- » Pitching Forum > Pitching Panel
Below are the commissioning editors and other potential financiers and distributors who have already confirmed their attendance to the DocsBarcelona Pitching Forum. This list will be updated as we receive confirmations from other participants.
Vice President of Programming ITVS (U.S.A.)
CLAIRE AGUILAR is Vice President of Programming at the Independent Television Service (ITVS), which funds, promotes and distributes independently produced programming to public television. At ITVS, she oversees all aspects of program initiatives, including programming strategy, funding calls, peer panel review and funding recommendations. She commissions programming from U.S. independent producers and from international producers for ITVS’s International Media Development Fund, and co-curates the Independent Lens series, a series of independently produced programs on PBS. She came to ITVS from public television station KCET/Los Angeles, where she programmed the station’s schedule and managed programming acquisitions. Prior to that she was a film programmer at the UCLA Film and Television Archive, one of the leading exhibition venues for international documentary and classic Hollywood films. She has curated film and media exhibitions for the American Film Institute, the Los Angeles Asian American Film and Video Festival, and the Wexner Center for the Arts in Ohio. She has served as a programming consultant and panelist for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Rockefeller Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Fellowships in the Arts and many other media and funding organizations. A second-generation Filipina American, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies and a Master of Arts in Film and Television Studies from UCLA. She serves on the board of Women Make Movies, STEPS International and the EURODOC Steering Committee.
Commissioning Editor TVC (Spain)
Since 1985, he has been a scriptwriter, director, executive producer and commissioning editor for Televisió de Catalunya/TV3 (Catalan TV broadcaster).
Currently and since 2000, he’s the Head of Documentary Coproductions and Director of the documentary slot “El Documental”. Airing from January 2001, “El Documental” is a weekly evening program in TVC’s second channel (C33), which focusses on creative proposals with social undertones. It combines a wide range of international productions (acquisitions), with local Catalan works (coproductions and pre-buys). Mostly one hour documentaries, and occasionally, feature length pieces.
Jordi Ambrós also collaborates on a regular basis with diffeent national and international organizations as a consultant, jury, lecturer, tutor and speecher.
Commissioning Editor Chello Multicanal (Spain)
Roberto Blatt is Director of Content and Development for ChelloMulticanal, leading company in the design, production and distribution of thematic channels in Iberia, as well as Head of in-house and international co-productions for all of them, particularly documentaries for Odisea and Canal Historia. He is a member of EDN, and a veteran Commissioning Editor, active in numerous European forums for documentaries organized by EDN and other institutions, in addition to being a lecturer for various master courses for documentaries. Roberto studied Economics and Anthropology at Ben Gurion University and was granted a Doctoral research scholarship in Philosophy for the Stiftung zür Förderung der Philosophie, Mönchengladbach, Germany.
Commissioning Editor SVT (Sweden)
Vera Bonnier has been employed at SVT since 1980. She started to work in the film business as a script-girl in 1966. During those years she studied journalism and economics.
Today she is Commissioning Editor and responsible for a slot called K Special, of documentaries and portraits within the field of art, architecture, literature, music, dance, photography, film, theatre and history of culture together with Hjalmar Palmgren.
Recent titles of the strand are Ann Leibowitz - Life through a Lens, The Gates, Songbirds, Dixie Chicks -Shut up and sing, Burma VJ - Reporting From a Closed Country, John le Carré, Life Extended.
For the slot K Special SVT co-produce and pre-buy documentaries.
Preferred length: 56-58 min.
Allocated budget: Co-production 50%/ license commissions 10%/ acquisitions 40%.
Programming mandate: As the concept Fine Arts nowadays has more diversified meaning, it is of great interest to SVT Arts and Culture to co-produce projects that can be accepted by a younger generation of viewers. Therefore SVT, besides more traditional documentaries, is especially looking for unpredictable subject matters that reflect new currents in the cultural life.
MARGJE DE KONING
Commissioning Editor IKON (The Netherlands)
Born in 1964. Education: Theatre Science (University of Amsterdam). Radio, Film and Television Course (University of Bristol, UK). After finishing her studies, during 12 years Margje de Koning made all sorts of documentaries for many different broadcasting companies. In 2004 Margje de Koning became a part-time teacher of Culture and Media Studies (department of Film& Television at the University of Amsterdam). In August 2004, Margje de Koning became Commissioning Editor for a documentary slot of 52' documentaries. This means producing and co-producing creative single 52' documentaries on contemporary social, socio-cultural and moral issues with a strong human interest angle. As of January, 2005 Margje de Koning is also responsible for the Television Department of IKON television.
Managing Producer, Special Projects
Documentary Film Program Sundance Institute (USA)
Patricia Finneran serves as Managing Producer, Special Projects for the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and is based in New York. She supports Program initiatives including the Fund, for which she is responsible for recommending film projects, and the ‘Stories of Change’ partnership with the Skoll Foundation and represents the Program internationally. From 2003-08, Finneran was Director of SILVERDOCS Festival and Conference. Presented in Washington DC by the American Film Institute and sponsored by Discovery Channel, it is the largest documentary festival in the US. She previously served as Artistic Director of the IFP Market, the leading US market for independent film projects in development. She has produced for organizations including the US State Department, the IMF and the History Channel. Finneran studied at the AFI conservatory and was also a creative executive in Hollywood.
Commissioning Editor, RAI (Italy)
At the end of the 70s he worked in Perugia for RAI local production for a documentation project on the local social reality, without losing his interest on research in television language and his activities in theatrical and video-theatrical fiction. In 1988 he moved to Rome, and kept working in RAI3 as a television director. His work as a documentary director led him around the world. He directed “Tepuy: a travel to the origins of the world”, set in Venezuela (1997), “Greenland, the long lasting sunset” (1998), and “Akha, when the wind was blowing”, set in Thailand (2000). In 2005 he directed his first feature film for cinema, “When children play in the sky”, completely shot in Greenland. This film won several awards, as best Feature Film at Ischia Film Festival, Maremetraggio Festival in Trieste and Festival Cinemountain in Cervinia, and minor awards in Sulmona Film Festival and Autrans Festival (France). In 2006 he directed “When the hands speak” for DOC3, and in 2007 “Pio La Torre, the Son of the Earth”. Since 2008 he is in charge of DOC3 (Rai Tre) as Commissioning Editor. He selects the documentaries to buy and co-produce, and he follows all the projects in their development.
Commissioning Editor CHANNEL 4 (United Kingdom)
Aysha Rafaele is a Documentaries Commissioning Editor at Channel 4. She commissions across documentaries output, including single films and series. She is also responsible for Secret Millionaire and is the editor of First Cut - Channel 4’s new documentary directing strand. Aysha started her career in television as a trainee at the BBC and before moving into commissioning was an award winning documentary and drama director.
Commissioning Editor ARTE (France)
Alex Szalat is a Director of short films, documentaries and TV series since 1977.
His filmography is extensive, covering a full range of aspects dealing with European life culture and society. In 1987, Szalat founded KS VISIONS, an independent producers’ society and has produced over a hundred documentaries and TV series for Canal +, Arte, FR3, FR2, TF1, Planete, IBA, RTBF, Dutch Channel 1, amongst others. Since 2005 Szalat is Commissioning Editor for the Geopolitical Europe and Society department of Arte France, and from 2008, he heads the Current affairs, Social issues and Geopolitical department.
WIM VAN ROMPAEY
Commissioning Editor, Litchtpunt (Belgium)
Master's degree in Modern History at the Free University of Brussels in 1975. Since 1981, producer of Lichtpunt, an independent broadcaster that has two weekly TV-programmes on the second channel of the Flemish public broadcast (VRT).
Lichtpunt is subsidised by the Flemish government. The mission of Lichtpunt is to bring documentaries, interviews and feature films from a humanist point of view. Therefore Lichtpunt broadcasts human/social-interest programmes. Lichtpunt produces a part of its programmes inhouse, but also buys and co-produces in the international market. Recent co-productions or presales are Rabbit à la Berlin, Mostar United and Monsanto.
Commissioning Editor YLE (Finland)
Jenny Westergard is a graduated journalist from Helsinki University and has been working for YLE -The Finnish Broadcasting Company since 1985. Currently she is working as Commissioning Editor for documentaries in the YLE Co-production department. She mainly commissions for YLE FST, the Swedish language channel on YLE. YLE FST offers full service 7 days a week with an average broadcast of 2200 hours/ year. The main language is Swedish, but all programmes are subtitled in Finnish. At the moment YLE FST has two weekly slots for documentaries; focusing on contemporary, social, political, human interest strong stories with good characters.
DR. KATJA WILDERMUTH
Commissioning Editor, MDR (Germany)
Dr. Katja Wildermuth is Head of Documentaries in the editorial office “History and Society” at MDR Television in Leipzig, Germany. She is responsible for historical documentaries, docudramas, contemporary feature length documentaries for MDR, ARD and Arte - and for international co-productions.
Before heading “History and Society” Katja Wildermuth worked for several other editorial offices, commissioning documentaries as well as news magazines. Beside that she worked as an author and director for several TV formats.
Recent documentaries she commissioned are the award winning Durakovo. Village of Fools, Alone in four Walls, Do Communists Have Better Sex?, Letter to Anna – The Story of journalist Politkovskaya’s death; The House on August Street (Silver Price Haifa Festival 2008); Cutting the Cord (Plovdiv Silver Chest Award 2006).
Managing Director, Kloos & Co. Medien and Rise & Shine World Sales (Germany)
After 6 years at leading youth and music TV producer MME, an Adolf Grimme TV-Award for ARD-series POP 2000 and a 2-year-interval in multimedia, Stefan founded Kloos & Co. Medien in 2002 - producing creative documentaries with international TV broadcasters and for the cinema. He is an EDN and AG DOK member and was selected for this year´s DOCUMENTARY CAMPUS MASTERCLASS. In 2007, he founded RISE AND SHINE WORLD SALES, which has successfully contributed to international distribution of selected award-winning documentaries.
Deputy Director, First Hand Films (Switzerland)
Born in Denmark, she lives in Switzerland since 2000. In Zurich Gitte has worked with international distribution of feature films, and in 2002 she joined First Hand Films, an international sales agency for high quality documentaries. Gitte has previously been coordinator of the Nordisk Forum for Co-financing of Documentaries organized by Filmkontakt Nord in Copenhagen, she has worked for the former MEDIA project DOCUMENTARY which included the first edition of the EDN TV Guide and a study on the European Documentary sector regarding co-production and film financing. For 5 years Gitte Hansen was Head of Information and Promotion with Filmkontakt Nord, a promotion and co-ordination center for independent shorts and documentaries from the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. She has joined Vertigal Strategies, Eurodoc, and has been consultant and lecturer at workshops in Europe. Gitte has served on several juries at film festivals around Europe and holds a master in Film and Rhetoric from the University of Copenhagen.
Editorial Director, Mercury Media and Joiningthedocs.tv (United Kingdom)
Nick Ware is Editorial Director of Mercury Media, the international documentary film distributor, and of its documentaries on demand channel, www.joiningthedocs.tv. Nick leads on partnerships and film acquisition for both projects.
Nick is also a consultant, specialising in finding new ways to create, fund and distribute factual and documentary content. He works with media companies, film festivals, charities and Government departments. He is also a freelance executive producer and trainer.
Nick was a senior executive in the BBC for many years, including Managing Editor of BBC Four, Creative Director of BBC Learning, and Commissioner for Arts programmes. He is also a former Controller of the not-for-profit tv station Community Channel.