6 Emerging Filmmakers for Cannes 2020

6 Emerging Filmmakers for Cannes 2020

Six emerging filmmakers have been selected from around the world to participate in the first ever Marché du Film Online.

For the 5th consecutive year IEFTA is partnering with Marché du Film to provide talented filmmakers from emerging regions the opportunity to participate in the first-ever online Cannes film market to develop their projects and connect with top industry professionals on an international platform.

For over 14 years, IEFTA has been dedicated to identifying and supporting emerging filmmakers from developing regions around the world. With strategic partners, international talent labs and film festivals, IEFTA supports the growth and promotion of the future generation of storytellers.

So we are delighted to be supporting these 6 talented filmmakers from 5 different countries for this year’s Marché du Film Online.

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Ali El Arabi is a documentary director and producer based in Cairo. He began his career at Dream TV (Egypt) where he produced and directed varous documentaries including Witness and Martyr, Dreaming of a Constitution and 6th of April Youth Movement. In addition, he trained reporters on how to shoot news pieces. He then went on to produce documentaries for ZDF, Stern TV Germany, and National Geographic in the MENA region.

In 2015, El Arabi set up Ambient Light, a Cairo-based production company with a mission to produce content relevant to the MENA region, including issues like refugee displacement and women and children’s rights. El Arabi earned a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications from Mansoura University. He is currently in post production for his first documentary feature film, Captains of Za’atari.

Ali El Arabi was selected for participation in the Marché du Film 2020 through our collaboration with the El Gouna Film Festival’s Cinegouna Springboard Platform. He will be participating in the Producer’s Network and his project, Captains of Za’atari will feature in the Cannes Docs Spotlighted Projects.




Arun Bhattarai is a documentary filmmaker from Bhutan. His first feature length documentary, The Next Guardian, premiered at IDFA 2017 in the First Appearance Competition and has since screened in over 40 international film festivals.

Following the success of The Next Guardian, Arun directed the television documentary Kelden (2018), that won The Asia Pitch Award 2016 and screened on NHK World TV and KBS Korea.

Before becoming an independent filmmaker, Arun worked as a TV director at the Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) for more than 5 years. He graduated from the 1st Edition of Docnomads Joint Masters in Documentary Directing, for which he was awarded a full Erasmus Mundus scholarship in Lisbon, Budapest and Brussels.

Arun is currently working on his second feature-length documentary, Gross National Happiness, which was selected as the prize winner at the Dhaka Doc Lab 2019 as well as a short documentary project, Mountain Men, that won Tribeca Film Institute’s If/Then Shorts Global Pitch 2019 during IDFA.

Arun Bhattarai was selected for participation in the Marché du Film 2020 through our collaboration with Dhaka Doc Lab. His project, Gross National Happiness, will feature in the Cannes Docs Spotlighted Projects.




Daniela Repas is a Bosnian born visual artist based in Portland, Oregon. Her work depicts storytelling through multiple mediums, from drawing and animation to installation and film.She has shown her work nationally and internationally, participating as an artist, a curator and as one of the founding members of DripDrop collective. She is a recipient of the prestigious Dorothy Lemelson Scholarship and an alumna of the Pacific Northwest College of Art, where she earned an MFA in Visual Studies.

Her debut as a film director of the award-winning short film Mnemonics steered her work to the intersection of film and art. In 2019 she was a recipient of the Princess Grace Award for film, as she continues to create work inspired by her Bosnian origin, relentless exploration of the human condition and art as a vessel for primary means of communication.

Daniela Repas was selected for participation in the Marche du Film 2020 through our partnership with the Princess Grace Foundation USA.




Quazi Krishnakali Islam is an award-winning Bangladeshi singer and songwriter. Her film career began in the early 90’s, where she gained experience as an assistant director for a number of television productions. Quazi then produced her own programs for satellite television channels and directed a number of documentaries for NGO’s & private organizations. Quazi won the Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for the film Monpura in 2009 and is active in the women’s rights organisation “Biplabi Nari Shanghati”. Quazi is currently working on her debut feature documentary.

Quazi Krishnakali Islam was selected for participation in the Marché du Film 2020 through our collaboration with Dhaka Doc Lab. Her project, NOC, will feature in the Cannes Docs Spotlighted Projects.




Semagngeta Aychiluhem is an award winning producer/director based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Through his production company Guzo Films, Semagngeta aims to support the development of an African cinema industry that shares African and international stories from an African perspective. He is currently working on his first feature film, A Farmer, A Traitor, A General and A Queen, as well as a comedy TV series, Love and Brain.

As a child, Semagngeta dreamed of working in aviation but his ambitions changed at the age of 12 when his father bought a VHS player. Semagngeta was immediately captivated by the world of film and the authentic stories that felt so life-like and realistic. His objective is to create content that captivates and inspires today’s youth in the same way he was inspired in his childhood.

Semagngeta Aychiluhem was selected for IEFTA’s From Addis to Cannes initiative at IEFTA’s annual GFE Conference in Ethiopia in December 2019..




Henok Mebratu is a self-taught filmmaker born and raised in Addis Ababa. After years of exploring many trades, he found his passion in story-telling and filmmaking. Henok has worked on numerous television and radio commercials, over 20 documentaries, a couple of TV Shows and 5 feature films (as an editor / VFX Supervisor). Over the past 20 years, Henok has fulfilled many roles within the film industry as an animator, drone pilot, director, editor, graphic designer, instructor, interior designer, photographer, producer, software developer, visual effects supervisor, web developer and writer. Currently, Henok is in the process of development for his fiction film debut.

Henok Mebratu will be participating in the Marche du Film’s Producer’s Network with his full service production company, Action Media & Communication.