Warsaw-born Agnieszka Holland has directed and/or written over forty films in her illustrious career. Fever (Gorączka) won the Polish Film Festival as well as a Silver Bear as Best Actress for Barbara Grabowska in the 1981 Berlinale Competition. A Bitter Harvest, was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Film in a Foreign Language in 1986. Europa Europa (1990) won a Golden Globe and a second Oscar nomination. In 1993, she directed The Secret Garden, produced by Francis Ford Coppola. In Darkness (2011) earned her a third Oscar nomination. Pokot (2017, winner of the Silver Bear for Innovation in the Art of Cinema) and Mr. Jones (2019), were both selected for the Berlinale Competition. Holland has also directed many episodes of renowned TV-Series such as The Wire, The Killing, House of Cards and The First.
Amsterdam-based Antoinette Beumer directed several critically acclaimed Dutch TV series such as Willemspark (2007) and In Treatment (2011), and other box office hits. Her debut feature film The Happy Housewife (2010), with Carice van Houten (Game of Thrones) in the lead role, and her second film, Loft (2010), starring Barry Atsma and Marwan Kenzari, won the prestigious Platinum Film Award, the first time ever for a director to win two Platinum Film Awards in the same year.
Her 2012 film Jackie premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, starring Carice van Houten and Oscar-winner Holly Hunter. In 2013 Antoinette released Soof, a rom-com hit often referred to as the Dutch Bridget Jones. After completing Rendez-vous in 2015, she wrote her debut novel, My Father is an Airplane, which was published in 2018. Subsequently she directed the film version of My Father is an Airplane, which was selected as Opening Film for the Netherlands Film Festival on 24 September 2021.
Zanele is a broadcast and media executive with over 25 years of experience in the business of broadcasting, production and distribution in local, regional, and international markets. She has worked as the first Executive Head of Channel of Newzroom Afrika, Group Head of Content at eMedia Group and Unit Manager at Discovery Communications Inc, in the USA.
A Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network, Zanele is the board chair of Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) and served as Council member of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) Council.
Sisters Working In Film And Television (Swift):
SWIFT is a women’s collective of professionals in the film and TV industry. Our mission is to challenge gender inequality in all facets of our industry. We want women’s voices to be heard, their talent recognised, their stories told and for them to have an equal share in all available opportunities – funding, training, work. SWIFT’s main objective, therefore, is to drive opportunities for women in our industry. We do that by providing space for women to engage on issues of common interests, continuing to develop their skills and talents as well as advocating with relevant stakeholders. We value Transparency Integrity and Transformation.
Award-winning producer Bongiwe Selane’s Culture Shock was the 2013 SAFTA winner for best reality show, while uNomalanga and The Witch won Best South African Short Film at The Durban International Film Festival in 2015. Bongiwe was the first recipient of the NFVF’s Female Only Filmmakers Slate Project, which saw her produce a series of 26 short narrative films by women filmmakers. Her debut feature film Happiness is a Four-Letter Word was the best performing local film of 2016 in S.A, with a sequel due for release on Netflix soon. She co-produced the award-winning film This is not a Burial, it’s a Resurrection by writer/director Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese. Current African Ambassador for EAVE, and alumni of numerous Film Labs, Bongiwe was Chairperson of the South African Film and TV Awards (SAFTAs) in 2019.
Dieter Bachmann is the teacher at the centre of the documentary Mr Bachmann and his Class, directed by Maria Speth. Bachmann was, until his recent retirement, teacher at Georg-Büchner-Schule. He now spends more time with his horses.
Prof Mary Metcalfe
Mary Metcalfe first taught as an unqualified teacher in 1974 in the field of remedial reading. She worked as a teacher and a principal of a remedial centre, before working in teacher education at the Johannesburg College of Education and at the University of the Witwatersrand from 1982 to 1994.
After the first democratic elections in 1994, she was appointed as the MEC for Education in Gauteng where she served from 1994 – 1999. After the 2004 elections, she joined the University of the Witwatersrand as Head of the School of Education from 2005 to 2009 before joining the new department of Higher Education and Training as Director General.
Mary is currently leading PILO which has worked in KZN, the Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape to support the improvement of Learning Outcomes across the system. She is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg.
Andisiwe Hlungwane is the Programme Lead of Teachers CAN and Parent Power, incubated projects of the DG Murray Trust. A qualified primary school teacher who is driven by a passion for the development of the African continent through Education. Her area of interest is focused on how we can invest in human capital for sustainable and impactful change. She holds a Master of Education with a focus on Pedagogy and Curriculum Development from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Dr Rene Smith
René Alicia Smith teaches New Media and Media Studies in the Journalism programme at Durban University of Technology (DUT). She is the immediate past President of the South African Humanities Deans’ Association; former Executive Dean of DUTs Faculty of Arts and Design and founder director of the Arts and Design Digital Festival (DigiFest). René has served on a range of governing structures over the past two decades, including a national Advisory Panel on Creative Outputs; and Boards of the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS), and the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA). She has worked for the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) and the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) and served on Icasa’s Broadcasting, Monitoring and Complaints Committee and the Film and Publications Review Board. Amongst others, René has been a past adjudicator for the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) and ABC Ulwazi ‘Jabulani: Celebrating Freedom’ (radio documentaries) Project. She has a PhD (UKZN) and Masters cum laude (UND) in Cultural and Media Studies and a BA Hons in Broadcasting Studies from Falmouth College of Arts, now Falmouth University in the United Kingdom. She remains committed to making the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa a living document.
Ruth Meehan is a writer/director who has been creating multiple award-winning and nominated work for both film and television in Ireland and Britain since the early 2000’s. Her short films Numb, and And The Red Man Went Green won several major international prizes. Ruth’s groundbreaking What In The World documentary series won a Radharc award in 2006 with her film on Child Labour in India. In 2011 Ruth was also nominated for an IFTA for her direction of Primary School Musical.
Ruth has also developed four feature films Music By Water (2002); West Of Eden (2005); The Silent One (2010), and more recently The Bright Side. Winner of a number of writing commissions and directing awards, Ruth also directed four episodes of Red Rock in 2015. Ruth co-wrote, directed and exec produced The Bright Side which won the Audience Award at the 2020 Cork International Film Festival and the Jury Award Honourable Mention at the Sonoma International Film Festival in California.
Anthea: I am a 3 Times Breast Cancer Survivor. I am also a Global Hero of Hope, appointed by the American Cancer Society. I am the the CANSA TLC(Tough Living with Cancer) Coordinator for the Western Cape. I work with Children and Teenagers diagnosed with Cancer. I am a Voice for Children and Teenagers. I am all about celebrating life, and living each day to the fullest. I am all about spreading Hope.
Rosie Motene holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts (Honours) from the University of the
Witwatersrand. Rosie’s 25 year media career began as an on air talent before she trained as producer and director through Multichoice and NFVF. Her first feature film, Man On Ground, written and directed by Akin Omotoso, won 15 global awards. Other producing credits include Studio 53 (2005 to 2010), Jesus and the Giant, and Doctors On Call, a medical reality TV.
Rosie also worked as the head of productions, programming and acquisitions for NTV in Uganda, conceptualising and producing close to 30 TV shows in English and Luganda, and launching shows for their sister network, Spark TV. Rosie’s three passions in life are Wom_m, Africa and the arts.
She is a Queer feminist writer, award-winning author and producer, an activist, a certified and registered counsellor, and a life coach.
Lien Willaert’s very first short film, ‘Charlotje’ (1998) was selected for competition in the Berlin Film Festival. She has worked extensively in television, having directed numerous episodes of drama series including ‘Wittekerke’ (2006) and ‘De Rodenburgs’ (2009), and as director and host of culinary programs such as ‘The Calory Complot’ (2010). Lien is Screenwriter and Co-director of ‘Save Sandra‘, her first feature film.
Jan Verheyen is one of Belgium’s most prolific film directors – five of his films are in the Top 20 of most successful Flemish films ever. He has enjoyed international acclaim for the stylish police film ‘Dossier K.’ (2009), the ambitious social tragi-comedy ‘Los’ (‘Loose’) (2008) (prize winner in Cairo) and especially the legal thriller ‘Het vonnis’ (‘The Verdict’) (2015), which won Best Director in Montreal and the Silver Hugo in Chicago. He also developed and directed many episodes of the tv series ‘Vermist’ (‘Missing’) which was sold to over 70 countries. Jan is Co-director of ‘Save Sandra’, his 18th feature film.
Mark Heywood is the editor of Maverick Citizen. He has been an activist on health rights for 25 years, was involved in litigation successfully challenging pharmaceutical company patents and prices and is a co-founder of the TAC and SECTION27. He is still a Board member of TAC and several other health rights NGOs, including the Rural Health Advocacy Project and the International Council of AIDS Service Organisations.
Michela Andreozzi is an actress, comic, playwright, screenwriter, director and radio host.
Born in Rome with southern Italian roots, she has acted since she was a child. She’s mostly a comedian, but does everything that she finds interesting. She writes and directs too, less than she would like to. She speaks Italian, English, French, Spanish and some dialects. She loves her husband, her family, her beloved books and old movies, Norwegian Wood, Jane Austen and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She likes New York, Berlin, and Rome. She swims.
It is noted that she has acted in 20 films, 17 TV programmes, and 6 short films. She has written or directed 4 feature films, 15 TV programmes, 30 theatre works, and 8 radio programmes. On stage, she was a protagonist in many comedies. She published her first book in 2018, and has even recorded songs. Needless to say Michela has won tons of awards for her wide-ranging work.
Uje grew up in Gävle and his first name is formed by the parents’ respective first names. He is the son of sewing consultant Jerker Brandelius and sports teacher Ulla Bergholtz, nephew of the journalist Pia Brandelius , grandson of the lawyer Erik Brandelius and nephew of the singer Harry Brandelius. He is also the grandson of the bell caster Gösta Bergholtz, whose family ran the Bergholtz bell foundry .
Front man in the pop band Doktor Kosmos since 1991, he released his first solo album Spring, Uje, Spring in 2015. Shortly afterwards, Brandelius was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and his autobiographical stage performance, also entitled Spring, Uje, Spring, won silver in the prestigious Prix Europa competition . The film version, Run Uje Run, was directed by Henrik Schyffert with Brandelius in the lead role, winning Best Film, Best Male Lead and Best Screenplay at Sweden’s annual Guldbagge Awards. Brandelius has been a journalist, radio host, press secretary of the Left Party, and co-author of a children’s book around friendship and class.
Born in Vienna in 1958, Michael Kreihsl studied art history and archeology, and trained as a painting restorer before attending film school and building a prolific career as scriptwriter, actor and film director. Comfortably working across mediums Kreihsl has built a substantial catalogue of work for stage and screen, both in front of and behind the camera.
He has directed over twenty films for cinema and television since 1986. His early film Charms Incidents, with Michael Hennke in a cameo role, won the Caligari Prize of the International Forum of Young Films, at the Berlinale in 1996. Other successes include The Prague Spring (2008), Liebe möglicherweise (2016) and Die Wunderubung (2018). Kreihsl has won numerous prizes in his extensive career, including a Best Director Romy Award for My Father, My Wife and My Beloved in 2005.
Michael Kreihsl: “The drama [in real life] remains unspoken, but cinema offers us the opportunity to capture the unspoken in pictures.”
Doctor Riaad Moosa is an award-winning comedian, presenter, writer, and actor; and happens to be a qualified medical doctor as well!
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Riaad launched ‘The Best Medicine’ which is aimed at creating opportunities to heal through humour, laughter, and many weird and wonderful therapies. His subsequent weekly ‘The Best Medicine’ Virtual Comedy Club features comedians from all over the world. Riaad’s ‘Why do you talk the Way You Do?’ was released on the global Netflix event ‘Comedians Of The World’, followed by his comedy special ‘Life Begins’. He won the SAFTA (South African Film and Television Award) for Best Actor in ‘Material’ (co-written by Riaad), which also received SAFTA’s for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor in 2013. He starred as Ahmed Kathrada in Anant Singh’s epic Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated movie ‘Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom.’
His one-man shows ‘Strictly Halaal’, ‘For The Baracka’ and ‘Doctor’s Orders’ were instant hits, and he has appeared in various TV and film productions, including “Laugh Out Loud”, “Pure Monate Show” , ‘Outrageous’ , “The Second Opinion – with Dr Riaad Moosa”. In March 2011, Riaad was the inaugural recipient of the “Comics Choice Award” at the “1st Annual South African Comic’s Choice Awards.”