Experts 2021

Jakob Ballinger

Jakob’s relentless interest to tinker with lights, rigs and fixtures was fused with his fascination for film early in his childhood. Years later he enrolled at the National Film School in Vienna to deepen his knowledge of the craft. He has been working as a gaffer, in the field of his choice, ever since. Specializing in large scale feature films and commercials, his international career has taken him all over the world. Lightbridge emerged as Jakob wanted to address and find answers for the needs and possibilities of new age lighting for digital cinematography. The companies first launch was in collaboration with DoP Christian Berger – they released the first stable version of the Cine Reflect Lighting System in 2017. Early this year CRLS 2.0 was launched. As an industry gaffer with experience on projects ranging from small productions to major film studio shoots, he understands the need for high-quality and economical lighting for various creative projects with differing budgets.

Nina Kusturica

Nina Kusturica is a film and theater director, and also works as a writer, editor, producer, teacher and in the field of arts-based research.
She has directed several feature films including CIAO CHÉRIE (2018), LITTLE ALIEN (2009) and AUSWEGE (2003) as well as documentaries 24 REALITIES IN A SECOND – MICHAEL HANEKE ON FILM (2004) and DRAGA LJILJANA (2000), with acclaimed participation and awards at numerous international film festivals.
In theater, she directed BIBI SARA KALI (2021) by Ibrahim Amir at Werk X Petersplatz Vienna, RULE OF THUMB (2019) by Iva Brdar at Kosmos Theater and Shumona Sinha’s SLAUGHTER THE POOR! (2018) at Werk X Vienna.
Nina Kusturica teaches film, directing and acting at various universities and works as a research artist at the Vienna Film Academy. Born in Mostar, she grew up in Sarajevo. Nina Kusturica lives and works in Vienna.

Michela Occhipinti

Michela Occhipinti was born in Rome in 1968. After spending part of her life between Rome, Morocco, Hong Kong, Congo and Switzerland, in 1991 she moved to Milan and then to London, where she started working in documentary and advertising as a researcher and production assistant. Since 1995 she has been living in Rome working in cinema, documentaries and advertising in various positions in Italy and abroad. In 2003 she travelled one year throughout South America producing and filming the documentary ¡VIVA LA PEPA! (GIVE US BACK THE CONSTITUTION) on Argentina’s social crisis. From 2005 to 2007 she cooperated with RAI 2 directing various reportages on immigration issues. In 2008 she filmed SEI UNO NERO, a non-profit documentary shot in Malawi on the opening of a radio station for Aids and malaria prevention.
In 2010 she produced and directed LETTERS FROM THE DESERT (EULOGY TO SLOWNESS), her first feature documentary, which participated in over 80 Festivals worldwide receiving 21 awards, making it one of the most awarded documentaries of 2010. In 2018 she directed her first feature film FLESH OUT in Mauritania.

Ziad Kalthoum

Ziad Kalthoum is a Syrian filmmaker currently living in Berlin. He was born in Homs in 1981 and holds a degree in film studies. In first documentary OH MY HEART (2009) he portrayed a group of Kurdish women, who have chosen to live in a society without men. The film was banned from screening in Syria due to political reasons. In 2012, during the outbreak of the Syrian revolution, he began working on his first feature film THE IMMORTAL SEARGANT while serving a compulsory military service. The film had its premiere at the Locarno Film Festival in 2014. In 2015, he won the BBC Arabic Festival in the ‘Best Feature Documentary’ category. Refusing to fight his own people, he deserted from the Syrian Army in 2013 and fled to Beirut where he started to work on TASTE OF CEMENT. The film has been traveling to festivals around the world and has won various awards, among them the Golden Sesterce for Best Feature Documentary at Visions du Réel in 2017.

Peter Rösner

Recording engineer and sound designer Peter Rösner studied sound-engineering at the University of Music and performing Arts in Vienna. Since 2008 he has been a freelancer working on international feature and documentary productions for TV and theatrical release. In recent years he also started working as a drone-pilot for international feature-films and adverts.