DIRECTOR, PRESIDENT OF THE JURY
Cristi Puiu, born in Bucharest, Romania in 1967, is a director and a screenwriter. In 1992 he was accepted in the University of visual arts in Jeneva where he took different courses in painting and film. In 1995 his short “Avant le petit dejuner” was awarded first prize at the Locarno film festival. Puiu took his bachelor’s degree in “Film” in 1996 with his documentary “25.12.1995. București, Gara de Nord“. Puiu and his wife – Anca Puiu, - founded a film production company, called Mandragora. His movies have won many prizes in different international competitions. “The Death of Mister Lazaresku” won the Award in Un Certain regard in Cannes in 2005, among many other prizes. His short “Coffee and Cigarettes” won “Golden Bear” at Berlinale in 2004. “Aurora” (2010) ia again at Un Certain regard and won East of the West Award and Crystal Globe for Best Cinematography in Karlovy Vary. His last movie, “Sieranevada” (2016), was nominated for “Palme d’Or” in Cannes.
DEBORAH KARA UNGER
As the first Canadian accepted into Australia’s prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art, the award-winning actress followed her debut with Russell Crowe in “Blood Oath” starring in such films as David Cronenberg’s “Crash”, David Fincher’s “The Game” with Michael Douglas, “Hurricane,” with Denzel Washington, and “Payback,” with Mel Gibson. From blockbusters to indies, with over 50 films to her credit, she has starred alongside such luminaries as John Travolta, Nicole Kidman, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Keaton, Samuel Jackson, Martin Sheen, and Al Pacino, and will next be seen opposite Nicolas Cage in 2017’s “Vengeance: A Love Story”. Her works have garnered her awards including the Geraldine Page Best Actress Award opposite Sir Ian McKellen in “Emile,” Canadian Academy Award honors starring opposite Sophia Loren in “Between Strangers” and Ralph Fiennes in Istvan Szabo’s “Sunshine”, and in 2014 she received Hollywood’s Woman In Film “Gena Award” – named after Indie Icon and Cassavetes mainstay Gena Rowlandsfor her commitment to independent cinema.
Anjela Nedyalkova’s breakthrough was in 2011 when she played the title role in the Bulgarian production ‘Ave’ by Konstantin Bojanov. For this performance she was awarded Best Actress at the Vilnius Film Festival. Leading roles followed in the feature film ‘Bulgarian Rhapsody’ & the TV series ‘Liasons’. She was then cast in the lead role of Jenya in The Paradise Suite, which was selected as the Dutch entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscar Academy Awards. This acclaimed performance won Anjela the award of Best Actress at the Sofia Film Festival & the Angela Acting Award at the Irish Subtitle Film Festival. Anjela Nedyalkova can currently be seen playing the lead girl ‘Veronika’ in Danny Boyle’s ‘T2: Trainspotting’ - the highly anticipated sequel to the iconic British movie.
Born in 1983 in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria. After graduating high school, she went to Dusseldorf, Germany where in 2009 she took her MA on philosophy and Japanese studies. In parallel she started making movies, focusing on critical documentaries. In 2011 she was accepted to study in “Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin” where as a screenwriter and director she created many short films. The movie "abwesend" was among the Cannes Cinefoundation selection. Her first feature film “Zhaleika“ (2016) was part of Generation 14+ program in Berlinale, where it was nominated for the „Best First Feature” prize. It received Special Mention from the international jury. “Zhaleika“ won many awards in different international festivals, one of which was the grand award from the 20th Sofia Film Fest.
ACTOR, COMPOSER, DIRECTOR
Bulgarian actor, composer, author and performer of songs, movie director. He graduated from NATFA and specialized directing in FAMU, Prague. He has published eleven albums, composed the music for many movies and theatrical performances. He’s played many roles in theatre and cinema. His work through the years has had a rich festival life, winning audience interest and prestige prizes and nominations. Some of his more significant movies as an actor are: “Incineration”, “The Glass river”, “The Migration of the belted bonito”, “The Sinking of Sozopol” and “Heating of the yesterday lunch”. As a composer: “The world is big and salvation lurks around the corner”, “Boarding for dogs”, “The Court” and “The Unblown”. In 2009 he directed the television spectacle “100 years Todor Kolev”. In 2010 he made the documentary “Manchester United from Svishtov”, which has entered the official selection of IDFA Amsterdam, HotDocs Toronto, Saraevo, Washaw, Sofia Film Fest and won the special jury award in Almaty’12 and also the award for best movie-portrait at the “Listopad” festival in Minsk’12.
Stefan Uhrik is born in 1955 in Bratislava. From 1976 - 1981 studied scriptwriting and dramaturgy at The Film Academy (FAMU) in Prague. From 1983 to 1991 he worked at The Slovak Television as commissioning editor, then till 1993 at Barrandov Film Studios Prague. Later on he was the head of Milos Havel´s Script Foundation and from 2006 till 2011 he was in the board of RWE Barrandov script fund. He wrote several television films and plays as well as the feature ONLY A DAY (1988). In 1992 he started to work for The International Film Festival Karlovy Vary creating The Forum of Independents, an important part of the main program, which he executed to 2007. In 2007 he established Prague Short Film Festival and became its program director. In 2008 he became the program director of the International Film Festival Prague – Febiofest. Since 1998 he works also for The International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg, where he was in charge of Co-production Meetings and in 2012 he became the member of The Program Committee. Since 1993 he directed and produced the monthly TV-magazine FILMOPOLIS about independent films and filmmakers. Up to now he directed and produced about 200 one hour long programs. In 2011 he produced for Czech Television also the weekly show FILMKOMPAS. He is a member of European Film Academy.
FESTIVAL PROGRAMMER, DIRECTOR