Kenan Aliyev is the Executive Editor of Current Time TV, the 24/7 Russian language digital and TV network since 2014, responsible for the network’s strategy on content acquisitions and commissioning. Under his supervision, Current Time has commissioned 14 films since 2017, including those by prominent Russian directors Vitaly Mansky (Putin’s Witnesses) and Sergei Loznitsa (State Funeral). Both films, together with numerous other feature-length documentaries by some of the newest, emerging talents in Russia, Ukraine, and elsewhere, have attracted wide acclaim and honours at the most prestigious international film festivals. Aliyev also oversaw the production of the documentary series InterNyet, an account of the Russian Internet by distinguished Russian journalist Andrei Loshak. Prior to his current position, Aliyev was instrumental in launching the Current Time network in 2014. He is a former director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) award-winning Azerbaijani Service. He currently lives in Prague.

Natalia Arshavskaya was invited to join Current Time TV in August 2016. Arshavskaya oversees selection and acquisition of the best international documentaries for the Realnoye Kino (Real Cinema) strand of Current Time TV, which aims to make the world of documentaries more familiar to Russian-speaking audiences. Since 2017 Natalia is also a Commissioning Editor of the channel with 14 films commissioned so far. Among them, multi-award winning Putin’s Witnesses by Vitaly Manski and highly anticipated State Funeral by Sergei Loznitsa, as well as films by prominent first-and second-time filmmakers such as Alisa Kovalenko’s Home Games and Heat Singers by Nadia Parfan. These and others are active participants of international film festivals. Current Time acquires up to 100 new feature length films per year and broadcasts 8 hours of documentaries daily. Current Time is a project of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) in cooperation with the Voice of America. CT TV broadcasts on Satellite, Cable and via 24-hour stream on its website and YouTube channel.
Thomas Beyer studied journalism and geography in Leipzig, and worked as a journalist, producer and documentary filmmaker in Leipzig and Hamburg. In May 2020 he became an editor at the MDR department of history and documentaries. Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (Central German Broadcasting, MDR) is the public broadcaster for the federal states of Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. Established in January 1991, its headquarters are in Leipzig and Halle, with regional studios in Dresden, Erfurt and Magdeburg. MDR is a member of the ARD consortium of public broadcasters in Germany. MDR broadcasts its own television and a number of radio channels to the three states it serves, and also contributes programming to the first German TV channel (Das Erste) and to ARTE

Mr. Mehdi Bekkar graduated in 2002 as a Drama and Documentary Editor from The Higher Industrial Institute, Casablanca, Morocco. His talent and zeal attracted a number of media institutions, namely 2M, the Second Moroccan Television (2003-2007) and Aljazeera Documentary Channel (2007-present) for which he worked as Senior Picture Editor. Mehdi continued to develop in his career and in 2009 was assigned the position of Editing and Sound Supervisor in Aljazeera Documentary Channel.

In 2013, he held the position of Senior Producer in the Production Department of the same channel where he still occupies the same position. In collaboration with the production team, Bekkar has the credit of supervising different documentary productions relating to various strands and directing a number of documentary films including Messali Hadj and the Forgotten Massacre 1961, that won three awards in Algeria, Croatia and Morocco.

Agnė Biliūnaitė became Culture Editor in Chief at Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT) in June 2019. In 2015-2019 she was appointed as a Lithuanian Culture Attaché to China and South Korea. Before that she worked as Head of Creative Practitioners at the national Creative Partnerships project, Assistant Producer at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, and contemporary dance expert and critic. She has a MA in Culture Management and Culture Politics. Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT) is a non-profit public broadcaster that has been providing regular radio services since 1926 and television broadcasts since 1957. The aim is to serve public interest, to create and broadcast educational, cultural and entertainment programs. LRT operates three national television, three radio channels and an internet portal. It also provides satellite and live internet broadcasts, radio and television podcasts. In 1993, LRT joined the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). LRT provides assistance to foreign broadcasting companies covering events in Lithuania.
Barbara Bouillon, born in 1973 in Bonn (Germany), is a commissioning editor working for the documentary slot THEMA at ARTE GEIE, Strasbourg (France). 1992 – Civil Service for Young Europeans in Cracow (Poland). After finishing Slavic Studies in East Berlin and Moscow, she joined the ARD-TV-station Ostdeutscher Rundfunk Brandenburg for an 18-month traineeship, and then worked for their German-Polish TV program, news and culture talk show. In 2007 she joined the ARD office for Austria and South Eastern Europe in Vienna. 2012 – commissioning editor at SRF Zurich. Since 2013, production of documentaries (investigation and geopolitics) at Arte Strasbourg, including: Brexit means Brexit (2017), Katalonien – Spanien am Rande des Nervenzusammenbruchs (2017), Italy – Vox populi, vox dei (2018), Wahlkampf der Wutbürger (2019), Crash – Nach der Krise ist vor der Krise (2019). Bouillon is fluent in Polish and Russian.
Acquisition Executive of VGTV. Looking for quality documentaries to attract the attention of a young target group. VGTV is one of Norway’s leading web-TV channels, with around 400,000 unique visitors daily. Documentaries are consumed through VG+, VGs premium subscriber service, as well as VG’s linear TV channel. We focus on high-quality, award-winning personal stories, with strong storytelling and substantial commercial potential, and acquire 100-120 docs annually for AVOD, SVOD and linear TV broadcast. VGTV sprung out of its mother company VG, but today is a separate company. The VG group has a unique position in Norway: since the foundation of the print paper, VG has grown to be the most read newspaper in Norway on all platforms – paper, web, mobile and tablet. Today VG has a daily reach of 2.4 million people, or half of Norway’s population. VG is owned by Schibsted, a Norwegian media company with a strong international presence in digital services such as classifieds, etc.
Aleksandar Govedarica was born 1987 in Sarajevo; he is a graduate of the University of East Sarajevo as well as the 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 a tutor at workshops such as Dok Incubator, East Doc Platform and Duna Dock.
After working at different festivals in France (Les Rencontres du Cinéma, Sunny Side of the Doc, FIPA, et al.), Maëlle moved into international distribution, first with Point du Jour International and Doc&Co (now Doc & Film International) before joining Catherine Le Clef to launch CAT&Docs in 2009. CAT&Docs distributes pertinent & impertinent docs on topical questions & timeless subjects; docs that are carefully researched, audacious, question the world & propose new ways of looking at it. Recent titles include: The Earth is Blue as an Orange, Wake Up on Mars, Overseas, Transnistra, Our Time Machine, The Magic Life of V, Los Reyes and #Female Pleasure.
Liene Kalnaella is acquisition manager at Latvian Public Television (LTV). She selects films for the main documentary slots of LTV1 and LTV7, on topics of current affairs, lifestyle, science, natural history, travel and adventure, as well as creative documentaries. She also selects fiction films. Kalnaella is a jury member of the documentary film project Latvian Code – a series of documentaries selected through a project competition organized by LTV. She has directed several documentaries, including Tev, Rūķi! (2016), which was awarded the Best Debut prize at the National Film Festival. LTV is a state-owned public service television. The company is funded by grant-in-aid from the Latvian government (around 60%), with the remainder coming from television commercials. LTV operates two channels: LTV1 in Latvian, and LTV7 in Latvian and Russian. LTV1 is the annual broadcaster of Eurovision in Latvia; LTV7 broadcasts many sporting events such as the Olympics. In 2017, LTV launched an online channel Visiem LTV (visiemltv.lv) for foreign viewers, mostly targeting the Latvian Diaspora. The programming is a mix of LTV1 and LTV7 broadcasts that are not restricted by copyright laws.

NHK, Nippon Hoso Kyokai (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), is Japan’s only public broadcaster. As a public broadcaster funded by fees received from TV viewers, NHK delivers a wide range of impartial, high-quality programs, both at home and abroad. Natsu Kawakami is a producer at NHK World Documentary, selecting films and coordinating co-production projects for the strand’s yearly line-up of about 100 titles. Her current assignment includes curating for the World Documentary strand, promotion of documentary films as well as selection of 4K/8K content. After joining the team in 2012, she worked on localization of co-produced films and producing related programs. She was an independent filmmaker for many years, directing and producing various factual content for NHK and other Japanese broadcasters. Areas of personal interest: human themes in general, gender, fine arts, animals and more. Recent (commission/co-production/acquisition): Leonardo: The Mystery of the Lost Portrait, Iran: The Pain We Share, Newtopia, 1968, The Wondering Chef, Singled Out, The Borderless Sky, Hitler Chronicles and Butterfly Effect.

Jo Lapping is an experienced broadcast Executive and Producer with a strong track record in commissioning and acquiring distinctive international content for BBC audiences. With over 20 years of experience, Jo has worked as the Strand Manager for Storyville, the BBC’s multi award-winning feature documentary strand, and as a pan genre buyer and producer for BBC Factual Commissioning. Jo has been involved with over 600 documentary projects including: The Furthest, The Cult that Stole Children, Kings of Pastry, The Chinese Mayor, The Great Hip Hop Hoax, If A Tree Falls and Knuckle. BBC is a British Public Service broadcaster with television, radio and online services that cover the nations and regions of the UK.

Anton Mazurov studied at the Moscow Medical Academy. In 1998 he graduated from the film studies department at the faculty of the Russian State University of Cinematography (workshop of L. Zaitseva and L. Mamatova). He worked at the Central Museum of Cinema as programmer, in Nezavisimaya Gazeta as a film critic, and as a screenwriter of the TV program This Film on Channel One. In the period from 1998 to 2000 Anton worked as PR and Advertising Director of the distribution company East-West Creative Commonwealth (currently — UIP). He was one of the authors of the manifesto of the arthouse distribution in Russia “PROJECT 35” (2000) and founder of the information portal KINOTE devoted to art cinema. Before setting up the international company ANT!PODE Sales & Distribution in 2013, Anton worked in distribution companies: Cosmopol Film Distribution (Kino Bez Granits LLC), Maywin Media AB, LeopART among others.

After 6 years of fruitful work, having exhausted the resource of the previous project ANT!PODE Sales & Distribution, in January 2019 Anton Mazurov created the international company ANTIDOTE Sales – a universal sales agent based in Russia, built on European professional principles and focused on curatorial work with the international art cinema and its commercial distribution worldwide. The project has more opportunities for the distribution of films on the territory of the former USSR and is aimed at becoming the only Russian company dealing with the world feature-length arthouse cinema.

For 13 years Liina worked in the art-house cinemas “Sõprus” and “Artis” in Tallinn, both focusing on Asian and European independent films and documentaries. Since 2018 she is an Acquisition Executive at Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR), acquiring features and documentaries. ERR operates 3 channels. Documentary films are broadcast mainly on the cultural channel ETV2, with slots for creative documentaries, arts, history and popular science. Documentaries on current affairs and nature are programmed on the main ETV channel. There are also the special documentaries slots on channel ETV+, broadcast in Russian. We try to focus on original documentaries that are always associated with a high standard of content, and which speak/appeal to wide, multicultural, and diverse audiences with a variety of expectations. The focus of ERR is not on commissioning and co-production, rather we are seeking to support documentary filmmaking within the limits of the available resources.
Ivana is one of founding members of the Institute of Documentary Film (IDF), Prague where she was head of workshop, Ex Oriente Film and East European Pitching Forum from 2002-2012. Since then she has been involved with the Institute of Documentary Film (IDF) as a board member. Her creative experience includes directing documentary films, mainly on social and political topics. Ivana has also been a guest lecturer at the Film and TV Academy, Prague (FAMU), VŠMU in Bratislava, and others. Since 2013 Ivana has been cooperating and working with Czech Television as a documentary film script editor and head of projects for creative docs, series, and in-house production. Czech Television (CT) broadcasts 24 hours a day on all its channels (CT1, CT2, CT24, CT Sport) with the exception of channel CT:D/CTArt, which uses “time sharing” on a single channel position. Creative docs are broadcast on: CT2 – a specialty channel about various areas of human culture, and CT Art – a culture channel with programs on literature, fine arts, music, theatre, architecture and film.

Tomasz Piechal – senior commissioning editor for documentaries on TVP (Polish Public TV Broadcaster), responsible for documentary slots on TVP and new projects (current affairs, human stories, history). An expert on Eastern Europe. In 2014-2018, a senior fellow at the OSW (Centre for Eastern Studies), a Polish governmental think-tank focused on Eastern Europe. During the revolution of dignity in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, he was a correspondent for the Polish media. Since 2010, a journalist for TVP, “Super Express”, Eastbook.eu, Nowa Europa Wschodnia and Polska The Times. A cultural anthropologist (Master’s degree, University of Warsaw, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology). TVP (Telewizja Polska S.A.) is a Polish state media corporation and the largest Polish television network.

CEO & founder of the Taskovski Films Ltd., an 18 year-old London-based world sales & production company with offices across Europe. Irena works as a film consultant/expert on marketing, sales, financing and festivals for many film institutions, such as: HBO Europe, Asian Cinema Fund, Dok.incubator CZ and Sources Germany. She is Head Tutor at Emerging Producers – at Ji.hlava IDFF CZ. Founder of the Film Academy for Conscious Creative leaders and film residencies. Mother of a 6-year-old son, 5Rhythms dance and movement facilitator, coach for personal and professional growth for film industry members, and passionate environment, peace, and human unity activist and mental health ambassador for film industry professionals. Taskovski Films Ltd. is a documentary company that integrates production, sales, professional film business training and film and art residencies. We believe film has the transformative power to inspire change. Our passion is discovering and supporting new and well-established talent to tell stories that can spark social change by surprising and engaging audiences across the globe. We welcome innovative, playful and risky forms of filmmaking and authorial stories in the fields of arts and culture, history, society, politics and environment, while maintaining high criteria when it comes to production value, content and form.

Lars Säfström works for the Swedish Public Service SVT, Sveriges Television, as a commissioning editor in the documentary department in Stockholm. He has a background as a documentary film editor, filmmaker and producer, who has worked with documentaries since the seventies. He has also worked with light entertainment and as head of the SVT drama department in the early nineties, and head of programmes in the southern district of SVT in Malmö. He commissions and buys documentaries for three major slots: Current Affairs, Sunday 22:00, Feature documentaries, Mondays 22:00, and mainly Swedish documentary films, Fridays 21:00. SVT also has a culture documentary slot primetime Fridays.
Liselot Verbrugge has a degree in film production from the Dutch Film Academy. She has more than 10 years experience in the audiovisual sector, first working for a few years in production before moving on to film festivals. Amongst other postings, she was festival and market producer at the IDFA Forum and Cinekid for professionals, two of Amsterdam’s most preeminent cultural events. In 2013 she began working in documentary sales, first for the sales arm of NPO sales, and then for Autlook Filmsales. She currently handles sales and acquisitions for Deckert Distribution. Parallel to this, in 2018, she co-founded Dox Consulting, offering bespoke consulting and tutoring services for a variety of clients. Liselot is based in Amsterdam. Deckert Distribution is a world sales company for documentaries and stands for excellent, director-led, award-winning films, such as the double Academy Award nominee Honeyland by Ljubomir Stefanov & Tamara Kotevska, as well as Heimat is a Space in Time by Thomas Heise, and Putin’s Witnesses by Vitaly Mansky. The company was established by managing director Heino Deckert in 2003 and is based in Leipzig.
Jenny Westergard graduated as a journalist from Helsinki University and has been working for YLE since 1985. She is a Commissioning Editor for documentary films in the YLE co-production department. She is commissioning and acquiring for the YLE Fem/Teema broadcast channel, and also serving the online platform YLE Areena, focusing on contemporary, human-interest stories with strong visual style, interesting storylines and good characters set in a social, political or philosophical context. YLE is the national public service broadcasting company in Finland with duties laid down by law. YLE operates 3 national television channels, 6 radio channels, and a growing Internet service. YLE ranks first in television viewing in the country. YLE is a limited company mainly owned by the Finnish state, and since 2013 is financed by taxes; it is free from commercial and political affiliations, and its programs carry no advertising. YLE was established in 1926 and joined the EBU, the European Broadcasting Union, at the very beginning in 1950.