Antonia Kilian

Antonia Kilian is a director, cinematographer and producer based between Kassel and Berlin. She studied Visual Communication and Art and Media at the Berlin University of the Arts, and Cinematography at the Film University Potsdam Babelsberg and at the ISA in Havana, Cuba.

She works as a DOP for feature and documentary films. For her directorial debut THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER about Hala’s struggle for self-determination, she filmed for more then a year in the Kurdish areas called “Rojava” in northeast Syria. She developed THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER within ExOriente, IDFA Summerschool and Baltic Sea Forum. THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER won among 18 Awards at international filmfestivals the German Film Academy Award LOLA for Best Documentary and the Grimme Award and was in the selection for the European Film Academy Award 2021.

With her new production EXILE NEVER ENDS she particpiates in EURODOC 2022. EXILE NEVER ENDS is funded by Hessenfilm in Co-Production with ZDF/Das Kleine Fernsehspiel. Her production company Pink Shadow Films is based in Kassel/Germany and received the Talent Package Funding for newcomers from Hessenfilm for the development of three new projects.

Ekrem Heydo

Ekrem Heydo was born in 1973 in Serekanie, Syria. For two years he studied medicine in Latakia. After moving to Germany in 1995, he began studying film (Camera and Editing) in Hannover. Heydo found his own style and began directing. Then he continued his education at the University of Dortmund and received a diploma.

Ekrem has directed many short films. His first film, "Halabja - Lost Children", has participated in many festivals and won many international awards, including Best Film and Best Director at the Gulf film festival Awards, and Best Documentary at the Yilmaz Guney Film Festival. The film also won a Special Jury Prize at the Dubai International Film Festival. In 2014, Heydo returned to his hometown of SerêKaniyê and began filming the documentary "My Paradise", which won awards at film festivals. "A bridge for Rojava" is his last documentary film.

Cengiz Akaygün

Cengiz Akaygün was born in Stuttgart in 1979 as the son of Kurdish guest workers. As a director and writer, he resides and works in Stuttgart.

Since 2014, he has successfully realized five short films, all of which have garnered numerous awards worldwide. In October 2021, his film "Aysha" celebrated its German premiere at the Hofer Filmtage and received the Short Film Award at the event. "Aysha" has been recognized with awards at various internationally acclaimed short film festivals, earning a spot on the shortlist for the German Short Film Award and securing a nomination for the 95th Academy Awards. Additionally, "Aysha" was a nominee for the German Human Rights Award in 2022. In the same year,

Cengiz Akaygün clinched the Short Film Award at the Hamburg Kurdish Film Festival. Currently, he is immersed in the development of his inaugural feature film, with plans to bring it to fruition in 2024.