Experts confirmed

OTS Expert bios

Viola Shafik
Viola Shafik, PhD, is a German-Egyptian freelance filmmaker, film curator and film scholar. She authored Arab Cinema: History and Cultural Identity, 1998 and Popular Egyptian Cinema: Gender, Class and Nation, 2007. Currently she teaches at the Humboldt University, Berlin and the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, cooperates with Documentary Campus, the Rawi Screenwriters Lab, the Doha Film Institute and is in the selection committee of the World Cinema Fund. She has directed several documentaries, among others My Name is not Ali (2011) and Arij – Scent of Revolution (2014).

Jad Abi-Khalil

Beirut DC, Director/Producer/Beirut Cinema Platform Director

Born in Lebanon, Jad Abi-Khalil completed his cinema studies at IESAV – USJ. Jad has directed many short films and feature documentaries such as “Thirty” 2003, “Sir Mr President” 2003 and “Arafat” 2011. He started producing feature documentaries in 2007 including “The One Man Village” by Simon El Habre (2008) and “Diairies of a flying Dog” by Bassem Fayad (2014). He is a founding member of Beirut DC, the cultural association for Arabic cinema. He was the chairman of its board of directors from 2009 till 2013. He was one of the programmers of the Beirut Cinema Days from 2006 till 2010 and Head of the DOCmed programme from 2011 till 2013. He’s currently the director of the Beirut Cinema Platform (BCP).

Micol Pancaldi

Micol Pancaldi works at COPEAM, a non-profit professional association comprising of audiovisual operators from the Mediterranean area, including 38 TV and radio broadcasters. She coordinates TV projects and co-productions and is responsible for COPEAM training activities. She has senior experience in media cooperation and international relations. She is an expert in designing, managing and monitoring international projects, mainly UN and EU-funded, involving European and Arab audiovisual media.

Hicham Falah

Hicham Falah is a director and cinematographer who graduated from the Louis Lumière School in Paris.

He is the author of two short fiction films (L’Attention, Balcon Atlantico) and 30 documentaries, mostly for French TV channels (length ranging from 7′ to 52′). He is currently Artistic Director of the International Women’s Film festival of Salé (FIFFS, Morocco) and Managing Director of the International Documentary Film Festival in Agadir (FIDADOC, Morocco), the first Moroccan film festival dedicated solely to documentaries. It holds an international competition and many special sessions: panorama “Maghreb/Machreq”, thematical programs for students and children and open air screenings. It also organises training and professional activities (workshops, writing residencies) to help young Moroccan directors and producers to develop their projects, with the support of our official partner, Moroccan channel 2M.

Flore Deroose

Zoomin TV – Head of Content Sourcing

As Head of Content Sourcing for Zoomin TV Flore Deroose drives the production of Europe’s largest producer of online news video. With a background in Cultural Anthropology at Leiden University, she has built up a vast network of video journalists worldwide, with whom Zoomin TV produces daily web stories on a wide variety of topics and formats. Flore’s background is in public broadcasting, digital storytelling and investigative documentaries including the award winning documentary Our Daily Bread.

Donata von Perfall

Director, Documentary Campus, Germany

Donata von Perfall studied Post-War and Contemporary Arts (MA) and has worked in film production in London, New York and Munich. Since 2001 she has worked for Documentary Campus and has played an essential role in the development of this internationally-renowned training initiative. Since she took over the directorship of Documentary Campus in 2004, she has continually expanded and developed its training offers. Documentary film-makers from all over the world continue to benefit each year from the international networking and training offers of the Documentary Campus network. Documentary Campus’s current focus lies in Europe, North Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Hala Galal

Producer – Director, SEMAT Production & Distribution

Hala Galal is a filmmaker, director and producer. She is the founder and executive director of SEMAT Production & Distribution (Cairo), an organization for supporting independent cinema in Egypt and the Arab World. She has directed more than 18 films and produced more than 15. Her feature documentary “Women ChitChat” won the Silver Prize at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2006.

She has taught filmmaking in Egypt, Bahrain, and Sudan and was for 3 years the director of film festival “The Caravan of the Euro Arab Cinema”; she was a jury member at the Berlin Film Festival 2012 – Cinema Fairbindet Award, the FIPA Film Festival in France 2007, and in Ismailia International Festival for Documentary and Short films 2008 and 2004 in Egypt.

Hala Galal has participated in several local and international film festivals in recent years, and has been a guest speaker and lecturer in many festivals, conferences and workshops. Moreover, she is a member of the Cinema Committee in the Egyptian National Higher Council of Culture in Egypt.

Marta Andreu

In 2004 she created the creative documentary production company Estudi Playtime. She has created the workshops “The filmed portrait”, (Play-Doc, 2009-2013), “Docs in progress” (Play-Doc, 2010), “Filming the landscape” (Açores Islands, 2011). Since 2009 she has been the academic coordinator of Docmontevideo.

Since 2011, she has been program consultant for Visions du Réel, part of the WCF Comitee and consultant on documentary scriptwriting for Colombian Funding. She directs project development workshops and seminars on creative documentary around the world. In 2015 she created “WALDEN”, an accompanying space for documentary writing.

Sara Creta

Sara has been working with civil society, humanitarian and cultural organizations in Europe and North Africa. She is passionate about multi-platform storytelling, human rights, gender issues and immigration policy, among others. Sara has been publishing articles, videos and reportages in different media platforms, online newspapers and civil society networks involved in the field of development, democracy and social justice. In the Mediterranean region, Sara has been working principally on the issue of migration as a documentary film maker and video journalist. She has worked with the World Social Forum web tv, RAI and for the NRK – Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.

Ghada El-Sherbiny

Goethe Institute Cairo, Assistant of the Director of the Cultural Department

After her Master’s degree in German literature, Ghada El-Sherbiny worked at the Goethe Institute Cairo in the German Scientific Library as an information researcher and web editor. In 2002 she joined the cultural department of the Goethe Institute and got involved in the Egyptian/German cultural exchange and art scene, as well as film and theater production through her work as a project manager and assistant director. She gained her experience from several contemporary cultural events that she managed related to the fields of music, film, theater, dance, visual art and literature. In 2013 Ghada El-Sherbiny started her own televised show about the independent art scene in Egypt on the private Egyptian television network ONTV. The show focuses mainly on enlightening the public about young talents leading independent art projects in Egypt as well as being a crossroads for artists to meet in a commercially dominated art scene.

Ali Atassi
Director of BIDAYYAT – Audiovisual Arts

Mohammad Ali Atassi is a journalist and documentary filmmaker. He was born in 1967 in Damascus, Syria. Atassi obtained a diploma in civil engineering from Damascus University in 1992 and a DEA in history from the Sorbonne Paris 4 in 1996. Since 2000, he has been writing for several Arab and international newspapers on political and cultural topics. In 2001, he did a documentary film on the Syrian dissident Riad Turk elaborating the latter’s prison experience of 18 years in Syrian prisons while Atassi explored Turk’s positions on the Syrian revolution in a second documentary movie in 2012 called “Ibn Al Am online”. Moreover, he realized “Waiting for Abu Zaid” portraying the famous Egyptian Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid who was a pioneer of reformist ideas on Islam until his death in 2010. Atassi’s films have been shown in several festivals worldwide and has gained several awards for his work.

Habib Attia

Managing Director, CINETELEFILMS, Tunisia
Cinema and TV producer, Habib ATTIA, is currently managing director of CINETELEFILMS, one of the leading production companies in Tunisia and the region, founded in 1983. His latest ventures as main producer include several creative documentaries and feature films, like Kaouther Ben Hania’s ‘Challat of Tunis’ (2014), which opened the Acid Programme at the Festival de Cannes, won the Best First Film award at Namur, Best Director and Best Film at Beirut, and was selected for Dubai, San Sebastian and Busan; Rashid Masharawi’s ‘Palestine Stereo’ (2013), which appeared at TIFF, Dubai and Chicago; Hinde Boujemaa’s ‘It Was Better Tomorrow’ (2012), which premiered in official selection at Venise IFF, won the Best Arabic Director award at Dubai, was named Best Documentary in Douze Doc Days, and screened in Stockholm and Namur; and Mourad Ben Cheikh’s ‘No More Fear’ (2011), which appeared in the official selection at Cannes, Busan, Taormina, Sheffield and Dubai, among others.

ESoDoc experts bios

Sabine Bubeck-Paaz – ZDF/ARTE, Mainz – Germany

Sabine Bubeck-Paaz is a commissioning editor at ZDF (German public broadcaster) for various documentary slots on ARTE, the European Culture Channel.

The TV department “Thema”, where she is deputy head of, is dealing with One Offs, Season programming, Theme Evenings, the documentary series “ARTE Discovery” and Cross Media Projects.

The investigative and creative documentary projects, she is involved in are mostly international coproductions. The topics she is handling range from Culture, Science and History to Current Affaires, Human Interest and sociopolitical issues – always wishing to discover strong and surprising stories which help to understand the “conditio humana”. Lately, she has been involved in “The Act of Killing” and “The Look of Silence”, “Drone”, “netwars”, “Lanzmann”, “Sound of Torture”, “I am Ingrid Bergman”, “The Queen of Silence”.

As a tutor, she participates in international pitchings and training workshops for documentary projects, organized e.g. by edn (European Documentary Network), the Documentary Campus Masterschool, IDFA…

Since 2015, Sabine Bubeck-Paaz is also Head of Studies of ESoDoc (European Social Documentary), organized by ZeLIG Filmschool in Bolzano.

Heino Deckert
MA.JA.DE Filmproduktions-GmbH, Berlin/Leipzig, Germany
Producer and Managing Director

Heino Deckert is producer and managing director of Filmproduktion and Fiction based in Leipzig and Berlin as well as running Deckert Distribution for documentaries. He’s new company, Pluto Film is specialized in the distribution of arthouse and cross-over film as well as cinematic works by emerging talents. In 1995 Mr. Deckert founded, an informal union of six European colleagues joining forces to exchange ideas and initiatives. Heino Deckert meanwhile produced more than 90 award-winning documentaries with filmmakers like Thomas Heise and Viktor Kossakowsky.

Heidi Gronauer

Director of  ZeLIG school for documentary, television and new media – Bolzano/Bozen, Italy
Head of Project of ESoDoc /

Heidi Gronauer is director of ZeLIG school for documentary, television and new media, Bolzano since 1990 and she is responsible for the development of the various documentary related projects and productions the school realizes. Since 2004 she is Head of Project of the European training project for makers of social-awareness documentaries and cross-media projects, known as ESoDoc – European Social Documentary , supported by the European Union’s Media program (now Creative Europe), and the Media-Mundus/International projects ZeLIG realized in India and Africa (LINCT; ESoDoc INDIA; ESoDoc International).

She has worked in Italy since 1987, when she collaborated on programming and international relations of the Filmfestival Trento Cinema International Encounters with Music for Cinema and organized theatre series and cultural exchanges between Germany and Italy, including concept of the series Adventure in Europe – City of Berlin Project, Pirati Teatrali and concept of the school theatre series in German and English language Teatrando…in lingua straniera.

She is co-founder of the Italian documentary association doc-it where she has been a board member from 1999 till 2007. She has been on varies Festivaljuries, and she is member of the selection committee of the Trento Filmfestival, the commission of experts of the South Tyrolean Filmfund BLS, of the EFA (European Filmacademy) and of the board of directors of the Italian Doc Screenings IDS.

Lucia Haslauer

Das Kleine Fernsehspiel / Quantum
ZDF HR Neue Medien / Zentralredaktion

Lucia Haslauer

Lucia studied Communication, modern History and Politics at the University of Vienna. During her studies she passed a private education programme for journalism. After that she worked with the Austrian Public Boradcaster – ORF as conceptionalist and editor and as a freelance for production companies. Since 2008 she is with the ZDF, working as a crossmedia-developer in the new media department. She is also part of Das Kleine Fernsehspiel where she‘s closely involved with Quantum, the laboratory for innovative TV-Formats.

Hanka Kastelikova

HBO Europe, based in Budapest, Hungary

Hanka Kastelicová is the Executive Producer of Documentaries for HBO Europe. Based in the Budapest head office she works closely with HBO Europe’s production centers in Warsaw, Prague and Bucharest, and is responsible for the development and production of HBO Europe’s documentary films.

She earned a Master of Arts degree from the Faculty of Film and TV Documentary Department at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. She continued with her professional career in Slovenia, where she worked for more than 25 years as a documentary director and producer, latterly as commissioning editor and Head of Development of documentary programming. As an experienced and dedicated documentary film-maker, she has lectured on documentary filmmaking. She has also served as a moderator and participant on numerous industry panels and other documentary events.

Company profile:

HBO Europe currently provides basic and premium channels to fifteen countries: Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Netherlands. HBO Europe offers five high quality movie channels (HBO, HBO2, HBO Comedy, Cinemax and Cinemax2); HBO Europe also offers the latest on demand services with HBO On Demand, the subscription video-on-demand service, and HBO GO, the broadband subscription service that gives the subscriber unparalleled flexibility and program choice.

Christine Loriol


Christine Loriol is a journalist, texter and communications consultant as well as a coach and trainer for people who have to speak in public. She has been giving workshops and seminaries for many years – especially also for people working in the film industry (for example at and for the Swiss Film Prize). She is born 1960 and lives in Zurich / Switzerland. She speaks german, english, french and italian.

Caroline Mutz

2013-now member of the cultural department of ARTE with the cultural documentary ART AND CULTURE 26 min, the weekly cultural magazine METRPOLIS and web-documentaries for the ARTE platforme ARTE CREATIVE


2007-2010 commissioning editor ARTE-CULTURAL DOCUMENTARIES and journalist for the cultural debate PARIS-BERLIN

2002-2009 commissioning editor ARTE-THEMA(for all subjects of the Theme evenings), Strasburg, France

1999-2001 free-lance reporter, editor and producer for several magazines and documentaries, direction of media/video-installations for AVENTIS, France and for EXPO 2000, Hannover, Germany

1997-1999 editor and author at GRUNER UND JAHR Filmproductions, Hamburg (GEO-TV, science, nature CAPITAL-TV, economy, STERN-TV weekly news-magazine)

1996-1997 studies of cinematography and art history at Florence, Italy

1989-1996 studies of French and German literature and linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Bordeaux.

studies of graphics, photography and film at the art college of Hamburg and Bordeaux

Leena Pasanen

Managing and Artistic Director of DOK Leipzig – Germany

Leena Pasanen started her career as a journalist in 1988 at the Finnish News Agency, first as a reporter and later on as a political commentator from the Parliament house. In 1993 she joined YLE, Finnish Broadcasting Company, where she worked as a reporter, political commentator, subeditor and TV presenter for the current affairs magazine programme on YLE TV1. After that she was the head of documentaries for YLE TV1 in 1999-2000. When YLE launched new digital channels, she was chosen as the Head of Programmes responsible for cultural, factual and fiction programmes in YLE Teema, a channel focusing on culture, science and education. She stayed with the channel until November 2005, when she started working as the Director of EDN, European Documentary Network in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2008 she returned to YLE in Finland as Coordinator of Programmes and at YLE Fact and Culture and later as Coordinator and Senior Advisor at YLE Media and Customer Relations. In 2011 – 2014 she worked in Budapest, Hungary leading the Finnish Institute and also serving as cultural attaché at the Finnish Embassy in Budapest. She is currently based in Leipzig, Germany and working as Managing and Artistic Director of DOK Leipzig, the international film festival for documentary and animated film. She has been a regular expert, tutor and lecturer at several training programmes, for example EDN, Discovery Campus, EURODOC and Television Business School. She was a EURODOC 1999 graduate and a member of the international advisory committee at Hot Docs. She has also been a board member of IDFA Forum, INPUT and the Bonnier’s Journalistic Award in Finland and served as a jury member at several international festivals, among others Sundance and IDFA.

Stefano Tealdi – Stefilm


Born in Johannesburg (South Africa) in 1955, he studied Architecture in Torino – Italy. After graduating, he worked on film and TV at the Politecnico di Torino becoming Head of Production. In 1985 he founded, with others, Stefilm where he works as a director and producer.

Stefilm produces one-off documentaries and documentary series. Since 2008, he directed A World of Pasta, Doctor Ice (Science Film Festival – Milano 2009), Coffee Please and Tea for All and the series Food Markets –  In the Belly of the City (10×52). Recent works produced and co-produced: Mostar United (IDFA 2009), Vinylmania (IFF Rotterdam  2012), Char, no man’s island (Berlinale Forum 2013), The Queen of Silence (IDFA 2014).

He tutors film development and production at universities and master courses, and film pitching for organisations, such as Biennale Cinema College, Cannes Film Market, Documentary Campus, Films de 3 Continents – Produire au Sud, Media Business School, Med Film Factory, Scuola Holden, TFL-Torino Film Lab, Cinema do Brasil, ZeLIG Film School, ZagrebDox.