Jozef Banyák was born in 1958 in Bratislava and studied Film and TV directing at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. He then worked for the Slovakian Television as a director and a screenplay writer from 1981 to 1993 and has been working as a freelancer since then. In the 1990s, he produced several fairy tales for TV, inspired by the traditional Romani fairy tales (About Zorali and the Two Brothers, About the Beautiful Witch, The Golden Voice). Jozef Banyák also creates documentary films; he for instance produced a series of documentaries with social, ethnic and cultural topics for the Slovak Television (Innocent children, Dance is Life, From Rudňany to Bronx). He has been cooperating with Hollywood productions (Dragonheart, Kull the Conqueror, Uprising) since 1991. He is also chairman of the OKNO association (Window), which produces non-commercial audio-visual works with educational and pedagogical focus, with a special focus on minorities.
Hamze Bytyci was born 1982 in Prizren/Kosovo and now lives and works in Berlin. His family moved to Germany in 1989. He took his very early first steps as an activist at the age of eight Christmas 1990 in the church asylum in Tübingen, where his family was fighting against their own deportation. He graduated from the acting school in Freiburg in 2005 and founded the association Amaro Drom (Our way). After a one-year engagement in Zürich he moved to Berlin in 2006, where he performs and stages at the Maxim Gorki Theater, Ballhaus Naunynstraße as well as at smaller theatres. He has been working as a freelance theater and media pedagogue at different schools in Berlin since 2007 and founded the association RomaTrial in 2012. He also leads among others the online Radio Corel and organizes international summer film schools under the label Balkan Onions. In 2012, he developed his own interactive performance format Hilton Room 437 in which he talks about social and political topics. He started studying documentary film at the self-organized film school filmArche Berlin in 2014 and is now organizing the first AKE DIKHEA? Festival of Romani Film.
Alex Gerbaulet was born in 1977 and lives and works as artist, filmmaker and producer in Berlin. Since 2008 she received several working scholarships and awards. Besides that, she works as a teacher at the Academy of Visual Arts Braunschweig and the Art Academy Kassel, is part of the selection jury of the DOK Film Festival Kassel and of European Media Art Festivals in Osnabrück. In 2017, she was mentor of the Short Film Station for Berlinale Talents und jury member of Open Frame Award / GoEast Festival. Since 2014, she has been working as an author and producer at pong film GmbH. Her current project there is the web series Kinshasa Collection (Director: Dorothee Wenner) as well as a new short film. Her last short film Schicht (2015) was shown worldwide at various festivals and awarded with several international awards. Her current short film Tiefenschärfe (2017 together with Mareike Bernien) premiered in the competition of the International Short Films Days Oberhausen 2017.
Eszter Hajdú is a film director, sociologist and professor based in Budapest and Lisbon. Prior to her career as a film director she worked as a journalist. Her first documentary film My Own Private, Tarnabod (2006) depicts homeless families who were given a chance to start over in the village of Tarnabod, 120km away from Budapest. The film won awards at Hungarian and international film festivals in 2006. Her more recent award winning film The Fidesz Jew, the mother with no sense of nation and mediation (2008) was the most provocative and most viewed documentary film in Hungary that year. The film depicts society in Hungary after the change of regime in 1989, in which a polarized political atmosphere has caused major splits between friends and even within families. The antagonizing parties turn to mediation techniques to try to achieve reconciliation. The premiere of her film Judgment in Hungary about the trial of the serial killers of Roma took place at the 26th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. The film won 19 international awards and was screened in 40 countries.
Damian Le Bas is a writer, poet and occasional filmmaker. Damian was born in England in 1985 into a large Roma-Traveller family. He won a Richard Southern scholarship to read Theology at Oxford University, graduating with the highest First in his year in 2006. Widely published as a journalist, Damian was for four years editor of Travellers’ Times, the UK’s only magazine for Roma and ethnic Travellers. He has produced several short films and is passionate about the promotion and artistic use of the Romani language. Damian received a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction in 2016. His first book, The Stopping Places, a Romani travelogue, will be published by Chatto & Windus in 2018.