Our juries are for the most part appointed by the festival direction and comprise notable figures of the East European and German film industry. A total number of eight juries awards prizes at the FilmFestival Cottbus and the Lusatian FilmShow.

30th FilmFestival Cottbus 2020

International Festival Jury

Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey – in 2019 one of the main characters in the rbb fairy tale DAS MÄRCHEN VON DEN ZWÖLF MONATEN, this year a completely different work by the actor can be found in the FFC programme. Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey can be seen in Tarantinos INGLORIOUS BASTERDS. The passionate coffee drinker can't be pigeonholed, he shooted with Cronenberg and Haneke. Some, however, may think at first of his role as the cocoa drinking policeman Lupo, who convinces in the Weimar TATORT alongside Nora Tschirner and Christian Ulmen in a leading supporting role.

Axel Ranisch – with the conclusion of his trailer trilogy in the anniversary year, the Berlin-Lichtenberg based film, theatre and opera director, actor and author Axel Ranisch (DICKE MÄDCHEN, ALKI ALKI, TATORT) together with his "Lubina" leading actress Monika Anna Wojtyllo, is at the top of the unofficial ranking of those who have produced festival trailers for the FFC. It is the fourth coup of the winner of the Grimme Prize, because in addition to the continuation story, which has been told in three episodes since 2018, Ranisch, together with Monika Anna Wojtyllo, has already produced the clip for the 18th edition. The multi-talented artist has hosted the opening gala of the FFC twice so far, last year sitting next to Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz. This time he himself is taking a seat on a jury chair.

Bodo Kox – born in 1977 in Wrocław, is regarded as an outstanding representative of independent Polish cinema. In 2013, The Girl from the Wardrobe was awarded Best Debut Film at the FFC. The director, actor, screenwriter and journalist often is a guest at the FilmFestival Cottbus, where his film THE MAN WITH THE MAGIC BOX was also enthusiastically applauded. This year he will be showing his first TV series at the FFC with the World War II action drama PEOPLE AND GODS.

Maria Trigo Teixeira – born in Lisbon, came to Potsdam to study animation film at the Film University Babelsberg. She won the German Short Film Award 2019 with her graduation film INSIDE ME, which artistically deals with the topic of abortion. Most recently, she realised an atmospheric project trailer for "5x4 -Brandenburger Festivalkino", the joint film tour programme of the four Brandenburg film festivals Jüdisches Filmfestival, Provinziale, Film ohne Grenzen und FFC. She works as an animation filmmaker and producer and is the director of the Shortcutz short film festival in Berlin.

Yang Ge – the Beijing born actress studied acting at the State Film School in Moscow, the Gerasimov Institute for Cinematography. Her first film NU, in which she was responsible for directing and writing and played one of the leading roles, was awarded the Audience Prize and the Special Jury Prize at the Moscow Film Festival in 2018.In 2012 Yang Ge began working with director Kirill Serebrennikov at the Gogol Centre, in whose production DECAMERONE she is currently playing at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin.  She has used the Corona break to create her own new series with CAN'T LEAVE STAY.

Jury Short Film Competition

Sandro Fioravanti
– 27 years, lives in Berlin. As a German-Italian, he has been commuting between the two countries for many years. He photographs and produces videos with his own technique - from the idea to the final cut. From 2011 to 2013 Sandro Fioravanti studied at the Universität der Künste in Berlin and from 2014 to 2018 at the Filmschauspielschule Berlin. Sandro Fioravanti's passion is music and dance. He attended dance workshops in Germany and Italy and took singing lessons in Berlin. For several years he was a member of the permanent ensemble at the Deutsches Theater Berlin. His most successful role there was Melchior in "Frühlingserwachen" based on Frank Wedekind. Besides many different roles,  he played a role in the new ARD fairy tale in 2020. In the ARD/rbb/Radio Bremen production "Das Märchen vom goldenen Taler" (directed by Cüneyt Kaya, producers NFP and Rights GmbH) he plays the gatekeeper.

Vlada Senkova - film director and screenwriter, born 1986 in Belarus. Until 2010 she studied Computational Linguistics at the Belarusian State University. Then, in 2013, she graduated from the Minsk Film School in film directing and screenwriting and in 2020 from Andrzej Vajda's Warsaw School. In 2015, she released her first feature film "The Count in Oranges" (2015), which took part in the Moscow Film Festival, received a Discovery Award at the FilmFestival Cottbus and a diploma "For a Bold and Novel Perspective" at the Listapad Film Festival in Minsk. Her second feature film "II" (2019) was awarded the Special Mention Jury Award at the Warsaw IFF.

Zuzana Bielikova – Head of the Slovak Film Commission, graduate of the Prague FAMU for Production, after almost 15 years of working in various professional positions in film production. She has also been actively involved in foreign film marketing, where she gained valuable knowledge of the current situation on the film and television market in an international context. She has experience in managing projects for important film and television events and she is the director of the industry days of the Film Festival Finale Pilsen.

Jury U18 Youth Film Competition 

Martyna Biel, V Liceum Ogólnokształcące Im. Krzysztofa Kieślowskiego Zielona Góra

Kalina Gawrysiak, V Liceum Ogólnokształcące Im. Krzysztofa Kieślowskiego Zielona Góra

Sabrina Pelíšková, Gymnázium Teplice

Radek Zajíček, Gymnázium Teplice

Jessica Konzack, Niedersorbisches Gymnasium Cottbus

Jury of the Lusatian FilmShow

Laura Maria Hänsel - born in Karlsruhe in 1986 and grew up in Heidelberg. From 2006 to 2010 she studied acting at the "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Academy of Music and Theatre in Leipzig. From 2011 to 2014 she was a member of the ensemble at the Staatstheater Cottbus, where she was awarded the Max Grünebaum Prize in 2012. In the same year she received a nomination as "Young Actress of the Year" in the professional journal Theater heute. From 2015 to 2018 she was an actress at Theater Bielefeld. She also works in film and television. Since the 2018/19 season she has been a permanent member of the ensemble at the Hans Otto Theater.

Joséphine Heidel – born in Forst/Lausitz in 2001 and raised in Cottbus. In 2019 she took part in the Lusatian FilmShow with her first own short film "Lehrerzimmer". Today she studies Media Management at the University of Applied Sciences Mittweida, where she recently became a producer of the Campus Festival.

Měto Kjarcmaŕ – Born in Cottbus in 1991. Since 2009 volunteering as a language mediator and youth team leader. From 2012 to 2018 he studied Polish and Russian language and literature at the University of Potsdam. He is an autodidact of the Lower Sorbian language and writes poems that have been published in the Sorbian cultural magazine Rozhlad, among others. Since 2019 he has been studying German-Polish social work at the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg.


Jury of the DIALOGUE Prize for Intercultural Communication

Juliette Duret – Having completed her degree in Economics at the Université libre de Bruxelles in 1989 (ULB), she started developing her desire to work in cinema by making frequent visits to the Film Archive in Brussels. In 1992, she took up the position of Coordinator for Wallonie Bruxelles Images, fostering the films of the French-speaking community abroad by means of facilitating, marketing and promoting work at international film festivals. In 2001, she completed a year-long professional development programme at EAVE, les Entrepreneurs de l’Audiovisuel, before becoming Head of Wallonie Bruxelles Images. 
After 14 years, she moved to the Centre for Fine Arts (CFA - BOZAR Brussels), where she held the position of Coordinator and Film Curator from 2006 until 2013. Since 2013, she has been head of the Film Department at BOZAR and is a member of its Management Team. She has been a member of the European Film Academy since 2006 and is a member of the Académie André Delvaux (Magritte Awards). She has participated in numerous committees for project evaluation and schools, and has sat on several juries at international film festivals.

Prof. Dr. Gwendolyn Sasse – Director of the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) in Berlin. Previously, she was Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Oxford. Her research interests include post-communist transitions and the dynamics of war, migration, and protest. Her current research focuses on the war in eastern Ukraine, youth attitudes in Russia, and the relationship between “voice” (protest) and “exit” (migration) in Belarus, Poland and Ukraine. Her book The Crimea Question: Identity, Transition, and Conflict (Harvard University Press 2007; paperback 2014) won the Alexander Nove Prize of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies. She is currently writing a monograph on the political remittances of migrants (Oxford University Press). She has also developed a number of projects at the interface of social science and artistic research.

Grzegorz Skorupski – Cultural, film and social communication professional with over 10 years of experience among top national and international cultural and educational institutions. Since 2012 at Adam Mickiewicz Institute as a member of Institute’s Experts Team in charge of film where he is responsible for planning and coordinating the Institute film program as well as planning the long term strategies for film projects. 
Particularly interested in cultural - social communication and audio-visual languages in contemporary cultural discourse. He believe that the efficient ability to use the language of culture is the basis of effective self-development and acting in modern life - social, business, emotional, intellectual, etc. He stubbornly claims that culture is the basis, whereas social, business and private life are the components - not the other way around.

Jury Debut Film Prize

Dr. Lea Wohl von Haselberg – film and media scholar at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF. She researches and writes on German-Jewish topics and curates film programmes. After studying theatre, film and media studies in Frankfurt am Main, she completed her doctorate in Hamburg and Haifa with a thesis on Jewish feature film characters in West German film and television. Her research is located at the interface between media studies and Jewish studies. She is a member of the Selma Stern Centre for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg and co-editor of the magazine "Yalta. Positionen zur jüdischen Gegenwart".  
Since 2017, she has been working at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF on a research project on working biographies of Jewish filmmakers in the FRG, where she heads the DFG network A German-Jewish Film History of the FRG and, since 2020, the Junior Research Group "What is Jewish Film?".

Dr. Thomas Köstlin – lawyer and cultural manager. After holding leading positions at federal cultural events in Berlin (Berliner Festspiele, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlinale), he founded his company Exponatus | Büro für Ausstellungsmanagement in 2010. In the last two years Thomas Köstlin has also been a visiting professor for cultural management in the master's programmes "World Heritage Studies" and "Heritage Conservation and Site Management" at the Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus-Senftenberg. Film has been one of his great passions since his youth.

Prof. Dr. Hans Friesen  Studied philosophy, art history, German language and literature, journalism and communication sciences at the Ruhr University in Bochum from 1979 to 1985. Master's degree 1986, doctorate 1990-1991 in Bochum. Habilitation 2000-2001 at the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus and the University of Potsdam. In May 2001, he was granted a teaching licence in Potsdam and in February 2002 he was appointed as a private lecturer at the BTU Cottbus.


Savina Petkova – Bulgarian freelance film critic based in London, UK. Her English bylines include MUBI Notebook, photogénie, AwardsWatch, Festivalists and more. She also writes for the Bulgarian Film Society and runs a regular column on female-directed films in print for the weekly Literaturen Vestnik. Savina is a Talents Press alumna for both Berlinale Talents and Talents Sarajevo and a PhD candidate with a project on animal metamorphoses in contemporary European cinema at King’s College London.

WANG Yao – Ph.D assistant researcher of the China Film Culture Institute, Beijing Film Academy. He also is a film critic, festival curator for Beijing IFF and Hainan Island IFF etc. He works on film history, Eastern European cinemas studies, and film festival studies.  His book “Romanian New Wave and Companion of Balkan Cinema Studies: Volume 1” (co-editor) is forthcoming in publication.

Tina Waldeck – born in Offenbach am Main, studied film and media aesthetic in Mainz, Germany. For her thesis with an enlargement of Walter Benjamin's aura term in the contemporary atmospheric term of the new phenomenology, she received the promotion for young talents „film+medien Nachwuchsförderung Rheinland-Pfalz“, Germany. This was followed by a master’s degree at the Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main in the field of theatre-, film- and media studies and the work as an editorial assistant for goEast – Festival of central and eastern European Films, Germany. Since 2018 she is a member of the German Society for Aesthetics and aesthetic advisor for various film productions. She is also a member of the Association of German Film Critics (VDFK) and part of the FIPRESCI.

Ecumenical Jury

Françoise Wilkowski Dehove (*1950), Paris, France – journalist,  a member of the editorial board of Pro-Fil, in charge of writing and editing the cinema files ans cards for the Pro-Fil basis. She has been attending the Honfleur festival of Russian cinema for many years and attended also the Cannes and Deauville festivals several times. During her career at France Press Agency (AFP), she was a correspondent in Moscow (1998-2000). She holds a master degree in Russian language at Paris X University and a diploma of Superior and Specialised Studies upon Eastern Countries (Institut d'études politiques de Paris).

Mladen Aleksic (*1985), Jagodina, Serbia – religious teacher in school, web journalist. Master in Theology (Faculty of orthodox theology, University of Belgrade, Serbia). Master thesis „Film art as the language of the Gospel sermon“. He is assistant director on TV docu-fiction series “Liturgy” and director of short movie “User is currently unavailable” (Short film festival Ljubljana, 2010) and “Mirroring” (sup. by SouthEastEurope Cinema Network; Faludi International Non-Professional Film Festival Budapest, ProFire Short Film Festival Edinburgh). He is member of: Religion News Association, International Association of Religion Journalists, World Association of Christian Communication (Regional Executive Committee). 

Théo Peporté (*1953), Luxembourg, Luxembourg – former head of the press and communication office of the Catholic Church in Luxembourg. General treasurer of SIGNIS from 2003 - 2010. SIGNIS Europe delegate from 2001 - 2017. He is member of SIGNIS Cinema Desk, member of SIGNIS and Ecumenical juries in Venice, Berlin, Locarno, Chemnitz, Oberhausen and Yerevan as well as SIGNIS coordinator of the Ecumenical jury in Cannes. 

Daniel Gewand (*1983), Coesfeld, Germany – catholic theologian, studied in Bochum, trained in pastoral ministry in Oldenburg and in journalism at ifp Munich and WDR in Cologne. In 2015 he founded the project frei.raum.coesfeld (open space Coesfeld). The project aims to discover and create spaces of faith, spirituality and religion in a new, unconventional and true-to-life form, especially for young adults. Crucial for him are the topics of the 25-35 year old. He is inspired by music, film, literature and art. Since 2009 he is author and speaker at “Kirche in 1LIVE”. In addition, in 2015 he developed and is since responsible for the preaching format “Gedanken zum Tag” at Radio Kiepenkerl, a local radio station. Furthermore, he develops advanced training for pastoral workers and priests.

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.