Film Office mentors

As part of the Film Office's activities, filmmakers are invited to take 30-minute one-to-one meetings with a mentor. These Industry insiders can provide important advice, guidance, coaching and inspiration to the filmmakers.

They will assist them in making the most of their stay in Rotterdam, developing strategies to advance their film in selection, give advice on their next projects and connect them to key Industry players. The mentors are also available to speak to producers and sales agents with a film in the festival.

Hayet Benkara

A Toronto-based Film Industry Advisor. She worked 6 years as the Manager of the Sales Office, the unofficial market, at the Toronto International Film Festival.

She is now the Manager of STUDIO a new industry year round programme at TIFF Bell Lightbox ( Benkara has also worked for many prestigious film festivals such as Cannes (Producers Network), Berlin (the Co-production market), IFFR (CineMart), the Dubai International Film Festival, the Guanajuato Film Festival (Mexico), Era New Horizon (Poland), the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and most recently the Doha Film Institute.

Over the years, Hayet Benkara has developed a very strong international network and a good knowledge of the international market place. Year round she advises young and more established filmmakers and producers on Development, Production, Co-production, Distribution and Marketing, and Festival strategies.

Expertise: Production, Sales, Acquisition and Marketing, Film Festivals

Territories: North America and Europe

Karina Gechtman

Karina is an international film marketing consultant with over 10 years experience across production, sales and distribution for independent feature films and documentaries. Karina works closely with producers to build tailor-made international marketing strategies from pre-production through to festival launches and distribution.

As Head of Marketing for the sales and production company Independent, Karina collaborated with filmmakers such as Lynne Ramsay, David Mackenzie, Carol Morley and Sean Ellis on the marketing and international sales positioning of their films. Prior to this, Karina held marketing positions at Paramount Pictures and Disney. She has also consulted for Secret Cinema who create site specific immersive film events.

Expertise: marketing strategy, positioning, budgeting, creation of marketing materials for sales and distribution, international sales, international PR, film festival launches

Territories: World

  • Film Office mentors
  • Film Office mentors
  • Film Office mentors
  • Film Office mentors

Pierre Menahem

A Paris-based film executive with more than 15-year experience in the Industry, Pierre worked at Celluloid Dreams as director of sales and acquisitions for 8 years, supervising the marketing of a catalogue of more than 200 titles and attending all principal festival and markets (Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Tokyo, Filmart HK, Locarno, Venice, Toronto, AFM).

In 2004 he founded Scalpel Films, co-producing and selling 4 to 5 films a year from all over the world. During this period he served as jury member in several festivals and participated to many workshops on international sales and co-productions. In 2011 he created a sales division in the production company MPM Film.

Pierre is also the programmer for competition features, docs and shorts, as well as the work in progress section for Industry professionals of the Belfort International Film Festival. In 2015 he founded Still Moving with former MPM Film partner Juliette Lepoutre, a new Paris based company dedicated to international co-productions and sales.

Expertise: International strategies, Development, Co-Production, Marketing, Distribution, Film Festivals

Territories: World

Marina Kožul

Worked for Croatian Radiotelevision as a screenwriter, and from 2002 to 2004 she was engaged on a monthly-based TV show Videodrome, which broadcast international experimental film and video.

She is one of the co- founders of the Croatian non-profit organization, 25 FPS Association for Audio- Visual Research (2004) in Zagreb, whose activities include media education and publishing, and its main project is 25 FPS – International Experimental Film and Video Festival where she works as one of the programmers and producers.

She has curated programs for several festivals, art cinemas in Zagreb and other Croatian cities, as well as promoting Croatian experimental film, video and animation within European and international film and media events.

Expertise: Shorts, Experimental Films, Animation Films, Festivals strategies.

Territories: Europe