Encounters with filmmakers and festival’s news

Maureen Payne-Hahner, Annemette Andersen and Liv Hahner

Crew and Cast of BRUME
Maureen is an American director living in Germany. BRUME is her first short film. Maureen has directed professionally for the stage 15+ years. Her work has been seen in NYC, London, Chicago, Munich, Austria, Zagreb and Cleveland before switching to film. She founded WIN: Writers Innovative Network which shepherds new writing by both new and established voices. Her passion has always been film. During the pandemic lockdown she completed a rigorous, online Women´s Leadership Program through the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford which encouraged her to transfer her directing skills to the screen. Other education includes Yale School of Drama (Assistant Director, Summer Cabaret), The Conservatory at Steppenwolf Theatre (Chicago), and 15+ years of The Sanford Meisner Method. Maureen cherishes cinema and every detailed step of planning that goes into making a film, she respects anyone who gets out there and creates work for the screen, and she can’t imagine doing anything else except creating and collaborating with other dedicated storytellers. Maureen is pre-production for her second short film set for May 2023.

 Born and raised in Denmark. Resides in NYC. Graduate of The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, Washington DC. Former resident Hedgerow Theatre, PA., Company member Tim Robbins’ The Actors’ Gang, LA. Intl. TV Credits: NETFLIX Original Series THE RAIN. Danish Network. TV2 series NORSKOV,  DR1 series FOLLOW THE MONEY. She is the voice of Inga Arvad in the upcoming documentary series KENNEDY. A member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA, DSF, UK Equity. Board Member of Scandinavian American Theater Company in NYC.

Liv Hahner is currently an undergrad student with a German-American background, set to complete her studies in 2023. She has studied acting through various workshops and performances, however most extensively throughout her final two years in high school, where she enjoyed writing, directing, and performing her own pieces, as mandated by the curriculum. Her interest in film began at a young age, yet it was really through her high school experience that she realised how invested she was in the craft. She hopes to work in cinema in the future.

Jen Araki, Dylan Playfair and Milania Kerr

Crew and Cast of WHISTLE
Jen Araki is a Canadian/American award-winning filmmaker, director, actress and producer. Experienced in documentary, commercial and narrative story telling Jen is an extremely versatile film maker . She splits her time between Vancouver BC Canada and Los Angeles. Jen and her husband Dylan own and operate a production company with a commercial division (Media Button) as well as a film and TV division (Crystal Mountain Films) with offices in Vancouver and Los Angeles.

A Canadian born actor, director and producer Dylan’s career has spanned from Disney musicals (Descendants 2&3) to Hulu comedies (Letterkenny) and documentaries (The Drop: Why Young People Don’t Vote). Filming Whistle in his hometown of Fort St. James added a very personal element to the story of Whistle. He continues to pursue meaningful roles and collaborations with talented story tellers.

Milania Kerr is a young actor and model from Vancouver, Canada. She has had roles in television, film, commercials, print and runway modeling. Her role as young Emma, in Whistle has granted her multiple nominations and wins in festivals and Awards.

Eléna Weiss

Eléna Weiss grew up in Spain and Germany. She studied acting in Stuttgart and Barcelona and
has been working as an actress since 2012 in German theaters and for film and television. In 2015
she began directing theatre plays. She also started developing plays in collaboration with art
collectives such as the feminist performance BITCH PERFECT. In 2016 she began directing her
first own films. Since 2020 Eléna has been studying directing at Hamburg Media School. Her short
film Flick-a-Cig was shortlisted for the Yugo Student BAFTA. It is currently being screened at
various festivals, such as Max Ophüls, Nordische Filmtage Lübeck and Beijing International Short
Film Festival and was awarded best student short at Venezia Short Film Festival.
2016 ROB&BOB (midlength silent movie, 60 min.)
2020 ALIEN INSIDE (ALIEN IN MIR) (shortfilm, 10 min.)
2021 UNERREICHBAR (UNREACHABLE) (shortfilm, 5 min.)
2021 KIPPENSCHNIPPEN (FLICK-A CIG) (shortfilm, 13 min.)
2022 WAS WIR WOLLEN (OF KISSES AND CAPES) (shortfilm, 26 min.)

Côme Ferré

Director of Booksmart
Côme Ferré is a 33-year-old French director. After five years of writing and directing comedy clips for French television, he is now focused on making commercials.

With an ardent desire to tell stories that mix the physical and the metaphysical, reality and dreams, Côme believes that the true role of cinema is to reveal the poetry hidden in everyday realities.

Exploring this theme, his first short film, “Booksmart,” sees an 8-year-old boy who spends his life reading books explore the feeling of love for the first time.

Jess Irish

Director of This Mortal Plastik
Jess Irish is an award-winning artist, designer, and writer who makes lyrical nonfiction films and cross-genre media. Her recent films include This Mortal Plastik, For While, and The Phantasmagoria of Offense: the male version. Irish is an Associate Professor of Design and Technology in the School of Art, Media & Technology at Parsons, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in design research, hybrid works, and new media. She lives in the Hudson River Valley, NY with her family of humans and dogs.