CIRCLE Women Doc Accelerator Selects 10 Nonfiction Projects For Latest Mentorship Program

The CIRCLE Women Doc Accelerator today announced the projects that will take part in the sixth edition of the prestigious training program for women-identifying nonfiction filmmakers. 

The 10 selected projects hail from Eastern and Western Europe, Iran, Georgia, the U.S., and the Philippines [see below for details on each of them]. The filmmakers behind the projects will participate in three separate “modules,” working with “renowned directors, writers, and producers on in-depth analysis of their films, covering multiple aspects of project development,” according to a release. “This includes fine-tuning their scripts and narrative structures, creating captivating trailers, and preparing production strategies for international audiences and markets.”

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The first module is set for Evia Island in Greece from June 19-24; the second is happening in September in Serbia, while the final module takes place during Trieste’s When East Meets West event in Italy in January 2024.

“Returning as lead mentors for CIRCLE Women Doc Accelerator 2023 are Diana El Jeiroudi, a renowned Syrian writer, director, and producer based in Germany, and Brigid O’Shea, an industry strategist and co-founder of the Documentary Association of Europe (DAE),” the release notes. “Other tutors and experts include Gianluca Matarrese (director, producer, and actor from Italy), Hubert Sauper (director, screenwriter, and producer from Austria), Salomé Jashi (director and producer from Georgia), Joanna Solecka (marketing and publicity strategist from Poland), and Charlene Branger (editor from Belgium).”

CIRCLE program director Biljana Tutorov commented, “After five years of existence and numerous completed and award-winning films, I believe that CIRCLE has cultivated a unique sensibility that brings together those interested in film as an art form, language, and engagement… Our new cohort shows great promise, and we can’t wait for a new circle of connection, creative work, and inspiration to begin.”

Tutorov called the selection process “tough,” saying the final 10 chosen were culled from 130 applications from 52 countries. She thanked Suzy Gillet (writer and producer, UK), Patricia Drati (producer and director, Denmark), Laura Klöckner (producer and curator, Germany), Jelena Mišeljić (producer and film scholar, Montenegro), and Aleksandar Govedarica (sales agent, Canada), for helping with the selections.

The 2023 edition of CIRCLE Women Doc Accelerator is supported by Creative Europe – MEDIA and WEMW Co-Pro Forum, Cannes Docs – Marché du Film, Documentary Association of Europe (DAE) Foundation, European Women’s Audiovisual Network, International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA), Greek Film Centre, Thessaloniki International Film Festival – Agora, CED MEDIA Office Croatia, CED MEDIA Office Slovenia, Motovila, Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, Cineuropa, International Documentary Film Festival Beldocs and EURODOC.

Selected projects for the CIRCLE Women Doc Accelerator 2023/2024: 


Director, producer: Anna Khazaradze (Georgia); Additional producer: Nino Chichua

Production company: 1991 Productions (Georgia)

Blazing Interwar

Producer: Anda Ionescu (Romania); Directors: Andra Tarara, David Schwartz 

Production company: Tangaj Production (Romania)

Kafka in Belgrade

Director: Maša Nešković (Serbia); Producers: Ena Bajraktarević, Maja Medić

Production company: Marienbad Film (Serbia); Co Producer: Hrvoje Osvadić (15. umjetnost, Croatia) 

Love School 

Director, producer, writer: Julia Maryanska (Poland, USA); Co-producer: Marc J Francis 

Production company: Re/Culture Media 

No Woman’s Road 

Director: Fanny-Laure Bouvet (Switzerland); Producer: Youmi Haefelin-Roch
Production company: Kumoshika (Switzerland)

Portrait of a Friendship

Director: Faezeh Nikoozad (Iran, Germany); Producers: Julia Cöllen, Karsten Krause, Frank Scheuffele

Production Company: Fünferfilm (Germany)

Rock, Paper, Scissors 

Director, producer, writer:  Christina Phoebe

Production company: Scribble Films (Greece); Co-production company: Late Bloomers (Greece)


Director: Tereza Bernátková; Producers: Natalia Povlove, Dagmar Sedláckovà

Production company: MasterFilm (Czech Republic); Co-production: FAMU

Sites of Resistance

Director, producer, writer: Lisa Smith (UK)

Production company: Patrin Films Ltd (UK)

Untying the Knot 

Director, producer: Chona Mangalindan (Philippines)

Production company: MONSOON FILMS (The Philippines)

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