Laurence McKeown is an Irish author, playwright, screenwriter, and former volunteer in the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) who took part in the 1981 Irish hunger strike.
When aged 17 he joined the IRA, and was arrested in 1976 and charged with causing explosions and the attempted murder of a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. At his trial McKeown was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Maze Prison.
While in prison McKeown took part in the blanket and dirty protests attempting to secure the return of Special Category Status for convicted paramilitary prisoners. In 1980-1981 the protest escalated and a series of hunger strikes began. McKeown joined the strike. The first strike ended before any prisoners had died and without political status being secured. After four participants of the second hunger strike had died, McKeown joined it. Following the deaths of six other prisoners, McKeown's family authorised medical intervention to save his life on the 70th day of his hunger strike.
McKeown completed a bachelor's degree in social science from the Open University while in prison. He was pardoned and released in 1992. After being released, McKeown obtained PhD in Sociology from Queen's University Belfast. In the mid-90s he co-founded the Belfast Film Festival, and has written two books about Irish republican prisoners in the Maze Prison; Nor Meekly Serve My Time: The H-Block Struggle 1976–1981 (co-written with Brian Campbell and Felim O'Hagan, 1994) and Out Of Time: Irish Republican Prisoners, Long Kesh, 1972–2000 (2001).
McKeown and Brian Campbell co-wrote two plays together, The Laughter of Our (2001), and A Cold House (2003), as well as a film about the 1981 hunger strike called H3 (2001).
McKeown works as a Development Officer for Coiste na n-Iarchimí, an umbrella organisation of republican ex-prisoners groups, and writes and directs plays addressing the Troubles.
Rene received education at the RITCS - School of Arts of the Erasmus University College in Brussels. Rene has been shooting short dance films since 1988 for his own film company Cendrillon. He was licensed by VPRO's Lola da Musica to make seven music documentaries. Recently Rene mostly has been shooting documentaries about people who live close to him. Rene Hazekamp lives and works in Rotterdam.
During our meeting at Watch Docs Belarus human rights film festival we are going to dive deeper into contradictory issues related to refugees and to immigration policies in Belarus and abroad.
On Rene's personal website there's a section 'about myself' where he wrote: 'I have no clue whatsoever.' Let's explore who he really is and why he shot his amazing documentary 'Gangway to Future' which we are so glad to show you this winter.
Rene's most recent works: De onplaatsbaren/The Unplaceables (2012, doc), CircusTime (2013, doc), The Anti-Noah (2016, short doc), Gangway to a Future (2018, doc).
Film director, documentary screenwriter, artist, designer, publisher. Graduated from BSAA, Directing Department. Chairman of the Association of Belarusian Creators "VIVA FUTURA" (Minsk, Belarus - Vilnius, Lithuania); founder and participant of Belarusian Radio “Baltic Waves” (Vilnius, Lithuania). Awarded for the best film in Polish competition of Szczecin European Film Festival 2015 (Poland).
2018 - “The trial of communism. Beginning"
2015 - "Amerikanka. All included"
2011 - "Vladimir Korotkevich: When I die - the soul will remain ..."
2014 - “The Age of Baradulin”
2008 - Siarzhuk Vitushka: “We have discovered Belarus for ourselves”
2008 - “Carry me, Autumn!” - Bards in Bielsk
2007 - “Trust in the wind only, Chernobyl, 20 years after”
2007 - “Belarusian Front, or conversations about the language”
2004 - “Vasil Bykau. Return"
Liubou Ziamtsova - director, documentary filmmaker. Born in Minsk in the family of television editor and screenwriter Sviatlana Ziamtsova. At the age of 17 she shot her first experimental work “The Cage” in Children's Center for Technical Creativity with support from her teacher G. Zlobenka. In 2014 she graduated from Belarusian State Academy of Arts (Documentary direction, workshop of M. Zhdanousky). She studied in Warsaw at Andrzej Wajda School on the course of Marcel Lozinsky.
2013 - "About Love: Ira"
2018 - "Upbringing of Artem"
2019 - “Place of love"
Galina Adamovich was born in Minsk. In 1994 she graduated from Belarusian Academy of Arts with a degree in documentary filmmaking. In the same year, she began working at the Belarusfilm National Film Studio and various Belarusian television channels. Member of the Belarusian Union of Cinematographers. A many-times participant, prize-winner and jury member of international film festivals. The film presented at the festival: “Good girls are not getting beaten” (52 minutes, video, studio “Letapis” of National Film Studio Belarusfilm, 2019).
Geography of festival victories of Galina Adamovich’s films:
2001 - "Once upon a time". Victories and prizes at film festivals in Romania, Slovakia, Egypt, Belarus, Russia.
2004 - "Oh my god". Victories and prizes at film festivals in the Czech Republic, Belarus, Italy, Russia (Chelyabinsk), Poland.
2005 - "Zavеdionka". Victories and prizes at film festivals in Iran, Poland (Krakow), Moldova, Armenia (Yerevan), Italy, Russia.
2007 - "Mom will come!". Victories and prizes at film festivals in Spain (Madrid), 3 prizes at “Zolotoy Vityaz” festival (Moscow).
"Nun" (56 minutes, video, studio named after John the Warrior of Minsk St. Elisabeth Monastery). Victories and prizes at film festivals: Listapad (Minsk), Russia, Kiev, Georgia, Ukraine.
2015 - "Two Andreys". Victories and prizes at film festivals in Russia and Ukraine.
2017 - "Alien and own" Victories and prizes at film festivals in the cities of Russia and Azerbaijan (Baku).
2019 - "Vyado". Victories and prizes at film festivals in Khanty-Mansiysk, Samara, Orel, Sevastopol, Yekaterinburg.
Aliaksandr Svishchankou - documentary filmmaker, producer, cameraman, editor. Born and currently lives in Minsk. Graduated from Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics (Telecommunications), Film School-Studio of Andrey Polupanov (Film Production), Belarusian State Academy of Arts (Film Direction). At the festival he will present his film "My Germany".
Born in 1983. Film director, screenwriter. Graduate of Belarusian State University and Belarusian Academy of Arts (class of Alexander Karpov). Member of the Film School by Union of Cinematographers from CIS and Baltic countries (workshop of Sergei Dvortsevskiy), IDFA Academy, Berlinale Talants and other educational projects. Written and directed a dozen documentaries, participant and winner of international film festivals.
2019 - "Strip and War" - Film Critic's Award – FIPRESCI at goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film (Germany). Special Mention Award at DocsMX - International Documentary Film Festival of Mexico City (Mexico). Special Jury Award in the Main Documantary Film Competition at Minsk International Film Festival Listapad (Belarus)
2018 - "Summa" - IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (Netherlands). SILVER HOBBY-HORSE for the director of the best documentary film in national competition at Krakow Film Festival (Poland). GRAND PRIZE at Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival (Estonia). Best Documentary Film Award in National Competition at Minsk International Film Festival Listapad (Belarus). Prize of the Guild of Film Critics of the Belarusian Union of Filmmakers "Straw Bison" at Minsk International Film Festival Listapad (Belarus)
2017 - "King of the Hill". Grand Prix at International Festival of Local Televisions in Kosice (Slovakia).
2015 - "Guests". Best documentary in National Competition at Minsk International Film Festival Listapad (Belarus)
2015 - “Where You Belong”. Bronze Castle Award at 19th International Film Festival OFF CINEMA (Poland). Special mention award for an excellent directing at Pärnu International Film Festival (Estonia). Grand Prix at International Festival of Local Televisions Golden Beggar (Slovakia)
2010 – “Kill the Day” (Днюка). Special Jury Prize at Minsk International Film Festival Listapad (Belarus). Award for the Best Non-Fictional Film from the Guild of Film Critics of the Belarusian Union of Filmmakers at Minsk International Film Festival Listapad (Belarus). Grand Prix at International Festival of Local Televisions Golden Beggar (Slovakia). Award fot the Best Documentary at International Independent Film Festival Kinolev (Ukraine). Award for the Best Short Documentary at Documentary Film Festival TRANZYT (Poland)
Ihar Chyshchenia, a young documentary filmmaker. He has been working at "Belarusfilm" for 8 years, and during that time he has become the author of a number of powerful films. In 2017 he was even named "Culture Person of the Year" as a representative of film and video art.
2019 - "Places of memory. Iuye"
2017 - "Generation Play"
2017 - "The First Book"
2015 - "Counter of Happiness "
2014 - "Breath of Wetlands"
2014 - "Lost Song"
2013 - "Andrey Takindang. I stop in the middle"
2012 - "On the arena today, and forever"
Jan Bluz - Polish director and journalist, currently based in Iceland. The Underground of Hope is his first feature documentary. Earlier he worked in major Polish media outlets as a journalist and mainly covered politics and economics. He graduated form the University of Wrocław (American studies).