Official Competition Jury

Andrea Pallaoro

Born in Trento, Italy, Andrea Pallaoro holds an MFA in Film Directing from the California Institute of the Arts and a BA from Hampshire College. His film debut, „Wunderkammer”, a short film presented in competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, was selected in the official competition of over fifty film festivals around the world and won several prizes. His first feature film „Medeas” (2013) premiered at the 70th Venice Film Festival (Orizzonti) and won numerous international awards. „Hannah” (PÖFF 2017), his second feature premiered at the 74th Venice Film Festival and proceeded to win numerous prestigious international recognitions including the Volpi Cup for Charlotte Rampling for her interpretation as the title character. He served in the jury of the 75th Venice Film Festival.

Martynas Bialobžeskis

Martynas Bialobžeskis studied composition with Prof. Julius Juzeliunas at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre from 1994 to 1999. In 2017 he graduated from Master studies of electronic music composition and performing at Kaunas University of Technology. As a chairperson of the Youth Section of the Lithuanian Composers’ Union since 2000, he was engaged in diverse activities devoted to promoting young Lithuanian composers and their work, including the organization of the annual music festivals in Lithuania. His works have been performed at the contemporary music festivals in homeland, as well as in festivals and concerts in Latvia, Estonia, Germany, Poland, USA. As a theatre composer he has worked in Lithuania, Finland, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia and Greece, during last 20 years he wrote music for more than 50 performances. Last 5 years he has prolifically written music for the cinema (8 films). In 2017 he received Best Music Award at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival for his score for Sulev Keedus’ film „The Manslayer / The Virgin / The Shadow”.

Guðrún Ragnarsdóttir

Guðrún Ragnarsdóttir is an Icelandic filmmaker living and working in Reykjavik. She graduated from The Icelandic Academy of Art and Crafts as a Graphic Designer and opened her own Advertising Agency Krass right after school. After few years she moved to Los Angeles to study filmmaking and graduated in 1995 with a Master’s degree in film directing and writing at the California Institute of The Arts, with a Fulbright scholarship. After 7 years in Los Angeles Guðrún returned home to work as an editor and motion graphic designer for the National Television of Iceland and as a film teacher. Her debut film „Summer Children” premiered at the First Feature Competition programme in PÖFF 2017.

Timo Salminen

Timo Salminen is a Finnish cinematographer best known for his artistic work in Aki Kaurismäki’s films. His Filmography includes more than forty films, among them are „The Other Side of Hope”, „Le Havre”, „The Man Without a Past” by Aki Kaurismäki; „Swagger”, „Robert Mitchum is Dead” by ­Olivier Babinet etc. He has won numerous awards for his work at home and abroad (around ten ­Finland’s Jussi Awards, Cameraimage awards etc).

Gilles De Schryver

Gilles De Schryver started on the stage where, as an actor and playwright, he became artistic director of a middle-sized state-funded Flemish theatre company called ’het KIP’ and was seen in award-winning theatre shows in- and outside of Europe in Dutch, in English and in French. As a freelance theatre actor he has played for other Belgian and Dutch companies for over 15 years. As a freelance film actor he has more than 550 shooting days on his record and is internationally most known by larger audiences for his performances in critically acclaimed feature films and TV-series like „Hasta La Vista” and „Code 37”. As a film producer he manages his film production company De Wereldvrede that is internationally primarily known for producing Gilles Coulier’s feature film debut „Cargo” (PÖFF 2017) and the highly acclaimed Flemish hit series „The Natives” (8x45’) that were nominated for and won awards at festivals around the globe.
First Feature Competition Jury

Mike van Diem

Mike van Diem is a Dutch Oscar-winning director and screenwriter. He graduated from the Amsterdam Film School in 1989, winning the Student Academy Award for his 45 minute thriller „Alaska”. His first feature length film „Character” won the Oscar for best foreign language film in 1998. Next, after taking a 17 year break from filmmaking, Mike returned to the screen in 2015, winning several awards for his black romantic comedy „The Surprise”. In 2017 he followed up with the comedy drama „Tulipani”. This bitter sweet story of a Dutch farmer who endeavours to grow tulips in the sweltering heat of Southern Italy, stole the hearts and minds of the Estonian audience who chose it as the best liked film of PÖFF 2017. As it turned out Tallinn was no exception. To this date „Tulipani” is still gathering up accolades around the globe.

Karin Rask

Karin Rask is an Estonian theatre, TV and film actress. She has played leading roles in several tv-series ("Nukumaja" , "Nurjatud tüdrikud"), best known for her roll Rita in "Varjudemaa". As stage actress she has performed in different Estonian theatres. She is also a clothing desinger. This year she was nominated for "Woman of the year" award.

Igor Savychenko

Igor Savchenko graduated from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv with a Master’s in Mathematics. In 2003 Igor moved into the audio-visual industry, becoming an internationally recognized film producer. He developed a talent for creative films at a very early stage and has more than 14 years of experience in the film industry: producing 10 feature films, over 40 shorts, documentaries, TV films, miniseries and animation. Films produced by Igor have been screened at more than 550 festivals and have won more than 80 honours, with 13 screenings and 3 awards at A-Class festivals, some have become blockbusters at the local level. In 2009 he graduated from New York Film Academy and became a member of ACE Producers in 2017.

Blerta ZeqirI

Blerta Zeqiri is a Sundance winner with her short „The Return”. Her first feature „The Marriage” premiered last year at PÖFF, winning the FIPRESCI prize and the Special Jury Prize for the Best Ensemble Cast. It was the first ever Kosovo feature dealing with the LGBTI issue and is now her country’s proposal for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2019 Oscars. João Pedro Rodrigues, režissöör, kunstnik / Director, artist; Portugal

João Pedro Rodrigues

Internationally acclaimed filmmaker and artist based in Lisbon. He studied biology at Lisbon University, gave it up for Film Studies and graduated from Lisbon’s University of Theatre and Cinema (ESTC) in 1992. Along with a number of short films, he has written and directed five feature films, including his first, „O Fantasma”, which premiered in Official Competition at Venice Film Festival, causing a national ruckus in Italy in 2000, when the Vatican official newspaper asked for the festival director’s dismissal for having selected the film, and his most recent, „The Ornithologist” (PÖFF 2016), which won the Silver Leopard for Best Director at Locarno Film Festival in 2016. He has also co-directed several shorts and the feature „The Last Time I Saw Macao” (PÖFF 2012) and „Iec Long” (2014) with his lifelong partner and artistic collaborator, João Rui Guerra da Mata. His films premiered and won prizes at Cannes, Venice, Locarno, Toronto and Berlin and are part of several film archive’s and museum’s permanent collections.
Baltic Competition Jury

Steven Bernstein

Steven Bernstein (DGA, ASC) wrote and directed the award winning feature film „Decoding Annie Parker” which won Best Actress for Samantha Morton at The Seattle International Film Festival and also won Bernstein The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Award at The Hamptons International Film Festival. Bernstein was a 2013 nominee for The ASC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography for his work on „Magic City”. Bernstein began his film career as a cinematographer in the United Kingdom. He went on to shoot many landmark feature films for both studios and independents including the highly acclaimed „Like Water For Chocolate” and the Oscar winning „Monster”. He is also the author of the best selling book „Film Production” about the process of film making and has lectured widely on various aspects of film making. His film about Dylan Thomas, „Dominion” from his original screenplay, was screened at PÖFF main competition programme in 2017.

Pelin Esmer

Pelin Esmer was born in Istanbul. After her studies in sociology she moved on to cinema. While working as an assistant director in various Turkish and foreign films she started making her own independent films. After her first documentary „The Collector” she founded her own film company Sinefilm and directed as well as produced her films „The Play”, „10 to 11”, „Watchtower” and „Something Useful” (PÖFF 2017) mostly with European co-productions. Her films have been invited to official selections in many festivals around the world including San Sebastian, Toronto, Rotterdam, Tribeca, Tallinn, Gothenburg and received many awards.

Sergei Šolohhov

Sergey Sholokhov, Ph.D. in History of Arts, is a member of Film Academy „Nica”. Author of the „Fifth Wheel” perestroika TV show on Leningradskoe TV in 1987–1991. Fellow of School of Government of Harvard University (1991–1992). Author and presenter of more than 300 TV programmes about national and international film festivals (1992–1997 TV channel Russia, 1998–2017 TV channel One). Author of more than 300 articles in weekly newspapers and magazines about cinema. Author and director of 15 documentary films about film/theatre actors and directors, like „Aleksey German – the Lion’s Heart", „Valeriy Gergiev – 3 Years With Maestro", „Aleksey Balabanov: Searching for happiness", „Oleg Tabakov – Oblomov on the Way of Shtol’s” , „Sankt-Petersburg – Decoration for Life” and others.
Netpac (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Jury

Wong Tuck Cheong

Wong Tuck Cheong is Honorary Secretary of NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema). He is President of the Malaysian Film Club (Kelab Seni Filem Malaysia) based in Kuala Lumpur, and an Executive Committee Member of the International Federation of Film Societies (IFFS). He was also a member of the board of directors of FINAS, the National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia.

Olga Khlasheva

Olga Khlasheva graduated in 2001 from Kazakh State University of International Relations & Foreign Languages in philology and literature and in 2018 from T. Zhurgenov Kazakh National Academy of Arts in film studies and film criticism (MA). Since 1997 she has worked in film industry: at Kazakhfilm Studios JSC (as head of international relations / promotion of Kazakh films), at Eurasia International Film festival (since its creation in 1998) and as film producer (including international promotion of features by Adilkhan Yerzhanov, e.g. his recent film „The Gentle Indifference of the World” premiered at Un Certain Regard/Cannes IFF-2018). She is APSA Academy Member with Best Producer Nomination for the film „Owners” (PÖFF 2014) by Adilkhan Yerzhanov.

Maarja Hindoalla

Maarja Hindoalla has graduated from University of Tartu in Journalism and Communication (BA) and Estonian Academy of Arts in Art History (MA). Film criticism and journalism is her main field of study in academic work. Since 2016 she is the Curator of Film Archives of the National Archives of Estonia and hosts a weekly radio show titled „A Cinemawork Tangerine”. Although mainly working as a critic, she has also operated on the industry side as a festival programmer and production assistent. She is a board member of Estonian Association of Film Journalists (FIPRESCI).
FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Jury

Alexandra Pütter

Studied English, History, and Psychology in Graz and Berlin (M.A.) and Film Production in England (HND). Worked in various positions in television and theatre, as well as a cinema projectionist. Translator and interpreter (English), specialising mainly in subtitles. Published film reviews in Austria, Germany, Montenegro, and Switzerland.

Suncica Unevska

Suncica Unevska is journalist and film critic who works in daily papers and magazines for film, culture and social issues. Last 20 years she has been permanent correspondent from film festivals all over the world. She is representative of Macedonia in the association of film critics FIPRESCI and as a member of juries has participated in many festivals around the world. During the four years she was selector for Macedonia at the festival in Motovun, Croatia. She is author of the book of film critics „Seventh Seal” and she is founder and editor of the first monthly film magazine FILM+ in Macedonia.

Annika Koppel

Annika Koppel has graduated from the Faculty of Culture of Tallinn University in 1988 and has worked as a journalist at newspapers Päevaleht and Postimees, magazine Anna/Annabella, and others. She has been a member of the Estonian Association of Film Journalists since its foundation in 1993. In 2005–2010, Annika Koppel was the manager of project „Estonian Film 100”. She has written scripts for documentaries and been an editor of films such as „The Birth of „Spring”” (2006) and „Looking for Nipernaadi” (2007). She received the title of Film Journalist of the Year for the book „Spring. Summer. Autumn. The films of Arvo Kruusement”. She has also written the book „A Man with the Heart of a Bear. The Life and Creation of Arvo Iho”. Annika Koppel has been in FIPRESCI juries: in Mannheim in 2003, in Cottbus in 2005, in Reykjavik 2007, at the GoEast Festival in Wiesbaden in 2008, and the Estonian delegate at the FIPRESCI General Assembly in Tunis in 2008.
Competition programme „Rebels With A Cause” Jury

Joonas Kiik

Joonas Kiik is a film aficionado, who reviews movies online at filmijutt.blogspot.com and in print media. Has worked as the editor of filmzine La Strada.

Tõnu Karjatse

Tõnu Karjatse is an experienced culture journalist, whose passion is cinema. For years, Karjatse has been the editor of the film section at the radio show „Delta”. He has also written for every renowned journal in Estonia and his reviews have been translated for the Estonian Film Institute’s magazine Estonian Film. Karjatse has been a member of the NETPAC jury at PÖFF in 2009, and chosen films for the programme in 2006. In 2014 Tõnu Karjatse was chosen by the Estonian Association of Film Journalists as the film journalist of the year. Has been a member of the association since 2005.

Andrei Liimets

Andrei Liimets is a civic activist, communication expert and freelance culture critic. He is a host for the radio show „Kinovärgiga mandariin” („A Cinemawork Tangerine”), rates films weekly for Eesti Ekspress and writes about cinema, music, theatre as well as culture and society in general for multiple publications. Serves as the chairman of the board for the Estonian Association of Film Journalists and was chosen as the film journalist of the year for 2017. Has been a member of the FIPRESCI jury at PÖFF in 2016.
Ecumenical Jury

Rainer Sarnet

Film and theatre director (films „Idiot”, „November”)

Regina Hansen

Public Relations Specialist, The Consistory of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church

Madis Kolk

Editor-in-Chief of culture magazine Teater. Muusika. Kino

Marge-Marie Paas

Public Relations specialist, Roman Catholic Church in Estonia

Erki Tamm

Reverend, President of the Union of Free Evangelical and Baptist Churches of Estonia