Louise Thornton

I have come to the world of commissioning through a slightly unusual route. I studied mathematics at university, which doesn’t immediately make you think of working in tv but it was working on a PhD in digital compression that lead me towards a career in media. I started at the BBC in a technical project management role and quickly realised I was more interested in the pictures and words than the algorithms. So I managed to get a researcher job on a maths programme for kids and from there, I moved into production with a particular focus on developing innovative content for young audiences. I ran Bitesize in Scotland for many years, commissioning and producing games and programmes for kids and teenagers. I am one of the creators of BBC The Social, specially commended for innovation by PRIX EUROPA in 2016. In my current role as Commissioning Executive, my main priorities are developing new talent and youth formats for BBC Scotland’s TV and digital platforms, including iPlayer, BBC Sounds and social.

Sarita Sharma

I am a film/interactive producer and distribution consultant based in Berlin and I am passionate about innovative storytelling After studying Musicology and History at the University of Bonn, I graduated in Law from the University of Hamburg and in Media Management from Bournemouth University, UK as well as from Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris (La F.mis/Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg). In recent years I have been producing and distributing web series, films and interactive content with a wide variety of partners from the film and cultural sector like Arte, MDR, Goethe-Institut, Creative Europe, Ars Baltica, Medienboard Berlin- Brandenburg, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Altana Kulturstiftung, Estonian Film Institute, to name only a few. Since 2017, I have been responsible for Multiplatform Strategy & Distribution at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF.

Rhian Roberts

I am the Head of Digital Content Commissioning for BBC Radio 4, 4 Extra and Radio 3 and based in London. I’ve worked in TV, Radio and am now devoted to all the new platforms that let us experiment even more with how we share facts and tell stories. We’re in the middle of an audio renaissance and it’s wonderful to see young audiences discovering it for the first time, and many of them via the new BBC Sounds ap. I’ve been lucky enough to work at many BBC radio stations, and across a range of genre. I spent a lot of time in news and current affairs as a journalist and programme editor but I’ve also made shows with full orchestras, comedians and animals. Now I’m commissioning and developing lots of different BBC podcasts and experimenting with formats and new approaches to sound.

Kåre Vedding Poulsen

I am 51 years old and live in Copenhagen. I am a Producer of TV, radio, cross media, digital, etc. at Danish Broadcasting Corporation since 1999. I have been working with cross platform/ interactive projects for ages. I am also Director of the Nordvision Festival of Digital Narratives. I have an MA in Literature and Film from Southern University Denmark, Executive MBA from Copenhagen Business School and a degree in Script writing from the Southern Danish University. Passionate about literary fiction, craving for contemporary art, strange food and Liverpool FC. 

Frédéric Dubois

'In Europe, like elsewhere in our networked era, social transformation can come about with the help of genuine media innovation. Media genres that make space for dialogue and public participation will be the facilitators of change. Critical media innovators is what Europe is currently in big need of, in order, to take Paolo Freire‘s words, to bring to fruition - in Paulo Freire‘s words - critical consciousness.’

Frédéric Dubois is a journalist and maker of interactive documentaries. He is themanaging editor of Internet Policy Review - an open access journal on Internet regulation. He is currently completing a doctorate in film production at the Film University Babelsberg, Potsdam. He is a seasoned organiser of journalism hackathons and conferences, and a trainer and coach for digital storytelling.

Carsten Dufner

Carsten Dufner worked as a freelance journalist for Deutschlandfunk in Cologne from 1986 to 1990, followed by seven years of being executive producer for the Stuttgart Radio Symphony. 1997/98 he became executive producer of the multimedia activities at SDR, and then Deputy Head of the multimedia department at Südwestrundfunk in Baden-Baden. From 1999 to 2008 he was Head of Music at Hessischer Rundfunk in Frankfurt and then became Head of Music and Production of MDR’s music ensembles. Since 2016, he is responsible for MDR Klassik (digital radio programme, streaming, web service, social media). He has also been working with the EBU for 28 years.




Hugh Levinson

 I am Head of the Radio Current Affairs department for the BBC, based in London and Salford. I began my career in local radio in Liverpool, spent three years at a newspaper in Tokyo before returning to the BBC, working in daily radio journalism then moving to current affairs. I fell in love with radio documentaries and have stayed in this department pretty much ever since – presenting, producing and now editing long-form radio. I currently edit The Bottom Line series and the Reith Lectures, working with among others Stephen Hawking and Hilary Mantel. The department also makes online text and video and produces some of the UK’s most popular podcasts. Unless forcibly stopped, I will probably show you a card trick.


Marcus Gammel

Marcus Gammel was born in Bremen / Germany, studied Musicology, German Literature and Philosophy at Humboldt University Berlin, Université Paris IV and New York University. He has worked as a music journalist, dramaturge, and radio maker in Germany and France. Since 2009, Marcus Gammel is curating the weekly sound art programme at Deutschlandradio / Deutschlandfunk Kultur. (...) In 2016, he was appointed Head of Radio Art (radio drama and documentary) at Deutschlandfunk Kultur.



Soila Valkama

Soila Valkama is a director, a dramaturge and an actress. She taught radio directing, acting and dramaturgy at the University of Birzeit on the West Bank in 1998 and has worked as a director, dramaturge, producer and as a programme developer with Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company since 1999. 



Laurence Grissell

 I have been a producer in the BBC Radio Documentaries Unit since 2004 where I have been involved in the creation of many successful series, including Wireless Nights with Jarvis Cocker and our major documentary strand The Untold. I started my career in BBC local radio and on a number of weekly and daily programmes on BBC Radio 4. I have won awards from the Third Coast Festival, the Prix Italia and the UK Sonys & Arias. I am vice chair of the EBU Features Group, which organises the International Feature Conference. I value our medium for its sheer power and endless creative potential. I have always loved finding fresh ways of telling stories and I still find it incredibly satisfying when words, sound and music combine to create a powerful, unforgettable moment of audio.




Eva Roither

 I studied literature, dramatics and science of education at the University of Vienna and at the Institute of Theatre, Film and Media Science in Austria. I began writing for several newspapers in 1990. Since 1993 I am author of many features and reports for the cultural radio channel .1/ORF, Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. In recent years I focused on portraits of female writers and activists and also on documentaries concerning social policy. Since 2004 I am co-producer of the weekly feature programme H.rbilder. For this one-hour series I have edited over 300 radio documentaries. I also coach and promote young feature talents. From 2010 – 2011 I coached at EBU Master School on Radio Features. I won several national and international awards, like the feature prize `08 of Stiftung Radio Basel for Murder in the Mountains. With Martin Leitner, winner of the PRIX EUROPA 2011 for Ladies of the Manor. Gone Without Goodbye won silver at the New York Festivals Int. Radio Programme Awards. In 2014 I became ‘Lioness of Media’ for my feature about the Egyptian novelist and activist Nawal El Saadawi.




Erik Hogenboom

Erik Hogenboom is editor in chief at the Diversity Department of Dutch public broadcaster NTR. He coordinates several documentary series and magazines focusing on diversity themes in the Dutch multicultural society. Since 2001 he is executive producer for the Intercultural and Diversity Group (EBU), coordinating co-productions (e.g. City Folk).

Rishi Chamman

I am a screenwriter/director. After my study in journalism I worked for several news programmes. I lived in New York and India for several years and studied film there. I have made several documentaries for public television. Some of which were selected for international film festivals. My films are often about the conflict between the inner-and outer world. Living according to your truth can be very challenging. This struggle fascinates me because the choices that one makes reflects character.



Bart De Poot

I am Head of Programme Acquisitions for all VRT TV channels and VRT NU digital platform. I started as a journalist for VTM, the first commercial channel in Flanders. I became editor-in-chief of current affairs programmes and vice-president of the news department. Since 2004 I have been working for VRT, the public broadcaster, first as TVchannel manager for Canvas and later as production manager internal productions for documentaries. I am Vice Chairman of the VRT deontological council and Board Member of the international public television conference INPUT. 



Mirande de Jong

Since the early 90s I have been working as a script editor at the Dutch public broadcaster BNNV ARA, on a wide range of TV drama series and feature films, from comedy series and format drama for a broad audience to smaller arthouse productions. Several received a mention at PRIX EUROPA. The common denominator of all these productions is an eye for the unknown, unattended or underestimated. It is my mission to let creators thrive and to get audiences involved: recognition in its full meaning is what I am always aiming at.

Riet De Prins

 After finishing my studies at film school in Brussels, I started as an assistant director, in the80s at VRT. Who would ever have believed that I am still working there? Yes, I admit: I amso old fashioned. I worked in entertainment, live shows, music documentary, getting to knowall corners and borders of making television. But soon xI felt that the story was my thing and I became the creative and line producer of two comedies for children. So comedy became very much my thing. I developed four comedies for youngsters. Then I supervised the writing process of a long running daily soap. Now I produce a sketch show about women of different generations in everyday life, demanding far too much of themselves and their environment. Obviously, things tend to go wrong. And they do, quite frequently! But that’s comedy!


Esther Niemeier

I am a Berlin-based writer, director and producer. My first short documentary WALZ was my BA graduation film at the University of the Arts London. WALZ screened in the official selection at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2007 and was picked up for broadcast by Canal+ and other channels throughout Europe. In 2015 I was accepted into the MFA in Documentary Directing at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF. My graduation film TRACING ADDAI (30 minutes) is a fully animated documentary about two young German boys who went to join the Jihad in Syria. One, now imprisoned, is talking to the mother of the other, who never made it home. To date TRACING ADDAI has been screened at over 70 film festivals, has won 20 awards including ‘Best Short Award’ at the Oscar qualifying Docaviv, Best Animation at Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival and was a finalist for the 2018 Student Academy Awards. I am currently writing and developing my first feature length documentary as director based on original letters from my Great-grandmother, a woman whose outspokenness landed her in a psychiatric hospital where she was killed along with many others under the Nazi’s euthanasia scheme during World War II.

Martin Gaarder

 I am a journalist and TV documentary director at Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK). I started out as a freelance newspaper journalist, and later worked on the foreign desk of Norwegian Press Agency (NTB). I have produced feature programmes for NRK since 1996, within a wide range of topics. Over the last decade I have been specialising in investigative and historical TV documentaries. In 2011 I received the Prix Italia award for best current affairs documentary, ‘Operation Sea Breeze’, about the fatal Israeli boarding of a ship with activists, heading for Gaza.