The UK documentary film producer John Battsek’s breakthrough came with ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Film in 2000. Battsek’s more recent works tackle issues relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the executive producer of RESTREPO, which was nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Film, and won the Sundance Festival’s Grand Jury Prize. Battsek was the executive producer of BETTER THIS WORLD, which enjoyed a Special Screening at the 2011 Zurich Film Festival.
Oliver Hermanus was born in Cape Town in 1983. His London Film School diploma film SHIRLEY ADAMS celebrated its premiere at Locarno in 2009. The film received the London Film Festival’s Sutherland Award and won numerous prizes around the globe. Hermanus was a guest expert at the Berlinale’s Talent Campus in 2010. SKOONHEID is Hermanus’ second feature and was invited to Cannes in 2011, where it was screened in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ category and won the Queer Palm. SKOONHEID was screened as part of the 7th Zurich Film Festival’s International Feature Film Competition.
Janine Jackowski founded the Komplizen Film production company together with Maren Ade in 1999. In 2003, Jackowski produced Maren Ade’s diploma film DER WALD VOR LAUTER BÄUMEN, which won the 2005 Sundance Film Festival’s Jury Prize. 2009 saw the Komplizen Film production ALLE ANDEREN, Maren Ade’s second feature, scoop up two Silver Bears at the Berlinale. Ulrich Köhler’s SCHLAFKRANKHEIT, another Komplizen Film production, won the Silver Bear for best director at the 2011 Berlinale.
Independent Spirit Award and Gotham Award winner Christine Vachon founded the short film production company Apparatus together with Todd Haynes and Barry Ellsworth in 1987. In 1991, she produced Todd Haynes’ feature debut POISON, which won the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize. Her New York independent production company Killer Films, which she founded together with Pamela Koffler in 1995, has released over 45 films including SAFE, KIDS, the Academy Award winning film BOYS DON’T CRY, FAR FROM HEAVEN and I’M NOT THERE, which won an award at Venice Film Festival. In 2011, Killer Films produced HBO’s five-part mini series MILDRED PIERCE, which was directed by Todd Haynes and nominated for an incredible 21 Emmys. 2015, they also produced Todd Haynes marvelous drama CAROL.
Haggis’ Public ZFF Masters offered an insight into the multifaceted work of the Canadian screenwriter and director, who was not only involved in Oscar-winning productions such as MILLION DOLLAR BABY and CRASH, but also wrote the screenplays for the latest James Bond films CASINO ROYALE and QUANTUM OF SOLACE. Haggis began his career working on various TV formats, including the successful ABC series thirtysomething. How did he make the jump from writing TV series to the big screen? And how does he manage to combine his double role as a screenwriter and director with such success?
Qualified political scientist Charles Ferguson received an Oscar in 2011 for his controversial documentary film INSIDE JOB, which analyses the 2008 economic crisis. He also received a nomination three years previously for his first documentary film NO END IN SIGHT, which highlights the situation in Iraq after America’s invasion in 2003. Ferguson also worked on a project about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.