15th IFFK Programmers


International Curator for Africa/South America & Italy
Born in Milan, Italy. Alessandra Speciale has a BA degree in Cinema History and Critics from University of Pavia. Since 1991 she has been the co-president of the African Film Festival of Milan since 2004, the African, Asian and Latin American Film Festival. She was, from 1991-1999, the editor-in-chief of the Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen Magazine and from 1999-2005, a consultant for film research for the Mostra del Cinema di Venezia and for the Locarno Film Festival. Since 2006 she has collaborated as a consultant for the San Sebastian International Film Festival. In 1998 she co-produced the Haile Gerima’s documentary Adwa 1896 on the Italian colonialism in Ethiopia. She co-directed the documentary L’iniziazione on the sexual mutilations of women in Africa and the documentary Fantacoca, both produced by Rai3. In 2001, together with a group of young women directors from Burkino Faso, she directed 5 docu-fiction videos for the EU awareness campaign in Africa. In 2002 she completed the video documentary ‘The never-never water on the daily struggle of Africans for the access to the water. She has worked as a director for the EU audiovisual project on the traditional medicine in Asia and Latin America. Her latest work as a director is the documentary produced by Province of Milan, Portrait of a family with caregiver.


International Curator for Iran and Turkey

Gönül Dönmez-Colin is a film scholar and author of books on cinema. She was educated at the American College and the University of Istanbul in Turkey and completed her post-graduate studies at the Concordia and McGill Universities in Montreal, Canada. She has taught in Montreal and Hong Kong and has done field research in Iran, Turkey, India and Central Asia. Among her recent books are: Women, Islam and Cinema (2004), Cinemas of the Other: A Personal Journey with Filmmakers from the Middle East and Central Asia (2006), The Cinema of North Africa and the Middle East (ed.) (2007), Turkish Cinema: Identity, Distance and Belonging (2008) and Routledge Dictionary of Turkish Cinema (forthcoming). Her most recent publication is ‘Women In Turkish Cinema: Their Presence and Absence as Images and as Image-Makers’. An active member of Netpac (Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema), she is also the curator/artistic advisor to Kerala International Film Festival and Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival and has served in many international juries from Montreal, Vesoul, Istanbul and Mumbai to Almaty.

Rada Šešiċ

International Curator for Europe

Rada Sesic is a film maker, critic, film lecturer and curator who lived and worked in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovinia as a film critic and a journalist for Radio-Television Sarajevo and for the film magazine Sineast before moving to Netherlands during the war. She has directed several short films and documentaries in her home country and has won several international awards. She lived in India during the 1990/1991 and has specialised in South Asian Cinema.

Sesic currently lives in Utrecht and collaborates on the programme of two of the biggest film festivals in the Netherlands: IFF Rotterdam and IDFA in Amsterdam. For the last three years she has participated in the Hubert Bals Fund at the Sarajevo Film Festival and is the Head of the Competition Documentary Programme. She is an advisor for Eastern European Cinema at the Leipzig Film Festival for documentaries and animation. She has been programmers for the International Film Festival of Kerala for the last ten years.

Rada Sesic has served on several juries at film festivals around the world. She also tutors at several international workshop-pitching sessions in Europe and Asia and is a guest lecturer at NFA in Amsterdam, Anadolu University in Eskishehir, at the Film School in Geneve and at the Srishti Institute in Bangalore. She writes regularly for Skrien(The Netherlands), Dox(Denmark), Film Guide-Variety(UK)Documentary Enctyclopedia(USA), Film Annual(Croatia), and has collaborated on the book 24 Frames (UK). Her directorial ventures include four films: Rooms without a View(1977), Soske(2001), In Whitest Solitude(2001), The Way to School(2007), all of which won awards at international festivals.


International Curator for Latin America

With over 15 years of experience in Latin America and Spanish Cinema, Rosa Carrillo has worked with major Mexican film companies like Latina, Altavista, Vodeocine and Candiani Dubbing Studios, in the field of Sales, Distributions, Operations and Film Festivals. She currently works as a programmer, curator and consultant for different events and International Film Festivals, some of them are IFFI Goa, Kolkata, Kerala, Pune and Chennai International Film Festivals in India, the Damascus International Film Festival in Syria and the Chicago Latino Film Festival,USA. In 2007, she was the Director of the Baja California Film Festival, Mexico and was a member of the jury for the official selection of the 23rd Annual Chicago Latino Film Festival.

Uma da Cunha

Uma da Cunha’s film career, devoted to promoting Indian cinema at home and abroad, started in 1974 when she organized film events for the Indian government. In recent years. she has been the founder-programmer and advisor for festivals that are devoted entirely to Indian cinema, such as the River to River Indian Film Festival in Florence, held every December since 2001, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) launched in 2002, the Bollywood and Beyond film festival held every July in Stuttgart, Germany, and also the Houston International Film Festival initiated in 2009. she has helped the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, both based in New York , with their India-related film festivals. St the 2009 Cannes International Film Festival, da Cunha was a member of the Un Certain Regard international jury and a FIPRESCI jury m,ember at the 2010 Pusan International Film Festival Her work as casting director includes films such as Monsoon Wedding, Holy Smoke, Lagaan, Earth, Water and Outsourced, among others. She has written extensivly on Indian cinema,.She is the India Correspondent (since 1975) of the International Film Guide published out of London . da Cunha has contributed research and chapters on Indian cinema for leading publishing houses in Italy and Japan. She is editor of the quarterly magazine Film India Worldwide, published out of Mumbai (www.filmindia.worldwide.co.in)

June Givanni