44rd edition 21 January - 1 February 2015

Film Office consultants

<strong>Consultancy meeting with Hayet Benkara</strong>

As part of the Film Office’s activities, filmmakers are invited to take 30-minute one-to-one meetings with a consultant. These Industry insiders can provide important advice, guidance, counselling and inspiration to the filmmakers.


They will assist them in making the most of their stay in Rotterdam, developing strategies to advance their film in selection, give advice on their next projects and connect them to key Industry players. The consultants are also available to speak to producers and sales agents with a film in the festival.
Hayet Benkara
A Toronto-based Film Industry Advisor. She worked 6 years as the Manager of the Sales Office, the unofficial market, at the Toronto International Film Festival.

She is now the Manager of STUDIO a new industry year round programme at TIFF Bell Lightbox (tiff.net/Studio). Benkara has also worked for many prestigious film festivals such as Cannes (Producers Network), Berlin (the Co-production market), IFFR (CineMart), the Dubai International Film Festival, the Guanajuato Film Festival (Mexico), Era New Horizon (Poland), the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and most recently the Doha Film Institute.

Over the years, Hayet Benkara has developed a very strong international network and a good knowledge of the international market place. Year round she advises young and more established filmmakers and producers on Development, Production, Co-production, Distribution and Marketing, and Festival strategies.

Consulting specialty: Production, Sales, Acquisition and Marketing, Film Festivals
Territories: North America and Europe


Mary Davies
UK project co-director of the Cross Channel Film Lab, a European-funded script development workshop programme linking screenwriters in the UK and France with experts and researchers in the fields of visual effects and stereo 3D.

Buyers and Sellers facilitator, BFI London Film Festival 2010, 2011 and 2012, organising the Industry Screenings programme and Meet the Buyer event. Film acquisitions consultant for Japanese pay TV channel Cinefil-Imagica 1996 - 2011, acquiring around 250 world cinema features.

Industry consultant to Edinburgh International Film Festival, overseeing EIFF’s industry services, 1997 - 2009.

Industry consultant at Dubai International Film Festival since 2008, and International Film Festival Rotterdam since 2000.

Withoutabox.com (film festival submissions platform) account executive for Europe, Middle East and Africa 1995 - 2011.

Former world sales agent with Jane Balfour Films and BFI Production in the UK, working with directors such as Tom Tykwer, D.A. Pennebaker, Derek Jarman and Terence Davies.

Experience of independent film includes festivals, development, production and distribution. Also working as script and development consultant in the UK.

Consulting specialty: Sales, Development, Production and Distribution
Territories: World



Marina Kožul
Worked for Croatian Radiotelevision as a screenwriter, and from 2002 to 2004 she was engaged on a monthly-based TV show Videodrome, which broadcast international experimental film and video.

She is one of the co- founders of the Croatian non-profit organization, 25 FPS Association for Audio- Visual Research (2004) in Zagreb, whose activities include media education and publishing, and its main project is 25 FPS – International Experimental Film and Video Festival where she works as one of the programmers and producers.

She has curated programs for several festivals, art cinemas in Zagreb and other Croatian cities, as well as promoting Croatian experimental film, video and animation within European and international film and media events.

Consulting specialty: Shorts, Experimental Films, Animation Films, Festivals strategies.
Territories: Europe


Louis Tisné
Executive producer and programme director of So, What's Next? Has ten years of experience as an executive in the international distribution and production industry.

Before working as an executive, Louis was a filmmaker and apprentice to Spanish filmmaker Bigas Luna. He started as an acquisitions executive at Focus Features, then became a buyer at UK distributor Momentum Pictures, part of the Alliance Films Group. He specialised in acquiring rights for local/foreign films which crossed over internationally (Caramel, Let the Right One in, etc.). After that, Louis moved to the London office of the French production and distribution group Pathé, where he set up the international production department and focused on identifying and supervising the production of films from local markets with international potential (Where Do We Go Now, This Must Be the Place, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, etc.).

In 2012, Louis founded So, What's Next?, which has developed a festival-based director promotion mentoring programme which helps directors whose films has been selected at an A-list film festival convert the attention received into positive steps towards setting up their next film. Louis is also coming on board third party projects as an executive producer advising on the international strategy from a creative, financial and distribution standpoint.

Consulting specialty: Director Career Development, International Strategy, Development, Production, Distribution.
Territories: World