Wang Xide

Wang Xide majored in film theory at Bournemouth University in the UK. He is currently based in Changzhou, China, a small city built and developed by the riverside of the Great Canal, where he was born and raised. After engaging in different jobs, he returned to filmmaking, which inspires him more than anything else in his life. After making the short film Silver Moon in 2020, he made his feature debut, A Chat, in 2021.

Kaltrina Krasniqi

Kaltrina Krasniqi is an award-winning Kosovo-based film director and researcher working in film, television, and the digital humanities since early 2000. She is a founding member of the Kosovo Oral History Initiative – a digital archive, where personal histories of people from various paths of life are recorded and published, and a co-founder of Dit’ e Nat’, a non-formal setting for the promotion of film, literature, and music. She graduated in Film Directing at the University of Prishtina in 2004, and in 2011 completed her MA at Kosovo’s Institute for Journalism and Communication. In 2015 she continued her professional development at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a focus on Film Producing. Her last film Sarabande (2018) premiered at ZagrebDox, was awarded as Best Documentary in the Cinalfama Film Festival, and was a nominee in the short documentary competition at the Camerimage Festival 2018. Vera Dreams of the Sea, her first feature, premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

Ali Asgari

Born in Iran, Ali Asgari has more than 200 film awards to his name. Two of his shorts were nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes festival and The Baby (the basis for Until Tomorrow) was in the short-film competition at the Venice festival in 2014. Ali’s films are concerned with the precarious lives of those stuck on the margins of Iranian society. His debut feature, Disappearance, had its world and North American premieres at the Venice festival and the Toronto festival, respectively, in 2017. Ali is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and Until Tomorrow is his second feature film.

Maggie Peren

Maggie Peren is an award-winning writer and director born in Heidelberg, Germany. After studying literature and psychology in Munich, she started writing her first screenplay (Forget America) when she was twenty-four years old. In 2003, she received the German Film Award for Before the Fall. She followed this by writing numerous screenplays for which she won national and international awards. In 2011, she presented her second directorial work, The Colour of the Ocean. The refugee drama celebrated its premiere in Toronto and was awarded several prizes worldwide. The thriller short film Nocebo (2014) won the student Oscar for best foreign film. The Forger, her most recent feature film, debuted as a special gala presentation at the Berlinale earlier this year.

Shinzo Katayama

Shinzo was born in Osaka prefecture in 1981. After working as an assistant director for Japanese films, including Nobuhiro Yamashita’s works, he crossed paths with Bong Joon-ho while the latter was shooting Tokyo (2008) and served as his assistant director. Shocked and attracted by Bong’s directorial style, he moved to South Korea and worked for Bong on Mother (2009) as assistant director. This experience hugely affected his creativity afterwards. In 2019, his debut feature Siblings of the Cape was selected by numerous domestic and international film festivals, including Göteborg Film Festival, the Geneva International Film Festival, and the Taipei Film Festival. Despite being a low-budget independent film, its shocking narrative and direction led the film to be an unexpected hit at a Japanese box office, and it gained a high reputation through word of mouth. He now is one of the most promising, emerging directors in Japan. Missing is his second feature.

Maryna Er Gorbach

The Ukrainian director studied at the Kyiv National I. K. Karpenko-Kary Theatre, Cinema and Television University and subsequently at the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing in Poland. She has been a member of the European Film Academy since 2017. She made the films Black Dogs Barking (2009), Love Me (2013) and Omar and Us (2019) together with her husband Mehmet Bahadir Er. Klondike is the first film she has written and directed alone.

Lukas Dhont

Lukas Dhont studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. He made his debut as a director and scriptwriter with the short film Corps perdu from 2012. That same year, his short film Skin of Glass was also released, and he wrote the screenplay for another short film, The Air in My Throat. In 2014 he wrote and directed L’Infini which won the “Best Belgian Student Short Film” at the Film Fest Gent.

His 2018 debut feature, Girl, for which he also wrote the screenplay, was selected for the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section. The film was positively received and won the Caméra d’or (best debut film), the Prix FIPRESCI (international film critics prize) and the Queer Palme. At the Zurich Film Festival, the film received the Golden Eye Award for Best International Film. It also copped the European Discovery Award during the European Film Awards. Girl was the official Belgian Oscar submission and was nominated for the Golden Globes and the Césars. Dhont was a jury member in the Un Certain Regard section at the 77th Cannes Film Festival.

Dhont’s second feature, Close, premiered in competition at the 2022 Cannes festival, where it shared the Grand Prix with Claire Denis’ Stars at Noon. It also won the Sydney Film Prize in June 2022. The film is based on his own experiences at school.

Flávia Neves

Flávia Neves graduated in Cinema and Literature from the Fluminense Federal University and studied screenwriting and Meisner Technique at the EICTV (Escuela Internacional de Cine e TV), in Cuba. At 16, she directed her first short film, Liberdade, which screened at FICA (International Environmental Film Festival). She has also worked as an assistant director and producer on short films and documentaries for cinema and TV, before and during her university studies. In 2019, she directed and scripted the series Amanajé, O Mensageiro do Futuro, aired by TV CULTURA. Fogaréu is her fiction feature debut. Currently, Flávia is developing her second feature film, Tempo do Poder, with the support of Ibermedia.

Juan Pablo González

Juan Pablo González (b. 1984, Atotonilco el Alto, México) is a Mexican director whose work spans fiction and nonfiction. His debut short film The Solitude of Memory (2014) had its world premiere at the Morelia International Film Festival and its international premiere at IDFA. It received the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Short at Slamdance in 2015. His follow-up, the scripted La espera (2016), premiered at SXSW and won the Grand Jury Prize at the New Orleans Film Festival. In 2017, Juan Pablo’s experimental short, Las Nubes, premiered at the Festival de Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano en la Habana, then went on to play at Rotterdam (IFFR), True/False, and Lincoln Center in New York, and it received the Grand Jury Prize at Festival dei Popoli. His mid-length debut, Caballerango premiered at IDFA in 2018 and played at Ambulante, FICUNAM, BAM Cinema Fest, DokuFest, Guadalajara (FICG), and True/False, among many others. Dos Estaciones (2022) is his feature length debut. Juan Pablo’s body of work is largely set in his hometown of Atotonilco el Alto, and he was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2015. He has been a fellow of the prestigious Fund for Culture and Arts (FONCA) in Mexico and was awarded the 2021 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise. Juan Pablo is the co-director of the film directing program at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

Clara Roquet

Clara Roquet (born 1988) started her career co-writing the multiply awarded 10,000 KM (2014), alongside director Carlos Marques-Marcet. Soon thereafter, she started her first writing-directing venture, the short film El Adiós (2015), an EFA nominee that premiered at the Toronto IFF and became a BAFTA student award-winner. Since then, Clara has become a renowned screenwriter in Spain and Latin America, co‑writing films such as Petra by Jaime Rosales (Cannes Directors’ Fortnight 2018), También esto pasará by Daniel Burman, The Days to Come by Carlos Marques – Marcet (Rotterdam International Film Festival 2019), and The Red Virgin by Paula Ortiz, among others. She has grown as a director, as can be seen in her second multiple award-winning short Good Girls (2017). Moreover, in 2018 Clara directed two chapters of Tijuana, a series produced by Story House for Netflix. Libertad is her first feature film.