Jean van de Velde

Born in 1957 in Bukavu (Democratic Republic of Congo) Jean van de Velde grew up in the tropics, went to secondary school in the Netherlands and studied at the Film Academy in Amsterdam. He has written and directed a large number of successful features and television series, including the award-winning LEAK and International Emmy Award winning All Stars. Recent movies Silent Army and The Price of Sugar have been selected for prestigious festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival and the AFI Fest. 

Peter Paul Muller

Peter Paul Muller is a Dutch film and TV actor whose films include All Stars, De Passievrucht, The Dominee and Everything is Love. He was awarded Best Supporting Actor at the Dutch Film Festival in 2011 for his role in the film Gooische Vrouwen. He plays the lead in An Act of Defiance, which is the Opening Night Gala film at the 2017 UK International Jewish Film Festival.

Sir Sydney Kentridge KCMG, QC

Sir Sydney has had an illustrious legal career both in South Africa and in England. In South Africa, he was appointed Senior Counsel in 1965. He represented Nelson Mandela in the Treason Trials between 1959-1961. He was a friend of, and defended, Bram Fischer (the hero of ‘An Act of Defiance), when Bram Fischer was accused of sabotage and treason, and an application was made to remove him from the Roll of Advocates for dishonourable conduct. In 1978, he represented the family of Steve Biko in the inquest into the brutal killing in police detention of Steve Biko, where he was instrumental in exposing the circumstances of Biko’s death. Kentridge practised with great distinction at the English Bar between 1977 and 2013, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1984.

Kieron Quirke

Kieron Quirke is an English writer and director living in London and LA. As a writer, he has had great success with shows such as the long running Cuckoo (BBC), now in its fifth season, Trinity (ITV2), Roommates (ABC Family). Kieron first moved into directing in 2016 with Carvery (Congo Red Productions). The Master of York is his latest short film.

Sabina Smitham

Sabina Smitham specialises in script development and works with a long list of UK production companies as a consultant. As a producer, Sabina has been recognised by Broadcast Magazine and the Guardian Edinburgh International TV Festival for her work in branded content and online video. She is now completing an MA in Producing at the NFTS.

Lennard Ortmann

Lennard Ortmann worked in feature film and TV drama in his native Germany, where he specialised in locations and production management, before moving to the UK and stepping into his role as producer. He is finishing an MA at the National Film and Television School where he partnered with Sabina Smitham to form Eagle Lion Monster Films.

Adam Baroukh

Adam Baroukh is the co-founder of Superplex Pictures, where he created hundreds of films for some of the world’s biggest brands and a number of award-winning short dramas. He directed Kitty’s Fortune, his narrative debut, and co-wrote and produced dark comedy short Just Desserts, which screened at numerous BAFTA and Oscar qualifying festivals.

Lisya Yafet

Lisya Yafet is a film and events producer, working across shorts, documentaries and video content. She works regularly with Superplex Pictures, including their award winning short I Used to be Famous, funded by Film London. She has a background in programming documentary festivals and coordinating media events.

Elliot Levey

Elliot Levey is from Leeds and has had a varied and prolific acting career across film, TV and theatre. His work in film includes Murder on the Orient Express (Kenneth Branagh), Denial (Mick Jackson), The Lady in the Van (Nicholas Hytner) The Queen, Philomena and Florence Foster Jenkins (Stephen Frears). On stage, he has been a regular at the National Theatre, and Donmar Warehouse, his recent work including St Joan (Donmar) and The Mighty Walzer (Royal Exchange, Manchester). On TV, he has recently starred in Silent Witness and the sitcom Man Down.

Gwyneth Keyworth

Gwyneth Keyworth is a Welsh actress. She trained at RADA. She may be best known for her work in television, which includes roles in Misfits (E4), Game of Thrones (HBO) and Doctor Thorne (ITV). Her film credits include Effie Hopkins, Closer To The Moon and Copier. On stage Gwyneth has performed in As You Like It (Globe) and The Life and Times of Fanny Hill (Bristol Old Vic).

Joseph Timms

Joseph Timms trained at RADA. On TV, he recently starred as Icarus in Atlantis (BBC). In theatre, recent roles include Flamineo in The White Devil (Globe), Sidney Carton in Tale of Two Cities (Royal & Derngate). Other work includes Taming of the Shrew, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 (Globe), Richard II (Belasco Theatre, Broadway), Twelfth Night (National Theatre), The Hudsucker Proxy (Nuffield Theatre).

Ilan Goodman

Ilan Goodman trained at RADA. He has appeared extensively on stage in the UK, including Good Canary, The Mighty Walzer, Bad Jews and Intimate Apparel. His feature films include Stratton, A Long Way Down and The Imitation Game.

Katherine Rodden

Katherine Rodden trained at The Oxford School of Drama and has worked in both film and theatre. She appeared in the films Blue Moon, Leaves of London, Fallen Angels and Cupcake, among others, and on stage in Noise, Goosebumps Alive and Intercourse.

Nicolas Bedos

Nicolas Bedos is a French actor, writer and director, whose films include the 2006 comedy Sortie de scene. Mr and Mrs Adelman, which is being screened at the Festival this year, is his directorial debut.

Gal Rosenbluth

Born in 1989 and raised in Tel Aviv. Alumni of the Sam Spiegel Film School in Jerusalem. Directed 3 short films, Shmita is her second one.

Henry Goodman

Henry Goodman is a renowned English actor who has been awarded the Olivier award twice for his roles as Charles Guiteau in Assassins directed by Sam Mendes and for Shylock in The Merchant of Venice at the National Theatre. His many film roles over 45 years include films such as Their Finest, The Dammed United and Taking Woodstock, along with a notable career in television, appearing on shows such as Yes, Prime Minister and Unfinished Business.

Emily Harris

Emily Harris is an editor, producer and director. She studied fine art and worked in theatre before turning her attention to filmmaking. Harris worked as an editor and producer on several award-winning documentaries, including Tovarisch, I am not Dead. Emily has worked on two films screening at this year’s festival: she edited 17 Beginnings of Talia and co-directed Love is Thicker Than Water with Ate de Jong.

Ate de Jong

Ate de Jong studied at the Filmacademy of Amsterdam. He directed 6 feature films in The Netherlands before moving to Hollywood. His first directing assignment was an episode of Miami Vice (starring Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, James Brown and Chris Rock) His US features include: Highway to Hell (starring Chad Lowe, Kristy Swanson, Gilbert Gotfried and Ben Stiller) and Drop Dead Fred (starring Rik Mayall, Phoebe Cates, Carrie Fisher, Marsha Mason and Bridget Fonda). He made a comedy radio show for NPR broadcasted nationwide in the USA.

Living in London he directed All Men Are Mortal (starring Stephen Rea, Irene Jacob, Chiara Mastroianni and Marianne Saegebrecht) based on the book of Simone de Beauvoir and the sexy thriller Fogbound (starring Luke Perry and Ben Daniels). He produced international pictures Left Luggage (Isabella Rossellini, Maximilian Schell and Topol) and The Discovery Of Heaven (Stephen Fry). He recently made Deadly Virtues: Love. Honour. Obey with Raindance. And Love Is Thicker Than Water starring Johnny Flynn, Lydia Wilson, Juliet Stevenson and Henry Goodman. Ate de Jong also wrote a book with party games for children.

Walter Iuzzolino

Walter Iuzzolino launched Walter Presents – for which he handpicks TV shows from around the world – in the UK in 2016 to huge critical acclaim. The service is available via Channel 4’s digital hub, All 4. Its launch show, Deutschland 83, became the highest rating foreign language drama in UK TV history. The service launched in the USA in March 2017.

Mandy Chang

Mandy Chang is the Commissioning Editor of BBC Storyville. Before that Mandy was Head of ABC Arts in Australia, overseeing the TV Arts Department and its digital Arts Channel. She has spent a career working internationally, both as a documentary filmmaker, producing and directing award-winning documentaries like The Mona Lisa Curse, and as a commissioning editor, executive producer, series producer and writer on a wide diversity of documentary genres.

Dina Brawer

Dina Brawer was born in Milan and raised in an Orthodox Jewish family. She holds a BA in Hebrew and Jewish Studies from the University of London and an MA in Education and Psychology from the Institute of Education, London and is currently studying for Orthodox rabbinic ordination at Yeshivat Maharat in New York. She developed an interest in Jewish Orthodox Feminism over the last decade and in her role as JOFA UK Ambassador she has initiated a feminist movement within Orthodox Judaism. Dina was recently listed in The Jewish Chronicle’s Power 100 List of individuals who are most influential in shaping the UK Jewish community.

Ada Rapaport-Albert

Ada Rapoport-Albert  is Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies and Head of the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at UCL. In addition to her extensive work on Hasidism, her interests include gender issues in the history of Judaism, especially the gendered perception of the ascetic life and its implications for the Jewish mystical tradition. She is currently completing a book entitled Female Bodies – Male Souls: Asceticism and Gender in the Jewish Mystical Tradition, and has published a monograph in Hebrew on the position of women in the 17th-19th century messianic heresy of Sabbatai Zevi and his successors, including the Polish adventurer Jacob Frank and his daughter Eva.

Ruth Barnett

Ruth Barnett (nee Michaelis) was born in 1935 in Berlin. In 1939, Ruth and her brother arrived in Britain on the Kindertransport. Over the next ten years, they lived with three foster families and in a hostel. Ruth was a secondary school teacher for 19 years and a psychotherapist for 28 years. She regularly shares her testimony in schools and colleges.

Jean-Marc Dreyfus

Jean-Marc Dreyfus is a reader at the University of Manchester. He is a specialist of economic and diplomatic aspects of the Holocaust and post-war reparations. His research considers other genocides, Jewish history in Europe and post-mass violence exhumations of corpses. His last publication: An annotated edition of diplomatic reports from Berlin in the 1930s (André François-Poncet et l’Allemagne, Paris, 2016).

Bettina Ehrhardt

Bettina Ehrhardt is both a documentary producer-director and an author and journalist. Based in Munich and active internationally, she holds a Master’s degree in French Literature, a Diploma in cinema and a degree in semiotics/linguistics from the University of Lyon II. In addition to making films on the arts, she also directs journalistic documentaries.

Buma Inbar

Buma Inbar has dedicated himself to helping others for the last 22 years, since his son Yotam was killed on active duty in Lebanon while serving in the IDF. He works with immigrants to Israel from Ethiopia, with ultra-Orthodox communities, and most particularly – with Palestinians seeking medical care in Israel. He’s a “one stop shop”, arranging everything: entry permits, hospitalization, medical treatment, accommodation and food for accompanying family members – and even livelihood for families that lose their breadwinner to illness. He also organizes Israeli-Palestinian sports events, visits for Palestinian children to beaches and parks in Israel, and clears mines in the Jordan valley.

Up to 1995, Buma was a sales manager. He served in the elite Paratroop Brigade of the IDF, and fought with distinction in the Six-Day War.

Jacob Berger

Jacob Berger is a Swiss film director and screenwriter. After studying at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and a first short film titled A Name for Her Desire, Berger filmed his first full-length motion picture, Angels, in Barcelona, with Steve Weber, Belinda Becker, Féodor Atkine and Angela Molina. The film was presented for official competition at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1990.
In 1991 he produced a TV movie, Jour Blanc, in the Swiss Alps with Heinz Benent, Jean-Yves Berteloot et Fabienne Périneau. The film won the Prix de la Fiction at the Antibes Film Festival. His latest film, Un Juif pour l’exemple’ has its UK premiere at this year’s UK International Jewish Film Festival.

Aude Py

After studying philosophy at Sorbonne University, Aude Py turned to screenwriting. She took part in more than 20 feature films as a writer, working with directors such as Erick Zonka (Julia), Bertrand Bonello (Tiresia, De la guerre), Christian Carion (Joyeux Noël), Thierry de Peretti (Le Jour de ma mort), etc. After Un Juif pour l’exemple, Aude and Jacob Berger are now working on a new feature, which they hope will turn out to be a comedy.

Jodie Brown

Jodie Brown is currently a Story Researcher on Netflix show The Crown. She has produced The Entertainer, written and directed by Jonathan Schey, starring Toby Jones and Toby, written by Luke Barnes and directed by Jonathan Schey. Jodie also has extensive script editing experience, having worked in development for five years at Clerkenwell Films, ITV Studios and Eleven Film.

David Urban

David is a digital producer at The Telegraph and a keen documentarian in his spare time. He comes from a family rooted in media and film, following in his father and uncle’s footsteps by choosing a career in the industry.

Fiona Murphy

Fiona Murphy trained at the BBC and worked at Granada and Third Eye before becoming a journalist. After reviewing films for Paper Magazine in New York, she freelanced in London, writing on design for The Guardian and The Financial Times amongst others. She returned to filmmaking and her film The Other Irish Travellers ran as a Storyville on BBC4.

Ferenc Török

Ferenc Török is a filmmaker from Hungary. He has received the Béla Balázs Award, a state recognition, for outstanding achievement in filmmaking. His most recent film, 1945, screening at UKIJFF, has won best Feature at Jerusalem Film Festival and the Panorama Audience Award at Berlinale. He is also known for Eastern Sugar and Moscow Square.

Gábor T. Szántó

Novelist, screenwriter, editor-in-chief of Szombat, Hungarian Jewish magazine. His writings include novels and short story books. Szántó’s writings have been published in German (In Schuld verstrickt, 1999), Russian (Obratnij bilet, 2008) and several other writings in English. His latest novel (Kafka’s Cats, 2014) will soon be published in Turkey. His latest book 1945 és más történetek (1945 and other stories) came out in 2017. His short story 1945, Hazatérés (1945, Homecoming) served as the basis of the film 1945 by director Ferenc Török. Gábor T. Szántó wrote the screenplay together with the director.

Itai Tamir

Itai Tamir is a producer and founder of Laila Films, an independent production company for emerging Israeli and international filmmakers, established in 2010. They provide support for developing talent from script revisions to screen adaptation, to achieve innovative and distinct features, documentaries and TV series. This year Laila Films presents writer-director Ofir Raul Grizer’s debut The Cakemaker.

Sarah Adler

Sarah Adler is a French-Israeli actress best known for films including Jean-Luc Goddard’s Our Music for which she was nominated for a European Film Award for Best Actress. She won an Ophir Award for Best Actress for her performance in Jellyfish, which won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Among other films she has also appeared in Self-Made, Aya and Amos Gitai’s Tsili.

Dr Paula Karbalo

Paula Kabalo is Director of the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the study of Israel and Zionism. She heads the Centre for Israel Studies that researches themes related to the establishment of Israel and Zionism. She specialises on the history of citizen associations and Civil Society in Israel, and the relationships between David Ben-Gurion and various strata of society in Israel and the diaspora. Paula served as historical consultant for the documentary: Ben-Gurion, Epilogue.

Harold Paisner

Harold Paisner is Senior Partner emeritus of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, with 40+ years’ experience as a lawyer, with particular expertise in corporate finance and corporate cross-border transactional work as well as in management and board level advisory work for clients. He served as Chairman of the International Issues Committee of the Law Society up to August 2016 and is an advisor to the President of the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA). He is an Honorary Member of the Lithuanian Bar


Ruti Worrall

Ruti Worrall is a graduate of the Israel Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. For years Ruti led the NCJPS choir and now leads the Menorah Synagogue choir. Ruti’s knowledge of Zubin Mehta comes second hand through her twin sister, Naomi Enoch, who played in the Israeli Philharmonic till retirement and who organised Palestinian/Israeli concerts with Mehta.


Menno Meyjes

Menno Meyjes was born in 1954 in Bloemendaal, the Netherlands. He is a writer and director known for his writing for The Color Purple, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Siege. He has directed several feature films including The Reunion, The Dinner, Manolete and Martian Child.

Lisa Appignanesi OBE

Lisa Appignanesi OBE is a writer and cultural commentator. Her books include Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors, and the family memoir, Losing the Dead, amongst many other prize winning titles. She is the Chair of this year’s Man Booker International Prize and also of the Royal Society of Literature. For many years, she was Chair of the Freud Museum London. With the late John Forrester, she wrote Freud’s Women.

Carol Seigel

Carol Seigel is Director of the Freud Museum London, Sigmund Freud’s last home. Carol is a historian who has worked for over 20 years in museums in London, including the Jewish Museum, the Museum of London, and Hampstead Museum. She has been at the Freud Museum since 2009.

Professor Stephen Frosh

Stephen Frosh is Professor in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. He has a background in academic and clinical psychology and was Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Tavistock Clinic, London, throughout the 1990s. He is the author of many books and papers on psychoanalysis, including Hauntings: Psychoanalysis and Ghostly Transmissions. His most recent book is Simply Freud.

Mahan Esfahani

Born in Tehran in 1984, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani was an advisor and contributor to the film. Mahan studied musicology and history at Stanford University, and was mentored there by George Houle, Peter Watchorn in Boston and later Zuzana Růžičková in Prague. Mahan was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2008-2010, a Borletti-Buitoni Trust prizewinner, and in 2014 he was on the shortlist both for the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist of the Year and Gramophone Artist of the Year – all firsts for the harpsichord. In 2015 he was honoured with the BBC Music Magazine ‘Newcomer of the Year’ award and was nominated in three categories for the Gramophone Awards – Best Baroque Instrumental, Best Instrumental, and again Artist of the Year. Mahan performs often at Wigmore Hall and continues his academic activities as professor of harpsichord at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Alan Thorn

Alan Thorn is a multidisciplinary game developer, author and educator with 17 years industry experience. He makes games for PC desktop, Mobile and VR. He founded Wax Lyrical Games and created the award-winning game Baron Wittard: Nemesis of Ragnarok, working as designer, programmer and artist.

David Kaskel

David Kaskel is CEO of Breaking Fourth, which he founded in 2015 to explore the new possibilities that virtual reality offers to narrative content. As a lifelong fan of all forms of storytelling – from theatre to video games and comics – David conceived the world’s first longform virtual reality drama for mobile VR, Ctrl. His graduate work at King’s College London on the relationship of players and their avatars helped shape the way that VR audiences understand and relate to this new style of storytelling. Before this, David founded multiple technology and video games companies, Breaking Fourth was the perfect way to combine these two passions and create new original fully immersive entertainment.

David Wise

David has spent over 20 years creating and producing entertaining, original and popular factual television for the UK’s major broadcasters. He was formerly director of programmes at The Garden Productions, one of the UK’s leading and most admired television production companies. Prior to that, he was creative director of Jamie Oliver’s Fresh One Productions. He has produced a wide range of high-profile documentaries and factual formats for the BBC, C4, ITV and Sky, which have been distributed internationally.

Jessica Driscoll

Jessica has experience of working with a wide variety of digital technologies from virtual reality applications for a range of industries to creating virtual training simulations for Ebola health professionals in Sierra Leone. She has managed introduction and delivery of digital solutions to a variety of educational and commercial institutions in particular NGO, Oil & Gas, Aviation, Pharmaceutical and Construction industries. Jessica has produced VR films for fundraising for UNICEF, Rotary International and Greenpeace. Another area has been casting talent, scriptwriters and technical team for UK based Virtual Reality theatre company Breaking Fourth for their production CTRL a hard hitting story of domestic violence told through virtual reality. Her most recent role is Senior Producer for Connected Studio devising work programmes and events that lead to the production of innovative digital pilots. Her most recent project is a VR documentary film with Self Central on punk indie wrestling in the UK focusing on the female voice and the fan experience,

Moshe Behar

Moshe Behar holds a PhD from Columbia University in NYC and is Senior Lecturer in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Manchester. His work includes the anthology Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought: Writings on Identity, Politics and Culture, 1893-1958 (Brandeis University Press)

Chris Auty

Chris Auty has worked as a producer with such directors as Michael Winterbottom, Pawel Pawlikowski, David Cronenberg and Bernardo Bertolucci, and is currently Head of Producing at The National Film and Television School — where he has also established new courses in Marketing & Distribution, and a unique cross- media entrepreneurship programme backed by Ingenious Media and Sir Richard Branson. He is a former board member of both the UK Film Council and European Film Academy.

Guillaume de Chalendar

Guillaume de Chalendar is the Global Head of Media and Entertainment at Bank Leumi. He started at Leumi in 2010 in London where he was tasked with establishing the Global Media & Entertainment Group. He has expanded the team’s activities across Europe and the U.S. and now leads a team of industry specialists. Guillaume has over 17 years of experience in Media & Entertainment banking.

Al De Azpiazu

Al De Azpiazu has worked in the Feature Film and Television industry for the last ten years, in both the production and distribution fields. He started his career at Televisió de Catalunya in Barcelona and Mediapro in Madrid (Spain), to then join Warner Bros. International Television Distribution (Madrid & London), holding different positions and responsibilities. In 2016 he joined FremantleMedia International as Vice President, Western Europe, Sales and Distribution.

James King

After working as a freelance script reader and a stint doing theatrical sales for independent distributors Verve Pictures, New Waves Films and Arrow Films, James moved to the Institute of Contemporary Arts London where he ran the Film and Cinema Departments for two years. James then briefly worked in the BFI’s distribution department before joining Curzon Artificial Eye as Head of Theatrical Sales, where he tries to get exhibitors to play better films. He most recently co-edited the seventh edition of enthusiasms – the UK most intermitted film journal (1975–present).

Yoni Bentovim

Yoni Bentovim formed the influential post-punk band Zikney Tzfat in Tel Aviv in the early 1990s. He moved to London to study at the London Film School. Since then he has gone on to direct several award-winning films. Yoni currently teaches film at The Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.

Hanna Diamond

Hanna Diamond is Professor of French at Cardiff University. She has published widely on France and the Second World War. She mobilises a variety of sources to explore people’s everyday lives of the period. Her monograph Fleeing Hitler: France 1940(OUP, 2007) examines the impact of the German invasion and the flight of civilians.

Mike Levy

Mike Levy has long experience in Holocaust education and holds a fellowship in this subject with the Imperial War Museum. He runs history projects with schools and is currently researching for a PhD in British responses to the Kindertransport. He met Sir Nicholas Winton several times.

Naomi Shepherd

Naomi Shepherd ‘s Wilfrid Israel – German Jewry’s Secret Ambassador won the Wingate Prize and has just been re issued as an e-book. Her other books include The Zealous Intruders (the 19th century rediscovery of Palestine); Ploughing Sand (the British Mandate); A Price Below Rubies – ( Jewish women revolutionaries and radicals,) and Ashes a collection of short stories set in Israel.

Jason Solomons

Jason Solomons is one of the UK’s most respected film critics. He’s a journalist, broadcaster and author, over all the major awards, festivals and movie releases for outlets including BBC News, Sky News, BBC Radio 4 and Radio 2,.

Jason’s debut book, Woody Allen: Film by Film (Carlton Books) came out to much acclaim in 2015 and includes an exclusive interview with Woody, conducted at the 68th Cannes Film Festival.

Jason is currently in production with his fourth series of Movie Talk for London Live, which also airs in 25 countries around the world. His guest list has included Tim Roth, Marion Cotillard, Terence Stamp, Gemma Arterton, Mira Nair, Sir Alan Parker, Viggo Mortensen, Rupert Everett, Alfred Molina, Ray Winstone, Nic Roeg, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Mortimer, Michael Shannon, Geena Davis, Asif Kapadia and John Goodman.

You can see Jason hosting numerous Q&A sessions at cinemas across London and hear his entertaining broadcasts on his weekly slot, every Thursday, with Robert Elms on BBC Radio London focusing on London’s film-makers and the city’s world-class movie scene. He’s also film editor of award-winning magazine Jewish Renaissance.

Nelly Tagar

Nelly Tagar is an Israeli TV, theatre and film actress.  She was born in 1982 in Tel Aviv and started acting when she was 10 years old. Nelly is best known for Zero Motivation (2014), Tied Hands (2006) and Foreign Sister (2000). She stars in Past Life, which is the Closing Night Gala film of the 21st UK International Jewish Film Festival.