Names in the News
Orwa Nyrabia New Artistic Director of IDFA
Orwa Nyrabia is well-known in the documentary world as a producer, festival director, curator and mentor. Also he has been involved with IDFA for some time now, in a variety of roles. He worked as a programmer on the theme programme Shifting Perspectives: The Arab World (2017), sat on the festival jury and was active as a mentor and advisor for IDFAacademy and the IDFA Bertha Fund.
Orwa Nyrabia succeeds Ally Derks, the founder of IDFA who announced her departure from the festival in 2016 after 30 years at the helm. Barbara Visser was responsible for the festival programme in 2017 as interim artistic director. Read more about it here.
Claus Ladegaard Named CEO at the Danish Film Institute
Claus Ladegaard has been working for the Danish Film Institute since 2006, first as Head of Production & Development and since 2015 as Head of Film Funding. Claus Ladegaard succeeds Henrik Bo Nielsen who was the CEO for ten years. Read more about it here.
New Project Editor at New Danish Screen
Christina Ramsø Thomsen replaces Marie Schmidt Olesen as Project Editor at the talent development subsidy scheme New Danish Screen. Christina Ramsø Thomsen comes from a position as Development Consultant at DR. Read more about it here in Danish.
Agneta Mogren Leaves Tempo Documentary Festival
After 18 years in the organisation, Festival Director Agneta Mogren is leaving Tempo Documentary Festival for a position as Administrative Operations Manager at Swedish independent film distributor Folkets Bio. She will take on her new role from 1 May. Tempo thanks Agneta and is now looking for a new “verksamhetsledare”. Read more here in Swedish.
Annika Gustafsson Leaves her Position as Director at Boost
Annika Gustafsson has left her position as director at Boost. Based in Helsingborg, Sweden, Boost is a pioneering center that supports and develops emerging creators and their projects within transmedia and film. The acting director for Boost is now Anna-Stina Enblom.
New Head of Programme at DOK Leipzig
Curator, lecturer and film publicist Ralph Eue is taking over as programmer and head of the selection committee at DOK Leipzig. In the past, he ran press relations at the Tobis Filmkunst distribution company and worked as an advisor for the Berlinale. He has been a curator and selection committee member at DOK Leipzig since 2007. Aside from his festival work, he also teaches film history and film theory at the Universität der Künste in Berlin and at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie (DFFB).
Eue is taking over from Grit Lemke who became head of film programme at DOK Leipzig in 2014. Grit Lemke will be leaving the festival at the end of February after 26 years in the organisation.
DOK Leipzig takes place 30 October to 5 November 2017 in Leipzig, Germany.
New CEO at The Why Foundation
From 1 January 2017 The Why Foundation has welcomed Mette Hoffmann Meyer as the new CEO. Mette is one of the co-founders of The Why Foundation, and has been head of documentaries at the Danish Broadcast Corporation (DR) for the past 10 years. She has now decided to dedicate her time to ensure access to independent high quality journalistic documentaries for as many people as possible around the world.
Two New Consultants at The Swedish Film Institute
Swedish producer Erika Wasserman will replace Andreas Fock as short film commissioner while Juan Pablo Libossart will take over from Antonio Russo Merenda. Both will take on their new positions at the film institute in January 2017.
Erika Wasserman, born 1978, runs the production company Idyll together with director Henrik Hellström. In 2013 she was selected by the Swedish Film Institute as “Producer on the Move” at the Cannes film festival. She has produced several feature films and co-produced with the US.
Juan Libossart is a film producer, director and screen writer born in Argentina in 1978. He completed the MEDIA Business School’s European Master of Audiovisual Management (MEGA) in 2010, and the European Producers Workshop (EAVE) in 2013. Having worked with ATMO for three years, he mowed on to work at Fasad, producing among others Erik Gandini’s documentaries The Swedish Theory of Love and Cosmopolitanism.
Tore Tomter to Leave NRK
Norwegian commissioning editor Tore Tomter from NRK announced at this year’s Nordisk Panorama that he will be leaving his position by next summer. Tore Tomter has attended Nordisk Panorama Forum since the very beginning and has supported lots of great Nordic and international documentaries throughout his career. We wish Tore a happy retirement.
Mette Hoffmann Meyer has Left DR
On October 1st Mette Hoffmann Meyer stepped down from the position as head of Documentaries and Co-productions at Danish public broadcaster DR. She will remain as consultant on projects that have already been commissioned through to their completion.
Mette joined DR from rival broadcaster TV2 in 2007 and has since been responsible for documentary purchases across all DR channels and the development of documentaries primarily for DR2.
She is leaving after nine years at DR to focus on writing and also to devote more time to the Why Foundation, which aims to provide thought-provoking journalism and human interests stories and previously produced and distributed the documentary series Why Poverty? and Why Democracy?
2 New Doc Consultants at NFI
Former documentary commissioner at the Danish Film Institute Helle Hansen has been appointed as one of the two new documentary film commissioners at the Norwegian Film Institute. Helle takes on the position from October 2016, while Norwegian producer Lars Løge will take on his new role as film commissioner at NFI from January 2017.
Anders Riis-Hansen is an experienced filmmaker known for titles such as “The Circus Dynasty” and “The Invisible Cell”. He has 30 years of experience from the film and television industry. Most recently through his own production company Hansen & Pedersen Film & Fjernsyn, but also from his time at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation where he was a commissioning editor from 2004-2011.
Hanne Palmquist VP of Original Programming for HBO Nordic
Current feature film commissioner at the Danish Film Institute Hanne Palmquist has been appointed Commissioning Editor and VP of original programming at HBO Nordic.
Palmquist’s role is a newly created position for the streaming service, catering to viewers in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Hanne Palmquist has previously worked as commissioning editor for TV drama and feature films at Swedish broadcaster SVT and from 2007 to 2013 she was the CEO of Nordisk Film & TV Fond.
Palmquist joins HBO Nordic on 1 August and will be based in Copenhagen. She will report to Antony Root, executive VP of original programming and production for HBO Europe.
International Sales Manager to New Doc Sales Office in the Nordic Region
Cargo Film & Releasing of New York and Norway’s Øya Interaktiv have announced a new international partnership to open a joint sales and acquisitions office within the Nordic region. You can read more about the partnership here.
For the new office they are looking for an international sales manager. Check out their ad for the position:
Documentary lovers wanted! Are you’re interested in joining an exciting and growing company but still enjoy working within a small team? Are you able to shift gears and want to explore many aspects of the film and television business? The position primarily involves sales and solicitation to international buyers of documentary film and factual series, attendance at markets and festivals, negotiation of all aspects of distribution agreements and the effective marketing of titles to the worldwide marketplace. The position also requires meeting filmmakers and producers, evaluating films and general film business development.
The world of documentary film has never been more dynamic and exciting. If you want to be part of a creative, energetic team and are ready to dive head first into the world of film sales and marketing, then we want to hear from you.
Contact us: Please send email and short (two paragraphs) cover indicating you’ve spent some time perusing our site. No phone calls.
Lasse Saarinen New CEO of Finnish Film Foundation
The Board of the Finnish Film Foundation has appointed Lasse Saarinen (b. 1960) as the new CEO to take on the position from 1 August 2016. He succeeds Irina Krohn, whose two-term contract comes to a close this summer. Krohn has acted as the Finnish Film Foundation’s CEO since August 2006.
Lasse Saarinen comes from a position as managing director and a producer at his own film production company Kinotar. In the past, he has also worked in the production companies Oy For Real Productions FRP Ltd, Naked Productions and Filmzolfo Oy. He has produced more than 80 fiction, documentary and short films, TV series and experimental media art productions. In addition, he has worked as a producer with several international co-productions. During his long career, Saarinen has also served in numerous positions of trust in the film and arts sector.
Georg Dolivo, Chairman of the Board of the Finnish Film Foundation stated: “Lasse Saarinen is versatile and has practical knowledge of the film industry, together with a long-term experience in management. The Board unanimously selected him as the best candidate for the position.”
Ally Derks To Depart from IDFA in 2017
Having spent almost thirty years at the head of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, founder and festival director Ally Derks has decided to leave IDFA. Derks will spend 2017 living and working in Berlin as an invited ‘fellow’ of the prestigious ‘Robert Bosch Stiftung’. 2017 also marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of IDFA. “That seems like a good moment to say farewell and pass on the baton to the next generation,” says Ally Derks.
Charlotte Cook Joins CPH:DOX Programming Team
Charlotte Cook, former Director of Programming at Hot Docs and co-founder of Field of Vision is joining the programming team at CPH:DOX. CPH:DOX recently announced that they will be moving their dates from November to March with the next edition taking place from the 16-26 March 2017. As part of the new launch in March 2017 the existing programme team, Tine Fischer, Niklas Engstrøm and Mads Mikkelsen will strengthen the festival’s focus on new formats, new talents and new types of media collaboration, and Charlotte Cook has been added to the team to help achieve these objectives.
Iris Olsson New Artistic Director of DocPoint
Iris Olsson will be the new artistic director of DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival. Following Ulla Simonen, she will begin her work on 1 April 2016.
Olsson (b. 1981) has been active in the Finnish film industry in various roles within both fiction and documentary. Her best-known works include the documentary film Summerchild about a Russian orphan child’s summer vacation in Finland, and the documentary series Jäämeri 30 päivässä. Her most recent piece of work is a short fiction film Glass Ceiling (2015), produced by Helsinki-Filmi. Olsson is especially interested in using the stylistic and emotional means from drama in documentary films.
Olsson has previously acted as the chairman of board in the Finnish Documentary Guild and as a member of the DocPoint board. Internationally she has been on the jury of many film festivals and has run documentary film workshops in various parts of the world.
New Head of Production at SFI
The Swedish Film Institute welcomes Kristina Colliander as their Head of Production. She reports to Kristina Börjeson, Head of the institute’s Film Support Department.
Colliander has worked several years at Swedish public broadcaster SVT as programme director and producer for the channel’s Children & Youth unit. She comes from a position as Deputy Secretary to the Society for Nature Conservation where she ran a complex organisation with more than 100 employees.
Former Yle Commissioner Iikka Vehkalahti to Receive Hot Docs Doc Mogul Award
Hot Docs will present Iikka Vehkalahti with the 2016 Doc Mogul Award, which recognizes an individual who, over the course of his or her career, has made an essential contribution to the creative vitality of the documentary industry, both at home and abroad.
Former commissioning editor for Yle and current executive producer of IV Films Ltd, Rough Cut Service and Dare To Dream Asia, Vehkalahti will be presented with the Doc Mogul Award at a luncheon in his honour to be held on Monday 2 May during the 2016 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, 28 April to 8 May in Toronto.
Autlook Appoints Sales Manager and Promotes Hock
Vienna-based distributor Autlook Filmsales has hired former Cinekid producer Liselot Verbrugge as sales manager and promoted Andrea Hock to head of TV Sales.
Verbrugge previously worked for Cinekid for Professionals, where she served as a senior producer. She will be based in Amsterdam and from there oversee sales to Australia and New Zealand, Asia, MENA and Eastern Europe. In addition, Verbrugge has been tasked with developing a strand of kids’ docs for Autlook.
Prior to Cinekid, Verbrugge worked as a festival and market producer at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) Forum and NFF Talent at the Dutch Film Festival, and also oversaw TV sales for the sales arm of Dutch public broadcaster NPO.
Hock joined Autlook in 2009 as a festival manager. She made the move to TV sales after a year, and most recently served as TV sales manager.
Tove Torbiörnsson Passed Away
Late October Tove Torbiörnsson passed away after a time of illness. Tove served as a writer, director, editor, producer and photographer. From 2006-2010 she worked as a documentary film consultant at the Swedish Film Institute.
In 2012 she returned to the Swedish Film Institute as head of the new “Film/Society” Department which activities encompass support to film distribution in Sweden, children and youth, Cinematheque/Filmhouse, events and national statistics.
As documentary film consultant, she supported several award-winning films such as Belleville Baby, Maggie in Wonderland, Ebbe – The Movie, Alice and Me, At Night I Fly, She Male Snails and Videocracy.
Tove leaves behind her husband Alberto, and their four children.
Lisa Nyed New Doc Commissioner at Film i Skåne
Lisa Nyed is the new documentary film commissioner at Swedish regional film fund Film i Skåne. She took on the position 1 October as part of a restructuring of the fund. Lisa has worked with Film i Skåne since 2002 as a commissioner for screening and distribution. She has also served as the programme director of Nordisk Panorama – Nordic Short & Doc Film Festival 2013-2014 and a tutor at international workshops.
Through her previous work, she has always been close to documentary film industry and has extensive knowledge of the area, both regionally and internationally. Lisa’s former work with screening and distribution aimed at filmmakers will be included in the new position. This means that head of production Joakim Rang Strand will now focus on the production of fiction feature films and TV series.
Cecilia Lidin New Doc Consultant at DFI
From 1st of October Cecilia Lidin will join the Danish Film Institute as the new documentary consultant, bringing with her a solid experience in the development and financing of documentaries, especially internationally.
From 2011 to June of this year she held the position as documentary consultant at the Swedish Film Institute, where she supported films such as “Concerning Violence,” “A thousand Pieces” and “Pervert Park”. From 2009 to 2011, Cecilia Lidin was Head of European Documentary Network, where she previously worked as a consultant.
Cecilia Lidin has also been the artistic director of Odense International Film Festival, worked with the promotion of Nordic short films and documentaries at Nordisk Panorama (previously Filmkontakt Nord) and for a time she worked as a consultant for The West Danish Film Fund. Cecilia Lidin studied film at the University of Copenhagen.
Cecilia Lidin takes over the position from Klara Grunning who recently joined the Swedish Film Institute as the new documentary consultant.
Justine Nagan Appointed Executive Producer of POV
Justine Nagan has been named executive producer of POV, the award-winning documentary series on PBS. Nagan, who will begin the job part-time in late September, joins POV from Kartemquin Films in Chicago, where she has been executive director and an executive producer since 2008, and served on staff for over a decade.
Nagan succeeds Simon Kilmurry, who recently joined the International Documentary Association as executive director after 16 years with AmDoc | POV. Chris White is executive producer of POV and America ReFramed (with Chris Hastings); Eliza Licht is vice president of content strategy for POV.
New Commissioners Appointed at The Finnish Film Foundation
The Finnish Film Foundation has appointed Piia Nokelainen and Pekka Uotila as its new film commissioners in charge of short and documentary films. Uotila takes up his post on 15 August and Piia Nokelainen will start her work on 1 January 2016.
Piia Nokelainen is a film producer, who has also worked as a line producer and production manager. She is currently working at the production company Pohjola-filmi. Pekka Uotila is a cinematographer, who has directed several shorts and documentaries. Uotila has also taught cinematography at various schools.
Nokelainen and Uotila are taking over from Elina Kivihalme and Joona Louhivuori who are now finishing their five-year terms.
Jan Rofekamp New Head of Documentary Campus Masterschool
Documentary Campus has appointed Dutch documentary film sales expert Jan Rofekamp of Films Transit International as its new Head of Masterschool to work with the Masterschool project selection from 2016.
The current Head of Masterschool, Elizabeth McIntyre, will be taking over the reins at Sheffield Doc/Fest, where she will be CEO and Festival Director from 2016 onwards.
The Documentary Campus Masterschool is a programme in which 16 European producer/director teams develop their documentaries at workshops across Europe with the help of international experts.
Director of Programming Charlotte Cook to Depart Hot Docs
After four record-breaking festivals, Charlotte Cook will leave her post as Hot Docs’ Director of Programming to pursue a new, to-be-announced career opportunity at the intersection of documentary film production and curation.
Officially leaving at the end of the month, Charlotte will remain involved to assist in the transition when her successor is hired later this summer. The search for Charlotte’s successor will begin in early June.
Harald Trettenbrein New Head of Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme
Harald Trettenbrein has been appointed as the EACEA’s Head of Unit for the Creative Europe – MEDIA programme, taking over the role from Sari Varitainen.
Born in Austria, Harald has worked in academia and as a lawyer in the Austrian Prime Minister’s office in Vienna, drafting the bill that introduced private radio in the country. He was also responsible for the last revision of the European regulatory framework which led to the adoption of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive.
He has occupied various roles within the European Commission – initially as Head of Public Relations at the European Commission Representation in Austria, and more recently as Deputy Head of Unit for the Creative Europe – MEDIA programme.
Harald Trettenbrein will now lead the MEDIA Unit as part of the Creative Europe programme. Harald is enthusiastic and excited about the role he is taking on. He outlined that he aims to bring “this well run programme the political attention it deserves”.
Simon Kilmurry Leaves POV to Join IDA
Simon Kilmurry, Executive Producer of the award-winning POV series which is the longest-running showcase for independent documentary films on U.S. public television has been appointed Executive Director of the International Documentary Association (IDA).
Kilmurry will relocate from New York to Los Angeles to begin work at the IDA on 6 July 2015 after 16 years as part of the POV team.
POV’s Vice President, Programming and Production Chris White will assume the role of Executive Producer.
Available Position as Doc Consultant at DFI
The Danish Film Institute is looking for a new documentary film consultant, as current doc consultant Klara Grunning-Harris ends her term at the end of August to join the Swedish Film Institute.
Read the full job description in Danish here.
Elizabeth McIntyre New Sheffield Doc/Fest Festival Director & CEO
Elizabeth McIntyre has been appointed as CEO and Festival Director of Sheffield Doc/Fest, taking over from Heather Croall who stepped down earlier this year.
McIntyre, who will take up the position on 1 September 2015, joins from the Discovery Channel where she is VP Production and Development responsible for commissioning original Factual content for the global market, as well heading up Factual commissions for Discovery UK and Quest.
McIntyre is additionally Head of Masterschool for Documentary Campus, leading its pan-European mentoring and training programme until the end of this year. Documentary Campus has co-presented the Industry Conference Sessions at Sheffield Doc/Fest since 2011.
A member of the Advisory Committee for Sheffield Doc/Fest, McIntyre has had a long-term collaboration with the festival and she is delighted to take up the position.
Danish Doc Maker Finn Nørgaard Killed in Copenhagen Shootings
The Danish filmmaker Finn Nørgaard was one of the two victims of the Copenhagen shootings on 14 February 2015. Finn Nørgaard, 55, was attending a debate on “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Speech” at the Krudttønden culture center in Østerbro when a gunman opened fire.
Finn Nørgaard directed and produced documentaries for Danish television including Boomerang-drengen (“Boomerang Boy”) from 2004 about an Australian boy’s dreams to become a world boomerang champion and Le Le from 2008 following a family of Vietnamese immigrants who came to Copenhagen and opened Northern Europe’s largest Asian restaurant.
Steffen Andersen-Møller New CEO of Copenhagen Film Festivals
The Danish Film Institute’s Head of Audience & Promotion, Steffen Andersen-Møller will take on the position as CEO of Copenhagen Film Festivals, the umbrella organisation representing the feature film festival CPH:PIX, the documentary film festival CPH:DOX and the children and youth film festival BUSTER.
Steffen Andersen-Møller holds a degree in management, marketing and journalism and has held positions such as Project Director at TV2 Sport and CEO of Dansk Reklame Film A/S before joining the Danish Film Institute in 2008.
Steffen Andersen-Møller is replacing Lars Hermann who is now Deputy Head at Danish pubcaster DR’s drama department.
Sheffield Doc/Fest CEO & Festival Director Heather Croall Steps Down
Sheffield Doc/Fest CEO and Festival Director Heather Croall will step down to return to Australia to rejoin her family, and take up the position of CEO & Festival Director of the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
Heather came to Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2006, introducing the MeetMarket as well as Interactive at Sheffield, and later a strand of archive documentaries with soundtracks performed live such as The Big Melt and From The Sea to The Land Beyond.
The Festival has grown tremendously across the nine festivals that Heather has directed, with industry delegate numbers growing from 500 to over 3,200, and public audiences expanding from 2,000 to over 26,000.
Heather will leave Doc/Fest in mid–February and Mark Atkin, Director of Crossover, will take over as Acting Director. The Doc/Fest Board will immediately commence the search for Heather Croall’s successor.
Claire Aguilar Joins the Sheffield Doc/Fest Team
Sheffield Doc/Fest welcomes former ITVS commissioner Claire Aguilar into the newly created role of Director of Programming and Industry Engagement. At Sheffield Doc/Fest she will have dual responsibilities for curating the film programme and industry training and mentoring as part of Doc/Fest’s year-round training workshops.
Claire comes from the American public television broadcaster Independent Television Service (ITVS), where she was responsible for commissioning award-winning docs from the global community of independent producers. Claire has a background in public media where she has worked as a curator, funder and commissioning editor.
She has also served as programming consultant, film juror and panelist across a slate of international documentary organisations – Sheffield Doc/Fest among them – including Pew Fellowships in the Arts, Ford Foundation, IDFA, Visions du Réel, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Rockefeller Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts. She currently serves on the board of Women Make Movies and is on the Executive Committee of the European Documentary Network (EDN).
Sheffield Doc/Fest is one of UK’s main documentary and digital media festivals. Sheffield Doc/Fest 2015 takes place from 5-10 June.
New Shorts & Docs Commissioner for Children at DFI
Ulla Hæstrup, editor of DR Ramasjang, the Danish public broadcaster DR’s children’s channel, will be the new film commissioner with special focus on children and young people at the Danish Film Institute. Ulla Hæstrup comes from a long career within DR and will take on the position in the beginning of 2015.
She is taking over from Dorte Høeg Brask who as of 1 February will be moving on to a position as Digital Editor for children at DR Medier, keeping her focus on children.
Dorte Høeg Brask graduated as a documentary director from the National Film School of Denmark in 2001. She has directed and produced documentaries for the Danish broadcasters DR and TV 2 since 1996. She has primarily worked as a producer and director of creative documentaries, and has also been engaged in educational, interactive programming. Since 2010 she has worked as film commissioner for children’s short & documentary film at the Danish Film Institute.
Kari Moen Kristiansen New Short Film Commissioner at NFI
Kari Moen Kristiansen will join the Norwegian Film Institute on 1 February as the new short film commissioner, taking over from Åse Meyer. Kari Moen Kristiansen graduated as a producer from the Norwegian Film School in 2002. She has previously held the position as consultant for feature Film and TV drama at Nordisk Film & TV Fond. After this she joined Tordenfilm for whom she produced – among others – the TV drama Norwegian Cosy. For the past three years she has worked for Filmkameratene AS and has also served on the Selection Committee of the Short Film Festival in Grimstad.
New CEO of the Nordic Culture Fund
Benny Marcel, Deputy Director General and Head of Department at the Swedish Arts Council, will be the new director of the Nordic Culture Fund effective from March 2015.
Benny Marcel has held leading positions within arts and culture in Sweden since 1999. Before that he worked with human rights among other in an international position for Save the Children. Today he is Deputy Director General and Head of Department at the Swedish Arts Council. He is taking over from Karen Bue as her contract is coming to an end after eight years with the Nordic Culture Fund.
Gréta Ólafsdóttir Ends Her Time with IFC
Gréta Ólafsdóttir will be leaving her position as a consultant for docs and shorts at the Icelandic Film Centre. Her contract is coming to an end by the end of November and she will move on to producing and directing documentaries. The current film, TV fiction & documentary consultant Martin Schlüter will be the one to go to with documentary projects while short films will be divided among other consultants.
Sabine Bubeck-Paaz Head of Studies at ESoDoc
Commissioning editor at ZDF/ARTE Sabine Bubeck-Paaz has been appointed as the new head of studies at the training initiative ESoDoc – European Social Documentary, focused on developing documentary and cross-media projects with social impact. She will take on the job from November 2014, succeeding Hugh Purcell, who has held the position since the start in 2004, shaping the workshop as it is today.
Sabine Bubeck-Paaz has been collaborating with ESoDoc since the first edition, initially as commissioning editor for the final pitching event, then from 2006 as a tutor and ‘core teacher’.
Next to her new role as ESoDoc Head of Studies, Sabine Bubeck-Paaz will continue in her position as commissioning editor and deputy head of the ARTE THEMA department at ZDF.
Klara Grunning & Antonio Russo Merenda New Doc Consultants at SFI
Klara Grunning and Antonio Russo Merenda have been appointed documentary consultants at the Swedish Film Institute. They are taking over from the current consultant Cecilia Lidin, which means that in the future there will be two consultants to go to.
Klara Grunning (1971) has a background in art studies from Paris and film production from The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She currently holds the position as documentary consultant at the Danish Film Institute. Previously, she has spent 18 years in the US among others working at ITVS. She has also worked as an independent producer, director, photographer and consultant.
She will be working out of both Stockholm and Malmö to secure the film institute’s national perspective.
Antonio Russo Merenda (1966) is a film producer and co-founder of the production company Hysteria Film that he has been running for 15 years. He started Ginestra Film in Stockholm in 2012 and works with companies in Finland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, France and Poland. As a producer he has been involved in award-winning titles such as Vodka Factory, Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart and Colombianos.
Antonio Russo Merenda will take on the position on 1 January 2015 while Klara Grunning will join him after the summer on 1 September 2015 and therefore the contract of Cecilia Lidin has been extended until the summer.
Erkko Lyytinen to Succeed Iikka Vehkalahti at Yle
The Finnish public broadcaster Yle has appointed Erkko Lyytinen as their new commissioning editor for documentaries. Lyytinen will be replacing Iikka Vehkalahti.
Since 2010 Erkko Lyytinen has worked as producer for the Yle documentary department, being in charge of the inhouse documentary production. He will take on the new position as commissioning editor by January 2015. Iikka Vehkalahti will be retiring on 1 March, but will continue as producer of Yle’s Third Dimension web service.
Iikka Vehkalahti began his career in Yle as producer and commissioning editor for the ”Dokumenttiprojekti” strand in 1998. He has been involved in the production of hundreds of documentaries, domestic and international, many of which have received significant awards at international festivals.
Before joining Yle in 2010 Erkko Lyytinen directed several award-winning documentary films, including The North Star (2004) and The Purge (2007). From 2009-2011 he was the artistic director of the DocPoint festival in Helsinki.
Danish Film Institute Looking for Short & Doc Commissioner for Children & Youth
The Danish Film Institute is looking for a film commissioner for short fiction and documentary films with special focus on children and youth. Deadline: 10 November. Read more about the job here (in Danish).
Leena Pasanen New Festival Director at DOK Leipzig
Finnish documentary expert Leena Pasanen (49) has been appointed festival director of DOK Leipzig, taking on the position on 1 January 2015 with a five-year contract. She succeeds Claas Danielsen, who is leaving the German festival after ten years.
Leena Pasanen is the first foreign festival director in the almost 60-year history of the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Films. She currently directs the Finnagora cultural institute at the Finnish Embassy in Budapest.
Pasanen has held various management positions at the Finnish public broadcaster YLE where she was responsible for documentaries on YLE 1, then led the cultural and documentary programming division of the digital special-interest channel YLE Teema. From 2005-2008 Leena Pasanen was the director of European Documentary Network.
Hanna Stjärne New CEO at SVT
Last month the former editor in chief and CEO at the Swedish regional newspaper Upsala Nya Tidning Hanna Stjärne was appointed as the new CEO of the Swedish public broadcaster SVT. Stjärne has held several executive positions at Sveriges Radio, among others programming director. She will take up her new position within six months from the appointment and will replace Eva Hamilton who held the position since 2006.
Guldbrandsen CEO of Organisation Behind “Why Poverty?”
Steps International, the Copenhagen-based non-profit group that organized the “Why Poverty?” doc series, has appointed Danish filmmaker Christoffer Guldbrandsen as its new CEO effective of 1 October and has rebranded as The Why Foundation. Guldbrandsen is replacing outgoing CEO Don Edkins, who oversaw the group for 10 years.
As CEO, Guldbrandsen will helm the production, commission and distribution of the organization’s social justice-oriented films and international events.
The Why Foundation oversaw the “Why Democracy?” series, which featured 10 docs, and most recently the “Why Poverty?” series of eight films. Guldbrandsen’s doc Stealing Africa was part of the latter production.
Marie Schmidt Olesen Stays at DFI’s New Danish Screen Until 2016
The steering committee of the Danish Film Institute’s New Danish Screen (NDS) has decided to extend the contract of commissioning editor Marie Schmidt Olesen. Marie Schmidt Olesen came to NDS in November 2012 and will stay until 31 October 2016 at DFI’s talent support programme NDS operated jointly with DR and TV 2 Danmark.
New Commissioner for SFI’s Moving Sweden Programme
The Swedish Film Institute (SFI) has appointed producer Helen Ahlsson as the new commissioner for their Moving Sweden scheme. Ahlsson has been working for the production company Tre Vänner since 2005 and took on the new position on 1 September 2014.
Moving Sweden is a three-year programme set up in April 2013 by the SFI in collaboration with SVT, Regionala Filmresurscentrum and Filmregion Stockholm Mälardalen. With an annual budget of around SEK 20 milion, Moving Sweden intends to stimulate innovation and help filmmakers challenge their art form by testing new forms of filmmaking in the 60, 45 or 30 minute formats.
Ahlsson reports to Hjalmar Palmgren, Director of Production Funding & Promotion at SFI. She replaces Andra Lasmanis.
Peter von Bagh Has Passed Away
One of Finland’s most esteemed film personalities, writer, director and film historian Peter von Bagh passed away on 17 September at the age of 71 after a long battle with illness.
Von Bagh wrote more than 40 books on cinema and contributed to more than 60 films for cinema and television, such as the documentary Helsinki Forever. He was one of the founders of the Midnight Sun Film Festival as well as artistic director of ‘Il Cinema Ritrovato’ in Bologna. Eager to share his knowledge and passion for film he was also editor of the Finnish film magazine Filmihullu and worked as a professor of film history at Aalto University in Helsinki.
Phillips & Currimbhoy Leave Sheffield Doc/Fest for New Positions
Deputy director Charlie Phillips and programming director Hussain Currimbhoy have left Sheffield Doc/Fest after seven years and are heading on to new positions.
Phillips joins UK newspaper The Guardian in the newly created position as head of documentaries while Currimbhoy has landed a position as documentary programmer at the Sundance Film Festival.
Melanie Iredale who has directed the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival since 2009 will replace Phillips. The appointment of a replacement for Currimbhoy as director of programming is expected shortly.