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Projects and participants

Two childhood friends rediscover their relationship by climbing the perilous slopes of Mount Etna in IDDA, directed by Irene Dionisio (Italy), while unresolved traumas arise during a birthday gathering in KAFFEMIK by director and screenwriter Pipaluk Jørgensen (Greenland) and screenwriter / actress Nukâka Coster Waldau (Greenland). The unrelenting grip of the past is a starting point of LEX JULIA by director Laura Hyppönen and producer Merja Ritola (Finland). The relationship to a homeland left behind pervades PERLA, directed by Alexandra Makarová (Austria and Slovakia) and produced by Sabine Gruber (Austria). Finally, the destinies of four young women intertwine in the dreamlike spaces of contemporary Uzbekistan in THE FOURTH WAY by director Sasha Kulak (Belarus) and producer Julia Shaginurova (Germany).


Irene Dionisio (Director)

Irene Dionisio is a filmmaker and visual artist. She won as author the Solinas Prize with her documentary “Sponde” (2015). Her first feature film “Pawn Street” (2017) was selected by Venice Film Festival in the Critics’ Week section. The film was nominated at David di Donatello, Globi d’Oro as Best Debut and it won a Silver Ribbon as best script. Her video installations are shown in international museums - from Palazzo Grassi in Venice to Ocat - Shanghai. “Idda” is her second feature film.

Pipaluk Jørgensen (Director, Screenwriter)

Director and writer Pipaluk K. Jørgensen is an award winning Greenlandic filmmaker. Her feature debut, ANORI, was the first Greenlandic feature film by a female director and won the emerging filmmaker award at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in 2018, a Hollywood Film Festival Silver Award, and the People’s Choice Award at Maoriland Film Festival. Pipaluk was assistant director to Per Fly on acclaimed Danish hit-series BORGEN, and she co-directed the Oscar-nominated short film IVALU with Oscar-winning director Anders Walter. She is an imagineNATIVE and Netflix screenwriter talent lab alumni with THIS ROAD OF MINE, and an Executive producer and writer on SMILLA’S SENSE OF SNOW, an upcoming TV-series produced by leading German production company Constantin Film.

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Nukâka Coster Waldau (Screenwriter, Actress)

Nukâka Coster-Waldau is a singer and actress born and raised in Greenland. Her adult life she has been based in Copenhagen where she has her husband and two daughters. She is an professional actress and has been working on serval Tv-Series and documentaries, and film. In 2018 she premiered with the film ANORI which she had the lead in, and from that had a partnership with director Pipaluk K. Jørgensen. She now is ready to create her own story, and is the writer for Kaffemik.

Laura Hyppönen (Director)

LAURA HYPPONEN’s debut feature film, LIVE EAST DIE YOUNG (UK, 2012) was nominated Best Feature at Raindance (UK) and Hitchcock d’Or at Dinard (FR). The film was sold internationally by Reel Suspects (Paris) and released globally by iTunes. Hypponen’s short fiction, QUADRATURIN (UK, 2018), premiered in the international competition at Tampere International FF, was sold by Tampere Film Agency and distributed by Shorts International. Hypponen is an alumna of the Nipkow Programme (Berlin), Berlinale Talents, Think Shoot Distribute (London) and Film Garage (Torino). She studied filmmaking at European Film College (Denmark), has an MA in Screenwriting from Tampere University of Applied Sciences (Finland) and MSc specialising in Film Business from the Film Business Academy at Cass Business School (London, UK). Originally from Finland, after twenty years living in the UK, Hypponen currently divides her time between Amsterdam, Berlin and Helsinki.

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Merja Ritola (Producer)

MERJA RITOLA has worked in the Finnish film industry for over twenty years. She started her career working on dozens of feature films in production roles, including as head of production for Iron Sky, before producing her own short films, fiction, documentary features and TV series. She has participated in several EAVE and EWA workshops. In 2017 Merja joined Greenlit Productions as CEO and acts also as a CWB and Producer. Her most recent feature documentary produced in 2021, “Maija Isola, Master of Colour and Form” has been released theatrically in Finland, Sweden, Spain and Japan. She has gained experience of international Co-Productions, distribution and just recently got the Creative Europe Development Slate Funding.

Alexandra Makarová (Director and Screenwriter)

Alexandra Makarová, born 1985 in Košice, Czechoslovakia. After the fall of the Iron Curtain she moved to Vienna to live with her estranged mother, a painter. Studied screenwriting and directing in Vienna. In 2020, she won the main prize for the treatment of the feature film "PERLA" in the screenplay competition IF SHE CAN SEE IT, SHE CAN BE IT. Makarová works as a filmmaker in Vienna.


Sabine Gruber (Producer)

Sabine Gruber is a producer of feature and documentary films of Vienna based production companies Golden Girls Film and FlairFilm, focusing on political, social and ecological issues. She is known for EVERYDAY REBELLION by the Riahi Brothers (Politiken’s Audience Award CPH:DOX 2013), BORN IN EVIN by Maryam Zaree (Kompass Perspektive Award Berlinale 2019), SOLO by Artemio Benki (ACID Cannes 2019) and EISMAYER by David Wagner (IWonderfull Main Award Venice International Critics’ Week 2022). 

Sasha Kulak (Director)

Sasha Kulak is a multi-award-winning director and cinematographer whose work focuses on the thin layers of reality invisible to the human eye. Born in Vitebsk, Belarus, her documentary films have taken her to communities all over the world, whether to the Mexican mennonites (SALAMANCA, 2015), an abandoned mining town in the USA (QUICKSILVER CHRONICLES, 2019) or the Belarusian protests of 2020 (MARA, Rotterdam 2022). Her latest film A HAWK AS BIG AS A HORSE, made in collaboration with Arte’s La Lucarne programme and further supported by CNC and the Sundance Institute, won a special mention at Dok Leipzig in 2022. THE FOURTH WAY will be her fiction debut.

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Julia Shaginurova (Director)

Julia Schaginurowa started her career as a journalist and architecture reviewer in Moscow. After switching to the film industry, she creatively produced over 15 feature film and series titles. Since 2015, Julia Shaginurova has been based in Berlin, where she founded Einbahnstraße Productions, a company that focuses on creative documentaries and feature films about human rights. Among them COTTON100%, 2022 about forced cotton picking in Uzbekistan (Artdocfest Riga; GoEast Film Festival in Wiesbaden); Convenience Store, 2021 (Berlinale Panorama 2022), a story about modern slavery based on true events, and Russia vs Lawyers, a documentary about the work of human rights lawyers under repression. In 2022, together with Michael Borodin Julia founded an independent film company SESTRA Films and Tashkent Film School in Uzbekistan. SELECTED FILMS: 2023 - Mirtemir Is Alright, documentary short, dir. Sasha Kulak & Michael Borodin, 2023 - Dissidents And Madness, documentary series, 6 episodes, director Sergey Gindilis, 2023 - Russia vs Lawyers, documentary feature, dir. Masha Novikova, in coproduction with NOVDOC, ARTE/RBB and ARD, 2023 - Uzbekistan. Stories., documentary series, 10 episodes, dir. Umida Akhmedova, Kamilla Rustambekova, Sasha Kulak (in production); 2022 - COTTON100%, documentary feature, dir. Michael Borodin (Artdocfest Riga/ Moscow,GoEast in Wiesbaden); 2021 - Convenience Store (Продукты-24), feature film, drama, dir. Michael Borodin (Midpoint Award for the script at CoCo Pitch 2019 in Cottbus; Next Step program for emerging filmmakers of the Cannes IFF; Berlinale Panorama 2022, CICAE Art Cinema Reward).

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