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, amongst 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 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 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: Competition for women DoPMore
Curator: Competition for women DoP
Conny Beißler studied film and cinematography at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts. After graduating she began training young artists, and since 2009 has taught cinematography and lighting at various universities in Germany and internationally. She produces documentary and stage projects, music videos as well as web and online formats. Since 2013 she has worked at IFFF Dortmund+Köln in various capacities.
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.«
Vivien Kristin Buchhorn
Vivien Kristin Buchhorn is a curator, film scholar and art historian. She studied in Zurich, Copenhagen and Berlin, and is now based in both Zurich and Berlin.
From 2015 to 2019 she was a key architect of the film programmes at the Berlin Critics’ Week – held to coincide with the Berlinale – which brought a new focus to debates on cinema. She also worked at the Zeughauskino Berlin, in 2016 organising the first major retrospective on Sohrab Shahid Saless. Her research on Saless has progressed in the meantime and will be evident in film restorations in 2022 as well as a publication produced in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut.
Since 2019, she has been working alongside Merle Kröger and Volker Pantenburg on the situation relating to the television archives in Germany. Symposia held in tandem with arsenal Berlin sought to strengthen calls for the release of television archive material and to foster debate with broadcasters.
Vivien Kristin Buchhorn also works as a dramaturgical consultant, teaches at the Institute of Time-Based Media (IZM) at Berlin University of the Arts, and is a doctoral candidate at ETH Zurich and the Collegium Helveticum. Through the Cooperation Research Lab programme entitled »Epistemologies of Aesthetic Practices«, she explores the perspectives of a new artistic historiography.
She joined Internationales Frauen Film Fest Dortmund+Köln as a curator in 2021: looking for new forms and formats in experimental and documentary film, she has a special interest in cinema that takes bold aesthetic as well as transnational positions.
»Before deciding on the programme, we have to ask ourselves: What can innovative filmmaking mean today? How can we promote radical, bold and unpredictable cinema?
I see the Panorama section as a testing ground for film forms and formats, which we should examine more and more critically in the future. Above all, so that it’s not just technical progress that’s shown at festivals, but that the cinematographic idea itself remains modern.
Female perspectives of it are especially interesting. They have been invisible for a long time in film history so have always had to assert themselves.
I’m excited and really looking forward to observing and discussing this constellation as a curator at Internationales Frauen Film Fest Dortmund+Cologne.«
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.«
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 Internationales 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?«
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
Katharina Gismann studied cultural management in the master’s program and focused on the medium of film and the festival sector early on. Her first formative entry into the film festival world finally took place right here, at the IFFF Dortmund+Köln. While she remained connected to the festival, further stations followed, such as the Berlinale and the Film Festival Cologne. Already in her student days, she was also interested in the question of how to inspire people for visiting cultural events and how to attract attention. She finally wrote her thesis on the marketing strategies of film festivals to attract visitors, based on her previous work experience. Since 2023 she is part of the festival team and takes care of the marketing of the IFFF Dortmund+Köln.
“Working at IFFF Dortmund+Köln gives me the perfect opportunity to combine my interest in marketing with my passion for film and my personal concern for equality.”
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 Internationales Frauen Film Fest Dortmund+Köln represents for me. And a whole lot more.«
Selection panel International Debut Feature Fiction Film AwardMore
Selection panel International Debut Feature Fiction Film Award
Jennifer studied Art History & Voice (BA) at Juniata College, USA, Cultural Studies & Feminist Art Theory (MA) at the University of Leeds, UK and Classical Voice (Diplom) at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln. She has worked in the (film) cultural sector since 1998, curating the Cologne Short Film Festival since 2009 (competition and special programmes), EMAF Osnabrück (competition 2011), feminale (programme and co-direction 2000 to 2005), and collaborating on film and lecture series, workshops and retrospectives on Albert & David Maysles (with a master class), Lynn Hershman Leeson, Maya Deren, Lech Kowalski, Tony Buba, Jennet Thomas, Nelly Kaplan, »Groupies in Film«, among others. She has managed projects for the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, goEast Film Festival, Creative Europe MEDIA, and has been a jury member at the One World Festival Prague, Sarajevo Film Festival, Seoul International Women’s Film Festival. Since 2013, she has worked in public relations for international arthouse documentary and feature films. She is head of press communications at KERN DES GANZEN Agency für Filmkommunikation in Cologne, and lectures at the institutes for media and cultural studies at the Universities of Düsseldorf and Cologne.
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.«
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.
Curator: The Film All-NighterMore
Curator: The Film All-Nighter
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.«
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 Internationales Frauen Film Fest Dortmund+Köln since 2016 – it is one of my favourite projects each year.«
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!«
Curator: Kids and Young Adults ProgrammeMore
Curator: Kids and Young Adults Programme
Curator, media scientist and education enthusiast. She discovered her passion for engaging with film during a school year abroad in England, where even back then (2001) film studies was available as an A-Levels subject. After studying media studies in Bonn, she completed a traineeship at the Deutsches Filminstitut/Filmmuseum (DFF) in Frankfurt am Main. Here she was involved in the redesign of the permanent exhibition. She then worked as a curator and project manager for various exhibitions and education projects at the DFF, including the exhibitions FILM NOIR, FILM&GAMES and the redesign of the center for film education. During a detour into science at the TH Köln, Institut für Medienforschung und Medienpädagogik, she realized that, for her, film education is part of a good life. She is in charge of the program for kids and young adults at the IFFF Dortmund+Köln.
»The achievement of gender equality is still more a matter of generations rather than of years or decades. To contribute to strengthening our children – and thus the new generation – for an equal life by watching and discussing films and, at the same time, sparking enthusiasm for film as an art form: that is my wish and goal for my work at the IFFF Dortmund+Köln.«
Film and film culture have always been part of Sarahs life. IFFF Dortmund+Köln allows her to combine her fascination for the moving image with her passion for event management.
In 2022, Sarah joined IFFF Dortmund+Köln as an intern. This year she takes over the management of the organization for the first time. In addition to her work at IFFF Dortmund+Köln, Sarah is studying for a Master’s degree in Cultural Poetics of Literature and Media at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster.
»Working at IFFF Dortmund+Köln is inspiring every day. I’m thrilled to be part of a festival that makes an extraordinarily important contribution to film culture and its communication.«
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!«
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.
Curator: Spon on, NRW! und Kino to GoMore
Curator: Spon on, NRW! und Kino to Go
Nicole Rebmann studied social pedagogy at Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Comparative Social Studies at Maastricht University of Applied Sciences and at the University of North London, and did further education in cultural management in Cologne which led her to work at film festivals.
She worked with the Feminale from 2006 in various organisational and programming capacities, she also continued to work for Internationales Frauen Film Fest Dortmund+Köln (Focus and Panorama sections). Since 2022 she coordinates the competition for women DoPs. Alongside her work as a curator and as a programme and guest services coordinator for various film festivals (Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Berlinale) and member of the selection committee of KFFK Short Film Festival Cologne, she is the office manager of WDR AKTIV.
»We (still) do not have social equality. We can’t wait for things to change on their own. I want to be able to show films about everything – films made by women. Women who a take critical stance but never lose enthusiasm for their fantastic content.«
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.«
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.«
I came to IFFF Dortmund+Köln through my owner Sarah. I always get lots of cuddles in the office and the long corridor is great for playing and running around. As an office dog, I feel right at home here.