Open City Documentary Festival

Assembly 2020 Mentors Announced

Assembly, a project-based intensive workshop for international filmmakers working on their first or second feature, kicks off for a week online from 3rd September, leading into Open City Documentary Festival the following week.

Having announced the participants earlier this summer, we are now pleased to confirm the mentors that will be assigned to each project. They will provide one-to-one mentoring for their assigned participant, alongside the workshop programme and other activities.

  • Ghost Wives (UK). Director: Eva Weber.

Mentor: Kitty Green

Kitty Green is an award-winning Australian filmmaker. Kitty’s independent feature documentary, Ukraine Is Not A Brothel premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2013 and screened at over 50 festivals internationally. In 2015, Kitty’s documentary short, The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul premiered at Sundance where it was awarded the Non-fiction Jury Prize. Kitty’s hybrid feature Casting JonBenet premiered at the Sundance in 2017 and is currently streaming globally on Netflix. In 2018, Kitty was a Sundance Fellow in the ‘Art of Nonfiction’ initiative. Kitty’s first narrative feature, The Assistant was completed in 2019 and premiered at Telluride and Sundance. It was released theatrically in the US in January.

  • Here, the Silence is Heard (Chile). Director: Gabriela Pena. Producer: Picho García.

Mentor: Mila Turajlić

Mila Turajlić is an award-winning director born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Her documentary The Other Side of Everything won 32 awards including the prestigious IDFA Award for Best Documentary Film. It was nominated for the European Parliament’s LUX Prize and won the Grand Prix for Best Historical Documentary released in France in 2018. Mila’s previous film, Cinema Komunisto premiered at Tribeca and played at over 100 festivals winning 16 awards including the Gold Hugo and the FOCAL Award for Creative Use of Archival Footage. In 2018 she was commissioned by MoMA to create archive-based video installations for their landmark exhibition on Yugoslav modernist architecture. Mila produced the Magnificent 7 Festival in Belgrade, and was the founding president of DokSerbia – the association of Serbian documentary filmmakers. An archive scholar and professor of film, Mila teaches at SciencesPo and INASup in Paris. She was named a Chicken & Egg Award grantee in 2020.

  • Seeds (USA). Director: Brittany Shyne.

Mentor: RaMell Ross

RaMell Ross is a visual artist, filmmaker and writer based in RI and Al. His work has appeared in places like the NY Times, Aperture, Harper’s Magazine and TIME and screened in places like MOMA, National Gallery of Art, Museum of Moving Image and the Lincoln Center. He is currently a 2020 USA Artist Fellow and is an assistant professor in Brown University’s Visual Art Department. His feature documentary Hale County This Morning, This Evening won a Special Jury Award for Creative Vision at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards.

  • The Leopard (Germany/Lebanon/Canada). Director: Ali El-Darsa. Producer: Vincent Förster.

Mentor: Camila José Donoso

Camila José Donoso’s films present a cinema in transformation. Over the course of three features: Naomi Campbel (2013), Casa Roshell (2017) and Nona. If They Soak Me, I’ll Burn Them (2019), the Chilean director, born in 1988, has built a corpus of aesthetic experimentation and potent invention that deals directly with urgent themes. Her films achieve transformation through self-reinvention, which frequently occurs even in the bodies of the people filmed. Camila’s films have screened in important festivals around the world including Rotterdam, Berlinale, Cinema du Réel, FICValdivia, Mar del Plata, Ficunam, Indielisboa, Viennale, and Art of the Real, among many others.

  • Untitled Hydebank Film (UK). Director: Ross McClean. Producer: Bronte Stahl. 

Mentor: Alexander Nanau 

Alexander Nanau is a German-Romanian filmmaker. His documentary film, The World According to Ion B, was awarded an International Emmy Award in 2010. His feature documentary film Toto and his Sisters was a European Academy Award nominee 2015. The film had a wide international distribution and played successfully in festivals worldwide. Alexander served as Director of Photography for the French/German documentary Nothingwood (Sonia Kronlund) that was shot in Afghanistan and premiered in Cannes as part of La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs in 2017. His latest feature length documentary Collective premiered at the Venice IFF 2019- as part of the Official Selection – Out of Competition.

  • Untitled Scholars Project (UK/Kenya/USA). Director: Eloise King. Producer: Riel Roch-Decter. Executive Producer: Professor Patricia Kingori. 

Mentor: Malika Zouhali-Worrall

Malika Zouhali-Worrall is a British-Moroccan filmmaker based in New York. An Emmy Award-winning director, her directing credits include Call me Kuchu (Berlinale / Netflix / BBC World, 2012), Thank You for Playing (Tribeca, POV/ITVS, News & Television Emmy Award, 2015), the pilot episode of ARTE’s Earn a Living web series (IDFA, 2018), and an upcoming short for PBS American Masters, Strange Grace: The Art of Amyra Leon (set to premiere in 2020). Malika was the editor on Through the Night (Tribeca Film Festival, 2020), a film by Loira Limbal about a 24-hour childcare centre, which was selected for the 2019 Sundance Edit & Story Lab, and upon premiering, chosen as a Critic’s Pick by The Hollywood Reporter. Malika is currently working on a hybrid feature-length film, which is in development with support from the Sundance Film Institute, San Francisco Film, Firelight Media and Cinereach. In 2012, Filmmaker Magazine named Malika one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Malika is a 2015 Firelight Lab Fellow, a 2019 Chicken & Egg Awardee, and a 2020 Sundance Institute Momentum Fellow.

Assembly aims to create a space for filmmakers to develop and strengthen their projects in order to support emerging voices in non-fiction storytelling. Participants will also be able to attend screenings, talks and networking events as part of Open City Documentary Festival’s 2020 digital edition.