Our turors and mentors

SOFA – School of Film Agents is very proud of the excellent support by a top-class line-up of experienced lecturers from all over Europe!

  SOFA lecturers of 2016

Have a look:

Tutors: | |


Oliver Baumgarten | Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis | Germany

Oliver Baumgarten

Born in the region of Wendland/Western Germany, Oliver Baumgarten studied film and television sciences at the Ruhr-University Bochum. After co-founding the independent film magazine »Schnitt« he is its editor-in-chief from 1998 to January 2010. As CEO of Filmplus gUG he founded »Filmplus«, Europe’s first festival for film editing and montage in Cologne, and SOFA – School of Film Agents, an intensive training and workshop program for international film mediators. For Berlinale Talents he conceived and developed a program for young international film critics in 2004. He is running »Talent Press« ever since. In 2014 he was appointed Program Manager at the Film Festival Max Ophüls Preis in Saarbrücken, the most important festival for the up-and-coming German-speaking film. Baumgarten publishes and teaches on recent and historic film topics and lives in Barskamp, Germany (www.oliverbaumgarten.com).

Sibylle Kurz | Pitching Expert | Germany

Sibylle Kurz

Sibylle Kurz: Communication skill trainer, specialized expert in “The Art Of Pitching“ since 1995, focused on project presentation, proposal development and personal coaching. Working in the media- & publishing-industry, for universities, film-schools, media-institutions and creative talents of “Arts & Culture” all over Europe.  A merchant by training with academic background in media- & communication science, psychology her experience in “The Art Of Pitching“ is a result of more than 15 years in acquisition, distribution and co-production of all av-rights in the German-speaking market at a distribution company.

Sibylle has working experience in the music and event business as well as in film licensing, acquisition and distribution. She has an academic background in media and communication science, sociology and psychology and a postgraduate education in communication skills. Since 1994, she freelances as a communication trainer for the arts & culture industries with special expertise in pitching. Since 20 vears Sibylle teaches at acclaimed national and international film schools. She is a member of the EDN – European Documentary Network and constant part of the EAVE-pedagogical team.

Ewa Puszczyńska | Opus Film | Łódź, Poland

Ewa Puszczyńska

Born and raised in Łódź. Since 1995 she has been working for Opus Film as producer and head of development. Ewa is also developing and producing films through her own company Extreme Emotions. She is a speaker at Film School in Łódź and Andrzej Wajda Film School in Warsaw, MAIA and SOFA workshops. She is a member of PFA and EFA board member.

Her very recent credits are :
“IDA” written and directed by Pawel Pawlikowski , producer
“The Cut “ – written and directed by Fatih Akin , co-producer
“ The Congress”- written and directed by Ari Folman , co-producer

Renaud Redien-Collot | Novancia Business School | Paris, France

Renaud Redien-Collot

As a Member of the Board of Administration of the E. Roosevelt Foundation (1994-2000), Renaud Redien-Collot has stimulated the development of entrepreneurship education in the USA and in Eastern Europe. In 2008, he has become Advancia Deputy Director, a business school entirely dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation. Since 2009, he has chaired the Women Equity for Growth (WEG) Index project that has identified more than 20 indicators to rank every year the 50 best women led-businesses in France. Since 2012, he is Novancia Director of International Affairs.

His research interests include innovation, entrepreneurship education and the renewal of SMEs’ business models in the EU. He is a reviewer for Feminist Economics and Journal of Small Business Management.

Mentors: | |


Heike-Melba Fendel | Barbarella Entertainment | Berlin & Cologne, Germany

Heike-Melba Fendel

Heike-Melba Fendel co-founded Barbarella Entertainment in 1991. Since 1994, she is sole owner and Managing Director of the company. Born in Cologne July 12 1961, she lives in Berlin and Cologne.

A trained journalist with a focus on filmed entertainment and women’s rights, Heike-Melba Fendel continues to write regularly for newspapers and magazines such as Tagesspiegel, tageszeitung, Emma, FAZ and epd film. She contributes film historical essays to the publications of the Berlinale Retrospective. She also frequently hosts industry events, premieres and festival functions. As a lecturer, moderator, presenter and emcee, she has appeared for the German Film Academy, Berlinale, Media Forum NRW, Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Cologne Chamber of Commerce, among others.

Heike-Melba Fendel is a regular guest on cultural television programs, participating in debate on networks such as ZDF, WDR, and rbb. She has also presented 87 public readings of unproduced screenplays in Berlin, Cologne, Munich and Hamburg. In 2009, her novel “just that –a life in 99 stories” was published by Hoffmann und Campe.

Katarzyna Mazurkiewicz | Polish Film Institute | Poland

Katarzyna Mazurkiewicz

Since April 2016, Katarzyna Mazurkiewicz is the Head of International Relations Department at Polish Film Institute. As Head of the Department, her responsibilities include among others: planning the international strategy for Polish film industry, promoting Polish films internationally, establishing the relations with international film institutions, producers and festivals.

In previous years, she has been among others a Director of Programming of TVP Polonia at the Polish National Television and an advisor to a team responsible for the new image of a TVP SA. A director of Polish Cinema Foundation and Deputy Director for the Development of Culture at the National Centre for Culture in Warsaw. Initiator of the social campaign “Culture counts!”, that resulted in a formation of a special group of experts working on the relations between business and culture. Initiator and curator of numerous artistic projects, including various cultural and governmental programs (eg. European Stadium of Culture, the national observatory for culture and The Congress of Polish Culture in Krakow). During 2007/2008 she was the Mayor’s Representative for Wroclaw festivals, in 2006 she cooperated with the Warsaw City Hall’s Department of Theatre and Music. Between 2001 and 2005 she has been professionally active in New York (working on “Polish Initiatives” – a program for national minorities, co-creating first New York Polish Film Festival 2005, coordinating theatrical projects in the New York Polish Cultural Institute.) From 2011 she is also a lecturer at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.


Silke J. Räbiger | Internationales Frauenfilmfestival Dortmund | Köln | Cologne, Germany

Silke J. Räbiger

Silke J. Räbiger arbeitete seit 1986 für das Internationale Frauenfilmfestival in Dortmund und wurde 1992 dessen Leiterin. 2007 übernahm sie die künstlerische Leitung des IFFF Dortmund | Köln, dem einzigen Internationalen Frauenfilmfestivals Deutschlands, das alternierend in Köln und Dortmund stattfindet. Sie ist mit dem Festival Veranstalterin der seit 2013 während der Berlinale stattfindenden internationalen Netzwerkveranstaltung Filmschaffender Frauen.

Räbiger war sieben Jahre in der Auswahlkommission des Film Festivals Max-Ophüls-Preis Saarbrücken, ist Beisitzerin bei der deutschen Film- und Medienbewertung in Wiesbaden, Mitglied des Landesausschusses NRW der Deutschen Künstlerhilfe, Vorsitzende des Vereins Kino im U Dortmund und des Vorstandes von KINOaktiv, dem Zusammenschluss der freien Filminitiativen in Köln.

Rainer Rother | Deutsche Kinemathek / Berlinale | Berlin, Germany

Rainer Rother

Rainer Rother has been the Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen and head of the Berlinale’s Retrospective section since 2006. As a film studies expert, Rother is the author and editor of numerous publications on topics related to the history of film and the media.

Katriel Schory | The Israel Film Fund | Tel Aviv, Israel

Katriel Schory

Katriel Schory studied at the New York University Film School and returned to Israel in 1973 to join as the Head of Productions of Kastel Films, Jerusalem, at that time the leading production company in Israel. In 1984, he formed his own company BELFILMS LTD and produced over 200 films including award winning feature films, documentaries, TV dramas, and international co-productions.

In 1999, he accepted the position of the Executive Director of the Israel Film Fund, the main film fund in Israel, which supports, and promotes Israeli feature films. In this position he authorized the support and the production of more than 190 new Israeli feature films.

He has been engaged in voluntary public activities among them: chairman of Israel’s Film and Television Producers’ Association (1989-1994), member of the National Committee for the Advancement of Television and Films (1989-1999). Lectures at the Tel Aviv University, Department of film and television, since 1985.

Tamara Tatishvili | Eurimages | Tbilisi, Georgia

Tamara Tatishvili

Tamara has been working in Georgian audiovisual sector since 2002. In 2004 Tamara Co-founded and served as Director of “Independent Filmmakers’ Association – South Caucasus”. She built an extensive network of professionals to promote the South-Caucasian cinema on Regional and International levels.

In 2010-2013 she worked as Director of Georgian National Film Center. She led GNFC activities focusing on public support schemes for film development, production and promotion.  Tamara’s leadership initiated emergence of new wave of talented filmmakers. She contributed vastly to enhanced visibility of young talent.

Tamara co-authored Georgian Film Strategy 2010-2012. Since 2011 she represents Georgia to CoE Film Fund, EURIMAGES and European Film Promotion.

Tamara holds French Distinction of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettre.

Joanna Tereszczuk | Onet S.A. | Warsaw, Poland

Joanna Tereszczuk

As a teenager, sitting in the cinema in her home town in south-eastern Poland she thought up that her dream job would be the one where she is being paid for watching movies. Her first job after graduation from Warsaw University was very far from that dream, but one year later she jumped into the film industry. It was the year 2006. Since then, she has worked for two independent distributors (Vivarto and Spectator), three film festivals (Two Riversides FF in Kazimierz Dolny, International Festival of Film Producers REGIOFUN, and Cinema at the Border FF in Cieszyn), and for Polish National Television (TVP). Since December 2015, Joanna has been working at Onet which runs VOD.PL, the biggest VOD platform in Poland.

Her professional experience is film and programme selection and acquisition for theatrical distributors, TV stations, VOD platforms and film festivals, selling licenses to TV stations and VOD platforms, and film industry events organisation. Recently she has started her adventure with coproductions.

Koen Van Daele | Kinodvor | Ljubljana, Slovenia

Koen Van Daele

Koen Van Daele has been working in culture since 1984. In 1987 he became head of the Audio-Visual Department of the Vlaams Theater Instituut. He was co-founder and co-director of the centre for art and media argos. In 1993 he moved to Slovenia working as freelance curator and program advisor for a variety of institutions and projects (a.o. the cycle D-Day: dan za dokumentarec, the documentary section of Film Art Fest). In 1995 he joined the team preparing the first edition of City of Women and co-curated the festival for eight years. From 1999 to 2006, he was Head of the Program Department of Slovenska Kinoteka. He was director of Zavod Otok and curated the 4th edition of Kino Otok. Since 2008, he has been Assistant Director – in charge of program – at the city cinema Kinodvor.

Nikolaj Nikitin Director & Founder, nikolaj@joinsofa.org

Organizer Fundacja Filmplus, CEO: Radoslaw Drabik & Nikolaj Nikitin
Filmplus gemeinnützige UG, CEO: Nikolaj Nikitin & Oliver Baumgarten
Design & Photo Oktober Kommunikationsdesign GmbH, www.oktober.de

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