Documentary Film Competition

Thomas Balmes was born in 1969 in Paris. After graduating from the Institut Supérieur d'Etudes Cinématographiques (ISEC) he worked for television and in 1992 he started his own company TBC Productions. His initial independent projects included studies of filmmakers Michelangelo Antonioni and James Ivory. 
Thomas first worked as a director on the film Bosnia Hotel, which focused on U.N. Kenyan peacekeepers in Bosnia. His most prominent works include papuan trilogy The Gospel According To The Papuans (2000), Waiting For Jesus (2000), and Christ Comes To The Papuans (2001). A Decent Factory (2004) was the story of a Nokia executive who inspects a mobile phone factory in China. The film was screened at more than 50 festivals worldwide and received honors. It also had a U.S. theatrical release in 2005. The next project How Much Is Your Life Worth? (2007) was made in Connecticut. This was followed by the film Babies (2010) in which Thomas looked at the first year of lives of four babies from Mongolia, Namibia, Japan and USA. His most recent film Happiness was released in 2013. It tells the story of a 8-year-old monk from Laya village in Bhutan who discovers colorful elements of modern life for the first time. 
In 2009 Thomas initiated and produced documentary series A Normal Life – Chronicle of a Young Sumo Wrestler. It was on National Japanese television and at Amsterdam’s 2009 International Documentary Film Festival. 
Thomas regularly gives lectures and master classes in France and other countries. In 2011 he was Jury President at Flahertiana Film Festival in Perm.

Krakow Film Festival's director
Krzysztof Gierat was born in 1955. Polish film expert. A graduate of the Jagiellonian University, he studied at the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. Joint founder and former head of the Jewish Culture Festival, Graffiti Film Centre and “Film Polski” Foundation. Former Deputy Mayor of the City of Krakow, Director of the Polish State Television Film Agency, General Secretary of the Polish Filmmakers Association. Member of the Polish and European Film Academies. Since 2000, Director of the Krakow Film Festival. Founder and president of Krakow Film Foundation, which is the producer of Krakow Film Festival and promoter of Polish documentaries and shorts abroad. Lecturer at the Krakow Academy. Member of numerous film festivals’ juries.

Sergei Debizhev,
Russian filmmaker and scriptwriter