Asako Fujioka is an International film festival organizer and distributor. She worked with Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival in Japan 1993-2014 as coordinator, director, and now on the board of directors. Fujioka established the New Asian Currents program, a collection of films and videos by emerging documentarists from around Asia during the years 1995 – 2003, and the Yamagata biennial touring program which brings 80 – 120 docs to art house screens in the capital city. In recent years she has co-founded the Independent Cinema Guild (130 members), a collective of filmmakers, distributors, producers, film organizers, and film fans who wish to support independent film in Japan.
Don Edkins was born in Cape Town in 1953. At the age of twenty-two he left South Africa for political reasons, and returned in 1994 to take part in his country’s first democratic elections. He completed his studies in development work and African languages, and has extensive work experience in the field of media and social change.
In April 2013, he started AfriDocs, the first weekly primetime documentary strand across sub-Saharan Africa, that screens the best African and international documentary films twice a week, as well as special focus events on relevant issues facing African audiences. He has co-authored a book with Iikka Vehkalahti on documentary filmmaking – Steps by Steps.
He is a director of a non-profit organization that works in documentary film production, training and distribution, STEPS, based in Cape Town, South Africa.
Iikka Vehkalahti is born in 1949 in Finland and lives in Helsinki with his family. He is CEO of his own company IV Films Ltd. Before that he was 17 years a Commissioning Editor for documentaries in the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE. He has been also a visiting professor of media in Tampere University, Finland. He studied drama and social sciences in Tampere University. After the studies he started his work career as a freelance journalist travelling extensively, being art critic and writing economical analyses to one of the main weeklies in Finland.
He is an independent producer for YLE net platform kolmasulottuvuus. and working permanently for Afridocs documentary, a TV strand of STEPS. He is also managing director of Rough Cut Service and one of the Executive Producers of Dare To Dream Asia. Additionally he is the Executive Producer of selected documentaries, tutoring and lecturing in different workshops and training programs.
Jakob Høgel is a producer at leading Danish production company, Meta Film and a freelance-consultant. He works mainly with fiction projects that break new grounds and require unusual collaborations. He is developing projects with Mads Brügger (The Ambassador) and Janus Metz (Armadillo).
He founded and co-owned Danish production company, Cosmo Doc 2004-7. It was on RealScreen’s list of the world’s 100 most important factual production companies. He produced award-winning films.
Jean Tsien has been working in documentary films for 30 years. Her feature editing debut, Something Within Me, won three Awards at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival. Tsien is a strong believer in mentorship and nurturing emerging talents. She has served as an editing advisor at the Sundance Institute Edit and Story Lab since 2010, Hot Docs Blue Ice Lab in 2014, and the CNEX Chinese Documentary Forum since 2011.
Karolina Lidin is a documentary consultant with 20+ years of experience on the international documentary scene. She is currently engaged at Nordisk Film & TV Fond as Documentary Advisor and at Sheffield Doc/ Fest as MeetMarket Executive Producer. In addition, Karolina Lidin is continuously involved in mentoring/tutoring schemes, developing projects with international potential.
Karolina Lidin is a regular tutor at international training sessions, lately with the Docs Port Incheon, Crossing Dreams, the MENA Programme for the Middle East & North Africa.
Laurent Bécue-Renard studied at the ESSEC school, was a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Columbia University and graduated from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris.
In 1995 and 1996, while living in Sarajevo during the siege, he served as editor-in-chief of the magazine Sarajevo Online and published a series of short stories called The Sarajevo Chronicles. After the conflict, he began exploring war’s enduring impact on three widows at a rural therapy center. The documentary he wrote, directed, and produced about them, WAR-WEARIED, screened at dozens of festivals and received the Berlin International Film Festival’s Peace Film Award, among others.
Shifting focus to young men returning from battles in faraway lands, Bécue-Renard continues to explore war’s psychological aftermath with OF MEN AND WAR, the second volume of his Genealogy of Wrath trilogy. Among others, OF MEN AND WAR won the best documentary at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.
He is a former literary agent, a party promoter and currently a producer who made several award-winning documentaries such as Planet of Snail (2011), Iron Crows (2009) and 9 Muses of Star Empire (2012). He has been working as a trainer at Crossing Borders, CNEX CCDF, Tokyo Docs and Tribeca Teaches.
He recently founded Documentary Airways (www. docairways.com) with a simple vision of distributing Asian docs by Asian filmmakers worldwide. He believes that it’s possible to live a sustainable life with time to water his plants in the morning as a filmmaker.
Stefan Kloos (*1968) is the managing director of KLOOS & CO. MEDIEN, one of the most active German production companies for international co- productions for cinema and TV.
Kloos, a trained journalist and Grimme Award-winner, founded his production company in 2002. In 2007, he additionally started RISE AND SHINE WORLD sales, one of the leading boutique sales agents for documentaries with multi- award-winning films such as HIP HOP-ERATION, GAYBY BABY, EVERYDAY REBELLION, MY STUFF, EVERY FACE HAS A NAME, NEULAND and others.
Kloos has a strong track record as a creative producer on international documentaries. He is a member of the GERMAN FILM ACADEMY of EDN & AG DOK and an alumni of the DOCUMENTARY CAMPUS MASTERSCHOOL. He regularly teaches and tutors internationally on documentary film production and distribution.
Wenlan Peng is an independent producer/director based in London. She began her television career in the 1980s as a producer/presenter of English language programmes on China Central Television.
She subsequently worked for the BBC and the independent sector as producer/director on several documentaries about China, including China Rising, a three-part series on contemporary Chinese history (ITV).