Renowned filmmakers Pirjo Honkasalo, Sophie Fiennes, and Alina Marazzi are among the eight industry luminaries to tutor at this year’s IDFAcademy Summer School. Joining them are Jeroen Berkvens, Ollie Huddleston, Gladys Joujou, Gema Juárez Allen, and Alex Szalat. From July 1 to 6, these documentary experts will give hands-on guidance to the international filmmaking talents selected for our annual training program.
The news comes hot on the heels of the newly minted Summer School selection, announced earlier last month. Once again, this year’s Summer School will see 16 filmmaking teams from all over the world workshop their scripts or rough cuts during one intensive week in Amsterdam.
Now, we are pleased to present the full lineup of eight tutors set to guide these projects, with areas of expertise that span directing, producing, and editing, as well as hard-won knowledge of today’s global documentary industry.
Guiding both the Script Development and Editing Consultancy strands will be Finnish director Pirjo Honkasalo, known for titles such as The 3 Rooms of Melancholia (2004) and Atman (1997). Alongside Honkasalo, filmmaker Jeroen Berkvens (Jimmy Rosenberg - The Father, The Son & The Talent) will also tutor projects in early development and the rough cut stage.
In Script Development, filmmakers Sophie Fiennes (Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, Artificial Things), Alina Marazzi (Tutto parla di te, We Want Roses Too), Gema Juárez Allen (who has produced the work of Victor Kossakovsky, Manuel Abramovich, and Lola Arias), and Alex Szalat (filmmaker and former Commissioning Editor of Arte France) will work directly with eight documentary projects in early development.
In the Editing Consultancy strand, we are pleased to welcome back Ollie Huddleston, who has edited the work of Kim Longinotto and Sean MacAllister. Last but not least, acclaimed editor Gladys Joujou, who has edited the work of Mohammed Siam, Nadine Naous, and Read Andoni, joins the Summer School for the first time this year. Together, these editing experts will oversee the eight documentary projects in the rough cut stage.
Read more about IDFAcademy Summer School, taking place July 1-6 in Amsterdam.
Jeroen Berkvens studied AV & Cinematographic Design for five years at the Academy of Arts in Breda. Besides directing documentaries, he is occasionally a producer for documentaries and other film projects. His documentary debut was A Skin Too Few – The Days of Nick Drake, a film that “beautifully evokes the enduring appeal of English singer-songwriter Nick Drake” according to Variety, and was described as "a cinematic tone poem as much as a biography” by the New York Times when it got a theatrical release in the U.S. Universal/Island added the film to the box with Drake's collected works. Berkvens' work also includes Mirror of Time, a series on non-narrative documentaries, and A Lawyer’s Story, in which a notorious defense criminal lawyer reshapes his life after a bomb attack, as well as episodes for several TV documentary series. Jimmy Rosenberg – The Father, The Son & The Talent is Berkvens' follow-up in a line of films that depict stories about the burden of being gifted. It was awarded a GRAND PRIX in Poland, the U.S. and Canada, and in the Netherlands it won a Golden Calf. The film Paradiso shows Amsterdam’s pop temple as seen from the perspective of several performing artists. It won the Grand Prize at the Jecheon Music & Film Festival in Korea.
In 1996 & 1997 Berkvens was a member of the editorial staff at the Humanist Broadcasting Foundation; a PBS in the Netherlands. Now he is commissioning editor for a couple of documentary series there. Since 2010, Berkvens has been teaching documentary directing at the Amsterdam Film Academy. He has also been a guest teacher at various institutions such as the post-graduate Sandberg Institute, IDFAcademy Summer School, and the UvA (Master Media & Cultuur), in addition to leading the IDFA documentary workshop in 2004 and several international workshops and masterclasses in Ireland (Screen Training Ireland 2008), Turkey (BuZa 2012) and Romania (Aristoteles Workshop 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014).
Born in 1967 and based in London, filmmaker Sophie Fiennes’ feature documentaries include two collaborations with the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (2006), and The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (2012), portrait of German artist Anselm Keifer through his work and process, Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow (2010), and portrait and performance films Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami (2017) and Hoover Street Revival (2001). Fiennes’ work for television includes her first short Lars from 1-10 (1998), about director Lars von Trier, The Late Michael Clark (1999), Because I Sing (2001), VSPRS Show and Tell (2005), Liu Xiaodong Half Street (2013), and Artificial Things (Masters Section IDFA 2018). Fiennes' films have received international distribution and screened in festivals including Cannes, Toronto, Sundance, and Rotterdam. She was awarded a NESTA fellowship in 2001, to develop her innovative approach to film and the Arte France Cinema Award in 2008 at Rotterdam’s Cinemart. She is currently developing The Pervert's Guide to XXI Century, the final film in her Pervert's Guide trilogy with Slavoj Zizek.
Since 2017 Sophie Fiennes has enjoyed bringing her experience into a teaching environment, working as mentor and more recently senior tutor at UCL (University College London) on the Open City Docs MA and MFA practical filmmaking courses.
Pirjo Honkasalo (1947, Helsinki, Finland) is known for her uncompromising aesthetics and poetic imagery, which she uses to highlight social themes. In addition to directing, Honkasalo is also a camera woman, editor, producer, screenwriter, and actress. In her films she frequently crosses the boundary between fiction and documentary, one of the themes presented during her retrospective at IDFA in 2010, which she attended as the festival’s Guest of Honor. After studying cinematography at Helsinki’s art academy, Honkasalo completed her postgraduate work at Temple University in Philadelphia. Her first film to be shown at IDFA, Atman (1997), won the Joris Ivens Award. This film is, along with Mysterion (1991) and Tanjuska and the 7 Devils (1993), part of her 'trilogy of the sacred and the satanic.' In the masterpiece The 3 Rooms of Melancholia (chosen in 2007 as one of the audience favorites of IDFA's first twenty years) Honkasalo follows Russian and Chechen children who try to survive in wartime. In 2014 she participated in the theme program The Female Gaze at IDFA, and in 2017 the Camera in Focus program.
Ollie Huddleston is an award-winning editor of cinema and television documentaries. He has won two Royal Television Society awards and twice been nominated for a BAFTA. His unique observational style has led to collaborations with many of documentary's leading lights including Kim Longinotto, Adam Curtis, Sean McAllister, and Aliona Van der Horst. The films have won prizes at festivals all over the world, including Sisters in Law at Cannes, Liberace of Baghdad, Rough Aunties and Dreamcatcher at Sundance, and Hold me Tight, Let Me Go at IDFA. In 2019, Shooting the Mafia was the sixth film he’s edited to be selected for the World Cinema Documentary Competition at Sundance. In recent years, he has also consulted on many films and taken part in workshops and held masterclasses in Bosnia, Egypt, Holland, India, Indonesia, and the U.S.
Gladys Joujou is a Paris-based freelance film editor of Lebanese origin. She has been working both on feature films and documentaries selected and awarded at film festivals around the world. Her work on fiction films has spanned large-scale Hollywood productions such as Oliver Stone’s Alexander, French productions such as Jacques Doillon’s Raja, and independent Arab films such as Ghassan Salhab’s Beyrouth Fantôme and Philippe Van Leeuw’s InSyriated. Her work on documentary films includes Raed Andoni’s Ghost Hunting, Sameh Zoabi’s Family Album, Nadine Naous' Chacun cherche sa Palestine, and Mohamed Siam’s Whose Country? Currently she is working on A Comedian in a Syrian Tragedy from director Rami Farah, among other projects.
Gema Juárez Allen has been a film producer since 2005. She has produced over 20 feature-length films—all international co-productions—programmed and awarded at film festivals around the world. She has produced the work of directors such as Victor Kossakovsky, Manuel Abramovich, Andrés Di Tella, and Lola Arias, among others. Her most recent titles are Theatre of War (Lola Arias, 2018), La Cama (Monica Lairana, 2018), Yo no me llamo Ruben Blades (Abner Benaim, 2018), Soldado (Manuel Abramovich, 2017), Oscuro animal (Felipe Guerrero, 2016), Camino a La Paz (Francisco Varone, 2015), 327 Cuadernos (Andrés Di Tella, 2015), Damiana/Kryygi (Alejandro Fernández Mouján, 2015), and Invasion (Abner Benaim, 2014).
Juárez Allen studied anthropology at the universities of Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, where she obtained her PhD. She has also studied cinema at the National Film School (ENERC) in Argentina, in addition to receiving an MA in Visual Anthropology from the University of Manchester. She is also part of the EAVE and EURODOC networks and a member of the Documentary Branch of the Academy of Film Arts and Sciences of the USA.
Alina Marazzi is a documentary, fiction film and theatre director, and a frequent lecturer at both graduate and undergraduate film and media schools in Italy and abroad. Her main body of work focuses on female subjectivity, motherhood, and memory: Un’ora sola ti vorrei (For One More Hour with You, 2002) is her first personal film, a montage of her family home movies, telling the life of her lost mother. Per Sempre (Forever, 2005), is a documentary about cloister nuns. Feature-length documentary Vogliamo anche le rose (We Want Roses too, 2007) presents the lives and experiences of Italian women during the sexual revolution in the 1970s, made entirely with archival footage and women’s personal writings of the time. Tutto parla di te (All About You, 2013), starring Charlotte Rampling, tackles the controversial issue of ambivalent feelings in motherhood; it is a fiction intertwined with documentary footage, home movies, and stop-motion animation. For theatre she has curated the multi-screen visuals for Il Sogno di una cosa (2014) a contemporary music opera by Mauro Montalbetti. Confini (Borderlands, 2014) is a short montage film based on archival footage from WWI featuring poet Mariangela Gualtieri reading her poems. Marazzi has directed one episode of the collective Super8 film project 14reels. Her latest film work is Anna Piaggi, una visionaria nella moda (2016) a documentary portrait of late Italian fashion journalist Anna Piaggi, an icon in the international fashion world. In 2017 Marazzi directed a multi-media contemporary music opera by Mauro Montalbetti, Haye, le parole la notte, which premiered in Teatro Ariosto in Reggio Emilia in September 2017. In 2018 she was in the jury for the IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary.
Alex Szalat was a commissioning editor for the Geopolitical Europe and Society department of Arte France, and from 2008 to 2011, he headed the Current Affairs, Social Issues, and Geopolitical department. From September 2011 until March 2019, he was Deputy Manager of the Society and Culture department of Arte France. Alex Szalat began his career in 1977 as a director of short films, documentaries, and TV series. His filmography is extensively covering a full range of aspects dealing with European life, culture, and society. In 1987, Alex Szalat founded KS VISIONS, an independent producers' company which has produced over a hundred documentaries, films, and TV series for Canal +, Arte, FR3, FR2, TF1, Planete, IBA, RTBF, VRT, and Dutch Channel 1, amongst others. He is now developing Doc’s up Fund, a project which aims to fund documentaries about human rights.
IDFAcademy is supported by Dioraphte, VEVAM, and Creative Europe Media.