Asian Films Competition Section
Member – Iran
Pourān Derakh’shandeh is an Iranian film director, producer, screen writer, and researcher. She has graduated in film directing in 1975 from Advanced School of Television and Cinema in Tehran. She started her professional career by making documentary films for the Kermanshah Television and subsequently for the Tehran Television. Her motion pictures include “Relationship”, “A Little Bird of Happiness”, “Passing Through the Dust”, “Lost Time”, “A Love Without Frontier”, “Candle in the Wind”, “Wet Dream”, “Eternal Children”, and “Hush! Girls Don’t Scream”. At the time she began working at NIRT and Produced “Plague”; A documentary about plague disease in Kurdistan Province. she produced a documentary about the “Last Wednesday of the Year” ceremony custom which is widespread in many parts of Iran.
Member – UK
Mostafa Kamal is a Bangladeshi living in London. He is a freelance director and producer, completed his masters from Kiev Film Institute as a Film Director in 1988. After moving to London in 1989, Mr. Kamal has been working as a film trainer and festival director of the Rainbow Film Festival. During his long career as a film maker, he made more than 20 films in various formats, including 16mm, 35mm and digital formats. His films have been awarded as the best shorts in Bangladesh in 1987. Another major achievement is organising film festival every year since 2000 in London. He is also the founder Secretary General of the Rainbow Film Society, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Member – Armenia
Dr. Arsen Arakelyan an Armenian Independent filmmaker and producer, graduated from the Yerevan State Pedagogical Institute, faculty of “culture”, department of feature film director; completed postgraduate studies at the Institute of Arts; in 2003 he defended the scientific title of Candidate of Art History of the National Academy of Sciences, Associate Professor in Art History. He is the author, director and producer of many documentaries, feature films and television films that participated in many film festivals and received awards. He is also a lecturer in directing at the Yerevan State Pedagogical Institute; lecturer and director of RAU TV at the Russian-Armenian University; lecturer at the Yerevan State Institute of Theater and Cinematography. In 2019, the manual “Conversations after lectures” was published, one of the authors of which is Arsen Arakelyan.
Interfaith Jury for the Spiritual Films Section
Member – Greece
Alexandros Kostopoulos was born in Athens, Greece. He studied Filmmaking, and Information Sciences & Multimedia Technology. His short film “First Swim” was screened in international film festivals. He filmed the TV documentaries “Speed of Light” and “Touching the intangible”, produced by the Greek broadcaster. His animated short film “Zebra’s Island”, produced by the Greek Film Center and the Greek broadcaster, is at production stage. He participated in several script and pitching labs (Torino Film Lab, Mediterranean Film Institute, In The Palace Filmer Forge Pitch, EKOME Storytelling, Drama Pitching Mini Talent Lab, Olympia Creative Ideas, Mecal). He is tutor of the film workshops “From Comic Books, to Directing” and “Using Musical Films to Teach Expressive Arts”.
Member – Iran
Ellaheh Tahaei is an Iranian film professionals had her bachelor of arts degree in French Literature and M.A. graduated in translation studies. She is the International Business & Marketing manager at Soureh Cinema Org. in Iran. She is in cinema business for about 14 years and as an international distributor; she distributes and license films globally and dose the business with many countries. Also, she has attended at many film festivals around the world as a film representative such as Cannes, Berlinale, IDFA, Leipzig, … Attended at international film markets such as EFM, Marche du film, Mipcom, ATF, etc.
Member – Bangladesh
Dr. Lipy Gloria Rozario is a Counseling Psychologist, founder and director of Healing Heart Counseling Unit, provides services since 2010. She is an adjunct faculty of the department of Educational and Counseling Psychology at the University of Dhaka. She completed her bachelor’s degree from Libera L’universita Maria Santissima Assunta, Rome, Italy in 2005 and completed her double Masters in Spirituality (2008) and Counseling (2010) from Santa Clara University, California, USA. She is passionate about dissemination of counseling services and provides training related to professional counseling at her Centre and for different NGOs and religious organizations.
Member – Poland
Maciej Ruciński is an engineer, festival organizer, and avid traveller. Creator of advanced new technologies in robotics, drone and imagining sector. After working for big tech corporations and start-ups decided to run his own company to fuel his passion. Delivers high tech solutions for major players in various industries. Fills both his working and leisure time with travel, on foot, bicycle, or 4×4. Especially keen on long distance overland journeys, which allows him to explore countries and cultures. Travelled most of Europe, crossed Australia East to West, New Zealand North to South. Preparing for his next big adventure of circling Africa by 4×4. Passion for film got him involved in film festivals including his hometown Cameraimage Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, OKO International Ethnographic Film Festival, and Brno Eko Film Festival.
Women Filmmaker Section
Member – Belgium
Anja Strelec is a documentary filmmaker, TV journalist, photographer and audiovisual artist who lives and works in Brussels. In her work, she mostly concentrates on social topics, portraying both individual human stories as well as society as a whole. Her multidisciplinary approach, working with a diversity of visual formats – documentary film, video and street photography – enables multifaceted storytelling. Anja is a director of several award-winning documentary films shown at international festivals and TV channels in different countries. She exhibited her work at solo and group exhibitions all around Europe and works for Belgian television. For the last 15 years, besides working as a director and together with her artistic work, Anja has been holding audiovisual and photography workshops in Europe, Africa and Asia, most notably for film students, European Commission and international organizations.
Member- India, USA
Monalisa Dasgupta is an independent filmmaker who lives in California. She holds two Masters degrees in Economics and Operations Research from Penn State University, USA and an MBA in Marketing from India. Since graduating (Direction) from the New York Film Academy in 2008, she has directed several documentaries and short films including Lost Mother (feature) in 2010 and Songs of the Bards of Bengal which won the Indian Panorama Award at the International Film Festival of India in 2014 and Best Cinematography in the Madrid Film Festival in Spain. Her recent LGBT film Soi (Friendship) has won several awards in India and abroad. She produces her films from her own production company Mona Lisa Movies International in Kolkata, India. She is an active member of Director’s Guild of India.
Member – Bangladesh
Naila Azad started her career in the Theatre at a very young age as a member of Dhaka Theatre. Since then, there was no going back. It was then that she began her acting journey for film and television. To learn the craft academically she went to the National School of Drama in Delhi for a three-year Diploma course. After returning to Dhaka, she was seen regularly in Bangladeshi Television, some films and several & stage plays. Then she left for the United States to do her BFA from Antioch University, Ohio, and MFA from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in Theatre, Film and Television. Naila has been working as a professional actor, director, choreographer and costume designer in Los Angeles, New York and Dhaka. She has acted in Hollywood movies such as ‘Crossing Over’, Television Series like ‘Lie to me’, ‘CSI’ etc. and many theatrical plays with A list Hollywood actors. Currently she works as the Artistic Director of Jatrik Productions, and teaching at IUB and Patshala.
FIPRESCI Jury: Bangladesh Panorama Film Section
Member – Ukraine
Elena Rubashevskaja a journalist and film critic, FIPRESCI Editor-in-Chief. She worked as a director and screenwriter, creating media content for non-governmental organizations and socially responsible businesses such as WWF, OSCE, and UN, with a special focus on projects related to the East of Ukraine. As an editor, she ran the website kinoukraine.com. Author of a series of video lectures and a book dedicated to Ukrainian cinema. She is also a program coordinator of the OKO International Ethnographic Film Festival, which takes place in the Ukrainian region of Bessarabia. After the outbreak of war in Ukraine in 2022, she became a part of the Energa CAMERIMAGE International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography (Poland).
Member – Germany
Axel Timo Purr is editor of “Artechock Filmmagazin”, one of the oldest German online film journals. After field research in East Africa on modern (anti-) witchcraft movements, the informal sector and global economic influences on individual biographies, he has been writing on Africa-, Asian-, literature- and film-related topics for Artechock, the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the NZZ since 2001 and was a member of various juries (VDFK, FIPRESCI, Cinema Programme Award)
Member – Bangladesh
Bidhan Rebeiro is a renowned Bangladeshi film critic, writer, journalist, and teacher. He served as a FIPRESCI jury in the 75th edition of the International Cannes Film Festival. He is the editor of Cinema Dorshon, an online and offline little cinema magazine. Since 2005, he has been working as a journalist. He has worked for RTV, Boishakhi Television, ATN News, NTV Online, and other media contractually and temporarily. He graduated in computer science and has completed his Ms degree from the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism of Dhaka University with a scholarship from the Norwegian government. He also completed his second Master’s from Stamford University with a film and media studies degree. Later, he completed Film Appreciation Course from FTII, Pune, India. At Jahangirnagar University, he teaches as an adjunct faculty member in the Journalism department. His notable books are Film Lesson Guide, Film Judgment, Shahbag: Politics, Religious Consciousness, and Miscellaneous Lack: Leonardo Lalon Lacan, Bollywood Bahas, etc. Besides making documentaries, he has also been a judge at various international film competitions and festivals. As a FIPRESCI jury, he served at the 20th Dhaka International Film Festival.