Jury Committee

Sofia Exarchou, director and screenwriter

Sofia Exarchou

She was born in Athens. She studied electrical engineering at the National Technical University of Athens, film direction at the Stavrakos Film School and theater at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York. She pursued post-graduate film studies at ESAV in Toulouse, France. In 2014, she was selected for the Sundance Screenwriter’s & Director’s Lab. Park, her first feature film, premiered at Toronto IFF and San Sebastian IFF, where it won the New Directors Award. Since then, it has participated and won awards in numerous international film festivals. Her sophomore film, Animal, was selected and participated in L’Atelier(Festival de Cannes) and Mia Roma Market. In August 2023, Animal premiered at Locarno IFF, where it won the Award for Best Performance. Animal also won Best Film Award at Thessaloniki IFF, Cork IFF and Vancouver IFF plus numerous other awards in various festivals such as Best Performance Award at Les Arcs FF and Thessaloniki IFF, Fipresci Award at Mannheim IFF etc.

Chipo

Chipo Zhou, entrepreneur and film festival curator

Chipo Zhou is an entrepreneur and film festival curator with over 15 years of experience in the arts industry. She advocated for the transformation of the film industry in Zimbabwe early in her career at the International Images Film Festival for Women and, more recently, in South Africa through her work at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF). Chipo delivered five consecutive iterations of the DIFF and increased African and LGBTQ+ representation from 20% to more than 50% during that time as Festival Director & Curator. Over the years, she has created various platforms to develop local South African films by providing support for zero-budget filmmakers; Isiphethu at DIFF is a major one. She developed and delivered a film marketing and distribution course for emerging filmmakers at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2021 to bridge the gap between the theory and the practical aspects of the field for emerging, underrepresented filmmakers. In 2018, she led the team that hosted the BRICS International Film Festival in partnership with the Ministry of Arts and Culture in South Africa as part of the broader engagements around BRICS. She has sat on various international film festival juries and contributed to the creation of different training programs within the film industry. She sits on various international film festival juries and participates in various film-related forums.

Carol Sansour, founder and director of the Athens Palestine Film Festival

Carol Sansour

Carol Sansour is a seasoned communications strategist, who brings with her over twenty years of experience creating and implementing cultural and social programs for public and private sector organizations. Sansour has led projects and initiatives including community mobilization, awareness campaigns and events; to build local capacities and promote development. Sansour is also a published poet and writer. Her work is translated into English, French, Italian, Spanish and German.

tasosm

Tasos Melemenidis, Head of Programming & Acquisitions, Cinobo

Born and raised in Eleftheroupolis, Kavala. He studied Computer Science at Aristotle University, but found his way to the cinema, for which he started writing in 2006. For several years he wrote critiques, tributes and cinema news for Lifo and Cinemagazine, collaborated with the Athens International Film Festival and in editions of the Thessaloniki Film Festival. He currently curates the programme of the Greek streaming platform Cinobo.

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