Andreas Fontana was born in Geneva in 1982. After completing his MA in Comparative Literature at the University of Geneva, he moved to Buenos Aires where he trained as a production assistant. In 2010 he graduated with an MA in film production from the ECAL in Lausanne and the HEAD in Geneva. His first short film, Cotonov Vanished (2009), won the First Steps prize at Vision du Réel in Nyon (2010). It also won the best short film prize at the Festival dei Popoli in Florence (2010). His last movie, Pedro M, 1981, was nominated for the Swiss Film Award 2016 in the short films category. In 2016, Andreas Fontana and Zahra Vargas received the Upcoming Lab Prize (Soleure) for the documentary Nothingwood. He has worked as a production assistant for Jean-Stéphane Bron, Ingrid Wildi, David Maye, and Mathias Staub. He has also worked as a script writer. Azor, his debut feature, had its world premiere in the Encounters section of the Berlinale earlier this year.
Milica Tomović graduated from the Academy Of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade in 2011 with the omnibus film October, which she made together with her classmates. The film was shown in many festivals, including Cottbus and Trieste. In 2016, her short film Transition had its International Premiere in Locarno, followed immediately by a premiere in Toronto, and won several awards: the Golden Plaque in Serbian in the short fiction film selection of the Belgrade FF, the Heart of Sarajevo Best Short Film Award in the Sarajevo FF, the Best Director Award at the International Short FF of Cyprus, and others. She directed five episodes of Morning Changes Everything, a successful Serbian TV series, in 2018. In 2021, Milica finished her feature debut, Celts, which had its world premiere in the Panorama section of the Berlinale.
Yoon Dan-bi was born in 1990 in South Korea. Her short film, Fireworks (2015), was screened at the 16th Daegu Independent Short Film Festival (in 2015) and the 15th Korea Youth Film Festival in 2017. Moving On, her first feature, was released in South Korea in August, 2020, after winning four awards at the Busan Film Festival, including the prestigious NETPAC (The Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award.
Juja Dobrachkous is a director, writer, and painter based in London. Born in Soviet Russia, she graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Moscow. As a writer, she has published two works of fiction, and her short stories have appeared in several anthologies of modern Russian literature, as well as a number of magazines. Juja’s short works of fiction have been widely acclaimed in Russia, several being optioned by film production companies. Prior to Bebia, à mon seul désir, she made the documentaries Before the Mirror (2011), Arctic Wind (2014), From Another Life (2015), and My GULAG (2013-2020). Bebia is her fiction feature debut. ‘I finally found the best format to narrow the gap between my ideas and execution: cinema’, she has said.
P. S. Vinothraj is from Madurai, Tamil Nadu. He dropped out of school when he was in class IV owing to poverty. To overcome financial difficulties at home, he became a child labourer at age eight and worked in a textile factory in Tiruppur until he turned 19. He then sold DVDs at a roadside shop in Chennai. During this time, he met a few people from the Tamil film Industry and eventually became assistant director to Mr. Sargunam, a Tamil filmmaker. He worked with him for almost four years on two film projects. He then worked as an assistant director for ‘Manal Magudi’, a post-modernistic theatre troupe established by Mr. Muruga Boopathy in Kovilpatti, Tamil Nadu. He utilised his time during this venture to shoot a few short films. Koozhangal (Pebbles), his debut feature, was inspired by his personal life.
Henner Winckler was born in Hünfeld in 1969. He studied visual communication and film at the University of Art and Design Offenbach and the University of Fine Arts Hamburg and completed his studies in 1998. From 2004 to 2010 he taught filmmaking at the Film and Television University “Konrad Wolf” Potsdam-Babelsberg and from 2014-2018 at the Met Film School Berlin. His feature films: Klassenfahrt (Class Trip, 2001) and Lucy (2006) were shown at numerous festivals (Forum/Berlinale, London Film Festival, Karlovy Vary…) and won international awards and critical acclaim.
Born in 1969 in Marburg, Germany, Ulrich Köhler studied Fine Arts in Quimper, France, philosophy in Hamburg and later Visual Communication at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg, where he also made his first short films. His feature films Bungalow (2002) and Windows on Monday (2006) premiered at the Berlinale and screened at many festivals worldwide, winning national and international awards (Buenos Aires, Thessaloniki…). His Sleeping Sickness (2011) premiered in Competition at the Berlinale and won the Silver Bear for Best Directing. In My Room (2018) celebrated its premiere in the official program of the Cannes Film Festival “Un certain regard” section.
Ayten Amin has been working in the film industry for the past 15 years. Her first short film, Her Man (2006), was selected for the Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival and received several prizes. In 2013, her debut feature, Villa 69, received the Special Jury Award for Arab Film at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. Throughout her career, Ayten has received multiple awards, such as the Cairo Film Connection Award for Best Film and the Hubert Bals Award at the Durban FilmMart. She co-directed the documentary Tahrir 2011, which was selected for the Venice International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Documentary in Cinema For Peace in Berlin in 2012. In 2019, she directed 20 episodes of the hit drama Saabe’ Gaar (The Seventh Neighbour), a 70-episode TV series. Souad is her second fiction feature.
Born in São Paulo in 1974, Marcela Lordy graduated from the film department at the prestigious FAAP (Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado) and then specialised in directing actors at EICTV, the International School of Film and TV in Cuba, working both as a teacher and an assistant director. She directed the short films Sonhos de Lulu (2009), Aluga-se (2012) and Ser O Que Se É (2018), the telefilm A Musa Impassíve(2010) and the documentary Ouvir o Rio: uma escultura sonora de Cildo Meireles (2012), before making her first feature, The Book of Delights.
Born in Argentina, Paula Hernández graduated from the Instituto Vocacional de Arte in 1988 and from the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires in 1996. Hernández has been working in the film industry since 1989 and has made several short films, documentaries, and feature films. Her first feature, Inheritance (2001), won numerous awards, including Best First Feature, Best Actress, and the Audience Award at the Amiens festival in France. Since then, she has made Rain (2008; Best Film at the Mannheim festival), Un Amor (2011), and The Sleepwalkers (2019; selected by numerous festivals including Toronto, Busan, and Gothenburg). The Siamese Bond had its world premiere at the Mar del Plata festival in Argentina.