Pirjo Honkasalo is a highly established director, cinematographer and screenwriter, whose work has won countless awards. She has directed The 3 Rooms of Melancholia (2004), chosen by film critics as one of the hundred best documentary films in the history of cinema. Her documentary work also includes the award-winning Trilogy of the Sacred and The Satanic: Mysterion (1991), Tanjuska and the 7 Devils (1993), and Atman (1996).
Her fiction features include Flame Top, co-directed with Pekka Lehto and part of the official selection of the 1980 Cannes Film Festival, and Concrete Night (2013), Finland’s official entry for the Oscars and Golden Globes in 2014. Currently, Honkasalo is working on Orenda, a new feature film to be released in 2024. She has had well over 30 retrospectives dedicated to her work worldwide, has acted as a member of international juries, and is giving international master classes. She is a member of the American Film Academy and the Academy of Finland.
Vanja Kaludjercic was appointed Festival Director of International Film Festival Rotterdam as of February 2020. In this role, she represents the artistic voice of IFFR, one of the largest audience and industry-driven film festivals in the world, championing great cinema and actively supporting independent filmmaking talent. Kaludjercic drives IFFR’s curatorial line as well as its industry developments to futureproof the festival. Under her leadership the festival made the bold decision to expand its 50th anniversary across multiple months to weather the challenges presented by the Covid-19 crisis.
Kaludjercic brings a wealth of 20 years of industry experience, both international and within the Netherlands. She was previously Director of Acquisitions at MUBI, and had prior roles at Les Arcs European Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Netherlands Film Festival and IFFR, where she established the IFFR Talks & Masterclasses from 2016 to 2018. She has served as a jury member at Berlinale, IDFA, CPH:DOX and many more festivals around the globe.
Yousry Nasrallah is an Egyptian filmmaker. After graduating in economics and political science at Cairo University, he worked as a film critic and assistant director in Beirut from 1978 to 1982. He became an assistant to director Youssef Chahine, whose company Misr International Films would go on to produce his early films Summer Thefts (1988), Mercedes (1993), On Boys, Girls and the Veil (1995), and El Medina (1999) which won three awards at the Locarno Film Festival.
His film After the Battle competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Other films include Scheherazade Tell Me a Story, awarded at the 2009 Venice Film Festival), and Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces, competing for the Golden Leopard at the 2016 Locarno Film Festival. His latest project is the 10-episode miniseries Welcome Home.
Mary Stephen was born in Hong Kong to Cantonese parents, raised in Montreal and based in Paris since the 1980s where she was Eric Rohmer’s film editor and sometime co-composer. In the last two decades she has been working with documentary and fiction filmmakers from Asia, North America, Europe, Africa and Australia, editing, coproducing and consulting on films including Li Yang’s Blind Mountain (2007), Lixin Fan’s Last Train Home (2009), Haibin Du’s 1428 (2009), Seren Yüce’s Majority (2010), and Tiffany Hsiung’s The Apology (2016).
Stephen’s directorial work includes Vision from the Edge: Breyten Breytenbach Painting the Lines (1998), The Memory of Water or Jeanne Moreau and Steamed Fish (2018); her current documentary project Palimpsest: Re-inventing the Self, from Bloomsbury to Wuhan is in production. She is mentor and consultant for many film institutions and international training programs, including Venice Biennale Cinema College, China Academy of Art, CNEX, and Hong Kong Documentary Initiative
Yoshi Yatabe has been involved in film distribution and in film festivals since 2000. From 2002 until 2021, he has been a member of the Tokyo International Film Festival, where he has served as programming director for the Japanese film section and the international competition section.
Yatabe has produced Japanese documentary films such as Aga no kioku (dir. Makoto Sato, 2005) and Chokora! (dir. Shigeru Kobayashi, 2009), and is now advisor for Tokyo Documentary Film Festival. In March 2022, he organized a special screening in Tokyo to support Ukrainian filmmakers. He also works as a film critic, writing reviews and reports in newspapers and in online media.