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Anna Shalashina (Russia)

Anna Shalashina was born on February 22, 1989. She graduated from the linguistics department of Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2011 and finished MBA program at Kingston University (London) three years later. Her dissertation on film co-production was nominated for the Best MBA Project of 2014.
Anna founded WISH Media company in 2016. The company focuses on the production of author-driven feature films and documentaries with potential for international markets.
Anna is the head of international cooperation at KINOPRIME Foundation which was established in 2019 and is funded by private investors. The main goal of the Foundation is to provide comprehensive support for modern cinema. Each project can claim up to 50% of the production budget with the cap of $1.5 million.

Andrėja Čebatavičiūtė (Lithuania)

Andrėja Čebatavičiūtė is a Lithuanian film producer working at documentary production company Moonmakers. After graduating BA in Film Producing at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Andreja has been working on various documentary projects as both producer and production manager.

Andrėja’s most recent credit is an associate producer of the documentary THE EARTH IS BLUE AS AN ORANGE by Iryna Tsilyk. In 2020, the film premiered at Sundance World Documentary Competition and received the Best Directing Award. The documentary won more than 20 awards globally including the Best Cinematography award at International Documentary Association Awards (USA).

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Ayse Toprak (Turkey)

Ayse Toprak is a filmmaker from Istanbul. She received a BFA in Film &TV from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and an MA from the Media Studies department at the New School. Her work experience includes producing for Al Jazeera in London and Doha. After 15 years of living abroad, Ayse returned to Turkey with Al Jazeera in 2011, to produce social and political documentaries in her country and the region.

In 2016, she began to work on her first feature length documentary, Mr. Gay Syria. The film is about two gay Syrian refugees who are trying to participate in an international beauty contest to raise their voices. Mr. Gay Syria attended over 150 film festivals including IDFA, Sheffield DocFest, MOMA Fortnight, Movies That Matter, One World, and won 15 awards including the Human Rights Award from Sarajevo IFF and the Silver Hugo from Chicago IFF.

Cordelia Dvorák (Germany)

Cordelia Dvorák studied literature, philosophy, and theatre in Paris and Munich, as well as Photography at the Ostkreuz Schule Berlin. Since 1998 the author, the director and producer of international film productions, theatre-plays and video-installations. She is also a playwright and wrote, directed and produced own theatre-plays, such as: 'The Solitaries of fernando Pessoa', 'Un mambo con La Catrina' and 'Ulissas - in homage to Clarice Lispector.

She has lived in Paris, Milano and Mexico City, where she also foundded her own theatre Cia. Miranda. Now she is based in Berlin.

She used to teach as guest-lecturer at the Montclair States University / New York, the UDK Berlin, the Academy of Performing Arts in Hongkong, the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, México City  a.o. 

She writes as a columnist for the international feministic column: 10vor8 in the FAZ and DIE ZEIT.

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Costanza Julia Bani (Sweden)

Costanza Julia Bani is a freelance producer working internationally and Assistant Professor in film and media production at the Stockholm University of the Arts.

She has been pursuing parallel an academic career and operating as a professional in the film industry, first as a scriptwriter, later focusing exclusively on production.

She has a phd in film studies; a diploma as a scriptwriter at the dffb and as a creative producer at ISFF in Berlin. Since 2018 she has been working mainly for Fasad in Sweden and Santifanti in Italy.

She’s currently producing the feature debuts of Cristina Picchi and Jennifer Rainsford, as well as working on the new films by Erik Gandini, Måns Månsson, Livia Giunti and

Francesco Andreotti, and Milla Bergh. Costanza was selected for the documentary campus and dok incubator. She’s an EAVE graduate 2015, a selected participant of the Cannes producer's network 2016, a TFL Alumna and Sundance Grantee 2019.

Dani König (Germany)

Dani König was born in Germany prior to her mother immigrating to the DDR from the Soviet Union. She holds a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from Bauhaus University. She has experience in narrative journalism and photojournalism.

Her debut film WATERPROOF ran in the German competition at DOK.Leipzig Festival 2019 and was also presented at the IDFA in Amsterdam, the Filmfest Kitzbuehel, the IFFA in the Netherlands and the JWFF in Jerusalem.

König also works as a self-defense trainer for women and practices numerous forms of martial arts.

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Maja Medić (Serbia)

Maja Medić, born in 1979, in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, graduated from the Film and TV Camera Department of the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, and obtained her Master Degree in Design, Media and Arts at Sint-Lucas Brussel – LUCA School of Arts.

 Maja worked as a cinematographer on several short fiction and documentary films and and is the author of one documentary film.  At the moment she collaborating with Mila Turajlić on Mila’s documentary project The Non-Aligned Newsreels and is the co-writer and co-producer of a documentary film A Portrait of the Artist in Quest, with Maša Nešković.

 She worked as a still photographer on feature films, had twelve solo exhibitions and participated in numerous collective ones, locally and internationally.

 In addition to exhibiting her own work, she has curated many exhibitions on the topic of history of Serbian cinema and published several monographs and books on the same subject.

Maria Ibrahimova (Azerbaijan)

Maria Ibrahimova’s debut film, MISS GULAG, was produced with support from the Sundance Institute and the Ford Foundation. It premiered at the Berlin Int. FF and screened at festivals and on TV around the world including on the BBC. Maria also directed and produced several award-winning short films, documentaries and commercial work through her production company Cinex, based in Baku.

She is a two-time Berlinale Talent, an EWA Mentee (European Women’s Network), and a Fulbright Fellowship recipient. She recently produced her first feature film, FISHERMAN’S DAUGHTER, with Russian producer Alexander Rodnyanski (LEVIATHAN, LOVELESS), distributed by Wild Bunch. Currently, she is developing her directorial feature debut HAZEL EYES with Turkish producer Zeynep Atakan (ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA, WINTER SLEEP), which she presented at the Berlinale Co-Production Market. She is also developing the documentary DREAMER, about an all-girls football team in rural Azerbaijan.

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Rieneke Van Santen (The Netherlands)

Rieneke Van Santen is a media professional specialized in human rights content and independent journalism within repressed societies. With her company Dendezo Media Support & Productions she offers consultancy across the world, including work on Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia, Sudan and Egypt, and she started independent film production.

Prior to this she has worked intensely on Iran for many years and acted as the Executive Director at the Radio Zamaneh Foundation. During her time there she produced two human rights feature film documentaries and a short film covering several human rights issues.

Her first independent feature film documentary “Sansur,” directed by Iranian filmmaker Mostafa Heravi, covers stories of censorship on Iranian women. Rieneke is a published writer, teaches at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and holds a MA degree in International Development from The University of Manchester.

She is Dutch-American and lives in the Netherlands.

Zaina Erhaim (Syria)

An award-winning Syrian journalist and filmmaker, who has been working as a journalist for 14 years. She is the director of the short films titled Syria Rebellious Women in the rebel held north, and the award- winning documentary short I Was Here.

She is a communication and gender expert working with a couple of international organizations in the Middle East and North Africa region. Zaina contributed to three books related to journalism and women including Our Women on the Ground.

She worked with IWPR as communications manager for eight years, before that, she was a journalist with BBC. She writes for different outlets such as Newlines Magazine, Open Democracy, Al Modon, among others. Zaina has an MA in International Journalism from City University of London.

Four Rebellious Women Trough My Lens is Zaina’s first feature length film as a director.

Victoria Mendonça  (Brazil)

Victoria Mendonça is a Brazilian director and screenwriter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She studied Philosophy and Cinema, completing a master’s degree in Directing and Screenwriting in Eicar Film School of Paris. Her graduation short, She Walks, was premiered at Rotterdam International Film Festival, being shown in several festivals in places such as New York, Rome, Curaçau, Serbia, Portugal, Canada and San Francisco, being distributed by UniFrance.

After working as a researcher at Ridley Scott Associated in London, she returned to Brazil to shoot her latest short film, Selvagem, selected to be part of the European Short Pitch and supported by the Ile-de-France Region
in France, receiving a post-production grant in 2017. While working as a screenwriter for companies such as O2 Filmes, Conspiração and Netflix; she is finishing the post-production of her first feature documentary Scazzicare, produced by Mimesis Productions and shot entirely in the south of Italy.

She currently develops her future projects, the documentary The Waves, selected for the Dok CoPro Market in Dok Leipzig 2019 and her first fiction feature, Mariposa.
Victoria's films and writings aim to explore and deconstruct female narratives and their contradictions in culture, memory and expression.

Zipporah Nyaruri (Kenya/The Netherlands)

Zipporah (Zippy) Nyaruri is an independent Filmmaker. In 2015, she won ‘Most Promising Documentary Project’, awarded by IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) and ‘Most Outstanding Documentary Project’, awarded by AfriDocs for her on going first feature length documentary TRUCK MAMA.

In 2011, she wrote and directed ZEBU AND THE PHOTO FISH which travelled around the world and was shown at numerous film festivals including Toronto (TIFF) and Montréal. The film won unprecedented number of awards, including Grand Prix at Festival Lumiere d’Afrique, Besançon and Best Script and Director at Auteur Film Festival, Cape Town.

Zippy holds a Masters in Film and Photography Studies from Leiden University, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a Diploma in Mass Communication (Print and Electronic media) and has attended IDFA Academy, Berlinale Talent Campus and Durban Talent and Film Market.

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Meet the CIRCLE 2021 Participants

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