Pitching Forum Moderator

Eric Nyari
Cineric Creative

Based in Tokyo and New York, Eric is President of Cineric Creative and International Representative of restoration house Cineric, Inc. Eric has produced numerous films in Japan, including director Amir Naderi's CUT (Venice 2011). He produced the critically acclaimed portrait RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: CODA, (Venice 2017) and produced Takeshi Fukunaga’s AINU MOSIR (Special Jury Mention Tribeca 2020); Ema Ryan Yamazaki's THE MAKING OF A JAPANESE (Tokyo International 2023). He is currently serving as a Producer on director Neo Sora's RYUICHI SAKAMOTO | OPUS, and Sora's upcoming narrative debut, EARTHQUAKE.

Decision Makers

Sabrina Baracetti
Udine Far East Film Festival / Centro Espressioni Cinematografiche
Founder & President

Founding member and President of Udine Far East Film Festival, president of cultural organization C.E.C., an arthouse exhibition company, acquisitions consultant for the distribution company Tucker Film, co-founder and consultant for Ties That Bind and member of the Board of Directors at Friuli Cinematheque.

Thomas Bertacche
Tucker Film / Far East Film Festival
CEO / Founder

Thomas Bertacche is CEO of Tucker Film, an Italian distribution company set up in 2008. The company focuses on two main fields of interest: projects related to the territory and culture of Friuli Venezia Giulia and the distribution of Asian films.
Since the early 90s he has been a movie programmer of CEC, an arthouse exhibition company. Founding member and coordinator of Far East Film Festival, the biggest film festival in Europe completely dedicated to popular Asian cinema (established in 1999).

Paul Haas
Sales & Acquisitions

Paul Haas studied Business Administrations at the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, after working in the film and television sector for 5 years as a video editor, production assistant and sound engineer. Wanting to work in relation to films, but outside of production, Paul pivoted towards distribution. After an internship at German distributor Neue Visionen, he joined m-appeal in early 2022.

Hiroyuki Tanimoto
Visual industry Promotion Organization (VIPO)

After running online short film festival, he produced both short & feature films which were premiered in Locarno IFF (2009) and Toronto IFF (2013). Since then, he has worked as a program officer for audio-visual section at the Japan Foundation and has been working as a manager at Visual industry Promotion Organization from 2021 engaging with talent development and international market development for the upcoming Japanese filmmakers.

Teruhisa Yamamoto
The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Ltd.

Born in 1981, From Hyogo, Japan. Graduated from Japan Institute of the Moving Image.
After working at Toho Studios and C&I Entertainment (Former IMJ Entertainment), Now belongs to Walt Disney Company.

Keiko Funato
Sales & Acquisitions

Started her career at an independent distribution company: Uplink Co., in Tokyo in '90s, specialized in international edgy art house movies. After working in legal dept at Celluloid Dreams, she worked for Uni Japan for the development of International co-productions for Japanese producers, collaborating with initiatives, such as Producer's Network, Cinemart, EAVE. In October 2011, together with a business partner Virginie Devesa, she co-founded a conceptual world sales company, 'Alpha Violet' in Paris, always keeping a solid and pure independent spirit.

Will Manalang

Wilfredo Manalang, FUSEE's founder, partnered in the Cannes 2022-honored Japan-France-Philippines co-production PLAN 75. Former ABS-CBN Managing Director and Executive Director of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, he's known as WILL FREDO, directing award-winning Filipino films and TV series. FUSEE, a dynamic content creation group, produced hits like BLUE ROOM and TOPAKK (Triggered). Their upcoming project, DON’T CRY, BUTTERFLY, a Singapore-Vietnam-Philippines co-production, releases in 2024. FUSEE actively seeks collaborations for compelling content with a focus on Philippine and Asian representation.

Justine O.

Justine O. is a Taiwanese film producer who founded Cutting Edge Films with film editor Matthieu Laclau. From 2014 to 2020 she worked as producer for Jia Zhang-ke. She also contributed to the establishment and the coordination of Pingyao Film Festival. Justine recently focus on debut films, include: LIFE AFTER LIFE dir. Zhang Hanyi (Berlinale Forum); GAEY WA'R dir. Na Jiazuo (Cannes - UCR); THE LAST QUEEN dir. Adila Bendimerad & Damien Ounouri (Venice Days); A SONG SUNG BLUE dir. Geng Zihan (Cannes - Directors Fortnight).

Kenji Sekine

United People is an impact distributor/production company that distributes and produces films to solve social issues.

Go Abe

Born in 1978 in Kanagawa Prefecture. After working on "ALWAYS: Sunset on Third Street", "THE LAST MESSAGE Umizaru" (10), "BRAVE HEARTS Umizaru" (12), "Eternal 0" (13), and "Parasites" (14) (15) as a production department, he joined ROBOT. As a line producer, he was in charge of "A Man Called Pirate" (16), "Destiny: The Kamakura Story" (17), and "Archimedes' War" (19). He has also worked as a producer on "Godzilla-1.0" (23), "Ghost Book: Obake Zukan" (22),"CODE: The Price of Wishes" (23), "Fly! BOYS. FLY!(19).

Online Decision Makers

Alemberg Ang
Daluyong Studios

ALEMBERG ANG was a schoolteacher before stumbling into filmmaking. His first feature was Alvin Yapan’s The Rapture of Fe about a battered wife’s journey into freedom (2009, Best Digital Feature at Cairo IFF) while his most recent film was Chie Hayakawa's Plan 75, about the senior citizens in Japan and their social systems (Camera D'or Special Mention at Cannes). He participated at the Berlinale Talents, Locarno Open Doors, Tribeca Film Institute Network, Fabrique Cinema du Monde and EAVE Producers Network.

Sam Chua

Sam Chua Weishi is a Singaporean film producer. She recently produced I look into the mirror and repeat to myself by Giselle Lin (Competition, Locarno Film Festival 2023). She is producing Pierce by Nelicia Low (in post-production), and developing several films including Midnight Blue Spring by Giselle Lin (Grand Prize — Locarno Residency 2023). She is an alumna of Rotterdam Lab, Full Circle Lab Philippines, Busan Asian Film School, and IF/Then Southeast Asia, and is currently a producer at Singapore-based company Pōtocol.

Sarah Kang
Seesaw Pictures

Sarah Kang started her career producing a feature fiction film BEHIND THE DARK NIGHT (Best Korean Feature Film at Bucheon Intl. Fantastic Film Festival 2017). She worked as the Head of Industry at Jeonju Intl. Film Festival. She has joined Seesaw Pictures in 2019 to submerge herself into producing films. Her latest film QUEER MY FRIENDS (2022) world premiered at Hot Docs and was theatrically released in Korea. She is an alumna of IDFAcademy, Eurodoc, and Dok Incubator.

Alex Lee
Doc Edge
Festival Director

Alex is a co-director/founder of Doc Edge, NZ’s national documentary organization and Oscar qualifying film festival. Doc Edge also delivers a Schools Programme and an XR Exhibition. It also runs industry programmes including Doc Edge Forum, Doc Edge Pitch and other upskilling/networking activities.
His activities as a producer include award-winning documentary Hip Hop-eration and NZ Film Commission supported documentaries Interference director Welby Ings, Where Was It Said You Should Be Happy? director Thomas Burstyn, and supporting Shh…Diam director Yihwen Chen in post-production.

Victoria Leshchenko
DOK Leipzig

Victoria Leshchenko is a Berlin and Kyiv-based cultural events producer and curator, with a Master's degree in Cultural Studies from the National University "Kyiv Mohyla Academy". She worked at Molodist KIFF in various roles from 2007-2011 and has been with Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival since 2010, starting as program coordinator and now serving as program director since February 2019. She has been a programmer for the International Documentary program at DOK Leipzig since May 2022.

Chris Payne
New Zealand Film Comission
Head of International Relations

Chris Payne is part of the senior management team at the New Zealand Film Commission. As Head of International Relations, he connects New Zealand filmmakers and industry with the very best international partners, projects and business/career development opportunities. Chris has a particular focus on facilitating official film and television co-productions under New Zealand’s 18 bilateral co-production arrangements, including those in Asia (China, India, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan).

Gugi Gumilang
In-Docs | Docs by the Sea
Executive Director

Gugi is currently based in Jakarta and Berlin; Executive Director for the award-winning organisation: In-Docs, the non-profit behind Docs by the Sea and Good Pitch Asia and VitaminDocs. Since 2022 he is on the Executive Board of the Documentary of Association of Europe (DAE).
He is a film curator, guest programmer, selection committee member, and jury member for several reputable regional and international film festivals and film funds, such as: International Documentary Association (IDA), Purin Pictures, DOK Leipzig, Cannes Docs, CPH:DOX, etc.

Maria Ruggieri
Head of Sales & Acquisitions

Maria A. RUGGIERI is a Sinologist, a Beijing Film Academy Alumni and Berlinale Talents Alumni. Since 2001, she has worked: as program consultant, for International Film Festivals including Venice, Locarno, Cairo, Marrakesh FF, Beijing FF Forward Future, Udine Far East Film; as creative producer, on Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts by Mouly Surya. Since 2018, she is the Head of Sales & Acquisitions of the International Sales Company ASIAN SHADOWS representing and selling worldwide Asian films by Asian directors.

Kazutaka Watanabe
E.x.N K.K.

Producer / Distributor for Japanese territory.
Program Coordinator for "Yamgata Roughcut!" Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival.

Ellen Y. D. Kim
Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival / Flying Tiger Pictures
Program Director / Producer

Ellen Y. D. KIM is a producer and festival organizer who has wide experience in various fields in the film industry since 1996, including international marketing, festival programming, film market managing and film producing. Besides working as the program director of Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, she founded an arthouse production house Flying Tiger Pictures and co-produced by LIU Bingjian in 2002, and produced by Ruslan PAK in 2011, by Hyukrae LEE and Jungyoung KIM in 2020.

Han T. Sun
Hooray Films

Han T. Sun is the founder and managing director of Hooray Films, Taiwan. Hooray Films is a boutique distribution company that introduces outstanding films to Taiwanese audiences. Its recent lineup includes Anatomy of a Fall, The Worst Person in the World, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Flee, Happening, etc.