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Abel Ferrara, an enfant terrible and one of the most significant personalities of American independent cinema, started his controversial, scandal-filled career with The Driller Killer and Ms. 45. His films often examine the characters’ inner psychology and the environment through emotional and physical violence.

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A famous graduate of Prague’s FAMU film school, Emir Kusturica is one of Europe’s most successful and original directors. His films have won him many awards at prestigious festivals.

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One of the most important female figures in contemporary cinema, director and screenwriter Agnieszka Holland has a filmography that includes numerous commercial and critical successes. She was a representative of the Polish New Wave and her early works are classified as part of the Cinema of Moral Unrest.

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British cinematographer Peter Suschitzky made a name for himself in the mid-1960s in the UK as the youngest cameraman to make a feature film at that time (It Happened Here). He’s cooperated with directors typical for their documentary approach and use of non-actors. He belongs to the world of today’s elite cinematographers.

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Jan Tříska is a legendary actor who has portrayed an impressive number of theatre and film characters throughout his career. Not only did he make a name for himself in the Czech Republic, he also broke through in the USA, where he emigrated in 1977. He began acting in theatre as the youngest member of the National Theatre dramatic company.

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Ulrich Thomsen studied acting in Copenhagen and initially focused on theatre. He has done a broad range of film work, appearing in independent pictures, TV series, action movies and European thrillers. His role as a Bond villain in The World Is Not Enough placed Thomsen in the spotlight.

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The producer of films such as Love Actually and Notting Hill, Duncan Kenworthy will introduce his latest picture, The Pass, at the festival. The UK television and film producer began his career in New York in the 1970s, when among other jobs he oversaw international aspects of the production of the classic children’s program Sesame Street. He returned to London in 1980 and since then has produced numerous TV series and films, earning five BAFTA awards, three Emmy awards and an Oscar nomination.

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The actor and director Miroslav Krobot is one of the most eminent names in the world of Czech theatre and film. In 1996, he became artistic director of the Prague theatre Dejvické divadlo and today ranks among the most influential figures in Czech theatre.

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After studying photography in Vienna, the Italian director and screenwriter Tizza Covi moved to Rome, where she worked as a photographer. In 1996, she formed a creative partnership with Rainer Frimmel that has produced films, theatre plays and photographs. They have received several awards for their documentaries, including one at the Berlinale for the film Babooska.

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Prior to becoming a filmmaker, the Austrian director and cinematographer Rainer Frimmel studied psychology and later photography. His work was rewarded with grants in Paris, New York and Rome.

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During her studies Iveta Grófová, a film graduate from Bratislava’s Academy of Performing Arts, shot the animated short There Were 11 of Us and several short documentaries such as Gastarbeiters and Discoboy, which were later included in the anthology film Slovakia 2.0.

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The Montenegrin director and screenwriter Ivan Marnovic studied at Prague’s FAMU film school, shooting several shorts there that were screened at the Famufest student showcase. In 2012, he worked with the Czech-Macedonian director Ivo Trajkov on the screenplay of the experimental thriller Pariser Platz – Berlin.

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The French director and screenwriter Antonin Peretjatko comes from Grenoble. During his studies at the Louis-Lumière film school he shot several shorts and was nominated for a César for Best Debut for his first picture The Rendez-Vous of Déjà-Vu.

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Frenchman Angelin Preljocaj studied classical ballet, from which he later switched to modern dance. In 1984, he set up his own dance company Ballet Preljocaj, whose repertoire has been performed at the world’s greatest venues, including Milan’s La Scala, New York City Ballet and Paris Opera.

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The Serbian screenwriter and director Milos Radovic came to the attention of critics at Cannes in 1987 with his short film The Sudden and Premature Death of Colonel K.K. For nearly 15 years he focused on shorts, television series and theatre plays before shooting his first feature film in 2003, the comedy mosaic Little World, which received a jury prize at the Sarajevo film festival.

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A distinctive figure in Balkans cinema, Serbian actor Lazar Ristovski is not just known for his numerous screen roles but also as a successful screenwriter, director and producer. In 1995, he played the lead role in Emir Kusturica’s Palme d'Or-winning comedy drama Underground.

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The visual and conceptual artist Tomáš Svoboda studied at two painting studios at Prague’s Academy of Fine Arts. On the Czech art scene, his central focus is on installations, performances and interventions in the public space. He was involved in the inception of the Tranzitdisplay gallery and heads the New Media studio at the Academy of Fine Arts.

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The Belgian-born film, theatre and ad director Fien Troch has won numerous awards at film festivals around Europe for his short films. His feature debut Someone Else’s Happiness was screened in the Forum of Independents section at the Karlovy Vary festival.

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Eduardo Williams is one of South America’s most promising directors. He is a graduate of Argentina’s Universidad del Cine v Buenos. Even when making student and short films, such as That I’m Falling? and Could See a Puma, he used travel as a powerful source of inspiration. The resulting works are infused with a melancholy mood suggesting that the journey may well be the destination.

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A German cinematographer of Czech origin, Peter Zeitlinger is a professor at the Department of Cinematography at Munich’s University of Film and Television. He was drawn to cinematography as a child, when he made his own animated films using an 8mm camera.

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After graduating in film studies and history of art in Paris and Berlin, Julian Radlmaier turned his focus to film theory. He later became assistant to Werner Schroeter, one of the most important directors of the New German Cinema.

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A graduate in film from two universities, in Paris and Los Angeles, Bartosz M. Kowalski made his debut as a director with a documentary and has also served as screenwriter and editor on most of his pictures. After his studies, he returned to his native Poland, where he began cooperating with HBO.

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The multitalented artist Tereza Kotyk works for the most part in her native Austria and the United Kingdom. She studied history of art, media studies, gender studies and fine arts at numerous universities throughout Europe.

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The French dancer and circus acrobat Damien Manicel is also known as the maker of short films that have won awards at several European festivals. His very first work, The Lady with the Dog, won the Prix Jean Vigo, while his feature debut, A Young Poet, was awarded a special mention by the jury of the Locarno festival in 2012.

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The Slovak actor and director Tereza Nvotová comes from a family of film and theatre actors. She was discovered for film by Zdeněk Tyc, who cast her in his Small Celebrations.

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The French actress, photographer and director Lola Doillon comes from a filmmaking family and first appeared on screen as a child in The Crying Woman, directed by her father, Jacques Doillon. In later years she worked with him as assistant director.

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A German actress of Russian origin, Margarita Breitkreiz studied at the prestigious Ernst Busch Academy of the Dramatic Arts in Berlin, winning a number of theatre roles during her studies. Her acting career officially began in 2006 at the Volksbühne Berlin theatre, where she regularly appears in the productions of Frank Castorf.

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The German director and screenwriter Annekatrin Hendel started out as a costume and stage designer. In 1989 she helped establish Berlin’s Theatre 89. Shortly afterwards she shot her first short, Chiquita For Ever.

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Portuguese director Marco Martins made an immediate impact with his debut Alice, which garnered a host of nominations and prizes at international festivals and premiered at Cannes. He cut his teeth as a director at the Lisbon Theatre and Television School and as an assistant to Wim Wenders, Manoel de Oliveira and Bertrand Tavernier.

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Efthymis Papadimitriou, sometimes listed in credits under the first name Makis, was born in Athens. He studied physics and attended an acting course at the Greek National Theatre’s acting school. He has been cast in numerous well-known plays, such as The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Marat/Sade.

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Camille Raulo is head of production at the French company JPL Films, which is focused on creating short and feature-length animated films, animated films for television, magazines and documentaries about classic and computer animation.

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The versatile filmmaker Claire Simon is primarily known for her documentaries, on which she is frequently responsible for the script, camera, editing and direction. Her choice of stories is also wide-ranging. However, they do have one common dominator in the magic of everyday things and banalities.

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The Icelandic director, producer and scriptwriter Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson was born in Reykjavik in 1982. His short films (Þröng sýn, Whale Valley and Ártún) have picked up awards at numerous festivals, including Cannes. Heartstone, which is taking part in IFF Prague – Febiofest’s New Europe competition, is his feature debut.

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