Heleen Gerritsen is a film producer based in Germany. Since October 2017 she is at the helm of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film, which is organized by the German Film Institute (DFF). From 2014 to 2016 she was festival director of the European Documentary Film Festival dokumentART in Neubrandenburg.
Gerritsen studied Slavonic Languages, Eastern European Studies and Economics in Amsterdam and St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2003 she moved to Germany, where she completed a course in film production and started freelancing as a researcher and documentary producer for various companies and broadcasters like ARTE, ZDF, VPRO, and SWR, mostly with a focus on Central and Eastern Europe. In 2004 Heleen curated her first film program for the international literature festival Berlin. In 2009 she produced her first feature-length documentary and founded her own production company Serious Directions.
Nelson Makengo is a Congolese director and visual artist whose work oscillates between contemporary art and cinema. Makengo’s latest film Up at Night won the Best Short Documentary Award at IDFA 2019. It was screened at more than 20 prestigious festivals around the world, including the Full Frame Documentary International Film Festival, True False Film Festival and Cinéma du réel. His film E’ville (2018) has been presented at more than thirty festivals around the world, winning several awards including the Sharjah Art Foundation Residency Prize at Videobrasil Biennial 2019, the Grand Jury Prize at Documentary Film Festival of Saint-Louis, Senegal and Best Documentary at Rwanda Film Festival.
Recently his installations, photographs and films have been exhibited at WIELS, Videobrasil Biennial, Lubumbashi Biennale, Paiz Art Biennial, Musée International des Arts Modestes, and currently as part of Africa 2020 at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris.
Estephan Wagner is a Chilean/German documentary director and editor based in Copenhagen, Denmark. In his films he establishes a complex dynamic between the audience, the filmmaker and the protagonists, challenging the traditional narratives of documentary cinema and allowing viewers to be truly immersed in often uncomfortable realities. Films he directed have been screened at over 130 festivals, have won over 35 awards and have been broadcast on TV in many countries.
Originally trained as an editor in Germany, Wagner did an MA in documentary direction at the National Film and Television School in the UK. His feature-length debut Those Who Jump (2016) had theatrical distribution in Germany, France, the UK and Italy, has been screened at more than 70 film festivals and has won 21 awards. His latest film Songs of Repression (2020) premiered at CPH:DOX, where it won both the festival’s main award and the Danish film critics’ award.