Meet the CIRCLE 2021 Experts
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Paula Alvarez Vaccaro is an award winning producer, scriptwriter, journalist, and educator with more than twenty-five years of experience working in film, TV, online, radio, and printed media in three continents. Before founding PINBALL LONDON, in 2009, she had worked in films, series and shorts for international companies and broadcasters such as BBC, MTV, and ARTE. Under Paula’s leadership, Pinball London has won over thirty international awards across narrative and documentary features, series, animation, and shorts. Working with directors from over 15 countries — from well-known ones such as Emir Kusturica, Sally Potter, and Guillermo Arriaga, to newcomers like Ana Rocha, Aaron Brookner and Edoardo de Angelis—, their films have launched at most A list festivals around the world and have been distributed in over 40 territories while their series have been developed with international partners in several languages. She is currently a Vice-President of the European Producers Club, and the workgroup leader for their gender charter. She was an Emmy Juror between 2009 and 2014, an Official Jury at San Sebastian Film Festival in 2017; a Jury at Focal Awards for Archive Excellency 2010-2018, and a BIFA juror since 2018. She is also a Sundance Alumna, a member of the European Film Academy; a member and mentor of EWA, the European Women Audiovisual Network, and a full member of the Writers Guild of Great Britain. She received the prestigious Chevening Scholarship Award and holds a Masters in Media Arts from Royal Holloway, University of London.
Yael has been making films for over 20 years, as an editor, director, tutor andscript supervisor. She currently works as an editing tutor at DokIncubator, and tutors students at the HEAD / Cinéma du Réel in Geneva. She is a consulting editor for the Rough Cut Service, hosted by Ikka Vehkalahti. Some of her recent credits as an editor include: Advocate by Philippe Bellaiche & Rachel Leah Jones; Los Fantasmas des Caribe by Felipe Monroy; Machines by Rahul Jain; The Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev by Noam Pinchas and Tal Barda; Muchachas by Juliana Fanjul; as a editing or script consultant: The Edge of Democracy by Petra Costa; Thy Father’s Chair by Antonio Tibaldi and Alex Lora; as a script supervisor: Lisbon Story by Wim Wenders.
Diana El Jeiroudi
A Syrian filmmaker and screenwriter, Diana films encapsulate sociopolitical tensions and contradictions and extend well over time. She is best known for her Dolls - A Woman from Damascus (2007) and Morning Fears, Night Chants (2012). As producer, her filmography includes the award-winning Silvered Water - Syria Autoportrait by O. Mohamad & W. S. Bedirxan (Cannes 2014), and The Mulberry House by Oscar-nominated Sara Ishaq (IDFA 2013). Her efforts in supporting and advancing the documentary community and culture, notably through establishing DOX BOX as Syria’s first documentary film festival, and then as the Berlin-based documentary film support organization, has earned her various awards, including the EDN Award, The Katrin Cartlidge Award, and The Heart of Sarajevo. She is a member of the American Academy of Motion Pictures, the Deutsche Filmakademie, and the Asia-Pasific Screen Academy. She served on several committees and juries, most notably Cannes Film Festival Golden Eye Documentary Award, Sundance Documentary Program, IDFA, AFAC, and APSA Awards. Diana supported many careers and tutored talents through the professional training initiatives and workshops of DOX BOX, EuroDoc, Ex-oriente, IDFA, and Story Doc.
Film Marketing, Social Media & Audience Design strategist with extensive experience of working for film producers and cultural institutions. Lecturer, mentor and speaker at the international training workshops for fiction and documentary filmmakers such as CIRCLE – Women Doc Accelerator, Impakt, Torino Film Lab, Moving Docs, DOC.Incubator. Member of the Advisory Board of DAE - Documentary Association of Europe.
Between 2004 - 2015 Joanna worked as Head of PR, Festivals and Sales at Wajda Studio & School, Warsaw, Poland.
Since 2015 Joanna has joined Alphapanda, a European film marketing agency based in Berlin, Geneva and Warsaw, founded in 2011. Alphapanda specializes in the development of marketing strategies and the implementation of social media campaigns for the film industry. Alphapanda’s clients list includes the European Film Awards, Warner Bros, Under the Milky Way as well as many European sales agents, distributors, VOD platforms and production companies.
As a mother of three daughters, Joanna especially enjoys working on young audience and women empowering stories. Among recent titles Joanna handled campaigns for are films like: THE SCARS OF ALI BOUALA (Tribeca ’21), STOP-ZEMLIA (Berlinale ’21), NINJABABY (Berlinale & SXSW ’21), THE WALL OF SHADOWS (Hot Docs ’20), BEWARE OF CHILDREN (Venice ’19), ANOTHER DAY OF LIFE (Cannes ’18).
Salomé Jashi was born in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1981. She first studied journalism and worked as a reporter for several years. In 2005 she was awarded a British Council scholarship to study documentary filmmaking at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Salomé’s Taming the Garden  premiered at Sundance and Berlinale Forum. Her The Dazzling Light of Sunset  has been awarded the Main Prize at Visions du Réel’s Regard Neuf Competition as well as at ZagrebDox, Jihlava IDFF, FIC Valdivia and several other festivals. Her earlier work Bakhmaro , made in co-production with ma.ja.de. filmproduktion and MDR/Arte, received an Honorary Mention for a Young Documentary Talent at DOK Leipzig, was awarded as the Best Central and Eastern European Documentary at Jihlava IDFF, and was nominated for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and Silver Eye Awards.
She was a fellow of Nipkow Scholarship in 2017 and DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program in 2020.
Rebecca Day is a qualified psychotherapist and freelance documentary producer. She founded Film In Mind in 2018 to address mental health in the film industry. She offers therapy, clinical supervision, consultancies and workshops to filmmakers working in difficult situations and with vulnerable people. She has spoken at festivals and delivered training and support to organisations such as Berlinale, IDFA, Getting Real Documentary Conference, Sheffield DocFest, WIFTV & London Screenwriters Festival on the issue.
Previously, she worked extensively with the Scottish Documentary Institute as a producer and on their impact work, most notably on the successful campaigns around award winning documentary, I Am Breathing and Seven Songs for a Long Life and recently joined the impact team on Evelyn, made by academy award-winning director Orlando Von Eisendel. Her last feature, Becoming Animal, a Swiss/Scottish co-production, directed by Emma Davie & Peter Mettler was released in 2018 and she is in production on a new feature with award-winning filmmaker, Duncan Cowles, about men’s mental health.
Vanja Jambrovic graduated in philosophy and comparative literature at the Faculty for social sciences of the University of Zagreb in 2005 and in 2011 she graduated in film and theatre production at the Academy of Dramatic Art, also in Zagreb. Vanja started working in the film industry in 2002 as a production assistant and a festival coordinator. Since 2009 she’s been making films with Restart as a delegate producer. Vanja’s track record includes more than 20 films of all shapes and sizes.
Vanja is running the Restart Laboratory – a platform for first time directors and Restart Masterclass – a yearlong program dedicated to connecting world-class filmmakers with Croatian audiences through a series of interactive lectures.
With her projects Vanja was a part of several professional workshops such as: EAVE (2015), Producers on the move (Cannes 2014), Robert Bosch Coproduction Prize Germany Eastern Europe (Berlin, 2013), Berlinale Talent Campus (Berlin, 2013), Emerging Producers 2012 (Jihlava), Sarajevo Talent Campus (Sarajevo, 2012), EURODOC (France 2010) and many more.
Vanja is also a Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program Grantee, for the feature documentary project “Museum of the Revolution” directed by Srđan Keča (2020).
Her films have circled the globe, having been screened in competition at IDFA, Hot Docs, Toronto IFF, Visions du Reel, Fid Marseille, Karlovy Vary IFF, Sarajevo FF and hundreds more.
Film that she produced «Srbenka» directed by Nebojša Slijepčević has been preselected for EFA Awards in the best documentary category in 2018 and won Doc Allianze Award for the best documentary in 2018.
Since 2020 Vanja is teaching «Documentary production» at Academy of Drama Art in Zagreb.
BIANCA OANA is a Romanian writer and producer. Since 2009, she has been working in developing, producing and promoting multi-awarded art-house films, including ‘Toto and His Sisters’ 2014 (San Sebastian IFF, Angers Grand Prix, Zurich IFF Golden Eye), ‘Touch Me Not’ (Berlinale Golden Bear and Best Debut Feature 2018) and ‘collective’ (Venice IFF, EFA Best Documentary, nominated for Best Intl. Feature and Best Documentary at the 93rd Oscars). In 2015 she founded Monogram Film, a production company dedicated to discovering filmmakers with a particular artistic view, regardless of the medium they choose to explore.
She is a member of the European (EFA) and American (AMPAS) Film Academies, also participating as a tutor, consultant and/or expert in various development or pitching industry programs and workshops. Currently producing Adina Pintilie's second feature 'Death and the Maiden'.
Phil has been an editor for the last 20 years, starting in fiction before firmly landing in a documentary. Part of the award-winning international productions like 'Town of Glory', 'People We Come Across', and ‘Prison Sisters’, he also works as a rough cut consultant and has been part of films like 'The Earth is Blue as an Orange,' 'This Rain
will Never Stop,' 'Life of Ivana,' and more. Working out of Sweden, his projects have originated in places as far afield as Finland, Kenya, France, Russia, and beyond. He has travelled the world as a tutor, helping filmmakers to develop their projects, and giving master classes on pitch pilot trailers, the craft of storytelling through scripting and editing, and the genius of sticky notes. Phil blogs about documentary and technology, and hopes to one day run a marathon.
Anna Lisa Putorti
Graduated with honors in Law at University of Roma Tre in 1999, on 2007 pursued a Master in Business Administration (MBA) at SDA Bocconi (Milan) and UCLA Anderson (Los Angeles) with focus in cinema financing & strategy.
Currently Partner of the International Law Firm “Rulli Putortì & Partners” based in Rome, specialized in copyright and audiovisual law, dealing in particular with international co-productions and co-participations for both cinema and television, profit-sharing associations (so called tax credit), study and establishment of business networks, distribution, licensing agreements and clearing operations.
Advising both foreign and national clients including Associations as ASA (Association of Italian Agents) on Intellectual Property Rights management, including copyright, patent and trademarks, stage rights licensing, talent representation and compliance with regulations of Italian private and public authorities such as the Italian national Authors’ Collecting Society, the Authority for Guarantees in Communication, the Authority for Competition and Trade, and the Advertising Self-Regulatory Institute. Highly specialized in drafting and negotiating any kind of Italian and international contracts on the basis of the specific transaction required by the Clients, including legal assistance for the clearance related to audiovisual projects and coproduction agreements subject to the National laws as well as to the European and International Treaties.
Founder of the pro-bono legal aid initiative for the Association “Mujeres nel Cinema” based in Rome (for the promotion and support of gender equality within the Entertainment business).
Born in Kitzbühel in the Tyrolean Alps, Hubert Sauper lives in France for twenty years now, after living in Great Britain, Italy, United States, Tanzania, Congo and South Sudan. Sauper is known for his socio-political documentary films that have won over fifty international major awards, including those in Berlin, Venice, Sundance, as well as the Prize of European Cinema, the Austrian Academy Award, and the Caesar Award. Sauper was an Oscar nominee for Darwin's Nightmare (2004), documentary that highlights the impact of the fishing industry on the fragile Tanzanian ecosystem. His film We’re Coming as Friends (2014), centred around the armed conflict between Sudanese, was awarded with the Special Jury Prize at Sundance.
Sauper was a guest professor in a large number of film schools and universities around the world, among which are Harvard, Yale, UCLA, Columbia University, Colorado University, Universidad de Caracas, Universidad de la Havana, FEMIS, the Moscow International Film School, Istanbul University, Film School of South of the Mediterranean, the International School of Cinema of Marrakech (ESAV), the Academy of Austrian Film and the International School Havana Cinema in Cuba (EICTV). He is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, the European Film Academy and l’Académie française du cinéma.
Born in Tehran, Firouzeh Khosrovani settled in Italy to pursue her artistic studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan. She made her debut as a filmmaker in (2004) with “Life Train”. In 2007 she directed “Rough Cut'', a film about mutilated plastic mannequins in the shop windows of Tehran, followed in 2008 by “Cutting Off”, an installation and video art piece for the museum of Triennale di Milano.
Her “1001 Irans” (2010), was a documentary about the image of Iran, outside of Iran.
Her other works include “Espelho Meu” (2011), “Iran, Unveiled and Veiled Again” (2012), “Profession: Documentarist” (2014) a film in seven episodes, made by seven Iranian women directors. “Fest of Duty” (2014) is about a religious ceremony in Iran designed to instil Islamic beliefs and values into girls, when they reach the age of nine. “Radiograph of a Family” (2020) is a Pre- and Post-revolutionary story of the daughter of a secular father and a devout Muslim mother as they co-exist under one roof. Winner of “Creative Use of Archive'' and “Best film” at IDFA 2020.
Aleksandar Govedarica was born 1987 in Sarajevo, graduate of University of East Sarajevo as well as Vancouver Film School. He started working as a film programmer at Kriterion Sarajevo, the only art house cinema in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Aleksandar was part of the organizing committee of the Serbian Film Festival in Vancouver. With three years of previous experience in sales and distribution, Aleksandar runs the Toronto based world sales and production company Syndicado. He produced two documentary films and has experience in all aspects of filmmaking including directing. Aleksandar is tutoring at workshops like Dok Incubator, Baltic Sea Docs and Duna Dock.