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2018 iDOCS International Documentary Film Festival Professional Activities
Venue: Beijing Film Academy (Medium Theatre) @ 29 Nov—4  Dec 2018
Date Activities Sessions Topic Speakers
29 November Thursday 19:00--19:30 2018 iDOCS Opening Ceremony Nicole N. Horanyi / Daniel Sickles / Michael Rossato-Bennett / Gerardo Puglia/Brian Ariotti/ Erlend E. Mo / Zofia Kowalewska / Frode Fimland / Mariam Chachia /Nik Voigt / Alex de Ronde  / Elli Toivoniemi/Miikka Friman / Maasja Ooms / Janne Lindgren/ Marta Prus / Finlay Pretsell /Victor Vroegindeweij
Introduction of the special guests
19:30 --21:10   Opening Night: Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory  (Q&A)
 Beijing Film Academy (Standard Theatre)
30 November Friday 9:00--10:00 Seminar How to sell&How to Survive Documentary Financing& Distibution Michael Rossato-Bennett / Daniel Sickles / Gerardo Puglia/Brian Ariotti/ Frode Fimland / Alex de Ronde / Finlay Pretsell /Victor Vroegindeweij
10:00--10:15 Q&A
10:15--10:45 Coffee Break
10:45--11:45 Documentary Financing& Distibution
11:45--12:00 Q&A
14:00--15:00 Master Workshop Norway  Session Case Study --Dancing for You Erlend E. Mo
15:00--15:15 Q&A
15:15--15:45 Coffee Break
15:45--16:45 Master Workshop Norway Session Case Study --  Dancing for You Erlend E. Mo
16:45--17:00 Q&A
1 December Saturday 9:00--10:00 Master Workshop America Session Case Study --Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory Michael Rossato-Bennett
10:00--10:15 Q&A
10:15--10:45 Coffee Break
10:45--11:45 Case Study --Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory
11:45--12:00 Q&A
14:00--15:00 Master Workshop America Session Case Study --  God Knows Where I Am Gerardo Puglia/Brian Ariotti
15:00--15:15 Q&A
15:15--15:45 Coffee Break
15:45--16:45 Case Study --  God Knows Where I Am
16:45--17:00 Q&A
2 December  Sunday 9:00--10:00 Filmmaking Workshop America Session Case Study --Dina Daniel Sickles
10:00--10:15 Q&A
10:15--10:45 Coffee Break
10:45--11:45 Poland Session Case Study --  Close Ties Zofia Kowalewska
11:45--12:00 Q&A
14:00--15:00 Filmmaking Workshop Finland Session Case Study --  Once I Was a Dragonfly Elli Toivoniemi/Miikka Friman
15:00--15:15 Q&A
15:15--15:45 Coffee Break
15:45--16:45 Georgia Session Case Study --  Listen to The Silence Mariam Chachia /Nik Voigt
16:45--17:00 Q&A
3 December Monday 9:00--10:00 Master Workshop Netherlands Session Case Study --  Deaf Child Alex de Ronde
10:00--10:15 Q&A
10:15--10:45 Coffee Break
10:45--11:45 Netherlands Session Case Study --  Deaf Child
11:45--12:00 Q&A
14:00--15:00 Filmmaking Workshop Poland Session Case Study -- Over the Limit Marta Prus
15:00--15:15 Q&A
15:15--15:45 Coffee Break
15:45--16:45 Poland Session Case Study -- Over the Limit
16:45--17:00 Q&A
4 December Tuesday 9:00--10:00 Master Workshop UK Session Case Study -- Time Trial Finlay Pretsell
10:00--10:15 Q&A
10:15--10:45 Coffee Break
10:45--11:45 UK Session Case Study -- Time Trial
11:45--12:00 Q&A
13:15-14:00 Becoming A Citizen screening before workshop
14:00--15:00 Master Workshop Norway Session Case Study -- Becoming A Citizen Janne Lindgren
15:00--15:15 Q&A
15:15--15:45 Coffee Break
15:45--16:45 Norway Session Case Study --  Sibling Are Forever:The Grand Journey Frode Fimland
16:45--17:00 Q&A
Moderators Finlay Pretsell/ Kira Leinonen Language English / Chinese
The Opening Ceremony will be held at Standard Theatre, Building D. The other events will be at Mid Theatre, Building D.
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Filmmakers Introduction
Name Achievements
Nicole N. Horanyi Nicole N. Horanyi graduated from the National Film School of Denmark in 2007 as a documentary film director.
With a sharp eye for clever and spectacular main characters, her films primarily portray strong women, who are not afraid of tackling difficult situations in modern society.
For her latest film Motley’s Law, Nicole N. Horanyi won the following awards: Grand Jury Prize Award at New York’s documentary film festival DOC NYC and the EDA Award from Alliance of Women Film Journalists/IDFA.
Thomas Arent Andersen Thomas Arent Andersen is a graduate of The National Film School of Denmark and has worked professionally with audio and sound design on documentary and feature films since 2008.  He is the sound designer and sound recordist of The Stranger.
Daniel Sickles Dan Sickles is a filmmaker, actor, and writer living in New York City and Paris, France.
His first film, MALA MALA, premiered at the TriBeCa Film Festival in 2014 to widespread critical acclaim. It focuses on the lives of nine transgender-identifying individuals living in Puerto Rico, and their fight for equality and personal fulfillment. Produced by Christine Vachon of Killer Films, Moxie Pictures, and his production company El Peligro, MALA MALA premiered theatrically in July 2015 and is currently available on DVD and for digital download.
His second film, DINA, received the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, as well as the 2017 International Documentary Association award for Best Feature Film. Dina premiered theatrically in October 2017 and is currently available on DVD and digital download.
As an actor, Dan is mainly known for his theatrical work, most notably as Hamlet in the 2011 production at Theater 80 in downtown Manhattan, and Konstantin Treplev in The Seagull at Columbia Graduate.
He has contributed articles for Gawker, The Huffington Post, MTV, and Indiewire. He has spoken on the burgeoning transliberation movement at the American Embassies in Ankara, Turkey and Kiev, Ukraine, and his work is on display in the Contemporary Art Museum in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
He is the recipient of the PEEK Award and the ARC Alliance Community Service Award for his work within neurodiverse communities, and his production company, El Peligro, has been honored by the Social Media Impact Awards and Amnesty International for their approach at socially-conscious storytelling.
Michael Rossato-Bennett Michael Rossato-Bennett studied film at Temple University and studied lighting with family friend Vilmos Zigmond. In 1982 he shot Street Dance a one-hour documentary on the emerging Break-Dance and Tick-tism scene in Cincinnati, Ohio funded by the Ohio Arts Council. In 1984 he co-wrote and directed Victory House, a low-budget award-winning feature that follows the fates of three young men returning to small-town Ohio after WWll. The film, shot mainly on BetaSP, won several local film festival awards. In 1989, due to personal reasons, he gave up working in film and founded a photo studio in Cincinnati. He specialized in travel photography and shot for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Islands Magazine, Travel and Leisure, British Heritage among others. During this time he published two books, Cincinnati, A Pictorial History, and Mammoth Cave, a Pictorial History. In 1996 he came to New York where he helped his younger brother start Eyeball and after 3 years left to create Serious Business Films one of the pre-eminent Corporate Comedy outfits in NYC. In 2009 he restarted his film work in film starting Ximotion Media a company dedicated to producing films for non-profits and good causes. In 2009 he made short documentaries for The Mozart Academy, The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center and Music & Memory. At present, his company is in production on four documentaries. Alive Inside looks at the lack of music in nursing homes and asks questions about how we care for elders, Tradition Transformed follows 6 Contemporary Tibetan Artists, artists from a culture that has no word for art and no tradition of non-religious art. Practically Enlightened, a comic look at one man’s year-long quest to become enlightened. Prison Dance follows the changes in a dozen inmates in a maximum-security prison who are being taught modern dance.
Gerardo Puglia An internationally renowned Cinematographer, Gerardo Puglia has been the recipient of many prestigious awards for excellence, including two Emmys, a Peabody, and two qualified entries for the Academy Award (the Oscar).
A native of Cardigan, Wales (the United Kingdom), Gerardo began his career at the age of 16, where he gained a reputation for innovative documentaries. He later went on to work as a Director of Photography for a myriad of film and television entities, including the BBC, PBS, CBS, National Geographic, RAI (Italian Television), Imagine Entertainment, and Warner Brothers, as well as numerous documentaries, independent films and television commercials.
A member of the International Cinematographers Guild since 1990. Gerardo also has a long-standing relationship with Eastman Kodak Company, where he is a preferred cinematographer, and consults in the testing and development of innovative Kodak film products.
Known for his striking visuals and both subtle and dramatic use of light, Gerardo’s cinematic art has been featured in numerous industry periodicals, such as iCOM Magazine and INCamera.
Brian Ariotti For over ten years, Brian Ariotti has produced and edited for numerous critically and commercially successful feature documentaries including winner of the Audience Award for best documentary at Sundance: Meru (2015) directed by Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi, New York Times Critic’s Pick and winner of the Special Jury Prize for International Feature at Hot Docs: God Knows Where I Am (2016) directed by Todd and Jedd Wider, and winner of the Audience Award for best documentary at Stony Brook Film Festival: To the Edge of the Sky (2017).
He’s also worked as an editor and cameraman for myriad film and television entities including: MTV, NBC, SCI-FI Channel, AMC, The Onion, Vogue, HGTV, The Food Network, Bravo, VH1, Logo, Overture Films, and National Geographic.
Erlend E. Mo Erlend E. Mo (b. 1967) studied literature and Scandinavian languages at the University of Oslo from 1986-90, and Film and TV at Volda University College 1990-92. Since then he has produced and directed several productions for mainly the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), the Danish National Broadcaster (DR), TV2 Denmark and The Danish Film Institute.
Mo has received numerous international awards for his work, at a wide variety of festivals. Such accolades include, among others: The Terje Vigen prize at the Norwegian Short Film Festival for the fictional documentary Forbidden Love (Forbudt kærlighed, 1998), which he wrote and directed; and Best Documentary at the Odense Film Festival in Denmark for Welcome to Denmark (Velkommen til Danmark, 2003). Can You Die in Heaven? (Kan man dø i himlen?, 2005) was awarded the Youth Jury’s Best Danish Film at Odense Film Festival, Best Children’s Doc at Pärnu, Estonia, and won a GuldDok for Best Documentary at CPH:DOX, while My Eyes (Inden for mine øjne, 2006) won the IDFA Silver Cub Award, a GuldDok for Best Sound at CPH:DOX, Best Short Film at Sao Paolo and the Cinematic
Vision Short Award at the SilverDocs AFI (Discovery Documentary Festival).
His latest film Four Letters Apart – Children in the age of ADHD (Jeg hader ADHD – Børn I en diagnosetid, 2014) received the Audience Award at both Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2014 and BIDF (Budapest International Documentary Filmfestival) 2014.
Zofia Kowalewska Zofia Kowalewska was born in Krakow in 1995. She is a graduate of International Baccalaureate Programme IB at the Stefan Batory No. 2 High School in Warsaw. Now, she is studying directing at the Łódź Film School. It was during her final year at high school that she began working on Close Ties. To date, she has made two films during her studies, Miśka, a feature étude and a documentary entitled Darling.
Frode Fimland Director, producer and photographer in Norway. Has worked in filmmaking and television since graduation from the media program at Volda University College in 1986.
A resident of Bergen, Norway for the past 25 years.
In 2013 he directed the documentary “Siblings are forever”, which was a huge success in cinemas all over Norway and is the most successful documentary on Norwegian TV2 of all times.
Best feature in the Filmfestival Della Lessinia, Italy (2014) and the best feature at the Big Sky documentary filmfestival US. (2015)
“Siblings are forever - the grand journey” is a sequel produced in 201
Mariam Chachia After 5 successful years in commercial filmmaking production and direction, in 2012 Mariam started her documentary filmmaking career with Kirov Street 8 a coproduction with Ardeche Image Production(France).In 2014 she founded the organization OpyoDoc which builds Projects For Social Change. With each film, OpyoDoc initiate social projects that aim to change the lives of those affected by the issues presented in each film. Listen To The Silence is the first product of OpyoDoc, which was awarded with Golden Dove in The Next Masters Competition Dok Leipzig 2016. While the film starts its festival life, Mariam is already co-direction a new documentary with Nik Voigt called Abastumani. Mariam also organizes scriptwriting residencies and co-production meetings Eurasia Doc with French organization Doc Monde.
Nik Voigt Nik is a director and producer based in Georgia. Nik has a BA in Photography and Video Production with Honours - De Montfort University and has been working as a Director, DoP and Producer on numerous feature documentary films as well as working with broadcasters like BBC, Marjan TV and Sky. Nik produced Listen To The Silence, a Golden Dove winning feature length documentary at DOK Leipzig 2016. Directed by Mariam Chachia, the film was supported by The Doha Film Institute and the Georgian National Film Institute. Nik is now directing a feature documentary with Mariam Chachia in Georgia.
Alex de Ronde Alex de Ronde (1958) was a film critic until 1986, when a became the Head of Programme of the Netherlands Film Festival. In the nineties he also was the editor of a monthly magazine on deafness and sign language. Since 2000 he is the managing and programming director of het Ketelhuis, an Amsterdam based film theatre which focusses on Dutch and European arthouse cinema. He produced two short films: De reorganisatie van de afdeling herhuisvesting Franeker (2006, directed by Eddy Terstall & Hans Teeuwen) and Peptalk (2014, directed by Joppe van Hulzen). Deaf Child marks his debut as a documentary director.
Elli Toivoniemi Elli Toivoniemi is an awarded producer-director from production company Tuffi Films based in Helsinki, Finland. She is the co-founder-owner and the head producer of the company, and behind the films like Academy Award -nominated short fiction Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?
Her filmography as a producer includes 16 films, in all forms and lengths. Films produced by her have been awarded at festivals for instance as Sundance, Berlinale and Chicago, and distributed all over the world. Currently she is producing her third a feature fiction film Stupid Young heart (dir. Selma Vilhunen) will be in production 2017, and premiering in 2018 Autumn.
Elli ́s first short fiction film as director, Role, had it ́s world premier in Locarno International Film Festival 2014. Elli ́s director debut feature documentary Once I Was a Dragonfly won the Best pitch award in Finnish Film Affair in 2015 and a critics choice award in Docpoint film festival in January 2017.
Miikka Friman The protagonist of Once I Was a Dragonfly, a 25-year-old Miikka Friman has grown up with dragonflies. He was inspired already at the age of six by a dragonfly that landed on his shoulder and his inspiration gradually turned into a way of living which still almost two decades later drives Miikka onto his expeditions. Miikka has been living his whole life with a camera on his hand, researching dragonflies and documenting the important milestones of his live.
Janne Lindgren Janne Lindgren (b.1978) is a Norwegian cinematographer and director. She directed her first short in 2013; This is the World. As a cinematographer, she has worked on various short films, TV series and documentaries.
Marta Prus Graduated from the Direction Department at the Polish National Film School in Łódź and Documentary Programme at Wajda School. Awarded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage for outstanding achievements in arts and received Wiesław Nowicki Prize for the most promising young filmmaker. Her feature lenght documentary debut „Over the Limit” premiered in Main Competition at IDFA 2017, presented at over 60 festivals, awarded with 14 prizes. Film has cinema distribution in USA, Spain, Chile, Canada and Poland. She is chosen for 2018 by Variety as one of the „10 European to Watch”. Her  school works include internationally awarded documentaries Vakha and Magomed (2010), Eighteenth Birthday (2012), Talk to Me (2015) and fiction (Hot and Cold 2016). She directed a docuseries Teen Mom Poland (2014) for MTV Poland and was a II unit director for fiction tv series for Canal +.
Finlay Pretsell Finlay is an award-winning filmmaker who once set out on the long road to becoming a professional cyclist, riding for a few national teams and representing Scotland a number of times. Finlay’s breakthrough as a filmmaker was in 2007 with Standing Start, a short film which followed his passion for cycling (shortlisted for Grierson Newcomer Award). The film is a unique look at the world of track cycling featuring world champion Craig Maclean.
He followed up that success with several more short films, winning Scotland’s top prize, a BAFTA for Ma Bar, which was shown at the prestigious Sundance Film festival and over 50 other international film festivals, and Cutting Loose (30’), which was financed by the UK Film Council and BBC. It won a raft of awards including Best Documentary at Encounters FF and the Grand Jury prize at Asterfest, and qualified for Oscar nomination after a theatrical run in New York in 2012. Most recently Finlay is producer of Norfolk (2015), a feature film directed by longstanding collaborator Martin Radich, financed through BBC Films, BFI, Creative England. (cast: Denis
Menochet – Inglorious Basterds) It premiered at IFFR 2015 and was nominated for the Michael
Powell Award at EIFF 2015.
Finlay has been an integral part of Scottish Documentary Institute since 2005.




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