Young Directors Project Jury

Our judging panel is made up of directors and festival professionals from Asia, Europe and North America. They will be judging entries based on:

  • Quality - is the film made to a high standard in terms of film and storytelling techniques?

  • Impact potential - will the subject matter increase awareness of a rights issue?

  • Creativity/Originality  

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Linda Steinhoff,chief judge

Linda is a Norwegian-German director. She has worked on more than 20 international film productions, mostly as a casting director, and runs her own film marketing company, Lights Promotion. 

In 2015, she made a documentary about rape and the justice system in Norway, which won several film awards in the country. She has taught film to young filmmakers at the annual German-Norwegian Youth Forum, and was festival director of the 2018 Lillehammer International Student Film Festival.

Linda is currently working with Norway’s film union giving lectures on how to deal with and prevent sexual harassment in the film industry. She has recently been named project manager of the new Lillywood network of film companies and filmmakers, whose purpose is to connect and market the Norwegian film industry in Europe and internationally.  Linda’s filmography is here


Daniar Abdykerimov Djumabekovich

Daniar is a director from Kyrgyzstan. He worked as the executive director of award-winning Kyrgyzstani director Ernest Abdyjaparov’s studio, before founding a production company in 2011 to work on his own projects. These include romantic feature films and short films spanning the genres of horror, comedy and animation.


In 2018, in partnership with the 1905 International Human Rights Film Festival, he filmed “155,” a short narrative film about a woman who is kidnapped and forced to marry, drawing attention to a cultural practice in his home country.

In 2015, he co-founded the “Ak Ilbirs,” Kyrgyzstan’s National Film Awards, established to showcase the best achievements in cinema and encourage the artistic growth of national cinema.


Jevons Au

Jevons Au is a screenwriter and film director. Throughout his 15-year career, Jevons has established himself as a critic of the political and social forces guiding Hong Kong, the city in which he was born and raised.

He is the director of “Ten Years – Dialect” (2015), a short film that imagines a dystopian future Hong Kong, and the crime thriller “Trivisa” (2016), both winners of the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Film.

Jevons is also the recipient of the 36th Hong Kong Film Award for Best Director, as well as the Best Screenwriter Award from the Hong Kong Film Critics Society. His latest feature film, “Distinction” (2018), revolves around a teacher and her students in a special needs school.

Jevons’ filmography is here


Vanessa-Tatjana Beerli

Vanessa has directed several short films and, in 2007, founded the Montreal-based organization Ciné Tapis Rouge to promote film exchanges between Quebec and countries abroad. As of today, 800 movies have travelled between Quebec and 20 partner countries.

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In 2018, Vanessa is helping a humanitarian organization to start a film festival in Haiti, and making a short film about cinema and culture in Haiti. She has also begun working on a documentary about independent cinema around the world that will involve more than 15 countries on five continents.

For Vanessa, cinema is a powerful means of promoting cultural diversity, and filmmakers are ambassadors for their culture. For the last 10 years, she has dedicated herself to promoting Quebec cinema and artists internationally.

Vanessa’s filmography is here


Laura Longobardi

Laura is head of partnerships and public relations at the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) in Geneva.

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She has been active in the audiovisual industry for over 20 years, mostly in multi-lingual and multi-cultural environments. She has been involved in several international co-productions and the development of some of the most important international markets and festivals dedicated to linear and non-linear factual programmes with a particular focus on human rights, social justice and the environment.

Laura is passionate about building bridges between worlds that have similar sensibilities and can produce real social change when brought together.