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Jukka-Pekka Laakso (Finland)

Chairman of international jury

Jukka-Pekka Laakso  is the festival director of  Tampere Film Festival since 2002. As a festival director he shares the responsibility to strategic planning and programming with a co-director. He has been a member of more than 60 juries in film festivals.

Jukka-Pekka Laakso acts also as the executive director for  Pirkanmaa Film Centre, a local film centre in Tampere. The film centre is a non-profit organisation that runs an art-house cinema, distributes films in Finland and works extensively with media education.

Jukka-Pekka Laakso is a member of the European Film Academy.

Alanté Kavaïté (France)

Born in Lithuania, Alanté Kavaïté lives and works in France since 1992. Graduated from the École d’Art d’Avignon, Alanté Kavaïté continued her studies at the École des Beaux-Art de Paris (ENSBA). She directed in 2006 her first feature film “Écoute le Temps” (eng. “Fissures”) with Emilie Dequenne, Ludmila Mikaël and Mathieu Demy. Her second film “Summer” (eng. “The Summer of Sangaile”), was released in 2015 and selected in over one hundred international festivals (Berlinale, Stockholm, Busan…), it has received multiple awards including the directing award in Sundance. Alanté Kavaïté is also the co-writer of “Evolution” by Lucile Hadzihalilovic.

Anna Veilande Kustikova (Latvia)

Anna Zača (former Veilande-Kustikova) – curator, programmer and project manager in the field of animated and short film. Anna studied Art History and Theory in Latvia and Animation in Estonia. She has been the creative director of 2ANNAS ISFF and one of the founders of Riga International Film Festival, in 2015 she founded SHORT RIGA a section dedicated to short and artist film within Riga International Film Festival. Since 2016 Anna has been the head of the Latvian Animation Association and since 2018 she is one of the Board Members at the European Animation Awards.

Audrius Juzėnas (Lithuania)

Lithuanian film director, screenwriter, producer: “There are many opportunities in cinema that you have to create yourself. There are no easy solutions in cinema, they are all like bridge abutments through the abyss. Therefore, love and respect your creative team, which will go with you to the stormy bridge to the unknown, to the storm. Infect them with your success and faith… And God will be with you… Know how to say thank you to everyone, even if there is nothing for…”

Paul W. Nethercott (USA)

Visionary. Connector. Filmmaker.

Canadian born international filmmaker Paul W. Nethercott is the CEO of Studio Nethercott; on-Ramp Fellow, Indiana Arts Commission; Independent Media Artist, Canada Council for the Arts; Member, Painted Saint Entertainment Collective; Art Director, One Race Human Race Film Festival; Producer, Learn Filmmaking in Europe (an annual trip to Europe for emerging North American filmmakers to participate in the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre’s Summer Media Studio filmmaking camp).


Inesa Kurklietytė (Lithuania)

Chairman of public jury

Graduate of cinema directing in Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Inesa Kurklietyte studied cinema directing in Paris Audio-Visual High school ESRA and in Paris High School of Cinema Art FEMIS. Experienced in documentaries and short fiction films, awarded in international festivals, I. Kurklietyte stepped into fiction world with a feature length film for children Crow Lake. Inesa Kurklietyte lectures at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and Vilnius Tech University. She is a director of Audiovisual Arts Industry Incubator and International workshop for young film professionals “Summer MEDIA Studio”.  “A Butterfly‘s Heart” is her second feature for children and family.

Diana Latvė (Lithuania)

Diana Latvė is a writer, awarded with Ieva Simonaitytė’s 35th Literary Prize for the novel „Memelio gaisras“ (Vilnius: Lithuanian Writers’ Union Publishing House, 2020) in 2021. She also received  Augustinas Gricius Literary Prize for the best first prose book published in two years (2019–2020). The author collaborates with cultural publications and is active in the literary life of Klaipėda.

Jūratė Straupaitė (Lithuania)

I’ve been interested in cinema since I was a teenager, so it’s great to be a part of this festival. In cinema, I’ve always been looking for heroes I could identify with. I like that feeling of fulfillment, of reincarnation, when, after leaving the cinema, life itself seems to be a really good film.

Arūnas Peštenis (Lithuania)

Mindaugas Gudelis (Lithuania)

Born, raised and hardened in Klaipeda. A freelance project architect with a great love for cinema. Author and co-producer of the idea of the historical drama “Klaipeda, 1923”.


Ari Gold (USA)

Writer-director-performer Ari Gold has won over fifty prizes for his films, which have screened at Sundance, Karlovy-Vary, and hundreds of other festivals, and he also holds a Guinness World Record for commanding the largest air-drum ensemble on earth. He is in post-production on his third feature film, “Helicopter” which expands on his student-Oscar-winning short film about his mother’s death, and features legendary director Alejandro Jodorowsky. He has a dozen other projects in various stages of development.

Audrius Stonys (Lithuania)


The seminar will focus on the search for a hero in a documentary. How the character of the film dictates not only the plot and semantic lines of the film, but also the form, rhythm and structure of the story.

Riho Västrik (Estonia)


Producer and director was born in 1965 in Estonia. He has a BA in History and Journalism from Tartu University and MA in Film Arts from Baltic Film and Media School. Since 2003, Riho has been attracted to Siberia and the Far North. He has produced and co-produced a number of documentaries with Latvian, Russian and German filmmakers. Currently, Riho is an associate professor in the Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School in Tallinn and co-owner of the production company Vesilind.