Abdelkader Benali is an award-winning writer of novels, poetry, short stories, theatre plays, journalism and non-fiction. He was born in Morocco, and has lived in the Netherlands since the age of 4. Benali made his debut in 1996 with the novel Wedding by the Sea, which won him the Geertjan Lubberhuizen Award for Best Prose Debut the following year. For his second novel The Long-Awaited (2002) he received the Libris Literature Award. Benali has also written the very successful theatre plays The Unlucky One (1999) and Yasser (2002), and published the story collection Reports from Maanzaad Town.
Benali also writes reviews, articles and columns in newspapers and literary magazines, and has been presenting two literary programs on Dutch television.
Alice Diop has been directing creative documentaries since 2005. Her films have been screened at internationally renowned festivals including Cinéma du réel, BFI London, Karlovy Vary, Viennale, and Lussas. In 2017 she won the César—French Academy Award—for Best Short Film for Vers la tendresse (2016), and was awarded the main prize in the French competition at Cinéma du réel for her feature-length documentary La permanence (2016). At the same festival, she took home the Prix des bibliothèques for her documentary La mort de Danton (2011) five years before.
Diop has just finished her feature-length documentary Nous (2020) and prepares to shoot her first fiction feature Saint-Omer.
Finn (Fionnuala) Halligan is the reviews editor and chief film critic of the UK-based trade magazine Screen International and website screendaily.com, overseeing all critical coverage from theatrical to festivals and television. For Screen International, she has also curated the annual UK and Ireland Stars of Tomorrow portfolio of new talent for the last decade.
An Irish national, Halligan trained as a journalist in Dublin. Apart from working on Screen International and screendaily.com, she is also a consultant to the International Film Festival & Awards Macao, where she programmes international cinema.
Edward Lachman is a revered and award-winning cinematographer from the United States who has photographed over 100 titles in narrative, experimental and documentary forms. Directors he worked with include Todd Haynes, Steven Soderbergh, Robert Altman, Paul Schrader, Todd Solondz, Sofia Coppola, Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Volker Schlondorff, Ulrich Seidl and Jean Luc-Godard. Among the many prestigious cinematography awards he received are the Golden Frog at Cameraimage and the British Society of Cinematographers Award for Carol (2015); the Marburg Camera Award for his body of work; the American Society of Cinematographers Lifetime Achievement Award; the Telluride Medallion Award; the Pierre Angénieux ExcelLens in Cinematography Award at Cannes; and the Golden Camera 300 Award at International Cinematographers’ Film Festival Manaki Brothers.
Lachman is also known as a visual artist whose installations, videos and photography have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the world, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, MOMA, and the Ludwig Museum in Germany.
Marie-Pierre Macia is the founder of MPM Film and produced more than 10 films, including Nardjes A. (Karim Aïnouz, 2020), Rafiki (Wanuri Kahiu, 2018), Zama (Lucrecia Martel, 2017), Memory Exercises (Paz Encina, 2016), and The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr, 2011). Macia is the former Director of the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors’ Fortnight) of the Cannes Film Festival where she championed the first features by filmmakers today recognized such as Sofia Coppola, Carlos Reygadas, Stephen Daldry, Cristi Puiu and Cristian Mungiu.
After earning a degree in Classics and French Literature, Macia started her career at the Cinémathèque Française and worked at the San Francisco International Film Festival. She also created the Thessaloniki Film Festival’s industry department Agora & Crossroads, where she is now the Artistic Consultant.