2019 Fiction Jury
Ricky WhittlePresident of the Jury
Actor (United Kingdom)
Ricky Whittle was born in Oldham near Manchester in the North of England. He was a gifted athlete growing up and excelled in various sports representing his country at youth level in football, rugby, American football and athletics. After being scouted by both Arsenal and Celtic football clubs, a series of injuries forced Ricky to pursue a Law degree with Criminology at Southampton University for 4 years. Here he began modeling, becoming the face of a Reebok campaign in 2000. The campaign led him to soon pursue an acting career leaving the university to study his craft. Ricky stars as the lead protagonist ‘Shadow Moon’ in Starz’ critically acclaimed series American Gods - a literary adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s contemporary fantasy novel, which follows ‘Moon’ into a hidden world where a battle is brewing between the Old Gods and the New Gods. The show is available worldwide in over 200 territories via Amazon Prime Video. Ricky’s other prominent role is on The CW’s popular post-apocalyptic sci-fi series The 100. Ricky’s character ‘Lincoln’ immediately became a fan-favorite character and so he was upped to a series regular. Simultaneously, Ricky also had a recurring arc as ‘Daniel Zamora’ in ABC’s Mistresses. In 2017 he could also be seen in the Netflix feature film opposite Sanaa Lathan titled Nappily Ever After based on the novel of same name by Trisha R. Thomas.
Pedro AlonsoActor (Spain)
Pedro Alonso is an international actor from Spain most recently known for his breakout role as "Mr Berlin" on the worldwide hit series Money Heist (La Casa De Papel) the number one series on Netflix, Gran Hotel, Traicion and La Embajada. Other notable TV work includes recurring roles in The Ministry Of Time and Diablo Guardian (on Amazon).
Alonso’s film work includes a lead in The Beach Of The Drowned and supporting leads in Retribution, All About Happiness, The Night Of The Brother and The Apostle.
Anne KolbjørnsenWriter & Producer (Norway)
Anne Kolbjørnsen is the MD in Anagram Norway and has a long career in the entertainment industry lately as an Executive producer for Lilyhammer, The Third Eye and Maniac. Before joining Anagram, she was the Head of Drama in Rubicon, bringing Rubicon to become the biggest scripted producers in Norway. Kolbjørnsen has produced the longest running Scandinavian soap, worked in NRK and as consultant in start up productions across Scandinavia.
Gisella MarengoActress & Producer (Italy)
Gisella Marengo is an Italian actress & producer. She has worked in the Film industry since early 2000 starring in several movies directed by the best contemporary Italian directors, such as Giuseppe Tornatore and Pupi Avati. She transitioned into producing following Tornatore’s project Leningrad.
Later Gisella produced The Humbling, directed by Barry Levinson, starring Al Pacino. She also worked with great actors of the caliber of Antonio Banderas, producing two of his latest action feature films. Gisella then produced The Poison Rose, starring John Travolta, which will premier in august of this year, and <strong>Angel has fallen, with Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman.
She also produced Blackbird, diving herself into the drama genre starring academy award winner Kate Winslet, academy award winner Susan Sarandon and one of the of veterans of modern cinema Sam Neil.
Her last project is a documentary on Ennio Morricone, directed by Giuseppe Tornatore.
Gideon RaffWriter, Director & Producer (Israel)
Emmy award winning writer and director Gideon Raff is the creator of the Israeli series Hatufim (“Prisoners of War”) the highest-rated drama series in Israel which also won nine Israeli Emmy Awards, including Best Directing for Raff and Best Drama Series. Hatufim’s American adaptation, Homeland, is now in it’s 7th season, starring Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin. For his work on Homeland, Raff has received two Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, a WGA Award, an Edgar Allen Poe Award and a Peabody Award. Following Homeland, Raff created the FX drama series Tyrant, and co created, wrote and directed Dig an event series starring Jason Isaacs and Anne Heche for USA. Raff wrote and directed the feature film, The Red Sea Diving Resort starring Chris Evans, Sir Ben Kingsley, Greg Kinnear and Michael K Williams for Bron Studios. Currently Raff finished shooting his Netflix show The Spy, based on the life of Eli Cohen, starring Sacha Baron Cohen. Raff wrote and directed all 6 episodes. In addition to his work on television and film, Raff is a bestselling novelist in Israel and an animal rights activist..
Ola RapaceActor (Sweden)
Born in 1971 Ola Rapace studied acting at the university of Gothenburg, Sweden, from 1995 to 1998. He debuted on stage in Gustav III and continued to build an impressive theatrical career. His feature film debut came with the critically acclaimed Together directed by Lukas Moodyson. He has over the years been in several re-occurring roles in TV series such as Blood Brothers, Maria Lang and Wallander. Rapace big international breakthrough came with the proverbial bad guy of the James Bond franchise Skyfall and brought him to France where he continued working on features like Ares and Valerian and TV series Section Zero. Rapace's latest projects are critically-acclaimed series Farang directed by Erik Lejonborg and re-make of the detective series Hassel, a tribute to the police show genre of the 80's. Right now, Rapace is shooting the Danish multi-awarded series Below The Surface.
2019 News Jury
Rory KennedyPresident of the Jury
Director & Producer (USA)
Rory Kennedy, co-president and co-founder of Moxie Firecracker Films, is an Academy Award®-nominated, Primetime Emmy Award®-winning director-producer. She has made more than 40 highly acclaimed documentaries. Kennedy’s work deals with some of the world’s most pressing issues – poverty, political corruption, domestic abuse, drug addiction, human rights and mental illness. Most recently, she completed Above and Beyond: NASA’S Journey to Tomorrow (2018). Prior to that she made Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton (2017), Last Days in Vietnam (2014), Ethel (2012), about her mother, Ethel Kennedy, and Ghosts of Abu Ghraib (2006). Kennedy is an Academy governor representing the Documentary Branch.
John IrvineSenior International Correspondent - ITV News (United Kingdom)
John Irvine is Senior International Correspondent for ITV News in the UK. Over the last 25 years he has been based in his native Belfast, Jerusalem, Bangkok, Washington DC and Dubai. He has reported extensively on conflicts around the world, including in Northern Ireland, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, Libya, Korea and Ukraine. In 2003 Irvine became Royal Television Society journalist of the year for his coverage of the second Gulf War from Baghdad. In 2010 he won a BAFTA for coverage of the Haiti earthquake. At the 55th Monte-Carlo Television Festival in 2015 Irvine won the Special AMADE Prize for his report on the helicopter rescue of desperate Yazidis trapped by ISIS on the top of Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. He has been nominated for a Golden Nymph Award six times.
Ghislaine OttenheimerEditor-in-Chief - Challenges (France)
Editor-in-chief and editorialist at Challenges, she is a regular contributor to L'info du vrai, a talk show presented by Yves Calvi on Canal + and in the morning show of Guillaume Durand on Radio Classique. Political journalist, graduated from Sciences Po Paris, holder of a DES in public law and laureate of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, Ottenheimer has collaborated on numerous print media: L'Express, Le Quotidien de Paris, Le Figaro, France Soir, Le Nouvel Economiste. She has presented the 19-20 newscast on France 3, Paris premieres on Paris Première and Mardi Cinéma on France 2. She has been editorial director of BFM radio, from 2001 to 2003, before joining Challenges. Ghislaine is the author of several books, including Les frères invisibles, La caste des intouchables, Le sacre de Nicolas. The last one, Le poison présidentiel, published by Albin Michel, is an investigation into the limits of the presidential regime.
Paul RefsdalDocumentary Filmmaker (Norway)
Paul Salahadin Refsdal is a Norwegian war correspondent turned documentary filmmaker. After leaving the Norwegian army in 1984, he went to Afghanistan to report on the mujahedeen fighting Soviet occupation. In the following decades Refsdal reported on more than a dozen insurgent groups including the KLA in Kosovo, the Tamil Tigers, the Shining Path of Peru, the Chechen rebels, the Afghan Taliban and the Syrian branch of al-Qaida.
Luca RosiniFilmmaker, Reporter & Host - Rai (Italy)
Luca Rosini is a filmmaker, TV reporter and host. He directed many documentaries about post war in the Balkans. He worked for the last 15 years as a reporter on talk shows for Rai and private televisions in Italy, covering both current political and international affairs. In 2015 he was the host of “Evolution”, on Rai Due, introducing documentaries about the social and cultural changes in Italian history. Then he hosted “Human Files”, a short documentary series about global best practices dealing with social, environmental and cultural issues. He also directed “The gang of beauty”, a one off documentary about juvenile work against Mafia in Naples. He is currently the host at “Uno mattina in famiglia” on Rai Uno, the morning program focusing on family issues.
Masaru ZenkeSenior Producer - NHK (Japan)
Masaru Zenke is a senior producer who works mainly on news programs and documentaries in the International Affairs Programs Division of the News Department at NHK. He joined NHK in 1995. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has made documentaries on international affairs and a diversity of other subjects including science and sports. He was posted to Washington, DC, for four years from 2014. He made programs on American politics and society during the Obama and Trump administrations. The subjects of his documentaries on diplomacy included President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima, US policy on North Korea, and the US-China battle for tech hegemony. Zenke has entered many programs in international competitions. He has also written books including Searching for a “Gold Medal Gene”, which follows a study that identified the genes that characterize top athletes, and The Science of 42.195 km, which unravels the secrets behind the winning performance of three world-record-breaking male marathon runners.
Originally created by Prince Rainier III of Monaco, and now under the Honorary Presidency of Prince Albert II of Monaco, The Monte-Carlo Television Festival has, for more than half a century, presented the very best of television from around the world.