JIM BITTERMANN is CNN’s Senior International Correspondent based in Paris. Since joining CNN in 1996, he has covered the death of Princess Diana in 1997, NATO air strikes on Kosovo in 1998, the earthquake in Turkey in 1999 and the World Cup soccer championships, among other stories.
REBECCA CALDER is an actress and producer who began her career on the London stage. Her television work with the BBC is extensive, yet she is best known for the Emmy Award winning US series Hatfield’s & Mccoys playing opposte Kevin Costner. Her Independent film work includes her award winning role in the feature Love Me Do and The Dark Mile. Most recently she can be seen in Nat Geo’s upcoming series Genius: Picasso, playing Coco Chanel.
SAMANTHA COLLINS is an Australian born British screenwriter based in Paris. A graduate of the UK’s National Film and Television School, Samantha co-wrote multi-award winning animation ‘After The End’ with director Sam Southward. With a background in production and development, she has worked for Discovery Networks, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Arts, Entertainment and Comedy) and London animation house Nexus. A number of her own original film and television projects are now in development, including co-productions, for the UK, USA, Australia and France. Samantha is currently writing her second feature film commission, an original multi-language drama set in Paris and its suburbs.
VESNA DE VINCA is a TV journalist, a writer and a producer. With almost 30 years of experience as a journalist shooting documentaries all around the planet, she has been the last journalist in the world to interview Nelson Mandela. Since 2004, she has been managing her own production company “De Vinča Production”. Vesna is also the author and producer of numerous charity events, and endeavours focusing on environmental protection, culture, fashion and beauty. De Vinča has served on the jury of the European Independent Film Festival since 2007.
GIADA GHIRINGHELLI is a London based filmmaker and video editor who has spent the last decade developing her passion in the visual arts, working across a number of industries including film, art, music and fashion. Her experimental works have been exhibited internationally in both gallery and festival circuit, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Locarno International Film Festival, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, London Short Film Festival and Uppsala International Short Film Festival. Her latest experimental film won Best Experimental Film at ÉCU European Independent Film Festival in Paris and Best Sound Design at Underwire in London.
KORINNA HERZIG is a freelance filmmaker from Stuttgart, Germany. She has been working as media designer and filmmaker since 2007. She used to work in Paris and Orlando for the Disney company. She graduated in 2016 from the Merz Akademie Stuttgart with her award winning short film DER NARR. Today, she does editorial work for TV (SWR), is leading initiatives in youth media education and co-initated “Weird Wednesday”, a film event series for indie film culture in Stuttgart.
SCOTT HILLIER is an Australian Director / Cinematographer / Screenwriter. Scott studied film at New York University and The London Film and Television school as well as literary non-fiction writing at Columbia University. He has taught a Masters Degree course in Screenwriting as well as journalism at the Centre de Formation des Journaliste (CFJ) in Paris. In addition to serving as President of The European Independent Film Festival he is also Chief Creative Officer for the Zs2 Media Group in Paris.
GARETH JONES is UK based executive producer, an industry veteran with 25 years experience in financing, sales, and distribution. A former CEO of George Harrison’s HandMade Films, Gareth has financed, sold, and distributed over 80 independent films, including MONA LISA; LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS; PSYCH 9 and 4321 and others.
SAM KADI is the director, writer and producer of critically acclaimed feature drama THE CITIZEN, starring Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride) and Agnes Bruckner (The Anna Nicole Story). THE CITIZEN received five awards on the international festival circuit before being released theatrically worldwide. The film was named among the “Best 10 Films of 2013” by Examiner.com. Kadi’s recent award winning documentary LITTLE GANDHI was Syria’s first official entry for Best Foreign Language Film for the 90th Academy Awards. The film was the winner of The Ahmed Khedr Award for Excellence in Arab Filmmaking at the European Independent Film Festival. Kadi was invited to screen LITTLE GANDHI before U.S. Members of Congress, Members of the Untied Nations, Amnesty International, and the Canadian Parliament where Kadi met with Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau to discuss the Syrian conflict. Kadi has been recognized by the prestigious Cinema For Peace organization for raising awareness of human rights issues through motion pictures, and was asked to speak on the same subject before the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands in June 2012. In 2013, Kadi was presented with a Humanitarian Service Award by the Life for Relief and Development Organization. In 2014, the SHOAH Foundation, founded by acclaimed director Steven Spielberg, chose Kadi as a Spotlight Juror. Kadi is a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), where he serves on the Guild Asian American committee. Kadi lives in Santa Barbara, California with his wife and two kids.
GUILLAUME LEVIL has directed a few short films which were shown all over France and abroad, and a feature : “You Can’t Write a Letter”. “Un tour de cheville” (The Anklet), a 12-minute movie, was thus selected for more than 90 festivals and got 14 international awards. Born in Provence, Guillaume Levil likes shooting in the south to catch the light that inspires him from lands of many tales and legends. As a true lover of Capra’s and Pagnol’s work, he gives away images as story-teller, not to escape reality but to celebrate it differently.
MARK PEREZ is one of the premiere non-scripted Executive Producers and Directors in the business today, having produced and directed thousands of hours of programming for networks including NBC, Showtime, Discovery, History, ESPN, VH1, and MTV. Mark’s work includes huge hits such as NBC’s Fear Factor, MTV’s Road Rules and Laguna Beach and two seasons of America’s Next Top Model for UPN. Other critically acclaimed series include Showtime’s 3AM, and VH1’s Celeb Rehab with Dr. Drew.
SUZ SAINTY is a documentary producer / director and screenwriter, currently based at Discovery Channel in London. Over the past 15 years she has also worked for National Geographic and numerous indies in a variety of production and post production roles, and written several screenplays. She is currently working on a documentary feature and developing a three part fact-based drama series. Suz has served on the European Independent Film Festival jury since 2007.
OSCAR SPIERENBURG (1981) is a painter as well as an autodidactic director from The Netherlands. He lives and works in Belgium. He has taught himself how to paint and direct and has proved his skills with numerous short films and the awarded feature film ‘Vanitas’ . Oscar is now working on his second feature length film ‘The Author’. Alongside working as a director, he owns an art gallery in the center of Antwerp and founded the Apertus Open Source Cinema Project.
ANTOINE VAREILLE is an editor for feature films and television. He has worked as an editor for the films LUCKY LUKE; HITMAN; BRICE DE NICE; FATAL and DISCOUNT as well as for the TV series KABOUL KITCHEN and on the TV series documentary INTIMATE PORTRAIT with Peggy Fleming and Cindy Crawford. Antoine has been a jury member of the festival for the last 6 years.
DUNCAN WARD was born in Zambia, educated Zimbabwe and University of Cape Town in South Africa and currently lives and works in London. He moved to Europe in the early ’80’s and started out as an assistant photographer, traveling widely throughout Europe and America. Producing portrait documentaries on several artists and directing numerous commercials as well as making several films. He branched out into writing and directing theatre, created the ‘found theatre company’ and produced three works to date. Duncan won Best European Independent Film award at ÉCU 2015 with HERE LIES.