18TH JURY MEMBERS
18th IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival Jury Members
Aleksandra is an award-winning Writer/Director with a background in Visual Effects. Graduated from Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts in France. Further completed 'Directing Series' at the National Film and Television School in the UK as well as script labs Sources 2 in Norway and EKRAN+ in Poland.
Writer/Director credits include a micro-budget feature film 'Dolls Can't Cry' and four short films screened at more than 80 film festivals worldwide. 'Last Day of Summer' won Young Artist Academy Awards in Los Angeles, known as 'kiddies Oscars', Remi Award at 53rd Worldfest Houston and Afrodite Award in Rome. 'My Friend Ivor' received UNCHOSEN Award for Best Modern Slavery Film and 'Brothers' was a finalist of Sundance London Competition.
Has been also working as VFX Artist /Supervisor on film and high-end TV drama series for Netflix, HBO and BBC. In 2011, with her team, she won Emmy Award for Outstanding Visual Effects on work on David Attenborough series and has been further nominated for an Emmy in 2016 & 2017. As a Visual Effects Artist, she has been working on productions as Behind Her Eyes (TV Mini-Series, 2021), Chernobyl (TV Mini-Series, 2019), A Discovery of Witches (TV Series, 2018) and many more.
Recently selected for Directors UK Mentoring scheme with 'Killing Eve' director Miranda Bowen.
Currently developing her second feature film 'Mother', set as a Polish-UK co-production which received development support from Polish Film Institute and has been shortlisted for Sundance Script Lab.
Bogdan Mureşanu is a Romanian award-winning writer and director. As a screenwriter, he won Best Short in the 2008 HBO TIFF scriptwriting competition with The Human Torch which premiered in 2013. He produced and directed his first short film in 2012, based on his own script, Half Shaved. In 2016 his short art film Negruzzi 14 was showcased at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest.
In 2018 his fictional short The Christmas Gift travelled the world, including Bulgaria as part of 16th IN THE PALACE competitive programme, and received wide recognition and many awards as Grand Prix in Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival and EFA`s European Short Film Award 2019, also shortlisted for the Oscars.
Faisal-Azam Qureshi has worked in the UK and US on various features and short productions. He was Associate Producer on the BAFTA winning feature film, FOUR LIONS and has continued working with the director on other projects.
As a screenwriter, Faisal has worked with companies such as Bazelev, Benaroya Pictures, DNA Films and BBC Drama. He also works on factual productions, the most recent being a major documentary by AMOS Pictures on the Manchester bombing for BBC2. He is a visiting lecturer at the Escula Internacional Cine y TV in Cuba.
Francesca Vargiu graduated in Modern Literature with specialization in Entertainment Sciences and Multimedia Production and also has a Master in Law and Economics of Art Culture.
In 2015 she started collaborating with Sardegna Film Commission Foundation for several projects including Berlinale, Venice International Film Festival and the BTO. She has worked with several Italian film productions, including Indigo Film (Loro by Paolo Sorrentino), Apnea Film (I Wonder When You Will Miss Me by Francesco Fei) and Fandango (Il Muto di Gallura, by Matteo Fresi, and Pantafa, by Emnuele Scaringi).
From 2012 to 2017 she was a collaborator at the Tavolara Film Festival and in 2018 she became part of Olbia Film Network family, where she is in charge of the Film Market organization.
Born in Brighton, England, Gareth is currently based in Stockholm, Sweden.
With a passion for working with real people and stories, his interest lies in those blurred areas between documentary and fiction, whilst always retaining an impactful visual and cinematic sensibility and impactful visual element within his work.
Gareth has directed numerous television commercials, branded content films, short documentary and fictional films as well as multiple music videos and has won and been nominated for numerous film and advertising awards over the years.
A keen traveller and someone who thrives on new experiences and collaborations, Gareth has worked extensively in both the UK and Sweden and has shot in numerous locations throughout Brazil.
His documentary Danielle (2019) won the Award for Best Documentary Film at 17th IN THE PALACE in 2020.
Georgi M. Unkovski
Georgi M. Unkovski
Born in New York City in 1988, after which he spent most of his youth in Macedonia. At the age of 22 he graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology-Eastman`s School of Photography, in the field of the Fine Arts (NY). Shortly after his graduation he moved to the Czech Republic to pursue his passion in film making and enrolled in the post graduate program at FAMU.
Since his post graduate studies Georgi has lived in Skopje, and works as a full time director in one of the largest ad agencies in North Macedonia - Futura 2/2, as well as its sister agency “Cinema Futura”, dedicated to film production.
His short film Sticker (2019) was part of 17th edition of IN THE PALACE when received the Award for Best Fiction Film - an Oscar® Qualifying category. Sticker (2019) premiered at Sundance 2020 and has since screened at over 180 international film festivals, winning more than 50 awards, and been acquired by HBO Europe.
Julien is a London based filmmaker with a Law degree from Bristol University and an MA in Filmmaking degree from The London Film School.
His latest short film The Lost Scot (2020) won The Best Student Film at The British Independent Film Festival and was nominated for Best Directing from Directors UK. In September 2020 he was awarded of Best Student Fiction Film at 17th IN THE PALACE.
His work has been accepted into Oscar & BAFTA film festivals, winning multiple awards over the years. When he's not writing and directing, he produces music videos for Head & Wrecker productions, working with record labels such as Sony EMI, Dirty Hit & Chess club.
Marta Bayarri is an actress, writer and director based in Barcelona. She has a long career as an actress in theater, musical theater, film and television. Simultaneously, to her work as an actress, since 2010 she has immersed herself into the world of writing and directing. In 2014, she set up the production company Momotrup Films together with Oriol Ruiz and start telling their own stories.
Her first short film ONE NIGHT (2014) was selected in more than 50 national & international festivals and received 6 awards, including the Critics Award for Best New Director in the Ibero-American Short Film Festival ABC’16. In her second short film FUGIT (2016) Miguel Ángel Faura (ENEMY by Denis Villeneuve, ESCOBAR by Andrea di Stefano, THE KILL TEAM by Dan Krauss, WASP NETWORK by Olivier Assayas) and David Victori (ZERO, LA CULPA) joined the project as executive producers. FUGIT achieved more than 65 national & international selections, 8 awards and also the Candidacy for Best Live-Action Short Film at the Spanish Goya Awards 2018.
VACA (2018) is her third work as a writer & director and, in this case, also starring. It received more than 80 official selections in 16 different countries, including 10 selections at Academy Awards Qualifying Film Festivals and 10 more in GOYA, BAFTA or EFA Qualifying Film Festivals. It obtained 19 Awards, an HBO Ibero-American Short Film Award nomination at the 36th Miami Film Festival, and achieves again the Candidacy for Best Live-Action Short Film at the Spanish Goya Awards 2020. Recently, VACA has been acquired by HBO for the US broadcast.
Currently she has finished the script for her first feature film, HERA, and is also in pre-production of her next short film WELCOME TAHIYA (2020).
Martin Iliev is a Bulgarian screenwriter and film director, also member of the Balkan photo collective BULB. He has several award-wining short films, music videos and variety of commercials for some of the well-known brands in Europe.
He is the co-writer of the feature film THE PIG (dir. Dr. Sholev), which won three of the major awards ат the previous Sofia Film Fest edition.
Martin developed his writing and directing skills at several international programs such as Sarajevo Talents, FEST - Pitching Forum, Torino Film Lab and The Film Garage.
His latest short film Father-time (2019) was in official selection at IN THE PALACE in 2020. Martin is a multiple winner at IN THE PALACE - with his previous Stereo Love (2013) and Maybe Tomorrow (2017).
Martin is currently in development of his debut feature The Last of the Idealists.
Ognjen Petković was born in Vukovar, Croatia in 1986. He graduated acting at Academy of Arts, Novi Sad, Serbia in 2008. In 2015 he enrolled Phd in Audiovisual Arts at Novi Sad Academy.
He made several short fiction, experimental and documentary movies, such as: Three Points (2011), Qatar (2014), Hands (2016), Love (2017), Crocodile (Post-production), Hide and Seek (2018), Autmn Waltz (2019). With his short film Love he was at many international festivals, and won three awards, two for best movie and one for best screenplay. At the moment he is working on feature documentary Sounds of Silence and he is developing his first feature film Katar.
His Autmn Waltz (2019) receved Special Mention in the Oscar® Qualifying category of Best Fiction Film at 17th IN THE PALACE in 2020.
Petra Zöpnek was born in Vienna, Austria and she is professionally active as photographer and musician.
Petra has studied Experimental Visual Design at the Art High School of Linz. Since then she makes experimental films and work as an editor for documentaries and feature films.
Her experimental film “Where is Lotte?” was part of 17th IN THE PALACE 2020 where received the Best Experimental Film award.
Skye Fitzgerald founded Spin Film to bear witness to unfolding crises with the intent to deepen empathy and understanding. He is currently directing a trilogy of films on the global refugee crisis. The first, 50 FEET FROM SYRIA was voted onto the Oscar® shortlist. The second, LIFEBOAT, was nominated for an Academy Award® and national Emmy®. The third, HUNGER WARD was just Oscar® shortlisted.
Fitzgerald is a member of the Documentary Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Before filmmaking, Fitzgerald worked as a HotShot crew-member on wildland fires throughout the West.
Teodora Markova is a recognizable Bulgarian film and TV writer, co-author of 6 weekly TV Series and two feature films. Her first film Bubblegum (2017) won the Best Screenplay Award at the Bulgarian National Awards Golden Rose. It was followed by Letters from Antarctica (2019), developed with the support of ScripTeast.
Teodora is co-creator of the most successful Bulgarian TV Series Under Cover (2011) which distributed in 187 territories and was nominated for Best Foreign TV series at Monte Carlo Television Festival. Her latest TV Mini-Series Father’s Day (2019) was selected at several forums: Venice International Film Festival – Gap Financing Market; Série Series Fontainebleau – official selection; Berlinale 2017, European TV Drama Lab – projects in development.
The newest project she is working on together with Nevena Kertova and Georgi Ivanov - GOLD WAR, is supported by MEDIA CREATIVE EUROPE.
Yusuf Saygi was born in Izmir, Turkey in 1979, Yusuf Saygı graduated from the Department of TV and Film at the Ege Univercity Faculty of Communication. He worked in the production of many feature films short in Izmir, and as a technical coordinator for the Hong Kong Turkish Film Festival, Lebonan Turkish Film Festival, Pekin Turkish Film Festival and International Malatya Film Festival.
He has been working as a manager for Kare Film Film Production Company since 2012, and director of the Izmir Short Film Festival since 2015. He is working on Izmir Cinema Office for devoloping film industry in Izmir as project partner.