Pro Hub mentors 2020

As part of the Pro Hub’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. Mentors can also assist with specific questions concerning development, financing, sales, marketing, and festival strategies.

Producers and sales agents with a film in the festival can also book a meeting with a mentor.

The mentors at IFFR 2020 are:

Louis Balsan

(available for meetings, 24 - 29 January )

Louis Balsan started his career in corporate finance, before joining French studio Europacorp to coordinate international releases of Arthur & The Minimoys and Transporter franchises. After moving to the arthouse production and sales outfit Funny Balloons, he oversaw the launch and international career of acclaimed films like No (Pablo Larrain), Gloria (Sebastian Lelio), Pasolini (Abel Ferrara), among others.

Relocating to Berlin with Films Boutique in 2015 as head of sales then COO, he took an active part in the success of films like Embrace Of The Serpent (Ciro Guerra), Divines (Houda Benyamina), On Body & Soul (Ildiko Enyedi), and more recently Border (Ali
Abbasi) and Birds Of Passage (Cristina Gallego & Ciro Guerra). He’s a graduate from ESCP Europe, TU Berlin and the Sorbonne.

Expertise: financing, development, international strategies, marketing strategies for sales and distribution, international sales, film festival launches.

Territories: World, Europe

Hayet Benkara

(available for meetings, 23 - 31 January )

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 (tiff.net/Studio). 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 marketplace. 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

James Hewison

(available for meetings, 27 & 28 January)

James Hewison has worked for over two decades in film internationally, from development, acquisitions and distribution to curating, programming and producing he has accumulated considerable and diverse experience across the film and allied
creative industries. He was Executive Director of the Melbourne International Film Festival from 2001 – 2006 then CEO of the Australian Film Institute in 2006 as CEO and subsequently Distribution Manager for Madman Entertainment. During his time at Madman, James managed the releases of multi-award winning Australian features such as Animal Kingdom and Snowtown.

James has consulted across development, acquisition, curation and distribution for a range of international clients, from Canal+ to Hobart’s iconic Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and was Head of Development and Acquisitions for the award-winning
production company Curious, where he oversaw the acquisition and distribution for films such as Fire At Sea and Oscar-winner Ida. Until recently he was Head of Film at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). In addition to senior roles in development, acquisitions, distribution and marketing, he has served on juries such as the Berlinale Panorama and more recently as a mentor at the Australia Council and a range of film schools where he also has lectured and presented workshops. Currently he has producing roles on five feature films. He has just co-founded a strategic consultancy, Kinetic.

Expertise: Development, Acquisitions, Distribution Strategies, Expanded Cinema, Festivals, Marketing, Training, Mentoring.

Territories: World, Australia

Tejinder Jouhal

(available for meetings, 25 - 27 January )

Tejinder has worked across independent exhibition, distribution and international sales for over 15 years. She is currently Senior Marketing and Distribution Manager at HanWay Films; a leading international sales company based in London. Representing a slate of 20+ features and a back catalogue of over 200 including Wash Westmoreland’s Colette, Jean Stephane Sauvaire’s A Prayer Before Dawn, Haifaa Al Mansour’s Mary Shelley, Yorgos Lanthimos’ Killing Of A Sacred Dear and Lone Scherfig’s upcoming The Kindness Of Strangers

Specialising in devising international festival strategies for features and working closely with producers to help launch their films to market, she also works with distributors in supporting their local releases. In addition to her work at HanWay she also consults for
independent directors offering advice and support on launching their projects as well as working for the London Indian Film Festival as the Head of Industry and Partnerships (2018). 

Previously she worked at the ICA Cinema in London for 9 years where she managed the cinema and distribution operations. Launching independent features and documentaries from across the world in the UK. Internationally, she has worked for the Doha Tribeca Film Festival for two seasons as Programme Manager.

Expertise: International Strategies, Film Festivals, Marketing Materials, Distribution.

Territories: World

Marika Kozlovska

(available for meetings on 28 January only)

Marika Kozlovska is an international market consultant and trainer. In the last 10 years, she has worked as a producers’ representative, researcher, strategic & marketing consultant. In the past 5 years she worked for Cinema Do Brasil consulting with Brazilian filmmakers about the international film market. In 2019 Marika joined Zürich Film Fund as a reader of the fiction film projects.

Besides that she also works with other consultants and trainers, preparing tailor-made consultancies and training sessions. She participated as a trainer and speaker at Rotterdam Lab, Berlinale Talents, Mica Meetings, Plot Lab, Next Wave, Swiss Films Talent Day and many more. 

She is a 2018 graduate of EAVE Producers and Marketing Workshops.

Expertise: International film markets, strategy, industry network, promotion and insight marketing.

Territories: World

  • Pro Hub mentors 2020

    Hayet Benkara

  • Pro Hub mentors 2020

    Pierre Menahem

  • Pro Hub mentors 2020

    Marina Kožul

  • Pro Hub mentors 2020

    Tejinder Jouhal

  • Pro Hub mentors 2020

    Delly Shirazi

  • Pro Hub mentors 2020

    James Hewison

  • Pro Hub mentors 2020

    Marika Kozlovska

  • Pro Hub mentors 2020

    Louis Balsan

Marina Kožul

(available for meetings, 23 - 27 January)

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

Pierre Menahem

(available for meetings, 24 - 29 January)

A Paris-based film executive with more than 15-years 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 in 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

Delly Shirazi

(available for meetings, 25 - 28 January)

Delly Shirazi works as a consultant for several film funds such as the Doha Film Institute, Hubert Bals Fund and soon Open Doors Consultancy, a new initiative launched by the Open Doors Programme – Locarno Film Festival. She specialises in script and overall film projects' analysis and assessment and as a development producer for Sunny Independent Pictures.

She also contributes as fiction programme advisor to the Geneva International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights. Prior to that, she has worked as a senior coordinator at the Doha Film Institute’s Grants Programme, helping to develop the fund’s priorities over the years, and manage its current affairs. She has also collaborated with the Locarno Film Festival as a selection committee member and Lab Head of Studies for the Open Doors Programme. Currently based in Nicosia, Cyprus, she has a bachelor degree in political science and a Masters’ in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

Expertise: Script analysis, film dossier/project feedback, coaching, match-making

Territories: World, Middle-East

Producers will be able to request a meeting with ACE Producers

exclusively on Monday, January 27

ACE Producers is an exclusive network of experienced independent film producers from Europe and beyond. Membership of the network is based on professionalism, mutual trust, collaborative working and openness to new ideas. A fundamental aim of ACE Producers is to encourage and enable international co-production. Producers with proven experience in their own countries are welcomed into the network after completing the ACE programme of advanced training, which consists of three workshops during one year. The training asserts the position and unique responsibilities of the producer throughout the whole process of a project’s development, production, marketing and delivery to audiences.

The ACE team will be at IFFR Pro and are keen to meet international producers interested in applying to the next ACE Session. To find out more about the ACE Workshops, the ACE Network and the application process, you can apply for a meeting with ACE by filling out the Mentor Meetings Form in the sidebar or by contacting Pro Hub by mail or during the festival.