Who are we?

The Documentary Association of Europe was founded during the Berlinale in February 2020. It is primarily a member’s network made up of professionals working in the non-fiction film industry with the goal of strengthening and growing their networks, creating an abundance of opportunities and protecting their interests on a pan-European and international level.

The second concern of the association is to create resources, programming and events to solidify these primary interests. This includes:

  • Creating spaces for community building, dialogue and networking
  • Creating resources and sharing relevant, up-to-date information on current filmmaking practices, financing and distribution sources as well as inspirational keynotes and best-practices
  • Collecting relevant, accurate and impactful data on European documentary films and the professionals who create them to influence and drive dialogue on a political and economic level
  • Creating a hub of competence for those seeking information and resources on non-fiction filmmaking, showcasing the diversity and skill of European and international documentary practitioners
  • Negotiating and collating the best services, deals, discounts and opportunities for association members
  • Creating a space for open dialogue that is intersectional on many levels
  • Ushering in change and a placing more resources into radical collaborative models

The association addresses the whole audiovisual chain: it is not a union or acting in the interest of one profession. We welcome all including filmmakers, producers, editors, sound artists, commissioning editors, DOPs, sales agents, festival workers, programmers, curators, academics, journalists, students and film lovers with a vested interest in keeping a healthy momentum and maximum visibility for non-fiction filmmaking and want to expand their network beyond their national borders.

Members come from the countries of the EU but also from neighboring countries and abroad. Members do not have to be EU nationals or residing in an EU country. We are open to all people who are interacting or have the wish to interact with/in the European documentary industry: participating in co-productions, in film festivals and markets, training initiatives or the European distribution chain. The network is open to all who have a vested interest in a fair and fruitful non-fiction market in Europe.

DAE members are up and coming talents making their first steps in the industry, DAE members are also Oscar- and EFA-winning professionals with hundreds of years of experience between them. We believe intergenerational dialogue and mutual exchange is a key to creating a sustainable future.

Who are the DAE members?

Check out some of the founding members

Nadja Tennstedt

Nadja Tennstedt coordinates DocSalon, the platform of the EFM promoting networking and exchange among buyers, sellers, directors, producers, festival programers and funders of documentaries.

Nadja studied film production in NYC. After a short stint in production, she worked in film distribution, first as director of sales and acquisitions at Milestone, then as marketing director at Zeitgeist Films. Since her return to Europe in 2011, she has been working for international film festivals such as Berlin and Locarno.

Marion Schmidt

Marion Schmidt is a project manager and consultant for individuals and organisations. Her field of expertise is international cultural project management. With more than 10 years of experience, Marion has worked across Europe and in the Middle East, including for the Goethe-Institut Cairo, European Film Market, Berlin and Social Enterprise UK in London. She is one of the co-founders of DOX BOX e.V, Berlin, and until recently was their Events & Award Manager and project manager of the international Documentary Convention in 2018 & 2019. She holds a Master’s degree in Arts Administration & Cultural Policy from the University of London, UK.

Brigid O'Shea

Brigid O’Shea is an Australian native who has worked for European film festivals and documentary organisations since 2008. Holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts obtained in Melbourne and Berlin, she started at the Berlinale Talent Campus in 2008. She worked for various Berlinale departments as a freelancer until 2014, including the EFM and Co-Production Market, until taking a more focused approach on creative documentary. This came from coordinating the DOK Industry Programme from 2009-2015, which allowed her to also freelance for the Institute of Documentary Film in Prague, for Documentary Campus Masterschool, and  Berlin-based production companies. She was appointed Head of DOK Industry Programme in January 2015. She regularly tutors on topics like European co-financing, cultural management and festival strategies in places like North America and East Europe. In February 2020 she co-launched the Documentary Association of Europe.

Charlie Phillips

Charlie Phillips is the Head of Video at The Guardian, commissioning and acquiring new documentaries from all around the world for the Guardian documentaries strand, and managing all moving image for the Guardian's platforms, including news, sport, and culture as well as documentaries. Films in the documentary strand have been multi award-winning, including a nomination for the short documentary Oscar in 2019. Charlie was previously Deputy Director at Sheffield Doc/Fest for 7 years before joining The Guardian in 2014 to create the documentary strand, and prior to that he was Editor of FourDocs for Channel 4.

Heleen Gerritsen

Heleen Gerritsen (The Netherlands, 1978) studied Slavonic Languages and Economics in Amsterdam and St. Petersburg. She moved to Germany in 2003 where she completed a course in film production and started freelancing as a line producer and documentary producer for various companies and broadcasters like ARTE, ZDF, VPRO and SWR. Heleen curated film programs (a.o. for the international literature festival Berlin) and worked as a freelancer in world sales for documentaries. In 2009 Heleen produced her first feature length documentary and founded her own production company Serious Directions. From 2014 to 2016 she was festival director of the European Documentary Film Festival dokumentART in Neubrandenburg. Since October 2017 Heleen is at the helm of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film which is organized by the German Film Institute (DFF)

Matthijs Wouter Knol

Since 2001, Dutch-born Matthijs Wouter Knol worked as creative producer on numerous documentary films, including the digitally re-mastered works of Dutch documentarian Johan van der Keuken, which was awarded the Prix “Cahiers du Cinéma” (2006). He produced exhibitions of film installations and film-related photography projects, film conferences and film publications (2001-2007). In 2007-2008, Matthijs Wouter Knol worked for IDFA, spreading his activity between the co-production and sales markets. He ran the IDFAcademy training programme and initiated the successful IDFAcademy Summer School. Heading Berlinale Talents (2008-2014) he oversaw the programming of the summit, studios and labs in Berlin, and coordinated the 6 satellite Talents programmes around the world. He is a co-founder of the Berlinale Residency programme (2012).

At the helm of the EFM since 2014, Matthijs’s main focus has been to adapt one of the world’s major film markets to the quickly changing film industry. Apart from adding niche markets for high-quality drama series and other platforms, the EFM has expanded its portfolio this year with the thriving innovation platform EFM Horizon, in which new distribution, sales and marketing strategies are be presented.

Julianna Ugrin

Julianna Ugrin is an EFA-nominated producer and the founder and owner of Éclipse Film, an independent film production company founded in 2011. For more than 10 years she has developed and produced films on an international level. Films produced by her, like A Woman Captured, Easy Lessons or The Next Guardian were screened, nominated and awarded at festivals like EFA, Sundance, IDFA, Locarno, DOK Leipzig, Hot Docs, Sheffield or Sarajevo IFF. Since 2013 she teaches at the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Documentary MA studies and is a doctoral student there. In 2019 she was selected to Producers on the Move in Cannes. She is a EURODOC and an EAVE graduate. She is organizer of DunaDOCK Master Class & Pitching series, member of DAE, IDA, of the Hungarian and of the European Film Academy.

Liselot Verbrugge

Liselot Verbrugge has a degree in film production from the Dutch Film Academy. She has more than 10 years experience in the audiovisual sector, first working in production before moving to film festivals. Amongst other postings, she was a festival and market producer at the IDFA Forum and Cinekid for Professionals, two of Amsterdam’s most preeminent cultural events.

In 2013 she began working in documentary sales, first for the sales arm of NPO sales and then Autlook Filmsales. She currently handles sales and acquisitions for Deckert  Distribution. Parallel  to this, in 2018 she co-founded Dox Consulting, offering bespoke consulting and tutoring services for a variety of clients. She is based in Amsterdam.

Erik Winker

Erik Winker has been working in the field of documentary for over 15 years. In 2008 he was a co-founder of the production company HUPE Film which is now running under the new name CORSO Film with offices in Cologne and Stuttgart. The company has been responsible for successful films such as Work Hard Play Hard by Carmen Losmann (FIPRESCI Prize DOK Leipzig, Grimme Award), Searching Eva by Pia Hellenthal (Berlinale Panorama, Special Mention CPH:DOX, Audience Award Athens, IDFA, HOT DOCS, Sheffield and many more), Fighter by Susanne Binninger (German Camera Award, preselected for the German Film Awards) or Happy by Carolin Genreith (German Critics´ Award, Best Documentary Film Festival Bozen, preselected for the German Film Awards) and international co-productions like A Woman Captured by Bernadett Tuza-Ritter (Documentary Competition Sundance, Main Competition IDFA, nominated for the European Film Awards), 15 Corners Of The World by Zuzanna Solakiewicz (Award of the Semaine de la Critique Locarno, International Competition DOK Leipzig), Acasa – My Home by Radu Ciorniciuc (Grand Jury Prize for best cinematography at Sundance Film Festival, Main Award Dokfest Munich) or Aida´s Secrets by Alon Schwarz (Hot Docs Toronto, Audience Award Doc Aviv). 

Erik Winker holds teaching assignments at the University Of Applied Sciences Mainz and the ifs Cologne. He is working as a tutor for international workshops like Dok.Incubator, Ex Oriente and Documentary Campus and is a regular member in festival and funding juries. He´s a former chairman of the regional filmmaker´s association Filmbüro NW and a member of the German Film Academy.

Erik Winker

Erik Winker has been working in the field of documentary for over 15 years. In 2008 he was a co-founder of the production company HUPE Film which is now running under the new name CORSO Film with offices in Cologne and Stuttgart. The company has been responsible for successful films such as Work Hard Play Hard by Carmen Losmann (FIPRESCI Prize DOK Leipzig, Grimme Award), Searching Eva by Pia Hellenthal (Berlinale Panorama, Special Mention CPH:DOX, Audience Award Athens, IDFA, HOT DOCS, Sheffield and many more), Fighter by Susanne Binninger (German Camera Award, preselected for the German Film Awards) or Happy by Carolin Genreith (German Critics´ Award, Best Documentary Film Festival Bozen, preselected for the German Film Awards) and international co-productions like A Woman Captured by Bernadett Tuza-Ritter (Documentary Competition Sundance, Main Competition IDFA, nominated for the European Film Awards), 15 Corners Of The World by Zuzanna Solakiewicz (Award of the Semaine de la Critique Locarno, International Competition DOK Leipzig), Acasa – My Home by Radu Ciorniciuc (Grand Jury Prize for best cinematography at Sundance Film Festival, Main Award Dokfest Munich) or Aida´s Secrets by Alon Schwarz (Hot Docs Toronto, Audience Award Doc Aviv). 

Erik Winker holds teaching assignments at the University Of Applied Sciences Mainz and the ifs Cologne. He is working as a tutor for international workshops like Dok.Incubator, Ex Oriente and Documentary Campus and is a regular member in festival and funding juries. He´s a former chairman of the regional filmmaker´s association Filmbüro NW and a member of the German Film Academy.

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