Dr. Maxa Zoller
Dr. Maxa Zoller is the Artistic Director of IFFF Dortmund+Köln, one of the world’s oldest and largest women film festivals. Maxa received her Ph. D. from Birkbeck College, where she studied wtih Ian Christie and Laura Mulvey. Her interest in the interrelationship between art and cinema has marked her academic career; she taught art and film history and theory at the American University in Cairo, Goldsmiths College and Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London, amongts others. It has also informed her curatorial work for Tate Modern, no.w.here, Art Basel and the EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam, where she co-curated a major solo exhibition of Anthony McCall in 2014. Her understanding of »expanded cinema« also informs her work as director of the IFFF Dortmund+Köln, where she initiated artist residencies and book publications.
In her writings for MIT, IB Tauris, JRP-Ringier and Hatje Verlag she covers topics ranging from post-colonial and post-socialist identity discourse and feminism to her academic expertise; the history of Western avant-garde and experimental film, its contexts of exhibition and its historiography. Her writings and interviews can be viewed here: independent.academia.edu/MaxaZoller
Christina Essenberger, M. A., is the Managing Director of the Internationales Frauen* Film Fest Dortmund+Köln. During her studies of Literature and Art History at Bielefeld University she was active in the local independent art scene where she was to become the first DJane in a youth culture centre. She also worked at the Lichtwerk Cinema where she programmed classic Hollywood cinema of the 1930s and ’40s and films by female directors as well as arthouse and experimental film. For many years she was a board member of the Filmhaus Bielefeld e. V. Christina became the manager of several international dance and theatre festivals at the Theaterlabor Bielefeld before moving on to the IFFF Dortmund+Köln in 2007.
Organisation / Print CoordinationMore
Organisation / Print Coordination
Christian Liemke is responsible for IFFF Dortmund+Köln film bookings and is on the festival’s organisational team. A film and cinema fan since childhood, he ran a successful blog about film, DVDs and Blu-ray discs for 12 years. After moving from OWL to Dortmund, in 2011 he got to know the film festival for the first time while attending, and later got a taste of the work behind the scenes during an internship while studying. He has been on the permanent staff at IFFF as our film booker since 2017.
He is also on the curator team for the Dortmunder Tresen-Filmfestival.
Curator: Feature Film CompetitionMore
Curator: Feature Film Competition
Gained an MA in theatre, film and television, media and communication studies, and economics from the Ruhr University Bochum, while working as a dramaturge at the Komödie Düsseldorf theatre. Since 1999 has been a freelance film curator, press officer and journalist for IFFF Dortmund+Köln, Maren Kroymann, KROYMANN/Radio Bremen, Kinofest Lünen, dokumentarfilminitiative (the documentary film forum in North Rhine-Westphalia), FIDENA, Gütesiegel Kultur, bobiennale, Deutsche Kinemathek museum for film and television, Kino@Gefängnis, the International Filmfest Emden-Norderney, Bundesverband Kommunale Kinos (German association for municipal cinemas), nachtfrequenz, German Short Film Awards, Flying Broom Ankara, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, German Film Week Kabul, the Goethe-Instituts in Ankara and Kabul. Publications for: filmdienst, the catholic German online portal for cinema and film; the NZZ newspaper; Der Freitag a weekly newspaper; German broadcaster WDR, among others.
»Films that impress me; artists who are extremely inspiring; colleagues who are great to work with – and the opportunity to continue to work away on one of life’s central socio-political isues, gender equality, that’s what Frauen* Film Fest Dortmund+Köln represents for me. And a whole lot more.«
Curator: Feature Film CompetitionMore
Curator: Feature Film Competition
Sonja Hofmann has a degree in regional studies for Latin America. She is programme curator for the competition sections of Internationales Frauen* Film Fest Dortmund+Köln as well as curator and host for various other film festivals. In May 2019 she became managing director of Filmbüro Nordrhein-Westfalen, the association for independent film in NRW.
»Films by female directors remain under-represented in competitions at major film festivals, especially feature films. At IFFF Dortmund+Köln, we show how to turn this around.«
Grew up in the Ruhr. Spent a year in the cinemas of Paris and discovered her love for film. Studied film, television and theatre, Romance languages & literature and social psychology at the Ruhr University in Bochum. Worked on the Ruhr University’s student-run International Video Festival, and subsequently has worked for various film festivals (incl. the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, the Dok & Videofest Kassel) as well as a freelance curator and translator.
»At every IFFF Dortmund+Köln I get the chance to discover inspiring films that I would otherwise never get to see.«
Maxi Braun (MA) studied Russian culture, history and media, specialising in film, at the Ruhr University Bochum.
Since graduating in 2013, she has worked mainly as a journalist. In 2016 she also started as a freelancer for various media, primarily in the areas of film, series, feminism and society. In 2018 she worked on the press team for IFFF Dortmund+Köln for the first time. She also gives talks on feminist topics.
»My work for Internationales Frauen* Film Fest Dortmund+Köln ensures I am always up to date with current feminist discourse – and not just in terms of film and cinema. This is also due to my great colleagues, who contribute their very different experiences and perspectives and share not just opinions with each other, but also knowledge and insights. Such supportive networking is not something to take for granted. The festivals in Dortmund and Cologne are like small family get-togethers, which broaden my horizons every year thanks to their many inspiring films and the chance to meet the film-makers.«
Marieke Steinhoff is a freelance film curator for Internationales Frauen* Film Fest Dortmund+Köln. She completed her studies in theatre, film and television, German and ethnology at the University of Cologne and in Rome, Italy. While studying, she wrote on a freelance basis for the German film magazine Schnitt, where she later became chief editor. She also became organisational head of Filmplus, the forum for film editing and montage art in Cologne, for two years. Since 2013 she has been working for the ifs internationale filmschule köln, including coordinating the teaching of film and media studies. She’s also involved in the »ifs-Begegnung« film and event series, as well as the film history series Filmgeschichten at the Filmforum NRW in Cologne’s Museum Ludwig. In her curatorial work, Marieke looks at aspects of film heritage and canonisation, archives and diversity as well as young German film.
»At the moment, aspirations for change and new anti-feminism and racism are pitted against each other. For me, responding to this, always keeping a view to (film) history, is part of the remit of IFFF Dortmund+Köln. It includes showing films that disrupt rigid dichotomies, that allow ambivalence and different opinions and interpretations, and that articulate utopias for a more just society, is both a luxury and a necessity – and for me, cinema is still the greatest place to discuss and dream together.«
Studied theatre, film and television as well as Romance and German literature (gaining an MA) at the Ruhr University Bochum, the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Glasgow. Since 1996, she has worked as a freelance film curator. She devises programmes, workshops, talks and ideas for various festivals and symposia in film and theatre, since 1996 mainly for femme totale / Internationales Frauen* Film Fest Dortmund+Köln.
She works in film and theatre as dramaturge, researcher, production manager and organiser. She hosts events, does press relations work, manages projects for the Nacht der Jugenkultur (youth culture event in North Rhine-Westphalia), and publishes work on radio and in print media. She also sits on international jury panels, including in Tel Aviv, Yerivan, Innsbruck, Prishtina, Seoul, Bozen, Taipei, Lessinia. As a regular member of the Transnationales Ensemble labsa in Dortmund, she has spent recent years looking more closely at the issue of attributions of identity. She has completed collaborative film projects and workshops, including I speak so you don’t speak for me. In 2018, she curated the film programme About Germany in order to reflect on how certain forms of exclusion and racism have built up in the realms of politics and media. This also includes looking into the past in order to frame the phenomenon of migration historically. In this context, a new perspective of East-West German history also emerged. Selected current programmes: Kultur@Gefängnis since 2015 in Germany’s Ruhr region | About Germany (IFFF 2018) | Wahnsinn. Widerstand.Wut – Ein fiebrig-feministisches Filmprogramm in drei Akten (Schillertage Mannheim2019 film festival) | In This Together (Women Make Waves Film Festival, Taipei)
»My desire and purpose is to engage with others in thinking about ourselves in the world and to find ways of talking about that, always keeping the debate new and fresh: This is an inspiring struggle which is not possible everywhere. IFFF Dortmund+Köln has always been – and still is – a setting that is open to committed voices, alliances and positions that don’t just follow the standard. That’s a strength that we want to maintain and not something we take for granted.«
Curator: Films for Kids and Young AdultsMore
Curator: Films for Kids and Young Adults
After packing her diary with dance tournament appearances in Germany and abroad in her youth, Lisa ditched the disco dance glitter and devoted herself 100% to film. She racked up practical experience during her international master’s degree in film and audiovisual media at Ruhr University Bochum working for cinemas and film festivals in the Ruhr region. After two stints abroad as a student, in France (Université Lille III) and Belgium (Université de Liège), she was a transcriber for the Duisburger Filmwoche documentary festival and took charge of organisation for the doxs! dokumentarfilme für kinder und jugendliche festival for children and young people. Since 2016 she has been responsible for the Films for Kids and Young Adults programme for Internationales Frauen* Film Fest Dortmund+Köln, where she highlights current cinematic works for our youngest audience.
»Strong girl and woman characters are permanent fixtures on screen in our Film Programme for Kids and Young Adults. What I like most about my work is giving children and young people the opportunity to venture into both new and old worlds, to experience stories they’ve never encountered before as well as familiar ones, and to discuss ideas with each other and with film-makers about the stories.«
Natascha Frankenberg is a film and media scholar. She works in the cultural film education field, as a curator for film festivals and lecturer at various universities. Her PhD dissertation examined the subject of temporality at the nexus of film and queer studies, focusing on documentary work in queer cinema.
»Where other than at the Frauen* Film Fest Dortmund+Köln do I get the chance to work with such focus on film from a queer-feminist perspective? And to give a platform to films that intervene in normative structures and audiovisually expand our realms of possibilities and fantasies, and thus hopefully also make realities changeable?«
Katja Eßer, MA, joined the IFFF Dortmund+Köln marketing team at the start of 2021. She is a qualified historian specialising in women’s, urban and environmental history. She especially likes deploying her skills to conduct city tours and museum education activities as well as for exhibition projects, doing so right across NRW from Aachen City Hall (Route Charlemagne) to Bochum (German Mining Museum: »Glückauf and Uğur ola«) to the Museumshof Bad Oeynhausen. Her second line of business is press and public relations work, online editing, social media management and also corporate and marketing communication. Since 2018, she has been involved in the Women’s Film Festival Bielefeld, organised annually around 8 March by the TERRE DES FEMMES city group.
Named after Marlon Brando, Marlon’s interest in films can be pretty much traced to the moment he was born. He studied media and philosophy at the Ruhr University in Bochum. His love for films was sparked by a placement in 2017 at doxs! documentary festival for children and young people, where he has since worked regularly as a freelancer (on the programme committee, as an usher, marketing & hosting). Since 2018 has worked as an assistant for the European Work in Progress Cologne during the festival. In 2019 Marlon joined IFFF Dortmund+Köln as a trainee in the media and PR department. Among other things, he assists with the pre-selection process for the films of the Films for Kids and Young Adults programme, provides social media support, website updating, film scheduling and communication with universities.
»The best things here are the great team I work with, the variety of my work and our shared goal of helping bring about equality. And the coffee in the office is pretty good too!«
Guest management / video editingMore
Guest management / video editing
Born in Dortmund, she spent much of her past on the move. She studied politics and media in Bochum, Scandinavian studies in Gothenburg and film production and cinematography in Lisbon. In 2018, she completed her media studies degree with the thesis »Diversity in NRW film funding – an assessment against the backdrop of a digitalising film industry«. At the same time, she was accepted by Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts onto its Film & Sound programme and has since finally been able to make films in Dortmund. 2017-2018 she was in charge of the doxs! school section at doxs! – the documentary film festival for children and young people.
Since 2017 she has been closely involved with Internationales Frauenfilmfestival Dortmund+Köln, firstly through her collaboration on its School Film Programme and, since 2019, she has coordinated the management of IFFF Dortmund+Köln’s guest contributors.
»For me, IFFF Dortmund+Köln gives me the perfect chance to combine my political commitment to equality, my desire to continue interconnecting Dortmund and the region with culture, and, of course, my passion for film.«
Atlanta Ina Beyer
Assistant curator: desired!More
Assistant curator: desired!
Atlanta Ina Beyer studied cultural work in Potsdam. She lectures in the Gender and Diversity degree programme at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences in Kleve. She is also currently finishing her dissertation on queer utopias in the aesthetic strategies of queer, audio/visual punk productions. She previously spent many years as editor of a daily newspaper and also as artistic co-director of the queer/feminist spoken-word show »Shut Up and (Sign_)Speak« in Berlin. For IFFF Dortmund+Köln, she has co-screened films for the »desired« section.
»IFFF Dortmund+Köln is always about film as a method of critically and contrastingly exploring social reality from feminist, queer and female perspectives. The festival groups the results into a tangible whole, thus creating a place where alternative experiences and ways of speaking become possible. I find this equally as important and special as the multifaceted insights into current and historical feminist movements and discourses internationally.«
Ticketing / Films for Kids and Young AdultsMore
Ticketing / Films for Kids and Young Adults
Daria Motalebsade studied philosophy and art history at the Ruhr University in Bochum. Since her internship at the Frauen* Film Fest Dortmund+Köln in 2019, Daria has organised ticketing and also supported the Films for Kids and Young Adults by reviewing the numerous entries. When not busy working for the festival at one of its host cinemas, one of her other jobs is taking care of the red carpet arrangements at Germany’s oldest cinema.
»I love cinema, feminism and queer issues, and IFFF is the perfect place for me!«
Géraldine studied event management in Cologne and has worked in this field both in Germany and abroad. She has been a freelance event and PR specialist for 15 years. Her portfolio includes both major and minor events for organisations and companies. Her career has also seen her work on television productions. Cinema is her private passion. And her role at IFFF Dortmund+Köln is perfect for blending this with her professional expertise.
»Films possess the magic to enchant us and allow us stay in the here and now just for a moment. This facet never fails to impress me. Making this magic shine together in a dedicated team is the best thing that could have happened to me. It’s time to get up from the sofa and get ready for the cinema once again!«
Miriam Adina Mary Scott
Miriam Adina Mary Scott completed her degree in film/television specialising in cinematography at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts in 2014. During her studies she spent several years working in cinema and as an assistant in various departments in TV, advertising and cinema productions.
After graduating, she carried out youth film projects and film workshops, also working as technical advisor for a daily newspaper.
Miriam is co-founder of the Filmclub Lünen e. V., and has been theatre management assistant for marketing and events at Cineworld Lünen since 2017. She is also responsible here for the cinema’s on-site organisational planning and implementation of Kinofest Plus. Since 2020, she has also been working as a freelance film-maker once again.
Miriam first came on board at IFFF Dortmund+Köln when she was still at school. Ever since she has been a loyal servant to the festival and assumed the position of Technical Director in 2020.
»The IFFF Dortmund+Köln is a kind of homecoming for me. The annual gathering of everyone and the exchange between peers is an important source of inspiration that I wouldn’t want to miss.«
Films for Kids and Young AdultsMore
Films for Kids and Young Adults
The film-mad design student has been closely involved with programmes for children and young people ever since completing her bachelor’s degree in media and communication studies at MLU in Halle. This is possibly down to her alert eye for everything in the world and being inspired by all manner of things no matter how small. She also works in children’s and youth theatre, lending her set designer skills to student film projects. This has given her a keen sense for what inspires young adults. Currently, she is studying interior and spatial design at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, focusing on production design and art in public space. This year she is doing a placement for IFFF Dortmund+Köln on the Film Programme for Kids and Young Adults.
»I’m thrilled to be able to show young festival visitors how exciting film can be. Our film programme this year features lots of great central performers who have also inspired me so much!«
Technics / Video editingMore
Technics / Video editing
Tobias Lelgemann is a film student specialising in documentary film. He has been on the team since 2020 and goes through the films submitted to the festival with a fine-tooth comb for any kind of errors. His quest for finding the needle in the haystack is only complete when the films are running perfectly on computer and cinema screens. He’s the very first person allowed to watch our exciting programme in the cinema and then give it the go ahead – a privileged job if ever there was one!
His second remit is video editing. Videos for our PR work stem from his editing suite before we share them with the world across our social media channels.
Pia Nüchterlein has been interested in films and what goes on behind the camera since her teens. Having shuttled between theatre and film productions, she then arrived at IFFF Dortmund+Köln in 2021 as an intern for the organisation team. She is doing a BA in film at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts and is currently working on her bachelor’s thesis. Her main interest in her degree programme is in documentary and experimental film.
Lilian-Astrid Geese, conference interpreter (aiic) and translator for English, French and Spanish in Berlin, has worked for many years as freelancer for arts and culture, theaters, centers of literature, museums, galleries and publishing houses in Germany and abroad. She is a consultant interpreter for festivals and competitions, including IFFF Dortmund+Köln, Berlin Biennale, documenta, and Europan. More and pics at www.comunicada.de
Born in England but based in Cologne for many years, Sue Pickett took a degree in German Area Studies with a minor in Film Studies at the University of East Anglia, UK and Philipps-Universität Marburg. She has worked as a freelance translator for over 30 years, and specialises in the areas of media, culture and education. She has translated for IFFF Dortmund+Köln since 2015.
»I love having the opportunity every year to find out about such important, high-quality films in my work. And being part of such an inspiring and dedicated team!«
Linda Richerd studied English and comparative literature at Ruhr-University Bochum. She works at Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV), where she informs the visitors about the exhibitions and gives guided tours. Besides that, she freelances in the fields of communication of art as well as translation. From 2016 to 2018, she was a volunteer at Kino im U Dortmund e. V. Since 2020, she has been in charge of the catalogue for Internationales Frauen* Film Fest Dortmund+Köln on a freelance basis.
Born in England, I fell in love with sport and languages at an early age. I studied French and German at Nottingham University, completing my degree later with the Open University. I have lived near Montpellier, in Sheffield and Bedford, worked in Paris and London, and landed in Cologne in 2006. In Paris, when not teaching, I was mostly to be found in art cinemas or reading ›Sight and Sound‹. In Cologne I was firstly an English Trainer for various companies. I switched to translation full time in 2010. Along with my colleague Sue Pickett, I co-translate the IFFF Dortmund+Köln festival catalogue every year.
»I’ve been translating for Internationale Frauen* Film Fest Dortmund+Köln since 2016 – it is one of my favourite projects each year.«
Claudia Butterly is a translator for English with a legal background and, additionally, she holds a qualification as an intercultural language mediator. Her passion for interpreting brought her to IFFF Dortmund+Köln, where she joined the team of translators. When working on multilingual film productions, her French and Spanish language skills also come in handy.
»For me, translating and interpreting for IFFF Dortmund+Köln opens windows into people’s lives, languages and cultures in Europe, Africa, Asia, America, in a nutshell, worldwide. When I start working on a film for the festival, this is also when I watch it for the first time and it is always a welcome surprise as with each film I plunge into a different world. I see my work for the IFFF Dortmund+Köln as a small contribution to build understanding between people. Live-speaking (children’s) foreign language films to a German cinema audience is one of my favourite jobs at IFFF Dortmund+Köln.«
Svenja Engelmann-Kewitz is currently obtaining her master’s degree in English and American studies as well as in comparative literature at the Ruhr-University Bochum and puts an emphasis on researching human-nature-relations. She works part-time in the cultural sector, at the moment at the Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV) in Dortmund. Since 2020, she supports the IFFF Dortmund+Köln as a proofreader.
Silke Johanna Räbiger
Film: World ViewsMore
Film: World Views
Silke Johanna Räbiger, a high school teacher in a previous life, moved in the 1980s from her native northern Germany over to the far west of the country, landing in Dortmund. Alongside working for a film distributor, she joined the Women’s Film Festival in Dortmund from 1986, becoming the festival’s director in 1992. From 2007 to 2018 she was the artistic director of Internationales Frauen* Film Fest Dortmund+Köln.
And perhaps with some of that fabled North German spirit of seeing the job all the way through still in her veins, she has kept hold of the wheel for the ‘Film: World Views’ programme in Dortmund – and in Cologne where it’s still in the making – which she herself created. The film programme is especially aimed at women with a migration background and their families, but of course is open to all fans of quality film-making.