The LUX Selection panel includes producers, distributors, cinema operators, artistic directors and programmers of film festivals and 27 Times Cinema representatives.

A representative of the winning film from the previous year becomes an ex officio member of the panel. A representative of main partners, the European Film Academy, the European Commission/Creative Europe programme and Europa Cinemas sits as observer.

The Honorary President chairing the 2023 LUX Selection panel is Mr Michael Downey OBE, Chairman of the European Film Academy.

Each year, the European Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education endorses the panel members. 

Click to find out more about the selection process.

Mike Downey

Mike Downey

Honorary President of the LUX European Audience Film Award, Chairman of the European Film Academy

Member of the LUX Selection Panel in 2021, 2022, 2023

Mike Downey is an Irish film producer and activist who founded the Dublin- and London-based independent production house Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) in 2000. To date he has production credits for nearly 100 feature films.
In his relatively short career as a film producer he has worked with the likes of Peter Greenaway, Agnieszka Holland, Julien Temple, Pawel Pawlikowski, Andrzej Jakimowski, Juraj Jakubisko, Friðrik Þór Friðriksson, Michel Franco and Stephen Daldry, as well as a multitude of other directors the length and breadth of Europe, South America, Africa and India.

His recent work as a film maker has included projects with novelists of legendary stature such as the great James Ellroy, the late Günter Grass, and Thomas Keneally (Schindler’s List). He has also worked with Colm Tóibín, Ida writer Rebecca Lenckiewicz, VICE Group founder and CEO Shane Smith, as well as diverse directors such as Volker Schlöndorff, Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Julien Temple. In addition to his multiple box office successes, Mike’s productions have received over 250 awards, including from most major film festivals, such as Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Sundance, San Sebastian, Tokyo and many more.

Downey has been a board member of the European Film Academy for almost 20 years and, after six years as Deputy Chair, he was elected Chair in 2020, serving alongside former Chair Wim Wenders and current Chair Agnieszka Holland. In 2006, he was voted on to the Council of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and in 2008, he was elected to the BAFTA Film Committee. Downey is also a trustee of the White Ribbon Alliance, a major global organisation which aims to reduce childbirth mortality levels in the developing world. He has served on over 20 international juries at film festivals worldwide including the Sarajevo Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, Cottbus International Film Festival, Warsaw International Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival, Montreal International Film Festival, Motovun Film Festival, Sofia International Film Festival, Transylvania International Film Festival, Krakow International Film Festival and Zagreb International Film Festival, where a retrospective of his work at F&ME was held in 2009. In 2014, he was named Producer of the Decade at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, joining the two previous laureates, Ed Pressman and Robert Evans. A tribute to his work as a producer was also held at the 2015 Prague Film Festival.

In 2020 his alma mater, Warwick University, awarded him a D.Litt. doctorate honoris causa, for his life work and contribution to European theatre and cinema. He divides his time between wherever he is shooting his latest movie and London, Dublin and Istria.

Paula Bērziņa

Paula Bērziņa

Exhibitor at Kino Bize, head of industry events and film distribution at Riga International Film Festival

Member of the LUX Selection Panel in 2023

Paula has worked at Kino Bize since 2017, handling day-to-day cinema management, curating special events and film programmes, as well as distributing arthouse films and running marketing campaigns. For the last couple of years Paula has been developing programmes for young audiences such as children’s mornings and the Antoine Doinel Film School where youngsters can learn about various aspects of cinema, film history and also practice film criticism. Together with Kino Bize’s team she is currently creating a broader film education network which will include informal film education for school teachers, as well as film-making workshops for young people. Paula Bērziņa has also worked at the Riga International Film Festival since 2018 as head of industry events and film distribution. Previously she worked on various films and commercials in different roles – as a producer, director, set designer and make-up artist. In addition to the above, Paula is the producer and one of the hosts of the Mans draugs – kino cilvēks podcast, which is dedicated to the latest films as well as cinema classics.

Margje De Koning

Margje De Koning

Artistic director - Movies That Matter film festival

Member of the LUX Selection Panel in 2023

After finishing her studies, Margje de Koning directed documentaries for various broadcasting companies for 12 years.

She also worked as a lecturer on documentaries at the University of Amsterdam. In August 2004, Margje became Commissioning Editor for a slot for 52-minute documentaries. This involved producing and co-producing creative 52-minute documentaries on contemporary social, socio-cultural and moral issues with a strong human interest angle. The focus is on Dutch issues, but also on issues from the whole world. Since January 2005 Margje de Koning has been head of the Television Department of the public service broadcaster IKON, and on January 2012 she became Head of TV, Radio and New Media Programming at IKON. From January 2016 IKON has been incorporated into EO with Margje de Koning as Head of Documentaries for EOdocs. In September 2019 she left the public broadcaster in order to become the new artistic director of the Movies that Matter film festival.

Gaia FURRER

Gaia FURRER

Artistic Director of Giornate Degli Autori

Member of the LUX Selection Panel in 2022, 2023

Born in 1975, Gaia Furrer obtained a degree in cinema history at the La Sapienza University in Rome. She has collaborated with Film Italia, the public agency in charge of promoting Italian cinema abroad, where she curated national and international projects. She has produced a few shorts and a feature film. She has also programmed and acted as a consultant for several film festivals. Since 2004, she has worked as head of programming at the Noir in Festival. She has worked at Giornate degli Autori since its first year, first as a programmer and then as head of programming, and was appointed its new artistic director in 2020.

Marta Fernandes

Marta Fernandes

Exhibitor at Cinema Ideal and Distributor at Midas Filmes

Member of the LUX Selection Panel in 2023

Head of distribution and acquisitions at Midas Filmes since August 2008, Marta is also a member of the programming team and handles the press and social media of Cinema Ideal, the cinema Midas II Cinemas renovated and reopened in 2014.

She has been working on film distribution for over 20 years. First at Atalanta/Medeia Filmes, where she was responsible for the communication and marketing strategies of over 200 film theatrical releases, and was also responsible for the programming of several programmes, debates and festivals organised by Medeia cinemas, as well as at the IndieLisboa Film Festival, where she was Executive Producer. Before moving into the film business, she worked as a journalist and was member of the research team of the Obercom communication observatory, where she was author and co-author of several European reports. She has a degree in Media Studies from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and a Master’s Degree in Cinema. Her postgraduate studies were in cultural management and in emerging discourses and cultures – from critics to art.

Priscilla Gessati

Priscilla Gessati

Director of programming at Cinéma L’Entrepôt

Member of the LUX Selection Panel in 2023

After studying Russian at INALCO and obtaining a master’s degree in the politics of culture at the Institute of European Studies in Paris 8, Priscilla Gessati was in charge of studies and the network review of the Europa Cinemas European programme before carrying out work for the Forum des Images municipal cinema centre in Paris. She also worked on the programming of Ciné Lumière for the French Institute in the United Kingdom and the production of the fifth Totally Serialized TV series festival. Deeply committed to programming and defending arthouse cinema and diversity, she coordinated distribution and publishing activities at Potemkine Films before taking over the management of Le Balzac, an historical cinema theatre located on the Champs Élyseés. Together with Joël Chapron she co-authored Principles and Mechanisms of Financing French Cinema and Regulation and Practices of Cinematographic Exploitation, initially intended for the Russian market. She recently started in a new position at l’Entrepôt (Paris), an atypical space that includes a cinema as well as a music venue, an art gallery, a restaurant and a bar.

Yannis Giannetakis

Yannis Giannetakis

27 Times Cinema ambassador 2022 - Young Audience

Member of the LUX Selection Panel in 2023

Yannis Giannetakis (born 1997) is a Greek filmmaker and director. After graduating from Norwich University of the Arts with a Bachelor’s Degree in Film and Moving Image Production in 2021, he became an official member of the jury in the Giornate degli Autori during the 78th Biennale Cinema, while in the past year he has worked with the LUX Audience Award as the Greek ambassador by travelling to festivals around Europe (Thessaloniki, Berlin, Cannes). As a filmmaker he directs and writes short films. He has completed two films, which will premiere in 2022. He has also taken part in many film productions of short and feature films, including Spencer (directed by Pablo Larraín, 2021). His dream for the future is to set up a collective of filmmakers that will start from Athens and

Ibtisam Omer

Ibtisam Omer

Director Global Marketing MUBI

Member of the LUX Selection Panel in 2023

Originally from Stockholm, Sweden, Ibtisam Omer is a creative marketing executive and educator with over 12 years of international experience working at leading companies in tech, fashion and entertainment. Ibtisam previously worked at Adidas, Google and Netflix and currently works as an industry lead and lecturer at Creative Business School Hyper Island.

Ibtisam is currently Global Marketing Director at the MUBI streaming platform and is based in Berlin.

Joan Sala

Joan Sala

Acquisitions Manager & Programmer - FilmIn Platform

Member of the LUX Selection Panel in 2023

Joan Sala has a degree in Humanities, in Audiovisual Communication and a Diploma in Advertising. Since 2008, he has been working on the Filmin VOD platform, currently as Co-Head of Acquisitions, Programmer and Managing Editor. In 2010, Filmin created its own festival, Atlántida Mallorca Film Fest, of which Joan is also deputy director and programmer. Since 2020, Joan has also been the programmer at the Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival, collaborates as a scout for the Gijón International Film Festival and also works as a lecturer at several universities and film schools.

Lev Slivnik

Lev Slivnik

27 Times Cinema ambassador 2022 - Young Audience

Member of the LUX Selection Panel in 2023

Lev Slivnik was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 1998. He first took part and later assisted in implementing and expanding the Ostrenje pogleda (Sharpening the Gaze) film criticism and education programme in Ljubljana. He co-founded a film society when at university in Ljubljana and served as its chair and then vice-chair in its first two years of operation. During the 78th Venice International Film Festival, he served on the official jury for Giornate degli Autori as the Slovene member for the 27 Times Cinema Initiative and was the ambassador for the LUX Audience Award 2022.

He is a pre-selector for the 2022 Giornate degli Autori. He is currently receiving a Carnegie vacation scholarship for undergraduate students and is conducting research in film and cinema audiences.

Lenka TYRPAKOVA

Lenka TYRPAKOVA

Festival Programmer Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Member of the LUX Selection Panel in 2022, 2023

Lenka Tyrpáková was born in Prague. She graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts at Charles University where she studied Russian and Ukrainian. She then studied Russian and East European Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences. In 2005, she joined the team of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) and has worked in its programme department since then. She is a member of the selection committee and a programmer in charge of the East of the West competition, which focuses on debut and second films from Central and Eastern Europe, Turkey, Greece and the Middle East. At KVIFF, she is also involved in the selection of projects for the industry platform Eastern Promises. Since 2008, she has also worked as a programmer for the Prague Short Film Festival and several other festivals. She also serves as a scout for the MIDPOINT Institute.

 

Jasmila Žbanić

Jasmila Žbanić

LUX Audience Award Winner 2022 - Filmmaker and producer

Member of the LUX Selection Panel in 2023

Born in Sarajevo on 19 December 1974, Jasmila Žbanić graduated from the Department for Theatre and Film Directing of the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo . Before film-making, she worked as a puppeteer in the Vermont-based ‘Bread and Puppet’ theatre and as a clown in a Lee Delong workshop. In 1997, together with her friends, she founded the Deblokada artist’s association through which she produced, wrote and directed many documentaries, video-art works and shorts. They include the feature film Grbavica, which was awarded a Golden Bear at the 2006 Berlinale. Her latest film Quo Vadis, Aida? premiered at the Venice Film Festival, and in addition to multiple other awards, this movie received the European Film Award for best movie, director and lead actress, as well as nominations for the US Academy Award (Oscar) in the best international feature film category, and two BAFTA awards.

SELECTED FILMOGRAPHY
2020: Quo Vadis, Aida?
2019: Airborne (documentary)
2015: One Day in Sarajevo (documentary)
2014: Love Island2013: For Those Who Can Tell No Tales
2009: On the Path / Na Putu
2008: Participation (short, part of Stories on Human Rights )
2007: Builder’s Diary(documentary)
2006: Grbavica
2004: Birthday (short, part of Lost and Found )
2003: Images from the Corner (documentary)

Matthijs Wouter Knol

Matthijs Wouter Knol

Observer, CEO and Director of the European Film Academy

Member of the LUX Selection Panel in 2023

Since 2021, Dutch-born Matthijs Wouter Knol is the CEO and Director of the European Film Academy. He is responsible for the executive management, vision and all related programming of current and future activities of the Academy, including brand new audience development and film education projects which are all linked to the annual Month of European Film and European Film Awards.

Maria Silvia Gatta

Maria Silvia Gatta

Observer, European Commission, policy officer for Creative Europe DG CNECT

Member of the LUX Selection Panel in 2021, 2022, 2023

Maria Silvia Gatta joined the European Commission MEDIA programme in 2003, dealing with the evaluation of the MEDIA+ programme and of distribution support.

After spending a period abroad, since 2019 she has supervised the implementation of the Creative MEDIA Programme 2021-2027 and works on European film heritage policy.

Fatima Djoumer

Fatima Djoumer

Observer, Head of International Relations, Europa Cinemas

Member of the LUX Selection Panel in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2021, 2022, 2023

Fatima Djoumer joined Europa Cinemas in 1993 as Head of International Relations and Events and has organised network conferences, audience development programmes and innovation labs. She has also worked on the development of the Europa Cinemas Label. Europa Cinemas is a film theatre network that supports the circulation of European films outside their country of origin and promotes audience development activities, with a focus on stimulating young audiences’ interest in European films.

The network has 1 216 member cinemas (with 3 131 screens) in 738 cities across 43 countries.