JOHN APPEL – In 1987 John Appel graduated at the Nederland Film and Televisie Academy with his documentary Radio Daniëlle, a portrait of a local pirate radio station. This film, awarded Best Student Film, shows Appel’s interest in ‘daily life drama’.
In 1993 he made his first documentary for cinema Johnny Meijer – Body and Soul, about the last and lonely days of the Amsterdam accordeon virtuoso. This film expresses Appel’s tendency to ‘Amsterdam blues’.
His film André Hazes – She believes in me, awarded with the Joris Ivens Award for Best Feature Length Documentary (IDFA ’99), is the greatest documentary hit in Dutch cinema over the last 60 years.
In 2003 he made his film The last victory, about the famous horse race in Siena, the Palio. This film won two Golden Kalves at the Dutch Film Festival and many international awards. The film was nominated Best European Documentary at the European Film Awards 2004.
In 2009 he made his personal film The Player, about his father’s addiction to gambling. This film was a.o awarded with the IDFA Award ’09 for Best Dutch Documentary and the Filmfund Stimulus Award 2010 for most successful documentary of the year. The film was nominated Best Feature Length Documentary (IDFA ’09).
His latest film Wrong time, wrong place (2012) is a film about chance and fate, based on the tragic events in Norway of 22 July 2011. This film was the Opening film of Idfa 2012 and won several international awards.
Characteristic feature of all his films is the preference for ordinary people and lonely heros, while thematically it’s about melancholy, memories, death and consolation.
JEROEN BERKVENS (Eindhoven, 1968) studied Cinematographic Design at the Academy of Arts in Breda and graduated in 1993 with LET ME HAVE IT ALL, a roadmovie-like documentary search for the legendary pioneer in soul music Sly Stone. It won the ARTE AWARD at the European student filmfestival in Hannover Germany.
His other films on music include JIMMY ROSENBERG – THE FATHER, THE SON & THE TALENT (winner of the GRAND PRIX in Krakow, the GRAND PRIX at Montréal’s Festival du Films sur d’Art, a BIG SKY AWARD in Montana and GOLDEN CALF in the Netherlands).
Also he directed A SKIN TOO FEW – THE DAYS OF NICK DRAKE which was described ‘a cinematic tone poem as much as a biography’ by the NY TIMES during its US theatrical release. Jeroen’s film PARADISO shows Amsterdam’s pop temple as seen from the perspective of several performing artists. It received a GRAND PRIZE at the Jecheon Music & Filmfestival in Korea 2012.
Besides directing documentaries and -series, Jeroen Berkvens occasionally produces filmprojects. Among them are BOY MEETS GIRL STORIES – 34 short film poems on love. The follow up of this series, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, was co-directed by Jeroen together with director Mark the Cloe. In a hybrid mix of documentary and fiction shorts this series depict 33 of the many ‘Adagia’ of Erasmus.
From 2000 to 2010 Jeroen Berkvens teached cinematographic design at his alma mater in Breda, as well as being a guest teacher at various (international) workshops and documentary classes. Since 2010 Jeroen is appointed to the DUTCH FILM & TELEVISION ACADEMY in Amsterdam teaching documentary directing.
NINO KIRTADZE – Academy-award-winning director Nino Kirtadze was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. She is one of the few Georgian directors who made her cinematic debut in France and quickly established herself as one of the leading documentary filmmakers in Europe. Her films deal with controversial subjects, placing the accent on the human drama underlying her stories and creating deep insightful human portraits. Her camera turns the natural into the supernatural and blends together the personal and the universal without black and white romanticism.
Nino Kirtadze’s films have won international acclaim and numerous prestigious prizes at festivals worldwide, including Best Director Prize at Sundance for « Durakovo-village of fools », the European Film Academy award for “Pipeline next door”, Germany’s top documentary award, the Adolf Grimme Gold, for “Chechen Lullaby” and the Cinema du Réel award for “Tell my friends that I’m dead”. Her films have been presented at Cannes, Toronto, Sundance, Idfa, RIDM, Vision du réel etc.
She is currently finishing a new film, “Don’t breathe”, a dark comedy that examines the fragility of human nature, highlighting our common fears, doubts and resilience as we fumble our way through the theatre of the absurd that we call life.
Since 1997, Nino Kirtadze has lived in France, where she has worked with Peter Brook, Ben Gazzara, Vittorio Gassman, Jean-Pierre Ameris and Claude Goretta. She works with different national and international organisations as a consultant, jury, lecturer and tutor.
TANIA RAKHMANOVA, Franco-Russian filmmaker. She began working as a print journalist in the USSR, and moved into documentary with work on the award-winning Discovery/BBC series THE SECOND RUSSIAN REVOLUTION (Brian Lapping Ass). She has worked on several awards winning documentaries in the UK and France, including the EMMY winning CUBAN CRISIS. Since 1997 she has produced and directed more than 20 documentary series and films, her films received many international awards including EMMY nominations, Golden eagle, Fipa, Pessac. Her latest films were: “Lords of the Spin”, a two hour series on the history of political spin in the world, a 52’ program “How Putin Came to Power”, in 2008, “Iraqi Exodus” an hour documentary for the PBS Wide Angle and in 2010 “Oligarchs, Arts and Dollars” and EUROPA Prise nominated “Rroms, the First European Nation”. She has been a member of jury of several international festivals, including Banff, Fipa et etc. For more than ten years she has been teaching in University of France Television.