Giacomo AbbruzzeseBorn in 1983 in Taranto, southern Italy. In 2012 he was in residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus. A graduate of Le Fresnoy with special mention in 2011, between 2008 and 2009 he was artistic director of the Palestinian public channel AQTV and taught screenwriting and editing in film school in Bethlehem. His short films Archipelago and Fireworks have been screened at many international festivals including Oberhausen, Viennale, Clermont-Ferrand, Tampere, Indielisboa, New Cinema in Montreal, Leeds, Dubai, Winterthur and Molodist. They were also broadcast on television in three countries (France 3, Sky Italia Art, SVT). He received many awards including best short film at the Torino Film Festival and a mention for the quality of his work at Nastri d'Argento, the Italian critic prize. The Cahiers du cinema and Sentieri Selvaggi have published reviews of his work and interviews.
Recipient of the 2009 Sundance Documentary Directing Award for her film “El General,” Almada’s most recent film “El Velador” premiered at New Directors/New Films and the Cannes' Directors' Fortnight. Her previous credits include “All Water Has a Perfect Memory,” an experimental short film that received international recognition; “Al Otro Lado,” her award-winning debut feature documentary about immigration, drug trafficking and corrido music. Almada’s films have screened at Documenta13, The Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum and The 2008 Whitney Biennial. All three feature documentaries have broadcast on the award-winning series POV. Almada has received the MacArthur, Guggenheim, USA Artists, Alpert and MacDowell fellowships. She graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and currently lives in Mexico City.
Panayotis Christopoulos was born in Greece, in 1980. He studied Film & Media at the University of East London and has received an MA in History of Film and Visual Media from University of London, Birkbeck College. While in London, he collaborated as a video artist with numerous theatre companies and cultural organizations. In 2007, he wrote and directed the short film Discussing Space (I Ektasi Pou Analogei), winning several awards including the Greek National Award and the Greek Film Centre Award. The film was screened in festivals worldwide. As a script editor, Panayotis has contributed to a number of films including J.A.C.E. by Menelaos Karamaghiolis and September by Penny Panayotopoulou. He is currently developing his first feature film project, titled This Year’s Spring, at the Cannes Cinéfondation Résidence.
Susan Gordanshekan (born in 1978) is a German filmmaker of Iranian origins. She first studied Communication Design in Germany and France (specializing in video and multimedia-design), but in the course of her studies she realized that her real passion was to make movies. After working for a North German TV Station and a film production company in Berlin, she decided to study film at the University of Television and Film in Munich. Over the years, she has made several documentaries and two short fiction films. Notably, her documentary Garçons manqués and the short fiction Eisblumen were screened at numerous films festivals worldwide. Eisblumen premiered at 61. Berlinale in the Section Perspektive Deutsches Kino. Susan is currently developing her first feature project Defect Cat, which is about an Iranian couple who decide to marry after a few conversations, each for personal reasons - a story about the impossibility of buying happiness and the chance of find it regardless.
Hicham Lasri is a filmmaker from Casablanca. After studying law and economics, he chose the abstraction of cinematic language and began a long period of learning through the writing of plays, two novels, screenplays and comics. He attended a media and video course before making his first short film, in which he developed his take on Casablancan society using stylized sets of the city and its inhabitants. His first film, The End, a fable about the last days of the reign of King Hassan II, was developed over a four-year period and has been critically acclaimed... His next film, (Kill) Salman, is to probe the seismic tremors of a young couple who implode after an improbable meeting in a world at the end of civilization….
Art and cinema have always played an integral part in Ma’ayan Rypp’s life. She studied Art Direction in NY and earned her BFA from Tel Aviv University. Her film starring Ania Bukstein, Al Martha Lauf (Martha Must Fly) premiered at the Cannes Cinefondation- 2011. It has since shown at film festivals worldwide and won awards such as "Best Student Film" from ECU; Most Promising Artist from the Rehovot Woman’s Film Festival; Best Actress and an Audience Choice awards at the Cyprus Film Festival in 2011 as well as from Rome Independent Film Festival. In 2010 her film starring Efrat Gosh Any Little Thing was shown at a number of international film festivals including the Palm Springs and the London Raindance Festivals. Alongside her work as a film director, Ma’ayan works as Art Designer for many film, theater and music productions. She is currently working on a script for a feature film by the name of The Other Widow.