Film critic, FIPRESCI member (Brazil)

Carlos Helí De Almeida is a film reporter and critic from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, collaborating with media outlets specializing in cultural issues. He was a staff member of such newspapers as Tribuna da Imprensa, Jornal do Brasil and O Globo. Carlos is a member of the Brazilian Association of Film Critics (Abraccine), and regularly covers Brazilian and foreign film festivals, such as Cannes, Venice and Berlin. He regularly participates in film selection commissions for film festivals and served as a juror at the 42nd Festival de Brasília. Carlos is the author of «Walter Salles — An Interview», a book published by the Luso-Brazilian Film Festival of Santa Maria da Feira (Portugal), and contributed to «Top 100 Brazilians Films» and «Brazilian Documentary — 100 Essential Movies», both released by Letramento publishing house.



Film researcher, FIPRESCI member (UK)

Birgit Beumers is Professor emerita of Film Studies at Aberystwyth University, Wales (UK), and currently teaches at the University of Passau (Germany). She specializes in Russian culture, especially in cinema and theatre, and the cinemas of the former Soviet territories. Her publications include «A History of Russian Cinema» (2009) and «Aleksandr Sokurov: Russian Ark» (KinoSputnik 3, 2016). She has also edited «Directory of World Cinema: Russia» (2010; 2014), «A Companion to Russian Cinema» (2016), and «Cinema in Central Asia: Rewriting Cultural Histories» (2013) (with M. Rouland and G. Abikeyeva). She is editor of KinoKultura and of Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema.



Film researcher, Professor at University of Pittsburgh (USA)

Nancy Condee is Professor of Slavic and Film Studies and also director of the Global Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Her publications include Soviet Hieroglyphics: «Visual Culture in Late 20th-Century Russia» (Indiana UP 1995), «The Cinema of Alexander Sokurov», ed. with Birgit Beumers (I.B. Tauris, 2011); «Imperial Trace: Recent Russian Cinema» (Oxford 2009); and «Antinomies of Art and Culture: Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity», ed. with Terry Smith and Okwui Enwezor (Duke University Press, 2008). Her articles have appeared The Nation, The Washington Post, October, New Left Review, Sight and Sound, New Formations, PMLA, Wide Angle, Framework, boundary 2, as well as the Russian journals NLO, Seance, Znamia, Voprosy literatury, Iskusstvo kino. She is a co-editor of the journal Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema (Intellect Books), member of the advisory board of the online cinema journal KinoKultura, the advisory board of boundary 2, and on the editorial board of Critical Quarterly. She has worked as a consultant for the Edinburgh Film Festival, the Library of Congress, and Public Broadcasting for several Frontline documentaries and was Executive Producer for a CD-Rom database on Russian cinema «Kino Ottepeli» (2002).



Film critic, FIPRESCI member (Netherlands)

Hugo Emmerzael is a Dutch film and music critic and a Berlinale Talent Press Alumni. As an editor of De Filmkrant and regular contributor of Gonzo (circus) he examines through writing emerging aesthetics, scenes and sensibilities throughout the world from a critical, sociological perspective. He collaborates with esteemed film festivals like IFFR (Rotterdam), IDFA (Amsterdam), CinemAsia (Amsterdam), NFF (Utrecht) and GAIFF (Yerevan, Armenia). His academic and artistic research is currently focused on the vast and varied film and music culture of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Most notably, he specializes in the way emerging Russian and Armenian cinema relates to their respective pasts.



Film critic, FIPRESCI member (Australia)

Cerise Howard is a New Zealand-born co-curator of Melbourne Cinémathèque who co-founded the Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia and was its Artistic Director in 2013-2018. A co-founder also of tilde: Melbourne's Trans & Gender Diverse Film Festival, she has long been engaged with international film festival culture, whether reporting for Senses of Cinema on festivals from Abu Dhabi to Ukraine, reporting for the festival’s own daily newspaper in Karlovy Vary, participating in FIPRESCI juries or in programming and staging festivals in Australian cities. She is a Studio Leader at RMIT University where she incubates more film festivals still and coaxes students into creatively contesting the canon. She has recently completed an essay for a book on “Bride of Frankenstein” about the 1967 Czechoslovak “Happy End” film and delivered a lecture for The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies on trans and other gender-non-conforming bodies in horror cinema. More recent writing can be found in an anthology on Peter Strickland and on Nicolas Winding Refn's by NWR website. Away from film, she plays bass for Queen Kong and The HOMOsapiens, a Melbourne-based punk, performance art, queer rock band.



Film researcher, Professor at the University of Oxford (UK)

Catriona Kelly has worked as Professor of Russian at the University of Oxford since March 1996. She has published widely on Russian history and culture, including cinema, and is the author of “Soviet Art House: Lenfilm Studio under Brezhnev” (Oxford University Press, New York, 2021). She is currently working on a project about history and cinema from the post-Stalin era to the present day. In October 2021, she moves to a new position as Senior Research Fellow, Trinity College, University of Cambridge.



Film critic, FIPRESCI member (Japan)

Film and dance critic, journalist and author. Specialty territory is a Japanese movie including animation movies. Author of several books on film, including "Paris, Deux grandes passions le cinema et la ballet" (1998). Contributing to Fuji Evening News (Yukan Fuji), a leading Japanese daily evening newspaper since 1989, several print, online and broadcast media. Jury member of Japan Film Professional Awards. She has participated in juries for FIPRESCI in Cannes, the Montreal, Busan and jury member of Cannes Critics’ Week 2012. International PEN Japan Center Digital Library Committee Member.



Film critic, FIPRESCI member (France)

A cultural journalist and film critic for various major German and Swiss dailies and magazines for over twenty years, curator of photo exhibitions in Europe and the USA, artistic director, programmer and consultant for a wide range of international film festivals around the world.  Founder of Alizarine Productions (films, arts & events), she created the Terresd’Ici, Terresd’Ailleursfestival in a small Dordogne Perigord village in 2021. Born in the former GDR, she studied theater and social sciences in Germany and France, M.A. in clinical psychology, DEA in sociology. Head of Department at FIPRESCI, member of the European Film Academy and Secretary of the Union of Cinema Journalists, France.



Film critic, curator (Germany)

Dr. Claus Löser: born in 1962 in Karl-Marx-Stadt (Chemnitz). Since 1980, he has been actively involved in lyrics, music and films. He was taking film studies in Potsdam-Babelsberg (Diploma) in 1990-1995. In 1990, he became the Program Director of the Brotfabrik cinema in Berlin. Since 1992, he has been a film critic (Taz, Berliner Zeitung, Filmdienst, etc.) and writer. In 1996, he founded “ex.oriente.lux collection – East 1976-1989 experimental archive” and published a book entitled “Gegenbilder – Filmische Subversion in der DDR“ (“Counter Images”). He works as a film maker, critic, curator und lecturer in Berlin and opts for experimental / underground cinema and film history of the former East Block. He curated a special program under the title of “Winter adé“ for Berlinale 2009 with 15 feature films coming from socialist countries. In 2009, together with Jakobine Motz, he filmed a documentary entitled “Claiming the Space“ regarding Independent Art Exhibitions in the GDR, which was followed by “Ornament & Verbrechen“ (“Ornament and Crime”) devoted to musicians Ronald and Robert Lippok in 2015. In 2011, he completed a thesis paper about East German underground films, published also as a book (“Strategien der Verweigerung“/”Strategies of Refusal“). He is organizing retrospectives and works as a film consultant (e.g., in Copenhagen, Warszawa, Johannesburg, Budapest and UAE) for Goethe Institutes, museums, galleries and festivals. He also works as a jury member at film festivals and as part of commissions related to German film production and national cinematographic heritage.



Film critic, curator (Argentina)   

A film critic and curator based in Buenos Aires. He is in charge of the cinema section, and is the main film critic, for Pagina/12 national daily, for which he regularly covers international festivals, such as festivals held in Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Venice and Locarno, to name a few.

Since 2000, he has been the Argentina and Uruguay delegate for Berlinale, and since 2019, he has also been a consultant for the official selection committee of the festival and the Forum of Young Cinema.

Member of the jury of the Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award in 1998. Since then, he has also served on official and parallel juries of film festivals such as those held in Locarno (2000 and 2014), Venice (2002), Cannes (2012, Un Certain Regard Jury) and Paris Pompidou Cinéma du Réel (2017). 

From 1979 to 2019, he was Programming Director of Sala Leopoldo Lugones, a legendary arthouse cinema in Buenos Aires. He worked as an Artistic Director of Doc Buenos Aires in 2000-2017 and was also a programmer for Buenos Aires Festival de Cine Independiente (BAFICI) in its early years.

Author of the following publications: “La realidadobstinada. Apuntessobre el cine italiano” (“Obstinate reality. Notes on Italian cinema”) (Corregidor, 1992; in collaboration), “Fernando Solanas” (Centro Editor de América Latina, 1993) and “Carlos Gardel y el primer cine sonoroargentine” (“Carlos Gardel and the first sound films in Argentina”) (Huesca Film Festival, 2001).

He received the 2018 Fénix Award of the Ibero-American Critics for his career achievements, which was awarded by the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI). In 2019, the Mar del Plata International Film Festival honored him with a special award for his deliverables.



Curator, media expert (Germany)

Born 1974 in Moscow. Currently, the Artistic Director of the Prague International Film Festival and Head of Studies at SOFA – School of Film Advancement. An internationally acknowledged curator, lecturer and media expert. Before taking Prague Leadership, he was a foreign delegate at Berlinale for 17 years.

SOFA trains culture promoters, mediators and catalyzers with unique film/cinema project ideas for the local and international audience in their country of origin – in all possible creative shapes. SOFA helps its participants to make their innovative “dream project” come true and – at the same time – contributes to development of the regional film culture and industry.

As early as at the time of his studies Nikolaj established the Schnitt film quarterly (back then the highest-circulation independent film magazine). He was running the edition for 15 years as publisher/editor-in-chief. In this role, he published numerous books on cinema.
In 2001-2016, Nikolaj was the CEO and Artistic Director of Filmplus – the back then only European editing festival (Cologne).

He teaches film and cultural management worldwide and has served on many international festival and coproduction juries and panels. He has also worked extensively as an expert/advisor for many national and international film and cultural funds. Nikolaj works and lives in Berlin.



Associate Professor, Media Studies Program Director (USA)

Padunov received his B.A. at Brooklyn College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Cornell University. He has taught at the University of Iowa and Hunter College, as well as in Germany and Russia.

Together with Nancy Condee, he directed the Working Group on Contemporary Russian Culture (1990-93), supported by the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council. His works have been published in the US (The Nation, October, Wide Angle), the UK (Framework, New Left Review, New Formations), and Russia (Voprosy literatury, Znamia, Iskusstvo kino, Novaia gazeta). His areas of research include Russian visual culture, narrative history and theory, and film history.



Film critic, writer (India)

MK Raghavendra is a writer on culture, literature and politics, specializing in film, particularly its political side. After getting a Master’s degree in science and having worked in the financial sector for over two decades, he became a full-time writer. He won the National Award (Swarna Kamal) as the Best Film Critic in 1997, and received Homi Bhabha Fellowship in 2000. Since then, he has been the author of five volumes of academic film scholarship works issued by international publishers:“Seduced by the Familiar: Narration and Meaning in Indian Popular Cinema” (Oxford University Press, 2008), “Bipolar Identity: Region, Nation and the Kannada Language Film”(Oxford University Press, 2011), “The Politics of Hindi Cinema in the New Millennium: Bollywood and the Anglophone Indian Nation” (Oxford University Press, 2014), “Locating World Cinema: Interpretations of Film as Culture” (Bloomsbury, 2020) “Philosophical Issues in Indian Cinema: Approximate Terms and Concepts” (Routledge, 2020). He has also published four volumes of popular film criticism studies for Oxford University Press and Harper Collins. His writings have been anthologised internationally for publishers like Sage, British film Institute, Routledge, Oxford University Press, and he has written journalist articles for The Hindu, The Indian Express, Hindustan Times, Times of India, as well as contributed essays to national level journals and periodicals, including Economic and Political Weekly, Caravan, Frontline, The Book Review and Biblio: A Review of Books. His literary criticism book entitled “The Writing of the Nation by its Elite: The Politics of Anglophone Indian Literature in the Global age” was published by Routledge in 2021 and another book on politics “The Hindu Nation: A Reconciliation with Modernity” was published by Bloomsbury also in 2021. He has covered a variety of political and cultural issues in his writings for First post and Deccan Herald in the recent years. Two of his books have been translated into Russian and were published in 2020.



Film researcher, producer (Italy)

Born in Moscow in 1972. Since 1997 she has been living in Italy. Graduated from the State University of Urbino. Alena worked in the Bologna Cinematheque. Since 2002 she has been working as a programmer at various festivals (Alpe Adria in Trieste, Venice Film Festival, Rome IFF, Beijing IFF, Pingyao Film Festival), specializing in the cinemas of the former USSR and Eastern Europe countries. Alena also oversaw retrospectives of Soviet and Russian cinema in Italy and abroad. She is the author of numerous articles and Professor of the University of Bologna from 2007 to 2018. She cooperates with theatre festivals and groups and continues her interpreting activity and production work.

She is currently a programmer for the Directors’ Fortnight program at the Festival de Cannes and Torino Film Festival.



Film critic, FIPRESCI member (USA)

A film curator for more than 25 years, Alissa Simon is the Senior Programmer of the Palm Springs International Film Festival and a programmer for the international festival in Minneapolis. She was named the 1999 “Chicagoan of the Year” for her innovative work as an Associate Director/ Programmer at the Film Center of the School of the Art Institute where she worked for 12 years. Alissa began her career at the Film Department of Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN, and at the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House in Rochester, NY. In addition to her curatorial work with festivals, she writes about films, filmmakers and film festivals for the U.S. trade paper Variety and has served on international film festival juries in Pusan, Belgrade, Amsterdam, Sarajevo, San Francisco, Torino, Ljubljana, Sochi, Cluj, Vancouver and Montreal. She is a member of FIPRESCI and the Chicago Film Critics Association. Many years ago, as an undergraduate at Yale, Alissa was a British Studies major, and she now splits her time between London and Chicago.



Film researcher, curator (Germany)

Swetlana Slapke is a Doctor of Philosophy and Art Studies. She taught the cultural history of the Turkic peoples in Humboldt University. Later on, she moved to «Channel 2» of the Germany State Television as a scientific advisor, editor and director of television documentaries and the news casts about Central Asia. After that, she became a program Director of the Asia-Pacific Film Festival in Berlin, a member of the Artistic Council of Cottbus Festival of East European cinema, a Board member of the German-Russian Festival in Berlin responsible for Russian program. She is currently the Director of the «Eurasia Global Connecting» Agency, which deals with scientific and cultural exchange: supports joint film projects and holds Film Days of various Eurasian countries in Germany. She is the author of publications on culture and cinema of Central Asia.



Film critic, FIPRESCI member (France)

Léo Soesanto is a Paris-based film journalist and programmer. He studied at Institutd’Etudes Politiques de Paris. His writings have appeared in such publications as Libération, Les Inrockuptibles, Vogue, Premiere or  Grazia. He was the Programming Director (2012 – 2018) of the Festival International du Film Indépendant de Bordeaux (FIFIB) and Programmer (2016 – 2020) at the Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR). At Cannes Critics Week, he was a member (2009 – 2015) of the features selection committee and was appointed head of the short films selection committee in 2017. He worked as a program advisor/moderator for several festivals (Geneva, Valencìa, Utrecht, Cinemasia in Amsterdam). He curated several retrospectives/programs dedicated to Olivier Assayas, Jonathan Caouette, Denis Coté, punk cinema, Asian cinema or TV series. He’s a member of FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) and was juror at many festivals (Cannes, Dubai, Thessaloniki, Kiev, Morelia, Toronto, Vila do Conde…). He wrote “L’Aéroportmisenscenes” (“The Staged Airport”), a book devoted to representation of airports in films.



Film critic, FIPRESCI member (Canada)

Christina Stojanova is Professor at the Department of Film, University of Regina. She contributes regularly to the specialized and academic print and online media, and her writings are translated into many languages. Co-editor of critical anthologies “Wittgenstein at the Movies” (2011) and “The Legacies of Jean-Luc Godard” (2014), she is the editor of the highly acclaimed “The New Romanian Cinema” (2019) and “The Legacy of German Expressionism” (2019). Her book on Canadian animator Caroline Leaf is to be published in 2021 by Bloomsbury Press (US). Member of the Quebec Film Critics Association, Christina regularly sits on international film festival juries.



Screenwriter, FIPRESCI member (India)

Mr Vidyashankar is the founding member and currently the Artistic Director of the Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes), which has completed 12 editions and is accredited by FIAPF.

He took a certification course in film appreciation at National Film Archives (India) in 1981. He has been lecturing and writing on world cinema, Indian and Kannada (a classical South Indian language) cinema for over three decades. He is a member of FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) and NETPAC (Network for Promotion of Asian & Pacific Cinema).

He has served on the Advisory Panel of the Central Board of Film Certification (Film Censors) for 5 years, and was the managing editor of a literary journal for eight years and the editor of a Film Society journal for 2 years. He has compiled a book on European film theoretical principles in Kannada and issued a book on African cinema. He has scripted and directed TV series and has provided English narratives and subtitles for a number of documentaries.

He has been attending international film festivals in India and abroad since 1980 and was a Chairperson of the NETPAC International Jury at the Pusan International Film Festival (South Korea) in 2018, member of FIPRESCI Critics Jury at the 70th Cannes International Film Festival (France) in 2017, QCinema International Film Festival (Philippines) in 2016, and also at the 16th&25th International Film Festivals of Kerala (India) in 2011&2021, respectively. He has also been a delegate to the prestigious international film festivals held in Berlin and Venice. He was invited to participate in a Colloquium on Russian Cinema in St. Petersburg (Russia) in 2019.

Academically, he holds a Master’s degree in Mathematics, a degree in Law and a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resources Management. Professionally, he is also a Legal and Management Consultant specializing in Information Technology/Entertainment Industry Laws. 



Curator, BAP member (UK)

Justine Waddell produces feature films, television, restorations and curated events in the UK and internationally. Justine is also an acclaimed actress playing leading roles in feature films, including Russian language features: “Target” (Alexander Zeldovich, 2011) and “The Fall” (Tarsem, 2007). Under the banner of Asterisk Films, Justine has written and is producing Virginia Woolf’s “Night & Day”, as well as feature film documentaries “Janine Jansen Falling for Stradivari” and “Force of Nature Natalia”. In the context of the Kino Klassika Foundation, she develops, curates and produces film programs of an international scale. These include restorations of classic Caucasus films and a 2-year project to spotlight the pioneering work of Sergei Eisenstein, which included a Russian Revolution Centenary Film Concert of Eisenstein’s “October” including a live score with the London Symphony Orchestra. Justine is also the founder of Klassiki, the world’s first streaming platform for classic cinema from Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia. She is a world-wide Ambassador of St. Petersburg Cultural Forum and a fellow of the leadership program under the British American Project.



Film director, curator (Germany)

Born in 1970 in Cologne, Germany. Film director, producer and curator. She studied the history of art and languages in Paris, Freiburg, Moscow and Berlin. Until 2003, she was taking her postgraduate film studies at the Academy of Media Arts (Cologne). Since 2007, she has been working as a co-editor of Revolver, an edition publishing cinema reviews. Since 2011, she has been a member of the Berlinale shorts selection committee. In 2018 and 2019, she also served on selection committees of Solothurn Film days in Switzerland and Dok Leipzig, International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Films. She has co-curated programs devoted to R.W. Fassbinder in Berlin, Harun Farocki and contemporary Russian and German filmmakers – mainly, together with the Goethe Institutes in Russia. In 2013, she founded Sprech film and released the Sex:Speak documentary, which premiered at the Berlinale in 2015. Her latest film, “Come closer” (2020) fiction, won a special mention for “artistic fearlessness” at the International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg, and will be released in October 2021.



Film critic, FIPRESCI member (UK)

Amber Wilkinson is a journalist with more than 20 years of print, online and broadcast experience. She co-founded Eye For Film website and has helped it grow into a leading UK film publication platform respected around the world. A member of FIPRESCI and the Online Film Critics Society, she has also been involved in running FIPRESCI mentoring programs for young journalists. Her freelance byline has appeared in outlets including Screen International, The Times, The Age, The Daily Telegraph, Filmmaker Magazine and the Sunday Mail.



Scientific explorer, Professor (Germany)

Selection committee member of the Berlin International Film Festival and Go East festival in Wiesbaden. Scientific explorer and a Professor in Theory and History of Literature and Cinema with a focus on East-European Cultures, documentary films, early cinema, Soviet avant-garde and Russian modern culture at the Institute of Slavic Studies of Humboldt University, Berlin.