte Kar mehrere Kurz- und Fernsehfilme. Ihr Spielfilmdebüt FLIEGENDE FISCHE (2011) war in diesem Frühjahr in Deutschland und der Schweiz im Kino zu sehen.
Jacqueline Zünd: Regisseurin (Schweiz)
Jacqueline Zünd was born in Zurich and studied at the Ringier School of Journalism and the London International Film School. She oversaw Swiss Television series ‘Zebra’ from 1996 until 1998. Zünd has since worked as a director. She received the Zurich Film Prize and the Best Newcomer Award at the Vision du Réel in Nyon for her documentary GOODNIGHT NOBODY, an essay about insomnia.
Laurence Fishburne (Jury President): actor, producer, director (USA)
Born in Augusta, Georgia, Laurence Fishburne appeared in various theatre and TV productions as a child. His breakthrough came in the 1990s when he played the lead roles in films including BOYZ N THE HOOD. Numerous big roles followed, including that of Morpheus in the MATRIX trilogy. In addition to his stage and screen acting activities, Fishburne has produced and directed films. He made his debut as a director in 2000 with crime drama ONCE IN THE LIFE.
Stevan Arsenijevic: director, screenwriter (Serbia)
Belgrade native Stevan Arsenijevic graduated with a degree in film from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, where he now teaches. He has received numerous awards for his extensive body of short-film work. His feature debut, LOVE AND OTHER CRIMES (2008), was invited to participate in the Berlinale’s Panorama Special category.
Alice Eve: actress (UK)
Alice Eve was born in London and took part in several theatre productions whilst studying at St. Catherine’s College in Oxford. Following numerous performances in TV productions, the BBC offered Eve her first major roles in 2006 film STARTER FOR 10 and crime comedy BIG NOTHING. She played the lead in romantic comedy SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE and other films. Eve was also a cast member of SEX AND THE CITY 2.
John Lesher: producer, former studio head and agent (USA)
Harvard graduate John Lesher worked as an agent for the Bauer-Benedek Agency before becoming a partner at the United Talent agency and later at the Endeavor agency. Lesher moved to Paramount Vantage in 2005 and became president of Paramount Pictures in 2008. In 2009, Lesher founded Le Grisbi Productions, specialising in feature films and currently working on various large-scale studio projects.
Beki Probst: director of the European film market (Turkey, Switzerland)
Born in Istanbul, this law and journalism graduate moved to Switzerland in the 1960s. After working for Probst Cinema Company, she became the Berlin International Film Festival’s delegate for Turkey and Greece. She was responsible for turning Berlin’s European Film Market into one of the most important international film events. Probst also was a repeat member of the Locarno Film Festival selection committee.
Paprika Steen: actress, director (Denmark)
Paprika Steen’s career began in the theatre and she still regularly performs at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen. Steen actively participated in the Dogma 95 film movement. She played in the first two Dogma films, THE IDIOTS and THE CELEBRATION. Steen received numerous awards for her roles in OPEN HEARTS and OKAY. She celebrated her debut as a director with drama AFTERMATH (2004), followed by comedy WITH YOUR PERMISSION in 2008.
John Battsek: producer (UK)
John Battsek was a producer on Kevin Macdonald’s ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER, which won the feature documentary Oscar in 2000. He has since channelled his passion for documentary into numerous projects, including SERGIO (2009) and THE TILLMAN STORY (2010), which both screened at the Zurich Film Festival. This energetic producer, based at Passion Pictures in London, has now brought his latest project, BETTER THIS WORLD, to Zurich.
Charles Ferguson: director, producer (USA)
Multifaceted Charles Ferguson came to film indirectly: He worked for the U.S. government and for companies such as Apple and Intel as a technical advisor. He studied mathematics and got his Ph.D. in political science in 1989. As a director and producer, Ferguson made the documentary film NO END IN SIGHT, which deals with the American occupation of Iraq. His latest film, INSIDE JOB, casts a critical eye on what brought about the current financial crisis; the film recently won the Oscar for best documentary.
Eline Flipse: director (Netherlands)
Following language studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, Eline Flipse attended the Amsterdam Film Academy from 1974 to 1977. She has since worked as a freelance documentary filmmaker. Her film BROKEN SILENCE, which tells the tales of five young Chinese composers, received an award at Nyon’s Visions du Réel in 1996. Her medium-length film NASHA GAZETA, about a one-man Russian newspaper, brought Flipse the Jury Award at the 2010 Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto.
Nino Kirtadze: director, screenwriter, actress (Georgia)
Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Nino Kirtadze studied literature before turning to film as a screenwriter and actress. She is renowned for sensitive documentaries tackling controversial topics, such as the war in Chechnya (CHECHEN LULLABY, 2008). Kirtadze received the 2005 European Film Academy Award for her tragicomic tale THE PIPELINE NEXT DOOR.
Stephen Nemeth, producer (USA)
Stephen Nemeth founded independent production company Rhino Films, and has shepherded numerous films in his role as a producer and executive producer. He produced Terry Gilliam’s FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, starring Johnny Depp, and worked on the Oscar-nominated documentary WAR DANCE as well as CLIMATE REFUGEES, which can be seen at this year’s Zurich Film Festival.
Pasquale Aleardi: actor (Switzerland)
Pasquale Aleardi attended the Zurich University of the Arts and played his first film lead in TSCHÄSS. He later trod the boards as an actor in German theatres before returning to film. Berlin-Zurich commuter Aleardi has since worked on more than sixty TV and theatrical film productions, including Michael Steiner’s GROUNDING and alongside Til Schweiger and Jürgen Vogel in WO IST FRED?
Florian Cossen: director (Germany)
Born in Tel Aviv, Florian Cossen initially worked as an assistant director for various film and TV ad productions. He studied directing at the Ludwigsburg Film Academy from 2002 to 2009. His feature film debut, DAS LIED IN MIR, appeared the next year and won him three awards at the World Film Festival in Montreal plus the Golden Eye in the Zurich Film Festival’s German-language feature film category.
Janine Jackowski: producer (Germany)
Janine Jackowski was born in Frechen, Germany, and studied production and media sciences at the University of Television and Film Munich. She made her name as a producer on such films as DER WALD VOR LAUTER BÄUMEN, which was nominated for the German Film Prize, and HOTEL VERY WELCOME. ALLE ANDEREN, also produced by Jackowski, received two Silver Bears at the 2009 Berlinale and a nomination for the German Film Prize.
Florian Keller: film journalist (Switzerland)
Florian Keller studied English language and literature at the University of Zurich. He has been a film journalist for the Tages Anzeiger since 1998 and also writes articles about music videos and sports films. 2005 saw the publishing of his book ‘Andy Kaufman: Wrestling with the American Dream’, a portrait of the bizarre American “anti-humour” performance artist and actor, who died of lung cancer in 1984.
Xavier Koller: director, writer (Switzerland, USA)
Xavier Koller, born in 1944, and trained at the Zurich Acting Academy after completing his vocational training as a mechanic. He founded Catpics AG production company in 1983, which produced ad spots, TV series and theatrical films. With his refugee drama REISE DER HOFFNUNG, Koller was the first Swiss screenwriter and director to win an Oscar. Koller currently resides in Los Angeles.