Lecturers & Jury


Our lecturers are renowned professionals from film industry: directors, actors, writers, producers, composers. These lecturers, both from Croatia and all around the world, are the recipients of many prestigious awards, including the Academy Awards. Here are some notable lecturers from the past editions of the ITW.

Branko Lustig – Honorary President of the Zagreb Jewish Film Festival; regular ITW lecturer. He is the most famous cultural ambassador of Croatia in the world and the winner of numerous awards for film production (including two Academy Awards, for the films “Schindler’s List” and “Gladiator”). Other major Hollywood films that Lustig has worked on as a producer or executive producer include “The Peacemaker”, “Hannibal”, and “Black Hawk Down”. For many years he has worked in Hollywood as an active participant of the Academy’s Commission for Oscar Nominations and Awards. He began his career as an assistant director at Jadran film, and participated in almost all foreign film productions in the former Republic of Yugoslavia. In the Unites States he has worked with prominent directors such as Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott and others. In June 2009, Mr. Lustig received an honorary doctorate of the University of Zagreb for his outstanding contribution to film industry and worldwide promotion of Croatian film. He is a lecturer at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb, at the department of Production. He also holds lectures, on the topics of Holocaust and tolerance, to pupils and students all across Croatia.

Heidrun Schleef -  Italian screenwriter born in Germany; ITW lecturer in 2009. She graduated as director at Centro Sperimentale del Cinema in Rome, but later became the author of numerous successful screenplays. She co-worked with many famous and prominent Italian directors such as Mimmo Calopresti and Nanni Moretti, with whom she cooperated several times. She has also worked with Roberta Torre, Michele Soavi, Gabriele Muccino, Michele Placido and many others. For her excellent work, Heidrun Schleef has received numerous awards. She wrote the screenplay for “The Son’s room”, film directed by Nanni Moretti which won the Golden Palm in 2001. She is a double recipient of the annual film award Nastro d’Argento, the oldest and most prestigious Italian film award assigned by Sindacato Nazionale Giornalisti Cinematografici Italiani (National Trade Union of Italian Film Journalists).

Jochen Alexander Freydank- German film director; ITW lecturer in 2009. He was born in East Berlin in 1967. He started his film career as an editor and assistant director. He wrote screenplays for several TV formats and gained his first experiences as a director while shooting short films and commercials. He also worked on theatre productions.

Over the years, he successfully established himself in the television industry, as he worked as a producer for the popular TV series “In aller Freundschaft”. In 1999, he founded the production company Mephisto Film, for which he also made his own films, like the shorts “Notfall” and “Dienst”. Over the course of four years, Jochen Freydank worked on the Oscar awarded short film “Spielzeugland” (“Toyland”), which he wrote, directed and produced.

Florian Gallenberger – German film director; ITW lecturer in 2010. Florian Gallenberger was born in 1972 in Munich, Germany. He appeared in various roles in feature films, TV productions and theater plays from the age of five. He studied philosophy before he went to the University of Television and Film Munich, where he made several award winning live action short films. In 2001, he won the Honorary Foreign Film Award at the Student Academy Awards and an Oscar in the Best Live Action Short Film category for his short film “Quiero Ser”. He often works abroad. “Quiero Ser” was shot in Mexico, “Shadows of Time”, his award winning first feature film, in India and “John Rabe” in China. In 2009, “John Rabe” won 4 German Academy Awards, including the one for best film.

Kayvan Mashayekh – writer, producer and director originally from Iran; ITW lecturer in 2009. His first feature film, which he wrote, produced and directed was called “The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam” and had an international cast including world renowned actors such as Vanessa Redgrave, Rade Šerbedžija and German mega star Moritz Bleibtreu. The film ended up playing in 14 US cities on the art house circuit for nearly one year. In addition to its Box Office success, the film raised $181,000 for Children’s and Cancer Charities in Houston, New York and London, England as a direct result of its non-profit screenings. The film received two prestigious Golden Lioness Awards for Excellence in Directing and Costume Design from the World Academy of Arts, Literature and Media in Budapest, Hungary. “The Keeper” screenplay has also been selected for the permanent script collection of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Mashayekh’s follow-up project, “Batting for Palestine”, was the winner of the Relativity Media Special Prize of $25,000 at the 2007 Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi.

Ishai Adar (aka Oosh) – exceptional multidisciplinary artist from Israel; ITW lecturer in 2011. Self educated, he has always used unique methods and techniques that lend his work special sound and character. Being the son of a cellist, he benefited from an extensive musical background and a variety of inspiration sources. Ishai started his career in the legendary band Nos’ei Hamigbaat (The Top-Hat Carriers) and later released several significant independent albums. He worked as a sound designer and composed soundtracks for video art, sound installations, computer games and digital interfaces. As a cinema enthusiast and a constant explorer of the relations between image and sound, Ishai has been composing soundtracks for feature and documentary films for several years (for example “A Film Unfinished”).

Mirko Ilic -  graphic designer and illustrator; ITW lecturer in 2011. He was born in Bijeljina, and has finished the School of Applied Arts in Zagreb. In 1995, he established Mirko Ilic Corp. in New York, a multidisciplinary studio specializing in graphic design, 3D animation, motion picture titles, and illustration. Before arriving in the U.S., Mirko Ilic art directed numerous posters, record covers and books in Europe. In 1991, he was art director of the international edition of Time Magazine. He became the art director of the New York Times Op-Ed pages in 1992. With Milton Glaser, Mirko has taught advanced design classes at the Cooper Union and currently teaches master degree classes in illustration at the School of Visual Arts. He has also written several books. Mirko Ilic Corp. has received awards from various organizations including the Society of Illustrators, the Society of Publication Designers, the Art Directors Club, I.D. Magazine, Print Magazine, HOW magazine, the Society of Newspaper Design, and more.

David Polonsky – art director and illustrator; ITW lecturer in 2009. He was born in 1973, in Kiev, and his family emigrated to Israel in 1981. He graduated from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, in 1998. Polonsky has illustrated a number of children’s books and won the Israel Museum award for children’s book illustration in 2004 and 2008. David’s illustrations appeared in most of Israel’s leading newspapers and magazines. In addition to his freelance art and design, he also teaches animation and illustration at his alma mater. He worked as an Art Director in a number of animated and puppet TV shows. A few years ago, he was approached by director Ari Folman to work as the Art director and lead artist for “Waltz with Bashir”, an animated documentary feature, which won numerous awards, and was officially selected for the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for Oscar.

Nenad Puhovski – Croatian film director and producer; regular ITW lecturer. Puhovski made his first amateur film when he was 16, and for the short documentary “And the evening and morning were the seventh day … ” (1965) Nenad received numerous awards at amateur film festivals. He studied sociology and philosophy at the University of Zagreb, and graduated in film directing at the Zagreb Academy of Dramatic Art. During that period, Puhovski regularly wrote about film, theatre, television and social issues for a number of weeklies, magazines and other media. From 1975 to 1979 he worked as a dramaturg at the &TD Theatre. For television, Puhovski directed over 250 productions across all TV genres. He also directed nearly 200 television music programs of various genres, including almost all types of music. In 1997, Puhovski founded FACTUM, an independent documentary film production company. In the following fifteen years he produced more than 60 documentaries. As a producer, Puhovski received four awards for the best production at the Croatian National Film Festival while his films obtained dozens of national and international awards. In 2004 Puhovski founded and became the director of ZagrebDox, an annual international documentary festival in Zagreb. In 2009 Puhovski was awarded the EDN (European Documentary Network) award for his outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture. He is a member of the European Film Academy, and an honorary member of CILECT. As a teacher, tutor & lecturer, Puhovski has been engaged at Academy for Drama Arts in Zagreb for many years, now as a full professor. He is presently heading and running MA program in documentary directing & producing at that school.

Dalibor Matanić- Croatian director and ITW lecturer in 2010. Since the year 2000, when he debuted with the feature film “Blagajnica hoće ići na more” and won  numerous prestigious awards (Pula Film Festival, Best European Director’s Debutat at the Cottbus Film Festival, Germany), Matanić does not stop with shooting films and gaining big success. That film was the Opening Film at the “New directors, new films” Festival in New York, and was a great success in domestic box office. Film “Fine mrtve djevojke” (2002) won even greater number of awards and audience sympathies, not only in Croatia, but also worldwide.
Film “Sto minuta slave” (2005) is certainly one of the most memorable films of domestic cinematography. Film “Volim te” (2006) won the prize in Strasbourg for best European film and was screened in cinema distribution in New York. Film “Kino Lika” (2008) won many international awards, and in Croatian cinemas it was seen by approx. 20,000 people. Short film “Tulum” was also a great success, and last year’s feature film “Majka Asfalta”, like all his previous films, was very notable at film festivals across Europe.

Željko Vukmirica – one of the most experienced and beloved actors in Croatia and ITW lecturer in 2009. He was born in Zagreb in 1953. He graduated from the Academy of Theatre, Film and Television in 1976, and soon became a member of ITD Theatre and co-founder of the “Pozdravi” (Greetings) workshop along with Ivica Boban, at that time known for his work in “physical theater” in Moscow.
Among the numerous theatre pieces in which he performed during that period were Ionesco’s  “Greetings”, which became theatrical success in Croatia and went on tour to Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Russia and Latin America. After years spent in Paris, where he studied with Mario Gonzalles at the Academy of Performing Arts, Vukmirica participated in the work of several theatre workshops, performing in productions with internationally recognized theatre artists such as P. Brooke, E. Barba, J. Grotowsky, J. Lecoque, Theatre du Soleil and Cecilly Berry. Back in Croatia, he began to teach at the Academy of Theatre, Film and Television, and then founded the Glumački studio (Acting Studio) at the Croatian National Theatre in Split and, recently, Glumački laboratorij (Act Lab) in Zagreb. He was also a member of the ensemble Gavella Drama Theatre in Zagreb, performing the works of Shakespeare, Chekhov, Beumarchaisa, Horwath, Muller and Stoppard.
He participated in the production of more than 200 TV shows and feature films, including “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” by Tom Stoppard with Richard Dreyfus, Gary Oldman and Tim Roth, and was the co-producer of the movie “Nausikaja”, nominated for Oscar  in 1996.


The Jury is usually composed of three members, notable professionals from the fields of film and art. Its main task is to decide which of the two groups has made a better film.
We present the jury members from the last ITW.

Radislav Jovanov – Gonzo – born in 1964 in Zagreb, Croatia. He studied cinematography at Academy of Dramatic Art (ADU) in Zagreb. Simultaneously with his studies he started to work as camera assistant at Croatian National Television (HRT). In 1988 he directed his first music video “Flying Squad” for band “Psihomodo Pop” and won the audience award at music videos festival  “Videomix”. After that, in 1993, he decided to quit his job at HRT and pursue a career of  music videos director and cinematographer. That proved to be a good decision because he directed and shot over 200 music videos since then, and is known as “founding father“ of Croatian music videos scene. He also directed and shot dozens of commercials, 3 documentaries, 1 short feature film,  1 full feature film and he is a proud owner of over 20 various awards for his stupendous work.

Damir Hoyka – born in 1967 in Brežice, Slovenia. His first serious reflections about artistic expression began back in the eighties, when he was occupied with drawing and painting. Afterwards, he learned about photography,  and wanting to know more about the essence of art and photography itself, as well as by the need to articulate a theoretical ground for his own creative work, he decided to study photography. In 1989 he enrolled at the Faculty for Applied Arts in Vienna. In 1991 he obtained the status of professional artist. In 1995 he lectured on photography at the photo-workshop of the Croatian Photographic Association. In 1996 he published the essay Fotosofia. In 1998, after he was invited by the authorities of the city of Mainz, he took part in the artists’ meeting Art in the City. In 1999, invited by the organising committee of the 5th International Project for Fine Arts to Graz, Austria, he participated together with seven other European artists in a workshop on the subject Wenn ich das nicht Krieg, geb ich keinen Frieden… In 2003 he published the photo book Metal Dreams in collaboration with the Austrian artist Thelma Herzl. In 2004 he published the photo book Celebrity Fair. In 2004 he launched a cycle of art events called Art4All, the intention of which was to encourage the audience to take a more active role in art communication. Having resolved to share his knowledge, experience and views about photography with colleagues, as well as bring together positively oriented talented photographers, in 2006 he starts seminar named after the essay Fotosofia, for which every year 15 course members are chosen by competition. For achievements in the fields of photographic art and developing and promotion of photographic culture, he received the Tošo Dabac prize, the most prestigious Croatian photoreward, for the year 2008 from Fotoclub Zagreb. In 2010 he was the jury member of European Commission photo competition “Southeast Europe“.

Danilo Šerbedžija – born in 1971 in Zagreb. After high school he studied Philosophy and classical Greek language in Zagreb. From 1999 – 2002 he attended the Postgraduate studies at Ohio University, School of Film (prof. Rajko Grlić), USA, where he achieved his master’s degree with short feature film “Mussels in Wine”. With this Film he won the award for the best short film at “12th Days of Croatian film” festival in 2003. Since 2000 up to date, he directed 3 short feature films, 2 documentaries, TV series “Crazy House” and many commercials and music videos… He’s a proud owner of 4 film awards for his work, the most significant being the audience’s award for best film at recent Croatian National Film Festival “Pula 2010”. He won that award for his first full feature film “72 days”, one of the most acclaimed recent Croatian films. Danilo is known as one of the rising stars of Croatian cinematography.

Previous ITW jury members:

Filip Šovagović (actor and director)
Irena Škorić (director)
Saša Vojković (director)- 2009
Zvonimir Jurić (director)
Sandra Basso (producer)
Damir Urban (musician)- 2010