Marielle Gautier, Hugo P. Thomas

Twin brothers Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma, Marielle Gautier, and Hugo P. Thomas are graduates of Luc Besson’s film school, L’École de la Cité du Cinéma, and Willy the 1st was the first feature made by the school’s graduates. The four are variously screenwriters, directors, actors, and musicians, and have collaborated together on short films prior to Willy the 1st, which is their collective feature debut. Filmography (for all four): Ich bin eine Tata (short,) 2015; Perrault, La Fontaine, Mon Cul! (short), 2015; Willy the 1st, 2016

Shady Srour

Shady Srour is an actor, scriptwriter, director, and producer for cinema, theatre, and TV, and a lecturer at the Open University. He has a B.A. from Tel-Aviv University in theatre acting and an M.F.A. in filmmaking from the Academy of Art University. He played the lead in the Oscar-nominated short film comedy Ave Maria (2015). Holy Air is his fiction-feature debut as director. Filmography: Sense of Need (short), 2005; Either Me or Haifa (short), 2007; Amwash (comedy series), 2009; Films from Real Life (shorts series), 2010; Watan A Watar (TV series), 2011; 24 Hours Jerusalem, 2014; Holy Air, 2017

Philippe Lesage

Genesis‘ is about the birth of desire for love… and about how society intervenes, monitors, even punishes our passionate impulses. My characters demand the right to live, to love, and to dream passionately.’ Philippe Lesage began his career as a documentary filmmaker, directing four features, including The Heart That Beats (2010), which won several awards, notably Québec’s Jutra award for Best Feature Documentary. His debut fiction feature, The Demons (2015) was invited to more than 60 international festivals. The Demons won the San Francisco Golden Gate Award and was named one of the top ten films of 2015 by Variety. Filmography: Pourrons-nous vivre ensemble?, 2006; The Heart That Beats, 2010; How Can You Tell If the Little Fish Are Happy?, 2010; Laylou, 2012; The Demons, 2015; Copenhagen: A Love Story, 2016; Elegy (short), 2018; Genesis, 2018

Roman Bondarchuk

Roman Bondarchuk is a graduate of the Karpenko-Kary Theater, Film and Television University. His graduation film, Taxi Driver, won the White Elephant prize from the Russian Film Critics’ Guild and many other awards. Bondarchuk co-directed Euromaidan. Rough Cut, a film about the events on Maidan Square, and directed his first feature-length documentary, Ukrainian Sheriffs in 2015. It won a Special Jury Award at IDFA and was selected as the Ukrainian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Bondarchuk is also the artistic director of Docudays UA: International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Kyiv. Filmography: Commemoration Day (short), 2007; Taxi Driver (short), 2007; Mms (short), 2009; Euromaidan. Rough Cut, 2014; Ukrainian Sheriffs, 2015; Dixie Land, 2016; Volcano, 2018

Peter Bebjak

Born in 1970, Peter Bebjak studied acting and film and television directing at Bratislava’s The Academy of Performing Arts. Beginning in 1995, he directed a number of award-winning short films before making his feature debut with The Apricot Island in 2011. Since then, he has made three more features, while also working in television consistently since 2007. Filmography: Expetacio (short), 1995; Miraculus (short), 1997; Štefan (short), 1998; Darkroom (short), 2007; voiceS (short), 2010; The Apricot Island, 2011; Evil, 2012; The Cleaner, 2015; The Line, 2017

Olmo Omerzu

Olmo Omerzu was born in 1984 in Ljubljana. During his studies at FAMU in Prague, he directed several shorts and the 40-minute The Second Act, which was shown at several European festivals. In 2011, Omerzu graduated from FAMU with his feature debut, A Night Too Young, which captured the Czech Film Critics’ Award for the Discovery of the Year. His second feature, Family Film, premiered at San Sebastian International Film Festival and received the award for Best Artistic Contribution at Tokyo International Film Festival, among other awards. Filmography: The Second Act (short), 2008; A Night Too Young, 2012; Family Film, 2015; Winter Flies, 2018

Natalia Santa

Born in Bogotá in 1977, Natalia Santa studied literature and, after graduating, worked in publishing. She began screenwriting in 2002 with a teen mini-series for television. She wrote Trece, her first feature-length screenplay, in 2008, for which she was awarded project funding from the FDC (Fondo Cinematográfico Colombiano). When she wrote The Dragon Defense, her second feature, she felt the need to narrate the story beyond the page and began her feature-film directing career. Her latest screenplay is titled Malta. Filmography: The Dragon Defense, 2017

Fabio Grassadonia, Antonio Piazza

“We wanted to tell a tale in an unexplored Sicily, a Sicily of dreams. A brothers Grimm world made up of forests and ogres that collides with the reality that our land necessarily contains.” Sicilian screenwriters and directors Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza presented their first feature film Salvo at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Critics’ Week Grand Prix and the Prix Révélation. Salvo was released in 20 countries. In 2010, Fabio and Antonio made their directing debut with the short film Rita, which garnered top awards in Italy and abroad. Filmography: Rita (short), 2010; Salvo, 2013; Sicilian Ghost Story, 2017

Kwon Man-ki

Born in Busan, South Korea, in 1983, Kwon Man-ki studied cinema at Sangmyung University before studying at Chung-Ang University’s Graduate School of Advanced Imaging Science. The director then majored in film directing at the Korean Academy of Film Arts. Of his many shorts, his KAFA-made film Telepata (2015) won the top prize at the Daegu Independent Short Film Festival, ‘First Prize’ at the Seoul Independent Film Festival, and the Jury Award at the Brussels International Short Film Festival. Clean Up was made as part fulfilment of his Korean Academy of Film Arts course for feature film production. It is his feature debut. Filmography: The Parcel (short), 2006; Jai-hee’s Eiffel Tower (short), 2007; Volleyball Lesson (short), 2011; Telepata (short), 2015; Clean Up, 2018

Florencia Percia

Florencia Percia, born in Buenos Aires, studied film direction at the Universidad del Cine in Argentina. She has written and directed several short films, including El mes del amigo, which won the award for Best Short Film at The Americas Film Festival of New York and the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema (BAFICI), both in 2016. Cetaceans is her first feature film; it won a Special Mention at the Rome Independent Film Festival. Florencia has served on several film festival juries and is currently working on her next film, The Anniversary: A Comedy of Routes, Hotels and Family. Filmography: Minimercado Champion (short) 2010; El poblado (short) 2014; El mes del amigo (short) 2016; Cetaceans (2017)