JURY PRESIDENT Author / Producer


Mehmet Aktas is an author and producer, as well as the founder of production and film Distribution Company, mîtosfilm. Aktas was born in Turkish Kurdistan in 1967 and grew up in Istanbul. Before film, he worked as a journalist and made television reportages around the world. In 2002, he launched the first Kurdish Film Festival in Berlin. To mention a few, Mehmet Aktas has co-produced films such as „No one Knows about Persian Cats“ by Bahman Ghobadi (Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize at the Festival de Cannes, 2009), „Dol“ by Hiner  Saleem (Berlinale Film Festival, 2007), „Apres la Chute“ by Hisham Zaman (International Film Festival Locarno 2009“, „Close up Kurdistan“ by Yüksel Yavuz (in the Audience Prize at the Montreal Human Rights Film Festival 2008) and „Land of Legend“ by Rahim Zabihi (International Film Festival Locarno 2008). More recently, he has co-produced the Norwegian-Kurdish-German co-production „Siyars Way“ (2011) by Hisham Zaman, which is post-production, and co-authored „Letter to the King“ (2011) also by Hisham Zaman. Currently he is working on feature film project „Memories on Stone“ as writer and producer with director Shawkat Amin Korki, which is scheduled for completion in 2012.


BERND BUDER - JURY Film Festival Consultant / Film Journalist / Lecturer

Bernd Buder was born in 1964 in Berlin (West). He studied Political Sciences at the Freie Universität Berlin. From 1996 – 2005 he was programme director of the Berlin art film cinema „Berliner Filmkunsthaus Babylon”. He has been consultor for several film festivals, among them the FilmFestival Cottbus with which he has been collaborating with since 1996. He is now also curating the festival's „Focus“-section. Since 2005, Buder is consultant of the International Forum of New Cinema section of the Berlin Film Festival for South Eastern Europe. Beneath, he curated programmes for other festivals and institutions (Avant-Garde Film Festival Athens, goEast-Filmfestival Wiesbaden, Heinrich-Böll-Foundation Brandenburg, Zagreb Film Festival, Prishtina Film Festival, Skena Up Student's Film and Theatre Festival Pristina, Cinedays Skopje, Week of Turkish Film in Berlin, Goethe-Institute Belgrade). Since 2011, he is the artistic director of the East-West-co-production forum „Connecting Cottbus“.  Buder works also as a film journalist and lecturer. He is based in Berlin.


NIZAMETTIN ARIC - JURY Singer / Composer / Director


Nizamettin Ariç is one of Kurdistan's most renown singers, composers and directors. Born in 1956 in Agri- Eastern Turkey- he was exposed to traditional Kurdish music (Dengbêj) from a very early age. He became a beacon of Kurdish identity and fight for freedom when, after the military coup of 1980, he was arrested for singing Kurdish songs in public. His movie, A Song For Beko, was one of the first to be shot in the Kurdish language and has gained worldwide recognition with over 15 international awards. Due to repressing political conditions in Turkey, Ariç sought political asylum in Germany and currently resides in Berlin.




Film Director


Shawkat Amin Korki was born in 1973 in Zakho, Iraqi Kurdistan. Shortly after, in 1975, he and his family escaped to Iran fearing the repressive forces in Iraqi. He stayed there until 1999. He has worked in Theatre, TV & Cinema in both Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan and his films have participated in more than 50 film festivals.  In the  First Film Festival of Iraq Baghdad (2005), he received best director for his short film “Passage” (2002) and took the prize for best short film for “Threat” (2003). Amongst International festivals,  he has  won the Grand Prix At ArteMare Bastia Film Festival in France (2008), Best film Award at Perspective film festival  in Antwerpen , Belgium (2007), and was nominated for one of best five Directors at Asia Pacific Screen Awards (2007). In 2002, he created the first Kurdish Short Film Festival.



Film Director

The award-winning filmmaker Alina Skrzeszewska was born in Wroclaw/Poland. During the politically charged years after the outbreak of the Solidarity movement her family immigrated to West Germany, and Alina grew up in Munich. She studied Stage Design and Art & Media at the University of the Arts in Berlin, and received an MFA in Film & Video from the California Institute of the Arts. She is the recipient of a 12 months DAAD grant, she was in the top 5% of her class in the merit-based scholarship at CalArts, she has received an internship grant form the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, CA, and various grants from the University of the Arts in Berlin. Alina’s work meanders between essayistic and documentary forms. Her films often talk about fringes, borders and boundaries: be they spaces that carry borders within them, or people whose lives are somehow fractured. The award-winning Songs from the Nickel (2010) is her first documentary feature. It had its premiere at Visions du Reel 2010 (Switzerland), has won BEST DOCUMENTARY at Athens International Film Festival 2010 (USA), BEST FILM at Documents 9 in Glasgow 2011, THE SIBIU/HERMANNSTADT AWARD at Astra Film Festival 2011 (Romania), and has received a SPECIAL JURY MENTION at Festival de Films de Femmes de Creteil 2011 (France).  Currently, Alina is working on a new 30 minutes documentary (tentatively entitled Gum Shan), which has been commissioned by German TV station 3Sat for their auteur documentary slot “Fremde Kinder” (“Foreign Children”).