The Sapir College presents:
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Festival Guests

Harutyun Khachatryan
Armenian Cinema

Born in 1955, Khachatryan is the foremost director in modern day Armenian cinema. He is an astute documentarian who was endowed with an outstanding sensitivity for soundtracks. Without embracing unnecessary nostalgia, his films share with us his great love for the beauty and mystique of his homeland.  Viewing his unique films today, it is evident they comprise a precise collective portrait. This portrait poetically depicts the nature and values of modern Armenian society and contains numerous harsh images from the life of this nation. Khachatryan is the founder and director of the Yerevan International Film Festival.

Gil Alkabetz
guest of honor of the
animation program

Born in Israel in 1957 in Kibbutz Mashabei
Sadeh, Gil studied at the Bezalel Academy in
the graphic design department. He currently
lives and works in Germany and is one of the
world’s most esteemed animators. He displays
his works at international animation festivals,
collaborates with the film and TV industry and
has been awarded many prizes. Gil created
the Sweet Home Studio – an independent
animation production company through which
he currently makes most of his films. Gil is a
professor at the prestigious Konard Wolf Film
and Television Academy (HFF) in Potsdam.

Javier Packer-Comyn
Documentary – Experimental Debut Film Competition  judge

Born in 1969, Javier Packer-Comyn spent most of his life in Belgium. He headed the P’tit Ciné, a documentary film production and distribution company in Belgium. He taught at several prestigious universities in Belgium and France and published a number of interviews with leading film directors such as Claire Simon, Jean Louis Comolli and others. In 2008 he won the Prix Coq award for his contribution to distributing documentary films in his country. From 2009 Packer-Comyn has been  director of the notable Cinéma du Réel film festival in Paris.

Arman Manukyan

Born in 1959 in Armenia. Graduate of the Yerevan State Medical University, specializing in gynecology. Served in key positions in Armenia’s national health services. In 2003 he changed careers and entered the film industry as an international distributor of Armenian films.

Brillante Mendoza
Philippine Cinema

A Filipino film director, born in 1960 in San Fernando. He studied art and advertising at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. He began his career as a film, TV and theater production designer. His debut film, “Masahista”, won first prize at the 2005 Lucerno Festival and attracted critics’ attention. His next films also won many prizes and heralded him as one of the most original and bold filmmakers in world cinema. Mendoza made history when his film “Serbis”, became the first Filipino film to be accepted into the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival since 1984. For his seventh film, “Kinatay”, he was awarded the prize for Best Director at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.

Martin Steyer
guest of honor of the
soundtrack program

One of the world’s leading soundtrack
designers. The films in which Steyer was
partner in recent years include “The Last King
of Scotland” (2006) and “The Last Station”
(2009). He is a professor at the prestigious
Konard Wolf Film and Television Academy (HFF)
in Potsdam.

Jerome Baron
Graduate Films competition judge

Born in 1970 in Nantes, France. Baron studied cinema at several universities in France, including Saint Denis and La Sorbonne. He taught the history of cinema and aesthetics at the Poitiers University and the University of Nantes. Baron is a founder of the “Cinematographe” project, a public movie theater in Nantes known for its original and exigent films. As of 2004, Baron has been responsible for the program and the official selection at the Three Continents Festival in Nantes.

Wolfgang Tomler

Born in Austria in 1947. Tomler studied cinema in Berlin and worked over the years as screenwriter, documentarian and producer. In 1987 he began making a name for himself as a major international producer. Between 2006 and 2009 Tomler served as guest lecturer at the prestigious Konard Wolf Film and Television Academy (HFF) in Potsdam.

Natalia Almada
Latin American Cinema

Documentary – Experimental Debut Film Competition  judge

Mexican film director who lives and works in Mexico and the USA. Almada earned a master’s degree in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her first film “All Water has a Perfect Memory”, was a short experimental film which won global acclaim. Since then, Almada directed “Al Otro Lado” and “El General”, documentary films that won international prizes and positioned her as one of Latin America’s most promising directors. Winner of the Documentary Directing award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

Kristin Newman
guest of honor of the
Television program

went to film school at Northwestern University, and has worked for 13 years on such shows as "Everybody Loves Raymond," "La Femme Nikita," "Mad About You," "That 70s Show," and "How I Met Your Mother."  She has also had overall development deals with 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros., and has developed and sold original comedies to ABC and CBS

Gabriella Bandel
Graduate Films competition

Born in Germany in 1958. Bandel studied at the Political Science Faculty of Berlin University. In 1992 she graduated with a degree in Art and Communications in the city of Saarbrücken. She worked for years for German TV and was associated with many projects. From 1999 she began working for the Max Ophüls Film Festival in Saarbrücken and in 2007 was appointed Festival director.

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