Catarina Alves Costa

 

Catarina Alves Costa is a director, producer and teacher. Among other films, she directed ‘A Room in the House’ (2016), ‘Lets Talk about António Campos’ (2009), ‘Route 206’ (2008), ‘The Architect and the Old City’ (2004), ‘More Soul’ (2001), and ‘Our Lady Aparecida’ (1994). In 2016 Catarina organized the DVD on Film Arquives edited by the Portuguese Cinemateque ‘Margot Dias: ethnographic films 1958-1961’. Since 1997, she teaches in the areas of visual anthropology and ethnographic film as a professor at the Nova University in Lisbon where she coordinates the master's degree in Visual Cultures. She is an integrated researcher at CRIA, Research Network NAVA, Visual Anthropology and the Arts. Her films circulate at international festivals such as the Jean Rouch Film Festival, the NAFA Festival, the Cinéma du Réel or the Margaret Mead Film Festival.


Ramona Badescu

 

Ramona Badescu is a French-Romanian artist, author of children's literature, theatre actress and poet. "Là où la terre" is her first film project. Born in Romania, Badescu immigrated to France at the age of 10 after the fall of the authoritarian regime. Ramona has published more than 25 books in French since 2002, garnering numerous accolades and press. Many have subsequently been translated into English, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Swedish, Italian, German, Korean, Norwegian, and Greek. Ramona’s often employs ambiguity and contradiction between illustrations and text to inspire creative reflection and debate within children and adult readers. Her most acclaimed children book series, ‘Pomelo the Garden Elephant’, follows the adventures of the titled protagonist, who is a tiny garden elephant about the size of a dandelion.


Sandra Luz López Barroso

 

Sandra Luz López Barroso (1984) is an anthropologist, photographer and filmmaker from Oaxaca, México. She has worked for more than ten years in artistic projects in the Costa Chica of Guerrero and Oaxaca. She has also participated in several short films of the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica as director, photographer and sound. ‘Artemio’ is her documentary thesis that will have a national premiere in the documentary tour Ambulante 2017. At the moment she is developing her feature film ‘El Compromiso de Las Sombras’.


Iman Behrouzi

 

Born in 1984 in Shiraz, Iran, Iman Behrouzi studied cinema and directing at the University of Tehran in Iran. He is currently a PhD candidate in Culture and Media Studies at the University of Cologne in Germany. He has directed and edited several documentaries and short fiction films. One of his previous documentaries, ‘A Movie for You’, was premiered at the Visions du Réel, one of the most important documentary film festivals in the world, and was afterwards shown at the Zurich Film Festival in 2015. ‘Amour du Réel’, another of his documentaries, was officially selected to screen at the Oscar qualifying and BAFTA recognized film festivals ‘Flickers' Rhode Island Film Festival’ and ‘Aesthetica Short Film Festival’ in 2018. Iman is an alumnus of Berlinale Talents 2020.


Philipp Bergmann

 

Philipp Bergmann works as an artist, director, and scientist in the fields of opera, visual anthropology, visual arts, film, musical theater and performance. He graduated from Applied Theatre Studies Gießen, Germany, and works as a director in the genres of musical theatre productions, performance and video. His works address the narration and representation of cultural heritage. His process-based interdisciplinary projects are inspired by queer feminist theory and practice. With the collective K.A.U.&Wdowik, he showed work in the formats of stage productions, films and installations.

 


Lillian Dam Bracia

 

Lillian Dam Bracia is an aspiring screenwriter, artist, curator and cultural producer born in Sao Paulo, Brazil but currently based in Berlin. Recently she has completed a postgraduate studies in Visual & Media Anthropology at the Free University of Berlin. The producer of an award-winning immersive installation about living in between laws and borders called, ‘Limbo Citizen’ (2016), to be exhibited at the end of this year for the ‘Decolonize Citylab’ hosted by the Historical Museum Frankfurt. In the past, she has worked as Traffic & Programme Assistant for the 9th Athens Ethnographic Film Festival – Ethnofest and for the 69th and 70th Berlin International Film Festival - Berlinale. Most of her creative works deal with the nature of migrant experience in a time of increasing nationalism, racism and xenophobia.

Optakus is a multi-sited lab composed by Constantinos Diamantis, Lillian Dam Bracia, Malwa Grabowska and S. Buse Yildirim. We are anthropologists, filmmakers, writers and producers exploring the boundaries of experimental and ethnographic practice, extending the sensorial possibilities of sound and image. With our work, we strive at shaping new routes to experience and another ways of knowing and feeling.


Isabel Bredenbröker

 

Isabel Bredenbröker is an anthropology PhD student at Goethe University Frankfurt and an honorary research associate with UCL Department of Anthropology. She holds an MA in Comparative Literature from Free University Berlin and an MA in Material and Visual Culture from UCL.

 

 

 


Costanza Burstin

 

Costanza Burstin is a visual anthropologist and documentary filmmaker based in London. She trained in Anthropology of Development Studies at SOAS, University of London, following which she worked on gender and environmental impact issues in India. In 2018 she acquired a specialist training in visual research and filmmaking at the Centre for Visual Anthropology, Goldsmiths University of London, where she produced her first short documentary ‘PAANI. Of women and water’. Consequently, the project has been selected for several International Film Festivals and presented at COP24 - United Nations Climate Change Conference 2018.  At the moment Costanza is working among London, Paris, Milan and India as freelance documentarist and researcher.


María Casas Castillo

 

María Casas Castillo is a graduate of the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology at the University of Manchester. She has produced two feature-length documentaries such as ‘Where Things Remain’, that was a part of the official selection of Guadalajara International Film Festival and International Documentary Sample of Bogotá -MIDBO- and ‘Off The’. She has also worked on documentaries for broadcasting media in Spain and ethnographic short films such as ‘Familiar Currents’ and ‘To Make a Crossing’.

 


Prabhash Chandra

 

Mera Ram Kho Gaya examines the notion of Ram, the ‘supreme’ Hindu god and the Indian caste system through three intersecting narratives of the potter and his donkey, the lives of three close friends Indu, Sahir and Savi and the Ramnamis, which are knit together in a non-linear fashion. The film critiques the existing traditional manifestations of Ram bhakti and documents an alternative in the form of a subversive movement initiated by the “lower caste” Ramnamis against discrimination and caste-based hierarchies in Hindu religion. The Ramnamis are a Dalit community based in Chhattisgarh, who have been challenging and reinterpreting the orthodox characterization of Hinduism through their beliefs and practices.The character of the potter in the film questions the practice of idolatry and a singular mainstream notion of Ramayana which iconises Ram, when multiple renditions of the epic are known to exist. The potter tells his donkey a tale about lord Ram and his various incarnations. The film also explores how caste and religion affect the personal lives and friendship of three close friends Indu, a social activist working with the homeless, Sahir a Muslim journalist and Savi, a Dalit painter and research scholar.

 


Sean David Christensen

 

Sean David Christensen (b. 1985) is a visual artist who works in music and film. Having studied theatre & documentary at San Francisco State University from 2003 to 2007, Christensen's multi-disciplinary background impressed a collaborative and reflexive approach to filmmaking. Christensen's short documentaries explore dreams, memories and the subjective landscape of personal/private histories in relationship to national events. Produced at the USC Center for Visual Anthropology (2017-2018), Ghost Tape #10 is Christensen's first work of applied visual ethnography for film, combining methods of participant observation paired with interpretive visualizations based on archival and original, recorded interviews in the field.

 


Aryo Danusiri

 

Aryo Danusiri is a video artist and anthropologist born in Jakarta in 1973. His works have been exploring the mobilities of new political keywords, violence and memory in reconfiguring political and social landscape of post-authoritarian Indonesia. In 2005, he finished his master's degree in visual cultural studies from Tromso University, Norway, with an ethno-documentary about West Papua called ‘Lukas' Moment’. This film received the ‘Best Student Film’ award at the RAI Ethnographic Film Festival, UK. He began his Ph.D. studies in visual anthropology at Harvard University with a grant from the Fulbright Program. ‘Playing Between Elephants’ is his first feature-length documentary and won the Human Rights Award at the 2007 Jakarta International Film Festival.


Matthias De Groof

 

Matthias De Groof is a former Fulbright and BAEF scholar at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. After his PhD in Cinema Studies on African cinema, he studied postcolonial film theory as a postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). At the University of Antwerp, he taught the courses ‘World Cinema’, ‘Aesthetics’, and ‘Curating & Exhibiting’, while holding a research fellowship at the Collegium for Advanced Studies in Helsinki. His scholarly work has been published by Third Text, Cambridge Scholars, Columbia University Press, Visual Anthropology, Francofonia, Imaginations, Journal of African Cinema, Image & Narrative, Artl@s Bulletin, Ethische Perspectieven, Black Camera, L'Harmattan, Sternberg Press and Wallflower Press. His edited book on Lumumba in the Arts is published by Leuven University Press. He is regularly invited to talk in non-academic contexts, to curate film programs and to write for MO* Magazine, Rekto:Verso, l’Art Même, Aktief, Filmmagie and Décadrages. His own award-winning films have been presented at venues like the IFFR, Media City, Cannes Pan-African Film Festival, and FIFA. Currently, he is a Fellow of the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies (Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence - Bayreuth University). He has Master’s degrees in Philosophy (HIW - KU Leuven), International Relations (UC Louvain), Cinema Studies (University of Antwerp) and African Studies (Uganda Martyrs University).


Eyob Defersha

 

Eyob Defersha is a lecture in Arba Minch University at the department of Sociology and Social Anthropology. He is a former full researcher in Biological and cultural research center at Arba Minch University.  A sociology and Social Anthropology Honours graduate of Arba Minch University in 2014, and again he obtained a MA in Social Anthropology at the Arba Minch University in 2017.  His research interest includes, Identity, Environment, culture, and indigenous knowledge. Eyob has been in collaboration on projects: Guardians of Productive landscape (GPL) and International water management institute (IMWI). He has been also participated in different research works in Arba Minch University.


Evan DesRosiers

 

Evan DesRosiers is a filmmaker, multimedia storyteller, and ethnographer with an MA in Visual Anthropology from the University of Manchester, and BA from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in Cultural Anthropology. His MA thesis film ‘The Grass between the Fences’ explores the adaptive responses of a new generation of cattle ranchers to the changing landscape of the fire-ridden range in Northern California.


Constantinos Diamantis

 

Constantinos Diamantis is a Visual & Media Anthropologist graduated from the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, FU Berlin. He is the Program Coordinator and Film Committee member of Athens Ethnographic Film Festival and the Coordinator of Data-Stories Conference, the 1st Greek academic Confestival [conference & festival] on Digital Storytelling. He has been a key partner of Refugee Observatory of the University of the Aegean under the supervision of the Professor Evthymios Papataxiarchis. Constantinos is currently a partner of the Professor Penelope Papailias at the University of Thessaly in the Department of History, Archaeology and Social Anthropology, working on the field of Digital-storytelling and Multimedia Ethnography.

Optakus is a multi-sited lab composed by Constantinos Diamantis, Lillian Dam Bracia, Malwa Grabowska and S. Buse Yildirim. We are anthropologists, filmmakers, writers and producers exploring the boundaries of experimental and ethnographic practice, extending the sensorial possibilities of sound and image. With our work, we strive at shaping new routes to experience and another ways of knowing and feeling.


Julius Dommer

 

Julius Dommer, born and raised in North Germany, currently lives and works in Cologne. Between the years 2012-2018 he studied at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. Julius participated in a scholarship programme at the international film school EICTV, Cuba. His focus is on documentary film and short fiction. His documentary short films ‘Berta’ (2017, 8 min.) and "Rebar" (2017, 30 min.) were shown and awarded at numerous festivals. "Ascona" is his graduate film at KHM and was awarded for the best short film at Nordic Film Days Lübeck 2019.

 

 

 


Teboho Edkins

 

Teboho Edkins was born in 1980 and grew up in Lesotho, South Africa and in Germany. He studied Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, followed by a 2-year post-graduate residency at le Fresnoy, studio National des Arts Contemporains in France and then a post-graduate film-directing program at the DFFB film academy in Berlin. He has directed a mix of 11 short and long films to date, which have showed at over 350 film festivals and museums, such as the Berlinale, the Tate Modern and the Centre Pompidou, winning numerous awards. His films have also been acquired by private art collections including the Sammlung Goetz in Munich. He currently lives between Berlin and Cape Town.


Marlen Elders

 

Marlen Elders completed her MA in Social and Cultural Anthropology with a thesis on exploring aesthetics and sensory perception, experimenting with creative research methods including audio-visual techniques. In summer 2017, she co-curated an exhibition on Munich’s environmental stories at the Rachel Carson Center. Since 2016, she is part of the research project ‘Remoteness and Connectivity: Highland Asia in the World’, currently working on the highland flotsam exhibition and her first documentary film Murghab.


Manca Filak

 

Manca Filak and Žiga Gorišek both finished postgraduate study of Ethnology and cultural anthropology at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. In the past 8 years, they have been active in the field of visual anthropology as authors of various, also awarded ethnographic films, screened at different ethnographic and documentary film festivals around Europe. Their work is presented under the name of Ethnocinema production.

Manca Filak is an ethnologist and cultural anthropologist, author of ethnographic films and documentaries shown at various European film festivals and anthropological conferences. Her first ethnographic film ‘I Will Carry You to the Sea Side’ (2012) received the international film award Silver Horseshoe (Asterfest, Macedonia). She is one of the organizers of the Days of Ethnographic Film festival and a lecturer at the Summer School of Visual Ethnography.

Their work is presented under the name Ethnocinema production.
Festivals for film Lukomir, moj dom / Lukomir, my home (2018):
Days of Ethnographic Film Ljubljana (SI, 2018), SEFF International Ethnographic Film Festival (CRO, 2018), NAFA Nordic Anthropological Film Association (ROM, 2018), Society for Visual Anthropology Film and Media Festival (USA, 2018), European Association of Social Anthropologists (Biennial Conference: Staying, Moving, Settling) (SWE, 2018), International festival of ethnological film (SRB, 2018), Kratovo ethnographic film festival (MK, 2018), Festival Gorniškega filma (SI, 2019), World Film Festival (EST, 2019), International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF): Track Changes: Reflecting on a Transforming World (ES, 2019), 7th Congress of the Portuguese Anthropological Association (APA) (PORT, 2019); ETNOFF (MK, 2019), Kathmandu Mountain Film Festival (NEPAL, 2019), (Göttingen) International Ethnographic Film Festival (GER, 2020).


Marina Fomenko

 

Marina Fomenko, is an artist, director and curator based in Moscow, Russia. She participated in numerous festivals and exhibitions worldwide such as 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2009-2017); Bi-City Biennale, China; Media Art Biennale WRO, Poland; 35 Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival; 20 Festival des Cinemas Differents de Paris; DOCfeed Festival, Eindhoven, the Netherlands. She was a Nominee for Kandinsky Prize in 2010 and 2011, nominee for ‘The One Minutes Awards’ in 2012. She is the founding director and curator of the International Video Art Festival Now&After.

 


Mitiku Gabrehiwot

 

Mitiku Gabrehiwot was born in Tigray Region (Addi-Gudom), northern Ethiopia and lived in Southwestern Ethiopia (Gambella) where he finished primary and secondary education.  He studied history, law and anthropology and currently is an associate professor at Mekelle University and lectures on intercultural communication, development anthropology, political anthropology and environmental anthropology to mention a few.    Research interests of Mitiku include displacement, the environment, minorities, cognitive anthropology and identity.  In the past few years, he has been working on collaborative projects: Guardians of Productive Landscapes (GPL) and Ethnography of Peoples, Politicians and Parliaments (EoPPP). He has been using film in his research and teaching activities. Currently, he is working on a Ph.D. researcher, “Ethnic Identification and Cultural Integration: An Ethnographic Account of the Kunama People of Northern Ethiopia”. Mitiku is a well-traveled person for academic purposes. "


Žiga Gorišek

 

Manca Filak and Žiga Gorišek both finished postgraduate study of Ethnology and cultural anthropology at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. In the past 8 years, they have been active in the field of visual anthropology as authors of various, also awarded ethnographic films, screened at different ethnographic and documentary film festivals around Europe. Their work is presented under the name of Ethnocinema production.

Žiga Gorišek is an ethnologist and cultural anthropologist, photographer and author of ethnographic films and documentaries shown at numerous international festivals in his home and other countries. His passion for mountains and high mountain cultures prompted him to devote his time as a student to studying and documenting transhumant pastoralism.

Their work is presented under the name Ethnocinema production.
Festivals for film Lukomir, moj dom / Lukomir, my home (2018):
Days of Ethnographic Film Ljubljana (SI, 2018), SEFF International Ethnographic Film Festival (CRO, 2018), NAFA Nordic Anthropological Film Association (ROM, 2018), Society for Visual Anthropology Film and Media Festival (USA, 2018), European Association of Social Anthropologists (Biennial Conference: Staying, Moving, Settling) (SWE, 2018), International festival of ethnological film (SRB, 2018), Kratovo ethnographic film festival (MK, 2018), Festival Gorniškega filma (SI, 2019), World Film Festival (EST, 2019), International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF): Track Changes: Reflecting on a Transforming World (ES, 2019), 7th Congress of the Portuguese Anthropological Association (APA) (PORT, 2019); ETNOFF (MK, 2019), Kathmandu Mountain Film Festival (NEPAL, 2019), (Göttingen) International Ethnographic Film Festival (GER, 2020).


Malwa Grabowska

 

Malwa Grabowska aka Hipermania is an independent filmmaker and photographer. She studied The Arts at Roskilde University, filmmaking at New York Film Academy and documentary photography at ICP International Center for Photography in NYC. Malwa produces documentary film and photography works, whilst simultaneously having collaborated with a wide range of performing artists and cultural enterprises. Her photography and film were featured at a number of international exhibitions and publications. Malwa is a co-establisher of Gotta Let It Out, an independent music label and publishing house in Copenhagen and currently pursuing her MA degree in Visual and Media Anthropology at Freie University in Berlin. She is based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Optakus is a multi-sited lab composed by Constantinos Diamantis, Lillian Dam Bracia, Malwa Grabowska and S. Buse Yildirim. We are anthropologists, filmmakers, writers and producers exploring the boundaries of experimental and ethnographic practice, extending the sensorial possibilities of sound and image. With our work, we strive at shaping new routes to experience and another ways of knowing and feeling.


Martin Gruber

 

Martin Gruber works as an anthropologist and filmmaker at the Department of Anthropology and Cultural Studies at the University of Bremen. Currently Martin conducts ethnographic research on the relationships between humans and honeybees in Cameroon, Japan and Germany. His PhD on collaborative filmmaking is based on fieldwork in Angola, Namibia and Botswana. Martin studied Visual Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, London and Social Anthropology at Hamburg University. He is interested in audio-visual anthropology, collaborative research, multispecies relationships and urban anthropology.


Michele Gurrieri

 

Born in Italy, Michele Gurrieri studied ethnomusicology at the University of Bologna and documentary filmmaking in Milan. In 2006, he moved to France and continued his studies at the Fémis to become a director of photography. Since 2010, he works as director of photography (DoP). Fond of documentary films, he also likes fiction, when it questions his relationship to the world and when it widens the limits of the imagination. He is particularly interested in projects related to music: as DoP he shot a film about Kosovo Roma music, ‘Kajda’, and he collaborates on video installations with young contemporary composers from the French scene. He directed ‘The King’ on Naat Veliov and the Roma brass bands from Macedonia.


Tesfahun Haddis Hailu

 

Tesfahun Haddis was born 1986 in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia and studied Theatre and Development at Addis Ababa University. Currently he is a Ph.D. candidate as well as lecturer at Mekelle University. In addition, he runs a film school together with Zufan Cherkos offering courses on camera techniques, film editing, acting, script writing and directing. In 2016, Professor Ivo Strecker engaged him as cameraman for the film ‘Abraham & Sarah I’ and since then he has become chief camera man in the Max Plank Institute (MPI) film series Guardians of Productive Landscapes and has directed his own film ‘Abraham & Sarah II’. He also is conducting fieldwork for a Ph.D. thesis entitled ‘The work ethos of a Tigray farmer’.


Valerie Hänsch

 

Valerie Hänsch is a filmmaker and a lecturer at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, LMU Munich, Germany. In her work, she explores large infrastructures, technologies and politics of uncertainty, socio-environmental transformations, protests and displacement in the Sudan. She is interested in the link between activism, engaged anthropology and visual culture. As a visual anthropologist, she uses the video camera both as a research tool and for the collaborative production of ethnographic films. She conducted extensive ethnographic research in urban and rural areas of Sudan. Her films deal with dam-induced displacements, the modification of the Bedford lorry and rituals during Ramadan. She holds a PhD from the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies.


Nadav Harel

 

Nadav Harel is documentary filmmaker, based in Tel Aviv where he founded the production house Noprocess films. His films specialize in wildlife, philosophy, medicine, hunting and Hinduism. Nadav’s work was screened worldwide in venues such as BBC World, Museum of Natural History NYC, Harvard Medical School, Berlinale, Sheffield, SBS, YLE, CH8, and the Museum of Modern Art NYC and many more.


Stephan Hilpert

 

Stephan Hilpert studied documentary film and directing at the University of Television and Film, Munich and wrote a Ph.D. thesis in Film Studies at the University of Cambridge on the films of Ulrich Seidl and Christian Petzold. He works as a documentary and advertising film director. ‘Congo Calling’ was his thesis project at the Munich Film School and his debut feature documentary. Stephan has been a close friend with Raul one of the protagonists of the film that brought him to eastern Congo. In the film, he asks important questions about the complex and ambivalent relationship of Europeans to this place.


Roger Horn

 

Roger Horn lectures in visual anthropology, documentary production, and cinematography, drawing upon his 20 years of experience across multiple disciplines and media outlets for inspiration. Additionally, Roger recently completed his PhD in Social Anthropology titled, ‘Memories, material culture, and methodology: Employing multiple filmic formats, forms, and informal archives in anthropological research among Zimbabwean migrant women’ along with six accompanying films which have screened widely at festival such as the 65th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, 2020 Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, and the 21st & 22nd Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival.

 

 


Marie-Thérèse Jakoubek

 

Marie-Thérèse Jakoubek was born in Vienna in 1988. She works as a photographer and filmmaker. Between 2013 and 2017, she studied film and visual art at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg. ‘February 27th’ is her graduation project. Marie-Thérès filmed the documentary "February 27th" in the Saharaui refugee camps in the Algerian desert, three years ago. The idea for this film was seeded by her previous work on a photography book. During the course of the film project, she was mainly interested in the seemingly temporary living conditions of the Saharauis as well as their resilience and their resistance against the Morrocon occupation, which is expressed in their everyday practices.


Rajesh James

 

Rajesh James is a documentary filmmaker and film researcher from Kochi, India. He was awarded the prestigious Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Filmmaker, India in 2017. His documentary Naked Wheels won K.F.Patil Unity in Diversity Award for Best Documentary Short at Kashish International Queer Film Festival Mumbai in 2017. He was also awarded PK Rossy Puraskaram for Best Documentary 2016 by Kerala Sthree Padana Kendram, Government of Kerala at International Feminist Film Festival of Kerala 2016. He has directed films like Naked Wheels and Zebra Lines.


Karin Kainer

 

Karin Kainer is an award-winning documentary film director and photographer and a Documentary Film Lecturer at H.I.T., The Holon Institute of Technology, in Israel. Her films have been screened internationally in theatres and on television including Rinascita (2011)-winner Haifa Film Festival, Das iz der valt (2010)- Docu-Challenge winner at Docaviv Film Festival, SKATE OF MIND, (2010)- winner at LAMA Film Festival Los Angeles, Jerusalem Film Festival Official Selection , Triaste Film Festival Florence, FIPA film festival Biarritz, Knowledge Network Canada, Al Jazeera, Brazil, Argentina, France 4, Abuja, Lagos (2009), South Wind on Hilton Beach, (2007) - Haifa Film Festival Official Selection, Hotdocs Toronto, and The Mann Auditorium - International Student Film Festival Official Selection.


Laura Kansy

 

Being interested in photography and film from an early age on, Laura started studying cinematography at HFF Munich in 2012. In the following years she worked as a DOP, director and producer on a huge variety of projects, ranging from experimental art installations, long time documentary movies to fictional feature films with cinema release. Since she first came to India in 2013 her interest grew to learn about non-European film languages. In 2016, she got a scholarship by the DAAD (German academic exchange programme) to work as a research scholar in Kolkata. At the moment, she is in post-production of her diploma film.


Daler Kaziev

 

Daler Kaziev completed his BA at American University of Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in 2017. Majoring in the field of Environmental Sustainability and minoring in Anthropology, his BA thesis was about the Community Resilience and Commodification of Natural Resources in the Eastern Pamirs of Tajikistan. Since 2015, Daler has been collaborating with the team of the project ‘Remoteness and Connectivity: Highland Asia in the World’. This collaboration resulted in the creation of his first documentary film Murghab. Currently, he is an MS candidate in the Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University.


Dipesh Kharel

 

Dipesh Kharel is a visual ethnographer and filmmaker and has a post-doctoral fellowship at Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan. He has produced several award-wining ethnographic films, most notably ‘A Life with Slate’ (2006), ‘Playing with Nan’ (2012) and ‘Tama Gaun’ (2015) that have been screened at more than 60 international film festivals around the world and won several prizes.


Laura Kuen

 

Laura Kuen currently studies Visual Anthropology and Environmental Studies at LMU Munich. During her B.A. in Social and Cultural Anthropology at LMU she gained first experiences in filmmaking with the documentary ‘Sitz, Platz, Aus - Aber a Hund war er scho’ (34 min) that she shot with a fellow student and that was screened on AFK student channel and at the Flimmern&Rauschen festival in Munich. ‘Our Freedom’ is Laura’s first project that she recorded, and edited entirely on her own. The material was filmed during her fieldwork in Kirov, Russia in summer 2016, with the help of co-director Yury Snigirev, who also was a master student of Social and Cultural Anthropology at LMU at the time. The research focused on human-environment-relations, alternative food production, self-determination, feelings of connectedness with nature and the importance of community bonds. In 2017, the film was awarded with the LMU’s annual prize for outstanding student research and has been screened at several occasions such as the RAI Ethnographic Film Festival in Bristol 2019.


Christian Labhart

 

Born 1953 in Zurich, Switzerland Christian worked as an assistant of cinematography, at Condor Film AG and as a teacher. In 1976 he became a member in the production collective for the documentary film ‘Aufpassen Macht Schule’ about repression in the school. Since 1999 Christian worked as a director of several creative documentaries. More recently, he worked as a director and producer of the TV-Documentary ‘Yasin darf nicht sterben’ (2014), about a story of a Turkish family who cares at home for the severely disabled son Yasin. He also worked as the director and producer of the documentary ‘Giovanni Segantini – Magie des Lichts’ (2015) that won an award for best biography at festival ARTFIFA in Montreal.


Jean Lydall

 

Jean Lydall is an anthropologist and ethnographic filmmaker, and her daughter, Kaira Strecker, is a camerawoman, drama teacher and director. Since 1970, Jean has devoted her anthropological research and filmmaking to the Hamar of Southern Ethiopia. Here, Kaira spent the first three years of her life, and another year when she was eleven/twelve years old and became best of friends with Shawa, the main protagonist of Family Subsistence. Jean as the anthropologist, and Joanna Head as director, made three award winning films for the BBC: ‘The Women Who Smile’ (1990), ‘Two Girls Go Hunting’ (1991), ‘Our Way of Loving’ (1994). Ivo Strecker, Jean and Kaira made the film ‘Sweet Sorghum’ (1995): Ivo did camera (1983), Jean non-sync sound (1983) and editing (1993), and Kaira did sound-to-picture editing (1995). Jean as anthropologist, and Kaira as camerawoman and editor, made the award winning film ‘Duka's Dilemma’ (2001).


Kate MacLarnon

 

Kate McLarnon has worked since 2006 as an ethnographer and documentary filmmaker and holds a Masters with distinction in Visual Anthropology. Their work has been broadcast in the UK, has been shortlisted for an IMTV Music Video Award and they have had short films shown in galleries and festivals worldwide. They collaborate with anthropologists, journalists, artists, museums and charities, using film in innovative ways to express, investigate and create. As a director of Postcode Films, Kate has worked with leading research and arts organisations in the UK, specialising in social policy innovation. They have taught at University of East Anglia, spoken at Queen’s University Belfast and hold a degree in Philosophy and academic awards from Trinity College Dublin.


Hady Mahmoud

 

Hady Mahmoud was born in Ras Gharib Red Sea in Egypt in 1988. Hady graduated from Faculty of Literature Department in 2010. After that, he started studying film directing in the high cinema institute of Cairo in 2011. Since 2014, Hady worked in the field as Assistant Director in many shorts, one Feature film and tons of TV Commercials in Egypt. ‘Flox’ is his Debut film. Hady was inspired to shoot this movie passing by the same bus station every day on his way to his film school for. He was inspired by cinema verite and loved how the place was drawing in chaos, beautiful chaos, but also somehow organized filmmaking school that took him on a journey to discover more about the place.


Solomon Abebe Mekonen

 

Solomon Abebe Mekonen is a Berlin-based filmmaker interested in visual storytelling grounded in anthropology. His research interests include decolonization and imagining alternative futures. Solomon received a bachelor's degree in New Media Communications from Assumption University of Thailand after completion of a diploma program in Medical Laboratory Technician from Dessie Health Science College, Ethiopia. He also received a Cert. HE from Met Film School Berlin upon completion of a one-year Practical Filmmaking course, during which he wrote, directed and edited short movies of his own. He has also been working for the Peter-Bachmann Foundation, a Swiss based humanitarian foundation that has ongoing projects in multiple countries from which one is in his home country Ethiopia. He works on this project as a media advisor and editor in its media documentation section.


Arik Moran

 

Arik Moran received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 2010 and joined the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Haifa the following year. He researches the history and ritual cultures of the Indian West Himalaya and has published widely on the history of "little kingdoms" in the Himalaya, their oral and ritual traditions, and the theoretical and practical underpinnings of ritual cultures on the Hindu-Tribal divide. His recent book -- entitled "Kingship and Polity on the Himalayan Borderland", Amsterdam University Press 2019 -- explores the reformulation of group identities among Himalayan Rajput elites in the transition to modernity, 1790-1840, and how these came to affect conception of sovereignty, gender roles, and tradition with the hegemony of colonial knowledge.


Rajat Nayyar

 

Rajat Nayyar is an anthropologist and filmmaker who is based in Benares, India. He founded Espírito Kashi, a project that facilitates performative spaces for rural communities in North India to critically re-imagine folklore, envision new socialities and film futures. During his MA in Audiovisual Ethnography at Tallinn University, he produced the film 'Kashi Labh. His forthcoming chapter “Staging Care: Dying, Death and Possible Futures” studies the distinctive politics of care performed by families who are creating the possibility of ‘Moksha’ for their dying relative in Benares. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies at York University in Toronto, where he is researching vocality, everyday acts of resistance, collaborative fiction filmmaking and futures anthropology. Rajat is also developing Emergent Futures CoLab and co-editing the 'Performance Ethnography' section of Centre for Imaginative Ethnography.


Katy Léna Ndiaye

 

Katy Léna Ndiaye is a documentary filmmaker from Senegal. She grew up in Europe, studying Literature in Paris and Journalism in Brussels. Many festivals distinguished her films ‘Traces, Women’s Imprints” and “Awaiting for Men”. In addition to filmmaking, she also worked for television, where she presented and later directed the programmes Reflets Sud and Afrique Plurielle, broadcasted on TV5 Monde and RTBF. Since 2013, she has been running Indigo Mood Films, a production company based in Senegal.


Sky Neal

 

Sky Neal is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and has worked since 2006 as a filmmaker, video artist and visual ethnographer. She has a master’s degree in visual anthropology and is founder and director of Satya Films. Sky strives to tell human stories in rich and creatively bold ways and has produced a diverse range of films from long and short form documentaries, to exhibition films and video art for live performance. Her creative work often emerges from the intersection of anthropology, performance art and film, and often with a human rights focus. Her film’s Nepal’s Lost Circus Children (Al Jazeera English) and Children at Work (BBC) dealt with issues of child labour and modern slavery.
Her co-directed documentary, Even When I Fall, was theatrically released in 2018 screening in 45 cities nationwide and is currently screening at festivals and events globally.It was nominated for a British Independent Film Award, Best Feature Documentary at One World Media Awards, Screen Awards Specialist Film Campaign, and won the Royal Anthropology Institute Audience Award. As a video ethnographer Sky works for the UK’s leading research companies, and always embeds ethnographic methods into her own work.


Miho Nitta

 

Miho Nitta (born 1979) is a videographer based in Tokyo, Japan. She produces documentary films focusing on traditional performing arts and traditions from around the world, mainly on dances and shadow plays in Bali, Indonesia. She graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts where she obtained MA degree in Fine Arts. After serving as a director at a TV production company, Miho began producing documentary films and her first work ‘Taksu~The legendary dancer of Bali~’ along with being a director and producer herself. https://www.mihonitta.com/


Mike Poltorak

 

Mike Poltorak is a Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent. His collaborative philosophy of filmmaking was inspired by two years of using a video camera as an integral part of medical anthropological research on traditional healing and mental illness in the South Pacific island group of Tonga. There he learned the importance of the relationship between filmmaker and subjects to creating a film with integrity and utility for the community. For him, ethnographic and documentary filmmaking is one part of a journey of research and engagement, which aims at social and policy change.


Johannes Preuss

 

In 2017, the work of documentary film director Johannes Preuss received recognition in Hollywood. His film Galamsey won the Student-Oscar for the Best International Documentary. He was the first German to win the Oscars in this category. Apart from directing Preuss is also the producer and cinematographer of the award-winning short about illegal gold business in Ghana. He produced the film in scope of his study at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Preuss was born in Berlin in 1983. He first went to the University of Bonn where he graduated with a major in Political Science and minors in Contemporary History and Romance Studies. As a trainee of the German Development Service he was sent to Ghana. After 12-months at a community radio station, he remained in West Africa and started working as a freelance producer, director and cameraman for projects by international development agencies. He has worked with partners such as the European Union, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ and AFC Consulting Group. In 2018, Preuss and two fellow graduates from Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg started the production company DOKblick.


Claudia Quigua

 

Claudia Quigua is a Colombian filmmaker, producer and visual artist based in NYC and Berlin. She has a B.F.A in film and video from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and currently pursuing a M.A in Visual and Media Anthropology at Freie University Berlin.
Claudia is interested in the use of video and new media as a means to connect with others, to reflect our human behaviours and to go past the differences and celebrate the universal thread that binds our human experience. Claudia has been able to show her work on publications like Photographers Without Borders magazine with her documentary photography in Cambodia, her documentary film for Global Lives Project was an official selection in the 54th New York Film Festival and has been exhibited in multiple venues such as Hearst Museum of Anthropology in California, the IFTF Gallery for the Future in Palo Alto, CA and Envision Academy of Arts & Technology in Oakland, CA and ‘Art Takes Times Square’ in NYC on June 2012 where her photographs were displayed among the electronic billboards between others.


Caroline Reucker

 

Caroline Reucker was born in 1985 in Marl North Rhine-Westphalia. After graduation from high school in 2006, she began training as a media designer at Image & Sound and worked in various film and television productions. From 2010 to 2016 Caroline studied documentary film at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg, where she graduated with a diploma. She lives and works as freelance filmmaker in Berlin.

 

 


Acelo Ruiz Villanueva

 

Acelo Ruiz Villanueva was born in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico in 1986 and graduated from the Cinematographic Training Center with the specialty of directing with his short film ‘Historia de Una Aurora y Dos Ocasos’, 2018. He has also worked as a cartoonist in the political satire and humour magazine El Chamuco and the newspaper El Universal, obtaining the National Prize for Journalism in 2018. His fiction short film ‘This Song of Love is for Fatima’, (2014) had an extensive tour at national and international film festivals. He is currently promoting his debut feature documentary ‘Oblatos, el Vuelo que Surcó la Noche’ (2019).

 

 


Martin Saxer 

 

Martin Saxer is an anthropologist based in Munich, Germany. He was a Clarendon scholar at Oxford and received his doctorate in 2010. He conducted extensive fieldwork in Siberia, Tibet, Nepal and Tajikistan. Since 2015, he is leading the 5-year research project ‘Remoteness and Connectivity: Highland Asia in the World’, funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant. He is currently working on his second monograph and an exhibition on highland flotsam. Since 2012, he is running the visual ethnography blog theotherimage.com. Murghab is Martin’s third feature-length documentary film.


Ina Schebler

 

Ina Schebler holds a M.A. in visual and media anthropology from Freie Universität Berlin. With a background in international relations, she is particularly interested in combining political topics with anthropological methods and explorations of visual representation. In recent years, she has especially focused on aspects of forced migration and grassroots peacebuilding. Her films ‘Between Beats’ and ‘Code and Planes’ have been shown at several film festivals and the latter also received the German Generations Film Award.


Coralie Seignard

 

Coralie Seignard was born and raised in Brive La Gaillarde , in the french countryside. She studies cinema and editing in Paris. Then, she achieved a university diploma of the research group and cinema essay at the University Pascale Paoli in Corsica, where she directed her first short movie COLEUM. Her work is focused mainly on the study of rural family life and work.

 

 

 

 


Rika Shinkai

 

Rika Shinkai is an Ecological Anthropologist working at the Research Institute of Humanity and Nature in Kyoto. Currently Rika conducts research on traditional livelihoods, ecological knowledge and food life in the mountainous areas in modern-day rural Japan. Focusing on bees’ indispensable role in linking us with the environment, agriculture and forestry, she conducts research on beekeeping in both urban and rural areas. Recently Rika started a webpage on the history and culture of beekeeping of Japanese honeybees: Apis cerana japonica https://japanese-honeybee.info/


Jeff Silva

 

Jeff Silva is a researcher affiliated with the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab now living in Marseille. Jeff works across medias, genres, and forms but his work shares a close kinship with traditions of experimental film and new modes of ethnographic documentary, exploring the quotidian and geographic aspects of his subjects lives, often over long spans of time. His work is often focused on themes of displacement and fragility, humanistically documenting populations, individuals, systems and ecologies at risk. His most recently completed projects include ‘Linefork’, ‘Ivan & Ivana’, and ‘Balkan Rhapsodies: 78 Measures of War’ have been exhibited at festivals, and museums internationally, including: MoMA's Documentary Fortnight, The Viennale, BAFICI, Visions du Réel, and Valdivia, and Flahertiana. A long-time affiliation with Sensory Ethnography Lab-SEL at Harvard University, Jeff developed the curriculum and methodology of the program at its inception while a teaching fellow aside founder and director Lucien Castaing-Taylor. He is currently organizing a new teaching and production lab in Marseille with Centre Norbert Elias director Boris Petric to produce works at the crossroads of artistic practice and social science research called "La Fabrique des écritures".


Yury Snigirev

 

Yury Snigirev, who also was a master student of Social and Cultural Anthropology at LMU. The material for "Our Freedom" was filmed during Laura Kuen's fieldwork in Kirov, Russia in summer 2016, with the help of co-director Yury Snigirev. The research focused on human-environment-relations, alternative food production, self-determination, feelings of connectedness with nature and the importance of community bonds. In 2017, the film was awarded with the LMU’s annual prize for outstanding student research and has been screened at several occasions such as the RAI Ethnographic Film Festival in Bristol 2019.


Komeil Soheili

 

Komeil Soheili is a documentary filmmaker and producer. He collaborated on several international projects as a director, producer, cinematographer and researcher with a focus on social issues and the environment. Komeil has an MA degree in Cultural Studies and Media from University of Tehran. He also has a degree in Film Studies from Art Institute of Yogjakarta and has done professional production courses at Busan Film School. Komeil was a member of the jury at the Busan Art Film Festival and a member of the selection team at the Asia Peace Film Festival. He has made videos for various international platforms including National Geographic, CGTN, BBC Reel and was nominated in festivals like Fajr, Cine-Verito, etc. He is also a writer of two books in Persian and has several years of experience as a journalist.


Frode Storaas

 

Frode Storaas is a professor in visual anthropology at the University Museum of Bergen, Norway. His research has mainly been based on fieldwork in East Africa. As a filmmaker, he has worked in several countries. Among his award-winning films are ‘Tama Gaun – the Copper Village’, ‘Nepal’ (together with Dipesh Kharel), ‘Making Rain’, ‘Mozambique’, together with Liivo Niglas, and Our Courtyard, China (together with He Yuan Wang), and ‘Fish On!’, ‘USA’ (together with Liivo Niglas).


Ivo Strecker

 

Born 1940 in Magdeburg, Germany, Ivo Strecker studied in Hamburg, Goettingen and London where he met Jean Lydall with whom he subsequently went to do fieldwork in Hamar, southern Ethiopia. From 1984 to 2005 I was professor for cultural anthropology in Mainz (Germany), and founder and director of the 'South Omo Research Center' (until 2009.) Currently he is directing the MPI project 'Guardians of productive landscapes' at the universities of Arba Minch and Mekelle in Ethiopia. Previously he has made ethnographic films in Hamar like 'The leap across the cattle', 'Father of the goats', 'Song of the Hamar Herdsman', 'Sweet sorghum' and 'Worry and hope in the face of drought' as well as in Arbore 'Bury the spear', and in Tigray 'Abraham and Sarah I. Creators of a productive landscape'.


Hope Strickland

 

Hope Strickland is a filmmaker and visual anthropologist from Manchester. ‘Da Hillsook Wedeen’ is Hope’s first film and the final film for the MA in Visual Anthropology from the University of Manchester. Hope is currently working on an experimental film using 8mm and digital formats with the elderly Caribbean community in Manchester. Interests include archival response, feminist film practices and an experimental approach to critical blackness.

 

 

 


Boris Svartzman

 

Boris Svartzman, a Franco-Argentinian photographer and sociologist, has documented the social consequences of urbanisation in China since the beginning of the millennium. His pictures have been exhibited at several festivals, including the prestigious Visa pour l’image. He focuses on the lives of the millions of peasants who are evicted every year in China and relocated to urban areas. In his first documentary, the production of which lasted ten years, he has filmed the struggle of villagers against the expropriation of their land.


Shin Thandar

 

Shin Thandar (28) is from Sittwe in Rakhine State in northwest Myanmar. Having studied English at Yangon’s University of Foreign Languages (YSF) and gaining a diploma in Information Technology, she worked in the news department of the national broadcaster MRTV and as a communications assistant for the World Bank for almost five years before joining YFS in 2018. She has completed a number of YFS courses and is one of the creators of an YFS docu-animation ‘Our Town’. Now in her second year at the YSF, she is currently working as a cinematographer and freelance editor on a series of World Bank-funded short films promoting access to health, education and jobs. ‘Lost Boy’ is her first documentary as a director.


Mattijs Van de Port

 

Mattijs van de Port is a visual anthropologist at the University of Amsterdam and at the VU University Amsterdam. He did research in Serbia and the Netherlands, and since 2001 in Brazil. He is the author of three monographs and made several films, including ‘Saborear Frutas Brasileiras’ (2013) and the essay film ‘The Possibility of Spirits’ (2016). The latter was selected for many ethnographic film festivals, and awarded the Samodiva Award for ‘Best Film of the International Film Festival of Ethnographic Films 2017’ in Sofia, Bulgaria. ‘Knots and Holes’, an essay film on the life of nets (2018) premiered at the Ethnofest in Athens, and was selected for the 16th RAI film festival in Bristol, Ethnocineca in Vienna and the International film festival Jean Rouch in Paris. Shortlisted for the ‘Excellence in Visual Anthropology Award’, it received an honourable mentioning at the Ethnocineca film festival in Vienna.


Trond Waage

 

Trond Waage is associated professor at Visual Cultural Studies and holds a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology with specialization in Visual Anthropology. Trond has done research in Northern Norway and Northern Cameroon, where he has explored the themes of youths, urbanisation, ethnicity, gender, religion and visual anthropology. He defended his Ph.D. thesis on youth culture and urbanisation in the highly heterogeneous town Ngaoundéré in Northern Cameroon in September 2003. In this work Trond has worked intensively with seven different youth milieus, consisting members of eleven ethnic groups, Muslim and Christians, students and illiterates, immigrants and "natives", all this to identify development of identity and group dynamics in this culturally highly complex setting. All these milieus have been studied with different visual tools.


Christopher Walker

 

The story of how one small Amazon tribe is fighting furiously to defen their future - and ours. 70% of Ecuador’s Amazon, home to some 12 tribes, has been divided into oil blocks, polluting one of the most bio diverse rainforests of the planet. Only one small tribe, the Waorani, have successfully fought to keep oil off most of their land . 25 years ago , I came to the Amazon to tell their story in the documentary film TRINKETS & BEADS. Now, Ecuador has started to auction off the Waorani’s last virgin rainforest to the international oil industry – including the Yasuni National Park , thought to contain more species per acre than any where else on earth. At the end of 2014 , I returned to Ecuador to see if the Waorani could still win their fight against big oil.

 

 


S. Buse Yildirim

 

S. Buse Yildirim is an emergent cultural entrepreneur and filmmaker based in Istanbul. She is in charge of artistic management of Kundura Stage and Cinema in Beykoz Kundura, the old shoe factory. In the meantime, she also initiated the oral history and visual archive project of the factory, named Kundura Hafıza. After completing her BA degree in History of Art at Goldsmiths University of London, she pursued a second degree in documentary filmmaking at ESEC in Paris. Recently, she has been exploring in depth ethnographic practises after completing MA degree in Visual and Media Anthropology at Freie Universität in Berlin.

Optakus is a multi-sited lab composed by Constantinos Diamantis, Lillian Dam Bracia, Malwa Grabowska and S. Buse Yildirim. We are anthropologists, filmmakers, writers and producers exploring the boundaries of experimental and ethnographic practice, extending the sensorial possibilities of sound and image. With our work, we strive at shaping new routes to experience and another ways of knowing and feeling.


Oskar Zoche

 

Oskar studied social anthropology from 2011 onwards in Munich and soon developed a keen interest in India and south Asia. In 2013/14 he spent half a year at St. Xaviers College in Bombay. He finished his BA by writing his thesis about the post-ghandian Indian freedom fighter Vinoba Bhave. In 2015 he moved to Berlin where he started a masters course at the Instutit für Afrika und Asien Wissenschaften. His focus was on questions of nationalism, subaltern studies and gender in the realm of South Asia. In 2018, he started to study film directing at the DFFB in Berlin and is working on his pre-diploma film right now. In the autum of 2016 Oskar and Laura started their research for their film ‘Strangers’. Supported by their mentors Oindrila Hazra in India and Karina Ressler in Germany they shot for one year in Bengal and finalized it by the end of 2018. Strangers is their first feature documentary movie and was screened at various film festivals in Europe and Asia.