Nefise Özkal Lorentzen is a Turkish-Norwegian writer, filmmaker and producer. She received her B.A in Political Science at Bosphorus University in Istanbul and her M.A in Media and Communication at the University of Oslo. Over the past two decades she has produced and directed several controversial documentaries related to Islam. As a result of her dedication to LGBTQ people and human rights activism through her films, she’s been named one of the TOP 10 immigrant role models in Norway. Her trilogy of films entitled, Gender Me (2008), A Balloon for Allah (2011), and ManIslam (2014), brings alive these untold stories through public visibility. Nefise has received several awards and nominations, and her films have premiered in several prestigious festivals such as the IDFA, the Rhode Island Film Festival, and the Göteborg Film Festival to just name a few. She was nominated for the History Makers Award in NYC. Utilizing her workshop concept, “gender activism through films”, she has been cooperating with various NGOs, and hopes one day gender segregation and violence against women will be a long-forgotten aspect of history.
Born in 1982. After graduating from Australia’s prestigious art school, The Australian Academy of Dramatic Art, he acted in one of Australia’s popular TV series, “Blue Heelers.” In 2006, he was offered to work with the CAA talent agency and moved to Hollywood. He played the “Mickey” character in 20th Century Fox’s “The Hills Have Eyes 2.” He won recognition at the Tribeca Film Festival for his role as “Victor” in the film “Newcastle.” He starred in Fruit Chan’s Don’t Look Up (2009) and pursued his successful career by acting alongside Nora Zehetner and Matthew Lilard in “Film Spooner.” He moved to Turkey in 2013 and took Turkish courses for a year. He is known for his role as Claudius/Ömer in the Turkish series “Diriliş Ertuğrul.” Strik currently lives and works in Istanbul.
Kyrgyz film critic Gulbara Tolomushova graduated from the Department of Film Studies at Russian State Institute of Cinematography (Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography). She’s a member of FIPRESCI and NETPAC. She writes for two newspapers, “Evening Bishkek” and “New Faces” in Kyrgyzstan, and also for the online journal Kinokultura.com. She’s the editor of two websites: www. kyrgyzcinema.com & www.kyrgyzgoskino.org, and the author of numerous publications on Kyrgyz cinema, along with a book on women in the Kyrgyz cinema, which was published in Bishkek in 2017, and a monograph entitled “Territory Kinostan: Kyrgyz Cinema in the Persons” which was published in Bishkek in 2009. In 2013, her article “Kyrgyz cinema at the junction of the epochs (1988-1993) loss of a supporting point during the age of changes and the consequent finding of new hope” was published by the Busan IFF as part of the compilation entitled “The Unknown New Wave of Central Asian Cinema.”
She graduated from Galatasaray University’s Department of Communication Studies, but her passion for photography led her to the world of motion picture. After spending many tough years on sets as the first female assistant camera in Turkey, Deniz still stands as a role model for all the women behind the camera, whom she supports truly. She has shot not only commercials, but also many awarded short and feature films. Besides her basics in German and Greek languages, Deniz is fluent in both French and English.
Etienne de Ricaud launched Caractères Productions in Paris at the beginning of 2015 after five years spent heading the Finances of a French producing company Why Not Productions (producer or coproducer of many awards winning films selected in Cannes’ Competition, among which Of Gods and Men by Xavier Beauvois, The angels’ share and Jimmy’s Hall by Ken Loach, Jimmy P. by Arnaud Desplechin, etc.). Caracteres’ first coproduction A minor leap down by Hamed Rajabi premiered in 2015 at the Berlinale (Panorama section) and won the FIPRESCI award. Etienne is also the delegate producer of a first feature film shot in Azerbaijani language in Iran, “Komur” (“Charcoal”) by Esmaeel Monsef, currently in postproduction. Together they are preparing his second feature “Ayri buynuz” (“The Crooked Horn”). Etienne is also developing feature films in Azerbaijan, France, Spain, and Chile
Etienne studied humanities and then business in which he earned a Master degree (from ESCP-EAP). Before entering film production, he worked for HSBC and Credit Agricole banks in infrastructure financing (in Paris, New York City, and Santiago, Chile), and resigned to become deputy administrator of a northern Paris National Theater, Théâtre de la Commune