Our tutors and mentors

SOFA – School of Film Agents is very proud of the excellent support by a top-class line-up of experienced lecturers from all over Europe!

Have a look:

Tutors: | |


Oliver Baumgarten | Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis | Germany

Oliver Baumgarten

Co-founder of SOFA as well as the independent German film magazine “Schnitt” to which for many years he serves as a chef-editor. In 2014 he was appointed programme manager to the Film Festival Max Ophüls Preis. He also launched Europe’s first festival dedicated to film editing and montage, Filmplus. As part of the Berlinale Talents programme, he has created an international project for emerging film critics, Talent Press, which he is still in charge of.

Ewa Puszczyńska | Opus Film | Łódź, Poland

Ewa Puszczyńska

World recognised producer and board member of the European Film Academy. She has worked with a great number of well respected filmmakers, including Paweł Pawlikowski. Their great collaboration resulted in many awards, including an Oscar for IDA. She has been an active SOFA’s supporter and a wise adviser from its very beginning.

Christine von Fragstein | Project Manager, Consulter & Coach | Berlin, Germany

Christine von Fragstein

Dedicated culture manager and former coordinator of Berlinale Talents, a Berlinale initiative supporting young filmmakers from all over the world. She also collaborated with the Zurich Film Festival, where she was behind organizing the Zurich Master Class. In years 2014-2016 she served as a programme director of the Berlinale Open House at the Audi Berlinale Lounge.

Mentors: | |


Robert Groß | act Videoproduktion | Cologne, Germany

Robert Groß

Robert Groß was born in Cologne and had his first contact with the media world as a student for the big local television channel WDR in the early 80s. He became a cameraman and editor for TV documentaries and magazines. In 1989 he founded act Videoproduktion with VTR-based, linear edit-suites and expanded to Avid non-linear editing systems in 1995. In 2005 he founded Headquarter as a high-end postproduction facility for movies, feature-films and series. act and Headquarter now have 50 employees and produce more than 200 hours of TV program.

Funa Maduka | Netflix Original Films | Los Angeles, USA

Funa Maduka

Funa Maduka is a creative and acquisitions executive within Netflix Original Films where she works with the world’s top global and emerging filmmakers. Throughout her tenure, she has remained positioned at the frontline of the company’s global expansion, managing the launch of the film offering across 100+ countries. Her film acquisitions brought Netflix its first film nominations at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. Previously she worked at Participant Media developing and managing campaigns for film and television projects. She has held leadership and strategic positions at McKinsey & Company, the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, Obama for America, the Clinton Global Initiative and on the trading floor at Goldman Sachs. She holds a BA in History from Cornell University and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School, where she served on the Board of Trustees and as President of the Student Body, respectively. She is an awarded filmmaker, credited with producing and directing the first Nigerian film to world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. She remains active in girls education advocacy and water-access initiatives. ​​

Jowita Michalska | Digital University | Warsaw, Poland

Jowita Michalska

Jowita Michalska is a manager with more than 20 years’ experience in business strategy, technology-influenced business models, new consumer and his impact on global economy. Today she is CEO of Digital University, a foundation dedicated to strategic digital competences development which cooperates with Harvard Business School, Stanford University, MIT and many independent speakers and lecturers. She organizes the biggest and brightest tech conferences in Poland, among them „Masters and Robots“ which gathers more than 1000 c-level managers and 35+ new technology speakers from around the world covering subjects including: artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, robotics, blockchain, IoT, Smart Cities etc. She represents US-based educational think-tank Singularity University in Poland which educates, inspires and empowers leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges.

Cristian Nicolescu | Digital Cube | Bucharest, Romania

Cristian Nicolescu

Cristian Nicolescu is the CEO and co-founder of Avanpost DIGITAL CUBE. He has over 14 years experience in post-production cinematography, as an editor, post-production and audio-visual work flow consultant. Since 2009 he has participated in numerous specialised courses, among which the most important is „Insight Out“. He was also selected as a professional in the Talent Campus section of the Berlinale International Film Festival. Nicolescu holds the title of the youngest editor nominated for the Gopo Awards – the most important distinction awarded by the industry to Romanian professionals. Within DIGITAL CUBE he is responsible for organising the production process and quality control, as well as identifying the technological development opportunities.

He is a member of the Society for Film and Television Engineers (SMPTE), (www.smpte.org) in partnership with Professional Association® Hollywood (HPA®). Cristian Nicolescu is known for his work for EMMY productions such as:“ The World seen by Ion B. „(HBO) or History Channel’s – Hatfield’s and McCoys. He collaborated with Paul Schrader in the US and is a very active figure in the new wave of filmmakers from Eastern Europe. He has enabled as  post production producer and post-production consultant the most acclaimed projects in Romania, and lately worked a lot for HBO Romania. He is an active participant in major markets in the field such as Cannes or Berlin, member of the Union of Cinematographers of Romania and vice-president of the Association of Professionals from Post Production in Romania. His latest projects included co-producing “Donbass” (directed by Sergey Loznitsa) winner of Cannes 2018 Un certain regard Directing Prize, the 2017 Golden Bear winner, „Ana Mon Amour“ and 2016 Semaine de la Critque winner, „Albüm“.

Anna Serner | Swedish Film Institute | Stockholm, Sweden

Anna Serner

Anna Serner is the CEO of the Swedish Film Institute since 2011. Her previous position was as Managing Director of the Swedish Media Publishers‘ Association (Tidningsutgivarna), where she was active in public debate on freedom of speech and the media’s role in society. For two years prior to this she ran her own marketing communications consultancy business, and was also CEO of the Advertising Association of Sweden (Reklamförbundet) from 1998-2006. With a degree in law, Anna has a wide experience of board level appointments, including Berghs School of Communication, Folkoperan, United Minds, Fanzingo and the magazine Dagens Samhälle. She has also served as an expert on various Swedish government commissions, including one on copyright. In addition, she undertook a two-year course in practical filmmaking at the Stockholm School of Film as well as film studies at Stockholm University. Over the past 20 years Anna has also given lectures and spoken widely on law, advertising, creativity, management and gender equality.

Vitalijus Zukas | OKTA studio | Vilnius, Lithuania

Vitalijus Zukas

Vitalijus Zukas first media project was cult  Latvian news/lifestyle youth portal FUNdaMENTAL.lv. which didn’t survive the well-known dot-com crash in 2000. After closing his company he started to work as a producer in  Latvian video production house Vilks Studio, famous for its multi-award music videos for Russian MTV channel. He moved into the digital part of the production with time and co-funded OKTA, the biggest VFX studio in Lithuania working in movie, games and advertising industries. Aside from the work as VFX  producer on projects from all around the world (including USA, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico), Vitalijus is the producer of his own projects such as short animation movie Junction, the collaboration with famous Australian artist Nathan Jurevicius, which was selected to about 100 film festivals programs and newest one – VR animation. Trail of Angels which will be premiered this September in official competition programme of 75th Venice International Film Festival. Being a huge enthusiast of a new media he is  currently working mostly on virtual and augmented reality projects and looking forward to exchanging his knowledge and ideas with all professionals and people interested in VR.

Nikolaj Nikitin Director & Founder, nikolaj@joinsofa.org

Organizer Filmplus gUG
Design & Photo Oktober Kommunikationsdesign GmbH, www.oktober.de

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