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Jury of 15th WATCH DOCS selected

The 15the WATCH DOCS IFF is starting in less than three weeks. We already know the composition of the jury panel that will select the winner of the WATCH DOCS award out of the 15 competition films to be screened during this year’s festival. Members of the panel are representatives of both the human rights advocates milieu and the community of documentarians and fiction films directors.

The first one to mention is Małgorzata Szumowska. Her latest film, “Body/Ciało”, premiered at the 65th International Film Festival in Berlin, where Ms Szumowska won the Silver Bear for Best Director. She has been awarded a number of international prizes, including the Berlin International Film Festival’s Teddy Award for “W imię” (In the Name Of…) and the Silver Leopard for “33 sceny z życia” (33 Scenes from Life), bestowed at the Locarno IFF. Szumowska’s “Elles” (Polish title: “Sponsoring”), starring Juliette Binoche, was sold to more than 40 countries worldwide.

Claas Danielsen is another director invited to sit on the jury. He has created seven documentaries, which appeared at many festivals, won international awards and were broadcast by TV channels across Europe. Mr Danielsen works at the Documentary Department of the University of Television and Film Munich. In the years 2004-2014, he was Artistic and General Director of DOK Leipzig, the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Films. The next jury member, Hanna Polak, has worked on many films as a producer, director, camera operator and director of photography. In 2003, she won the Best Producer of Documentary and Short Feature Films for “Dworcowa ballada” (The Railway Station Ballad). In 2004, she completed work on “Children of Leningradsky”, a documentary co-produced by HBO, for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award and two Emmy nominations, and won the IDA and Gracie Allen awards. Hanna Polak is involved in advocacy for homeless children.

In this year’s WATCH DOCS jury, human rights defenders will be represented by Gediminas Andriukaitis. Mr Andriukaitis works for one of the oldest NGOs in Lithuania, the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights. His professional focus is on equality and non-discrimination. Gediminas Andriukaitis has been serving as the director of the International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival “Inconvenient Films” since 2007 – the year of the Festival’s inception. The fifth and final jury member is Igor Blaževic, the founder of the One World Human Rights Film Festival in Prague. Since 2011, he has been working in Burma as a lecturer and programme director at the Educational Initiatives in Rangoon, a local non-governmental organisation that provides courses for Burmese activists. Together with his wife Jasmina, Mr Blaževic has directed ten TV documentaries.

To find out more about the upcoming festival, use this link.

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