ZFF Academy

ALEKSANDRA KOSTINA Producer UkranianAURÉLIE OLIVEIRA PERNET Director Swiss/Portuguese/FrenchCHRISTIAN WEHRLIN Writer & Creator SwissDWAYNE LEBLANC Director and Writer AmericanEDWIN CHARMILLOT Director, Producer & Screenwriter Swiss | ELI ZUZOVSKY Writer & Director Israeli/ItalianGEORDEN WEST Director, Editor & Writer AmericanHUSSEN IBRAHEEM Writer & Director LebaneseIDA KAT BALSLEV Director & Writer DanishJOËLE WALINGA Director CanadianMARGARITA AMINEVA-JESTER Producer Russian | MARTA ROMANOVA-JEKABSONE Producer Latvian MATHIEU VOLPE Director Belgian/Italian | MICHAEL GRAF Producer Swiss PAUL MARQUES DUARTE Director & Screenwriter French | PRANAV BHASIN Director, Writer & Producer Indian | SABINA SMITHAM Producer British/German | TARATOA STAPPARD Writer & Director Aotearoa/New Zealand | VIV LI Director Chinese | YUVAL SHAPIRA Director Istraeli/Romanian


Aleksandra Kostina

Master's degree in Economics. Founder of Bosonfilm and co-founder of Happy Hippie Lab. Her debut as a producer PAMFIR (dir. Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk) premiered at Directors' Fortnight Cannes IFF. Her credits as executive producer include THE TRIBE (dir. Myroslav Slaboshpitskiy) awarded by Cannes Critics' Week, and as line producer, PARTENONAS (dir. Mantas Kvedaravicius) selected to Venice International Critics Week.

Aurélie Oliveira Pernet

Aurélie Oliveira Pernet first obtains a Bachelor’s degree in Cinema at HEAD – Geneva with her short film Meccarillos (2014), notably screened at Indie Lisboa, Nara IFF and Vienna Shorts. Graduating with a Master’s degree in Film Studies from UNIL in 2019, she has since been working as production manager while developing her first feature film. Her latest short As Sacrificadas (2022) is selected at IFFR and Curtas Vila do Conde.

Christian Wehrlin

Head writer and creator of thriller series NOBLE CAUSE (participant Co-Pro Pitching Series Mania 2022) and drama series PANAMA, both in development. Social anthropologist. Living in Bern, Switzerland. Represented by Talent Republic Agency Berlin.

Dwayne LeBlanc

Los Angeles based, first generation, Caribbean-American artist. Primarily self taught, his multimedia practice is focused on filmmaking and is centered around themes of migration, visibility and dual identities. His current project is a trilogy of short films, the first of which, CIVIC, was developed at Berlinale Talents 'Short Form Station' in 2022, and produced and released with Netflix. The remaining two films are in post-production and development.

Edwin Charmillot

Born in 1997, Living in Delémont. Switzerland. Director of Icar (2016) and Momentum, which was selected  at the Zurich Film festival and São Paulo International Film Festival in 2021. Producer at Mangrove Films.

Eli Zuzovsky

Based in Oxford. Film and theater director, screenwriter, and playwright. Rhodes Scholar. His undergraduate thesis film, Mazel Tov, was shortlisted for an Israeli Academy Award. Graduate of Harvard University (A.B.) and the University of Oxford (MSt).

Georden West

Queer multimedia artist of limit-experiences and speculative openings living in the American Southwest. 46th Student Academy Awards winner, 2021 Academy Gold Women’s Fellowship finalist, and 2021-22 Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Visual Art Fellow. Their debut feature film “Playland” is a recipient of the LEF Moving Image Fund and Frameline Completion Fund.

Hussen Ibraheem

Soon after graduating with a BA in Architecture, Hussen Ibraheem decided to follow his passion for cinema. He studied in the Red Sea Institute for Cinematic Arts—a branch of the University of Southern California in Jordan—and graduated with a masters. His short films were awarded and selected in many international film festivals. Hussen is developing his debut feature film 'Tide'. Hussen now lives between Beirut and Berlin.

Ida Kat Balslev

Based in Copenhagen. Writer and Director of a hybrid documentary feature in Palestine in late development and OPEN HEARTS - a youth dramaserie in development, both supported by The Danish Film Institute. Furthermore the Feature: WHEN THE SONG FROM THE WATERFALL DIES in early development supported Nordisk Kulturfond. MA in directing from The Dramatic Faculty DAMU and filmstudies from FAMU, Czech Republic. Studied screenwriting at Alma Script Academy, Sweden.

Joële Walinga

Based between Toronto and Lisbon, Walinga’s work has been shown at SXSW, ISFF Oberhausen, RIDM, and Ji.hlava IDFF among others, and is available at the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre and online at Doc Alliance Films. She is an alumna of Berlinale Talents 2021. Her work has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and Telefilm Canada.

Margarita Amineva-Jester

Living in Berlin since 2010. Alumna of the German Film & TV Academy Berlin, producer of the short films LAND OF GLORY (German Short Film Award 2020) and I WANT TO RETURN RETURN RETURN (Festival de Cannes 2020). Founder of the film production company Voices Films.

Marta Romanova-Jekabsone

Producer of feature film BILLE (Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic) which won National Film Award. In post-production Drama SOVIET MILK (Latvia-Belgium), based on bestseller. In development Female-led Historical Sports Drama with the tagline: “How to screw over the USSR by playing basketball” and WWII War Drama, and dark romance about mermaid. Experienced in Public Relations.

Mathieu Volpe

His shorts have been presented in several international festivals such as Locarno, Torino and Dok Leipzig. "An Italian Youth," shot between Italy and Burkina Faso, is his first feature-length documentary. In parallel, he is developing "Red Gold," a fiction feature, produced by Les Films du Fleuve and recently presented at the Jerusalem Film Lab, where it won the Emerging Filmmaker Award.

Michael Graf

Producer on feature film Something You Said Last Night by Luis De Filippis (TIFF, San Sebastian, ZFF 2022). In development: Kollam by Shalini Adnani (Film4), TV series AGASH (8 horses, SRF). Previously acquisitions & development exec. at sales agent Bankside Films, London; post production for TV & commercials, lecturer at Lucerne Art School. London Film School & NFTS graduate.

Paul Marques Duarte

Living in Brittany. Graduate of La Sorbonne in film directing. Alumni of Emergence, Groupe Ouest & European Short Pitch. Director of HARBOR (+120 selections incl. Clermont, Raindance, Cleveland). His last short GARFIELD SEASHELL will premiere at the Tirana Int’l Film Fest. Currently preparing his first feature that will be shot in mid-2023.

Pranav Bhasin

Based in Mumbai, Pranav is a multi-faceted filmmaker. Writer and Director of the coming-of-age series, ‘The Insiders’, he is a two-time MAMI award winner, and Alumni Fellow of Vanishing Angle's STF Lab, CA. He is presently finding financing for his first feature, ‘New Year’s Eve’.

Sabina Smitham

Based in London, Sabina is the producer of several award winning shorts, including JOY (Alexandra Brodski, 2021) and DEAD BIRDS (Johnny Allen, 2018), winner of 3 Royal Television Society Awards. She was Associate Producer of Channel4 series HULLRAISERS, and she has a slate of feature films in development with BFI, Film4 and BBCFilm. Graduate of the National Film & Television School.

Taratoa Stappard

Living in London. My feature project, MĀRAMA, is a Māori gothic thriller set in Victorian England, 1859. Developed with support from the B.F.I., the imagineNATIVE Indigenous Screenwriting Intensive, the T.I.F.F. Writers’ Studio, the Black List New Zealand Project and the New Zealand Film Commission.

Viv Li

Berlinale Talent, Sundance Grantee, IDFAcademy, Nipkow Fellow, Logan Fellow. Studied at the University of Manchester and DocNomads. Lived in China, UK, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, the Philippines, US, Portugal, Hungary and Belgium. Currently working on a script, A HAZY ROMANCE and a hybrid feature, the TWO MOUNTAINS WEIGHING DOWN MY CHEST.

Yuval Shapira

A Brooklyn/Tel-Aviv director and writer of fiction films, an editor of documentaries. An ex-graduate student in visual anthropology and filmmaking. Currently writing a series following 10 bereaved parents, developing a feature about one strange airport hotel, and producing a 4-part docu-series about one of the most beloved American villains.