Elizabeth Karlsen (Jury President)
As co-founder of “Number 9 Films”, Elizabeth Karlsen is an accomplished producer who has worked on a number of critically acclaimed films over the past two decades, such as HYENA (2014), Paolo Sorrentino's YOUTH (2015), starring Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel which premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, or CAROL (2015) directed by Todd Haynes, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Karlsen began her career in independent film production in New York, working with directors such as Bill Sherwood, Zbigniew Rybczynski, Jim Jarmusch and Jean-Baptiste Mondino. She has served on the board of EM Media, The Edinburgh Festival and is currently chair of Women in Film and TV UK.
After a literature degree at Cornell University, Paris native Rosa Attab went on to study at ESCP Europe. She began her career as Head of Acquisitions at Wild Bunch before moving into Film Production. After a period at Serenity as Associate Producer she joined the Paris based production company Why Not Productions as Head of Development and International, working with directors such as Jacques Audiard, Cristian Mungiu, Arnaud Desplechin, Xavier Beauvois… She is currently producing feature films with Patricia Mazuy and Lynne Ramsay.
Born in 1977 in Paris, director Yann Demange trained at London College of Printing and the National Film and Television School. He has worked as a director for Channel 4 and the BBC on multi award-winning mini-series such as DEAD SET (2008) and CRIMINAL JUSTICE (2009), and the critically acclaimed TV Film TOP BOY. Demange celebrated his feature film debut with the multi award-winning ’71, which world premiered in competition at the Berlinale, and also screened in competition at ZFF and others. He is currently working with Sony Entertainment on his second feature film THE SEVEN FIVE, which deals with the New York police corruption scandal of 1992.
Actress Maria Furtwängler landed her first major role in the TV series EINE GLÜCKLICHE FAMILIE playing Katja from 1987 until 1990. She has embodied Police Detective Charlotte Lindholm in the TATORT series since 2001, twice garnered the German TV Award for Best Actress, and received the Golden Camera for Best Police Detective. Furtwängler also received several awards for her role in the TV film DIE FLUCHT (2007). The sought-after actress garnered the 2009 “Romy” – Aus- tria’s most important media award – for Best TV Series Actress. Her most recent feature film DAS WETTER IN GESCHLOSSENEN RÄUMEN world premieres in ZFF’s “Gala Premieres” section this year.
Katja von Garnier
German film director Katja von Garnier was shot to prominence in 1993 with ABGESCHMINKT! (MAKING UP). It was BANDITS (1997), however, that brought the director worldwide attention. She was then listed as one of Variety magazine's “Ten Leading New Independent Directors to Watch” (1998). After BANDITS, von Garnier made her American debut with the HBO movie IRON JAWED ANGELS (2004). In 2013, she directed OSTWIND which won numerous awards. After shooting FOREVER AND A DAY (2015), a documentary about the last tour of the rock band Scorpions, she shot OSTWIND 2 (2015), which was recently theatrically released in Germany with over a million admissions.
Catherine Dussart (Jury President)
French-born Catherine Dussart founded “CDP production” in the early 90s. Her Academy Award- nominated L’IMAGE MANQUANTE (2013) from director Rithy Panh, with whom she regularly collabo- rates, won in the “Un Certain Regard” section at Cannes. Her extensive filmography also includes UNE AFFAIRE DE GOÛT (1999), LA NOCE (2000), TYCOON (2002), DUNIA (2004) and BASSIDJI (2009). She has worked since April 2013 as an administrator at TF1, France’s largest TV station.
Iraqi Abbas Fahdel moved to France at the age of 18. He studied film at Paris-Sorbonne University before graduating with a PhD. He returned to Iraq in 2002 where he made his documentary film RETOUR À BABYLONE (BACK TO BABYLON), in which he deals with the changes to his homeland. His next documentary NOUS LES IRAKIENS (WE IRAQIS, 2004) and his war drama L’AUBE DU MONDE (DAWN OF THE WORLD, 2008) also tackled the political and social conflicts of his native country. His documentary film HOMELAND – IRAQ YEAR ZERO (2015) garnered the main award at last April’s “Visions du Réel” festival.
German-Romanian director and producer Alexander Nanau graduated from the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb). He worked as an assistant, and further as a co-director, for the theatre director Peter Zadek, whose work he tackles in his feature film PETER ZADEK INSZENIERT PEER GYNT (2006). The Emmy Award-winning film THE WORLD ACCORDING TO ION B. (2009) is a portrait of the artist Ion Bîrladeanu. Nanau’s film TOTO AND HIS SISTERS (2014) garnered the main awards at many international festivals, including ZFF.
Havana Marking is a British director and executive producer. She has worked in the documentary industry for over 15 years and has directed films for BBC, Channel 4, Discovery and HBO, winning various awards. As part of Roast Beef Productions, Marking has exec’ed films such as PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER and the Academy-nominated HELL AND BACK AGAIN. The first series of films she directed, THE GREAT RELATIVITY SHOW were for Channel 4, explaining the Theory of Relativity in animation.
Editor Joelle Alexis was born in 1970 in Antwerp, Belgium. She is a graduate of the Camera Obscura School of Arts in Tel Aviv. In 2000, Alexis built a small editing studio on the island of Mykonos in Greece. She returned to Tel Aviv in 2006. Her filmography as an editor includes the award-winning productions PRENDRE FEMME (2004), CLOSE TO HOME (2005), THE GREEN PRINCE (2014) and GETT (2014). The virtuoso editor garnered the Sundance Festival’s “Best Editing Award” for A FILM UNFINISHED (2010).
Nico Hofmann (Jury President)
Nico Hofmann, UFA Fiction Manager and Co-CEO of UFA GmbH, is one of Germany’s most successful producers. His two-part historical dramas, such as DER TUNNEL and DIE FLUCHT, enjoyed an audience of millions and established the event movie in German television. His Emmy award-winning mini-series UNSERE MÜTTER, UNSERE VÄTER (2013) has been bought by more than 100 countries. Hofmann is also dedicated to the promotion of emerging talent, and works a professor at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.
Nick Brandestini is an independent filmmaker based in Switzerland. Most recently, he directed the award-winning documentary CHILDREN OF THE ARCTIC (2014), which won several awards, among them ZFF’s Golden Eye Jury Award for “Best Film” in the Focus Competition. Previously, he directed DARWIN (2011), garnering flattering reviews in the New York Times, Variety, and the Los Angeles Times. His prior films include H.R. Giger’s SANCTUARY (2007) and RETURN TO FLORENCE (2006).
German screenwriter and director Anika Decker trained as a producer in Cologne, where she also co-worked on various TV productions. Her breakthrough came with the hit comedy KEINOHRHASEN (2007), for which she and Til Schweiger wrote the screenplay. Decker also wrote the screenplay for the sequel ZWEIOHRKÜKEN (2009), and co-wrote the screenplay for RUBBELDIEKATZ (2011) with Detlev Buck. She co-founded the “Decker Bros” production company together with her brother. Her directorial debut TRAUMFRAU- EN hit cinemas in February this year.
Born in 1981, German actor Alexander Fehling graduated from Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Art. He exhibited his talents on the stages of Berlin and Zurich, and gave his debut feature film performance in the 2007 film AM ENDE KOMMEN TOURISTEN. He attracted international attention playing Sergeant Wilhelm in Quentin Tarantino’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009). Fehling has appeared in films such as 13 SEMESTER (2009), and IM LABYRINTH DES SCHWEIGENS.
Born in 1977 in Linz, Birgit Minichmayr is one of the most sought-after stage and screen actresses in the German-speaking world. She was a member of the Burgtheater Wien and Volksbühne Berlin’s acting ensembles for many years. Minichmayr gave her debut film performance in 2000 in ABSCHIED – BRECHTS LETZTER SOMMER. The list of her films includes DER UNTERGANG, DAS PARFUM, KIRSCHBLUTEN – HANAMI, DAS WEISSE BAND and GNADE. She received the Silver Bear at the 2009 Berlinale for her role in Maren Ade’s ALLE ANDEREN.
The Jury of Critics, compiled by the Swiss Association of Film Journalists (SVFJ), present the Critics' Prize / Critics' Choice Award to a debut narrative feature film from the competition sections "International Competition" and "Focus".
The Jury is composed of the following members:
- Flavia Giorgetta
- Peter Holdener
- Marco Zucchi
The winner film will be announced at the ZFF Award Night on October 4th.