Meet the Filmmakers 2024

BEAR HUG Alexandros Skouras

ALEXANDROS SKOURAS (BEAR HUG, Director / Writer) lives in Athens, Greece. He studied economics, cultural studies and philosophy. He has directed six short narrative films, two short documentary films and the 90’ documentary IN SEARCH OF KAZANTZAKIS. Now, he works in television as a freelance director and producer, specializing in documentaries, having directed 79 hour-long episodes so far. In 2022, he was awarded the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Artist Fellowship by ARTWORKS. BEAR HUG, was selected by the Mediterranean Film Institute Script Workshops, Sofia Meetings, Brussels CoProMarket and LAGFF Discovery Days.

MARINE FRANCEN (FACING THE SEA, Director / Writer) After a childhood in the countryside, Marine Francen studied history at Sorbonne University and obtained a Master’s degree in the history of international relations. Then she started working in the film industry: first in festivals, in film criticism and ten years on sets as an assistant director. At the same time, she wrote and directed four short films. She also produced a photo report of Shanghai, which she sold to a famous French magazine. After receiving several grants for her screenplays, she directed her first feature film THE SOWER in 2017. Selected and distributed throughout the world, the film won several awards, including that of the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain.

FACING THE SEA Marine Francen
FACING THE SEA Athena Xenidou Producer

ATHENA XENIDOU (FACING THE SEA, Producer) studied english literature and music in Switzerland and holds a BA in Film from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MA in Politics and Media from the University of Nicosia. Her US film credits include awarded shorts and a feature film documentary UNWITNESSED MEMORIES which received the Gold Jury Award at Worldfest Houston.  Among her Greek TV credits are director on Survivor, and numerous episodes of TV drama series and theatrical productions, including THE SHADOW BOX and THE STONE, resulting in three nominations and one win at the Cyprus National Theatre Awards. Mentored by Olympia Dukakis and passionate for teaching, she founded The Film and Stage Studio, preparing young adults for entry in international acting conservatories and film schools. Athena is a Lecturer at University of Central Lancashire, teaching TV Production.

NIKOLA MIJOVIC (FOUR FUNERALS AND A WEDDING, Director / Writer) was born in Podgorica, Montenegro, where he produced his first experimental video works. After graduating from Central Saint Martins in London, he directed several short films, including 777, which was acquired by the FMA Foundationone in São Paulo for their museum collection. He works as a Senior Lecturer at University of the Arts in London. Nikola’s first feature film, BORDERS, RAINDROPS premiered in Sarajevo in 2018. It has been screened at over 20 international festivals, including Montreal, Gothenburg, Cottbus, Raindance, Bergamo — winning Second Best Feature Film Award —  and Paris, winning Prix Sauvage, first prize for best feature film at the L’Europe autour l’Europe.

FOUR FUNERALS Nikola Mijovic
Maja Kecojevic

MAJA KECOJEVIC (FOUR FUNERALS AND A WEDDING, Producer) was born in 1990 in Montenegro. After attending Sarajevo Talent Campus, her short film PELOID premiered at Sarajevo Film Festival in 2018. Maja completed her Masters in Belgrade and continued to work and live in Serbia. Since then, she has been engaged as the unit/ location manager on a number of projects (films: REAL STORY, DARKLING; TV series:MOM AND DAD ARE PLAYING WAR, CLAN, BAD BLOOD). In the last two years, as a freelancer, Maja has been involved in international projects such as EXPO 2O2O Dubai; Dune: Prophecy. She is running her own production company, Parangal Film.

TILBE CANA İNAN (HISTORY OF ENCHANTMENT, Director / Writer) Born in Istanbul, graduated from Boğaziçi University, department of philosophy. She completed her master’s degree at Kadir Has University, department of film and TV. The short film she directed, THE PIT, was screened at international festivals. In 2020, after working as the head of project development for OGM Pictures, her next short film HOW TO DISAPPEAR was selected for Antalya Film Festival and many other international festivals. In 2022, she won the Netflix Grow Creative Award at the Antalya Film Forum for her series project. She is currently working on her first feature film HISTORY OF ENCHANTMENT.

HISTORY OF ENCHANTMENT TILBEINAN
NEARBY FARAWAY Sonia Liza Kenterman

SONIA LIZA KENTERMAN (NEARBY FARAWAY, Director / Writer) Sonia Liza Kenterman is a Greek–German Film Director and Writer. She has received an MA in Directing from The London Film School, a BA in Sociology at Panteion University in Greece, she studied at the Art’s Theatre School for Drama and the Stavrakos Film School in Greece. Her graduation short film NICOLETA won 15 awards and entered 41 festivals worldwide. She was selected by the Greek Film Centre and Athens International Film Festival to write and direct a short film, WHITE SHEET which also went around the festival circuit. Her first feature film TAILOR is a Greek-German-Belgic co-production. The project participated in multiple script labs and co-production forums and received the CNC award. Tailor premiered in 2020 at Tallinn Film Festival in First Features Competition section. It was selected by 47 festivals and has won 16 Awards. It was released in cinemas in Germany by Neue Visionen (it opened in 200 cinemas across the country, was screening for 16 weeks and reached 70,000 admissions), Austria, Spain, Hong Kong, Turkey and Japan by Shochiku (screened for 15 weeks and nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Japanese Academy Awards). It will also be released in China, Taiwan, Switzerland, Brazil, Slovenia and South Korea. It is also available on HBO, Amazon, Apple TV and MUBI in certain territories.

KRISTINA MILESKA (SUMMER 2002, Director / Writer) is a North Macedonian-Canadian filmmaker based in Toronto. She has written and directed five short films to date, which have screened internationally and collected numerous awards. Kristina’s work is characterized by its sparse dialogue and strong emphasis on visual storytelling. She skillfully interweaves whimsy and levity into narratives that delve into themes of grief, memory, disillusionment, and loss of innocence. Kristina is currently in pre-production for her latest short and is developing her debut feature film titled SUMMER 2002 with support from Canada Council for the Arts.

Summer 2002 Kristina Mileska
WHEN THE GOATS CAME Arthur Gay

ARTHUR ELIAS GAY (WHEN THE GOATS CAME, Director / Co-Writer) From Tāmaki Makaurau, New Zealand, Arthur is a director and writer currently completing his MFA at Columbia University. He is the recipient of the Miloš Forman Directing Fellowship, the Katharina Otto-Bernstein Mentorship and Development Prize and a Sundance Fellowship  after attending the 2024 Screenwriters Lab. Before moving to the USA, he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Film at Unitec Institute of Technology. Having spent his early years frequently moving countries with his mother, Gay’s work focuses on characters often in a state of transience, grappling with the meaning of what home and family means to them.

LAURA GANOTIS (WHEN THE GOATS CAME, Producer) is a Greek-Italian film producer based in Brooklyn, New York where she graduated with an MFA in creative producing at Columbia University, with Honors. Growing up between cultures and countries, Laura has focused on producing work that has a nomadic and fluid idenTIty. She is the recipient of the 2024 Katharina Otto-Bernstein Mentorship and Development Prize for the short film WHEELS which is written and directed by Arthur Gay. She is a current collaborator of the Athens-based production company Homemade Films, founded by Maria Drandaki, which produces arthouse independent films.

WHEN THE GOATS CAME Laura Ganotis producer