SOFA School of Film Agents is very proud of the excellent support by a top-class line-up of experienced experts from all over Europe:
Oliver Baumgarten was born 1971 in the region of Wendland/Western Germany. He studied film and television sciences, theater and German literature at the Ruhr-University Bochum. In 1995 he co-founded the film magazine »Schnitt« and was its editor-in-chief to January 2010. Besides that, Oliver co-initiated »Filmplus« in 2001, a European wide unique four-days event for film editing and montage art in Cologne, which he is co-hosting since then. Since 2004 he is responsible for the magazine of the Berlinale Talent Campus, the Berlinale section for up-and-coming filmmakers from all around the world. In the same year he conceived and developed together with Peter Cowie, FIPRESCI and the Goethe-Institut with »Talent Press« a programme for young international film critics which he is running ever since. As a film curator Oliver conceives film programmes like »Celluloid Curtain«, a Goethe- Institut initiative on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall. In 2011 »Celluloid Curtain« was presented in London, Berlin, Budapest and Vilnius. As a lecturer and publicist Oliver Baumgarten regularly contributes to newspapers and film publications in print, radio and tv on recent and historic film and media topics. Oliver also teaches film history and film criticism.
Claudia Dillmann, born 1954, was trainee and editor at the daily paper „Frankfurter
Rundschau“. She studied German literature; Arts; Theatre, Film and Media in Frankfurt. In 1984, still during her studies, she started curating exhibitions at Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt, and was involved in setting up the initial permanent exhibition of the then newly opened museum. She became Deputy Director of Deutsches Filmmuseum in 1992 and Head of Deutsches Filminstitut (DIF) in 1997. Since the merger of Deutsches Filminstitut and Filmmuseum in 2006, she acts as Director of both institutions.
In 2000, Claudia Dillmann founded “goEast – Festival of middle and east European Film” and headed the festival for three years. She is member of the executive committee of “Association des Cinémathèques Européennes” (ACE) which she also headed as President from 2004 to 2012. She acts as counsel to the film section at the German cultural ministry and is heavily engaged in pushing forward film digitisation projects on a national and European level.
Marion Döring studied French and Portuguese at the University of Mainz from 1972 to 1975 and then, from 1976 to 1979, worked as a trainee and later editor at the daily newspapers Fuldaer Zeitung and Hessisch/Niedersächsische Allgemeine. Between 1980 and 1985 she worked as free-lance journalist in Berlin, from 1985 to 1988 as press attaché of the “750 Years Anniversary Berlin 1987“ and “Berlin – European Capital of Culture 1988“. She has been connected to the history of the European Film Academy since its very beginnings in 1988: first as PR manager of the European Film Awards, later as project manager for the Academy’s activities and publications, since 1996 as the Academy’s director. Starting in 2004, she also acts as producer for the European Film Awards and since 2006 as managing director of EFA Productions gGmbH, the company producing the Awards together with the European Film Academy.
Roman Gutek (born in 1958) studied management and anthropology of cinema in Warsaw and was an active member of student film clubs in 1980s. In 1985, he created the Warsaw Film Festival and served as director of the event until 1992.
In 1994, he established Gutek Film Ltd., which is one of the leading art house film distributors in Poland. The company has released more than 400 films to date by directors such as: Lars von Trier, Mike Leigh, Pedro Almodovar, Peter Greenaway, Jim Jarmusch, Wong Kar-Wai and David Lynch. Gutek Film also runs one of the leading art houses in Poland, the Muranów cinema in Warsaw (Europa Cinemas Award for high quality of programming in 2004). In 2011, Roman Gutek was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Europa Cinemas.
Since 2003, Gutek has been leading the New Horizons Association, which runs Poland’s biggest film festival, the New Horizons IFF and the American Film Festival in Wrocław. Since August 2012, the New Horizons Association has been managing one of the biggest art-house cinemas in Europe – kino Nowe Horyzonty (New Horizons Cinema) in Wrocław (9 screens, 2329 seats). He is a member of the European Film Academy.
Sibylle Kurz is a merchant and psychologist by training. She has working experience in the music and event business as well as in film licensing, acquisition and distribution for the German film and television market. She has an academic background in media and communication science, sociology and psychology and a postgraduate education as communication skills trainer and Certified NLP-Trainer. Since 1994, she freelances as a coach and communication trainer for the media, arts & culture industries, with specializing expertise in “The Art Of Pitching”. Her clients are European training programs & workshops, corporations, production studios, publishing houses and individuals.
Since 18 vears, Sibylle teaches at acclaimed national and international film schools. She is a member of the EDN – European Documentary Network and constant part of the EAVE-pedagogical team.
Marta Materska-Samek is an experienced project manager and a specialist in the cinema management field. She works as a president of the Cinema Development Foundation and as a coordinator of “the Malopolska D-cinemas Network”, which is the first regional d-cinema project co-financed from the structural funds (European Regional Development Fund). She authored multiple innovative project implementing ICT in education and culture as well as developing cultural industries in Poland. As a young researcher at the Faculty of Management and Social Communication of the Jagiellonian University (Cracow) she has edited and authored articles on the cinema management and cultural industries. Marta prepares a thesis on a strategic innovation in local cultural institutions as a result of digitizing their cinemas.
Karel Och studied law and graduated in film theory and history at Prague’s Charles University. Since 2001, he has worked for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival as a member of the selection committee. He has programmed KVIFF’s documentary competition and curated tributes and retrospectives to Sam Peckinpah, John Huston, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, among others. In 2010 Och was appointed artistic director of the Karlovy Vary IFF. He participates in the organization of the well-established Works in Progress panel which, together with Pitch & Feedback event (Czech and Slovak film projects in development), has become the key industry event of the Karlovy Vary IFF. Och is a member of the European Film Academy, LUX prize selection committee as well as FIPRESCI, and has published articles on film festivals and reviews in dailies and magazines.
Ewa Puszczynska graduated from English Literature Departament of University of Lodz. Since 1995, she has been working for Opus Film, an independent film production company in Poland. For the last 15 years she is managing projects including their development and execution.
She is a Member of EFA and tutor in Lodz Film School.
The very recent credits are:
“King of Devil’s Island “- directed by Marius Holst , co- production with Four and a Half, Norway – Polish co-producer.
“Congress”- written and directed by Ari Folman, co-production with Bridget Film Gang – Israel , Pandora – Germany ,Entre Chien et Loup– Belgium, Paul Thiltges Distribution – Luxembourg, Polish co-producer.
“Aglaja “- written and directed by Krisztina Deak, co-production with Inforg, Hungary and Hai Hui Romania, producer.
“Sister of Mercy “ aka IDA – directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, co-production with Phoenix Film Investment, Denmark – producer.
“Lost Sons of the Holy Land “ – feature length documentary, producer.
Renaud Redien-Collot is a professor of entrepreneurship and social innovation and Director of International Affairs at Novancia Business School. Between 1989 and 1993, he was a consultant in marketing strategies for South American start-ups. In 1993, he was appointed by Rothschild Asset Management, New York, in order to initiate a set of HR initiatives that promoted the leadership of minority employees. From 1996 to 2000, Renaud has run a major UN Mediterranean project that has welcomed 600 women entrepreneurs and launched 20% of fast growth firms. After his Ph.D. studies at Columbia University, in 2004, he has launched a Master Programme in entrepreneurship at Advancia,a Paris Chamber of Commerce Business School, and was was appointed as Advancia Deputy Director in 2008. He has joined the Women Equity for Growth (WEG) Index project and has chaired the WEG scientific committee since 2010.
Redien-Collot has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals addressing gender and minority studies. He is a reviewer for Feminist Economics and Journal of Small Business Management.
During his studies of history and his work as a freelance journalist on film and music, Thorsten Ritter co-founded the Oldenburg International Film Festival in Germany in 1994. After running it for five years, Ritter joined the Munich-based world sales company Bavaria Film International. During the next 13 years he worked on films such as Caroline Link’s Oscar-winning »Nowhere In Africa«, Aki Kaurismäki’s »The Man Without A Past«, Wolfgang Becker’s »Good Bye, Lenin!«, Fatih Akin’s Berlin Golden Bear-winner »Head On« or Thomas Alfredson’s »Let The Right One In«. In April 2012, Ritter joined the world sales company Beta Cinema, home of Academy Award-winner such as »The Lives Of Others« and currently representing the 2013 Golden Bear-winner »Child’s Pose« as well as the international hit and multiple German Film Award-winner »Oh Boy« or the recent Grand Jury Prize winner of Karlovy Vary, »Le Grand Cahier«.
Renate Rose graduated from the Faculty of Visual Communications of the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg with main emphasis on film and photography. Since 1997, she is Managing Director of the European Film Promotion e.V. She is responsible for the design and oversee programmatic initiatives and administration of 35 member pan-European organisation. From 1978 to 1986 she worked freelance as Photographer and Graphic Artist. Later she coordinated selection committees for production support at Hamburg Film Office. From 1988 to 1997 she was Deputy Secretary General and Head of Promotion at EFDO (European Film Distribution Office) where she was responsible for the creation and management of all press and public relations initiatives.
Katriel Schory studied at the New York University Film School and returned to Israel in 1973 to join as the Head of Productions of Kastel Films, Jerusalem, at that time the leading production company in Israel. In 1984, he formed his own company BELFILMS LTD and produced over 200 films including award winning feature films, documentaries, TV dramas, and international co-productions.
In 1999, he accepted the position of the Executive Director of the Israel Film Fund, the main film fund in Israel, which supports, and promotes Israeli feature films. In this position he authorized the support and the production of more than 190 new Israeli feature films.
He has been engaged in voluntary public activities among them: chairman of Israel’s Film and Television Producers’ Association (1989-1994), member of the National Committee for the Advancement of Television and Films (1989-1999). Lectures at the Tel Aviv University, Department of film and television, since 1985.
Gudrun Sommer is director of the film festival doxs! documentaries for children and youth in Duisburg. She is working as a curator and programme adviser for, among others, the Goethe-Institut, the Diagonale and steirischer herbst in Graz. She initiated the international documentary film project for children KID DOK as well as the competition dok you. The Austria native is a professor at the University of Duisberg-Essen and works as an examiner at FSK in Wiesbaden. Since 2012, she is a member of the Grimme jury for the special culture award of the state of NRW. Various publications, last: Gudrun Sommer, Vinzenz Hediger, Oliver Fahle (ed.), »Orte filmischen Wissens. Filmkultur und Filmvermittlung im Zeitalter digitaler Netzwerke«, Marburg: Schüren 2011.