Susanne Bier (Jury President)
Danish screenwriter and director Susanne Bier is one of the most accomplished European filmmakers of our time. She is responsible for such internationally successful productions as BROTHERS (2004) and AFTER THE WEDDING (2006). Bier realised her first US production in 2007 with THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE. Her family drama IN A BETTER WORLD (2010) garnered the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. With SERENA and A SECOND CHANCE, Susanne Bier is about to release two brand new directorial works.
Donald De Line
L.A. based producer Donald De Line scored his first major hit with the 2003 heist thriller THE ITALIAN JOB. Some of De Line’s prior films include Ridley Scott’s BODY OF LIES and John Hamburg’s I LOVE YOU MAN. In addition to his producing career, De Line has held positions as a studio executive, serving as President and Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures, and President of Touchstone Pictures. During Mr. De Line’s tenure, Touchstone’s films garnered 24 Academy Award nominations. Most recently, Mr. De Line executive produced the 10 episode series WAYWARD PINES.
Marie Masmonteil studied at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris and the French National School of Administration (ENA) before finding her way into film production. Masmonteil worked at Télé-Images and Productions Lazennec before taking over the management of Capa Drama. Together with her business partner, Denis Carot, she founded the production house Elzevir Films in 1993. Masmonteil’s filmography includes POURQUOI PAS MOI? (1999) and LA SOURCE DES FEMMES (2011). Her most recent film PARTY GIRL (2014) won the Caméra d’Or at Cannes.
Jasmila Zbanic was born 1974 in Sarajevo, where she studied at the Academy of Performing Arts. In 1997, she founded the artists’ association and film production company Deblokada, with which she realised ten shorts, documentary films and fine art videos. Zbanic’s debut feature GRBAVICA garnered the main award at the 2006 Berlinale. This was followed by further award-winning films like NA PUTU (On the Path, 2010) and FOR THOSE WHO CAN TELL NO TALES (2013). Her most recent film LOVE ISLAND world premiered in Locarno in August 2014.
Steve James (Jury President)
Born in 1953, the director and producer Steve James developed his reputation as one of the most outstanding US documentary filmmakers with such productions as STEVIE (2003), REEL PARADISE (2005) and THE INTERRUPTERS (2011). His film HOOP DREAMS (1994) was nominated for an Academy Award. James has been engaged since 1987 as a producer and filmmaker in the non-profit documentary film powerhouse ‘Kartemquin’ in Chicago. His latest film LIFE ITSELF world premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and screens in the ZFF’s Gala Premieres section.
Nicholas Broomfield is one of England’s most respected documentary filmmakers. Born 1948 in London, Broomfield studied law and political sciences before training as a filmmaker at the National Film School in London. He often appears in his investigative documentary and essay films, avoids interviewing professionals and concentrates on social conflicts and criminal cases. His list of award-winning works includes DRIVING ME CRAZY (1988), KURT & COURTNEY (1998), BIGGIE AND TUPAC (2002) and AILEEN: LIFE AND DEATH OF A SERIAL KILLER (2003).
For over four decades, Greg Gorman has continued to master the art of photography. From celebrity portraits and advertising campaigns to magazine layouts and fine art images, this Kansas City-born photographer has showcased the whole spectrum of his profession. His world of images has been published in books and exhibited across the globe in galleries and museums. Today, he imparts his knowledge at various photography workshops, including those held at his own studio in North Carolina. Greg Gorman has garnered innumerable awards for his work as a photographer.
From her critically acclaimed CITY OF PHOTOS (2004) to her recent multi-award winning GULABI GANG (2012), Indian filmmaker Nishtha Jain has been telling stories which explore complexities of social hierarchies and the middle-classes’ sense of entitlement and privilege. She has won numerous international awards for her films, which together have been screened in over 250 international film festivals. Jain is an alumni of the Jamia Mass Communication Research Centre, New Delhi and the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. She currently lives and works in Mumbai.
Stefan Arndt (Jury President)
Stefan Arndt is one of Germany’s most dedicated and successful film producers. Together with Tom Tykwer, Wolfgang Becker and Dani Levy, Arndt founded the production company X Filme Creative Pool GmbH in 1994. His co-productions LOLA RENNT, GOODBYE LENIN, THE WHITE RIBBON and AMOUR are already deemed classics of European independent cinema, and demonstrate that challenging films and popular films are not mutually exclusive. Stefan Arndt presided over The German Film Academy from 2003 until 2009. He is currently developing Wolfgang Becker’s highly anticipated new feature film ICH UND KAMINSKI.
Born 1950 in Detmold, the actress Iris Berben gave her cinema debut performance at the age of 18 in Rudolf Thome’s DETEKTIVE. She appeared in 1969 in Klaus Lemke’s BRANDSTIFTER, and from 1984 in the legendary comedy series ‘Sketchup’, alongside Diether Krebs. Berben is regarded as one of the most influential actresses in German film and television today. She has garnered numerous awards, including the Adolf Grimme Award and the Bavarian Television Award for Career Achievements. She was elected President of The German Film Academy in 2010.
Born 1978 in Hagen, the screenwriter and director Jan-Ole Gerster cut his teeth in the film industry at X-Filme Creative Pool in Berlin. He went on to study screenwriting and directing at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb) in 2004. His debut feature OH BOY (2012) garnered numerous national and international awards, including the German Film Award in six categories (Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Film et al.) and the European Film Award for Best Debut Film. The film also screened in the ZFF’s German Language Feature Film competition.
Born 1954 in Zurich, Peter Reichenbach worked as an opera and theatre director in Frankfurt, Salzburg and Berlin, before becoming a producer for Condor Films. In 1999, he founded the Zurich-based C-Films AG together with Peter-Christian Fueter and Edi Hubschmid. The company’s TV and cinema productions have since won numerous awards, both at home and abroad. Reichenbach is responsible for some of the most successful Swiss films of recent years, including NACHTZUG NACH LISSABON (2013) and DER VERDINGBUB (2011).
Anna Thommen was born in Basel in 1980. After teaching for two years in her first profession, a primary school teacher, she decided to study film at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in 2005. Her graduation film SECOND ME was shown at more than 20 festivals around the world. Thommen completed her Master in Film Directing at ZHdK Zurich in January 2013. With her feature length documentary debut NEULAND, Thommen won a Golden Eye at last year’s Zurich Film Festival. The film was screened in theatres throughout Switzerland.