The Advisory Board of the Northern Lights Film Festival is an international consultative committee aimed at exchanging ideas and getting access to expertise that might not ordinarily be available.
The Advisory Board will be called upon to provide critical thinking, robust analysis, and strategic insights to inform the director, who in turn will make decisions. Together with the members of the Board, we will look for new opportunities and establish strategies for the development of the Northern Lights, its concept, and its infrastructure, including for the benefit of the Belarusian film industry as a whole.
The Board consists of international and Belarusian experts in the fields of cinema, production, art management, and more. The number of Board members can change and increase.
The Board meets in support of the existing executive team and director of the film festival, Volia Chajkouskaya, several times a year, both online and offline, for closed strategic meetings.
advisory board
The Advisory Board will be instrumental where there is a requirement for external expertise, such as how to grow the festival, tackle funding challenges, support a key (technical) transition within the organization, form partnerships with other international film festivals, ensure sustainability, grow the audience, and manage safety matters and crises with regard to the team's general safety, both inside and outside Belarus.
Sten-Kristian Saluveer is a Europe- and Japan-based film and technology visionary, genre film producer, innovation strategist, and entrepreneur.After graduating from Concordia University in Estonia as a film producer, he went on to study classical Japanese philosophy and literature at Tallinn University while curating the Asian and genre cinema section of the A-class Black Nights Film Festival in Tallinn. Sten's groundbreaking success was a co-production of Laos' first Oscar entry, the ghost drama Dearest Sister (Mattie Do), in 2016. He also directed the first genre film festival, HOFF (Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy FF). Sten mentors professionals at the Baltic Film and Media School at Tallinn University, the Taipei Film Academy, and the Danish National Film School, among others. Saluveer is a regular contributor to policies regarding digital media and culture for the Estonian Ministry of Culture and the European Commission. Now, Sten is the Strategic Advisor and head of the innovation track - NEXT - at the premier venue for the global film industry, the Marché du Film of the Festival de Cannes.
Producer, Strategist, Entrepreneur
Anton Máni Svansson is a co-founder, CEO, and producer of Join Motion Pictures. Since 2007, his productions have achieved global success and been selected for many of the most prestigious film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Toronto, BFI London, and IDFA. These films have collected over 200 awards, received three nominations for the European Film Awards, four for the Nordic Council Film Prize, and have been Iceland's contributions to the International Feature Award at the Oscars in both 2020 and 2022. Godland, Nest, Beautiful Beings, A White, White Day, Heartstone, and Whale Valley are among the films he has worked on. Anton, an EAVE and EAVE+ graduate, was Iceland's 2017 Producer on the Move in Cannes and won a Lorens Award for Best Producer at the Goteborg Film Festival the same year. He is currently the chairman of the Icelandic Film Association and on the boards of the Stockfish Film Festival and KSA, the Icelandic Film and TV Academy.
Nadia Zeliankova specializes in digital promotion strategies and creative campaigns. As a partner in the creative Red Graphic Digital Agency, she works with top global brands and startups in Europe and America. Nadia studied journalism and worked for television and in the press. She was a partner and development director at the Gallery of Modern Art Ў in Minsk. She resided in Minsk before moving to Tallinn in 2020, where she became the speaker of the Belarusian diaspora in Estonia.
Artistic director, Marketing expert
Estonia / Belarus
The Belarus-born director Darya Zhuk started her career at HBO as a business analyst before obtaining her MFA with honors from Columbia University with a specialty in directing. Her debut feature film, "Crystal Swan," was Belarus' first entry into the Academy Award's Best Foreign Language category in 22 years. "Crystal Swan" opened the prestigious Karlovy Vary "East of the West" competition and won many prizes, such as the Grand Prix at the Odessa Film Festival, the Grand Prix at the Tbilisi International Film Festival, and the Youth Jury Award at the Cork Film Festival, among others, before premiering in North America at Slamdance FF in 2019. Short films Darya wrote and directed have been selected for SXSW, Tarkovsky, Atlanta, Palm Springs, Oaxaca, and Santa Fe independent film festivals, to name just a few. She received the Nick Louvel Breakthrough Filmmaker Award and the Best Female Writer-Director Award from New York Women in Film and Television in 2015.
Director, Writer, Producer
USA / Belarus
Tamara combines solid experience in international funding and promotion strategies with a strong passion for talent curation and programming. She worked for several years as Director of the Georgian National Film Center (2010-2013), the public institution that sets Georgian film policy. Prior to her appointment at GNFC, Tamara co-founded and served as the Executive Director of the "Independent Filmmakers' Association—South Caucasus" (IFA-SC). Since 2014, Tamara has worked as an independent consultant, combining various missions related to leadership, strategy, and industry insights. She worked for the international training initiative SOFA (School of Film Advancement) and curated the high-level industry conference Cinema Backstage (Odessa International Film Festival, Ukraine). For several years, Tamara acted as strategy and partnerships manager for the European Women's Audiovisual Network. She is a regular consultant at Bozar's "BRIDGES. East of West Film Days" in Belgium. In 2012, Tamara was awarded the French distinction of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. She currently resides in Brussels.
Strategy Consultant
Sakartvelo (Georgia) / Belgium