Frank Darabont (Jury president), director, Screenwriter and producer (USA)
Frank Darabont is known not least for his 7-time Oscar nominated prison drama THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, based on a short story by Stephen King. His fruitful collaboration with Stephen King culminated in two further film successes: THE GREEN MILE and THE MIST. His skills as an author contributed significantly to the success of the TV series THE WALKING DEAD. His latest work, the TV series L.A. NOIR, will be broadcast in 2013.
Deborah Aquila, Casting Agent (USA)
Deborah Aquila’s independent casting director career began with Steven Soderbergh's SEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE. In 1993 she was named Senior Vice-President of Features Casting for Paramount Pictures. Her most recent film credits include Atom Egoyan’s DEVIL’S KNOT and Simon Curtis’ MY WEEK WITH MARILYN (2011) and the TV series L.A. NOIR by Frank Darabont, with whom she had already collaborated in 1993 for THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION.
Daniél Espinosa, director (Schweden)
Swedish director Daniél Espinosa graduated with a degree in film directing from the National Film School of Denmark in Copenhagen. He won several awards with his graduation film short BOKSEREN (The Fighter). He has since worked as a freelance director. His third feature film SNABBA CASH was screened to high acclaim in 2010. Espinosa most recently directed the US action thriller SAFE HOUSE (2012) with Denzel Washington.
Carlos Leal, actor (Switzerland)
Carlos Leal, the son of Spanish immigrants, co-founded and sang in the successful Swiss hip hop band „Sens Unik“, before turning to acting. He played his first lead in Samir’s SNOW WHITE (2005). He has since appeared in several national and international TV and cinema productions, including CASINO ROYAL (2006) by Martin Campbell and SENNENTUNTSHI (2010) by Michael Steiner.
Pietro Scalia, Editor (Italy / Switzerland)
Italian-born Editor Pietro Scalia was raised and educated in Aarau, Switzerland before moving to the United States. Scalia began his career as an assistant editor for Oliver Stone on WALL STREET. In 1992, Scalia won his first Academy Award for Best Editing on Stone's JFK. Scalia received more Academy Award nominations for GOOD WILL HUNTING (1997) and GLADIATOR (2000), before winning his second Academy Award for his work on BLACK HAWK DOWN (2001).
Michael Shamberg, producer (USA)
In the 70s, Michael Shamberg was co-founder of the innovative video collective TVTV, which years before YouTube was responsible for the production of independent videos, and influenced the development of new technologies. He has produced over 40 films in his career, including PULP FICTION (1994), ERIN BROCKOVICH (2000) and GARDEN STATE (2004). Shamberg is a partner in the Double Feature Films production company.
Jessica Yu (Jury president), director (USA)
Jessica Yu is a director of both documentaries and scripted films. Her credits include THE WEST WING, GREY’S ANATOMY and E.R. She won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short for BREATHING LESSONS (1996), a film about Mark O’Brien, a poet confined to an iron lung. Her latest film, LAST CALL AT THE OASIS (2011), a chronicle of the water crisis for Participant Media, screened at Toronto and Berlin and in the Special Screening Section at the Zurich Film Festival.
Mohamed Al-Daradji, director (Iraq)
Born in Baghdad in 1978, Mohamed Al-Daradji is co-founder of multi-award winning production company Human Film. In 2003, Al-Daradji made his first feature film AHLAAM, an insight into the chaos and confusion of a war-torn Iraq. It represented Iraq for Oscar and Golden Globe Consideration in 2007. His second feature film SON OF BABYLON (2009) was selected as Iraq’s official entry for the 2011 Academy Awards. Al-Daradji’s latest documentary IN MY MOTHER’S ARMS premiered at Toronto IFF in 2011.
Philippe Diaz, producer (France)
Philippe Diaz was born in Paris and began producing feature films in 1986. His film MAUVAIS SANG (1986) by Leos Carax, one of the first films to tackle the subject of AIDS, was nominated for three Césars. In collaboration with Columbia Pictures, he launched numerous films as the head of acquisition at AAA Paris, He received the award for Best Documentary Feature at the Slamdance Festival for THE EMPIRE IN AFRICA (2006), a film which he also directed.
Janus Metz, director (Denmark)
Januz Metz, born 1974 in Denmark, shot his debut documentary TOWNSHIP BOYS in 2006 after a residency in South Africa. Later works also tackled controversial subjects: LOVE ON DELIVERY (2008) addressed the prostitution of Thai women in Denmark. His documentary film ARMADILLO, about a Danish special unit in Afghanistan, enjoyed international festival success and won numerous awards including the Zurich Film Festival’s Golden Eye.
Herbert Grönemeyer (Jury president), actor, music producer, singer (Germany)
Herbert Grönemeyer is one of the most successful German-language musicians. His album „Mensch“ is the best-selling album in German music history. He is also a respected film music composer and actor. Before his music career began, Grönemeyer was involved in theatre and film productions. He was the musical director of the Schauspielhaus Bochum. Grönemeyer has continued to compose film soundtracks since 1985. His most recent project in this field was for the US feature THE AMERICAN (2010) by Anton Corbijn.
Peter Luisi , director (Switzerland)
Peter Luisi graduated in 1998 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a degree in film production. He worked as a film editor until 1999, before founding Spotlight Media Production AG in 2000. He has worked as a freelance screenwriter and director since 2002. In 2004, his low-budget feature VERFLIXT VERLIEBT won the Zurich Film Award. His feature film DER SANDMANN (2011) was screened at over 50 festivals. Luisi’s latest feature BOYS ARE US is scheduled for release in cinemas soon.
Florian Flicker , director (Austria)
Austrian director Florian Flicker produced several short films before celebrating his cinema debut with the science-fiction film HALBE WELT. His tragicomedy DER ÜBERFALL (2000) won numerous awards, including Best Austrian Film at Diagonale. In 2002, he was the recipient of Upper Austria’s Award for Culture. Flicker lectured at the film academy in Vienna from 2003 until 2009. His latest project GRENZGÄNGER celebrated its premiere in Sarajevo last July.
Julia Jentsch , actress (Austria)
Julia Jentsch was engaged by the Munich Kammerspiele after graduating from the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts. Her film career began in 2005 with the remake of SOPHIE SCHOLL, which brought her the German Film Award, a Silver Bear, and an Academy Award nomination. She has since appeared in numerous international film productions, including the title role in EFFI BRIEST (2009) and in TANNÖD (2009). Julia Jentsch lives close to Zurich with her husband and daughter.
Marcel Hoehn , producer (Switzerland)
Marcel Hoehn was born in Zurich and founded his own production company T&C Film AG in 1976. He produced Rolf Lyssy’s successful film DIE SCHWEIZERMACHER in 1978. He later worked with Daniel Schmid, and others. Hoehn was also involved in numerous co-productions. More recently, he produced several films for Christoph Schaub. In 1999, Hoehn received the Zurich Film Award for his work as a producer. He is the recipient of the Swiss honorary film award “Quartz”.
Gabriele Kranzelbinder (Jury president), producer (Austria)
Following her studies in law, Klagenfurt-born Gabriele Kranzelbinder worked in the film distribution and film production industries, before becoming involved as a producer in numerous feature films, documentary films and experimental film projects. In 2007, she founded her own production company KGB. Kranzelbinder focuses on international co-productions, such as TAXIDERMIA by the Hungarian director György Pálfi and LOVE AND OTHER CRIMES (2008) by the Serbian Stefan Arsenijević.
Martin Hagemann , producer (Germany)
Working with Thomas Kufus in their joint enterprise zero film since 1990, Martin Hagemann has produced numerous feature and documentary films for cinema and TV, including BLACK BOX BRD by Andrés Veiel. Hagemann has been the managing director of zero fiction film GmbH since 2006. His recent production THE LAW IN THESE PARTS (2011) won the Sundance Film Festival’s Best Documentary Award in 2012. Hagemann accepted a professorship at the University of Film and Television "Konrad Wolf" Potsdam-Babelsberg in 2009.
Stefan Haupt , director (Switzerland)
Stefan Haupt has worked since 1989 as a freelance filmmaker. With his own production company Fontana Film GmbH, he has produced numerous award-winning projects in the fields of documentary and feature film. His debut feature film UTOPIA BLUES won several prizes, including the Zurich Film Award. In 2006, he won the Audience Award at the film festival in Thessaloniki for his documentary film EIN LIED FÜR ARGYRIS. He was the president of the Swiss Filmmakers Association (ARF/FDS) from 2008 until 2010.
Mirjam von Arx , director, producer (Switzerland)
Director and producer Mirjam von Arx initially worked as a freelancer for various print magazines. She moved into the film business as the producer of Polo Hofer’s road movie BLUESIANA in 1991. In 2002, she founded the production company ican films gmbh. She has since produced numerous successful documentary films, including the Zurich Film Award-winning SIEBEN MULDEN UND EINE LEICHE. Her own directing works include ABXANG (2003) and BUILDING THE GHERKIN (2005). Her latest film project VIRGIN TALES premiered in April 2012 at the Visions du Réel Festival in Nyon.