Yulia Kovalenko, PhD – film critic and programme director at Docudays UA IHRDFF. In 2017, she received a PhD degree in Cultural Studies. She taught cultural studies and art at the university of Odesa. As a film critic, she has been published in both Ukrainian and international journals (Kino Raksti, La Furia Umana, KINO-КОЛО etc.). In 2019, she joined the programme department at Docudays UA. In 2022, she was a member of the pre-selection team at Berlinale Forum. Yuliia Kovalenko runs her own blog about art cinema at kinotabs.com. She is a member of the Ukrainian Film Critics Union and Ukraine’s National Union of Journalists.
Coco Schrijber is one of Holland’s leading, most adventurous documentary makers, having built an award-winning body of work that has been recognized internationally. Known for her cinematic vision, she uses unexpected angles with which she tilts every subject. Her unbridled fantasy results in sometimes disturbing stories that turn the viewer into an uneasy voyeur. Her debut First Kill (2000), about the beauty of war, won numerous awards (IDFA, Kosovo, Sidney etc.). Bloody Mondays & Strawberry Pies (2008), about boredom, with John Malkovich, won seven international awards and was the official Dutch entry for the Oscars 2008. How to Meet a Mermaid (2016) was selected for IDFA International Competition, nominated for the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Feature, and shortlisted for European Film Awards. Look what you made me do (2022) was selected for the MASTERS section at IDFA 2023 and Dutch Competition.
Arūnas Matelis studied mathematics at Vilnius University but later enrolled in and graduated from the directing programme at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. In 2007, for his first feature-length film Before Flying Back to the Earth, he was awarded the Directors Guild of America’s Best Documentary Director of the Year Award. The film also won top prizes at IDFA, DOK Leipcig, Documenta Madrid, Zagreb DOX, a European Film Academy nomination and others. His latest film Wonderful Losers: A Different World won 18 international prizes at festivals including the main ones in Warsaw, Trieste and others. The film also competed for Oscars in two categories – Best Foreign Language Film and Best Documentary. Arūnas Matelis’ short documentaries Ten Minutes Before the Flight of Icarus, Sunday. The Gospel According to Lift-man Albertas, From the Unfinished Tales of Jerusalem have been awarded prizes or screened in competitions at many festivals including Oberhausen, Cannes (“Directors fortnight” and “Critic week”), MoMA, Turin, Cinema du Reel, Locarno and others.
Marius Čepulis was born in Šiauliai and has a Master’s degree in Zoology from the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Vilnius University. He has been interested in nature and photography since his early childhood, and he continues doing it to this day – taking photographs and educating people about nature through photography. He has held numerous photography exhibitions and is the author of two educational materials and three books. He hosts a TV show about nature Naturalist’s Notes and is one of its authors and operators. He lives in his car.
Rugilė Matusevičiūtė is a climate communicator and environmental journalist working on various audiovisual media projects with the aim of raising public sustainability competences and environmental awareness. She is the author of the podcast Išpakuota (Unpacked) and director of the Sustainable Lithuania project, and has produced more than a hundred programmes on sustainability for TV and radio.
Ketil Magnussen founded The Oslo Documentary Cinema in 2003 in response to the lack of access to current Norwegian and international independent documentary films. In 2008 he started the Human Rights Human Wrongs Documentary Film Festival in collaboration with a handful of human rights organisations. The festival changed the name to Human IDFF in 2018 to signal that it now includes more than human rights films, and yet, human rights films and events still remain a core component of the programme. Since the beginning the number of partners has grown to almost 100. Among these are civil society organisations, research institutes, educational institutions and cultural organisations. Human IDFF includes a large number of talks and debates, art exhibitions, performances and documentary theatre plays in addition to the film programme.
Sini Hormio is a filmmaker and impact producer from Helsinki. She is currently the Head of Industry, Impact and Outreach at DocPoint Helsinki Film Festival. Sini has developed a free tool for the documentary film makers called The Impact Roadmap, as part of her master’s degree thesis. She has worked in film and television since 2000. Her debut film The Kind Stranger premiered in 2023. The film was co-directed by Anu Silfverberg.
Alisa Kovalenko is a Ukrainian award-winning documentary director, member of the European Film Academy (EFA). She was born and grew up in Zaporizhzhia (Ukraine) and studied documentary cinema at the Karpenko-Kary National University of Theatre, Cinema and Television in Kyiv and at the Andrzej Wajda School in Warsaw. Her films Alisa in Warland (IDFA 2015) and Home Games (Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018) featured in over 150 festivals and were multi-awarded. In 2021, Home Games was the first Ukrainian creative documentary ever acquired by Netflix. Her latest documentary We Will Not Fade Away had its world premiere at Berlinale Generation 2023 and was nominated for the Berlinale Documentary Award.
Indrė Makaraitytė is a journalist, broadcaster, political commentator and Head of the Research Department at Lithuanian National Radio and Television. A journalist with a Master’s degree in Comparative Politics from the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University, she has tried her hand at a wide range of media platforms, and this experience has made her realize that investigative journalism is one of the most interesting fields of journalistic work. Another area of interest for Indrė is jewellery, to which she also dedicates a lot of her time and about which she says: “It’s the taming of force in a subtle form. It’s an incredible combination of crude tools, hard metal and soft jewellery forms.”